Month: November 2013

Electronic Devices on Takeoff — Finally

It looks like the rules requiring you to turn everything off while your airplane takes off is getting overturned!  Yipee!

Here’s the source:

This makes a lot of sense to me.  Telling someone they can’t use a device because it may interfere with the plane and cause safety issues is like telling a hacker that pushing a button might break a website.  You can make laws and post someone to watch all website users, but it’s never as good as just fixing the button.  With the airplanes, we are finally fixing the planes so that the electronics don’t interfere anymore.

According to Delta’s FAQ on their website, they already have everything in place.  The new rule started Nov. 1st.  I tried searching on a couple of other airlines, and I didn’t see any news of their date.  I didn’t search too long though.

According to CNN:

The prohibition against using cell phones for voice calls remains in effect because that matter is in the domain of the Federal Communications Commission.

This seems like the next logical step.  Can we harden the planes against cell phones?  Maybe one thing at a time.

Is Google Glass a Distraction?

I ran into this article just recently:

Los Angeles Times: Driver cited for wearing Google Glass may be first in California

I haven’t researched it at all, but it doesn’t make sense to me.  Maybe there was more to the citation than just the fact the she was wearing the glasses.  Maybe she was driving recklessly or showing signs of distraction.

To me, I would think that looking at a paper map and trying to fold it correctly would be more distraction than using a digital map with a GPS.  I would think that looking at Google Glass would be less distraction even than a GPS device because it would be less distance from the road where the driver should be looking.  With that logic, I don’t think using Google Glass and driving should necessarily be discouraged.

The article cited “California Vehicle Code 27602 that makes it illegal to ‘drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.'”

I think that law would be hard to enforce.  Where does a GPS device fit into that?  Are we not allowed to drive with digital maps?  I don’t know about California police cars, but the Florida police cars I have seen have laptops mounted in the front seat.  Those can produce  “entertainment”, and they are surely designed for “business applications”.

I my opinion, legislating that a driver not get distracted is very difficult to do.  I think  we have to call on each person’s integrity to drive in a safe manner.  As portable electronics get more and more popular, this personal integrity is going to get more and more important.