I've been thinking about restarting my blog again: my brain is getting too cluttered with useless thoughts, so I would like to unload them onto you (and clutter yours) instead. What with facebook updates and tweets these days, they seem to be so short a message that it's not enough to get brainfarts out in any decent fashion. And stories are better when they're longer than 140 characters.

iPhone vs the CAA

So ... on the way back to Vancouver some time ago (like 2-3 years ago), I brought my iPhone (2G) with me. And on the plane, like a good boy, I put the iPhone in "flight mode", meaning all the radio transmitters are immediately shut off and they don't emit radiowaves or radiation that might interfere with the aircraft's delicate electronics. Standard procedure, really.

But about mid-way through the flight, I'm using it to skip forward tracks, and one stewardess passing by (pushing the beverage cart) mentions something to another. All I heard was "iPhone", so I didn't think anything of it.

About a minute later, she comes back to me and very politely asks if this was an iPhone, to which I answer yes. She then tells me that I can't use it on the plane.

"Oh, but I put it on 'flight mode', so it's okay."
"No, sorry, you just can't use the iPhone at all on the flight."
"But in 'flight mode', all the radios and wireless are turned off, so it's just like a regular iPod now."
"According to CAA regulations, we don't allow mobile phones to be operated during the flight."
"With all the wireless turned off, it's no longer a mobile phone."
"We're told there's still some radiowaves."
"This is exactly my field of work, and I can tell you that the radio chips are not operating."
"I'm really sorry about this, it's just according to the CAA."

This is even more interesting/frustrating to me because I never had this problem when using my Sony Ericsson W800i on board.

Anyway, I leave it alone for now, pretending to put it away, but I keep using it anyhow, because dammit, I know I'm right. I think about it for a while, and then realize she said "CAA" instead of "FAA". Turns out CAA stands for Civil Aeronautics Administration, and is basically the FAA for Taiwan.

And while the FAA/TSA is quite clear about what you can and can't bring and/or operate during the flight, the CAA is a little less clear in its Information for Passengers. The CAA also doesn't really mention things specifically about airplane modes in their Laws, Regulations, Handbook & Guidelines. Even their Compliance and Enforcement Procedures webpage is still under construction!

Apple talks a bit about their airplane mode for the iPhone, but additionally mentions that you "should" be able to use it on the flights, along with disclaimers about checking with the flight authorities.

So ... has anyone else had any similar experiences with other mobile phones integrated with music players?? I suppose nowadays it's not really much of an issue. Heck, nowadays, I almost never turn my iPhone off on the plane -- I switch it to flight mode, start the music with my buds in my ears, and turn the display off. As a constant flyer, I have a well-rehearsed answer for when the flight attendants come by:
"They're not on; just using them as earplugs."

Which is a little white lie, because they are cutting out the drone of the plane noise, they're also serving as a digital music pipe into my head.

Annual blog entry

So ... seems like every year or so, I come back and promise I'll blog more. I think I really will this time. No, seriously: I'll try. Was just reading over some old entries, and I enjoyed them a lot, and would love to continue writing.

Just have to figure out how to make money at it, and then I'm golden!


It's been a rough few weeks, trying to get used to being a project manager in this firm. It's very different from being a project manager in industry, not the least reason of which is that leading a bunch of clever consultants is just very exhausting.

I really need to take a vacation after this. Even if I don't go anywhere past the boundaries of our new apartment, it would be nice to re-center and re-balance myself in terms of what kind of person I'd like to become in the near term.

Falling asleep, so I'll let you all go ...

Two years of great change

Just wanted to say that these two years have seen dramatic changes in my life, and 2010 is poised to boost that trend even a bit more. I'll post more later on, but I need to visit the bank before they close.


The other day, a message in my spam box was entitled,

"i videotaped my mom while she was masturbating"

Seriously, who the hell would be enticed by that title?? Nasty.


Just wondering, how do you answer your phone (be it work or home or mobile)?

People in my company are all BlackBerried, so their work/personal mobile phones are basically one and the same. And they seem to answer their phones as one of:

"Hello, this is [name]."
"[name]" (without anything else)

Me, I go pretty casual:

How about you?