Monday, April 07, 2008

Obtenebrating onboard oblectation...

Or in layman's terms: casting a shadow over onboard pleasure. The BBC reports that under new European Commission rules mobile telephone calls will be allowed on planes flying in European airspace (some hope at least, most of my flying is long-haul; no doubt they'll soon get the same treatment though) At least from the offset things are being taken seriously: Viviane Reding (EU telecoms commissioner) has said:

"If consumers receive shock phone bills, the service will not take-off. "..."I also call on airlines and operators to create the right conditions on board aircraft to ensure that those who want to use in-flight communication services do not disturb other passengers"! Just don't do it! The Civil Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency still need to give final approval (for any new systems etc) but alea iacta est...I agree with Clive James' point of view, in response to a telecom industry comment that "social norms, as well as excessive background noise, may dissuade most people from making phone calls in crowded planes" Clive says:

"But I have already met Social Norm, and I know all too well that Social Norm never dissuades anyone from making mobile phone calls. Social Norm is the one making the mobile phone calls. The excessive background noise, on any form of transport, is made by a score of Social Norms shouting their thick heads off, and all it does is make them shout louder."

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