View Full Version : "... and please switch off all electronic devices."


Soldim
04-23-2010, 05:14 AM
I kind of tend to ignore this message with regards to my eReader when in a plane waiting for departure, or close to landing. I was told by someone sitting next to me that continuing to read brought his live in danger.

Do others switch off their eReaders when you're asked to switch of "electronic devices"? And what about MP3 players and the like?

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 05:30 AM
The problem there is not to have waves disturbing the plane's instruments.

Explain them your 505 is perfectly safe, it does neither wi-fi, 3G , gprs or anything, thus can't afftect the plane's electronics in any way.

You just need to make sure to deactivate wi-fi / 3g / bluetooth whenever relevent. (That's what plane mode on phones is for...)

ChrisC333
04-23-2010, 06:55 AM
I would turn it off out of courtesy - i.e. consideration for the staff and other passengers.

The staff really don't have the time, or probably the expertise either, to go round and assess every device on a case by case basis. Even if your particular device may not be dangerous you can still be causing other passengers unnecessary stress by leaving it on.

So I'd suggest that turning it off when asked is a reasonable thing to do.

WillAdams
04-23-2010, 07:22 AM
Agree w/ ChrisC333 --- it's the polite thing to do.

William

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 08:55 AM
The staff really don't have the time, or probably the expertise either, to go round and assess every device on a case by case basis.
True, that's why everyone should take care of their own device, and know if they can use it or not.

Even if your particular device may not be dangerous you can still be causing other passengers unnecessary stress by leaving it on.
Anything not using wireless connexion or radio is perfectly fine. Why do cell phone have a plane mode, if not to use them safely in the planes rather than switch them off?

I spend some flight that are mostly go up / go down, and I shouldn't read all way long ?

By the way, does the kindle have option to deactivate 3G and wi-fi ?

ziegl027
04-23-2010, 09:07 AM
Why do cell phone have a plane mode, if not to use them safely in the planes rather than switch them off?




So you can use them IN FLIGHT. During takeoff and landing, *anything* with a power switch is supposed to be turned off (in US domestic flights, anyway, don't know what foreign airlines do). Doesn't matter if it's a cell phone or a battery-operated nose hair trimmer.

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 09:34 AM
So you can use them IN FLIGHT. During takeoff and landing, *anything* with a power switch is supposed to be turned off (in US domestic flights, anyway, don't know what foreign airlines do).
There is something I don't get there. Either the device can disturb the plane's electronics, and it can do so anytime, either it can't.
Last I took the plan, i was using good old paper book. That was the trip to Denmark, it's pretty much take off, a few minutes flight, landing. So, no music. No Nintendo Ds. And now no reading either ?

The "everything off" exists for the reason ChrisC333 mentioned, to much of a mess to sort out wireless from non wireless. Not for real security reasons.

ChrisC333
04-23-2010, 09:34 AM
True, that's why everyone should take care of their own device, and know if they can use it or not.

Come on - get real. Flight staff can't rely on every passenger being either fully informed about their toys, or being responsible either. Some folks don't know or care what the full story is, or may even be genuinely mistaken. There is a large range of electronic devices that can be taken on a plane, and neither the staff nor the owners can be 100% relied on to know exactly which may cause a problem under which settings or circumstances. Most won't cause trouble, but it may only take one person to get it wrong.



Anything not using wireless connexion or radio is perfectly fine.
I spend some flight that are mostly go up / go down, and I shouldn't read all way long ?



Sure, it's a minor inconvenience, but in a public situation your personal wants aren't the only thing that matters. Can you really not understand that refusing to comply with the request to turn of all electronic devices can give the staff unnecessary hassles and also upset other pasengers who see you ignoring them? If reading during take-off and landing is really such a big deal, can't you take a pbook or magazine for those times? It seems like a minor nuisance for the general benefit to the others in the plane.

dmaul1114
04-23-2010, 09:36 AM
I just turn them off out of courtesy, for all the reasons others have noted.

Anyone that thinks it's a big deal just needs to get over themselves IMO.

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 09:53 AM
Flight staff can't rely on every passenger being either fully informed about their toys, or being responsible either.
They should. They have to.
What's stopping me from letting my cellphone on in my bag except my being responsible ? No one will see it, and that's more dangerous than using my reader in full sight.
So yes, they have to rely on passengers knowing what they are doing, because they can't see everything.

cmdahler
04-23-2010, 09:59 AM
The concern about electronic devices has to do with takeoff and landing because of the proximity to the ground. No one is concerned about a momentary interruption of some electronic gadgetry in flight at cruise - it's not that anyone thinks your book is going to suddenly cause the airplane to just fall out of the sky or cause the engines to just suddenly quit. However, during takeoff and landing, especially landing during low visibility, the airplane is navigating using precise instruments at very tight tolerances for error - you are, after all, flying just a few hundred feet off the ground at 200+ kmh, and during low visibility conditions like fog or a low cloud cover, your pilots cannot see out the windows and are relying entirely on those instruments to keep you from slamming into the ground, thus ensuring you wouldn't be able to finish your book. An interruption there, even just a momentary one, could have unpleasant consequences. No one in the industry actually thinks your book or your iPod or whatever is really going to cause a problem, but since all electronic gadgetry produces an electromagnetic field, it's at least theoretically possible that not just yours, but dozens of devices all operating at once, could cause a problem. It's a "better safe than sorry" principle.

jbjb
04-23-2010, 10:00 AM
They should. They have to.
What's stopping me from letting my cellphone on in my bag except my being responsible ? No one will see it, and that's more dangerous than using my reader in full sight.
So yes, they have to rely on passengers knowing what they are doing, because they can't see everything.

There's a difference between expecting passengers not to be malicious (e.g. hiding their cellphone) and expecting passengers to have some understanding of whether or not their device can interfere with the plane's electronics.

The general public is not competent to judge whether or not their device will interfere, therefore it's a perfectly reasonable expectation that passeneger should just turn off their devices when asked to do so.

/JB

jbjb
04-23-2010, 10:06 AM
There is something I don't get there. Either the device can disturb the plane's electronics, and it can do so anytime, either it can't.


The more stringent restriction at takeoff and landing is simply because in cruising flight there is more time to react to any problems.


The "everything off" exists for the reason ChrisC333 mentioned, to much of a mess to sort out wireless from non wireless. Not for real security reasons.

*All* electronic devices radiate, to a greater or lesser extent, so the theoretical risk is not limited to wireless transmitting devices.

Passengers are generally not competent to judge whether or not the (admittedly probably miniscule) additional risk caused by not turning off the device is acceptable, so they should do what they are told.

/JB

guyanonymous
04-23-2010, 10:13 AM
While I do turn off my reader if asked, I believe it has more to do with control and perceived danger (fears) than any real danger.

After all - in all those movies with bombs on planes, the terrorist is sitting there with a laptop (or something similar) with a big countdown timer on it (or red button he has to mouse over to)...so if nobody sees electronics out, nobody worries something nefarious is about to occur (at the most dangerous times for a plane).

HarryT
04-23-2010, 10:14 AM
Passengers are generally not competent to judge whether or not the (admittedly probably miniscule) additional risk caused by not turning off the device is acceptable, so they should do what they are told.

/JB

What do you do with electronic devices which cannot be turned off? Do you take the battery out of your digital watch?

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 10:16 AM
The general public is not competent to judge whether or not their device will interfere, therefore it's a perfectly reasonable expectation that passeneger should just turn off their devices when asked to do so.
With proper explanation, they can be. Most of time, they will know if their device have 3g, wi-fi, or bluetooth.
If they don't understand, they might let their phone on in their bags, not by malice, but because they don't understand why it can be a danger.

*All* electronic devices radiate, to a greater or lesser extent, so the theoretical risk is not limited to wireless transmitting devices.
True, but save for wireless stuff, i can't think of anything (in term of everyday use can-be-carried-in-a-plane stuff)

jbjb
04-23-2010, 10:26 AM
What do you do with electronic devices which cannot be turned off? Do you take the battery out of your digital watch?

Clearly not! :)

It's all just comes down to statistical risk - every electronic device radiates and thus adds something to the level of risk. Somebody somewhere has deemed that getting people to turn off their electronic devices is worth doing, presumably by weighing up the risk reduction vs the minimal inconvenience in doing so. A few non-turn-offable devices, such as digital watches, hopefully won't add too much to the risk. Those who make the rules clearly don't expect people to take the batteries out of their watches (otherwise they'd make people do so), so presumably they agree.

It's just a trade off between very low levels of extra risk and very low levels of added inconvenience. Up to a point it's worth turning things off, and afterwards not.

/JB

jbjb
04-23-2010, 10:33 AM
With proper explanation, they can be. Most of time, they will know if their device have 3g, wi-fi, or bluetooth.


A lot of people will not even understand that - to be safe, turning off all electronics (which can be turned off straight-forwardly) at takeoff & landing is a sensible precaution.


True, but save for wireless stuff, i can't think of anything (in term of everyday use can-be-carried-in-a-plane stuff)


It *all* radiates. Your ereader radiates, for example. Not much, but a measureable amount.

/JB

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 10:35 AM
It's all just comes down to statistical risk - every electronic device radiates and thus adds something to the level of risk.
Once again, we're speaking of every day stuff. Stuff that follow norms saying among other things, a maximum value for there "radiation".

So sorry, i'm having trouble understanding why my reader would cause problem.

It *all* radiates. Your ereader radiates, for example. Not much, but a measureable amount.
My bad I meant :
true, but save for wireless stuff, i can't think of anything (in term of everyday use can-be-carried-in-a-plane stuff) that would radiate enough to cause trouble.

pshrynk
04-23-2010, 10:45 AM
Once again, we're speaking of every day stuff. Stuff that follow norms saying among other things, a maximum value for there "radiation".

So sorry, i'm having trouble understanding why my reader would cause problem.


My bad I meant :
true, but save for wireless stuff, i can't think of anything (in term of everyday use can-be-carried-in-a-plane stuff) that would radiate enough to cause trouble.
It's not so much that your reader would cause problems as the dozens of other people without your knowledge of what an eink screen really is seening you be able to use a box with a switch on it and deciding that it's okay to fire up all sorts of electronic gadgets, which theoretically can bolix the aircraft's electronic gear. Airlines make a blanket ban on everything with a switch to keep the nercissistic entitlements from becoming out of hand.

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 10:50 AM
It's not so much that your reader would cause problems as the dozens of other people without your knowledge of what an eink screen really is seening you be able to use a box with a switch on it and deciding that it's okay to fire up all sorts of electronic gadgets, which theoretically can bolix the aircraft's electronic gear
Hence what I said about explaining what can or can't be done, and why.
Another ting is that electronic have evolved. We've learn way to make devices radiate less, and shield them from external radiation.

cmdahler
04-23-2010, 10:52 AM
So sorry, i'm having trouble understanding why my reader would cause problem.

Your reader by itself in all probability wouldn't. You're not stopping to consider that you are not the only person on the plane with an electronic device. If your device is allowed, then shouldn't everyone's device be allowed? And what then of the cumulative effect of all those devices' EMFs potentially causing a navigational issue at 200 feet off the ground?

jbjb
04-23-2010, 11:10 AM
My bad I meant :
true, but save for wireless stuff, i can't think of anything (in term of everyday use can-be-carried-in-a-plane stuff) that would radiate enough to cause trouble.

But that's the issue - are you sure you are competent to judge whether or not it would? (Absolutely no offence intended!)

Do you know the radiation spectrum of your reader? Do you know what devices everyone else in the plane is using, and what the combined radiation of all those devices is? Do you know where all the plane's potentially sensitive control systems are? Do you know the details of the EM sensitivity of all the plane's systems?

Unless you know all of that, and much more, you're not in a position to be able to say what extra statistical risk allowing people to use electronic devices would add.

Having said all that, eInk readers are clearly a bit of an oddity, as turning them "off" often doesn't actually turn them off, unless you do a shutdown.

/JB

Tamara
04-23-2010, 11:11 AM
We turn off our readers out of courtesy for everyone around us. We figure we can survive the 10 - 15 minutes without using the reader during takeoff and landing.

CyberSmoke53
04-23-2010, 11:24 AM
I turn off my ereader and also double-check my cellphone to insure that its also off! Its the polite courteous thing to do, as well as a good example to others.

I too think my one little reader probably wouldn't do any harm, but several hundred could possibly cause an issue with something in the airplane's control system. I take along a pbook or magazine for the times I can't use the electronic reader.

When I fly its not just about me but others too, so I'd much rather err on the side of caution. :thumbsup:

mores
04-23-2010, 11:25 AM
Aren't we talking about the first and last 5-10 minutes of a flight where ALL devices need to be switched off? How can you not be able to do away with your reader for this time? Read the safety instructions or something.

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 11:25 AM
We turn off our readers out of courtesy for everyone around us. We figure we can survive the 10 - 15 minutes without using the reader during takeoff and landing.
Don't know it seamed to me that "safety time" is more like 20-30 minutes.
That time was long enough to annoy me during the filght in denemark. I remember growing tired of reading because i couldn't do anyting else (still had good old paper book at the time).

HarryT
04-23-2010, 11:27 AM
Aren't we talking about the first and last 5-10 minutes of a flight where ALL devices need to be switched off? How can you not be able to do away with your reader for this time? Read the safety instructions or something.

Or even - shock, horror! - the airline magazine. I actually had a nice surprise the last time I did that; it had a very good review of my own software in it!

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 11:38 AM
Do you know the radiation spectrum of your reader? Do you know what devices everyone else in the plane is using, and what the combined radiation of all those devices is? Do you know where all the plane's potentially sensitive control systems are? Do you know the details of the EM sensitivity of all the plane's systems?
Do you ?

Unless you know all of that, and much more, you're not in a position to be able to say what extra statistical risk allowing people to use electronic devices would add.
Well, if someone in the know would care to explain ?

cmdahler
04-23-2010, 12:40 PM
Do you ?

Straw man! You're the one who at least seems to be claiming that your reader couldn't possibly do any harm; asking you on what basis you believe that is a valid question, and you're just ducking the issue by trying to deflect the question. Basically, the point is that if you think your particular electronic device is perfectly safe, then you ought to have some basis in fact for that. If you can't answer the question, then it remains merely an uninformed assumption on your part that your reader is indeed safe.

Not trying to be overly snippy here, but that is indeed why electronic devices are prohibited: because these devices have in the past caused random minor problems with equipment on airplanes, and these problems are random enough that Boeing and Airbus engineers along with various regulatory agencies have been unable to duplicate the problems reliably. Without being able to absolutely isolate specific circumstances, specific levels of EM radiation, specific transmission strengths, and on and on, that can cause these problems, and thus by inference be able to say that if your device doesn't meet those thresholds then it cannot cause a problem, it is simply the only responsible and safest course of action to prohibit electronic devices from being used close to the ground.

In reality, even if you were able to define some kind of EM threshold to reliably cause a problem, it likely wouldn't mean you could use your device, because that would only really define a single device in a specific location on the plane. When you start allowing multiple devices in random locations, it throws all your test data right out the window (and that's assuming you were able to reliably reproduce a specific problem in the first place).

Now, all that being said, I happen to agree with you that modern airplanes are hardly likely to have problems from EM fields on tiny little devices such as computers, iPhones, etc., and almost certainly not from your reader. However, the one time I certainly wouldn't want to take a chance with it would be in a very low visibility landing when the pilots are entirely dependent on the interior instruments of the airplane to be able to land because they cannot see out the windshield. Bad time to find out you were wrong about that reader...

Jellby
04-23-2010, 12:56 PM
When I watch TV in the kitchen, everytime the washing-machine or the fridge engine starts, I see an interference in the TV. It's just a fraction of a second, but it's noticeable. Neither my washing-machine nor my fridge have wifi or 3g connection :D

I don't think it's too far-fetched assuming that every electronic device could cause some interference in a plane's instruments, and it's a risk not worth facing. Of course, an ebook reader (at least one without wireless connection) is probably one of the less "dangerous" devices, but when setting safety rules for arbitrary groups of people, it's often better to just set clear-cut strict rules and not deal with possible case-by-case exceptions, if everyone starts saying "but look, my device's user guide says..." it would be chaos.

On the other hand, I'm not sure there has been enough serious testing of what devices actually do or don't cause interferences with the plane's instruments, and these should be designed to work properly in an environment full of electronic devices (even if you ask all passengers to turn their phones off, I'm sure at least one phone in every flight remains turned on).

HarryT
04-23-2010, 01:02 PM
It's entirely irrelevant whether or not a particular device is safe. The fact is that the regulations require them to be switched off. If you choose to travel by air, those are the regulations you agree to abide by. If you don't like them, then don't fly!

ChrisC333
04-23-2010, 01:03 PM
To sum it up so far:


a) There's a genuine chance that you - or somebody else with a similar attitude - may individually or cumulatively unwittingly contribute to a problem.

b) By ignoring the request, your example may also be encouraging others whose device(s) may have a much higher chance of causing trouble. If they do cause a crash they take you with them. It won't be much consolation to be still insisting it's not your fault as you go down.

c) Refusing to comply is likely to make you look like a jerk to other passengers and to the cabin staff. This may well bring down some kind of public hassle or argument on yourself. This is after all how this thread started. A fellow passenger got cheesed off with the OP.


Here's a link to an aviation blog with some examples that show why these rules are put in place.

Incident examples (http://blog.flightstory.net/56/switch-off-your-cell-phones/)

As Harry says, if you fly then it's smart to abide by the rules, even if you honestly believe your device is totally harmless. If you get into an argument with the flight crew and piss them off enough you may find that they can apply a range of sanctions including declining to take you on the next leg of your journey and up to getting the cops to meet you on landing.

Does anybody really think a few minutes e-reading is worth that? Isn't it just more polite and reasonable (as many have said here) to just switch the darned thing off when they ask?

kindlekitten
04-23-2010, 01:51 PM
I just close my e-reader cover and put in the pocket in front of me. these "turn off" regulations are left overs from when the technology was not completely understood. there is one airline, I can't remember which that has allowed cell phone usage for quite awhile and another one that is ramping up the ability to have in flight wi-fi. military flying on commercial birds for years have had all of their bells and whistles on and functioning

Hellmark
04-23-2010, 02:42 PM
The ones with wifi and cellphone usage shut them down during landings and take off.

As far as the military goes, their equipment is designed under strict requirements as to not mess with the avionics. Your iPods and eBook readers are not.

Sweetpea
04-23-2010, 02:45 PM
I didn't "turn off" my Mini. I've never turned it off since I got it. Not that I took it out of my bag (I just love to look outside, even if it's very cloudy!)...

kindlekitten
04-23-2010, 03:05 PM
The ones with wifi and cellphone usage shut them down during landings and take off.

As far as the military goes, their equipment is designed under strict requirements as to not mess with the avionics. Your iPods and eBook readers are not.

I really love it when disinformation gets disbursed... the ban was a reslt of analog phones, now they are digital and no longer cause the interference. cell phones and ereaders for that matter are of such low power that they do NOT cause the interference. at this point it is mostly a matter of streamlining regulations

jbjb
04-23-2010, 03:13 PM
Do you ?


In what way is that relevant? My point is that most passengers don't, so the rules should be followed.

As it happens, I have a better understanding than most in this area, but I certainly wouldn't feel able to overrule the authorities. Do you?

/JB

jbjb
04-23-2010, 03:19 PM
I really love it when disinformation gets disbursed... the ban was a reslt of analog phones, now they are digital and no longer cause the interference. cell phones and ereaders for that matter are of such low power that they do NOT cause the interference. at this point it is mostly a matter of streamlining regulations

That, I'm afraid, is simply wrong.

Digital cellphones most certainly cause interference. Anyone who has been near a speaker and heard the dit-dit-dit when they poll for the base station cannot doubt this.

/JB

tompe
04-23-2010, 03:22 PM
What do you do with electronic devices which cannot be turned off? Do you take the battery out of your digital watch?

The instruction is to turn off all devices with an off switch.

Hellmark
04-23-2010, 03:45 PM
I really love it when disinformation gets disbursed... the ban was a reslt of analog phones, now they are digital and no longer cause the interference. cell phones and ereaders for that matter are of such low power that they do NOT cause the interference. at this point it is mostly a matter of streamlining regulations

Yes, it was put into place when analog phones were widely used, however digital devices can still cause interference. I routinely have my completely digital cellphone messing up some of my other sensitive devices. I also have some of my other things causing issues that are lower power. Regardless of how the data is encoded, if it is going at a spectrum that the equipment is sensitive to, it'll have interference. The device cares not that it is digital or analog, since it isn't able to understand either. The real difference between the two? The switch to digital allowed things to get cheaper for the telecoms, since it requires less equipment to handle more calls. No need to convert it to a digital signal so the computer knows how to handle it, if it is already in a format it knows. Much of the hard work is already done. A digital trunk card looks barren compared to an analog one, not because of chips handling the work, but because it just has less work to do.

But hey, what do I know, I only design electronics and work with commercial phone systems for a living.

wodin
04-23-2010, 03:58 PM
In the US, the rule comes from the FAA, and it says all electronic devices during landing and takeoff while the plane is below 10,000 feet. And it predates cell phones, Bluetooth and WiFi.

In the olden days, before those things were invented, it was thought that a battery powered FM radio could emit radio waves that could interfere with the planes navigation and controls. And who knows what else might!

The rules have been updated somewhat due to pressure from business travelers who wanted to use their laptops to do useful work instead of just wasting all those hours sitting in an airplane, but the FAA being what they are were VERY conservative, and banned all electronics during takeoff and landing, and anything that has an active transmitter for the duration of the flight.

I think there are dispensations for medical equipment (heart pace makers and the like), but I’m not sure about watches, I think they just ignore those.

Perhaps PilotBob could enlighten us further.

EowynCarter
04-23-2010, 04:21 PM
As it happens, I have a better understanding than most in this area, but I certainly wouldn't feel able to overrule the authorities.
Well, i'm all ears if you can explain.

jbjb
04-23-2010, 04:28 PM
Well, i'm all ears if you can explain.

I've been trying my best to explain - what bits have I missed out?

The rules are a sensible set of precautions, given how amazingly difficult it is to calculate the cumulative effect of many small sources of EM radiation on sensitive equipment. What more needs to be said?

/JB

Hamlet53
04-23-2010, 04:36 PM
Getting herded around like cattle. Standing for an hour or more at a security check point with your shoes off because one idiot tried once to set of a “shoe bomb.” Maybe getting charged extra to go pee in flight? Seats jammed so close together that your knees are bruised by flight end. BYOL (bring your own lunch).

Having to turn of all electronic devices during takeoff and landing are the least of reasons to dread contemporary air travel.

http://blog.troubletown.com/2009_12_01_archive.html

kindlekitten
04-23-2010, 07:52 PM
That, I'm afraid, is simply wrong.

Digital cellphones most certainly cause interference. Anyone who has been near a speaker and heard the dit-dit-dit when they poll for the base station cannot doubt this.

/JB

no it's not. and for the other person disputing it... I've been installing telecomm equipment for over 30 years. I won't do the research for you, but it's out there!

Connallmac
04-23-2010, 08:16 PM
The ban on electronics during take off and landing gives me an excuse to indulge in a glossy magazine!

HorridRedDog
04-23-2010, 09:11 PM
One group says "It's their regulations, lets be polite and follow the rules".

One group says "It's inconvenient for me, and my device won’t cause any problems".

One group says "It's all stupid now, because today’s XXXXXX (favorite electronic toy) will not affect the plane".

I'm kinda in the last group. But I'll behave like those in the first group.

Why? Because IF THEY THINK that what you're doing may interfere with the operation and safety of the plane, you might have a federal marshal taking you to a judge to explain why you thought that it was a stupid rule.

I'll just try to keep a straight face as they carry you off the plane.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Now if the second group and the third group want to get together and straighten out the FAA, why I think that that would be GREAT!

Please start now, there's no time to be lost! Start your own website. Gather more opinions!

I would love for you to secede.

Because when I flew the last two times, I hit the switch on the PRS-600. (Of course it didn't turn it off. :D But everyone was happy.)

DawnFalcon
04-23-2010, 10:51 PM
I will certainly put my ereader away during takeoff/landing, but actually switching it off? Completely unnecessary, it can happily sit in my bag on it's page until the plane's achieved cruising altitude.

jbjb - Certainly. This is why devices have radiation emission certifications. Of course we can know, by looking at them, the maximum emission levels.

Hellmark - Oh good joke about military devices. Ha.

BuddyBoy
04-24-2010, 01:12 AM
no it's not. and for the other person disputing it... I've been installing telecomm equipment for over 30 years. I won't do the research for you, but it's out there!So are you saying digital phones do not cause interference? I used to have a GSM phone that when left on my bedside table would occasionally cause my CPAP machine to start spontaneously when the phone received a text message. I always put to down to some form of EMF interference, but then I'm just a code jockey not a hardware wizard.

jbjb
04-24-2010, 04:26 AM
no it's not. and for the other person disputing it... I've been installing telecomm equipment for over 30 years. I won't do the research for you, but it's out there!

Are you seriously asserting that digital cellphones don't radiate?

(I've been *designing* electronic equipment for over 25 years, so I'm quite capable of doing the research!)

/JB

jbjb
04-24-2010, 04:31 AM
jbjb - Certainly. This is why devices have radiation emission certifications. Of course we can know, by looking at them, the maximum emission levels.


Clearly, people with expertise can know, but my point is that Joe Public hasn't a clue, and is in no position to judge the safety or otherwise of not turning off his kit.

What we have at the moment is a rule set by people who have expertise and have studied the problem, which is being judged to be wrong by people who are utterly unqualified in the field.

/JB

Stitchawl
04-24-2010, 05:00 AM
As far as the military goes, their equipment is designed under strict requirements

Is this the US military to whom you refer? (cough, cough...) :rofl:


Stitchawl

Stitchawl
04-24-2010, 05:12 AM
One group says "It's their regulations, lets be polite and follow the rules".
One group says "It's inconvenient for me, and my device won’t cause any problems".
One group says "It's all stupid now, because today’s XXXXXX (favorite electronic toy) will not affect the plane".

I'm kinda in the last group. But I'll behave like those in the first group.


Gotta love it... and do it with a smile.
I even turn off my hearing aids. Of course then I can't follow their instructions when they talk to me but I can tell if there is a problem when I see the flight attendant performing The Last Rites at the front of the plane or if I see the O2 masks drop down, and I feel pretty darn cocky about the fact that MY hearing aids didn't contribute to the problem! :thumbsup:

Stitchawl

Kevin2960
04-24-2010, 06:00 AM
Look is it really going to hurt anyone to do as asked ?

Reasons why dont matter, e.g. you ask a smoker not to smoke in your home, reason doesn't matter it's your home your right, Same with Airlines it's thier right !

Oh and you guys with pacemakers .... Switch them off please (hehehe)

aceflor
04-24-2010, 07:16 AM
Look is it really going to hurt anyone to do as asked ?

Reasons why dont matter, e.g. you ask a smoker not to smoke in your home, reason doesn't matter it's your home your right, Same with Airlines it's thier right !



I agree to 120% to that. K for u Kevin. Really, it is a question of courtesy, politeness, education, name it how you like it, but that is the point for me.

I was sitting next to a lady on a short flight from Paris to Cologne who insisted she had to have her Kindle on the whole time. She was sooo rude to the stewardess, she made a real feast out of it, she ruined the flight for me, the whole row in front, the other in the back, the two others on the side, both stewardess and I'd say probably the whole plane.

Get a grip people. If you want to travel to your own rules, buy your own jet. Leave the rest of us in peace !

kovidgoyal
04-24-2010, 07:27 AM
Soon enough cars are going to have as much electronic equipment as planes. Auto drivers, traction control, electric motors and computers to control all this, along with radios and antennas so the cars can call home automatically. I wonder how they're going to deal with cell phones in cars.

Also considering that planes fly at high altitudes they are exposed to a lot of cosmic radiation, I remember reading somewhere that a single flight exposes its passengers to the equivalent of n X-ray scans.

Since I'm pretty sure that they will be dealt with, it's really a matter of hardening plane systems, which presumably costs money, which is why it isn't done.

I don't know enough (and googling seems to indicate no else does either) to comment on whether today's airliners are really vulnerable to electronic devices or not. But it seems pretty clear that there is no fundamental reason they cannot be designed to not be.

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 08:24 AM
Soon enough cars are going to have as much electronic equipment as planes. Auto drivers, traction control, electric motors and computers to control all this, along with radios and antennas so the cars can call home automatically. I wonder how they're going to deal with cell phones in cars.

But of course, if your cell phone causes your car's engine to stall, that's not such a big deal as a problem with an airplane a few hundred feet off the ground flying at 200 mph...

Also considering that planes fly at high altitudes they are exposed to a lot of cosmic radiation, I remember reading somewhere that a single flight exposes its passengers to the equivalent of n X-ray scans.

Cosmic radiation can be a problem depending on where you are. The pilot and flight attendant unions have all conducted their own studies of this issue and have concluded that, on average, a crewmember flying a typical full schedule that consists entirely of transatlantic or transpacific flying receives the equivalent of approximately one chest X-ray a month. Flying domestically, especially short flights that don't get very high, not nearly so much. Cosmic radiation levels dramatically increase above about 30,000 feet, and the farther north you fly, the worse the radiation gets.

I don't know enough (and googling seems to indicate no else does either) to comment on whether today's airliners are really vulnerable to electronic devices or not. But it seems pretty clear that there is no fundamental reason they cannot be designed to not be.

No one knows the answer: that's basically the problem in a nutshell. There have been a few incidents over the past few decades where some fairly minor problem on the airplane seemed to be caused by a passenger's electronic device. In one particular incident, a passenger's laptop being switched on seemed to cause the airplane's autopilot to disengage. The crew had the guy turn the laptop on and off two or three times, and each time it was turned on, the autopilot disconnected. The crew reported this, of course, and Boeing even went so far as to buy this guy's laptop from him, took the same airplane on the same route with the same laptop in the same seat, and they were unable to duplicate the problem.

Reports like that from presumably reliable witnesses (the flight crew) that cannot be repeated under test conditions drive the regulatory agencies nuts. And of course, it's one thing to cause an autopilot to disengage at cruise altitude: just push the button and reconnect it, or of course the pilot can just manually fly the airplane. But when visibility is down to just a few hundred meters at the airport and the autopilot is required to fly the approach and even make the landing because the pilots cannot see out the window, it would not be a very good time to have the thing randomly disconnect because someone's toy radiated in just the wrong way at just the wrong time.

Without being able to isolate a specific cause for these rare, random events, the regulatory agencies always err on the side of caution. Everyone ought to actually be thankful that the FAA in the U.S. didn't just blanket-prohibit everything electronic from being used on the airplane at all times; they at least had the common sense to limit electronic devices to non-critical phases of flight. It wouldn't have surprised me in the least to see everything prohibited at all times.

All of you folks who are complaining about this are quite right: your reader wouldn't cause any problems...probably. Almost certainly. But without being able to prove to the regulatory agencies that it could not possibly cause a problem during a critical moment, well, can you imagine a government bureaucrat going out on a limb and letting you use it without a mountain of evidence to cover his own backside? As long as there's a random incident or two out there once every ten years or so that no one can reproduce under test conditions, I guarantee that electronic thingy won't be allowed.

DJHARKAVY
04-24-2010, 08:37 AM
Come on - get real. Flight staff can't rely on every passenger being either fully informed about their toys, or being responsible either. Some folks don't know or care what the full story is, or may even be genuinely mistaken. There is a large range of electronic devices that can be taken on a plane, and neither the staff nor the owners can be 100% relied on to know exactly which may cause a problem under which settings or circumstances. Most won't cause trouble, but it may only take one person to get it wrong.

According to Mythbusters (http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/transportation/cell-phones-interfere-plane-instruments.html), handheld electronics, including cell phones, do not affect the instrumentation in the least.

Think about it... Do you really think that the airplane navigation systems will be affected by the small power output of even a hundred cell phones?

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 08:58 AM
According to Mythbusters (http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/transportation/cell-phones-interfere-plane-instruments.html), handheld electronics, including cell phones, do not affect the instrumentation in the least.

Think about it... Do you really think that the airplane navigation systems will be affected by the small power output of even a hundred cell phones?

Right, because that show is the fount of all wisdom and knowledge. In your words, think about it. There's never been a reliably reproducible problem with an electronic device. Thus, the Mythbusters episode was just a complete waste of those guys' time. Anyone could have told them that just with a little research into the issue. The problem is the random, un-reproducible problems that have occurred. Now, how much faith do you have in Mythbusters on your flight on a Cat-III autoland approach at 100 feet off the ground moving at 150+ mph?

kovidgoyal
04-24-2010, 09:02 AM
But of course, if your cell phone causes your car's engine to stall, that's not such a big deal as a problem with an airplane a few hundred feet off the ground flying at 200 mph...


Really, what if I'm driving at 80mph on a busy freeway?

Rich_D
04-24-2010, 09:10 AM
Really, what if I'm driving at 80mph on a busy freeway?

An engine stall in a car wouldn't cause your vehicle to stop. You should be able to safely navigate to the side of the road.

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 09:12 AM
Really, what if I'm driving at 80mph on a busy freeway?

Uh, you put on your emergency blinkers, signal a lane change, and pull over to the shoulder. Do you think when your car's engine stalls that your brakes automatically go to full-on emergency stop mode?

kovidgoyal
04-24-2010, 09:21 AM
That's assuming the person behind me is alert enough to notice the speed change in time. And once you have electronics being all pervasive in a car, engine stalls are far from the most critical failure.

For example, cars with electric motors are most probably going to have individual motors in each wheel. So a failure of one motor out of the four would cause your car to swerve and at high speeds probably topple.

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 09:36 AM
Why would only having power to one wheel cause a car to swerve out of control, much less topple? Lots of cars have been designed for decades with powertrains that only applied power to one wheel out of all four, and I don't think any of those toppled as a result.

This is a silly argument. An engine stall hardly qualifies as a major emergency in a car; it's more of a major hassle.

pshrynk
04-24-2010, 09:37 AM
An engine stall in a car wouldn't cause your vehicle to stop. You should be able to safely navigate to the side of the road.
Yeah, but Toyota recently learned that their electronics aren't all that reliable...

I wonder if there is some cell-phone related buggery involved with all that stuff?

DJHARKAVY
04-24-2010, 09:38 AM
Right, because that show is the fount of all wisdom and knowledge.

No, but they are pretty good. And they look at both the theory and practical results.

In your words, think about it. There's never been a reliably reproducible problem with an electronic device. Thus, the Mythbusters episode was just a complete waste of those guys' time. Anyone could have told them that just with a little research into the issue.

But that's the thing... If there were a reason why electronics should not be used on an airplane, it WOULD be reliable and reproducible.

The problem is the random, un-reproducible problems that have occurred.

That can actually be attributed to cell phones? Please show data.

Now, how much faith do you have in Mythbusters on your flight on a Cat-III autoland approach at 100 feet off the ground moving at 150+ mph?

I'll have to say a lot, because I don't know what you are talking about...

HorridRedDog
04-24-2010, 09:52 AM
I agree to 120% to that. K for u Kevin. Really, it is a question of courtesy, politeness, education, name it how you like it, but that is the point for me.
....

Perhaps this comment belongs in "Unutterably Silly", but I have started looking down the list and voting for "politeness".

Some of you (the polite ones) on the list already have a vote of extra "KARMA" added.

The rest will get it later - you can only give out so much karma in a day it seems.

I'm only going so far down the list to the point when it occurred to me. So it's too late for karma hunters to pipe up.

P.S. - If you are so polite as to turn off your pacemaker - YOU'LL GET NO KARMA FROM ME. Especially if you sit next to me. :D

aceflor
04-24-2010, 10:06 AM
Perhaps this comment belongs in "Unutterably Silly", but I have started looking down the list and voting for "politeness".

Some of you (the polite ones) on the list already have a vote of extra "KARMA" added.

The rest will get it later - you can only give out so much karma in a day it seems.

I'm only going so far down the list to the point when it occurred to me. So it's too late for karma hunters to pipe up.

P.S. - If you are so polite as to turn off your pacemaker - YOU'LL GET NO KARMA FROM ME. Especially if you sit next to me. :D

:D so K for you too
Now this is the way I educate my kids : you'll only get the candy if you say please (and have brushed your teeth properly the last 7 days, but that's a whole different story ... and thread ;)).

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 10:07 AM
But that's the thing... If there were a reason why electronics should not be used on an airplane, it WOULD be reliable and reproducible.

Ah, but you are not looking at the issue the way a safety-oriented regulatory agency approaches the problem. There have been incidents reported by reliable people (flight crew) that indicate some electrical problems on the airplane seemed to be attributable to a personal electronic device back in the cabin. The very fact that these incidents cannot be reproduced under testing conditions is cause for extreme concern: random events with un-reproducible results are the worst sort of headache. The safety-minded regulatory agency, i.e. FAA, decides to err on the side of caution and prohibit the devices' use during a critical phase of flight.

That can actually be attributed to cell phones? Please show data.
The potential problem is with any kind of radiating electrical device. If you're concerned about electrical devices' EMFs in general, then a device that is designed by its very nature to radiate would naturally be at the top of the list of concern.

I'll have to say a lot, because I don't know what you are talking about...
Certain types of approaches to landing are required to be conducted with the autopilot all the way to touchdown - the pilot cannot manually fly the airplane because the visibility is so poor that he cannot see out the windshield. Now, do you think that's a good time to test out something you saw on Mythbusters? Or do you think that, perhaps, since there has been the occasional random event, at least one in particular which involved an electronic device causing the autopilot to suddenly disconnect, this might be a better moment to err on the side of caution and turn the cell phone off?

DawnFalcon
04-24-2010, 11:33 AM
What we have at the moment is a rule set by people who have expertise and have studied the problem

Right. And you know what the identified issue is? That the shielding systems on aircraft, which are important (indeed, critical) for protecting their electronics against thunderstorms, are not maintained or replaced nearly enough in current aviation maintenance schedules.

It's an important safety issue, and just incidentally it would also eliminate the issues with devices. A mobile phone in active use is VERY active in the EM spectrum, banning /calls/ might still be necessary during takeoff but just electrical devices from being on? Um...

(And you know that most pilot headsets have mobile phone adaptors, right? Really claiming pilots never make calls in the air? Ha!)

DJHARKAVY
04-24-2010, 11:51 AM
Ah, but you are not looking at the issue the way a safety-oriented regulatory agency approaches the problem. There have been incidents reported by reliable people (flight crew) that indicate some electrical problems on the airplane seemed to be attributable to a personal electronic device back in the cabin. The very fact that these incidents cannot be reproduced under testing conditions is cause for extreme concern: random events with un-reproducible results are the worst sort of headache. The safety-minded regulatory agency, i.e. FAA, decides to err on the side of caution and prohibit the devices' use during a critical phase of flight.

I'm not trying to look at it from the point of view of a bureaucrat.

I am looking at it from the question as to whether my cell phone, much less my ereader, needs to be turned off to protect us from crashing.

Certain types of approaches to landing are required to be conducted with the autopilot all the way to touchdown - the pilot cannot manually fly the airplane because the visibility is so poor that he cannot see out the windshield. Now, do you think that's a good time to test out something you saw on Mythbusters? Or do you think that, perhaps, since there has been the occasional random event, at least one in particular which involved an electronic device causing the autopilot to suddenly disconnect, this might be a better moment to err on the side of caution and turn the cell phone off?

Given that there is no rational reason that the cell phone will affect anything, I have no problem with it being there.

I don't get paranoid about such things...

HarryT
04-24-2010, 12:02 PM
I am looking at it from the question as to whether my cell phone, much less my ereader, needs to be turned off to protect us from crashing.


Your mobile phone, on its own, would certainly not cause any problem. 400 of them, all transmitting at maximum power, might, however, very well do so. Hence the regulation.

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 12:20 PM
Given that there is no rational reason that the cell phone will affect anything, I have no problem with it being there.

I don't get paranoid about such things...

It all comes down to your view of acceptable risk. Given that there indeed have been incidents in which electronic devices caused issues with aircraft in the past, I for one am glad the rule is there to prevent cavalier attitudes from potentially causing a problem in the future.

(That, and I can't imagine how awful a flight would be sitting next to someone who was jabbering away on a cell phone the whole flight. The rule is worth it just to prevent that alone, as far as I'm concerned.)

HarryT
04-24-2010, 12:23 PM
(That, and I can't imagine how awful a flight would be sitting next to someone who was jabbering away on a cell phone the whole flight. The rule is worth it just to prevent that alone, as far as I'm concerned.)

It looks as if the days of aircraft being "phone-free zones" are numbered. The EU is now licensing technology to allow phone use in planes. Essentially the plane carries a base-station, and then re-transmits traffic from that to and from the ground.

kovidgoyal
04-24-2010, 12:28 PM
Why would only having power to one wheel cause a car to swerve out of control, much less topple? Lots of cars have been designed for decades with powertrains that only applied power to one wheel out of all four, and I don't think any of those toppled as a result.

This is a silly argument. An engine stall hardly qualifies as a major emergency in a car; it's more of a major hassle.

Have you ever actually driven on a busy freeway? I for one would not look forward to the prospect of changing multiple lanes in a car whose velocity is not in my control.

As for why a wheel losing power will cause a car to swerve, its because the car is then pushed unequally one its two sides, creating a torque, a turning force. Think of rowing a boat and how rowboats turn by stopping the oar on one side.

And claiming that safety oriented agencies should outlaw something simply because it *might* cause problems is wrong. By that argument flying itself should be outlawed, since it poses a risk. Certainly, when a suspicion that something is dangerous arises, they should outlaw that thing temporarily. But then they should conduct investigations to determine whether there is an actual risk and how great the risk is.

I refuse to buy the argument that it is impossible to determine this risk or that it is impossible to reduce it to tolerable levels.

DawnFalcon
04-24-2010, 12:38 PM
Your mobile phone, on its own, would certainly not cause any problem. 400 of them, all transmitting at maximum power, might, however, very well do so. Hence the regulation.

When they're not actively making a call? Yea...many modern watches /do/ radiate to the same degree.

Also, by running a mobile phone cell on the aircraft, you can actually block calls from being received or made during takeoff and landing. Technically I mean, not currently legally, but I believe aircraft companies have asked for that power.

HarryT
04-24-2010, 12:45 PM
When they're not actively making a call?

I was thinking of the scenario where a plane was out of range of the nearest cellular base station. When that happens, the handset will progressively boost its power in an attempt to "check in" with a base station (that's why, if you go off into the wilds, the mobile will run down its battery in no time flat). A plane-load of mobile phones, all doing that, may cause a significant amount of electrical interference.

DawnFalcon
04-24-2010, 01:01 PM
Yep, another reason to allow cell phone operators to install a cell on aircraft which reassures phones as is well while allowing them to block calls during the sensitive time period.

BongoBong
04-24-2010, 01:20 PM
Have you ever actually driven on a busy freeway? I for one would not look forward to the prospect of changing multiple lanes in a car whose velocity is not in my control.


You could probably liken it to running out of gas on the freeway. Which does happen and I don't think is that terrible a thing to happen.


As for why a wheel losing power will cause a car to swerve, its because the car is then pushed unequally one its two sides, creating a torque, a turning force. Think of rowing a boat and how rowboats turn by stopping the oar on one side.


I dont think a rowing boat stopping an oar on one side is that great of a comparison. First off the wheel isnt stopping or providing resistance on one side, it should still be rolling with minimal resistance. But also with a row boat turning is only determined by the forces exerted on whichever side. With a car, steering is done directly with the wheel, not by adjusting forces exerted per side. I would imagine that losing power to one wheel would likely push you to one side, but so long as you have your hands on the wheel i would think it would be easily compensated for (thats just a guess though)


And claiming that safety oriented agencies should outlaw something simply because it *might* cause problems is wrong. By that argument flying itself should be outlawed, since it poses a risk. Certainly, when a suspicion that something is dangerous arises, they should outlaw that thing temporarily. But then they should conduct investigations to determine whether there is an actual risk and how great the risk is.


The banning of something goes beyond is it safe or not though, the pro's and cons have to be weighed and see if the pro's outweigh the cons. Sure flying has minimal risk but the con of banning flying outweighs the minimal risks. Electronics may cause potential problems, but if banning them potentially saves one crash it likely outweighs the minimal con of people having to turn off devices for 10-15 minutes during takeoff and landing (or so I presume goes there thinking)


I refuse to buy the argument that it is impossible to determine this risk or that it is impossible to reduce it to tolerable levels.

I guess the question becomes what is a "tolerable" level when its potential human lives at stake compared to the inconvenience of turning off your electronics for a short period during takeoff/landing. Personally I would hope that tolerable level would be very very close to 0 when the only benifit is people get to use their electronics for a little while longer.

cmdahler
04-24-2010, 01:40 PM
Have you ever actually driven on a busy freeway? I for one would not look forward to the prospect of changing multiple lanes in a car whose velocity is not in my control.

Don't be absurd. Of course I wouldn't look forward to it; but it wouldn't be a catastrophe, either.

As for why a wheel losing power will cause a car to swerve, its because the car is then pushed unequally one its two sides, creating a torque, a turning force. Think of rowing a boat and how rowboats turn by stopping the oar on one side.

It may apply a differential torque which will naturally cause a turning moment, but to say it will make the car swerve violently out of control is hardly likely. In an airplane or a boat, that's what a rudder is for. The rudder on an airplane, for example, easily overcomes the yaw from one failed engine and the other at maximum thrust. In a car, the tendency to steer would be even easier to overcome because of the friction of the steerable wheels on the road. Unless you were rapidly accelerating at the time, you probably wouldn't notice much pull just going down the road with the pedal lightly pressed to maintain speed. At the worst, it would probably be less of a problem than a blown tire. Regardless, not even a half-wit engineer would design a car with completely independent power sources to the wheels if the failure of one motor would immediately cause the car to be uncontrollable.

And claiming that safety oriented agencies should outlaw something simply because it *might* cause problems is wrong.

Depends on where your definition of "might" is, doesn't it?

Jellby
04-24-2010, 02:03 PM
As for the phones, I wouldn't like to be in a plane full of people shouting at their phones, it's already bad enough in buses and trains, thank you :D

jbjb
04-24-2010, 02:55 PM
Right. And you know what the identified issue is? That the shielding systems on aircraft, which are important (indeed, critical) for protecting their electronics against thunderstorms, are not maintained or replaced nearly enough in current aviation maintenance schedules.


I've never claimed that things couldn't be arranged such that they are safe for cellphones etc., but they currently are not. Hence it makes sense to follow the rules.

Incidentally, the type of protection mechanisms required for resilience to lightning strikes etc. are not all the same as those required for EM immunity.


It's an important safety issue, and just incidentally it would also eliminate the issues with devices. A mobile phone in active use is VERY active in the EM spectrum, banning /calls/ might still be necessary during takeoff but just electrical devices from being on? Um...

(And you know that most pilot headsets have mobile phone adaptors, right? Really claiming pilots never make calls in the air? Ha!)

There's a big difference (in terms of radiated power) between a pilot or two making a call and 400 passengers making calls. Again, it's all a judgement about "acceptable risks".

/JB

jbjb
04-24-2010, 02:59 PM
Yep, another reason to allow cell phone operators to install a cell on aircraft which reassures phones as is well while allowing them to block calls during the sensitive time period.

Another big reason for installing picocells on planes is that calls have a better chance of actually working. A plane transitions between cells sufficiently frequently and quickly that the cellphone networks often struggle to cope.

/JB

Kevin2960
04-24-2010, 03:10 PM
But surely this all misses the point, Safety isn't the issue,

The issue is that the airline has asked you to switch off,

The aircraft is thier property,

Therefore for whatever reason they have the right,

And surely we, on thier property should comply,

Without Question !

Or leave thier property !

DawnFalcon
04-24-2010, 03:57 PM
Incidentally, the type of protection mechanisms required for resilience to lightning strikes etc. are not all the same as those required for EM immunity.

Mm hum (sigh).

There's a big difference (in terms of radiated power) between a pilot or two making a call and 400 passengers making calls.

Yep, inverse-square, the pilot's subjecting the equipment to a lot more!


Kevin2960 - That's only legally true to a VERY limited degree.

jbjb
04-24-2010, 04:13 PM
Mm hum (sigh).


What do you mean by that? Do you think they *are* the same?


Yep, inverse-square, the pilot's subjecting the equipment to a lot more!


That's an over-simplification in many ways:
- Power is inverse-square, field strength is inverse-linear.
- Inverse square applies to fee space - a plane is a metal tube with all sorts of different impedances. Assuming that radio waves will propagate as per free space is not justified.
- You're assuming all the EM sensitive areas are near the pilot!

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-24-2010, 04:33 PM
What do you mean by that? Do you think they *are* the same?

Me? What do I have to do with it? I'm not the experts writing the safety reports.

kovidgoyal
04-24-2010, 04:34 PM
Don't be absurd. Of course I wouldn't look forward to it; but it wouldn't be a catastrophe, either.


So you're confident you can change lanes safely on a crowded freeway without being able to match speeds with the lane you're changing into? Wow you either think you're the worlds best driver or you're a ghost.



It may apply a differential torque which will naturally cause a turning moment, but to say it will make the car swerve violently out of control is hardly likely.


Really and you know this how?


Regardless, not even a half-wit engineer would design a car with completely independent power sources to the wheels if the failure of one motor would immediately cause the car to be uncontrollable.


As opposed to the half wit engineers who design planes that fall out of the sky because you turn a cell phone on?



Depends on where your definition of "might" is, doesn't it?

Huh? I was pointing out that regulatory agencies need to quantify the risk. In simpler words, to define "might". What has my definition, or your definition of might got to do with anything.

jbjb
04-24-2010, 05:09 PM
Me? What do I have to do with it? I'm not the experts writing the safety reports.

Sorry - I still don't understand what you're getting at.

I said "Incidentally, the type of protection mechanisms required for resilience to lightning strikes etc. are not all the same as those required for EM immunity", to which you replied "Mm hum (sigh)." What was that meant to mean?

/JB

astra
04-24-2010, 05:12 PM
I don't switch off my Sony Reader, unless an attendant asks me personally. What is a point? The power button doesn't switch it off anyway, only visually clears the screen, so why bother?

Tamara
04-24-2010, 09:47 PM
As for the phones, I wouldn't like to be in a plane full of people shouting at their phones, it's already bad enough in buses and trains, thank you :D

I have to agree there. Planes are about the only place to get peace and quiet from hearing other people shouting into phones.

300com
04-24-2010, 10:16 PM
I would turn it off out of courtesy - i.e. consideration for the staff and other passengers.

The staff really don't have the time, or probably the expertise either, to go round and assess every device on a case by case basis. Even if your particular device may not be dangerous you can still be causing other passengers unnecessary stress by leaving it on.

So I'd suggest that turning it off when asked is a reasonable thing to do.

yup ! We should all turn off our digital wrist watches. Peoples lives are at stake !

AprilHare
04-25-2010, 12:28 AM
I kind of tend to ignore this message with regards to my eReader when in a plane waiting for departure, or close to landing. I was told by someone sitting next to me that continuing to read brought his live in danger.

Do others switch off their eReaders when you're asked to switch of "electronic devices"? And what about MP3 players and the like?
Let's be pedantic: why not stopwatches?
Pacemakers?

DJHARKAVY
04-25-2010, 02:13 AM
Your mobile phone, on its own, would certainly not cause any problem. 400 of them, all transmitting at maximum power, might, however, very well do so. Hence the regulation.

Perhaps, if all of them were transmitting in phase.

Otherwise, it is just random noise.

It all comes down to your view of acceptable risk. Given that there indeed have been incidents in which electronic devices caused issues with aircraft in the past, I for one am glad the rule is there to prevent cavalier attitudes from potentially causing a problem in the future.

Again, has this been documented, or just assumed?

(That, and I can't imagine how awful a flight would be sitting next to someone who was jabbering away on a cell phone the whole flight. The rule is worth it just to prevent that alone, as far as I'm concerned.)

Well, that's another story. But you can already do that, if you want to pay the piper.

A number of airlines have phones built into the seats that can call the surface. Most people don't pay the price for more than a minute or so.

Of course, if I have my eReader, I can just tune them out anyway.

jbjb
04-25-2010, 03:51 AM
Perhaps, if all of them were transmitting in phase.

Otherwise, it is just random noise.


The radiated power still adds up for incoherent transmission. Random noise still causes interference, and in any case the resultant radiation is far from random noise - the spectral density, for example, won't be random.

/JB

Stitchawl
04-25-2010, 04:55 AM
Hey!! Our safety is at risk. That's why we can't bring nail files or pocket screwdrivers onto planes! (There really is a crazy out there somewhere who would try to file off a wing...)

Good cell phones may or may not be a problem. I'm sure my hearing aids aren't either, nor is your pacemaker or Harry's watch. But 'Uncle Joe, (the one who loves to 'tinker' with stuff,) made his own cell phone, and used a few wraps too many of wire and now the damn thing works like an electromagnet every time it rings! That electromagnet might just affect the plane's navi system enough to make us land in Cuba instead of Aruba. Now, if you're Canadian that isn't a problem. You're allowed to go there to buy your cigars and 161 proof rum, but we poor USAans aren't allowed to go without first getting special permission, and we most certainly can't purchase cigars while we're there. :eek:

So to eliminate problems that the Uncle Joe's of the world 'might' cause (though personally I'd love to go and do some scuba diving in Cuba) and instead of the navi system it might be the altimeter system that gets affected and we might land a minus 30 meters instead of a zero (where the ground is....)

PLEASETURNOFFYOURFREEKINE-BOOKSFORTENMINUTES! That really isn't too much to ask.

Thank you very much. :o

Stitchawl

Kevin2960
04-25-2010, 05:38 AM
PLEASETURNOFFYOURFREEKINE-BOOKSFORTENMINUTES! That really isn't too much to ask.

Thank you very much. :o

Stitchawl


See it's Simple, no need to argue, I'ts not unreasonable, and lets face it, it's only laziness stopping anyone switching off,

Be Polite do as asked by the owners of the Aircraft, as I said before if you asked a Smoker not to Smoke in your home ....you'd expect them to comply,

Why then can't you do as asked by the Airlines, after all it really is no bother Right ?

pepak
04-25-2010, 06:13 AM
See it's Simple, no need to argue, I'ts not unreasonable, and lets face it, it's only laziness stopping anyone switching off,
It is reasonable (or at least easier all around) to follow the request and turn your reader off, but the request itself is definitely not reasonable. It's just one more of those stupid things that are being done for no good purpose other than cover your ass (because if something DID happen, against all probability, you would be blamed if you didn't take every possible precaution, no matter how stupid that precaution is; it's the same reason why we have police maneuevers whenever a crazy seer decides that little green men from Jupiter are about to destroy the Statue of Liberty).

Be Polite do as asked by the owners of the Aircraft, as I said before if you asked a Smoker not to Smoke in your home ....you'd expect them to comply
What would you expect them to do if you, instead, asked them to stand on their head, stick their tongue out and recite Shakespeare because it drives mice and rats away?

Why then can't you do as asked by the Airlines, after all it really is no bother Right ?
Sure it is fine. No problem with such a tiny little thing itself. The problem is, if you add thousands upon thousands such tiny little things, you end up with a result which is so insane that you would never agree with it. But since it came gradually, it's OK, right?

Stitchawl
04-25-2010, 06:41 AM
Sure it is fine. No problem with such a tiny little thing itself. The problem is, if you add thousands upon thousands such tiny little things, you end up with a result which is so insane that you would never agree with it. But since it came gradually, it's OK, right?

Worked for the "Patriot Act," didn't it? :chinscratch:

But in all fairness, it is an unreasonable request, just as not carrying nail clippers or crochet tools. But it IS their bat and ball, and if we want to play in the game, we gotta play by their rules... even if that means the end of 'due process' et. al.

Stitchawl

Kevin2960
04-25-2010, 06:49 AM
Well I've had my say,

I just don't see why anyone can't just switch off briefly,

And then back on, it takes just a moment,

Its Polite,

Oh well, Whatever floats your boat,

I'd do it, what more can I say !

jbjb
04-25-2010, 06:51 AM
But in all fairness, it is an unreasonable request, just as not carrying nail clippers or crochet tools. But it IS their bat and ball, and if we want to play in the game, we gotta play by their rules... even if that means the end of 'due process' et. al.
Stitchawl

I think you're dead right with the "their bat and ball" argument, and the argument that others have made in favour of good manners.

One thing that really does irritate me though (and this isn't aimed at you specifically, so apologies for quoting you) is the number of people who feel able to claim with certainty that these devices won't cause a problem. Unless there's a serious statistical blip here, the vast majority of people making these claims have no relevant understanding of the technologies involved. What makes all these people feel they are qualified to make this statement?

Please note that I'm not claiming to know the answer myself. I'm simply saying that I know enough to know that I don't know enough to claim that these devices are safe. :-)

As it happens, I suspect they probably are safe (and I say that with some professional experience in this area), but I'm not about to claim that my opinion overrides that of those who have made the rules. Why do those with *no* expertise feel able to do so?

/JB

Javed
04-25-2010, 06:57 AM
I just don't see why anyone can't just switch off briefly,

And then back on, it takes just a moment,

Its Polite,

:thumbsup: Agree, turning off the reader for a short time is easy to do.
Even if it isn't a safety hazard, it may help keep the attendants happy....this to me is reason enough!

jbjb
04-25-2010, 06:58 AM
Well I've had my say,

I just don't see why anyone can't just switch off briefly,

And then back on, it takes just a moment,

Its Polite,

Oh well, Whatever floats your boat,

I'd do it, what more can I say !

:thumbsup: Well said!

/JB

pepak
04-25-2010, 07:08 AM
One thing that really does irritate me though is the number of people who feel able to claim with certainty that these devices won't cause a problem.
Your agument is sound, in that most people have little or no relevant information for their claims as to the safety of their gadgets.

On the other hand, I think the argument that these devices should be turned off because they might have an adverse effect on the plane is flawed - for pretty much the same reason you said, that there is no real statistical evidence that they are dangerous. I mean, there is an infinite number of things that could have an impact on airplane. It is possible that an electromagnetic emanations from your notebook ro reader will affect electronic components of the plane enough to put it into danger. But it is also possible that, say, bacteria living on your skin will be affected by your neighbor's aftershave in such an unfortunate way that they will mutate into plastic-eating species that will cause significant parts of the plane to disintegrate.

The point is, we should focus on known risks, and if we have enough free resources, on highly probable possibilities. There is little point in guarding against everything that could conceivably happen (killing all butterflies because they might, through a series of freak accidents, cause a plane to fall).

Why do those with *no* expertise feel able to do so?
I don't know about other people. I know about me:

Because, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no case ever where a running notebook caused any problems.

Because there have, historically, been many cases where we had such limitations for no good purpose at all (as revealed by later research).

Because the focus on perceived (not necessarily real) security is so insanely, absurdly overblown these days, that even reasonable precautions will look suspect unless reasonably explained.

If you want me to behave in a certain way, you need to give me better reasons than "it is possible".

pepak
04-25-2010, 07:17 AM
We are not talking about thousands of tiny things, Just One, Switching offf very briefly, at request of the Aircraft Owners, why does being polite have to become a political arguement ???
1) Every single limitation of our freedoms is "just one, very minor" thing. Harmless in itself. But if we can accept "turning off gadgets on take-off for no good reason at all", why not other tiny, negligible thing? And another? And another? Where will it stop? (Yes, I may be too sensitive to these things. But as I have lived in a totalitarian country, I do have a first-hand experience on how these tiny things tend to accummulate...)

2) I for one see a vast difference between "being polite" and "doing whatever someone tells me to do".

DJHARKAVY
04-25-2010, 07:23 AM
1) Every single limitation of our freedoms is "just one, very minor" thing. Harmless in itself. But if we can accept "turning off gadgets on take-off for no good reason at all", why not other tiny, negligible thing? And another? And another? Where will it stop? (Yes, I may be too sensitive to these things. But as I have lived in a totalitarian country, I do have a first-hand experience on how these tiny things tend to accummulate...)

2) I for one see a vast difference between "being polite" and "doing whatever someone tells me to do".

:thumbsup:

jbjb
04-25-2010, 07:30 AM
On the other hand, I think the argument that these devices should be turned off because they might have an adverse effect on the plane is flawed - for pretty much the same reason you said, that there is no real statistical evidence that they are dangerous. I mean, there is an infinite number of things that could have an impact on airplane.

That's a very reasonable response - but here's why I think it's wrong! :)

It's all about levels of risk. I agree there is an infinity of things that can't be proved not to be a risk, but this case is different. We *know* that EM interference can cause electronic systems to fail. We also know that we don't have any mechanism of proving and certifying safe emission and immunity levels. (Anyone who thinks that FCC class certification is flawless needs to look a bit more closely.)

Given the above, and the obvious danger caused by anything going wrong in a high-speed flying metal tube, erring on the side of caution seems entirely sensible in this case.

/JB

jbjb
04-25-2010, 07:36 AM
2) I for one see a vast difference between "being polite" and "doing whatever someone tells me to do".

When you buy a flight ticket, the terms and conditions require you (effectively) to do whatever they tell you to do (in this area). It's a contractual agreement. Do you feel sufficiently strongly about this to break a contract to which you've agreed?

/JB

cmdahler
04-25-2010, 08:02 AM
Because, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no case ever where a running notebook caused any problems.

Wow, did you even bother to read this thread before writing this?

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 09:42 AM
Wow, did you even bother to read this thread before writing this?

A story from flight crew like

"We were flying the plane. Suddenly the autopilot started malfunctioning. We found some passenger had his phone switched on. We asked him to switch it off. The autopilot was restored. So the cell phone must have been causing the problem."

is not convincing. At a minimum such a story needs to go like this

"We were flying the plane. Suddenly the autopilot started malfunctioning. We found some passenger had his phone switched on. We asked him to switch it off. The autopilot was restored. Since we were flying in an empty sky at 30K feet and there was no real danger from a malfunctioning autopilot, to double check we asked the passenger to switch on the phone again. The autopilot malfunctioned again and when we the passenger switched it off, it was restored."

And to be really convincing, a regulatory body needs to carry out a few thousand flights with a few hundred cell phones switched on in each flight, at random locations on the plane, and perform the above procedure each time a malfunction happens and record the percentage of flights in which a malfunction happened.

Now that would be convincing to someone used to scientific methodology.

pshrynk
04-25-2010, 09:47 AM
That would involve spending money, which airlines are loathe to do.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 10:00 AM
1) Every single limitation of our freedoms is "just one, very minor" thing. Harmless in itself. But if we can accept "turning off gadgets on take-off for no good reason at all", why not other tiny, negligible thing? And another? And another? Where will it stop? (Yes, I may be too sensitive to these things. But as I have lived in a totalitarian country, I do have a first-hand experience on how these tiny things tend to accummulate...)

2) I for one see a vast difference between "being polite" and "doing whatever someone tells me to do".

I've lived long enough to have seen what you are talking about. And I sometimes worry (but not much though) about my fellow Americans. More than I do any legal emigrants.

But I can't agree about #2.

Two months ago I was in a store shopping. An announcement was made to leave the store. My best guess was that it was a drunk ex-employee or kids playing a prank. Who else would be so stupid as to call in a bomb threat?

So I left my cart, half full of food, and went home. Was it real? No. But I didn't know. The store management didn't know. And the police I didn't know at the time of the call.

Like wise, if the management of a theater turns on the lights and asks everyone to leave they don't want to explain to 200 individuals why they want you to leave.

There may be a small fire in the office with almost no chance of it spreading. You may not smell the smoke. Do you stand there and object to "doing whatever someone tells me to do"?

Suppose the small fire in the office turns out to be from a much larger fire under the office".

I have made the biggest fool of myself whenever I "know that I'm right".

P.S. - What "totalitarian country" did you live in, New York City, New Jersey, or Washington DC? :rolleyes:

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 10:01 AM
That would involve spending money, which airlines are loathe to do.

True, which is what makes us loathe to follow their unreasonable requests.

Jellby
04-25-2010, 10:01 AM
I hope those saying a phone cannot affect the plane's instruments are not the same who claim the cell towers are a serious threat to the health of those living nearby... :D

cmdahler
04-25-2010, 10:02 AM
At a minimum such a story needs to go like this

"We were flying the plane. Suddenly the autopilot started malfunctioning. We found some passenger had his phone switched on. We asked him to switch it off. The autopilot was restored. Since we were flying in an empty sky at 30K feet and there was no real danger from a malfunctioning autopilot, to double check we asked the passenger to switch on the phone again. The autopilot malfunctioned again and when we the passenger switched it off, it was restored."

Surprisingly enough, pilots in general aren't considered to be complete idiots. In fact, *gasp*, many actually do have actual degrees in various sciences and are in general fairly well educated folks. I know it's hard to fathom from that high perch up there, Kovid, but amazingly, this is precisely what the pilot of this flight actually did! Wow! Imagine that! A pilot, someone who is by the nature of their trade a fairly analytical individual, actually didn't leap to a totally asinine conclusion, formed a theory, and performed a test of the theory before arriving at the conclusion. Gee, the wonder of it all...

Six years ago, Boeing received word that a laptop computer was suspected of shutting off the autopilot system on one of its jets during a commercial flight from London to Paris. The pilot conducted tests by turning the computer on and off, which the airline said again triggered the autopilot error. The airline "felt 100% confident that it was a particular laptop" causing the problem, says Bruce Donham, a senior electromagnetics engineer at Boeing.

Boeing sent engineers to Europe, purchased the laptop from the passenger, and tried unsuccessfully to re-create the problem from the same seat and during the exact time of the flight. Later, Boeing arranged to fly the empty plane on the London to Paris route, moving the laptop throughout the aircraft. No interference was discovered. The aircraft maker then brought the laptop back to Seattle and tested it in a Boeing lab. Donham says the tests showed no correspondence between electronic emissions from the laptop and the autopilot computer.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 10:12 AM
A story from flight crew like
....
Now that would be convincing to someone used to scientific methodology.

Now that would be convincing to someone used to trial and error.

And what flight crew would want to stand before a judge and say "Well, I didn't think it would cause a problem the second time"?

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 10:15 AM
I hope those saying a phone cannot affect the plane's instruments are not the same who claim the cell towers are a serious threat to the health of those living nearby... :D

Cell towers do not cause problems unless your ear is next to the transmitter.

Power flowing from the outlets in my home are making me senile though. :p

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 10:24 AM
@cmdahler: Why so defensive? I never said either you or pilots are complete idiots, though in your case, I'm beginning to wonder.

And the story you quote just goes to show that when the plane manufacturer actually performed tests, they found nothing.

All I'm asking for is to have more of such tests and have their results published so that an informed decision can be made, based on *gasp* actual experiments that *gasp* allow us to reach a *gasp* informed decision.

Conor
04-25-2010, 10:28 AM
Why not a flight mode on ebook readers that switches them off while leaving the E ink display showing the page you're reading? Then all you have to do is make that page last for 20 minutes.
:)

Tamara
04-25-2010, 10:33 AM
Well I've had my say,

I just don't see why anyone can't just switch off briefly,

And then back on, it takes just a moment,

Its Polite,

Oh well, Whatever floats your boat,

I'd do it, what more can I say !

Politeness and courtesy to those around you is dying. We live in a world of self entitlement. Sadly, as this thread proves, a lot of people are ME, ME, ME types who lack courtesy for those around them.

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 10:36 AM
Incidentally I predict that in 5 years people will be using their cell phones to make calls from planes, or using their mobile broadband connection to surf the internet. The only difference will be that the airlines will charge you for the privilege.

pshrynk
04-25-2010, 10:38 AM
Incidentally I predict that in 5 years people will be using their cell phones to make calls from planes, or using their mobile broadband connection to surf the internet. The only difference will be that the airlines will charge you for the privilege.
I flew Delta recently and they had a Wi-Fi hookup above 10K feet. Which they charged for...

DJHARKAVY
04-25-2010, 10:41 AM
Surprisingly enough, pilots in general aren't considered to be complete idiots. In fact, *gasp*, many actually do have actual degrees in various sciences and are in general fairly well educated folks. I know it's hard to fathom from that high perch up there, Kovid, but amazingly, this is precisely what the pilot of this flight actually did! Wow! Imagine that! A pilot, someone who is by the nature of their trade a fairly analytical individual, actually didn't leap to a totally asinine conclusion, formed a theory, and performed a test of the theory before arriving at the conclusion. Gee, the wonder of it all...

Here's the thing... We are VERY bad at making risk assessments. Our brains are wired to deal with trees and grasslands, and ephemeral waves traveling at near-infinite speeds, personal movements at somewhat near the speed of sound, and chemical reactions that can level buildings.

To quote from Bruce Schneier on security (http://www.schneier.com/essay-155.html)

http://i40.tinypic.com/1zfufj7.png

Six years ago, Boeing received word that a laptop computer was suspected of shutting off the autopilot system on one of its jets during a commercial flight from London to Paris. The pilot conducted tests by turning the computer on and off, which the airline said again triggered the autopilot error. The airline "felt 100% confident that it was a particular laptop" causing the problem, says Bruce Donham, a senior electromagnetics engineer at Boeing.

Boeing sent engineers to Europe, purchased the laptop from the passenger, and tried unsuccessfully to re-create the problem from the same seat and during the exact time of the flight. Later, Boeing arranged to fly the empty plane on the London to Paris route, moving the laptop throughout the aircraft. No interference was discovered. The aircraft maker then brought the laptop back to Seattle and tested it in a Boeing lab. Donham says the tests showed no correspondence between electronic emissions from the laptop and the autopilot computer.[/quote]

I'm trained as a scientist and work as a science teacher. If it is not reproducible, it doesn't matter how confident the airline feels.

But let us say it was the laptop, and it happened on this particular flight. What are the odds that it happens again?

Let us say that the US bans laptops on flights as a result of this data. How much money would be lost to productivity due to long flights where they could not use their laptops? How many fliers would switch from US airlines to foreign airlines where they can use their laptops? How many fliers would use their laptops and hide them when flight attendants come by?

You can worry about any threat. If you are really worried about threats, you can wrap yourself in steel and bubble wrap and only leave the house when nobody else is around. And even then, there are risks.

The question is how much effort we are willing to go to, in order to reduce risk, and how effective these efforts are.

Now that would be convincing to someone used to trial and error.

And what flight crew would want to stand before a judge and say "Well, I didn't think it would cause a problem the second time"?

What flight crew will be standing in front of a judge if the problem were caused a second time? As has been pointed out, either it would not be a problem, or the flight crew would be dead.

Now, I will turn off my cell phone on flights. It serves no useful purpose while flying and it is not worth fighting the flight attendant, who is just doing his/her job anyway in order to keep it on (although to be honest, if I don't turn it off, nobody will notice unless it rings)

However, when I used to read on my cell phone, the one flight I took, I turned off the radio function and kept reading on it. If asked, I would have shown the flight attendant that I had done so, but kept reading unless an issue was made of it.

I never had an issue flying with my PDA on to read from, and although I rarely fly, I doubt that there will be an issue with my ebook reader, but in either case, if a flight attendent should be concerned, I will explain that there is no radio signal from them and ask politely if I can keep reading. I expect that there will be no problem if explained clearly, but will deal with it when it happens.

Of course, given how little I fly these days, it is not really a problem.

DJHARKAVY
04-25-2010, 10:52 AM
Politeness and courtesy to those around you is dying. We live in a world of self entitlement. Sadly, as this thread proves, a lot of people are ME, ME, ME types who lack courtesy for those around them.

Actually, this thread demonstrates that people want reasons for the restrictions that are placed on them, as opposed to accepting them because they are told so.

This thread doesn't prove anything.

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 10:53 AM
I flew Delta recently and they had a Wi-Fi hookup above 10K feet. Which they charged for...

Cool, I'm flying Delta in a couple of weeks to Seattle. I would be thrilled to have an internet connection on the plane. Though paying the airline for it, not so much :)

pshrynk
04-25-2010, 10:55 AM
Actually, this thread demonstrates that people want reasons for the restrictions that are placed on them, as opposed to accepting them because they are told so.


And that's a good thing. In it's time and place. Imagine the scenario presented above with the theatre fire, etc. I'm all for the idea of proving one way or another that personal electronics have an effect on avionics. But I'm also with the guy who enjoys not having to hear someone yelling his conversation with someone on a cell phone while flying.

pshrynk
04-25-2010, 10:56 AM
Cool, I'm flying Delta in a couple of weeks to Seattle. I would be thrilled to have an internet connection on the plane. Though paying the airline for it, not so much :)
I didn't find out how much it was, since I had my Kindle and plenty to read and really did not care what my boss was wanting me to do when I got back from vacation.

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 11:09 AM
And that's a good thing. In it's time and place. Imagine the scenario presented above with the theatre fire, etc. I'm all for the idea of proving one way or another that personal electronics have an effect on avionics. But I'm also with the guy who enjoys not having to hear someone yelling his conversation with someone on a cell phone while flying.

I would be fine if airlines imposed a rule saying no talking on cellphones as it disturbs other passengers. I'm not OK with using that as a justification for keeping cell phones turned off.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 11:22 AM
kovidgoyal, I notice that at the bottom of your messages it say:
"Notice to all: I can not provide assistance with DRM removal"

I don't see any reason that DRM should apply to me. Can you help me with a book that needs DRM removal?

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 11:40 AM
kovidgoyal, I notice that at the bottom of your messages it say:
"Notice to all: I can not provide assistance with DRM removal"

I don't see any reason that DRM should apply to me. Can you help me with a book that needs DRM removal?

I imagine you think you are making a point here? Perhaps, I need to clarify my position some more. I am not really talking about whether you should or should not obey airline rules on turning off electronics. I am saying that the rule itself needs to be justified based on empirical data.

Personally, if someone, either cabin crew or my fellow passengers ask me to switch off a reader, I always do, as I don't think the argument is worth it.

Nonetheless, I still feel that the rule itself is wrong and needs to be questioned. Are you saying (like lots of politicians seem to do these days) that the act of questioning a rule/law is itself wrong?

HarryT
04-25-2010, 11:43 AM
Nonetheless, I still feel that the rule itself is wrong and needs to be questioned. Are you saying (like lots of politicians seem to do these days) that the act of questioning a rule/law is itself wrong?

On board an aircraft is, however, the wrong time to question it. Contact the FAA and argue with them about it it - it's their rule, not the airlines'.

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 12:02 PM
On board an aircraft is, however, the wrong time to question it. Contact the FAA and argue with them about it it - it's their rule, not the airlines'.

And as I said, I don't argue about it on an aircraft. I do however argue about it here as I hate to see the mentality of "the existence of a rule is sufficient justification for it" growing.

In any case, this discussion is largely academic. As I said, in five years we will all be using electronics on planes. Of course, at that time no one will have conducted studies to determine whether doing so is really safe or not. Instead the airlines will be responding to the profit motive.

And if using electronics is really unsafe, the way we will find out about it is through increased crash percentages.

And then you will have a different group of people arguing that using electronics on planes is perfectly safe, after all, the FAA says so, so it must be true.

mjhudston
04-25-2010, 12:04 PM
Just because you ebook reader does not have 3g or WiFi does not mean its not radiating electronic signatures. Depending on where it made, and to what quality, the emissions from your device could be interfering with the electronics of the aircraft. The problem stems from the fact there are so many of these devices and to test them all against every aircraft type would be financially prohibitive, especially as new devices are coming out all the time.

The sensible thing to do is to ask people to turn them off during the most crucial phases of flight.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 12:14 PM
I imagine you think you are making a point here? Perhaps, I need to clarify my position some more. ....

Personally, if someone, either cabin crew or my fellow passengers ask me to switch off a reader, I always do, as I don't think the argument is worth it.

....

No, kovidgoyal, your position is clear. It's all those that think that just because THEY don't agree with a rule that it should not apply to them.

My example should be very clear to others. kovidgoyal does not want to be troubled by those that think the rules don't apply to them.

But think of yourself as a cabin attendant. You are told that you MUST ask the passengers to turn off ALL electronic devices. I'm willing to bet that many of them agree with you and I.

They want to keep their job, and they will do it. Why make even a minor problem for them.

And if you do turn "it" off before they get to you, they will probably think nothing more of you than "nice guy".

If they have to ask another passenger to turn "it" off I don't think that "nice guy" will be what they will be thinking.

".... Are you saying (like lots of politicians seem to do these days) that the act of questioning a rule/law is itself wrong?"

Oh I think that many of the laws in the past 40 years are not only wrong, but that some of them are unconstitutional. But the government has the "law" and the guns. THERE WILL BE DONE.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 12:30 PM
Just because you ebook reader does not have 3g or WiFi does not mean its not radiating electronic signatures. Depending on where it made, and to what quality, the emissions from your device could be interfering with the electronics of the aircraft. The problem stems from the fact there are so many of these devices and to test them all against every aircraft type would be financially prohibitive, especially as new devices are coming out all the time.

The sensible thing to do is to ask people to turn them off during the most crucial phases of flight.

A problem with testing.

We all read that the battery of X model will last for so many hours. Under some rigid and reproducible conditions I'm sure that it will. But not in real life.

Does anyone think that a manufacturer will send a device to be tested that will fail?

Do manufacturer ever cut cost later by substituting cheaper, but similar, components at a later date? I'd bet on it. EDIT - after using substitute parts will a manufacturer will send a device back to be tested?

A Boeing 747-400 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747-400) can accommodate 524 (2-class) passengers. I would be willing to take off with all of the passengers using an ereader at the same time. I really don't think that it's a problem. But that's only my opinion so "I'll turn mine off".

cmdahler
04-25-2010, 01:02 PM
@cmdahler: Why so defensive? I never said either you or pilots are complete idiots, though in your case, I'm beginning to wonder.

And the story you quote just goes to show that when the plane manufacturer actually performed tests, they found nothing.

All I'm asking for is to have more of such tests and have their results published so that an informed decision can be made, based on *gasp* actual experiments that *gasp* allow us to reach a *gasp* informed decision.

I was responding to the arrogance and condescension that implied that the pilots of this particular flight had a simple autopilot problem, saw a guy using a laptop in the cabin, and leapt to the conclusion the laptop had caused the problem without doing even something as simple as asking him to turn it off and then back on again to see if the problem was reproducible. If that was not your intent, then you have my apologies.

The flight crew did in fact perform such a test and were able to reproduce the problem multiple times. Their conclusion that the laptop was causing the problem thus had a scientific basis. This particular incident led the FAA to a great deal of concern because Boeing could not reproduce the problem even after lengthy testing. The FAA did not leap to the conclusion that the pilots on this flight had no scientific methodology to back up their assertion but rather accepted their version of the event and the informal testing they performed on the spot as sound and valid input. Given that you accept the original version of events as sound, any responsible scientific conclusion would include at least the possibility that the failure to reproduce the problem through subsequent testing could be due to some unknown condition that Boeing didn't accurately mimic. That possibility is what gives the FAA headaches.

mjhudston
04-25-2010, 01:04 PM
Do manufacturer ever cut cost later by substituting cheaper, but similar, components at a later date? I'd bet on it.


yes they do, and those components have different Electromagnetic properties. However there is not always a requirement for re-qualification testing.

A recent example was a PSU for Sony Laptops which suddenly interfered with wireless keyboard and bluetooth adaptors. The design for the PSU's were not changed, but some components were substituted for similar ones, that performed the same function but had slightly different tolerances and EMC characteristics, yet managed to blank-out the Wireless Spectrum for a 15 meter radius.

Just imagine what electronics or cabling linked to those electronics are with-in a 15 meter radius of your aircraft seat, if some manufacturer has changed a few minor components within your ereader.

To not switch them off when requested is bordering on Criminal Irresponsibility.

Tamara
04-25-2010, 01:07 PM
Actually, this thread demonstrates that people want reasons for the restrictions that are placed on them, as opposed to accepting them because they are told so.

This thread doesn't prove anything.

Some people may want reasons but I see it more as people think they are entitled to do what they want without regard to the rules set by the airline. It's kind of funny that people are carrying on about not using a device during takeoff/landing but no one asks for explanations why you can't smoke in the mall or why movie theatres tell you to turn off your devices. Do I have to give someone an explanation why I don't want them to smoke in my house?

Heck, some restaurants and museums have signs requesting that cell phones be set to silent but there is always a couple who think the rule doesn't apply to them.

kovidgoyal
04-25-2010, 01:55 PM
If that was not your intent, then you have my apologies.


No that was not my intent. I don't think it's the responsibility of flight crews to determine the risk electronics pose. I do think it is the responsibility of the FAA/plane manufacturers. And I do think that they have not lived up to this responsibility.

In fact, if anecdotal evidence indicates that electronics do cause problems, I think that there needs to far more work on this. For instance, people often forget to turn of their phones on flights. If it were to be established that cell phones really do cause problems, then I would expect airlines to be far more strict about enforcing the no cell phones rule.

My complaint is that, it is not established. And given the following points, I am inclined to believe that it is at best an isolated risk that will manifest itself only in certain situations, with individual planes, rather like bird hits:

1) People routinely forget to turn off phones on flight.

2) Airlines are moving towards allowing phones/wireless broadband on flights

3) Aeroplanes are subjected to EM radiation of higher intensity than from cell phones, form other sources, like cosmic rays.

I will admit that with regard to (3) there could be mitigating circumstances, that make radiation from the environment more benign than radiation from electronics.

So the important question is to determine what the systemic risk is from electronics in planes and then to make an informed decision based on that determination, on whether to allow them or not.

DawnFalcon
04-25-2010, 05:53 PM
To not switch them off when requested is bordering on Criminal Irresponsibility.

No, that responsibility is entirely on the test labs, who have a responsibility to test all broadcasting devices for undue radiation of precisely that nature. If they failed to properly test the Sony device...

An ebook reader sitting in my bag, not being used, radiates far less than many devices which are not required to switched "off". I am not arguing for leaving wireless on, or for using it during takeoff and landing...

(But, bluntly, there is a strong argument given at least one cellphone is left on, per average, on every flight, that a low-power cell which blocks calls during takeoff/landing should be compulsory)

Rich_D
04-25-2010, 06:31 PM
Really? This is still going on?

Personally, I think all cell phones should be banned, I should be allowed to smoke cigars on airplanes and everyone should bow down when I enter a room. However as my wife frequently reminds me, I don't rule the world (yet!).

By purchasing a ticket, you agree to comply with all the rules and regulations that the airline tacks on. If you don't like it, don't buy the ticket. Otherwise suck it up and deal with it. When you own an airline, you can make the rules.

JMHO.

astra
04-26-2010, 05:22 AM
Airlines are just paving the way for future revenue.
At some point they will say it is safe to use mobile phones or wi-fi as long as you go through OUR system. It will cost you ....

Sweetpea
04-26-2010, 06:18 AM
Airlines are just paving the way for future revenue.
At some point they will say it is safe to use mobile phones or wi-fi as long as you go through OUR system. It will cost you ....

I was allowed to use a phone during flight. Only two-way pagers and satellite phones were not allowed... It's only during take-off and landing that they ask you to turn off electronic devices. And while I didn't turn off my Mini (it is turned off as long as I don't turn a page...), I wouldn't even want to read during take-off and landing!



(it's almost embarrassing, btw, to hear all those "pings" from phones that are turned on again as soon as you touch down...)

tompe
04-26-2010, 07:33 AM
(it's almost embarrassing, btw, to hear all those "pings" from phones that are turned on again as soon as you touch down...)

My phone is my watch so I need to turn it on to know the time.

astra
04-26-2010, 07:38 AM
(it's almost embarrassing, btw, to hear all those "pings" from phones that are turned on again as soon as you touch down...)

I have noticed.
The moment belt sign goes off, all over the plane you can hear ringing and people start to talk. As if they cannot live a few hours without talking on the phone :chinscratch:

Jellby
04-26-2010, 08:18 AM
I have noticed.
The moment belt sign goes off, all over the plane you can here ringing and people start to talk. As if they cannot live a few hours without talking on the phone :chinscratch:

Do they actually wait for the sign to go off? In my experience, they start as soon as the wheels touch the ground, or at most when the plane leaves the landing lane and starts taxiing around the airport. When the sign goes off most passengers are already standing and getting their bags from the overhead compartments...

Logseman
04-26-2010, 08:28 AM
I turn my iPod touch off in those matters (and of course wifi during the duration of the flight). BUT it's clear that there are people some rows in front of me who can use their devices. Mainly because they paid for that. If I ever get in the Business seats of a plane, I'll make sure to use them in all their full glory.

Stitchawl
04-26-2010, 08:52 AM
"Remain seated until the seatbelt light goes off" gets ignored as much or more than any other airline rule, yet it's one rule that seems to make sense from a safety standpoint. Perhaps that's why it's violated so often! It's not as if you're going to get off the plane any quicker. If I'm going to pay so much money, I'm going to sit as long as I can! At least once the sign is off I can turn on my e-reader!

Stitchawl

Sweetpea
04-26-2010, 10:09 AM
I have noticed.
The moment belt sign goes off, all over the plane you can here ringing and people start to talk. As if they cannot live a few hours without talking on the phone :chinscratch:

I remembered this morning that my phone was still off (and we came home on thursday!) :rofl:

Do they actually wait for the sign to go off? In my experience, they start as soon as the wheels touch the ground, or at most when the plane leaves the landing lane and starts taxiing around the airport. When the sign goes off most passengers are already standing and getting their bags from the overhead compartments...

Yep, the plane is still taxiing to its final place and people are already swinging bags into your face (one reason I always want to sit near the window).

"Remain seated until the seatbelt light goes off" gets ignored as much or more than any other airline rule, yet it's one rule that seems to make sense from a safety standpoint. Perhaps that's why it's violated so often! It's not as if you're going to get off the plane any quicker. If I'm going to pay so much money, I'm going to sit as long as I can! At least once the sign is off I can turn on my e-reader!

Stitchawl

When we landed in Malaga, we just sat there and waited till the plane was almost empty. We were in the back and there was only an exit in front. In Bremen, both the front and back were opened and we got out a bit earlier.

Often you're way ahead of your luggage anyway, so why the rush?

astra
04-26-2010, 10:24 AM
Often you're way ahead of your luggage anyway, so why the rush?

Exactly :thumbsup:

tompe
04-26-2010, 10:33 AM
Often you're way ahead of your luggage anyway, so why the rush?

There are some good reasons. You legs are cramped and you want to stand up. And you might be in a hurry to find a restroom. Also if you have put sensitive things like a laptop in the overhead compartment you want to get it out as fast as possible.

astra
04-26-2010, 10:46 AM
There are some good reasons. You legs are cramped and you want to stand up. And you might be in a hurry to find a restroom. Also if you have put sensitive things like a laptop in the overhead compartment you want to get it out as fast as possible.

All of the reasons you mentioned are valid.
It is funny but apparently it is applicable to the most of the passengers :rolleyes:

Jellby
04-26-2010, 11:04 AM
Often you're way ahead of your luggage anyway, so why the rush?

It only makes sense when you are in transit to some other destination and risk missing the next flight (with or without luggage).

Once I arrived to Lyon very late, just in time to take the last night bus to some other city, so I wanted to get out of the airport as soon as possible... but I had to wait for the luggage. So I waited... the last bus left... I waited... and my luggage was not there. I had to spend the night in the airport, take the first bus in the morning, and wait a couple of days for my luggage. Had I known my luggage was not there, I could have catched the bus :rolleyes:

EowynCarter
04-26-2010, 11:24 AM
I do keep everything off the 5-10 from take-off / landing.
But "belts on" light is like 20-30min, that's a long time to wait doing noting.

I'll probably switch off the reader to avoid making a mess of things, but I'll be VERY unhappy about it.

TimS
04-26-2010, 11:27 AM
Here's a link to the 2001 study by NASA about personal electronic devices causing problems on planes:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20010066904_2001108092.pdf

TimS
04-26-2010, 11:30 AM
Then there's the article published by the IEEE:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/unsafe-at-any-airspeed/0

kovidgoyal
04-26-2010, 11:50 AM
Then there's the article published by the IEEE:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/unsafe-at-any-airspeed/0

Thanks for that, good to see some actual data from an actual experiment. I really hope there are more such studies before cell phone use is allowed in planes. In particular studies that actually try to measure the effect of cell phones on plane systems rather than just the presence of radiation from cell phones.

Tamara
04-26-2010, 11:56 AM
I have noticed.
The moment belt sign goes off, all over the plane you can hear ringing and people start to talk. As if they cannot live a few hours without talking on the phone :chinscratch:

I can understand it if you're being picked up by someone in the cell phone parking lot that a lot of US airports have added so people aren't circling the airport to pick someone up.

TimS
04-26-2010, 12:49 PM
Thanks for that, good to see some actual data from an actual experiment. I really hope there are more such studies before cell phone use is allowed in planes. In particular studies that actually try to measure the effect of cell phones on plane systems rather than just the presence of radiation from cell phones.

Here are a couple that were referenced in the IEEE article.

Evaluation of a Mobile Phone for Aircraft GPS Interference:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20040040193_2004035943.pdf

Portable Wireless LAN Device and Two-Way Radio Threat Assessment for Aircraft Navigation Radios:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20040086563_2004090621.pdf

TimS
04-26-2010, 12:57 PM
Here are some more from that, too.

ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE ASSESSMENT OF CDMA AND
GSM WIRELESS PHONES TO AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION RADIOS:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030014805_2002155076.pdf

Measurements to Determine Potential Interference to GPS Receivers From Ultrawideband Transmission Systems:

http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/pub/ntia-rpt/01-384/01-384_excluding_appendices_ocr.pdf

Assessment of Compatibility Between Ultrawideband (UWB) Systems and Global Positioning System (GPS) Receivers:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/reports/uwbgps/ntiasp_01_45.pdf

TimS
04-26-2010, 12:58 PM
For a little more pedestrian description about electronics on aircraft, check out this article from Slate.

http://www.slate.com/id/2215050

kovidgoyal
04-26-2010, 01:14 PM
Hmm, seems to me that airplane design needs an overhaul for the electronics age.

A few crazy ideas, just for the fun of it (I know absolutely nothing about aircraft design):

1) passenger cabins should really be encased in a Faraday cage, though that will degrade the view from the windows :)

2) mount GPS and other vulnerable antennae on wingtips, to reduce signal strength

3) Add more GPS satellites, boosting signal strength and allowing for a reduction in the sensitivity of receiver antennae

DawnFalcon
04-26-2010, 01:26 PM
Thanks for that, good to see some actual data from an actual experiment. I really hope there are more such studies before cell phone use is allowed in planes.

They are now.

And the entire problem of requiring a very high signal strength can be bypassed by a onboard cell. Or they could simply use it to block calls while in flight, if they could do so legally...

TimS
04-26-2010, 01:35 PM
I don't know if it would be easier or safer to enclose the passenger compartments in a Faraday cage or the wiring components in shielding.

According to the FAA, the GPS antenna must be in a non-icing location, but it sounds like there are already multiple GPS antennae on an aircraft.

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/8a2ae2491c85226f86256e35004c638b/$FILE/AC20-138A.pdf

kovidgoyal
04-26-2010, 01:41 PM
I don't see how you could shield an antenna against passenger generated signals but still have it receptive to GPS signals, other than by putting a lot of distance between the antenna and the passenger cabin.

Wiring should definitely be shielded, but I'd have assumed it is already.

Jellby
04-26-2010, 02:41 PM
But some phones have GPS receivers, so just being close does not seem a real problem.

kovidgoyal
04-26-2010, 02:47 PM
But some phones have GPS receivers, so just being close does not seem a real problem.

A good point, I wonder why cell phones don't affect their own GPS receivers, or for that matter GPS receivers in car navigation systems.

Elfwreck
04-26-2010, 02:51 PM
EL AL Flight Mid December 2005 Landing in Tel Aviv (http://www.onejerusalem.com/2005/12/27/el-al-flight-mid-december-2005-landing-in-tel-aviv/):

As the EL AL plane touched down at Ben Gurion Airport the voice of the captain came on: “Please remain seated with your seat belts fastened until the plane has come to a complete stop and the seat belt signs have been turned off. We also wish to remind you that using cell phones is strictly prohibited.”

Pause

He continues: “To those of you who are seated we wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your stay…and to those of you standing the aisles and talking on your cell phones we wish you a Happy Hanukah and welcome home.”

pricecw
04-26-2010, 03:37 PM
A good point, I wonder why cell phones don't affect their own GPS receivers, or for that matter GPS receivers in car navigation systems.

They might, not really a big deal though, if you look at a track of most GPSs you can buy, you will see points where there is a straight line jump from one position to the next, generally this is an area where the GPS isn't tracking, and doesn't get a point or so. Not a big deal on your cell phone, car navigation, hiking, etc, and generally within the specs for a consumer GPS, take the Magellan Maestro 4700, it's specs for resolution "GPS Accuracy 3-5 meters", which is much better than used to be available with SA enabled.

Also, the most a car or cell phone is good for is as a navigational aid, not as vehicle control, get a glitch, lost signal, etc, no big deal.

Now, wrt trying to harden a plane to consumer devices, it is almost an impossible task. You would have to get every conceivable device, and test those in all combinations with all combinations of planes to prove there can't be a problem (probably add in the mix every possible location in the plane for each device on each plane). Everytime a product is introduced or update, or a new plane is introduced, or something is changed on a plane, you would need to re-do these. Worst scenario is a new consumer device introduced or a device changed, since all combinations would need to be tried. All devices would need to be tested until the last one fell out of use.

That would be the only way to prove your device can't cause problems.

The other issue, planes should be designed for this type of thing. I agree, they should be, but currently they aren't, and the fleet is very unlikely to undergo an immediate upgrade to fully shielded vehicles. Devices should also be designed to emit only those radiations meant to be emitted (ie on an e-reader, light and the specific radio waves when 3G or WiFi is on), but they won't, manufacturers will do the least required by law to save money.

I have seen a lot of things on circuit boards that become antenna to a number of different frequencies (do you know how many different frequencies your e-reader is emitting), and to control those to the point of no chance of a problem is a daunting task, and an expensive one, are you willing to pay 25% or more the cost of a device so you might be able to use it during take off and landings of an airplane? Is everyone willing to bear that cost?

--Carl

wodin
04-26-2010, 05:09 PM
According to Mythbusters (http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/transportation/cell-phones-interfere-plane-instruments.html), handheld electronics, including cell phones, do not affect the instrumentation in the least.

Think about it... Do you really think that the airplane navigation systems will be affected by the small power output of even a hundred cell phones?

Do you really want to trust the lives of several hundred passengers and crew of an airliner to Adam and Jamie?

wodin
04-26-2010, 05:18 PM
Your mobile phone, on its own, would certainly not cause any problem. 400 of them, all transmitting at maximum power, might, however, very well do so. Hence the regulation.

Like when the plane is in the approach pattern and everyone is calling their spouse for a ride home?

kovidgoyal
04-26-2010, 06:45 PM
@pricew: Actually, you don't have to shield planes from all devices or even test each plane with every device. What you need is to establish a set of standards about the electromagnetic radiation permissible from electronic devices. In the US, the FCC already does this. The problem is that the FCC standards are incompatible with similar (though more rigorous) standards setup by the FAA.

Basically, what's really needed is for the FCC and FAA to co-operate.

And you really don't need to worry about random circuit boards becoming antennae. It's very simple to shield circuitry from EM radiation. Just put it behind metal. The problem is antennae, which cannot be put behind metal for the obvious reason that they need to receive EM radiation to work.

And if I understand the problem, as described in the reports with the GPS systems correctly, the problem isn't that a cell phone signal can cause a momentary loss in GPS tracking. This would be harmless, since software can easily compensate for it. The problem is that the cell phone signals have been shown to actually cause the GPS system to lose satellite lock, which then takes a significant amount of time to re-establish. I've never seen that happen with car/hand held GPS systems.

And finally, you don't need to upgrade the whole fleet all at once. You need to upgrade it a few planes at a time and remove the restrictions only on the upgraded planes.

@HarryT: Actually if you read the reports TimS linked to, even a single cell phone can cause problems. Undoubtedly more phones will make it more likely that a problem occurs.

DawnFalcon
04-26-2010, 11:53 PM
Now, wrt trying to harden a plane to consumer devices, it is almost an impossible task. You would have to get every conceivable device, and test those in all combinations with all combinations of planes to prove there can't be a problem

Or you can take the sensible approach, mandate a regular shielding test on aircraft, and make sure that the customer electronics requirements mean that they can't breach the shield. And ban, very publically, offending devices.

And once more, the problem of cell phones can be solved by an onboard cell which simply blocks calls during critical flight phases.

Sweetpea
04-27-2010, 02:10 AM
And once more, the problem of cell phones can be solved by an onboard cell which simply blocks calls during critical flight phases.
But it's not only phones that have to be shut off. I was asked to turn of my digital camera! How would you block that?

lene1949
04-27-2010, 04:23 AM
Last time I went to Denmark, I had no idea, how to turn my mobile off... I'd only just got it.

I'm wondering, if the switch on/off could interfer, but the permanent off/on would be OK??

Anyway.. I always turn off my phone.. ipod.. kindle, when I'm asked.

jbjb
04-27-2010, 05:04 AM
@pricew: Actually, you don't have to shield planes from all devices or even test each plane with every device. What you need is to establish a set of standards about the electromagnetic radiation permissible from electronic devices. In the US, the FCC already does this. The problem is that the FCC standards are incompatible with similar (though more rigorous) standards setup by the FAA.


One problem with this is that FCC testing is far from perfect. For example, emissions from electronic equipment are very dependent on what that equipment is doing at the time. For example, the radiation from a laptop, or electronic reader, or anything that involves a processor executing code (which is pretty much everything these days), depends on the software being run. Manufacturers tend not to repeat EMC tests on their kit every time they release a new version of firmware. (Perhaps that's paranoid, but over-caution seems a sensible starting point where planes are concerned).


And you really don't need to worry about random circuit boards becoming antennae. It's very simple to shield circuitry from EM radiation. Just put it behind metal.


The trouble is, any useful piece of equipment needs to interact with its surroundings - it needs inputs and outputs. These necessitate holes in any metal shield. If you look at the radiated emissions from typical equipment, most of it will be leaking out through network connections, keyboard cables, mains power connections etc. The same is true of sensitivity to EMI - each of these interfaces allows an entry point for incoming emissions.

/JB

jbjb
04-27-2010, 05:06 AM
And once more, the problem of cell phones can be solved by an onboard cell which simply blocks calls during critical flight phases.

Cellphones don't only radiate when on a call. I agree that a local picocell which blocks calls will dramatically reduce the emissions, but it won't eliminate them.

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 08:25 AM
No, but you realise that it takes the levels below that which you get from simply flying over a city on approach or takeoff, which is far from uncommon. I'm not kidding about testing aircraft on a regular basis or how infrequently shielding is checked or replaced currently.

jbjb
04-27-2010, 08:37 AM
No, but you realise that it takes the levels below that which you get from simply flying over a city on approach or takeoff, which is far from uncommon.

That's over-generalised. How far away from a single phone do you think you have to get before the field strength it generates is less than the background from a city beneath the plane?

My cellphone, even when not on a call, frequently causes audible interference with nearby thinks that have speakers, such as my PC or my desk phone. The cellphones in the rest of the city don't seem to have as significant effect.

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 09:04 AM
...Completely unshielded speakers.

And I was not referring to cellphones in the rest of the city, but the general EM background, especially since "up" is often considered a good way to vent EM without affecting users. (yes, I know, but still)

jbjb
04-27-2010, 09:36 AM
...Completely unshielded speakers.

And I was not referring to cellphones in the rest of the city, but the general EM background, especially since "up" is often considered a good way to vent EM without affecting users. (yes, I know, but still)

It's irrelevant that they are unshielded - the point is simply that the interference shows that, in that part of the spectrum at least, the interference caused by a nearby cellphone is greater than that caused by the EM background, and hence the blanket assertion you made is incorrect.

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 09:49 AM
No, it's totally relevant. Because the entire point is that aircraft electronics /are/ shielded, and that shielding needs to be checked and fixed on a more regular basis.

And if you want to claim that city's EM background is negligible, you go right in believing that, I'll stick with the science. A cellphone affecting unshielded cables a meter or so away has no bearing on this.

jbjb
04-27-2010, 09:52 AM
No, it's totally relevant. Because the entire point is that aircraft electronics /are/ shielded, and that shielding needs to be checked and fixed on a more regular basis.

And if you want to claim that city's EM background is negligible, you go right in believing that, I'll stick with the science. A cellphone affecting unshielded cables a meter or so away has no bearing on this.

You really don't get it, do you? *You* made the claim - that the effect of the cellphone's emissions would be less than that of the EM background. I provided a counterexample which shows at least one situation in which it isn't. You're the one making the claim, so you're the one who needs to back it up.

Note that I'm *not* claiming that the city's EM background is negligible.

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 10:28 AM
I do get it, I'm being trolled by someone with no conception of how EM radiation works. My bad for replying to him, everyone else.

jbjb
04-27-2010, 10:53 AM
I do get it, I'm being trolled by someone with no conception of how EM radiation works. My bad for replying to him, everyone else.

I give up. You're clearly not willing to discuss anything, nor back up any of your uneducated assertions with any evidence (or indeed any evidence of any understanding on your part of the science and technologies involved).

That's the last I'll say (to you) on this subject.

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 11:04 AM
...

Yea, you go! You've made junk science claims, which show precisely how little you
understand. I'll just have to cut your claims up when you talk to anyone else, now, np.

Lo Zeno
04-27-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't expect that you believe what I am going to say, since whatever source I provide you'll find another source that will tell the opposite of what I say, and I don't expect that you believe the fact that I have a degree in Telecomunications Engineering, but still I'll give you my 2 cents.

Any piece of microelectronics can become an antenna, but 1) it would works only on specific frequencies (depending on the material used, dimensions and thickness), usually not those used by a cellphone and 2) can be easily shielded with proper materials, so it's not a big deal, really. What I mean is that any sensible equipment that MAY cause problems by turning into an antenna for mobile phone's frequencies, is already shielded for good.
Antennas do not work for each and every frequency out there in the air: every antenna is built to receive a SPECIFIC set of frequencies. Is it a GPS antenna? It won't be disturbed by mobile phone frequencies. Is it a Digital TV antenna? it will receive DTV signals, not Radio FM ones. And so on.
Pilots and crews use radio signals to communicate with the ground during the lift-off and the landing, without any interference with the airplane's instruments at all. The only reason that brought nations to forbid the use of cellphones on airplanes was that back then, the knowledge of radio signals was not so deep and pilots feared that cellphones would "mess" with communications between the pilot and the ground. Specifically, the FCC commission in the USA (federal COMMUNICATION commission) wrote that "multiple radio sources might clog the communications with the ground".

Come to Europe, and you'll find dozens of flights that already allow you to use your mobile phone with no limits. And those planes didn't receive any "extensive shielding" or whatever... they simply had to undergo a series of tests which proved that using lots of mobile phones during their landing or lift-off didn't cause any problem (because government are made by people who do not have deep scientific knowledge, so they want "evidence" that it works).

As for EM background, x-ray, cosmic rays, and so on... we are blasted, everyday, by a HUGE amount of radio signals, you do not even have the idea. Yet, your television set works, your refrigerator does too, your car doesn't go "boom" and your train brakes safely when it reaches the station.

Also, if in my office we can let our largely unshielded PCs and servers work, while we keep our mobile phones nearby (and we even receive calls!) without noticing the slightest problem... you know, I think it's safe to say that mobile phone's radio signal do not interfer with electronics. We are 34 people, each one of us has a PC and a mobile phone.
Oh, and by "largely unshielded" I mean that the electronics are open, many of our oldest servers do not even have a case because they risk to overheat otherwise.

My 2 cent.
Everyone is free to disagree :)

jbjb
04-27-2010, 11:08 AM
...

Yea, you go! You've made junk science claims, which show precisely how little you
understand. I'll just have to cut your claims up when you talk to anyone else, now, np.

Sorry folks - can't resist.

Please name one junk claim I've made.

(Hint - I am professionally qualified in this area.)

/JB

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 11:11 AM
That's the last I'll say (to you) on this subject.

Well, that establishes you're a liar...

(Hint - I am professionally qualified in this area.)

...Aaand I don't believe you.

So sorry.


Lo Zeno - Right.

Toxaris
04-27-2010, 11:20 AM
Lo Zeno, you're absolutely correct. The equipment does *not* interfere with the electronics of the aircraft. They where afraid it might way back then, but a lot of tests have shown zero impact. Even in a lot of hospitals it is no longer prohibited to have a cell phone switched on (sound off though...), including the IC.

However, unfortunately regulations always are behind the real world. So, although I know it cannot do any harm, I do switch off my telephone. My e-book reader only when asked and that happens only 1 in 10 cases. I do not want to piss of a bunch of people keeping me in the air...

jbjb
04-27-2010, 11:25 AM
Lo Zeno,

A very sensible post - I agree with almost all you say.

My only issue with any of this (which at least one other seems to have completely misunderstood, yet feels unable actually to *discuss* the issues) is that actually proving that some equipment is immune to a particular frequency is very hard. I'm not saying that there *is* a problem, simply that just because some unqualified passenger doesn't think there is is no reason to ignore a rule set by people who at least had some understanding of the issues.

I've provided many counterexamples to DawnFalcons unfounded claims, yet he feels unable to provide any answer to any of the questions I've asked him.

Incidentally my background in this comes from degrees in electronics and electronic engineering, and 30 years of working in the field.

(I know DawnFalcon won't believe this, but, frankly I'm past caring. I'm just replying to you because you seem willing to discuss it intelligently).

/JB

Lo Zeno
04-27-2010, 11:49 AM
My only issue with any of this [snip] is that actually proving that some equipment is immune to a particular frequency is very hard. I'm not saying that there *is* a problem, simply that just because some unqualified passenger doesn't think there is is no reason to ignore a rule set by people who at least had some understanding of the issues.

I'll stick to my academic studies:
What they knew back then, was that radio signals were a largely unexplored fields. Now it isn't, and the increased knowledge has shown that many things we believed were partially exaggerated.
If I have to give you a scientific answer, I'll tell you that every single item in the world is actually affected by every single frequency of the spectrum. It's energy, after all :P you are blasted with energy, you are surely affected by it.
So, every piece of electronics inside an airplane is surely affected by mobile phones' signals. The point is that whatever the effect is, it can be ignored because it's too small.

At this very moment, my body is blasted and repeatedly hit by a million different radio signals, infrareds, x-rays from deep space, GPS signals, mobile phones all around me... yet I am fine :) so is my PC.

It's not that hard to determine how an item is affected by the energy provided by the radio signal: you can measure the change in temperature, magnetic changes, increase/decrease of electricity, increase/decrease of frequency... once you determine that its effects can be ignored (technically speaking, the interference becomes simple "noise" which can be easily filtered by a band-pass filter if necessary), you're safe. If they can't be ignored, wrap it in gum cables or add a thinner-band-pass filter. If they still can't be ignored, use a thicker cable. :D
(I'm over-simplifying, of course)
And that's just the kind of tests that airplanes are undergoing in UK right now, for example. Nothing more, nothing less.

[I've made a dozen or so edits to improve its readability... my English is getting rusty lately]
[And BTW, I'm not trying to tell that you should all go and use your mobile phones on airplanes. As Toxaris pointed out, it's not wise to piss off those who are keeping you in the air. I write this just so that if you happen to take an airplane and your neighbour doesn't turn off its phone, you don't die because of anxiety :D]

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 11:59 AM
Lo Zeno,

A very sensible post - I agree with almost all you say.

Then you were lying before, because it strongly contradicts your previous statements.

there is is no reason to ignore a rule set by people who at least had some understanding of the issues.

Right, which means people who have actually studied this, not you. And certainly not the American airlines, who have stuck their head in the sand over mobile phones.

I've provided many counterexamples to DawnFalcons unfounded claims, yet he feels unable to provide any answer to any of the questions I've asked him.

I did, you've just ignored them. And you are the one making grandiose claims about how your mobile is a magic interference machine.

I know DawnFalcon won't believe this

Nope, because you've admitted you're a liar. Go figure!

pricecw
04-27-2010, 12:12 PM
@pricew: Actually, you don't have to shield planes from all devices or even test each plane with every device. What you need is to establish a set of standards about the electromagnetic radiation permissible from electronic devices. In the US, the FCC already does this. The problem is that the FCC standards are incompatible with similar (though more rigorous) standards setup by the FAA.

Basically, what's really needed is for the FCC and FAA to co-operate.

And you really don't need to worry about random circuit boards becoming antennae. It's very simple to shield circuitry from EM radiation. Just put it behind metal. The problem is antennae, which cannot be put behind metal for the obvious reason that they need to receive EM radiation to work.

And if I understand the problem, as described in the reports with the GPS systems correctly, the problem isn't that a cell phone signal can cause a momentary loss in GPS tracking. This would be harmless, since software can easily compensate for it. The problem is that the cell phone signals have been shown to actually cause the GPS system to lose satellite lock, which then takes a significant amount of time to re-establish. I've never seen that happen with car/hand held GPS systems.

And finally, you don't need to upgrade the whole fleet all at once. You need to upgrade it a few planes at a time and remove the restrictions only on the upgraded planes.

@HarryT: Actually if you read the reports TimS linked to, even a single cell phone can cause problems. Undoubtedly more phones will make it more likely that a problem occurs.

The problem, the FCC regulates and has tests for Class A and Class B devices. What they are concerned with is if you are leaking a signal powerful enough to interrupt critical systems outside of your home or business. They are not concerned if you interfere with your TV, as long as you don't interfere with the neighbors TV.

I could probably dig up the testing (have been peripherally involved in the past) for consumer devices, but the whole thing is a very complex set of government docs I don't want to fully understand.

What is true though, I have seen the EM reports on products, one connector (say USB for arguments sake) from manufacturer A will leak EM horribly, a connector that looks to the naked eye as identical from manufacturer B will not leak.

Other issues, say you have SPI eeprom on your board, your main system chip supports 2 chip selects, so the vendor routes to 2 spots. Early production loaded both of the pads (ie the traces are terminated with a part), later the manufacturer went to one part. Now, the board has stubs on the circuit board that depending on length, routing, etc can be an antenna.

Now, the vendor has been say using a 10MHz clock on the SPI device, everything works well, but boot is slower than they like, so they do a firmware update that fixes a few things, and boosts the SPI clock to say 50Mhz, boot gets faster, but you have just introduced a faster clock to your potential antenna, no telling if that causes a problem. How do you test, generally, that is only accessed at boot, but if you change a permanent setting, it will access it.

It is easy to go on and on about theoretical problems, the issue is, none of us know unless we are actively working on it. Some places may have ruled that the risk of issues is low enough to allow use, others have not.

In the US it is currently a felony to refuse to follow the instructions of a flight crew, are you willing to risk arrest to read your kindle? Please lobby the industry/government if you don't like the rule, but don't risk others because you think you understand the art of EM interference.

--Carl

JSWolf
04-27-2010, 12:25 PM
I just close my e-reader cover and put in the pocket in front of me. these "turn off" regulations are left overs from when the technology was not completely understood. there is one airline, I can't remember which that has allowed cell phone usage for quite awhile and another one that is ramping up the ability to have in flight wi-fi. military flying on commercial birds for years have had all of their bells and whistles on and functioning

I will never put my reader in the pocket in the seat in front. I'll not risk forgetting it there.

DJHARKAVY
04-27-2010, 12:38 PM
Firstoff, I would like to thank TimS for posting a bunch of studies. It shows that there are extremely rare cases where electronics might affect instrumentation, but at least gives some slight basis for rules.

They might, not really a big deal though, if you look at a track of most GPSs you can buy, you will see points where there is a straight line jump from one position to the next, generally this is an area where the GPS isn't tracking, and doesn't get a point or so. Not a big deal on your cell phone, car navigation, hiking, etc, and generally within the specs for a consumer GPS, take the Magellan Maestro 4700, it's specs for resolution "GPS Accuracy 3-5 meters", which is much better than used to be available with SA enabled.

My GPS can be set to pull data at specific intervals. I presume that is what happens here.

Now, wrt trying to harden a plane to consumer devices, it is almost an impossible task. You would have to get every conceivable device, and test those in all combinations with all combinations of planes to prove there can't be a problem (probably add in the mix every possible location in the plane for each device on each plane). Everytime a product is introduced or update, or a new plane is introduced, or something is changed on a plane, you would need to re-do these. Worst scenario is a new consumer device introduced or a device changed, since all combinations would need to be tried. All devices would need to be tested until the last one fell out of use.

Not really, because you are only interested in certain frequencies and possibly their harmonics.

Since most devices are quite limited in the frequencies that they can transmit, things become much easier.

That would be the only way to prove your device can't cause problems.

You truly cannot 'prove' that the device cannot cause problems. All you can ever hope to do is to demonstrate that the probability of serious problems means that the rule is worth the cost (in time and resources) of enforcing that rule.

And given the low probabilities shown in these studies, I think that we already have reasons why the rule is not worth even the time it takes to turn the devices off.

Do you really want to trust the lives of several hundred passengers and crew of an airliner to Adam and Jamie?

I would trust them over a random bureaucrat.

But it's not only phones that have to be shut off. I was asked to turn of my digital camera! How would you block that?

Back in the late '90s, I took a digital camera with me on a cruise. When I went through customs, they kept insisting that I needed to open the back of the camera and show them the film.

It took 15 minutes and taking a picture before we got through with it. Taking the picture was risky, because we could have gotten pulled aside for doing it for not obeying Customs officials. But they were not familiar with the technology and so wanted to stick to an archaic rule.

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 01:08 PM
What is true though, I have seen the EM reports on products, one connector (say USB for arguments sake) from manufacturer A will leak EM horribly, a connector that looks to the naked eye as identical from manufacturer B will not leak.

And? The entire point is that A should be caught in testing. You won't catch everything, but you can catch the egregious offenders.

In the US it is currently a felony to refuse to follow the instructions of a flight crew, are you willing to risk arrest to read your kindle?

How, precisely, is the flight crew going to tell that the ereader in your bag is sitting at a page or if you've blanked the screen? But no, don't blank the screen and you're going to jail.

Sigh.

These devices are on now. There is one case of an air accident where mobile phones were possibly associated, and the accident review found otherwise. (Unless you count the United 93 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_93) flight crash as "caused by mobile phones"...which is true in some ways but utterly disingenuous as a claim even so). The disaster situations simply haven't happened, and aircraft are flying every day in Europe with mobiles being used in flight.

Sigh again.

pricecw
04-27-2010, 03:51 PM
Yes, but what I am saying is, the testing isn't designed to catch everything. The rules for consumer devices don't require it, so it isn't always done. And when you do catch one, a FW change can change the emissions from the device.

For example, continue the previous train of thought. The stub at 10MHz, the radiated EM from that is blocked by the connector, at 50MHz, it shoots through. That isn't normally caught in testing.

The big thing about the rules, they are in place for seeing you safely from point A to point B. If you are inconvenienced for a brief time during take-off and landing, the rules don't care, since the goal is safe delivery of hundreds of people. To remove such restrictions, someone needs to convince the rule makers the potential risk is worth removing the inconvenience.

In Europe, are the phones allowed to be used during takeoff and landing? I agree, I don't think the likelihood is high that they will cause a problem, but I'm not the one that has to agree to remove the restrictions, I'm just pointing out that EM is not as easy as some here want to believe.

If I am reading the normal specs of the ASSPs driving most e-readers, I think we are dealing with at least a dozen fundamental frequencies in the device, and if it has good power management, probably many more than that.

--Carl

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 03:57 PM
In Europe, are the phones allowed to be used during takeoff and landing?

Nope (and they want the ability to block calls on takeoff/landing, which they can't currently do because many countries have a blanket ban on mobile "jamming" of any sort). The issue I raise, again, which nobody has yet addressed, is why I should "turn off" the ereader sat in my bag on a page, rather than it being on a blank screen. And why I'm going to jail for that, apparently.

And yes, you've identified lax procedures in testing for EM, which need fixing..

Rich_D
04-27-2010, 05:34 PM
I line my hats with aluminum foil to block satellite transmissions from the ADA. They implant receivers when they fill cavities.

pshrynk
04-27-2010, 05:57 PM
@DawnFalcon: The thing about eink readers is that they are essentially in an "off" state if you aren't changing pages. So you are in compliance and won't go to jail for having it in the condition you have stated, because you are in compliance.

I can't speak to any other reasons you might have to go to jail, though. :)

Katti's Cat
04-27-2010, 09:18 PM
Rather sad to read through this thread - dam, courtesy seems to be well and truely dying.

When I fly it's usually longhaul. So switching off my reader for the half hour either side really doesn't matter all that much. And yes, I think it's not necessary having been on flights were nearly every passenger happily was talking on the mobile phones and we didn't crash (obviously :D).

Nevertheless, why put the staff through the stress? They are doing their job. It's courteous to follow their instructions. (Yep, I was raised under the old school system :D).

And as the thread shows, no one really knows if it does harm or not - I am not talking about the ONE reader you might use, but the 300-400 devices every passenger has in the pockets / bags.

As someone mentioned previously: it's the airlines plane, they can impose any darn rule they want. You don't like it, stay at home or take another airline.

Be nice and switch off - lot less stress for the flight attendants and the passengers around you.

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 09:35 PM
@DawnFalcon: The thing about eink readers is that they are essentially in an "off" state if you aren't changing pages. So you are in compliance and won't go to jail for having it in the condition you have stated, because you are in compliance.

I can't speak to any other reasons you might have to go to jail, though. :)

Well yes, pshrynk, this is my point about eink readers.

As to the other, I can't possibly comment. :p


Katti's Cat - If you want politeness, don't repeat the lapdog corporate mastery nonsense. It's seriously annoying to Europeans, we don't always let corporations ran rampant over our rights...

Katti's Cat
04-27-2010, 09:41 PM
Katti's Cat - If you want politeness, don't repeat the lapdog corporate mastery nonsense. It's seriously annoying to Europeans, we don't always let corporations ran rampant over our rights...

Well, I am European too - and being polite doesn't hurt me as much as people who think that their individual rights come before the convenience of the crowd. Don't you English believe in the old 'my home is my castle' saying. So why do you think that you can do as you please in other people's places/homes? That's just rude.

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 10:18 PM
That saying does not apply to corporate domains. It came about because of a specific old English law which related to the (male) master of the house having the legal right at one time to determine if someone could enter or not at only his discretion. It has nothing to do with corporations (which are of course only a legal fiction and cannot exercise the right, not being male...).

Sorry, not helping your case there.

Katti's Cat
04-27-2010, 10:27 PM
So you are saying that you can do what you please on a plane that is not yours?

Seems you have a problem with corporations - sure, they aren't all that flash - but I still think that not following instructions on their planes is rude.

I am not arguing the point of them being right or wrong , good or evil. I am just saying that putting flight attendants to the test during flight is RUDE. They are doing their job and anyone being rude to them is addressing their gripe with the corporation at the wrong place.

And Corporations are considered legal persons - so while the 'my home is my castle' rule is not totally applicable , legally it would be. As far as I know, any airline company has the right to refuse you entry to the plane / flight.

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 10:45 PM
Corporations are "legal persons", but again unlike other parts of the world their rights are severely restricted. A corporation does not have gender, for example and hence cannot sue for discrimination against it on those grounds, or apply the castle law, since that was only and specifically vested in males. Once more, bad example.

Airlines can only refuse insofar as they comply with all relevant law. This is a far cry from say... "go away, blackie", which you are claiming they could apply, if they could refuse service on any grounds. That age is, rightly, long past and it's disgusting when there are repeated calls for a return to that era in a thread like this! (Because that IS a direct consequence of the suggesting, and the Castle law was absolute, even to the King (in theory))

And I have not suggested "putting flight attendants to the test", I don't know who the heck you're replying to there, but it's not me.

pricecw
04-27-2010, 10:50 PM
@DawnFalcon: The thing about eink readers is that they are essentially in an "off" state if you aren't changing pages. So you are in compliance and won't go to jail for having it in the condition you have stated, because you are in compliance.

I can't speak to any other reasons you might have to go to jail, though. :)

I think the idea of a felony for not following the instructions of the flight crew is bogus, however, that is currently the law. If they wanted to press the issue, you could be charged, and would be responsible to then show to the prosecutor/court you followed the instructions. I think this law has been abused more than it has helped, but that is the current state. I am hoping the tide is changing on this one.

Some of them are in effect off, however, this is not an accurate blanket statement.

It is possible to actually have the system off and a page displayed with e-ink, but I don't think most of the readers do that, I think most go into a deep sleep (not quite off), and some go to a lower power but not sleep state.

So again, you are asking the rule makers to trust users to actually know the state of their device and they will know if it is off, almost off, or still active. BTW, most even in a deep sleep state, memory clocks will be active (lowest power state would be DDR in self refresh mode and the system powered down).

I think that is good info on the Europe cell phone, I think the discussion has been take-off/landing so that follows the same type of rules.

I have heard in the past, that in the US the restriction on in air cell usage was to restrict the overload to the towers, where a single phone would be seen by way too many cells. I think that is outdated with current tech though, so I imagine the rule for in flight usage is now down to the momentum to change the rule more than anything.

--Carl

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 11:00 PM
Pricew - And how precisely are they going to detect the reader? Sure, it might be running at 1Mhz, you'll need to jam a hand-held scanner right into the bag to detect it though. And flight attendants don't carry those (since none are certified for use on aircraft, ha!)

And no, I am certainly not "asking" the "rulemakers" that. I've repeatedly stated in this thread I want more stringent testing of both devices and aircraft shielding!

Katti's Cat
04-27-2010, 11:06 PM
Corporations are "legal persons", but again unlike other parts of the world their rights are severely restricted. A corporation does not have gender, for example and hence cannot sue for discrimination against it on those grounds, or apply the castle law, since that was only and specifically vested in males. Once more, bad example.

Airlines can only refuse insofar as they comply with all relevant law. This is a far cry from say... "go away, blackie", which you are claiming they could apply, if they could refuse service on any grounds. That age is, rightly, long past and it's disgusting when there are repeated calls for a return to that era in a thread like this! (Because that IS a direct consequence of the suggesting, and the Castle law was absolute, even to the King (in theory))



I didn't claim that airlines can refuse you entry because they don't like your nose. I just said they had the right to refuse - not on which grounds because this is not the subject of the thread and I didn't think that I had to spell it all out in detail.

The 'home & castle' example was meant to make a point - I still believe that corporations can impose rules - within the law - to anyone entering their plane.

And to misbehave on the plane is rude. That's all. If you want a legal discussion about corporations, I'm out cos that is not what I intended, nor interested in at this stage - and not being a lawyer makes it rather difficult for me anyway.



And I have not suggested "putting flight attendants to the test", I don't know who the heck you're replying to there, but it's not me.

My point in my first post was: don't be rude to flight attendants they are doing their job.

You took it and dragged the corporations and their behaviour into the mix - sure I might have used some not so great examples but I still think they were sufficient to make my point (I didn't intend to go to court with them).

You have so far said nothing that would convince me to not switch off my device. If I am being asked to switch it off I will - no reason to make trouble or being rude.

And I didn't say that YOU are being rude to the flight attendant. I just said that not following their instructions / request is rude.

DawnFalcon
04-27-2010, 11:15 PM
The "home and castle" example is really quite specific, and has an absolutist and bluntly sexist meaning. And the grounds they can refuse you on are entirely relevant when the claim is about their having an absolute right to refuse service, as you stated.

To now go back and state "within the law" is evading the point. You brought up the entire issue, and now I'm going to press it, because you're evading. Calling for unqualified rights to refuse service is not nice, and while I'm certainly not accusing you of being a member of one yourself...but it's the casual usage of that type of language which encourages the "social groups" (like, oh, the BNP) who want it back!

(Unless you are of course, in which case Kish Mein Touchess)

And again, I don't know who the HECK you're talking to with the flight attendant nonsense, it's annoying seeing it in your posts as if you were. And you bitched about politeness! I never suggested I would be, so you cannot possibly be referring to me.

astra
04-28-2010, 05:07 AM
EL AL Flight Mid December 2005 Landing in Tel Aviv (http://www.onejerusalem.com/2005/12/27/el-al-flight-mid-december-2005-landing-in-tel-aviv/):

As the EL AL plane touched down at Ben Gurion Airport the voice of the captain came on: “Please remain seated with your seat belts fastened until the plane has come to a complete stop and the seat belt signs have been turned off. We also wish to remind you that using cell phones is strictly prohibited.”

Pause

He continues: “To those of you who are seated we wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your stay…and to those of you standing the aisles and talking on your cell phones we wish you a Happy Hanukah and welcome home.”

:rofl:

astra
04-28-2010, 05:30 AM
I still believe that corporations can impose rules - within the law - to anyone entering their plane

Within the law.
Physics law?
We have already followed blindly(that is what you advise us to do) one law. You cannot fly when there is a volcanic ash in the air. Look where it got us. You cannot imagine the level of disruption it caused to Europe and how many people suffered, just because we blindly followed a law created who knows how many years ago when people understood much less of the nature of the volcanic ash and if it not enough, then the law imposed by people who generally have no clue about science.
We were just courteous and meekly complied.

The same applies to switching off mobile phones or even worse, ebook readers that essentially stay on anyway, even though you press power button.
As Lo Zeno said: What they knew back then, was that radio signals were a largely unexplored fields. Now it isn't, and the increased knowledge has shown that many things we believed were partially exaggerated
Courtesy doesn't always work for our benefit.

Stitchawl
04-28-2010, 06:24 AM
Fifteen pages of people arguing if they should obey the law or not. Unbelievable. :smack:

I wonder how many of the people arguing for keeping their electronic devices ON actually DO keep them on when flying but keep them hidden from the cabin crew?

Stitchawl

Sweetpea
04-28-2010, 07:02 AM
Fifteen pages of people arguing if they should obey the law or not. Unbelievable. :smack:

I wonder how many of the people arguing for keeping their electronic devices ON actually DO keep them on when flying but keep them hidden from the cabin crew?

Stitchawl

Well, that's not exactly true... It started out with the question if an e-ink reader should be turned off, then moved on to mobile phones and after then, no idea...


I didn't "turn off" my BeBook Mini. I didn't really hide it neither. I just never took it out of my bag. It was locked. When I was asked to turn off my digital camera (no phone, or anything, simply a camera), I turned it back on once the stewardess was seated for landing.

I would never use my phone, nor turn it on a plane, unless it has a flight modus. Then I would turn it off when asked and turn it on when allowed again.

astra
04-28-2010, 07:10 AM
Fifteen pages of people arguing if they should obey the law or not. Unbelievable. :smack:

I wonder how many of the people arguing for keeping their electronic devices ON actually DO keep them on when flying but keep them hidden from the cabin crew?

Stitchawl

My mobile phone, camera and netbook are all turned off the moment I either leave home or enter Departures.
However, I always read on my Sony Reader during take off or landing, unless stewardess asks me to turn it off. Sometimes, they see me reading but say nothing, while they ask other people to switch off other types of gadgets. I believe some of them know about futileness of blanking off eInk screen :rolleyes:

Cyberman tM
04-28-2010, 07:33 AM
The same applies to switching off mobile phones or even worse, ebook readers that essentially stay on anyway, even though you press power button.
Which are those?
And why do they stay on all the time? Isn't that a waste of battery? I'm quite certain my eBook is off when I turn it off.

Stitchawl
04-28-2010, 07:38 AM
Well, that's not exactly true... It started out with the question if an e-ink reader should be turned off, then moved on to mobile phones and after then, no idea...

You are absolutely correct! I made a mistake. :o

Only 12 pages of people arguing if they should obey the law or not. Unbelievable. :smack:

Stitchawl :rolleyes:

tompe
04-28-2010, 07:41 AM
I didn't "turn off" my BeBook Mini. I didn't really hide it neither. I just never took it out of my bag. It was locked. When I was asked to turn off my digital camera (no phone, or anything, simply a camera), I turned it back on once the stewardess was seated for landing.

I would never use my phone, nor turn it on a plane, unless it has a flight modus. Then I would turn it off when asked and turn it on when allowed again.

Since a camera is similar to a phone in flight mode I do not get why you break the rules by turning on the camera but respect them when turning off your phone in flight mode?

Sweetpea
04-28-2010, 08:41 AM
Which are those?
And why do they stay on all the time? Isn't that a waste of battery? I'm quite certain my eBook is off when I turn it off.

I'm certain my ebook is off when I don't turn a page... I think it wastes more energy to keep turning it on and off than it is to lock the keyboard.

Since a camera is similar to a phone in flight mode I do not get why you break the rules by turning on the camera but respect them when turning off your phone in flight mode?

Because a phone is a phone and a camera is a camera. Also, even when my work phone is on flight modus, it does interfere with my sound system. I never heard that camera make any interference with my sound system...

(the reason I did turn on that phone was because I wanted to use the MP3 player on it. Turned it off rather quickly and decided I never wanted a phone that also was a MP3 player... so, I only wrote it for the sake of argument... When we went this month, I turned my phone off at the airport and only turned it on when I reached my final destination, that included a car drive...)

bookoffers
04-28-2010, 09:17 AM
I would turn it off out of courtesy - i.e. consideration for the staff and other passengers.

The staff really don't have the time, or probably the expertise either, to go round and assess every device on a case by case basis. Even if your particular device may not be dangerous you can still be causing other passengers unnecessary stress by leaving it on.


:thumbsup: i agree!! just a common sense to all ...better think of the safetiness first..

DawnFalcon
04-28-2010, 10:45 AM
I believe some of them know about futileness of blanking off eInk screen :rolleyes:

Yes, because of devices like the eFlybook, which have landing maps, the correct forms and so on, a lot of aircrew are aware of ereaders.


Stitchawl - So, what law precisely are you referring to? Cite.

pricecw
04-28-2010, 11:27 AM
I'm certain my ebook is off when I don't turn a page... I think it wastes more energy to keep turning it on and off than it is to lock the keyboard.



Because a phone is a phone and a camera is a camera. Also, even when my work phone is on flight modus, it does interfere with my sound system. I never heard that camera make any interference with my sound system...



I really doubt that any device is off when not turning a page, the biggest evidence is the page turn rate. I think they are in a deep sleep mode, but one that will respond in a very short time, but it is still responsive to interrupts etc.

If it was truly off, each page turn would require the boot time, the book load time, and then the page display time, not the page time. Even if it was at a very low power state (main ASSP off, DDR in self refresh, small uC listening for interrupts to wake everything up), the page turn rate would be too much for most people. In general, the main ASSP will be powered, clocks to unneeded systems might be shut down (depends on the ASSP vendor), CPU clock may be stopped/stalled (ARM is very good in this regard), and the DDR subsystem will be up and running. This allows for a fairly quick page turn, while getting by on a small amount of power.

Your camera is like any other digital device, when it is on, and especially when you are taking pictures, it can easily leak EM interference, no different from the flight crew passing and you turning on a netbook (generally the same basic subsystem in the two). The processors, memory, display systems are very similar between a camera/netbook/PDA/ebook/cell phone.

--Carl

definitions:
ASSP -- Application Specific Standard Product
DDR -- Dual Data Rate RAM
uC -- microcontroller

astra
04-28-2010, 11:58 AM
Which are those?
And why do they stay on all the time? Isn't that a waste of battery? I'm quite certain my eBook is off when I turn it off.

Sony Reader is "always on" unless you engage a complete shut down. After that, it takes about 40 seconds to start up and it eats up a lot of energy.
When you use a power button on Sony Reader (and Kindle I think), you put it into "hold" mode. It clears the screen and makes it impossible to use buttons, otherwise it keeps on running as usual. Any ebook reader, AFAIK, continues to use battery and runs in between page turns. It just doesn't need any power to keep up the text on the screen, but it needs energy to run the OS on the background, so each time time you press on the button "next page", it takes only 1 second to turn the pages vs. 40-45 seconds :)

Joykins
04-28-2010, 09:23 PM
I put it in airplane mode before entering the plane.

I put it in sleep mode or off when taking off/landing (it's an e-ink reader). Now that the nook doesn't lose my place everytime I turn it off, I'll be turning it off.

I bring along a dead tree book to read during takeoff/landing so I don't get bored during about 20 minutes per flight.

Kevin2960
04-29-2010, 09:54 AM
Well, I am European too - and being polite doesn't hurt me as much as people who think that their individual rights come before the convenience of the crowd. Don't you English believe in the old 'my home is my castle' saying. So why do you think that you can do as you please in other people's places/homes? That's just rude.



Well Said Katti :)

Sweetpea
04-29-2010, 10:25 AM
I really doubt that any device is off when not turning a page, the biggest evidence is the page turn rate. I think they are in a deep sleep mode, but one that will respond in a very short time, but it is still responsive to interrupts etc.

But by that definition almost nothing is turned off. I'd have to remove the battery from my PDA, for example. As that reacts in a very short time and I can turn it on by pushing any button on it (unless I turn that feature off, but that's more a keylock than anything else).

pricecw
04-29-2010, 12:58 PM
But by that definition almost nothing is turned off. I'd have to remove the battery from my PDA, for example. As that reacts in a very short time and I can turn it on by pushing any button on it (unless I turn that feature off, but that's more a keylock than anything else).

That is correct, most consumer devices can be turned off (your PDA has a method I would guess, most do), but normally hitting the button just puts them to sleep, not off.

I don't know if it is a problem or not. Some devices are in a very quiet state in this form, others are not. I am not making that call, I have worked with too many consumer devices to pretend to know about them all, since they are all so different. If you want to follow the rules and be sure, learn how to turn your device off and do it.

--Carl

CCDMan
04-29-2010, 07:13 PM
Interestingly, a study was done in 2003 of actual use (http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/unsafe-at-any-airspeed/2). Turns out many a-holes just ignore the rules as proved by the on-board spectrum analyzers they flew.The opinion of the engineers was that cell phone use, at least, did represent a real hazard.
I know that if I am on a flight and see someone using a phone, I will reach for the call button as fast as my hand can move. What really needs to happen is the FCC needs to evaluate all gadgets for their air safety as part of the already required FCC certification and certify and label them as to whether they can be used in flight or not. So far this has not been done.

jbjb
04-30-2010, 04:26 AM
Interestingly, a study was done in 2003 of actual use (http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/unsafe-at-any-airspeed/2). Turns out many a-holes just ignore the rules as proved by the on-board spectrum analyzers they flew.The opinion of the engineers was that cell phone use, at least, did represent a real hazard.
I know that if I am on a flight and see someone using a phone, I will reach for the call button as fast as my hand can move.


100% agreed! :thumbsup:

What really needs to happen is the FCC needs to evaluate all gadgets for their air safety as part of the already required FCC certification and certify and label them as to whether they can be used in flight or not. So far this has not been done.

That would be a good approach, but the trouble is that, as I and pricecw have pointed out - certification is far from foolproof. There are many reasons why emissions can vary between different firmware versions on devices, and it's certainly not usual for manufacturers to resubmit their products for recertification with each firmware release.

As well as that, any device which can run user-installed applications, be it a laptop or a smartphone or an iPod Touch or whatever, can have emissions which are dependent on the apps running. (Admittedly, the effect here is usually minimal, but isn't necessarily so.)

Having said that, certification is clearly part of the solution, along with bringing FCC and FAA requirements into line, more studies on the sensitivity of the planes' systems and work on improving their immunity levels.

/JB

Shaggy
04-30-2010, 11:13 AM
What really needs to happen is the FCC needs to evaluate all gadgets for their air safety as part of the already required FCC certification and certify and label them as to whether they can be used in flight or not. So far this has not been done.

You mean the FAA, not FCC, but you're right, that's the crux of the problem. The FAA takes air safety VERY seriously (which is a good thing). You would not believe the amount of testing that is required to certify a new piece of electronic gear to be installed on an airplane, and this is stuff coming from companies that are specifically designing electronics for flight operations. The FAA's main point of view is that if it has not been thoroughly tested and certified, then they don't want to take the risk. If they don't KNOW that a device is safe, then they say that you have to turn it off. If you look at it case by case, are there some devices where it seems silly to require them being turned off... sure. But the general policy from the FAA is, for the most part, a good one. If they're not positive, then the answer is no. The only way they are positive is if it goes through their certification.

No company selling consumer electronics (cell phones, etc) that are not specifically being designed/sold for flight operations is going to want to spend the amount of time and especially money it would take to get it certified by the FAA. Such use would only be a tiny part of their market anyway.

Shaggy
04-30-2010, 11:17 AM
That would be a good approach, but the trouble is that, as I and pricecw have pointed out - certification is far from foolproof. There are many reasons why emissions can vary between different firmware versions on devices, and it's certainly not usual for manufacturers to resubmit their products for recertification with each firmware release.

I believe that if they really did get FAA certification, they would be required to re-certify every time they changed anything. That's one of the reasons it's very expensive, and we'll not likely see consumer electronics go through it.


As well as that, any device which can run user-installed applications, be it a laptop or a smartphone or an iPod Touch or whatever, can have emissions which are dependent on the apps running. (Admittedly, the effect here is usually minimal, but isn't necessarily so.)


Similarly, I doubt an FAA certified device would be able to allow user applications and still keep it's certification.

I don't think FAA certification is realistic for consumer devices. That's why we still have the "switch off all electronic devices" rule in place. I don't think it's likely to change.

jbjb
04-30-2010, 11:28 AM
I believe that if they really did get FAA certification, they would be required to re-certify every time they changed anything. That's one of the reasons it's very expensive, and we'll not likely see consumer electronics go through it.



Similarly, I doubt an FAA certified device would be able to allow user applications and still keep it's certification.

I don't think FAA certification is realistic for consumer devices. That's why we still have the "switch off all electronic devices" rule in place. I don't think it's likely to change.

Agreed. That level of certification would not be feasible for consumer devices.

/JB