FAA Changing Gadget Rule

It seems I have been complaining for years about the silly requirement of turning off our mobile devices at landing and take off of airplanes. Good news may be just around the corner because we will eventually be able to continue using our mobile devices on takeoff and landing, according to the FAA. The American government organization overseeing air travel today announced that travelers won’t face regulations that are as strict as we have been accustomed to when it comes to electronics on planes.

However this does not mean you can continue playing Candy Crush or in my case Mahjong while waiting for your takeoff just yet. The roll out and specifics of the changes will vary depending on each airline since there are differences between types of planes and how things are run at each different carrier, but the FAA anticipates that most will allow passengers to use their mobile devices “in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.”

Passengers can use e-book readers, play games and watch videos on devices, and can hold gadgets during both take-off and landing, or else stow them in the seatback pocket. These gadgets need to be in Airplane Mode or have cell service turned off during both landing and taxi/take-off, but you can actually use Wi-Fi during your flight and continue to use Bluetooth accessories connected to your phone.

Soon I will be able to finish watching Star Trek as the plane lands!

My personal  belief on this long time rule is that the FAA simply wanted the passengers to pay attention during take off and landing and that no iPhone has the ability to take down a airplane. I am glad that finally this out dated and unnecessary regulation is about to end. Do you know how many times I had about 10 minutes left on my Star Trek episode when the announcement is made to turn off all electronic devices and my wife starts hitting me in the arm repeatability saying “Turn it off Bill!” 

I will talk about “airplane mode” in more detail in a future article.

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Wireless @ Work

OK as I have been suggesting and predicting for almost a year know tablets are going to eventually take over the computing word. They have already begun this take over in the consumer market. You could see this when it was reported that for the first time in a decade computer sales actually fell this holiday season. However the biggest hurdle for tablets is going to be in the professional market. This will happen eventually as well, it will just take a bit more time. With each new innovation in software and hardware development we are inching closer to a tablet dominated workplace. I am not talking ipads here folks. Windows 8 tablets will probably be the winner here.

An example of this trend is my ongoing effort to find new and exciting ways of getting our work done…. at work. Access to work files and programs will eventually be available wherever we go. Today this vision is beginning to come true.

Through a secure wireless network with AD sync here you can see I am running one of our programs on a Windows 8 tablet.

It’s not perfect yet – but yes I have this network application running on a Windows 8 Tablet!

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Watch Out For What You Wish For

Yesterday I was discussing the pending launch of the I-Phone on the Verizon Wireless network with my college age son. Kevin said something about this possibility that actually made me sit back and think if this was such a good idea after all. When the I-Phone becomes available (and it will, eventually) on the Verizon Wireless Network what will that mean to competition among developers such as Apple, Android and Microsoft? If the I-Phone explodes on the Verizon network will Android and Microsoft’s marketshare be hurt so badly that developing and improving mobile software will suffer? It’s a good question that my son made me think about.

This reminds me of an old episode of Star Trek when Spock remarks to a fellow Vulcan who was basically having an affair with his wife (yes Spock was married at one point) that he could have his wife saying, “You can have her, she is all yours, but you may find that HAVING is not always as pleasing a thing as WANTING”. Spock was of course right about that, and I only hope that if and when the I-phone becomes available on Verizon Wireless that the mobile market continues to thrive with competetion and does not turn into a one trick pony. That would be really boring.

Bonus Video!

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