FAA Maybe, Possibly Getting Ready to Allow iPad Use During Takeoff

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The Washington Post passes along some rare good news for travelers:

An industry working group assigned by the Federal Aviation Administration to research the use of electronics on airplanes is expected to recommend relaxing the ban on portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

One member of the group, who asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the panel is drafting a document that will recommend a wider use of devices, including tablets and smartphones used only for data (like e-mail) but not talking, during takeoff and landing.

Will this really happen? After TSA pulled the football away after promising to allow small pocket knives on planes, I have my doubts. I think these guys just like playing mind games with us. Besides, the third paragraph of the story says something about allowing devices to be on “in a limited ‘airplane mode,'” which, as the reporter oddly fails to point out, is the current rule and is essentially the same as devices being in the state technically known as “off.” So the whole thing is a little confusing.

But who knows? Maybe common sense will prevail. Cross your fingers.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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