By Tom Z
11:11 AM EST, December 10, 2012
Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, wants airlines to reconsider their rules regarding use of electronic devices during a flight. In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, Genachowski stated that electronics “empower people to stay informed and connected” and noted that, despite many studies, researchers have found no relation between cell phone use and cockpit interference. Keep in mind, the FCC is an organization that has dedicated the past decade to making sure Howard Stern doesn’t say the S-word, so if they think something is not an issue, then it is definitely not an issue. From CNN:
In August, the FAA released a study on the in-flight use of cell phones -- devices which operate on the same frequency as navigational aircraft equipment -- in multiple European countries, and no direct incidents of interference were found. Two anomalies in Belgium did pop up, though the cause was left inconclusive. Though there have been plenty of instances where passengers have left their cell phones on during flight, there have been no reported problems regarding cell phone interference that have been positively linked to gadgets.
I like listening to music during a flight, and I've been known to violate the cell phone rules from time to time. But let's not pretend like it's absolutely necessary to use our phones for the entire flight. You can survive the 20 minutes of takeoff without checking email or playing Angry Birds in Space. Even if you get an emergency call, it's not like you can do anything about it. You're 30,000 feet in the air. This rule change is sort of like when your boss surprises the office with cake. You're allowed to be happy, but you shouldn't get TOO happy. Otherwise you're basically telling the world, "I have no willpower."
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