backtop


Print 44 comment(s) - last by Zoomer.. on Oct 4 at 11:26 PM


ANA's special Pokémon jet sends Pikachu and friends flying  (Source: Wikipedia)
Wi-Fi-enabled gaming consoles banned from flying

Handheld systems such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable are very commonly seen on Japan’s mass transit systems. You won’t be seeing those portable consoles on Japanese airlines, however. They have been banned for airplane use according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It is now against the law to use onboard aircraft any device that is capable of any wireless transmission, which includes the latest handheld gaming systems and cordless computer accessories such as wireless mice.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport concluded that portable gaming systems emit electromagnetic waves that could potentially interfere with aircraft navigation and other systems.

Passengers will still be permitted to use gaming devices such as the Game Boy Advance, which features no wireless connectivity technology.

The report did not mention what the new law’s stance is on laptop computers, most of which have some form of Wi-Fi capabilities built-in. North American airlines current requests its passengers to disable all wireless functions of computers and phones while in-flight.

Although there is no way to temporarily disable all wireless activity on a Nintendo DS, all Sony PSP models feature a WLAN switch that prevents radio transmission. Should laptop computers with disabled wireless adapters be permitted for use in plane, then logically PSPs should also be allowed – though the law likely blankets all wireless-enabled gaming handhelds for the sake of simplicity.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Used to be minidiscs...
By audiomaniaca on 10/3/2007 8:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
Can't understand...

while some guys like Boeing promote in-flight wi-fi, others totally ban it.

What's the difference between a Singapore Airlines jet and a JAL or ANA one?




RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 8:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
Not totally sure - but i would imagine that the wi-fi does cause issues with navigation and other electronic devices that are crucial for flying.

I personally think if the airline wants to take that as a precaution, then im all for it. When im in an airplane, i want to be as safe as possible, and my life is in their hands.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By bighairycamel on 10/3/2007 9:28:53 AM , Rating: 3
For decades now, RF shielding technology has gotten more advanced, to the point now that RF interference is negligable on an aircraft. Every piece of electronics down to the wires themselves are RF shielded. Banning wireless devices is just one of those "better to be safe than sorry" measures. If you have a pinched wire where the shielding was broken that was missed during inspection, potentially a problem could arise, although unlikely.

Obviously some countries or companies take the "better to be safe than sorry" mentality as serious as possible.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By Fire404 on 10/3/2007 9:42:38 AM , Rating: 5
And surely if there's one time and place that you want a "better safe than sorry" mentality it's while you're cruising at 30,000 feet :)


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By Zoomer on 10/4/2007 11:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
No, the one place you really want to be safe than sorry is taking off at 100 feet.

At 30,000 feet, there's some room for error. At 100 feet? Good bye world.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By porkpie on 10/3/2007 11:00:48 AM , Rating: 4
> " Banning wireless devices is just one of those "better to be safe than sorry" measures"

No, its a "lets cover our ass and be annoying bureaucrats" measure. There have been lots of tests of WiFi on airplanes; it doesn't affect internal systems.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By FITCamaro on 10/3/2007 12:18:33 PM , Rating: 3
The "cover our ass part" is right. The "lets be annoying bureaucrats" part is wrong.

Of course an airline is going to cover their ass. They don't want to be sued if a plane goes down. This is a day and age where people sue for something being offensive to them(rather than just ignoring it, not watching it, or not listening to it). What do you think would happen if a plane went down and the determined cause was interference? Massive lawsuits for negligence.

And jee darn, you and/or your kid might actually have to read a book or just sit there and shut up for a few hours. I know its a challenge, but I'm sure he/she/you can pull it off.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By Polynikes on 10/3/2007 12:45:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And jee darn, you and/or your kid might actually have to read a book or just sit there and shut up for a few hours. I know its a challenge, but I'm sure he/she/you can pull it off.

You seem to be assuming he doesn't want to read. And implying he's lesser than you or others because of it. Condescension feels good, doesn't it?

Seems to me that he prefers the freedom to have the option to do one or the other. I bet he loves reading, but like most everyone else on the planet, he has other interests as well. Is listening to music such a low hobby in your mind? Because MP3 players are getting WiFi now, too.

Considering there's no evidence that wireless signals of any sort actually have any real impact on the jet's electronics, I fail to see why he's being unreasonable.

Heck, one time I even used my cell phone BEFORE WE LANDED and we didn't crash! I know, I'm crazy, but sometimes it takes crazy people like me to push the boundaries and affect change.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 12:51:09 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps its not solely due to the jets electronics. Wifi devices can easily transmit signals between them. For example, you can use one wifi device as a detonator.

Seems that your powers of reasoning are not improved by the benefit of hindsight.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By Polynikes on 10/3/2007 4:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if your powers of reasoning are so superior, please reason to me why wifi is such a threat. "Perhaps" isn't good enough.

While you're at it please show me some scientific research showing that the signals do in fact cause seriously problems with the planes' electronics. Because in the absence of any, I'm gonna go ahead and believe that there's no threat. I've seen countless WiFi devices operating simultaneously around electronic equipment of all types, and never have I seen any interference or strange behavior. There's a reason the FCC has EMI restrictions.

If you want to go on living your life like a frightened child, go ahead, but I for one won't be thinking "Hey, he's got a WiFi card in his laptop, it must be a bomb detonator!"


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By porkpie on 10/3/2007 3:09:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Of course an airline is going to cover their ass
Did you even read the article? It's the Japanese government taking action, not an airline.

quote:
And jee darn, you and/or your kid might actually have to read a book or just sit there and shut up for a few hours. I know its a challenge, but I'm sure he/she/you can pull it off.
Nice personal attack, but I've never taken a DS or a PSP on a flight. I don't even own one. That still doesn't make this law right. Its a tremendous step backwards. We should be giving air travelers more options while in flight, not less.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By Brockway on 10/3/2007 4:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
I flew in from Japan to California a few days ago. That's a 9.5 hour flight. That is a long dang time to be stuck in a airplane. Some people have trouble reading in a moving vehicle, I'm sure the low lights probably make it worse for them. I spent about 5 hours of the flight watching anime and Doctor Who on my PSP. Thats one of its best uses for me, as a movie player on long flights. Great battery life (almost 9 hours for movies playing off the memory stick) and portable as heck compared to watching on my laptop. This sucks so much for me.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By aos007 on 10/3/2007 6:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, reading in a moving vehicle can make me sick really fast. Watching anime on PSP is for some reason much better, though I can't handle doing that for the whole flight either. I flew two weeks ago on similar route you did and did the same. It's pretty much the only reason I own PSP - it doesn't get much use except during vacations.

If they start REALLY enforcing this rule (since both me and you managed to use it just fine), I imagine Sony and Nintendo will be doing some lobbying.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By redog on 10/3/2007 10:17:07 AM , Rating: 3
As the person in this thread stated that the shielding has gotten way better over the years.

I would have a hard time thinking that someone's cellphone/pda/ds/psp would cause a major system failure.

I mean if it did, all a terrorist would need to do is leave their damn cellphone on during the flight to increase the chances of causing a crash.

I'm all for being safer on flights, but i think this is major overkill.

-Red


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 10:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you obviously know more than anyone else.

I surely hope that the TSA decides to appoint you as director.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By 3kliksphilip on 10/3/2007 11:20:56 AM , Rating: 3
Don't give them ideas! I can just imagine a terrorist maneuvering a plane with their Nintendo DS.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By timmiser on 10/3/2007 2:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would have a hard time thinking that someone's cellphone/pda/ds/psp would cause a major system failure.


OK, change your above quote to read "...would cause a minor system failure."

Now do you still feel the same way?


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By omnicronx on 10/3/2007 10:28:04 AM , Rating: 3
This is for the same reason you can't use cell phones in hospitals. Previously they did effect medical devices, but now with technological improvements this is no longer an issue as i see nurses and doctors using their cell phones in the O.R all the time, yet the signs are still posted everywhere, and any guest using one is asked to leave.

Safety precaution from the past that people just can't let go, thats all. You would have to think many people have left wireless devices on airplanes on before, yet i have never once heard of an issue where the signals effect in flight navigation.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 10:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is for the same reason you can't use cell phones in hospitals. Previously they did effect medical devices, but now with technological improvements this is no longer an issue as i see nurses and doctors using their cell phones in the O.R all the time, yet the signs are still posted everywhere, and any guest using one is asked to leave.


That is untrue. I work in IS/IT for a large hospital, and wireless devices do interrupt certain types of machines. Its not as prevalent as it once was, but its still does effect the hopsital technology.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mindless1 on 10/3/2007 2:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
Which frequencies are the problematic ones? Several hospitals I've visited had wifi, broadband internet access (though you'd be walled in unless having an account with their chosen ISP in some cases).


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 2:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
We have so many different departments and people who do the IT stuff, its hard to say. But i know who that the wifi access points are not all over the hospital becuase we have many different areas that you still cannot use wireless devices due to interferance.

Like i said, its not like it used to be hospital wide, but there are some areas - especially in the cancer center.


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/3/2007 9:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
sounds like the ministry of land, infrastructure and transport wants a piece of Nintendo and Sony's portable console pie ;)


RE: Used to be minidiscs...
By cheetah2k on 10/4/2007 3:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like Wi Fi shielding is an optional extra when purchasing or refurbishing older aircraft.

I was thinking before if this was specifically a Boeing or Airbus problem.


potentially...
By exdeath on 10/3/2007 2:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
Great, more laws to stop things that could potentially happen...




RE: potentially...
By exdeath on 10/3/2007 2:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
ie: 1 in a 10 billion chance of "might happen", and to date, no known incidents.


RE: potentially...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 3:00:22 PM , Rating: 1
Might happen huh? Yeah, and as of 9/10/2001, airlines didnt mind you taking on box cutters and face razors because until then, there were no known issues. And why stand on guard at Pearl Harbor, but up until one point, no known incidents.

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am".


RE: potentially...
By RubberJohnny on 10/4/2007 12:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
What happend on 9/10/2001?

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am".


RE: potentially...
By jtemplin on 10/4/2007 9:56:21 AM , Rating: 2
lol owned...

You had it coming man.


iPods
By acer905 on 10/3/2007 9:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
i wonder how they would feel about Apples new wifi ipods and zunes such...




RE: iPods
By soydios on 10/3/2007 9:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
those include options to turn off all wireless transceivers.


RE: iPods
By MrPickins on 10/3/2007 10:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
So does the PSP.


RE: iPods
By audiomaniaca on 10/3/2007 3:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
So does the old minidisc.


Hmm
By Madzombie on 10/3/2007 12:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt it can cause any trouble at all. On a flight recently me and 3 friends were playing multiplayer DS on our flight. That involved active wireless transmission, yet none of the flight attendants asked us to stop and there were no reports from the pilot of signals interfering with the plane. I've also turned my phone on on a flight before just to see if I got a signal. I didn't, but that's besides the point.




RE: Hmm
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've also turned my phone on on a flight before just to see if I got a signal.


That doesnt prove that interferance cannot be caused. It only proves that you are an idiot and cannot conduct yourself the way you are supposed to on an airplane.


RE: Hmm
By FITCamaro on 10/3/2007 12:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
There are many different kinds of aircraft. Just because one isn't affected, it doesn't mean all aren't. Many modern planes are relying on network technology for onboard communications between systems. When I'm doing 500-800 mph at 30,000 feet, its good to be a little paranoid and take precautions for the worst.


These rules have never made any sense to me
By jebo on 10/3/2007 12:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
I assume this ban only refers to the cabin? What about all the PSPs and DSs in the luggage compartments?

And like the article says, what about laptops? I would assume you'd be more likely to see a flight full of laptops than a flight full of handheld gamers.




By FITCamaro on 10/3/2007 12:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't say you can't carry them onto the plane. It says you can't use them while in flight. Just like cell phones.

Why would you leave your PSP or DS on in your luggage?


Where is the precedent?
By novacthall on 10/3/2007 10:06:58 AM , Rating: 3
On what basis are they banning the device other than fear of an unproven potentiality? I'm all for playing it safe, but if there is no past history of the device interfering - as evidenced by the no doubt tens of thousands of PSPs and DSs that take to the sky every single day - this reaction can only be described as knee jerk.

It's also worth mentioning, in addition to the PSP having a hardware toggle to enable WiFi, the DS wireless, to my knowledge, only activates on user initiation. It is not constantly on, nor does it boot up with the device.




The real reason for this.
By Demon-Xanth on 10/3/2007 10:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
The head of the Ministry bought his kids a GBA SP by mistake and doesn't want them to feel like they got old crap as a gift. So by making the DS and PSP unable to be on planes, they have the cutting age gaming system now.




Never Understood This
By mmntech on 10/3/2007 11:30:41 AM , Rating: 2
I work with a lot of radio controlled devices, particularly 2.4ghz spread spectrum systems. I'm also an aviation enthusiast. I've never understood the whole can't use cell phone of Wifi thing on airplanes. Spread spectrum won't pick channels already in use and nothing on board a plane use this frequency. Wifi devices on the microwave spectrum aren't prone to EM leaks either. Perhaps it's some sore to anti-terror method. Wifi can easily be used to trigger remote devices like a bomb.




By rushfan2006 on 10/3/2007 3:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
First, nice how rude some of you bastards are...LOL...I'm reading the thread you guys are just pricks to each other -- not used to people disagreeing with you, someone piss in your coffee or something? LOL.(its good entertainment anyway)...

But just to be straight it the interference thing is up to the airline -- if they allow it, they allow it...if they don't they don't. simple as that. Know that the decision they stand behind is one they realize they'll be liable for should something happen. In other words if the airline says "cool you can use wireless devices" -- that means they are thoroughly confident in the systems they use and their ability to NOT suffer from interference.

Also....who the frigg cares if you can't play DS or whatever during a flight.....haven't you people ever heard of .....sleep? ;)




I can confirm this
By aos007 on 10/3/2007 6:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
I came from Japan 2 weeks ago on JAL and can confirm that stewardesses are looking for PSPs. I had them tell me to turn it off - this was before the takeoff and while still docked, as the plane was late to depart. I naturally thought it's the common "no electronic devices during takeoff/taxiing", but later, reading the pamphlets, it did look like they were banning ANY portable gaming device for the entire flight (no mention of wireless on/off switch, which even my Sony Ericsson cell phone has). I used my PSP later in flight (with wifi switch off, naturally) and didn't get any grief for it, though.

I can't see what's their beef with Wi-Fi. Navigation systems used to use 108+ MHz band just above FM (according to my EE courses, which was a good while ago) so it probably made sense to prohibit radios 20-30 years ago (whenever they decided to do this). Afterwards some wise guy probably decided to extend the ban to other devices as they appeared on the market, regardless of whether it made sense or not. Just another proof that once the government puts some restriction in place, they're never going to take it off. These days, it's just bureaucracy and FUD to prohibit a device that is not specifically designed for transmission (or doesn't have a switch) as various emission standards are enforced worldwide.

What baffles me is that a JAPANESE airline is doing that. Not only should they at least strive to be the most advanced, but they also come from the same country that makes PSP/DS. I wonder what will Sony and Nintendo have to say about this.




By T3raYon on 10/4/2007 12:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
During the past 4 years I was a frequent flier on both domestic North American and Trans-Atlantic flights. (never flew with JAL though).

I always had a great deal of problem with these equipment bans as being a bit technical minded I can recognize that they are more driven by unjustified "fear" than any material fact.

Regardless as long as it is the rule, anyone buying an airplane ticket is responsible for abiding to them. It's like the speed limits on the streets. One may debate" if a 15mph sign is really needed on a given street but the point is that it's not up to us to DEBATE the rules simply because then there is no way it can be enforced.
This is why the second part of the issue comes: rules has to be SIMPLE and as "black and white" as possible so it is very clear what is expected. On airplanes with flight attendants not necessarily having PHDs in electronic, therefore a rule about electronic devices should be very simple. It is not reasonable to expect them to recognize different products specifically...
This hurts the ones having more knowledge, but we only have the choice of buying the ticket and going on the plane or taking an alternative transportation if we don't like the "terms & conditions" of the airline.

On the technical side it is very obvious that the "interference" rule is outdated and inadequate for the problem. FAA and other authorities and experts should be lobbying to really think this through...

The funny thing is that Sony for example built an entire campaign for the PSP with at least 6-7 different TV commercial spots demonstrating how useful the system when it comes to in-flight entertainment...

The ironic thing is that with so many satellites orbiting the planet, jamming stations and other high power output radio sources existing on this planet after all the small Bluetooth or WiFi emission is probably the least of the problems for the jet's electronics...

I wonder when the lightning is going get "banned" legally for Mother Nature as it can also interfere with the plane's electronics :-)))))))))




WTF
By afkrotch on 10/4/2007 9:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
I hate these things. I have had over 16 international flights this year (US to Japan, Japan to Europe, US to Europe, repeat a lot) and I always use my electronics regardless of what they say. I play my PSP or listen to mp3s while we take off or land.




"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki