Re: The Secret Diary of TRAVELMAN: the Sequel

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 5 Jul 1999 12:16:30 -0400

>Curiously enough, this sprang immediately to mind on this past week's
>trip to Austin on Delta. On all four legs (Raleigh-Durham/Atlanta/
>Ausit and reverse) the F/As pointedly said that cellphones *could* be
>used as long as the loading hatch (!) was open, but then must
>"be put in the 'off' position." (Turned off I can see, but what's
>the 'off position' for an entire device?)
>I was careful not to question, nor mention your name, Rohit; I
>didn't want to chance being evicted. :->

Austin.. and you 1. Didn't egg Dan Connolly's house :-) and 2) didn't
look up Gordon Irlam ? :-)

In fact, the precise FAA regs, which I presume everyone knows, which
is why I was lampoon ing the captain's hysteria. To wit: phones and
other emitters can be used on board anytime the cabin door is open
andthe plane is stationary (hopefully a joint invariant!) AND any
time the plane is stationary on a taxiway... the first is Generally
Accepted, but varies by crew-of-the-day; the latter requires
brandishing the FAA regs, which I'm not online to look up this second.

Answer: use the lavs. You can't sneak a smoke,but Federal law doesn't
prohibit the destruction of cellphone detectors...

Answer 2: Jim, as a practicing EE, passed along a cover story from
IEEE Spectrum on inflight RF issues from, oh, two years ago. It's
nothing quite so simple as "RF waveguide" -- the best guess was a
preventative paranoia. And it's not the power so much as the
frequencies: a PIII can put out more RF, improperly shielded, than a
300 mW cellphone.

More radio ettiquette rules in the GPS faq database... is the delorme
hypergps really a good buy at $99 or whatever they were blowing them
out at Comp USA this weekend?