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Thread: Cell phones on airplanes, should we?

  1. #1 Cell phones on airplanes, should we? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    So in the US they are trying to lift bans to allow people to use certain cell phones on flights. The question I have to ask is should we. I for one will be royally pissed off if I have to listen to some dumb ass talking on his or her cell phone during a flight. People tend to be loud and annoying during calls with no respect at all for those around them. Most people don't use the in flight phones now because of the cost, if they can use their cells they will do so to help pass the time.

    So what do you think?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I feel they shouldn't allow the use of cell phones for they have batteries in them, as do laptops I know, that could be used to detonate a explosive device.


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  4. #3  
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    People should study books in informal logics! Whenever they can!
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore cleft's Avatar
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    Personally I think it should be just like in movies and in restuarants. That common curtiosity should prevail and the use either be denied or at best a cell phone user should go outside to make or recieve a call. Since going outside isn't an option on a plane, cell phones should be prohibited on flights.
    "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
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  6. #5  
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    It was interesting when the prohibition was predicated on nonsense about interfering with an airliner's navigation. I use cell phones in my planes (small ones often, and have surreptitiously on airliners. I have had experienced minor audio interference once with an intercom system, but I also know about the shielding and redundancies of the GPS, inertial, and VHF nav abourd the airliners.

    At higher altitudes, around 5,000 feet or more, I rarely get cell phone to work well lately in small planes. A few years back, I used them at 20-30k' without much problem. Now, the phone seems to often reject all signals, or be unable to stay stable on one when up high.

    Aboard an airliner, surrounded by so much aluminum, cell phones are dodgy even on the ground as the aircraft taxis- the windows are not as generous, and unless several cell towers are close it's hard to keep any signal. So I doubt that even when the "interference" nonsense and protectionism for seatback inflight phones is all debunked, that cell phones impractical aboard the big buses.

    On your own plane, it is not difficult to run some coax to a convenient fairing in a metal bird, and hide an external antenna (or just bare coax) there. If your airworthiness inspector doesn't agree, well take it out for annual inspections. It's also relatively simple to wire the phone into the airplane's intercom to make talking with headsets easier, and also employ noise-filtering headset mikes on the phone input.

    Slowly the internet is coming to the cockpit, but so far only through expensive subscriptions. When the internet becomes cockpit -accessible, it will enhance safety considerably, because the ground-based radar imagery available in near real-time online far surpasses anything the airlines have. One company innovating along these lines is using cell technology for the (slow) uplink. Of course if we only had more imaginative national leadership, we could have omnipresent national wireless broadband benefiting all as public infrastructure for less than the price of, say, a month of colonial warfare in Iraq. Oh, well.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Sophomore vslayer's Avatar
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    you want to ban cellphones because they have batteries?, i can make a taser out of an ordinary camera in less than 10mins with nothing but my hands and teeth. plus if i could stuff the film canister with plastic explosive i wolud be able to bring down a plane with a bang, rather than risk a foiled hijacking
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  8. #7  
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    Exactly. And with a cheap GPS integrated, you can bring it down anywhere along the airliner's routine flight path that you want.

    There is a powerful popular delusion that government can and must protect from mayhem in a technologically-advanced society. But we will always be vulnerable to nasty improvisations of technology, and the sooner we face up to reality the sooner we will stop inanely wasting immense resources and time, and the sooner we will openly recognize international and intercultural flashpoints, and make each other safer and more prosperous.

    The real enemy are the manipulators of government who wish to reinforce the notion that security comes from the might and vigilance of the state. Security comes from coexisting profitably with the surrounding environment. The USA is expanding into soviet-style, even byzantine intelligence and defense structures that will overburden the economy even as the results confound the understanding of the media-opiated general public. Even as vast wealth is being concentrated into corporate structures more powerful in every way than most countries, a generation destined for less opportunity than the one before is being programmed to trust the mighty.

    On the present trajectory, events will reach a point where "terrorist" tactics, or popular implementation of disruptive applications of common technology will turn the tables of history again, to rebuke the centralization of power and wealth, and reverse the brainwashing of millions as sheep.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    On the present trajectory, events will reach a point where "terrorist" tactics, or popular implementation of disruptive applications of common technology will turn the tables of history again, to rebuke the centralization of power and wealth, and reverse the brainwashing of millions as sheep.
    Only to be brainwashed again by another idioligy. The terrorists are themselves brainwashed. Religion is the enemy to the world. The only thing that can begin to save us is the truth, the real truth not some prophecy.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I'd think that in a few more years we will relax all the security that we have established. I believe the security was streaghtened to bolster the peoples confidence that measures were being taken to better insure their travels safety. Psychologically speaking it has helped to reduce peoples fears I believe.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman poly_nightmare's Avatar
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    How good of a signal can you get at 30,000 feet? The last thing you need is for someone to be talking on a 6 hour flight non-stop.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Keep them off unless it's a emergancy.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Banning their use is a good idea I think. For one, to make sure they are safe would require each and every make and model of cellphone to be tested against every aircraft's electronics. That sounds costly and time consuming.

    It has already been mentioned that they don't work so well in aeroplanes, as a full metal skin around you is rather like a a Faraday cage, meaning cellphones will up their transmission power to reach a base station (they are clever little devices, only using as much power as needed) so you'll be pumping lots of energy through your head, and a lot of it will get reflected back at you, double whammy dose..

    Of course, this signal may interfere with avionics, esp as it will be full strength. I'd rather get where I'm going safely, than have the ability to make a call.

    Do you want to sit next to someone who makes/takes calls constantly throughout the flight? I like to sleep on long flights, and getting woken up by cellphones every now and again would really piss me off.

    I largely travel on aeroplanes for pleasure, so turning my cellphone off is not a big issue. In fact, being non contactable for a while underlines what holidays are about.

    Lastly, we managed to live our lives without constant access to cell phones. so it's pretty sad if we can't do without them for a few hours.
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  14. #13  
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    Surely cell phones on aircraft is bad, they can interfere with the aircrafts electronics, and the main problem is, it would cause mayhem for astronomers, they wouldn't be able to receive any signals from space with all of the radiowaves flying around????
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  15. #14  
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    If you think about it, Spenna, you will understand that the geometry of ground signals sources, and the total noise isn't significantly different adding sources from the lower stratosphere, when you consider the scale of things (5 miles high vs. 25,000 miles around) and considering atmospheric skip. Also considering the many wireless things we are increasingly doing, the back side of Luna seems the most obvious place to go to listen keenly. But again thinking on the scale of things, light-speed communications is a terrible way to listen across that incomprehensibly vast ocean of space up there. Instead, we should be watching for quantum-particle streams that we have already demonstrated can communicate instantaneous signals regardless of distance. ETIs who haven't figured that out yet would seem to have little to teach us in the way of communications technology.

    But we do have so much to learn, and the misinformation in the major media isn't helping to clear things up for most of us. As I already mentioned, the networks seem to increasingly reject serving a cellphone with a broader footprint, so there is a systemic shutout of high-altitude cell phones.

    It should be some comfort to realize that no airliner is droning along solely dependent on one narrow spectrum of navigation signals. Most larger airliners -in addition to having multiple-band signals sources- continuously use inertial nav (INS), which is completely immune to any rf interference, unless you are considering circuit-frying lpulse weapons or the effects of a nuclear blast.

    As I related in an earlier post I've personally used cell phones in flight. I've used them routinely and in much closer proximity to all the hardware than is possible on an airliner, aboard light aircraft. It is reasonable to assume that small aircraft have inferior shielding and filtering in their avionics as compared to airliner equipment. Regardless, I use the very same navigational signals that the lumbering sky-buses use. Yet I have never experienced any interference whatsoever with GPS, VHF, or AM-band navigation equipment.

    The FCC and their international counterparts have long set aside radio bands, and portions thereof, for special uses like this. If a popular commercial product was interfering in any way with the sanctity of critical bandspace, then you can be sure they would be acting on it. And with the thousands of cell phones that are left on right now and always within the holds and luggage bins of airliners (intentionally or not) you can be certain that some ill effects would have been noted by now.

    I think we have an example here of the manipulation of ignorance and unfamiliarity with technology by authorities, and the likely manipulation of those authorities by corporate interests who are acting not a little bit underhandedly in order to keep controls on communications technology that would otherwise be leaping ahead much more beneficially- and these controls are all about short- and near-term profit. But inexorably, we are moving into an age of cheap, universal, global, and instantaneous communication, regardless of how strenuously a few try to confuse the public, keep a damper on progress, and keep their fingers in our pockets.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Sophomore Elbethil's Avatar
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    Keep 'em banned. Yappy cell phone enthusiasts annoy me, and I wouldn't want to sit beside one on a flight.
    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams
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  17. #16  
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    If you are appealing purely to etiquette Elbehil, then you must also consider the many other contexts in which people converse with persons not physically present, or generate annoying sounds, smells, and sights. However offensive they may be, I don't think that Federal Air Regulations, or any federal lawmaking, are the proper instruments for regulating personal behavior to this extent.

    A compulsion to rely on government for the regulation of basic social behaviors like commmunicating (situations well-adjusted adults are by definition capable of handling competently) is a socially corrosive compulsion: If popular enough, demand for the intervention of authorities in our most simple human interactions is a sociopathy surely leading toward a sick Orwellian society.

    If people as a nation trend toward litigation and legislation of our every challenging interaction, and if succeeding in passing responsibility we allow our personal negotiating skills, diplomacy, and appeals to courtesy to atrophy, then our social devolution will likely herald a most disagreeable future for us all.

    We should have all learned this in primary school. Did you feel an uncontrollable urge to report annoying but minor infractions of your fellow students to the faculty, demanding enforcement? Or did you gain the ability to work things out personally among your peers?

    Provided first that one is sufficiently mature socially as to feel among one's peers in most any crowd, then there are endless creative and effective ways for people to cooperate in limiting and modiying annoying behavior. I find that a direct, firm, but polite approach usually works. So please stand up and speak for yourself in annoying social situations, and desist from appealing to authority for bannings and such. Thank you.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Junior Cottontop3000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbethil
    Keep 'em banned. Yappy cell phone enthusiasts annoy me, and I wouldn't want to sit beside one on a flight.
    DITTO!
    Death Beckons
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  19. #18  
    Forum Sophomore Elbethil's Avatar
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    Hypewaders, although I can understand your argument, I respectfully find myself unable to agree with most of it.

    I would love to live in a world where people are mature and responsible on their own. But that's naïvety. Realistically, people suck.

    So please stand up and speak for yourself in annoying social situations, and desist from appealing to authority for bannings and such.
    I do that already. But tackling a problem as it comes, especially if it occurs repetitively, is not enough - prevention is the key.

    Truly, I don't see cell phones in an airplane setting as being a major issue. It harms no one. A minor annoyance, that is all that it really is for me.

    Now, something like people talking on cell phones as they drive is something that I really would want to see legislation against. Those drivers are apparently putting others at risk. :?
    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams
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