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General Chat Thread, Kindle or Alternative? in General; Originally Posted by sonofsanta That's just daft. Once the Wifi is off (fair enough) an idle Kindle is doing nothing ...
  1. #46

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    That's just daft. Once the Wifi is off (fair enough) an idle Kindle is doing nothing at all, and even when turning pages it's probably putting out less current than the nervous person shuffling in their seat and building up static. Talk about knee-jerk reaction...
    On one flight I did ask why and was told that the devices are dangerous and they cause interference. I pointed out that this is not true of all devices and the correct answer (which I had been given by a pilot for said airline) was that because the airline say I *have* to turn it off.

    If I don't like it I can use other airlines but if they say turn it off then I have to. The real reason can be a mixture of reasons ranging from devices flying round the cabin if there is an accident at take off (minimal), risk of interference (minimal), a chance that the device could send a signal to explode a device (minimal), that the device is just tacky and doesn't meet the high standards of devices which should be seen on a plane run by said airline (it was FleasyJet so that *definitely* holds no weight there but apparently does get a mention with other high-class firms) ... but the straight answer of "because we say so" is a simple one ... and I would rather they are just honest instead of trying to justify poor understanding of pseudo-science.

  2. #47
    salan's Avatar
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    I get the impression that in the US, they do not have any such rules. I often speak to people using their laptops etc in a flight.
    What are the rules in the US?
    If that is so why are our planes so differant?
    Alan

  3. #48
    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    devices flying round the cabin if there is an accident at take off
    But things flying around the cabin during the flight is fine? I've been on some very rough flights, and things can get knocked around at any time, not just take off

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    risk of interference (minimal)
    Surely shielding whatever I might interfere with would be safer, that way you are protected against people forgetting about / intentionally hiding a device which is causing interference.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    the device could send a signal to explode a device (minimal)
    So the terrorist just waits until the plane is fully up and then triggers an explosion, not seeing the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    that the device is just tacky and doesn't meet the high standards of devices which should be seen on a plane run by said airline (it was FleasyJet so that *definitely* holds no weight there but apparently does get a mention with other high-class firms)
    Do these high-class firms also impose a dress code?!

    Sorry Tony, but the only one of those reasons which I think holds any weight at all is the interference, and even that seems dubious to me.

  4. #49

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Sorry Tony, but the only one of those reasons which I think holds any weight at all is the interference, and even that seems dubious to me.
    I never said they made sense ... it is just a list of few things from the *many* reasons why they not allowed at take off. The RAF have a good list of things IIRC along with a breakdown of the associated risk and most are negligible ... it is only when you add them together does it become a concern ... so the safest option is a blanket "not during take off" rule which is taken by most firms.

    As for things flying around in the event of an accident ... said friend did turn round and point out that he doesn't really care ... he is in the cockpit and the only people affected by things flying about would be passengers and the hired help (his phrase) ... and no great loss!

  5. #50
    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I never said they made sense ... it is just a list of few things from the *many* reasons why they not allowed at take off.
    But if those reasons don't make sense, then people will ignore them. Generally speaking, people follow rules they understand, and often ignore the ones they don't understand, or see being broken without consequence (for example, I've seen lots of people using mobile phones in hospitals, and never once have I seen any of the nearby electrical equipment malfunction as a result). If there is a good reason to ban the use of electrical equipment during take-off and landing - that isn't equally applicable mid-flight - I think airlines should explain that. If they can't give such a reason, that could suggest that it doesn't exist...

  6. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    But if those reasons don't make sense, then people will ignore them. Generally speaking, people follow rules they understand, and often ignore the ones they don't understand, or see being broken without consequence (for example, I've seen lots of people using mobile phones in hospitals, and never once have I seen any of the nearby electrical equipment malfunction as a result). If there is a good reason to ban the use of electrical equipment during take-off and landing - that isn't equally applicable mid-flight - I think airlines should explain that. If they can't give such a reason, that could suggest that it doesn't exist...
    Some of it is about risk management ... there could be a risk and both the probability and the impact (i.e. the interference of the instruments / electronics) could be negligible and that is fine on its own ... but multiply that by x number of devices and the probability could increase, and the impact could too ... and then add the other associated risks to it and the cumulative risk means that it is not worth it.

    The problem with trying to explain this to passengers is that you then have to talk about each risk individually and then tot it all up. The airlines are saying "trust us ... you trust us to power several tons of metal and fuel into the air with you inside it ... so give us a break!"

    The fact that many of the risks can be dealt with in other ways is almost incidental. When a plane is taking off it uses certain instrumentation and, in general, FAA reckon that this is more of a risk than during flight. The highlighted risks are mainly with devices which are intentional transmitters and you could easily argue that even in flight mode there is a risk that the device you have in your bag could have an issue and although it tells you that it is in flight mode it might not be ... so turn it off to be safe. in the same way we tell kids to turn their phone off during the exam and not just to silent. You reduce the risk by saying 'turn it off'.

    The instruction to passengers at take off and landing is usually to stow all bags, put all objects in the restraining pockets and to put up your food tray ... so there is already a standing in striation to reduce the chance of things flying around ... it is just applied to devices as well.

    There is likely to be a lot of things which we think is pointless with it, but the airline says "trust us ... but do as you are told" also comes, to some extant, from FAA / CAA / various bodies ... and in the same way some of the aviation authorities said not to fly during the ash cloud problem we had airlines wanting to take risks ... but the aviation authorities said no ... trust us. To the general passenger ... it doesn't always make sense.

  7. #52

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    I bought the 3g one as it has free worldwide 3g forever, so I don't need to buy data for my smartphone. I couldn't find a case that seemed like it would protect the screen from crushing, so modded an old plastic computer game box from 1988 or so. Only use it to put it in my bag. I use calibre to download rss feeds and email them to the kindle via wifi for free, so in the morning I get to read about 10 blogs. I email word files to it with the Convert subject line and they turn out quite well. Bought my mother one, father wants one at some point too.

    Haven't noticed any other readers with page turn buttons on both sides, essential really.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Probably true, however it is easier to have a blanket ban on all electrical devices than to start defining which ones you can and cannot use. This is all assuming of course that electrical items actually have any effect at all on a plane, and if they do, why someone hasn't done something about that!
    And god forbid you have a pacemaker.

    You can use any electrical device (unless you've got a white radio noise emitter stashed away). The 'interference' is a myth. If it were genuine, the amount of electrical charge in the atmosphere, constant bombardment by radio waves of all kinds, cosmic rays and similar would be causing much more serious problems than a piddling little wifi connection. It's from the same realm of thought as those who think wifi can cause headaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    On one flight I did ask why and was told that the devices are dangerous and they cause interference. I pointed out that this is not true of all devices and the correct answer (which I had been given by a pilot for said airline) was that because the airline say I *have* to turn it off.
    Yep, the second bit of that is the correct answer. The first bit not so much. Yes, there is a degree of interference very, very close to the devices, but even the most minimal of shielding will prevent this. You'll notice it in audio because speaker wires are generally poorly shielded - while aerials generally aren't shielded at all (it would kind of defeat the object), but even in Cat5e you won't get noticeable interference with a few hundred mobile phones piled on top.

    If I don't like it I can use other airlines but if they say turn it off then I have to. The real reason can be a mixture of reasons ranging from devices flying round the cabin if there is an accident at take off (minimal), risk of interference (minimal), a chance that the device could send a signal to explode a device (minimal), that the device is just tacky and doesn't meet the high standards of devices which should be seen on a plane run by said airline (it was FleasyJet so that *definitely* holds no weight there but apparently does get a mention with other high-class firms) ... but the straight answer of "because we say so" is a simple one ... and I would rather they are just honest instead of trying to justify poor understanding of pseudo-science.
    The problem is that the genuine reason is usually poor understanding of pseudo-science. It's like mobile phones at garages. The initial fear was that a phone could generate inductance in the pumps, causing a spark and igniting them. This is obviously nonsense. However, in theory a phone could be dropped in such a way that it would short, and potentially cause a small spark.

    Of course the fact that cars made of metal, with potentially huge static electric charges, and using an internal combustion engine (the clues in the name) which is reignited inside the petrol station, after pumping petrol, does not seem to occur as a risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Some of it is about risk management ... there could be a risk and both the probability and the impact (i.e. the interference of the instruments / electronics) could be negligible and that is fine on its own ... but multiply that by x number of devices and the probability could increase, and the impact could too ... and then add the other associated risks to it and the cumulative risk means that it is not worth it.
    It's about a misunderstanding of risk management though. Flawed understanding and use of statistics is extremely dangerous in the hands of those who can pass legislation.

    The problem with trying to explain this to passengers is that you then have to talk about each risk individually and then tot it all up. The airlines are saying "trust us ... you trust us to power several tons of metal and fuel into the air with you inside it ... so give us a break!"
    The airlines are saying 'we don't have a clue about risk management, or radio interference, and we've consistently ignored advice and studies showing that there are no effects, but we're flying you about so just put on your tinfoil hat and smile - and if you want to use that Kindle it's a 1/min charge'.

    The fact that many of the risks can be dealt with in other ways is almost incidental. When a plane is taking off it uses certain instrumentation and, in general, FAA reckon that this is more of a risk than during flight. The highlighted risks are mainly with devices which are intentional transmitters and you could easily argue that even in flight mode there is a risk that the device you have in your bag could have an issue and although it tells you that it is in flight mode it might not be ... so turn it off to be safe. in the same way we tell kids to turn their phone off during the exam and not just to silent. You reduce the risk by saying 'turn it off'.
    Simply put the evidence is now so overwhelming that these rules are pointless (as far as I'm aware there's yet to be a single incident attributed to a mobile phone, and I think we can be fairly sure that a large number of people don't bother turning theirs off) that the FAA would better their case by simply saying 'we don't want them switched on, it's noisy'. At least then it would make sense.

    There is likely to be a lot of things which we think is pointless with it, but the airline says "trust us ... but do as you are told" also comes, to some extant, from FAA / CAA / various bodies ... and in the same way some of the aviation authorities said not to fly during the ash cloud problem we had airlines wanting to take risks ... but the aviation authorities said no ... trust us. To the general passenger ... it doesn't always make sense.
    The ash cloud was a known, substantial risk. Similar ash clouds have come close to killing people before and caused severe damage to planes. The two situations aren't really in the same league.

  9. #54


    tom_newton's Avatar
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    As to worldwide 3g - nothing beats downloading the uk times in the middle of the mara while on safari. Coverage is REALLY good - cant think of anywhere i have been with no coverage.

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    I have an iPad and a Kindle. Kindle for reading anyday! Its what its designed for, the battery lasts for ever and the book selection is vast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    This is all assuming of course that electrical items actually have any effect at all on a plane
    I think it's the same as mobile phones in hospitals. There is no legitimate issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The instruction to passengers at take off and landing is usually to stow all bags, put all objects in the restraining pockets and to put up your food tray ... so there is already a standing in striation to reduce the chance of things flying around ... it is just applied to devices as well.
    But my hardback copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare is just fine flying around the cabin during take-off...

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    Ok, back on topic... Anyone used the case from Currys? They currently have an offer for a Kindle & free case and wondered if it was worth a punt as I was about to order my kindle today. Might pop into Currys instead if the case is ok as I dont want to be paying a lot for a case anyway.

  14. #59

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    Ok, back on topic... Anyone used the case from Currys? They currently have an offer for a Kindle & free case and wondered if it was worth a punt as I was about to order my kindle today. Might pop into Currys instead if the case is ok as I dont want to be paying a lot for a case anyway.
    The design is very similar to the Tesco one I've got, but canvas rather than leather and lacking the clip for the cover - which may actually be annoying as you won't be able to clip it back behind your Kindle when reading, you'll have to hold it instead.

  15. Thanks to sonofsanta from:

    penfold (16th March 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    There's a thought - will eReaders be the death of charity second-hand bookshops?
    Never. I collect a lot of local history and travel books, particularly old ones from the turn of the 20th century. These kind of things will never make it to the Kindle, along with millions of other out of print books.

    As for cases, I can highly recommend this:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/110764986935
    Last edited by Gibbo; 16th March 2012 at 12:42 PM.

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