Today we give a hearty thank you to the FAA, for finally changing stance on their 1991 ban of electronics during flights. Personally, I never turn my devices off, knowing the silliness of the ban. Years ago, I used to do quite a bit of backcountry flying with friends, and as pilots, they were convinced the reason for the ban was because of cell phone providers. Back then, when your phone was airborne high above the towers, making a call would supposedly ping multiple towers – the transmission clogging up more bandwidth than necessary. The ban certainly wasn’t because the device would screw up the Loran. Back then; I enjoyed my Newton, Palm Pilot and Sony Clie devices at 10,000 feet. More afraid of a mountain storm than interference of electronics.
With all that now behind us, we get to join 139 other countries that have never had a ban on devices on planes. Amazon has a great tie-in offer for a 15% discount on Kindles to celebrate the new freedom, with their “ThnksFAA” code used at checkout.
It makes you realize though, how much it takes to make the smallest things change. 20 years for an unfounded ban. With that math, the rest of the country’s issues will take 1000 years to change. So let’s celebrate the innovators who are speeding up progress. Like GE and Quirky, who are opening up thousands of patents to crowdsource new inventions. Or Launch, with a $1 Million plus hackathon to find the next startups to fund.
We want to hear from you. Comment below with your opinion regarding the newly lifted ban, or let us know other impractical rules you feel the country could do without.
-James Rice, Digital Strategy