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Old 01-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #31
PatNY
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The problem with the honor system is this - how do they know your device is turned off?
They can't know for sure, but at least they can usually tell if you are using a device, in which case the stewardess can tell you to quit it. And maybe they figure if something were interfering with the electronics, they might be able to see it in the cockpit before takeoff and go out into the cabin and investigate.

So basically, the rule is precautionary and to some extent preemptive. And it preserves the airlines' right to ban things if in the future something were invented that was truly potentially dangerous. Once they dispense with a rule, it's hard to implement it again if needed. Habits die hard.

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #32
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They can't know for sure, but at least they can usually tell if you are using a device, in which case the stewardess can tell you to quit it. And maybe they figure if something were interfering with the electronics, they might be able to see it in the cockpit before takeoff and go out into the cabin and investigate.
Bad guy has device inside bag with muted video playing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:05 PM   #33
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Bad guy has device inside bag with muted video playing.
If bad guy is actually using it -- for example viewing the screen or handling it while it's in the bag -- then one of the good guys around him says: "Hey you #^@#, turn that off or else!"

And if bad guy doesn't listen, then good guy calls the flight attendant.

But if bad guy is not actually using it and the bag is closed, then, as I said, they can't know for sure. It likely isn't causing any problems anyway as they would be able to tell in the cockpit if a running device were. There are likely instrument checks before takeoff that would raise an alarm if something were funny with the electronic readings. So then, it's often a case of:



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Old 01-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #34
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From time to time I like to dabble in the world of 'being a prick', often for just reasons. The people next door enjoy using their cheap chinky baby monitor which screws with everyones wireless nearby - that they use as an intercom between studio and kitchen urgh. A little bit of hacking about and careful listening, I managed to liven their days up with some quality pirate radio, which had a questionable taste in music. Good times, poor ears.

Anyway, it got me thinking - everygeek knows the old TEMPEST stuff, because spy stuff is cool and then you felt the need to broadcast your ancient mp3's over your spare CRT. How feasible would it be to produce similar interference that would result in noise being picked up in cabin equipment? i.e would it be possible to take a tablet and use its wlan chipset to confuse the cabin crew that they are listening in to some guys stowing away in the cargo hold mid flight? (Assuming old plane).

Maybe not the most socially responsible prank, but... hmm!
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #35
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A couple more interesting articles on the topic:

FAA Facing More Pressure To Change Its Rules On Electronic Device Usage

Disruptions: The Real Hazards of E-Devices on Planes
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #36
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I'm surprised terrorists don't use phones and tablets to take down planes. All they have to do is put them away while "turned on".
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I'm surprised terrorists don't use phones and tablets to take down planes. All they have to do is put them away while "turned on".
It's highly unlikely interference will occur so it's pointless and too costly for a terrorist to fly back and forth and back and forth 100's of times per year hoping to cause an accident.

However, if it can happen, even if it's a remote chance/probability, with the number of passengers and flights that occur yearly, then you're going to eventually have it occur. So they limit the risk and don't allow device usage during takeoff/landing. For the sake of 1/2 an hour taking off and same landing, why risk it. Unless scientists can prove their's not a risk of interference, in which case everyone will be happy.

The few times people do leave devices on, well, chances are nothing will happen and just because some may accidentally do so, does not mean you scrap the idea of turning devices off totally.

Until there's a sure fire way to cause interference that will cause a pilot to crash a plane, terrorists will stick to bombs and hijackings imo.

and yes I realise you likely said it tongue in cheek

Don't know about the rest of you, but I still turn my phone off when requested to do so by hospital staff in areas where they're worried about interference. Even though equipment is usually built to withstand interference, why take the risk for the short time you spend there?

Last edited by JoeD; 01-04-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:53 PM   #38
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Don't know about the rest of you, but I still turn my phone off when requested to do so by hospital staff in areas where they're worried about interference. Even though equipment is usually built to withstand interference, why take the risk for the short time you spend there?
I wear flubber-soled shoes, I'll always bounce back. Risk insulation leads to risk escalation.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:42 AM   #39
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The problem with the honor system is this - how do they know your device is turned off?
In the good old days, before all digital, there were devices that could detect local oscillators and the like in concealed "tape recorders" and the like that didn't broadcast. These detectors were used some places.

I am mostly aware of the RF coils and tuning coils and receive/transmission for broadcast. I am pretty sure those still exist even in the all digital world, but if someone knows different, let me know.

In fact thinking about it, I am not sure what the status of oscillators are in the modern digital world.

If I get a chance, I will look it up.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:20 AM   #40
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usemethods of wiretap, bug Detection

http://www.bugsweeps.com/info/wiretap_detection.html

http://www.spytechs.com/bug_sweep_equip/default.htm

also common metal and ore detection methods -coin, ring, jewelry detectors

perhaps cut off activation signal in detector since customer device is active.

choice is active search or passive search

many interesting stories of spy equipment

casinos can scan for electronic devices on customers with stored signatures for recognition
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #41
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I'm surprised terrorists don't use phones and tablets to take down planes. All they have to do is put them away while "turned on".
When you've lost the terrorists.....
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #42
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If TSA thought there was a problem, they would collect the devices before the passengers boarded.

I don't know what they would do with that guy that had the camera embedded in his head.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 PM   #43
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We just flew to Arizona from Michigan and back, and on both flights they were very clear that, until we hit 10,000 feet, no electronic devices could be used, not on airplane mode, not iPods to listen to, not nothing not nohow. they were quite clear and quite emphatic about it. These were older planes, though.

My understanding, and this comes from a pilot though he could have been pulling my leg is that it is very simple.
The first part of the flight is where problems are most likely to occur, and any sort of crash etc. They want people paying attention during the safety briefing and able to respond to instructions if any are given, not really to do with interference anymore.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #44
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Of course all the small tablets and ereaders have to be put away sometimes for the same reason the paperback had to be put away, because loose small-ish objects can be a hazard if there is an incident...
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #45
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If TSA thought there was a problem, they would collect the devices before the passengers boarded.

Then the public would raise an even bigger stink than we are seeing here, and the political pressure to act would overcome the abundance of caution culture that has made commercial flight the safest way to travel.

Why is a 3.4 ounce bottle of liquid OK when a 3.5 ounce bottle is disallowed? And why isn't every borderline sized bottle accurately sized? It's all a judgment call where you try to reduce the chances of an extremely unlikely risk coming to fruition without slowing down air travel to the point where hardly anyone would fly. The effort to reduce the amount of unnecessary radio traffic inside the aircraft is a similar borderline judgment call.

Is there a remote possibility that the RF shielding on a aircraft could experience a partial failure? If so, they should keep the current rule. If that's utterly impossible, they should lift the rule. Up to now, there has been a legitimate scientific difference of opinion on this question. Probably they will lift the rule eventually, and I hope it's not because of public pressure.
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