Follow-Up Friday: Transgender Rights and Cell Phones and Planes

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pauline Park follows up from a question that was raised during our Greene Space show about transgender rights legislation. Then,Can your cell phone really interfere with a plane's sophisticated navigation equipment? A listener-pilot clears things up.


Pauline Park

Comments [18]

Stephen from Manhattan

Wow - the second caller is a great example of homophobia masking itself as political correctness.

And for that matter, sexism and racism masking as PC!

It's easy to vilify gay white men. And there is always some new justification for it.

Gay white men actually do much to help transgender, women and minority rights.

Hating them like this caller does really stinks.

Jun. 26 2009 02:28 PM
the truth from bkny

Transgender rights...same as anyone more, no less.

Jun. 26 2009 12:04 PM
Andy from Westbury, NY

Cell phones:

Cell phones can't be used legally when in aircraft for another reason: from altitude a phone will "illuminate" many, many terrestrial cell sites, which can cause problems for the cell networks themselves. This is an FCC requirement.

Also, have you ever used a GSM (AT&T, etc.) or Nextel phone near computer speakers, stereos, or other audio gear? Frequently they cause annoying sounds to be heard. How would you like to be on a modern airplane, designed with the expectation that there will be no radio waves originating inside the cabin, but with several of these phones in operation? The signals that you've heard as unintended, annoying sounds in speakers could become unintended signals in control cables, or interfere with navigation/communications radio equipment on the aircraft.

Also, all electronic devices are also what is known as "unintentional radiators" of radio waves. This especially the case with portable devices, since they usually have plastic cases instead of metal, for weight reasons, but with plastic comes the unintended consequence of there no longer being a metal shield surrounding the electronics to prevent radio waves from escaping.

Sometime take a look at the FCC "Part 15" notice that is included in the paperwork that comes with most electronics. This text that is rarely read clearly states that the electronic device may cause radio interference to other devices.

The pilot was right - usually leaving on a cell phone, computer, iPod, or noise canceling headset while flying won't cause a problem. But the chance increases with each device that is left on.

I'd rather do without during takeoff and landing than risk a problem!

Jun. 26 2009 11:58 AM
nat from brooklyn

To clarify. As long as your cell phone is turned on, it is transmitting a signal.

Your phone is constantly triangulating your position between the three closest cell phone towers to you, and reporting that to your cell phone provider. If it did not do this, you would not be able to receive calls, because the phone company couldn't find you. This is also a way for emergency services to determine your location if you call 911.

Similarly, if you do not know how to turn off the hardware device inside of your laptop your wireless card will usually be looking for a wireless network for you to join constantly.

Jun. 26 2009 11:56 AM
Alvin from Manhattan

Cell phones:
As a former electrical engineer, I would like to point out that this guest is giving semi-informed, possibly dangerous, answers. You should have asked an FAA representative why the regulations exist. Or, alternatively, you should speak to an avionics engineer at either an avionics firm or an aircraft manufacturer. Also, you assumed that the only issue is electronic; there was no discussion of the consequences of having distracted passengers during critical parts of a flight, projectile cellphones that haven't been stowed for takeoff or landing, etc.

Jun. 26 2009 11:53 AM
Jake from Long Beach

A wireless mouse would have a very limited broadcast range; a much bigger problem is Wifi which is built into new laptops. Not as powerful as cellphones, but in a different part of the spectrum. Every laptop I've seen has a Wifi switch, but most passengers probably don't think to turn it off.

Computers also emit broadband interference just from the electronics, of course; This was probably the reason behind the original ban.

Jun. 26 2009 11:51 AM
Ashton in Chelsea from Manhattan, New York, NY

Regarding whether or not electronic devices pose a hazard on airplanes, it seems to me that whether they really do or NOT is not the question. The bottom line is that as passengers on airplanes, we are their guests. As such, we simply ought to obey whatever rules the airline prescribes regardless of whether we believe the reasons for the rules or not. Or, travel some other way.

Jun. 26 2009 11:50 AM
John-Paul G from Elizabeth, NJ

The gameboy? I recall there were requests for the old CD walkmans and gameboys in the early 90's. Those would really interfere?

Jun. 26 2009 11:43 AM
Bo from Brooklyn - Prospect Heights

Pauline Park is a breath of fresh air.

The woman who wanted to blame "gay white male patriarchy" is only showing her own prejudices and is old style, "fight amongst yourselves" politics.

Jun. 26 2009 11:43 AM
RoseAnn Hermann from Larchmont

As a straight ally for the LGBT community, I've had the opportunity to learn about the plight of transgender people. It's complicated, but basically the same issue of live and let live! How superficial are we when it's all about fears based on what we see and what we think we should see? Very!

Jun. 26 2009 11:43 AM
Rick from Manhattan

I find it interesting that one of the callers wanted to heap blame on another group of within the LGBT community, gay white men, as the root of transgender inequality.

That thinking will not help the LGBT community reach equality.

Jun. 26 2009 11:41 AM
Jessie from Manhattan

It is wrong to discriminate against anyone based on physical characteristics or life choices (as long as it is not something that can be harmful to others). we are a progressive country in the 21st century and should be open to the complete array of human diversity by now and everyone should have equal rights. lets stop wasting time on prolonging legislation based on ignorance and move on to solving real problems.

Jun. 26 2009 11:39 AM
John from Park Slope, Brooklyn

As a stealth transman (I live as male, but was born as female and have done everything possible legally and physically to live completely as male), I live in constant fear that somehow my past will be revealed to my employer and effect my employment.

It's extremely sad that people seem to still see transpeople as freaks or somehow so abnormal as to not even be granted typical human rights.

The fact is that we are everywhere, many of choose to be invisible but need the same rights.

Jun. 26 2009 11:39 AM
Jessie from Manhattan

it is wrong to discriminate against people based on any physical characteristics or life choices (as long as it is not something that can be harmful to others), we are a progressive society in the 21st century and should be open to the complete diversity of humanity by now.

Jun. 26 2009 11:36 AM
Jason from Brooklyn

Thos topic sounds very much what was being discussed on WBAI "Democracy Now" ! show, this morning.

I am Glad you are fan of the Show Brian.

Jun. 26 2009 11:32 AM
Jesse Lemisch from uws

on cell phones:
Same thing in emergency rooms, where we desperately need communication. We are barred from using cell phones. No reason is given. Sometimes we are told it will destroy mighty diagnostic machinees, and cause people to lose limbs and suffer other grave consequences. Balderdash. Meantime, the doctors wander to and fro, talking on their cell phones.

Jun. 26 2009 11:31 AM
Gary from USW

"Transgender rights"? What has this world come to?

Jun. 26 2009 11:25 AM
Danny Horowitz from brooklyn

this is just like the abortion issue. I say that they should be warend that soe people will try to hurt them but they should be able to do that.

Jun. 26 2009 11:05 AM

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