Nick Bilton of the New York Times on personal electronics on airplanes:
New technologies are often greeted with fear and that is certainly true of a disruptive technology like cellphones. Yet rules that are decades old persist without evidence to support the idea that someone reading an e-book or playing a video game during takeoff or landing is jeopardizing safety.
Although I am sure this could be easily confirmed, I don’t think it has much to do with interference as it does with other safety-related things. I am pretty sure that most emergencies happen either just after takeoff or just before landing, and people having laptops, iPads and iPhones out could just get in the way.
Part of my reason for thinking this, is that on a recent trip the airline I flew was very inconsistent with when they had us turn off devices. On the outgoing trip we had to turn off electronics like 25 minutes before we landed, while on the way back it was almost less than five. It’s possible they just forgot, but it’s also possible the this no longer has anything to do with electronic interference.
(via Ben Brooks)