Regulation

Must Everything That Bothers Peter DeFazio Be Banned?

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This morning Radley Balko noted that electronics manufacturers, phone companies, and consumer groups are trying to stop Congress from codifying the regulatory ban on using cell phones while flying. I always imagined that the ban, like the prohibition on the use of other electronic devices during takeoff and landing, was based on (probably bogus) safety concerns. But that is not the rationale offered by supporters of the new legislation, which also would ban voice-over-Internet communication on flights that offer WiFi access. Although in-flight phone use is legal in 72 countries, USA Today reports, "advocates of the ban, such as Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., say they want to protect fliers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones." 

In other words, DeFazio imagines he would be annoyed by fellow passengers talking on their cell phones and/or by the calls he currently avoids while flying, so he wants to impose the rule he prefers on the entire country. How about letting airlines decide whether, and under what circumstances, to allow phone use? Some passengers, like DeFazio, might prefer phone-free flights (or sections), while others would welcome the ability to use their phones. Why not let airlines cater to both kinds of customers? If the issue of phone calls on airplanes is resolved the same way as the issue of smoking on airplanes, only the passengers who share Peter DeFazio's tastes and preferences will count.

NEXT: Indianapolis Tacks on Steep Fines for Challenging Traffic Tickets

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  1. I have a hard time believing that my little cell phone could in any way bother the navigation or control systems of a multi-tens-of-millions-of-dollars aircraft.

    Is our beloved federal government actually trying to tell us that they have not yet developed technology sufficiently that simply sitting in your seat talking on the cell phone presents some kind of creditable threat to the safe operation of the airplane?

    Maybe I could see it if what they’re getting at is preventing terrorists from communicating and coordinating an attack or something. But I dunno.

    It’s always “safety”. All we have to do is put the “safety” label on something, and you’re insane if you even question it, much less oppose it.

    1. In another thread after suggesting that the cumlative effect of what could be 500+ transmitters (phone&laptop; wirless) on a 747 might not be studied yet and if someone wanted it studied they should offer up the cash for the study, I wrote:

      I am not suggesting that there is a problem with the cell phone/wireless modems turnd on. I am just suggesting that if it had not been studied, I’d buy into a transmitter ban until it had been studied. While each transmitter emits a near trivial amount of energy, collectively it may add up when a large number of transmitters are colocated. Not being a lawyer, journalist or my ex-wife, I do not know the answer.

      1. Does this mean if 500 afganis pull out their phones during a predator drone strike they might actually cause the drone to crash?

        Can you hear them now?

        1. The footage that drone sent back right before it exploded in their faces would be priceless.

          Verizon would pay off the national debt to use it in their commercials.


      2. Not being a lawyer, journalist or my ex-wife, I do not know the answer.

        hahahahahahahahahahaha!

        1. *lawyer, ex-wife, journalist

          (Re-ordered by legal expertise)

    2. The tech IS established. All the modern shit the passengers would use runs in the GHz, while all the plane’s communications run in the MHz. Totally separate parts of the spectrum.

      And a lot of small transmitters don’t add their power together like you might assume.

      So, yes, the plane is safe and the ban is total bullshit. But we knew that already, since FartFace is basing his position on the rudeness of his peers.

    3. The ban on cell phones in planes has to do with the interference it causes with cell phone networks, not with the planes themselves. Almost all normal limitations on a cell phone’s range are removed when you’re flying overhead in a plane. Your phone’s signal can reach (and therefore reduce the available resources of) a large number of towers simultaneously when flying over a city, for instance during takeoff or landing. This is a problem that cell providers usually solve by spacing out towers that use specific bands, but this is easily defeated by the range of a flying cell phone. Over a big city, a single active cell phone could suddenly start interfering with the resources of fifteen to twenty towers instead of one or two.

      Also, a cell phone traveling at 500mph with an active call must be rapidly handed off from tower to tower, a process that causes a great deal of overhead and stress on the provider’s network.

      I don’t think this is such a problem once planes reach cruising altitude, but then cell phones have a much harder time reaching the ground at all from that height.

      My guess is that the story about interfering with the plane’s systems came about because “don’t do it because it could kill you” is a much more persuasive argument than “don’t do it because you’ll use a disproportionate share of the cell company’s resources.”

  2. Can anyone tell me what the fucking difference between talking on a cell and talking to your friend/spouse/random person sitting next to you is, other than holding a small box next to your ear?

    1. A lot of people have a perverse difficulty with controlling the volume of their voice when talking on a cell phone. I don’t know why that is, but I have some theories.

      Anyway, that problem can be solved if people stop being so sheepish about telling other people to shut up. Or if you’re a sissy, you can tell the flight attendant to tell someone to shut up.

      1. So deal. Oh the horror of non-modulated speaking volume in your vicinity. What a VAST impingement on your liberty!

        Geez, people get their panties in a was about the stupidest, more trivial shit these days.

        1. I deal with loud cell phone talkers by asking them to talk more quietly. Sure, somebody talking loudly on a phone isn’t an impingement on my liberty, but it is annoying and I’ll do what I can to end such annoying behavior.

        2. So, you won’t mind when I bring my old boom box on board and crank it up, right?

        3. If this issue is so trivial, why do you keep posting comments? Attention whore much?

      2. Actually, most people do talk louder on cell phones than on landline phones (not that that justifies DeFazio’s bullshit).

        Traditional landline phones feed back a small amount of signal from the mouthpiece to the earpiece, so that users can “hear themselves” as they talk.  Cell phones don’t do that, so the tendency for nearly everyone is to talk louder on cell phones.

        Maybe there should be an obnoxiousness feedback, too, so people could really hear what they sound like.

      3. I know, it’s an explainable phenomenon (louder on the cell phone), but dickfaces like the guy pictured need to get over it. As you said there’s a far simpler solution than legislation.

        I know, I know, wishful thinking. Cell phone bans just drive me nuts, as they’re practically always based on bullshit.

        1. It’s not like a lot of people, especially children, don’t have a perverse difficulty modulating their voice volume when having an in-person conversation either. I don’t think cell phone chatter stands much chance of drowning out the screaming babies or idiot kids asking if we’re there yet.

          1. Threading fail. Sorry, Ska.

    2. There’s a differnce during driving. If you are driving a car and you are talking to the person next to you in the front seat, in your mind, your physical point of reference vis-a-vis your location is your car, as it should be.

      If you are talking to the same person while driving, but instead of them being in the front seat with you they are at their home and you are speaking with them via a cell phone, in your mind, your physical point of reference tends to be their home, not your car. The mind loves the abstract.

      1. I disagree. When driving and talking to someone next to you, people often look at them (making eye contact, etc.)

        When I am on the phone, I don’t imagine myself magically being transported somewhere else.

        1. This is what cracks me up about banning cell phones while driving. Plenty of drivers turn to face their passengers when having a conversation. This is one of those times when not making eye contact while we talk is appreciated – it’s not some kind of rude or subordinate behavior on your part.

          There are plenty of people where talking on a phone while driving is safer than talking to their passengers.

          1. I like to laugh at the people who talk with their hands while talking on the cell phone while driving.

            Pssst! They can’t see you!

    3. There is none, except for some weird cultural bias against cell phones left over from the 90s.

      Seriously people, there are SO MANY more worthy things to be annoyed by than people talking on phones.

      Get a grip.

    4. i think people are pissy because they’re nosy bastards and hate to only hear half of a conversation. it’s irksome to busy-bodies you know. that being said, i generally try to avoid talking on the phone in a room with other people.

  3. Ska, Maybe the ban is for the people that talk louder when they are on the phone.

  4. Wow does that shitbag have a punchable face.

  5. I’m amazed he hasn’t demanded legislation banning the use of that photo.
    That’s the face my dad used to make when he realized his fart wasn’t a fart…

    1. Someone make that the alt-text. Now!

      1. {Peter Griffin} Uh-oh {/Peter Griffin}

  6. The anti-cell-phone bias is outdated and silly imo.

    It originally was a kind of class-envy thing, about 20 years ago. Asshole rich kid showing off his cell phone by talking loudly on it in public.

    These days, when everyone, even the homeless, have cell phones, the only reason to be annoyed by a call is a perverse desire to listen in on the other side of the conversation.

    Ergo, only fucking eavedroppers hate cell phones.

    1. A century ago anyone seen walking the street talking to nobody and flailing his arms was taken away.

      Two centuries ago they would be though posessed.

      1. I would also add that the louder the person is while speaking on their cell phone, the less substantive their contribution is.

        1. I remember being forced to listen to an attorney advise a corporate client when I was boarding a flight to Seattle. What was that about attorney-client privilege? I got the strong impression that she was conducting the call in-cabin just to show what a big shot she was. Pathetic.

          1. Didn’t you hear? Sheriff Joe says attny-client privilege is for losers (and Mexicans).

            1. Only in court.

      2. Actually, a couple of years ago I noticed someone in the grocery store gabbing away merrily, seemingly to herself, while reaching out with both hands to pick up stuff to put in her cart or examine or whatever.

        Slowly I backed away. And then I noticed the tiny bluetooth earpiece.

        First time I’d seen one. I think I’d only heard of it a week earlier and still wasn’t sure what everyone was talking about.

        1. i still get caught off guard by those…

        2. A few years ago the show Girls Behaving Badly did a skit based on that. An attractive blond was standing on a corner and as some guy would walk by she’d she’d say something like, “hey there, how are you?” The guy would of course be pleasantly surprised and respond. The girl would continue with something like “what are you up to?” or “want to grab a drink later?” Finally after a couple of these with the guy scarcely able to believe his luck, she’d turn just enough so he could see the bluetooth earpiece and she’d say something like “could you hold on a second? Some asshole is standing here trying to talk to me.”

    2. I don’t have a cell phone, so I feel morally justified in still being annoyed at people who talk on them in public. That does not, however, mean that there should be a law about it.

  7. I’m a loud cell phone talker myself, but in my defense, the connection usually sucks.

  8. Okay, I remember hearing that the cell phone thing was not about screwing with the plane’s gizmos, but that when you’re on the ground, your phone only goes through one or two cell towers. In the air, you can light up a bunch of towers, and cell-companies feared an overload in flight heavy areas (like NYC) of their cell traffic.

    I don’t know if that’s anymore BS than the “Your Sony Walkman will flim-flam the pilot’s ding-doggie and crash the plane” theory, but it’s why I heard.

    1. It’s not BS. This is the real reason the FCC, not the FAA, requires you to turn off your phone during flight.

      Cell selection from your high vantage point wouldn’t be too bad if you were standing still – the bigger deal is actually your ground speed. As you move through the air, the cell network on the ground must hand you off from tower to tower. At high speeds, it must do this very frequently and this stresses the ground network that has to keep track of where you are and how to route your calls.

      1. But that problem’s been solved.  The new in-air cell networks multiplex all the calls on the plane into a single stream and transmit it through a satellite link.  No cell tower traffic at all.

      2. True enough, but seems like if they just put the tower equiptment on the plane, the calls could be routed through 1 channel to appropriate ground stations.

        We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

        1. But then what would pukes like DeFazio have to bitch about?

    2. Abdul, I spoke to an engineer about this years ago and he told me they find out the consequences the hard way. They can’t predict all interactions with the software but they work out conflicts post crash.

    3. I work for a cell company, I’ve heard this.

    4. When I was an active commercial pilot I did a lot of rides and one passenger who asked me to fly him over a mountain cell tower turned out to be a cell phone engineer. I asked him about cells in the air and he gave me that answer, that too many towers could be contacted by a high altitude phone, thus the ban.
      I’ve had too many close calls with other drivers talking on cells with that spaced out look on their faces as they run lights and try to hit me, so I have to side with the “no phones” while driving side. Even had one lady sit through an entire green light while gabbing on a phone in spite of horn honks, etc. Justifiable homicide came to mind in that case.

  9. Ban cellphones? Ridiculous! Congress should, instead, require airlines to install the Cone of Silence in each seat.

    1. Pro liberate, Chaos would find a way around it.

      1. Chaos or. . .KAOS?

        1. Pro liberate, Would you believe I cried when they almost destroyed KAOS but alas Maxwell missed it by that much.

          http://www.wouldyoubelieve.com/gather.html

          1. Great show. Don Adams looked about 100 in those photos, but a young 100. He died a few years ago, as I recall. Very funny actor.

  10. I do everything I can to not have to use my cell phone to actually talk to people. Hell, 90% of my effort at work is to not talk to people on the phone, but rather to get them to email me.

    I’ve been “accidentally” forgetting to turn my voicemail on at work for almost two years now.

    1. The only thing worse than talking to people on the phone is talking to them in person.

      1. In my case, getting a letter is far worse than both.

        The chain of annoyance goes:

        Email
        Call
        Scheduled visit
        Voicemail
        Unscheduled visit
        Letter

        The letter writers are the worse because that means they aren’t able or willing to use email. Ugh. It’s like a knife in my side.

        1. How can you even find their correspondence in all the junk mail?

        2. What about video?

          1. No one is that savvy yet. College campus. Most people think teleconferencing will steal your soul.

            1. And they are correct.

              I’ll be happy when I can do a conference call fully immersed in an MMO.

              1. “Blue Warrior needs budget reports badly.”

                1. Yeah, and instead of politely disagreeing with that woman from Finance, you can blast her out of existence with a spell. In other words, the hierarchy in the MMO conference room may not entirely map up with the one in your organization.

                  “What? Le Gal the Destroyer is not pleased! I cast the spell of internal organ removal upon you!”

                2. Golden Axe reference? fucking hysterical.

                  1. I know it from Gauntlet. Did Golden Axe use it as well?

                    1. I thought it was Gauntlet, too.

                      Fallout 3 would make a nice setting for staff meetings.

                    2. Only if I get to have a Fat Boy.

                      Did your disc ever show up?

                    3. YES! Thanks for asking. It turns out that my two-year old daughter somehow shoved it under my desk (which is one of those big, L-shaped desks). My wife told me she was throwing things into a hole (for wires) between an empty cabinet and a file drawer. I went to look, 100% convinced that I was wasting my time, and voil?! there it was! Naturally, I immediately rushed out and bought an expansion for it.

                      Next up, Dragon Age: Origins. I’ll store it up high somewhere.

                    4. Actually, why can’t we blog in an MMO-type environment?

                    5. Been playing Dragon Age. Fucking awesome. But be warned, just as much a time sink as Fallout.

                      By the way, the Soldier’s Peak add-on is worth the 6 bucks. If you don’t buy it, you have nowhere to store stuff except on your person.

                      One tip: By every backpack you can, even if you go broke. Some dungeons are massive and full of loot and they are the only way to raise your encumbrance.

                    6. Lots of backpacks. Okay. Is Soldier’s Peak a download?

                    7. Oh, how similar is it to Oblivion?

                    8. Yes. “The Stone Prisoner” is also DLC. If you don’t get for free with your disc (as a redeemable code) I wouldn’t bother buying it. Totally not worth $15.

                      It’s very close to Oblivion, but it is not open-world like O or FO3. You fast travel to an number of discoverable areas. As a result, the storyline plays a much larger part. There are tons of side missions, some for experience and some for money. And while there is a ton of dungeon crawling to be had, all of it (so far) has been worked into the storyline, not as an optional free roam. You can loot bodies, but not of everything on them like O/FO3.

                      It is a Bioware game, so there is a lot of dialoguing you have to do as part of the game. (It is better integrated than Mass Effect in my opinion.) It is also the route by which you add characters to your party. I haven’t turned anyone down. (Once you have more than four, the extras wait at your “camp.” You go back there between missions and you can change your party members to fit the challenges of the next mission.)

                      When you have enough people (four max at one time) the game almost plays like X-Men Legends/Marvel Alliance. You can switch between people on the fly and they can have talents (like lockpicking) so you don’t have to.

                      Extensive inventory management and skill point distribution systems. And battle encounters are quasi-Real Time Strategy, because you have dozens of programmable battle behaviors and tactics modes you can set on the other characters (and your own when you are playing someone else.)

                      Just really, really good.

                    9. Sounds awesome. I like a good story line–like in Knights of the Old Republic.

                    10. Bioware did KOTOR also.

                      Dragon Age is pretty damn good. I’ve made a human noble double wield rogue, a dwarven commoner sword and board tank, and an elven mage. I’m sticking with the mage – the magic use in this game is so awesome. You have to approach the fights with tactics in mind, or you can easily be overwhelmed. I’ve also taken to using traps and grenades with my rogue party member (the redhead chick from Lothering).

                      I love how your party members react differently to the conversation trees. It definitely adds to the R in RPG.

                      Agreed that the Soldier’s Peak DLC is a good investment. Did you know that you can use the chest to level your equipment? If you’re normally finding, say, tier 5 equipment drops, but have a tier 3 sword in your inventory, you can put it in the chest, leave SP to go to camp, then go back to SP, the sword will be leveled up. It’s good for continuously upgrading the Warden armor if you got it at a low level, stuff like that.

                      As for the backpacks, remember to get buy one from the quartermaster at Ostagar before and after adventuring in the Wilds (it’s early on in the game, right after your character’s origins). Just trying to help. 😉

                    11. I don’t find it that similar to Oblivion. Party tactics play a huge role in this game, where there isn’t anything really similar in Oblivion.

        3. Some people still write letters?! Wtf? Do they still use sealing wax too?

          1. I like letters for personal correspondence, but it’s not like I actually write them. I just like the idea of the letter.

    2. I’m the same way. I much prefer email or text messages.

      Some people get really upset at that, like I’m snubbing them if I don’t speak to them on the phone, though.

      1. There are times the phone is much easier, however. You can resolve confusion in 5 minutes instead of 15 emails.

        1. It’s really tough to write an e-mail that accurately conveys your message in those situations.

          Just call em and be like “yeah, wtf, right?” and life is so much easier.

        2. “””You can resolve confusion in 5 minutes instead of 15 emails.””

          Right. Texting has been around for a century or so, we called it teletype, which became obsolete with the invention of the phone.

      2. One word: asynchronous.

  11. “I have a hard time believing that my little cell phone could in any way bother the navigation or control systems of a multi-tens-of-millions-of-dollars aircraft.”
    ——

    If it could, would they really just use the honour system in getting you to turn it off?

  12. Airport security annoys the living shit out of me.

    I want it banned, goddammit!

  13. I, too, have heard the hypothesis that cellphones in the air are more of a menace to the network than they are to the aircraft. I read it in the Economist, many years ago.

    1. Is it just me, or could we replace congress with the staff of The Economist and be alot better off?

  14. A threadjack. But this kind of story should get more attention than it does.

    http://newsok.com/woman-shoots…..le/3422498

    1. Wow! I love a happy ending.

    2. Good for her!
      Unfortunately, I fear that more attention to stories like this might attract the wrong kind of attention. Though it would at least shut up the idiots who try to claim that no one really ever needs a gun for self defense.

    3. join NRA and subscribe to NRAILA mag First Freedom. they collect those stories and you get to read several every month! it’s great.

  15. Ban loud kids with lazy parents too!!

    1. I’ll agree if we remove the “lazy parents” qualification. Ban all those noisy kids.

      (Fuck Em. I managed to be quiet as a child, why can’t they?)

  16. Man, there are some ugly critters in Congress. He’s right up there with Waxman and Nadler (interestingly enough, all Dems).

  17. I always imagined that the ban, like the prohibition on the use of other electronic devices during takeoff and landing, was based on (probably bogus) safety concerns.

    The science is settled on this one!

  18. How about letting airlines decide whether, and under what circumstances, to allow phone use?

    I’m good with that. I would only fly on airlines that ejected anyone talking on a phone.

  19. Hey, why don’t they refit planes with those little Japanese capsule hotels instead of seats? Everyone could be isolated from one another, there would be more space for passengers, flight attendants would have an easier time in the aisles, in-flight sex would be much easier, and families could share special family capsules. They could also be made to into escape capsules with ‘chutes and built-in inflatable rafts. For an extra fee.

    Shoot, the capsules could be modular, so that everyone gets in their capsule and gets loaded onto the plane (ditto for connections).

    1. Kind of like those plastic containers they put dogs in.

    2. Love the idea, but then I remembered that airlines can’t even manage luggage as it is.

      1. They would ineveitably load you on the wrong connection and you would end up in Bangkok instead of Peoria.

        1. Better hookers in Bangkok. Even if this wasn’t the case I’d still prefer to wind up in Bangkok.

          1. Yeah, I’m not seeing the problem.

            I’d much rather have them loose me, rather than get me to the right place but send my stuff somewhere else.

            Hookers.

    3. Like luggage? Because they never lose or damage luggage.

      1. Maybe we’re not quite ready for the modular option. But the rest seems like a good idea.

        1. The rest? “in-flight sex would be much easier”. I hope the pods are disposable.

          1. Hey, they’ll wash the sheets for you. For a small service charge.

            1. Wait a second. I have a cunning plan. Whether airlines would do this on an international scale is one thing, but why not start an airline that exists for the sole purpose of allowing people to have sex in an airplane? You could use the same capsule concept, but the idea would be to rent time in the plane. In fact, why fly anywhere? They could just do some loops around the airport.

              I think the name for the frequent flier club for this airline is self-evident.

              1. Pro liberate, Would you get a discount for your solo membership?

                1. Don’t be silly. I want the money for the idea, not access to the plane(s). I’m not sure I’d go for it, anyway, but I am sure my wife wouldn’t.

                  Also, do you really think there isn’t a market for sex on planes? Have you been paying attention to, well, every industry that can possibly profit from sex, depictions of sex, or the possibility of sex?

                  1. Your “idea” has already in use with small planes. Btw, you didn’t invent masturbation either.

                    1. And a good thing, too. Who wants residuals on that?

                      Sex in small planes sounds risky. I think the large plane with, ahem, sound-proofed capsules makes the most sense.

                      Incidentally, I predict this concept will become a major component of space tourism.

                    2. “And a good thing, too. Who wants residuals on that?” Ok you are clever. Do you write a blog/anything else. Reveal thyself!

                    3. Well, I post at Urkobold. And I’m forming a cul–religion–called Libertatology.

  20. As usual, government folks are way behind the times. Anyone ever notice those really expensive in-flight phones? Shouldn’t THOSE be part of a ban?

  21. Let the free market figure this out.

  22. Must Everything That Bothers Peter DeFazio Be Banned?

    I’ve come to the realization that our system of government is about voting for the guy whose pet peeves you want to ban.

    1. Just now figuring that out? 😉

  23. That’s utter crap. Ban babies and small children first. Frankly, I’d far prefer my fellow fliers babble away on their phones than try to engage me in conversation about the aluminum siding convention they’re attending.

  24. Ummm…

    If his rationale is not interference with the operation of the aircraft, but rather the “speech”, doesn’t that suggest that the law violates the first?

    1. Time, place, and manner.

      1. shall pass no law

        1. Yeah, but, surprisingly, that’s not really the law. After all, there are laws against perjury, misrepresentation, threatening the president, defamation, and so on.

          1. falsley shouting fire in a crowded cabin…

            1. Speaking words of treason in front of two witnesses.

  25. Whatever you do, don’t talk mean to the waitr- errr, “hostess”.

  26. As for chatty seatmates, I used to tell people I sold wholesale plumbing supplies. That usually shut ’em the fuck up.

    1. “Oh yeah? I sell proctology supplies. Here, check out our product line!”

    2. “I just got paroled” usually works well too.

      1. “How much for your women?”

  27. That’s utter crap. Ban babies and small children first.

    Amen. I just did the whole Thanksgiving cross-country flight deal: a direct there and two legs back, so three flights. On the longest two, I was surrounded by wailing banshees and parents who were trying engage them in a battle of wills. Something like “I told her she can’t look out the window while we land because she has to keep her seatbelt on, and so she needs to learn a lesson.” Seriously? On a red eye? (I’m not advocating a ban in any way, just saying that phones are a relatively minor annoyance).

    I don’t honestly see how a cell phone ban makes sense if airlines put their own reasonable restrictions on use, like blackout hours during redeyes/overseas flights.

    We bring our cell phones into movie theaters, libraries, meetings, churches, schools and so on yet we know how to use them courteously.

  28. Fat people and middle seats need to go

  29. I want no talking at all! STFU on my flight!!

  30. i don’t fly much… has anyone observed a heathen smoker w/ e-cig on a flight? i would love to see all the reactions from all the jackasses appalled by it.

    btw – you may have noticed that was slightly off topic.

  31. The last time I followed this issue, the regulatory ban on cell phones was supposed to be lifted completely. How did we go from the ban being lifted to Congress cementing the ban via legislation?

    Or am I ignoring “legalized marijuana’s” cautionary tale?

  32. A group of researchers investigated the use of cell phones on planes and found that:

    Passengers are using cellphones, on the average, at least once per flight, contrary to FCC and FAA regulations, and sometimes during the especially critical flight phases of takeoff and landing.

    However, no concrete evidence of PEDs causing a crash.

    NASA runs a service, Aviation Safety Reporting Service, where people can report any unusual activity on a flight. I’ve read through several reports and there is one instance of a pilot reporting a problem (IIRC, it was a non-critical instrument that start supplying incorrect readings) when a passenger in a certain seat turned on her Toshiba laptop computer. When she turned it off or moved seats, everything was okay.

  33. Hmm. Laptop wireless?

    I find it annoying that you can’t use laptops on flights below 10k ft. It wastes a lot of time I could be getting work done. Instead all I can do is stare out the window and listen to the screaming bleating brats in the next row over.

  34. I just want the no chanting section.

  35. It frightens me to think our legislators are spending time worrying about cell phone etiquette on airplanes when they should be determining how our college football national champion is crowned.

  36. What’s the point of being an overlord if you can’t force other people to live and behave how you want them to???

  37. I live in Oregon and our congressmen are dopes.

    There is something about Oregon culture where many people, not everyone, but a lot of people casually complain about the things they don’t like. People say things like… I don’t like kiosks at shopping malls, I don’t like telephone survey’s, I don’t like bicycles, I don’t like cars, etc… and then they follow that up with a casual “well, there ought to be something against that”.

    I don’t know why many Oregonians are like this, but I think it goes a little towards explaining why they elect goofs like Portland Mayor Sam Adams or Feds like Defazio, Wu, Merkley, and the rest.

  38. Common sense dictates that this is not an issue. Of the millions of passengers flying with cell phones there will be a high number of people that leave them on intentionally or by accident yet we do not have planes mysteriously falling out of the sky.

  39. Have some things work out before planing to fly…It will be a good idea.

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