Ofcom gives cellphone use on planes the big thumbs way, way up

via Engadget Mobile by Sean Cooper on 3/30/08

Prepare to be annoyed — well maybe prepare to prepare to be annoyed is more fitting — as Ofcom, the UK telecom regulator thinks flying and talking is fine for UK-registered aircraft. The technology will rely on a pico cell on the aircraft — that’s activated once the plane passes through 10,000 feet — that links you up to the rest of the telecom world via satellite. Of course, (un)fortunately roadblocks still exist, as any airlines that want on board will need to have any equipment installed on aircraft checked out by the European Aviation Safety Agency. We love all things cell, as some may have noticed, but we shudder a wee bit at the prospect of being stuck next to a loud talker for a long-haul international red-eye. Non-talking section anybody?

[Via textually.org]

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Apple teams up with airlines for iPod integration

After selling your car, television, computer, house and children, you thought you were finally safe from this nasty epidemic of “iPod integration” — think again. Now the nasty little buggers are going to start showing up in airplanes, since Apple is teaming up Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to add charging, audio and video integration for airline passengers. Is nothing sacred? Such seat-based connectivity should be available by mid-2007, and Apple is working with Panasonic Avionics to spread such integration to even more airlines. Five bucks to the first guy who figures out how to get such ubiquitous charging jacks to juice up our laptops.

[Thanks, Zep]