Most of us have been told that a Kindle needs to be turned off because it might interfere with the airplanes electronics. While it's true that all electrical gadgets cause some measurable amount of interference, in most cases it is too small to have any effect.
The NYT hired a Calif based firm to run a Kindle through their standard battery of tests. EMT Labs is an expert in this niche, and they have tested any number of gadgets over the years. According to their report, the Kindle hardly emitted enough interference to measure, much less affect an airplane.
According to EMT Labs, a gadget needs to emit less than 100 volts of electromagnetic noise in order to be allowed on an airplane. The Kindle was measured at around 30 microvolts, or 0.00003 volts.
But does that really come as a surprise? Their testing confirmed what most had already figured out. After all, how many of us have ignored that rule over the years? I've ignored it every time I could get away with it, and I've never seen anything happen.
And before you get upset with my breaking the rules, let me point out the obvious. Flight attendants don't make us do anything more than put it in sleep mode. They don't actually make us turn it off. Almost every ebook reader is still running while in sleep mode, and this is doubly true for the Kindle. If you don't explicitly disable the Kindle's 3G connection, it will continue to upload and download data while asleep.
My point is that the rule is proved pointless on a daily basis. Even though passengers comply with it, they still inadvertently break the rule.
Now if only we could get the FAA to change their rules. Unfortunately, this is a govt bureaucracy we're talking about here, so that's going to happen anytime soon.
via New York Times
image by Kevin.Fai