Why cell phones are still grounded

The US government's reasoning for banning cell phones in aeroplanes is 'weak, lame and evasive'

What's wrong with the ban?

The US government's reasoning for banning cell phones in aeroplanes is weak, lame and evasive.

Don't buy the government's bull about electronic interference. The truth is that the ban is cheaper and easier for airlines, carriers and the government than mustering the political will and leadership to make in-flight cell calls a reality.

Here's another problem with the government's abdication of responsibility on this question: Either phones and other gadgets can crash aerolanes or they can't. If they can, then we've got a serious problem on our hands, and aeroplanes need to be upgraded to protect the public safety.

What's to stop terrorists from testing various gadgets, finding the ones with the highest levels of interferences, then turning on dozens of them at some crucial phase of flight, such as during a landing in bad weather?

If gadgets can't crash planes, then the ban is costing billions of hours per year of lost productivity by business people who want to work in flight.

For the government to avoid knowing the answer is incredibly irresponsible.

Clearly, using cell phones is a public benefit, not to mention a business benefit. Shouldn't the airlines and the regulatory agencies figure out how to make that happen?

We can put a man on the moon -- and let him chat with his friends in Houston for the whole trip. Surely, we can solve the problems associated with in-flight cell calls.

Mike Elgan is a technology writer and former editor of Windows Magazine. He can be reached at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog: http://therawfeed.com.

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