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I’ve wondered why…

… electronic devices like cell phones and Kindles are considered to be at the same threat level as a over-sized bottle of perfume, or an explosive thinga-ma-jiggy, and now the FAA is wondering the same.

Dealing with the F.A.A. on this topic is like arguing with a stubborn teenager. The agency has no proof that electronic devices can harm a plane’s avionics, but it still perpetuates such claims, spreading irrational fear among millions of fliers.

A year ago, when I first asked Les Dorr, a spokesman for the F.A.A., why the rule existed, he said the agency was being cautious because there was no proof that device use was completely safe. He also said it was because passengers needed to pay attention during takeoff.

When I asked why I can read a printed book but not a digital one, the agency changed its reasoning. I was told by another F.A.A. representative that it was because an iPad or Kindle could put out enough electromagnetic emissions to disrupt the flight. Yet a few weeks later, the F.A.A. proudly announced that pilots could now use iPads in the cockpit instead of paper flight manuals.

The F.A.A. then told me that “two iPads are very different than 200.” But experts at EMT Labs, an independent testing facility in Mountain View, Calif., say there isno difference in radio output between two iPads and 200. “Electromagnetic energy doesn’t add up like that,” said Kevin Bothmann, the EMT Labs testing manager.

It’s not a matter of a flying device hitting another passenger, either. Kindles weigh less than six ounces; Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs weighs 2.1 pounds in hardcover. I’d rather be hit in the head by an iPad Mini than a 650-page book.

In October, after months of pressure from the public and the news media, the F.A.A. finally said it would begin a review of its policies on electronic devices in all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing. But the agency does not have a set time frame for announcing its findings.

Here in Canada, (I think) it is the Transportation Safety Board that is responsible for these seemingly archaic rules. Will they undertake to review their own regs on this?

Also, can someone prove me wrong and point to a recent airline incident that is attributable to someone playing Angry Birds?


Speaking of peeps…

… with time on their hands…

I just don’t see the point of having to have the latest and “greatest” as soon as available…



George Orwell’s 1984…

… was supposed to be a warning about police states.

Not an instruction manual on how to set one up!

The Canadian Border Services Agency told The Ottawa Citizen that unidentified sites at airports and borders are already equipped with audio-video monitoring to boost security. The audio technology, though installed, is not recording just yet.

“It will become functional at a later date,” a CBSA spokesman said.

When it does, the technology “will record conversations,” a CBSA said in a statement to The Ottawa Citizen.

Man… this is scary. Exactly how far is too far?

Why stop at airports? Why not malls? Buses? Coffee shops?



Obama goes ahead with a privacy…

…Bill of Rights in the States while here in Canada? Well, Vic wants to see it all!

This is all about the consumer’s rights to privacy. The American legislation proposes a “do not track” option that would allow internet users to easily control which sites are permitted to collect personal information. It would effectively limit the monitoring capability of giants like Facebook and Google and provide for legal remedies in the case of violations.

The White House on Thursday proposed a “bill of rights” that would give consumers greater online privacy protection and could eventually give the government greater powers to police Internet firms such as Google Inc and Facebook.

While the privacy bill of rights does not impose any immediate new obligations on online companies, President Barack Obama said it was part of a broader plan to give Americans more control over how their personal data was used on the Internet.

“American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online,” said Obama.

“As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy. That’s why an online privacy Bill of Rights is so important.”

Internet giants such as Google and Facebook have been accused of quietly tracking their customers’ online activities and then using that data to generate advertising revenue

Meanwhile, here in the Great White InterWeb, the political will to do something likewise is definitely not there and in fact is diametrically opposed to the feeling in the States that unwarranted access to private information is, in fact, unwarranted.

Amazingly, our Privacy Commissioners are ahead of the wave… too bad the Feds won’t listen.

In other news…the Crocs folks are expanding their product line. Woo hoo!

Niwot, CO, United States (AHN) – Crocs, the maker of the popular clunky, multicolored, bright, foam clogs, is expanding its brand to include accessories, eyewear and apparel.

The Niwot, Colorado, based company is launching a line of Crocs-branded accessories, which include hats, bags, backpacks, socks and gloves.

Paramount, a sports licensee, is selling collegiate and Major League Baseball licensed footwear for the iconic Crocs brand.

The Crocs brand will branch out into children’s apparel, set to launch in April, through an agreement with A Group.

Goody. More ugliness.


I like this new app…



Easy sharing. Doesn’t crash as often on my “old” 3s. And has some neat effect options.


If you are going to have on-line registration…

… for a summer camp, PLEASE ensure that your servers are up to the task!


Goodbye to the VCR…


… it was a long ride.

I remember my parents buying our first VCR. A big, hulking and noisy machine it was! And back in ’77 or so it likely cost about 2 grand or so!

But technology marches on and the tape world has been replaced by the digital world. Still… it’s a bit sad that generations from now forward won’t experience that cool feeling of pushing a cartridge into the machine…


Check out what my bro’ has been up to…

He’s living one of his dreams…

Cool. Gotta love technology sometimes!


I apologise in advance if you have a BlackBerry…

… well, sorta… it WAS your choice, after all…