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Maybe the FAA Gadget Ban On Liftoff and Landing Isn't So Bad

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  • Gahh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:23PM (#39470293)

    Forget ever being able to sleep on a plane again, with 200 cell phones ringing and people playing annoying games and 100 laptop screens lighting up the cabin, just like in a movie theater, too many people going to be selfish.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:24PM (#39470297)

    ...then don't use them.

    Idiot.

  • Attention (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shmlco (594907) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:24PM (#39470303) Homepage

    Seen this one before... "If something goes wrong—which is admittedly rare, but not unheard of—it is probably to the advantage of all involved that they're paying at least some attention to what is going on around them."

    And not to an iPad! Or iPhone! Or a SkyMall magazine! Or an in-flight magazine! Or a magazine in general! Or a paperback! Or a hardback! Or sleeping! Or entertaining the kids! Or...

    You get the idea. Not to mention that a sudden and rapid descent and/or crash will probably grab pretty much everyone's attention, no matter how engrossed they are in Angry Birds....

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:25PM (#39470313) Homepage

    TFA makes it sound as if keeping the ban is simply a nice way to preserve some "spiritual" time for yourself when you aren't tempted to use gadgets. That's not nearly as important as the effect on the person sitting next to the gadget user. Flying on airplanes has already become a really miserable experience these days. If I had to sit next to someone yakking nonstop on their cell phone for a 10-hour flight, I would go absolutely nuts. Even in places like the public library or the waiting room for jury duty, there are cell phone blabberers who simply cannot be convinced that their conversation is anappropriate and bothersome to others.

  • Uhhhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SaroDarksbane (1784314) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:26PM (#39470315)
    His argument is that we need to keep a worthless federal regulation on the books (and remember, you can be charged with a felony for not complying) because it . . . preserves the "spiritualness" of the takeoff and landing period.

    That's not an argument, that's just bullshit.
  • by Scareduck (177470) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:26PM (#39470319) Homepage Journal

    But the more important reason to preserve the current rules is a spiritual one.

    Okay, I've read enough. He doesn't really have a good argument for this.

    How did this lame article get promoted?

  • by tmosley (996283) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:28PM (#39470327)
    That is incredibly arbitrary.

    I don't like allowing others to have arbitrary power over me. Fuck that. Stop trying to justify stupid shit by contorting your mind to make those in power right.
  • by nemui-chan (550759) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:33PM (#39470361) Homepage
    On any flight I go on, I have noise cancelling headphones. You can get a nice pair for ~$40 or so.
  • Re:Attention (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:35PM (#39470385)

    I don't think they're revising the rules against the pilot playing angry birds during take off and landing anyway. And frankly, as a passenger, with terrorist proof doors between me and the pilot's controls - in the event of emergency, I don't think my exact point of focus is going to matter to the outcome of the incident.

    Modern commercial passenger aircraft are barely flown by the pilot anyway. Automation is so extensive that the air craft is basically a drone flight and the pilot is just an emergency override. On light air craft or much older planes (the kind they use to fly mine workers to remote sites, or for tasks other than moving civilian passengers around between family reunions, vacations and business meetings) the pilot has more to do. But even then, newer small air craft don't really require a lot of piloting in typical operations. Passengers using electronics is unlikely in the extreme to ever impact flight safety.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:40PM (#39470417)

    Seen this one before... "If something goes wrong—which is admittedly rare, but not unheard of—it is probably to the advantage of all involved that they're paying at least some attention to what is going on around them."

    And not to an iPad! Or iPhone! Or a SkyMall magazine! Or an in-flight magazine! Or a magazine in general! Or a paperback! Or a hardback! Or sleeping! Or entertaining the kids! Or...

    You get the idea. Not to mention that a sudden and rapid descent and/or crash will probably grab pretty much everyone's attention, no matter how engrossed they are in Angry Birds....

    I've heard this argument repeatedly and it is out of hand absurd. What of all the people who can't understand the language, are hard of hearing, too young etc.? Want to ban them from flying. As with all books/magazines/newspapers. Not to mention any medication which may make the occupants sleepy.

    Perhaps we should require everyone to become a qualified airline pilot just in case!? And arrest them if they've had any alcohol - after all they may need to take over the plane. Next step: ban flying altogether.

    Why is this RUBBISH on the front page?

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:44PM (#39470441)

    TFA makes it sound as if keeping the ban is simply a nice way to preserve some "spiritual" time for yourself when you aren't tempted to use gadgets. That's not nearly as important as the effect on the person sitting next to the gadget user. Flying on airplanes has already become a really miserable experience these days. If I had to sit next to someone yakking nonstop on their cell phone for a 10-hour flight, I would go absolutely nuts. Even in places like the public library or the waiting room for jury duty, there are cell phone blabberers who simply cannot be convinced that their conversation is anappropriate and bothersome to others.

    This man speaks the truth.

    This sadly is something I've actually heard from a man using his mobile on the plane.
    "Guess where I'm calling you from."
    "GUESS WHERE I"M CALLING YOU FROM"
    /brief pause
    "I'm on a plane"
    "I'M ON A PLANE"
    "I'M ON A PLANE"

    At this point two of the flight attendants arrive to tell the man to turn off his phone and he asks if they could turn the engines down so he can talk to his friend. They confiscated his phone and he spent the next 20 minutes complaining about it until one of the other passengers said he'd "knock his teeth out if he didn't shut up".

    I'd like to add to this the arm swinging. Most people already have enough trouble trying to sit still and not elbow the person next to them. Add a tablet to this and all of a sudden there's arms flailing everywhere, elbows hitting you from nasal to naval and the best this person offers you is a meek "I'm sorry" before going back to having a fit.

    Personally, I love flying. It's the other passengers I cant stand.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:50PM (#39470485) Homepage

    I hope the author realizes his argument applies to mostly anything one wants:

    "I think people should be banned from talking all Tuesdays for spiritual reasons. There's something to be said about having a day to listen to your own thoughts"

    "I think everyone should forced to wear burkas for spiritual reasons. There's something to be said about being free from sexual attraction in daily life"

    "I think Peter Bright should be banned from writing articles for spiritual reasons. There's something to be said about preventing people from reading his dumb apologies of abusive government bans."

  • Ommmmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retroworks (652802) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @08:57PM (#39470507) Homepage Journal
    "Ladies and gentlemen, the pilot requests that all passengers put their trays forward, put their seat back in their forward position, turn off all electronic devices, and chant the spiritual mantra of the Ars Technica Church of spirituality for the next fifteen minutes prior to landing."
  • Entitlement!!!11! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 25, 2012 @09:09PM (#39470555)

    Wait a second.

    I am ENTITLED to use my gadgets on any plane I am on.

    Don't you see I am ENTITLED???

    What is wrong with you??????

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @09:10PM (#39470565)

    I've heard this argument repeatedly and it is out of hand absurd. What of all the people who can't understand the language, are hard of hearing, too young etc.? Want to ban them from flying. As with all books/magazines/newspapers. Not to mention any medication which may make the occupants sleepy.

    Plus the pre-departure drinks that flight attendants serve in first class. If absolute concentration during takeoff and landing is required, perhaps they should stop serving alcohol before departure and stop serving 4 hours before landing.

  • by Enry (630) <.enry. .at. .wayga.net.> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @09:16PM (#39470625) Journal

    But that article is Jon Katz stupid.

  • Re:Attention (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@@@gmail...com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @09:50PM (#39470837) Homepage Journal

    as a passenger ... in the event of emergency, I don't think my exact point of focus is going to matter to the outcome of the incident

    You may have no idea, but your point of focus can determine if you get out of the situation dead or alive. Some people can even change the outcome for others, those are not everybody, but aren't rare either.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:09PM (#39471275)

    Personally sitting in a aluminium death tube

    The most dangerous part of any flight is the drive to the airport. Which is why I always congratulate myself for getting to the check in counter in piece. Seriously, over 300 people in my state alone (Western Australia) die on our roads. About 10 Australians die on aircraft per year around the world.

    Either that or get a private cabin on a train and enjoy the dining car at your leisure.

    Where's the road from Australia to Singapore?

    There is no such thing as a short drive from where I live and I've done more then enough of those two day trips up north for one lifetime, besides there's nothing up there but bogans, heat, flies and dust.

    Start after normal breakfast, leave after 9:00am (completely miss peak traffic) drive till around 1:00pm, you'll be hungry pick a nice spot to enjoy a meal and an hour break, drive till around 5:00pm

    7.5 hours of driving at 120 KPH (10 KM's over the speed limit here in West Oz and you're unlikely to sustain 120 KM/h for that entire 7.5 hours) is 900 KM, good work, you have 2 to 3 more days of this before you reach the nearest capital city, Adelaide. Meanwhile I've flown 5,000 KM's to another country, passed through customs and am now enjoying my holiday at my destination.

    Spending 3 days getting to my destination wastes 5 good days of holiday time, talk about the worst way to spend my time off.

    Driving eight hours or screwing around for four hours (taxi to airport, wasting time in airport, insanely boring uncomfortable flight, wasting time in airport, taxi to where ever you are going), I prefer driving.

    In reality all you've done is limit the places you can go. No crossing oceans, you cant go further then 800 KM's. What's the point of even taking a holiday if you're not going to see anything new or exciting. Might as well stay home.

  • Re:Gahh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@@@jwsmythe...com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:43PM (#39471461) Homepage Journal

        Nice quote, considering you're quoting something that wasn't said.

        And I guess either you're young, or have been living under a rock. Jan 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549.

        There are circumstances where it's good not to have your laptop, tablet, phone, etc, all occupying your space. Consider August 2, 2005, Air France Flight 358.

          In both of these circumstances, it was advantageous for the passengers to be able to disembark the aircraft expeditiously and unencumbered by extra items.

        Planes only crash land, when they are near land or water. That is the minutes surrounding takeoff and landing. During the rough of landings, objects in your hands can become objects flying around the cabin.

       

  • Re:Attention (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:57PM (#39471539) Homepage

    Treat this gadget rule as a test. If someone is utterly unable to avoid using their toys for a few minutes and will break the rules, then they can not be trusted on a plane without sufficient supervision.

    So, someone who can't take their eyes off their book is fine, but someone who can't take their eyes off their ebook should be kicked off the flight?

  • Re:Gahh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Monday March 26, 2012 @12:05AM (#39471579)

    how much sleep do you get in that half hour? do you manage to see the safety demonstration?

    at least you'll be relaxed if there's an emergency landing.

    Usually I get 25 minutes sleep in that half hour. I've seen the safety presentation for every type of aircraft that I fly in currently. If there is an emergency, I hope they don't wake me up for it.

    Sleeping is by far the best way to fly.

  • Re:Gahh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@@@jwsmythe...com> on Monday March 26, 2012 @01:11AM (#39471791) Homepage Journal

    Sleeping is by far the best way to fly.

    I'm of the humble opinion that every airline should offer Xanax to passengers as they board. I have a high tolerance for an awful lot of things, but Xanax puts me right to sleep.. I can be oblivious to the world from the time they push back from the gate, to the time the plane lands. It's really nice to wake up all relaxed and refreshed when I get to where I'm going. :)

    But (before anyone says it) the plane landing is enough to wake me up. That's a normal landing. If there were an incident, the adrenaline jolt would make me wide awake instantly. I hate it when there's bad turbulence. I wake up, see that we're not there yet, and go back to sleep.

    As I understand it, I am the perfect passenger for the flight crew.

    If I start multiple flights a week, I'll have to get doc to prescribe me some more Xanax. :) Crying babies? Annoying people in my row? No problem.

  • Re:As a pilot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 26, 2012 @02:53AM (#39472115)

    So, you ban devices "for safety" but permit your passengers to drink alcohol?

    In an emergency, someone who has been reading their Kindle will be more alert and responsive than someone on their fourth whisky.

    Please state you airline below so that I can avoid it:

  • Re:Gahh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Monday March 26, 2012 @08:13AM (#39472951)

    Forget ever being able to sleep on a plane again, with 200 cell phones ringing and people playing annoying games and 100 laptop screens lighting up the cabin, just like in a movie theater, too many people going to be selfish.

    ...So it's selfish to use a computer on a plane, but not selfish to complain that 200 people are not forced to sit silently because you can't be bothered to sleep at night?

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