Technology news briefs

Technology news briefs
Published: August 28, 2012
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TECH BYTES

FAA studies iPad use on planes

It's going to be a while before airline passengers can use iPads and other electronic devices during the whole flight. The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it is starting a process to study the issue, with a timeline that means it will take at least until March 2013 for a recommendation — and maybe longer for action. In March the FAA raised hopes that it might loosen rules for electronic devices by saying it would “explore ways to bring together all of the key stakeholders involved.” Smartphones and tablet computers are common in the passenger cabin, and pilots are using iPads in the cockpit. But passengers have to shut off electronic devices when the plane is below 10,000 feet because of worries that signals emitted by the devices might interfere with electronics in the cockpit. The FAA doesn't actually ban the devices. But it says airlines can only allow devices that have been tested and proven not to interfere with the plane's electronics.

Free ‘WreckCheck app' available

With Labor Day weekend approaching, the Oklahoma Insurance Department is highlighting a free “WreckCheck app” to help drivers know what steps to take after an accident, and what information to share. Available at www.oid.ok.gov, the new tool from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners takes users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident reports. It makes it easy to capture photos and document the necessary information to file an insurance claim, and lets users email a completed accident report directly to themselves and their insurance agents. Consumers generally need to share only their names and correct vehicle insurance information, which should include the phone numbers of insurance providers.

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