Hey, and welcome to the short stuff, I'm Josh and there's shock, and there's gas producer Jerry sitting in for D.C..
Yeah, and this is short stuff. Giddy up, no time to explain any of the Jerry Dave thing.
No, not at all. Because we're on an airplane and there's a jerk in first class yammering on his cell phone. Oh, my God. Because it's now OK to talk on, take cell phone calls on planes.
Why would you do that to me? Why would you even create that that little situation, that sketch of a horrible day just to drive fear into people?
Because it's not really true. It's been a while since I've flown on a plane exactly one year, actually. Oh, yeah. To the day. Not to the day, but about can say exactly.
Then about a year in a week. Jerk, 54 weeks.
But yes, you cannot make cell phone calls because there are a couple of bodies in the United States that make sure you can't.
The FAA and the FCC.
Oh, I thought you were going to say Rob Lowe and Tom Selleck. Just a couple of buddies. Yeah, Rob Lowe.
So, yeah, there's actually two federal agencies that ban the use of cell phones because everybody hates it so much that everyone wanted to get in on banning it. The FAA says, well, the reason we ban it is because we're pretty sure that that could conceivably interfere with the plane's instrumentation. And you don't want to do that because you could make a plane drop out of the sky, probably. And the FCC says, yeah, yeah. Plus also, it'll totally mess with calls on the ground because those ones up in the air will be jumping from Tower Tower and it'll just be a big problem.
Yeah. And I think pre 2013 wasn't didn't you even have to power down your cell phone? Yes.
They were like, just don't just take your cell phone and throw it out the window like Mitt Romney says, roll down your your airplane's window and just throw it out mid-flight. We don't even want them on. They were basically like, just do not do anything with your cell phone. And then finally, somebody told them about airplane mode, appropriately called airplane mode, because it cuts off the cellular service on your phone. But it keeps like the Wi-Fi intact if you if you have it turned on.
Right. And ever since then, you could at least go through and spend a couple of hours deleting pictures that you don't need clogging up your storage space. That's right.
I'd like to just like there's one of the things that was always great about a flight is you're just disconnected for an hour or five hours or so.
But you were just just like you could bring an actual printed book with you and, like, read it, you know, but with with the advent of Wi-Fi on planes and everything, it's like now it's connected and you can communicate and it's just you can do other stuff that you do under normal circumstances and it's ruined everything.
Yeah, I will still, unless I really legitimately have stuff I have to get done for work, I will still not get my laptop out and get online just to surf the web.
I'm like, I give myself that break.
Yeah. No, it's, it's good to do it's you know, it's so easy to be addicted to computers and the Internet and everything that sometimes it's hard.
It is the deal with whether or not it could really interfere with communication systems or the plane's flight systems.
That is probably not the case because planes are hardened, meaning all of those electronics that are important on a plane like the flight control system are covered or, you know, boxed in this electrically conductive material that prevents any kind of electromagnetic interference. So they've kind of taken care of that for the most part, but they still air on the side of caution and are like, but let's just not do it still.
Yeah, they do know that electromagnetic interference can affect planes. Things like lightning and solar flares have affected instrumentation on planes and especially with GPS, which is critical in takeoff, but especially landing. It's really sensitive to electromagnetic radiation interference. So you don't want anything messing with that, least of all somebody who just has to to talk on the phone because the worst reason to allow it.
So they know that it can happen. But they couldn't find in this one study in the 2000 aughts any any smoking gun that said, yes, this plane fell out of the sky because somebody was talking in a cell phone. It was just they knew it was conceivably possible, even though they they shielded, air hardened the stuff to prevent that. They still said it's just. It's just. Not worth it. Everybody hates people talking on cell phones anyway, so why would we make an exception when it could also conceivably mess with the plane's instrumentation?
Agreed. Should we take a break? Yes. All right. We'll take a break and finish up with this stuff right after this. This episode is brought to you by EBM, it's hard choosing between things you want, speedy but reliable state of the art, but dependable. In other words, you want a hybrid, actually. So do telcos. That's why they're going hybrid with IBM.
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All right, so here's what they don't have on planes is any kind of alert to a flight attendant that says, hey, there's a jerk on row 15 in the middle seat that's hunched down and using their cell phone, go back there and stop him. They don't have prejudice. Yeah, totally.
They bring that pot of coffee. Um, they should start they should have that stuff, but they don't.
But generally, I think. Anybody, if they saw their seatmate next to them trying to make a phone call or calling somebody would be smart enough to alert the flight attendant and say, hey, you can't do this, get this jerk off of here.
My hand would shoot up like a third grader with the right answer to question the teacher. Just ask. I'd be like, oh, you're on the phone.
I would tell on somebody so fast. It's really loud. Yes.
Yeah. And I wouldn't even care if they gave me stitches for snitches, right?
That's right. At 36000 feet, though, you're not going to be connecting with the cell tower anyway. I think we have all been in situations where we may not have realized that our phone wasn't on airplane mode. And you'll hear your like when you start to land, you'll hear your phone ding. Like a message has come through and you're like, oh, boy, I didn't know that that could even happen. Right. They must really mean it when they say, put your phone on airplane mode.
Yeah, that's what the FCC shole position was, is that air traffic would mess with ground traffic and that cell phone towers are basically designed to handoff from one tower to the next in a cell. As you're walking by, driving by tops not, you know, flying a couple hundred miles an hour at 10000 feet as you're coming in for a landing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. A bunch of people on a plane all during that same time because you're going to tax the capacity of each tower.
They're not designed to register and hand off calls like that that fast. And so the folks like that can really interrupt ground communications. So that's another reason not to do it.
Yeah, but generally those they're not looking up anyway, which is why you can't get that signal at 36000 feet. But like I said, anything less than 10000 feet and it might be possible. So you just shouldn't try.
So, yeah. And Richard Branson said, what is one way that I can fully ruin the experience of flying for people? And in 2010, I believe around then he came up with the answer and that was to offer cell phone service via a little what are they called?
Peko? Yeah, Pekoe cells, Pekoe cells, little tiny cell towers that used the plane's Wi-Fi to transmit cell phone calls. So on Virgin some Virgin flights that are not in the United States or within 250 miles of the United States. You can make cell phone calls aboard the plane.
Yeah, that's I think he probably thought that would enhance the experience because he's all about I mean, we both flown Virgin. It's it's the best. It's awesome. Oh, yeah.
There's that pantry. You can stand up and just go get candy from any time you want to love it.
That Australian flight was like one of the nicest experiences I've ever had in the air for sure.
I suspect he's promoting his Virgin Mobile business, though, by well, maybe, you know, but it is weird that someone that has taken such great care to make the flights such a great experience then ruins it by saying everyone can talk on their cell phones now, mate.
Yeah, nice chill lights, lavender aroma therapy. It's so good. It is such a nice experience for sure. And it really is.
We're one country.
Hey, while we're here, I just want to say I want to take a second when we're talking about Virgin. My niece Mila just recently flew to New Zealand for 11 weeks because she's costarring in a major motion picture, and that's where they're shooting. Are you serious? I am dead serious, man.
Just amazing things are there right now for well wishes.
She did. She is ten.
Oh, wow. She is.
Yeah. Like, she's one of the co-lead. She's one of the main characters. Like I think her hands are going to be on the poster.
That's amazing isn't it. Yeah. So huge. Congratulations. It's really exciting.
I'll keep you posted as I can. To be honest, I'm not entirely certain I can include this, so we may end up editing it out. But at the very least, you know now.
Well, and when the time comes. We can promote it on movie Crash. Oh, nice, thanks, man, that's very of course. So the FCC basically spent many years saying, like, OK, is this really a problem? Should we allow like Richard Branson is making us look like total jerks? Should we allow this?
And after several years of study, they concluded they said no. And that's nuts to Richard Branson. Exactly. They said the flight attendants, you know, they asked a lot of people they didn't just do the studies about safety. They asked actual people who work on planes. And the flight attendants are like, no, no, no, no. They need to be listening to us, especially in the case of an emergency. The first thing everyone would do would be to get out their phone and try and call their loved ones.
And that's when they most need to be listening to things.
Right. That's a big one. But then there's also the annoyance factor in this to me is where it just becomes like the most important thing, just everything else. Forget it. It's so obnoxious. Yes. To even while you're on the tarmac waiting for them to shut the door. Agreed.
And there's people sitting there talking on the phone that's obnoxious enough with your big plate of food from the food court, even that I'm like, OK, at least they're their provider, their bodies, sustenance and nourishment. I can live with it. If the phone is like in, you can tell from the conversation there's just no point in this transpiring. And yet it is. And there's another one. Another one, another one. Being on a plane like that for many, many hours is awful.
It's an awful idea.
Yeah. It's that situation where John Hodgman always talks about being aware of the impact that you have on others. And I've always subscribed to that. But the person that has their shoes off and they got their Panda Express like piping hot meal in their lap and they're talking on their cell phone before the flight takes off. That's the person that's like paid for the seat. I just do what I wanted and I paid for the seat.
It'll be that person I know. Yeah. Because just to have an effect on everybody, know, be kinder. Think about other people.
Yeah, but hey, enjoy your Panda Express because you're providing there's got to be some nourishing nutrients somewhere.
Sure. Yeah. Those green peppers are saying everything. Yeah.
OK, you got anything else. I got nothing else. OK, well then that means short stuff. Says stay off your phone.
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