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(Ars Technica)   The FAA is starting to fold on using electronic devices during plane takeoffs and landings   (arstechnica.com) divider line 110
    More: Cool, Federal Aviation Administration, NYT, Consumer Electronics Association, Association of Flight Attendants, anonymous source, deputy assistant  
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8258 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2013 at 11:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-25 10:57:38 AM
As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.
 
2013-03-25 11:24:05 AM
I live in constant fear that terrorists will figure out how dangerous cell phones are and stow a bunch that are turned-on in luggage.
 
2013-03-25 11:24:06 AM

Calmamity: As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.


Cell phone jammer is your friend.
 
2013-03-25 11:25:54 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Calmamity: As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.

Cell phone jammer is your friend.


Out of all the electronic devices I can think of as "harmless" on a plane, something that floods some of the RF spectrum isnt one of those.
 
2013-03-25 11:26:01 AM
So long as my air-stewardess brings me this for lunch:

img441.imageshack.us
 
2013-03-25 11:27:52 AM
images.sodahead.com

The government, man!  They're trying to make us conform to their corporate rules, man!  Now they're gonna' make a plane crash and blame it on some guy's Blackberry, man!  You just watch!
 
2013-03-25 11:29:24 AM

Calmamity: As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.


This. I can't imagine being stuck in a tube with 150 or more other people, half of which are so important and vital to national secuirty/the economy/their company that they have to be in constant contact.

Its one thing when you're somewhere that you can tune it out for a few minutes and leave, but a 6 hour transcon? That would suck.
 
2013-03-25 11:29:48 AM
Dude. You can blow up an huge space ship with just an apple lap top.
Saw it in a move once.
they can't put it in a movie if it isn't true.

/Bon JOUR!
 
2013-03-25 11:30:01 AM
Let's see... what is essentially a Faraday cage designed to contain several high-power radios and fly in the upper atmosphere where it is subject to all kinds of radiation we don't see on the ground may be hardened against Joe Bleau's GameBoy.

Shocking.
 
2013-03-25 11:30:20 AM
They still support child molestation right?
 
2013-03-25 11:33:16 AM

Citrate1007: They still support child molestation right?


You mean that's not what they meant when they said I could play with my game boy?
 
2013-03-25 11:33:41 AM
You still have to worry about the planes batteries catching fire.
 
2013-03-25 11:34:10 AM

vudukungfu: Dude. You can blow up an huge space ship with just an apple lap top.
Saw it in a move once.
they can't put it in a movie if it isn't true.

/Bon JOUR!


pbs.twimg.com
 
2013-03-25 11:34:35 AM
Great!  I can't wait to hear the girl in 23A yammer loudly into her cell phone in that way that all women under 22 do because they don't realize that their conversation isn't interesting to strangers.
 
2013-03-25 11:36:35 AM

vudukungfu: Dude. You can blow up an huge space ship with just an apple lap top.
Saw it in a move once.
they can't put it in a movie if it isn't true.

/Bon JOUR!


The most unrealistic part of that movie is that his mac never ONCE demanded he update Adobe.
 
2013-03-25 11:36:41 AM
FTFA: "The potential for change on this front has sparked some politicians to get involved with the FAA."

Now we're farked.
 
2013-03-25 11:39:11 AM

Rapmaster2000: Great!  I can't wait to hear the girl in 23A yammer loudly into her cell phone in that way that all women under 22 do because they don't realize that their conversation isn't interesting to strangers.


It would be nice to be able to just leave my headphones on and read my Nook rather than dealing with the 'ZOMG, your e-ink device will cause this plane to crash on takeoff!'
 
2013-03-25 11:39:23 AM
I forgot to turn my phone off of the my last flight. Luckily we did not die in a horrible crash
 
2013-03-25 11:42:56 AM

The Irresponsible Captain: Let's see... what is essentially a Faraday cage designed to contain several high-power radios and fly in the upper atmosphere where it is subject to all kinds of radiation we don't see on the ground may be hardened against Joe Bleau's GameBoy.

Shocking.


Except for the part where your electronics are INSIDE the Faraday cage with instruments being protected, and the "high power radios" antennas are OUTSIDE the cage...that's a perfect summation of the situation, thanks.

{Homer Simpson voice}In case you couldn't tell, I was being SARCASTIC!
 
2013-03-25 11:44:04 AM
I always like to point out that if it was really a concern they'd take the devices from us before boarding. You know, like how those 3.1oz bottles of toothpaste or mouthwash or whatever need to be taken because of the grave threat they pose.
 
2013-03-25 11:44:26 AM
YOLO business traveler, puts phone in Airplane mode, doesn't power it down
 
2013-03-25 11:47:48 AM
If this change will allow me to keep my ear buds jammed in my ears to cover the shrieking wails of an infant on a plane, that would increase my flyer satisfaction.

It might even make me forget how much I feel like cattle getting into an airplane and how I get felt up on the way to the airplane.

I miss the days when it was fun to fly.
 
2013-03-25 11:50:14 AM

Hack Patooey: Marcus Aurelius: Calmamity: As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.

Cell phone jammer is your friend.

Out of all the electronic devices I can think of as "harmless" on a plane, something that floods some of the RF spectrum isnt one of those.


If cell phone frequencies could actually harm an aircraft, the things would be falling out of the sky every day.
 
2013-03-25 11:53:56 AM
Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?

Also how is someone having a conversation on a mobile any different to having a conversation with the person next to them?

So long as there are no children crying nearby then everything is fine with me.
 
2013-03-25 11:55:10 AM

buzzcut73: Calmamity: As long as cell phones remain verboten.

Or, conversely, as long as knives remain allowed and the rules are further loosened so I can stab any motherfu*ker on their phone next to me.

This. I can't imagine being stuck in a tube with 150 or more other people, half of which are so important and vital to national secuirty/the economy/their company that they have to be in constant contact.

Its one thing when you're somewhere that you can tune it out for a few minutes and leave, but a 6 hour transcon? That would suck.


Also, my time on a plane is the one time I can plausibly claim to be unreachable by phone.  I cherish it.
 
2013-03-25 11:55:57 AM

Rapmaster2000: Great!  I can't wait to hear the girl in 23A yammer loudly into her cell phone in that way that all women under 22 do because they don't realize that their conversation isn't interesting to strangers.


The rule change doesn't create a cell phone structure to allow the girl to yammer away.  It just allows her to have the phone on so we can sneak a peek over her shoulder at all her selfies.
 
2013-03-25 11:56:10 AM

Coastalgrl: I miss the days when it was fun to fly.


I'm right there with ya' grl
 
2013-03-25 11:56:16 AM
Sorry, I get uncontrollably gassy when forced to listen to the mobile phone conversations of others.
 
2013-03-25 11:56:43 AM
Wow. I can use something for an extra 20 minutes of flight time? That's been such a huge imposition on my lifestyle.

How about we work on something relevant, like reducing or eliminating volumes of TSA staff?
 
2013-03-25 11:57:03 AM

Slaxl: Also how is someone having a conversation on a mobile any different to having a conversation with the person next to them?


Because half the people on cellphones think you need to yell the whole distance the call is being made.
 
2013-03-25 11:58:10 AM

heili skrimsli: Rapmaster2000: Great!  I can't wait to hear the girl in 23A yammer loudly into her cell phone in that way that all women under 22 do because they don't realize that their conversation isn't interesting to strangers.

It would be nice to be able to just leave my headphones on and read my Nook rather than dealing with the 'ZOMG, your e-ink device will cause this plane to crash on takeoff!'


It could be trouble.  I don't think most people have seen a Nook in real life.

/kidding
 
2013-03-25 11:58:18 AM

Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?


From Wiki:
Themaximum range of a mast (where it is not limited by interference with other masts nearby) depends on the same circumstances. Some technologies, such as GSM, normally have a fixed maximum range of 35 kilometres (22 mi), which is imposed by technical limitations.

If you're more than 22 miles away due to being on a plane, then you're probably too busy playing with the oxygen mask for your cell coverage to matter.
 
2013-03-25 11:58:26 AM
Flew yesterday, left phone on airplane mode...

Still no cure for loading a plane full of passengers correctly. Hint: Load the back of the plane first you morons so I don't smack everyone with my bag and elbow.
 
2013-03-25 11:59:43 AM

grinding_journalist: Wow. I can use something for an extra 20 minutes of flight time? That's been such a huge imposition on my lifestyle.

How about we work on something relevant, like reducing or eliminating volumes of TSA staff?


Our toys are far more valuable then our liberty.  Get with the program, man.
 
2013-03-25 12:00:35 PM

Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?


The passengers on Flight 93 knew what was happending on 9-11 because many of them were on cell phones talking to people on the ground.
 
2013-03-25 12:01:36 PM

Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?

Also how is someone having a conversation on a mobile any different to having a conversation with the person next to them?

So long as there are no children crying nearby then everything is fine with me.


I know one of the problems isn't the distance but the altitude.  At 30,000 feet, you can glom onto dozens of towers, taking channels away from other subscribers.  Don't know if they fixed this or not.
 
2013-03-25 12:03:40 PM
I've never been able to get a cell signal on an airplane so I don't think you guys have to worry about anyone making phone calls.

And furthermore, it's so loud on a plane I don't know how you could actually hold a phone conversation.
 
2013-03-25 12:05:41 PM

vygramul: I live in constant fear that terrorists will figure out how dangerous cell phones are and stow a bunch that are turned-on in luggage.


Hypothetically, what if there were a 1-in-a-million chance of an active cell phone causing an accident on a flight? It would be useless as a terrorist tool, the vast majority of people who had flown with a phone turned on would report that absolutely nothing happened, but it would still be a serious overall hazard given the total number of flights that people take each year.

Cell phones can interfere with nearby electronics. This is an easily demonstrated fact. Who here hasn't ever heard the characteristic buzzing and popping of a GSM handset next to a speaker phone or audio amplifier? And that's just audio, not even starting to consider the effect on other radio systems which might happen to be on a harmonic of the frequency being transmitted by the phone. Given that many airlines were designed before the cell-phone era, and the wide diversity of bands and modulation schemes used by phones, I have no problem with them taking a safety-first approach and assuming that phones are potentially dangerous until proved otherwise. Airplane accidents are rarely the result of a single factor, so the concern is not that a phone will bring down a plane by itself but that it could glitch some other system at a critical moment. Again hypothetically, what if a phone transmission interfered with a TCAS message from another plane that was already on a collision course?

There is also a theoretical risk from other electronic devices. They all transmit some radio energy as leakage from the digital signals bouncing around inside them. Most radio receivers work by internally generating their own signal and mixing it with the one from the antenna (e.g. if you're listening to 101.1 FM your radio might be internally generating a 111.9 MHz signal) and this local-oscillator signal does leak out. However the levels of the leaked signals are much lower than the ones from an intentional transmitter.
 
2013-03-25 12:06:17 PM

Wellon Dowd: Sorry, I get uncontrollably gassy when forced to listen to the mobile phone conversations of others.


I just blurt out, "I got the condoms!"

It's usually bad news for the conversation, no matter who it is or to whom they're talking.
 
2013-03-25 12:07:45 PM
On one of my more recent flights my phone was in my carryon, turned on and forgotten, for the entire flight.  We didn't die, so I guess Droid Incredibles can be approved.
 
2013-03-25 12:07:48 PM

Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?

Also how is someone having a conversation on a mobile any different to having a conversation with the person next to them?

So long as there are no children crying nearby then everything is fine with me.


Iirc it screws withe the cell phone network because you are sliding between towers too fast, or able to connect to several simultaneously or something.
 
2013-03-25 12:11:04 PM

Wellon Dowd: Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?

The passengers on Flight 93 knew what was happending on 9-11 because many of them were on cell phones talking to people on the ground.


Next time you are on a flight, leave your phone on and see how long it is until you lose the signal. It won't be very long. Flight 93 had to have been flying fairly low for the phones to be getting a signal. My guess is, cell towers aren't designed to send signals up all that well.
 
2013-03-25 12:12:38 PM

Ivo Shandor: vygramul: I live in constant fear that terrorists will figure out how dangerous cell phones are and stow a bunch that are turned-on in luggage.

Hypothetically, what if there were a 1-in-a-million chance of an active cell phone causing an accident on a flight? It would be useless as a terrorist tool, the vast majority of people who had flown with a phone turned on would report that absolutely nothing happened, but it would still be a serious overall hazard given the total number of flights that people take each year.

Cell phones can interfere with nearby electronics. This is an easily demonstrated fact. Who here hasn't ever heard the characteristic buzzing and popping of a GSM handset next to a speaker phone or audio amplifier? And that's just audio, not even starting to consider the effect on other radio systems which might happen to be on a harmonic of the frequency being transmitted by the phone. Given that many airlines were designed before the cell-phone era, and the wide diversity of bands and modulation schemes used by phones, I have no problem with them taking a safety-first approach and assuming that phones are potentially dangerous until proved otherwise. Airplane accidents are rarely the result of a single factor, so the concern is not that a phone will bring down a plane by itself but that it could glitch some other system at a critical moment. Again hypothetically, what if a phone transmission interfered with a TCAS message from another plane that was already on a collision course?

There is also a theoretical risk from other electronic devices. They all transmit some radio energy as leakage from the digital signals bouncing around inside them. Most radio receivers work by internally generating their own signal and mixing it with the one from the antenna (e.g. if you're listening to 101.1 FM your radio might be internally generating a 111.9 MHz signal) and this local-oscillator signal does leak out. However the levels of the leaked signals are much low ...



Shill
 
2013-03-25 12:15:34 PM

Ivo Shandor: vygramul: I live in constant fear that terrorists will figure out how dangerous cell phones are and stow a bunch that are turned-on in luggage.

Hypothetically, what if there were a 1-in-a-million chance of an active cell phone causing an accident on a flight? It would be useless as a terrorist tool, the vast majority of people who had flown with a phone turned on would report that absolutely nothing happened, but it would still be a serious overall hazard given the total number of flights that people take each year.

Cell phones can interfere with nearby electronics. This is an easily demonstrated fact. Who here hasn't ever heard the characteristic buzzing and popping of a GSM handset next to a speaker phone or audio amplifier? And that's just audio, not even starting to consider the effect on other radio systems which might happen to be on a harmonic of the frequency being transmitted by the phone. Given that many airlines were designed before the cell-phone era, and the wide diversity of bands and modulation schemes used by phones, I have no problem with them taking a safety-first approach and assuming that phones are potentially dangerous until proved otherwise. Airplane accidents are rarely the result of a single factor, so the concern is not that a phone will bring down a plane by itself but that it could glitch some other system at a critical moment. Again hypothetically, what if a phone transmission interfered with a TCAS message from another plane that was already on a collision course?

There is also a theoretical risk from other electronic devices. They all transmit some radio energy as leakage from the digital signals bouncing around inside them. Most radio receivers work by internally generating their own signal and mixing it with the one from the antenna (e.g. if you're listening to 101.1 FM your radio might be internally generating a 111.9 MHz signal) and this local-oscillator signal does leak out. However the levels of the leaked signals are much low ...


If there was any sort of actual threat (beyond the 1:100000000 chance happening)  they wouldn't be allowed on an the airplane, at all.
 
2013-03-25 12:17:16 PM

Hack Patooey: Slaxl: Also how is someone having a conversation on a mobile any different to having a conversation with the person next to them?

Because half the people on cellphones think you need to yell the whole distance the call is being made.


Emirates and plenty of other airlines have allowed this on international flights for years. Apparently it's not a problem.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/technology/29phones.html

"Emirates executives have even heard from skeptical pilots and flight attendants who mistakenly believed "the system was on but nobody was using it" on a particular flight, he said. "And I was able to go back to them and say, well 63 people had their phones on, and there were 22 phone calls and 68 messages."

"It's very emotional in the United States," said Benoit Debains, the chief executive of OnAir. He insisted that the anxiety was overblown. For one thing, he and other industry executives said, standard cabin noise covers up much conversational noise, yet people with cellphones pressed to their ears in that environment somehow do not feel the need to speak louder to compensate.

"I remember on the first flight we did, we asked one guy, 'What do you think about using the phone for voice in the cabin?' He said he was against it. But we said, 'You know, the guy across from you has been using his phone for the last five minutes.' "
 
2013-03-25 12:20:01 PM

Wellon Dowd: Slaxl: Isn't the problem with 'cell phones' on flights more that you're several miles away from any signal tower?

The passengers on Flight 93 knew what was happending on 9-11 because many of them were on cell phones talking to people on the ground.


I believe the passengers on UA93 were on the built-in airphones, for the most part. The media reported the calls as coming from cell phones, but I think that was incorrect. It was a minor detail given the magnitude of the situation, so no one ever fact-checked it.
 
2013-03-25 12:21:14 PM

Ivo Shandor: Hypothetically, what if there were a 1-in-a-million chance of an active cell phone causing an accident on a flight?


In reality, the power output from a cell phone tower dwarfs the power of the handset, and jetliners fly over hundreds of these towers every flight.  They also encounter heavy duty microwave radiation and higher cosmic radiation from space.  They can take a direct hit from lightning again and again without suffering ill effects.  So I doubt your cell phone is going to pose much of a threat to a 747.
 
2013-03-25 12:23:45 PM

iron_city_ap: Next time you are on a flight, leave your phone on and see how long it is until you lose the signal. It won't be very long.


Used to fly all the time as a traveling consultant. I've heard many a phone ring while traveling in the air. I have no doubt you would quickly drop your call between towers though at cruising altitude.

That being said, millions of flights every year have peoples phones and other gadgets left on and we don't have planes dropping out of the sky. The rule needs overturned as the bureaucratic overreach that it is. The rule doesn't serve the public interest and is proven unfounded every single day on every single flight of any size.
 
2013-03-25 12:24:10 PM

kendelrio: Shill


No, just someone who reads stuff like the comp.risks newsgroup. My job has nothing to do with airplanes, phones, or radios.
 
2013-03-25 12:26:20 PM
The FAA says one thing, certain airlines say another. I usually don't fly US Airways (who in their right mind would?) but normally when flying other airlines putting your phone in "airplane mode" is just fine. On US Airways they made an announcement when they closed the door that phones must be turned completely off and they don't do that whole "airplane mode" thing. They said anything with an on or off switch needs to be turned off. Yeah, I left it on.
 
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