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« Astronaut Oversupply | Main | The End Of Manned Spaceflight? »

It Keeps Flashing "12:00"

Boy, I'm sure glad we put the federal goverment in charge of airline security. This certainly make me feel safer to fly.

One air marshal said he didn?t know about the interference problem because ?I never tried to communicate using [the PDA] because I really don?t know how to use it.? This air marshal said he received initial training on the device in September but wasn?t issued one until May ?with no additional refresher training,? he said. ?During the training in 2002, TSA said they were working on a glitch with the [PDAs] interfering with the cockpit transmissions, but I don?t know if they ever resolved the glitch or not,? the air marshal said...

...?We call these [PDAs] the ?Thousand Dollar Game Boy,?? said one air marshal, equating the device to the hand-held Nintendo video game player. ?Some air marshals have up to 70 games on their PDAs that they?ve downloaded from the Internet,? the air marshal said.

Another air marshal said that ?because my PDA is always crashing, I don?t use it anymore.? After his device crashed twice, wiping out an extensive series of notes painstakingly input into the PDA, ?I don?t use it except to play Asteroids,? the air marshal said.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 11, 2003 03:22 PM
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It's actually part of a clever scheme to diminish the number of crashing airplanes. See, there's a finite number of crashes to go around, and the PDAs are using them up.

Posted by Kevin McGehee at July 12, 2003 06:04 AM

About the nicest thing I can think of to say about this is that it's only a $7 million mistake. CALEA, on the other hand, is a $500 million mistake. Yeah, I blogged it.

Posted by Jay Manifold at July 12, 2003 06:45 AM

Jay, it's Clinton's fault some Sun boxes aren't running Secure Solaris?

Posted by barney gumble at July 12, 2003 01:54 PM

Hey, Cringely diagnosed it (I'd have to be a conservative to blame Clinton for the whole thing). The common thread here is that Congress passes a law or appropriation mandating a technology without managing the risks associated with it. Of course, if you're Palm, it's good news ...

Posted by Jay Manifold at July 13, 2003 03:27 AM

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