We've covered the Great iPod Conspiracy before, but here's the basics that you need to know: There is no proof that turning off your electronic devices during a plane's takeoff and landing affects the plane's avionics. In fact, pilots have been using iPads for years. The FAA just wants a quiet passenger section that pays attention during the safety briefing—and SkyMall isn't going to distract you like a Kindle might.
Sweet validation is coming. From the New York Times:
According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones.
One member of the group and an official of the F.A.A., both of whom asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the agency was under tremendous pressure to let people use reading devices on planes, or to provide solid scientific evidence why they cannot.
Yeah, Louis CK was right when he said that we take the "miracle of flight" for granted. And yeah, it always turns out to be a total of 30 minutes each flight that you're cut off from your electronics. But damnit, WE WERE LIED TO AND NOW THEY'RE BACKTRACKING. That feels good.
[H/T: NY Times]