The lesson I've learned is not to turn my phone off, in case I want to show someone pictures stored on it.
And then when you go home, make sure to thank your mom for the messages.
Edit: screen shot of the samsung manual (apparently this is a feature on a lot of their phones): http://craphound.com/images/e7KOe.jpg
Say what you will about the technique but he's now barely 50, retired and buying up woodland like there's no tomorrow..
It's so easy to be sarcastic about blog entries like this. I think there is little to be gained from ridiculing such a personal anecdote, voluntarily shared with the world at large.
What Airplane Mode says (in this context) is: I don't want to be interrupted but I still want this increasingly important pocket computer to be available.
I've been doing this myself quite a bit; though more-so with my iPad. What I'd really like to see for this, is some sort of device-wide "Do Not Disturb". Something that doesn't turn off the radios, but does suppress the various 'interruptions': rings, buzzes, reminders, push notifications, etc. Because sometimes you want to focus on an app that requires a data connection.
I have seen similar notifications profiles on other mobile OS as well, perhaps called "Do Not Disturb." In any case it would be a good one to create yourself and have.
The alternate use of airplane more was more of a subtext.
The iphone and android badly need these features.
From http://www.htc.com/www/htcsense/index.html :
"Ever fumbled with your phone because it went off at full-blast during a meeting? Well, don't worry! Now as soon as you lift your phone up to see who's calling, the ringer volume gets lower. Want it silenced completely? Just flip it over."
I lost it at some point and, not remembering the app name, have failed to re-download it.
It saddens me that not being a rude ass is somehow worthy of blog-post out of the ordinary praise these days.
Citation: I attended undergrad at Patrick's last employer, and worked indirectly with him in IT Services for a year. He really is fantastic in person.
Basically, the feeling is a combination of being built up, and honored, and as a result suddenly having a realization of how little you are.
In this story, a powerful, important person honored someone lower on the totem pole. This person felt honored beyond their deserts -- thus they also felt humbled.
Another 'use' I find - in areas where you know you'll have no signal. With the cell radios screaming to contact a station, drains the battery worse than more or less any other part (unless you have the display on 100% brightness as well as on all the time)
A modern equivalent is born?
At least it lets you have a conversation without being interrupted.
I think that if an inadvertently left-on cell phone could truly disrupt an airplane we'd see MUCH stricter enforcement. Otherwise you're implying a band of terrorists playing Angry Birds in all-radios-on mode stands a significant chance of downing an airliner...
If cell phone interference crashed planes, no plane would make it off the ground. I doubt there has been a passenger flight in the last ten years that took off without at least one cell phone operating in the cabin.
tl;dr Cellphones and other electronics are more of a risk than you think
Who are you going to believe, some engineers writing in a magazine or a massive experiment conducted over a period of 20 years involving every single passenger flight? Tens of millions of flights per year. Cell phones on every single one of them. No crashes due to cell phones.
Cell phones do not cause unacceptable interference with airplanes. Q.E.D.
Things are not either safe or unsafe. It all depends on trade-offs, and what risks we can accept in exchange of other values, such as comfort.
The article mentionds, though, two worrying things such as the bias in investigations and ongoing GPS technology usage increase.
I would also stress that it _might be not_ linear. Combined risk of few hundrends of turned on cell phones is not a mere multiplication of risk for a single device.
- All electronic devices must be powered completely off during the first and last 10 minutes of flight.
- Laptops and phones can be on during the rest of the flight if all radios are off (including WiFi and Bluetooth).
- The growing exception to the above is on planes with WiFi, where you can turn WiFi on during cruise. No other kinds of radios are allowed, even receive-only radios.
i) communicates you are important / busy enough to be getting lots of inbound communication
ii) makes the other person feel important that you value their time
iii) it's a trick because it's a totally natural and awesome transition into being present with another person.