Fast forward to last week. New York Times tech blogger Nick Bilton decided to call up the FAA to poke them with a stick about their "please deactivate anything with an on/off switch" regulations. Instead of him getting the usual answerthat electronics are verboten, because shut up that's whysomething different happened.
The FAA's deputy assistant administrator for public affairs Laura J. Brown told Bilton that the agency was going to take a "fresh look" at the use of e-readers and tablets. The last time tests were run was in 2006, which in the history of personal electronic devices might as well have been a century ago. So the FAA is going to seriously look into allowing travelers to use some of the new devices that have been invented and mainstreamed since the last round of tests.
It's going to be a while before travelers actually see any changes, since the devices have to go through a testing process and that's not trivial. But some day, eventually, you might be able to use your Kindle on a runway. How daring and dangerous we'll all feel then.
[Photo: bradleygee / Flickr]