Nerds Bravely Fight for iPad Airplane Rights

Occupy business class! Or at least fill out an angry comment card before politely relinquishing your seat, in business class! Or, failing that, fill out an online presidential petition, at a time mutually convenient to the airline and yourself! Because gadget nerds are done turning off their iPads, iPhones, Kindles and BlackBerries on airplanes.

"Allow airline passengers to use electronic devices in 'airplane mode' during takeoff and landing" demands a new petition on whitehouse.gov, which has garnered 254 signatures since going online yesterday. The petition follows a New York Times column and followup blog post about how there's no genuine safety reason for the FAA's prohibition against activating digital devices prior to takeoff.

Business Insider is, naturally, on the case with an activist posting ("Tell Obama...."), and Times columnist Nick Bilton tweeted a link to the petition. Maybe soon Americans will be freed from one of the many pointless theatrical rituals imposed by their government in the name of safety - and freed, also, from the need to buy newspapers at airports to kill time during the digital blackouts at the starts and ends of their flights. All thanks to the... uh.... New York Times, a newspaper. Hmm.

[Image via Global X/Flickr]