Flying with Kindle

As you pack for your next trip you might wonder what restrictions or issues apply to Kindles and other e-readers in airports and in-flight.

Going through Security:

Amazon support recommends turning the Kindle off before going through security. Sony Support states that X-ray machines have no effect on electronic products and related media. However magnetic imaging equipment may cause harm to electronic components. Ericson Tribune Traveling with Electronics also recommends keeping such devices away from hand-held magnetic wands used by Airport Security.

One Amazon forum commenter said theft is the greatest problem facing Kindles in the Airport. Another cautioned that the Kindle’s screen could get scratched or cracked in security bins and in carry-on bags if care is not taken.  

During Take Off:

You will be asked to turn the Kindle off during take off even though the eReader, with the Wi-Fi turned off, does not transmit any “signals.”

 The Federal Aviation Administration Fact Sheet – Cell Phones, Wi-Fi and Portable Electronics on Airplanes states, “You know the drill. Turn off all pagers, electronic games, MP3 and CD players, laptops and the like once the cabin door is closed, until the plane gets above 10,000 feet. No using cell phones at any time while the plane is in the air,” and further explains, “There are still unknowns about the radio signals that portable electronic devices (PEDs) and cell phones give off. These signals, especially in large quantities and emitted over a long time, may unintentionally affect aircraft communications, navigation, flight control and electronic equipment.”

Why can’t I use my cellphone/Kindle/iPad in flight? in Ask the Captain from USA Today, offers this explanation, “With the proliferation of electronics today, it is impossible to determine what might pose a risk to the airplane…It is necessary for a conservative procedure to ensure that nothing in the cabin would interfere with systems or navigation equipment. I agree it is inconvenient, but I can see the FAA‘s position.”

Unfortunately the FAA  fact sheet on this topic has not been updated since 2009. Perhaps in the future someone with authority will add a Kindle exemption to the vague fact sheet but for now plan on reading the on-board printed magazine during take off.

In the Air:

You can relax and pass the flight time reading on your Kindle. Again use care when stowing the eReader and don’t leave it in the seat back pouch.

Top Ten More Kindle Jokes

Due to popular demand I managed to dig up ten more Kindle Jokes. Some are not so funny but hey, beggars can’t be choosers 🙂
Note: I’ve fixed the formatting inside this table over and over again, week after week but it bunches back up every time I come back to it. Arrrgggg…Gremlins? I guess I’m going to have to create a new template.

Top Ten More Kindle Jokes

  Good Book: A Page Turner
Good Kindle eBook:
A Page Clicker
  Mom: What do you think of my new Kindle?
I think it’s pretty useless.
Mom: How so? I like using it to read.Kid: Yeah but where’s the camera?
  Q: What do you call an eReader virus?
A bookworm.
Yo mamma is so stupid she bought a repair eBook to fix her Kindle.
  Kindle Owner: My Kindle doesn’t work right, I can’t read in the dark.>>>>>
Kindle Service:
Have you tried turning a light on?

Kindle Owner: But the Kindle doesn’t seem to have a light.Kindle Service: Next question.
  Q: Why does Ray Bradbury hate the Kindle?
Publishers want him to edit the temperature in Fahrenheit 451.
  Email to Kindle Help: Are Self-Help Books available in Kindle format?
Email to Kindle Owner:
If I assisted you with this issue,

wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?
  Kindle #1: What did your owner think of the Joke ebook she downloaded? Kindle #2: She never finished it?
Kindle #1
Why not?
Kindel #2:
It cracked me up.
  Q: What kind of dog will fetch your Kindle?A: A Golden E-triever
  Q: How many publishers does it take to publish an ebook for Kindle?
A: Three. One to do the publishing and two to hold the author down.

Q: How many authors does it take to self-publish an ebook for Kindle?
A: One hundred.
1 author to write, publish, and tweet about it.
99 authors to Retweet it.

I wish I could cite individual jokes but they came from a variety of places often without a source listed, and most were altered in some way. Some were rewritten from the Kindle boards and some are adapted from well known generic jokes.

Q: What Sort of People own eReaders?

A: Mostly Women Over 45

According to Nielson’s 2nd Quarter 2011 survey eReader ownership is becoming a feminine and mature thing.

61% of eReader owners are women and 51% of eReader owners are over age 45. A year ago the opposite was true, 54% were men and 61% were under age 45 years.

Interestingly, tablet owners still tend to be young and guy thing but is equalizing. 57% at the end of 2nd quarter 2011 (64% a year ago.) 63% of tablet owners are now under age 45, (77% a year ago.)

Resources for Stranded Borders’ eReader and eBook Owners

In a 8/2/11 post, The Digital Reader blog author Nate Hoffelder provided Answers and Resources for the dilemmas that could send  Borders’ Digital Devices and eBook owners adrift. Rather than reinvent his excellent wheel, here’s the link to his post titled:

Q: Will my ebook reader die with Borders?

After checking out this post, check out other posts at The Digital Reader  which is a valuable resource to any one interested in digital reading. I subscribed to the blog for personal interests and to keep me abreast on issues related to my own blog as well.

Photo originated in Wikkimedia Commons, doctored by K LeRosier

How Does eInk Work?

The  eInk (a.k.a. Electronic Ink ) in the Kindle eInk pearl creates electronic pages that look a lot like printed paper with dense black type on a pearly white background. The letters don’t look pixelated even under magnification.  How does eInk work? I researched and simplified the explanation into something easily understood.

Remember the classic toy the Etch A Sketch? To my mind, the Kindle with eInk is the Etch A Sketch of the 21st century. When you turn the Etch A Sketch knob a stylus scrapes aluminum powder off the screen which results in a gray line.  Turn it upside down and shake, the aluminum powder recoats the screen to erase the lines. eInk works with a similar concept, executed in a far more sophisticated electronic manner. Instead of aluminum powder, eInk used microcapsules,  instead of the stylus, electronic circuitry and electric fields are used.

To understand eInk, visualize a pool table with a racked set of clear, fluid-filled pool balls. The balls are racked on a circuit board instead of felt and covered with a sheet of glass. Each ball has black and white BBs inside. The black BBs have a negative charge and the white BBs a positive charge.  The circuitry selects and creates an electric field beneath each pool ball. The fields that are given a negative charge repel and push the black BBs to the top of the ball where they can be seen against the glass; the positive charged fields push up the white BBs. The illustration shows an oversimplified letter “A” created in this way. Areas filled with white BBs create the background or “paper.”  Areas filled with black BBs create the type. In an eReader, instead of pool balls, millions of microcapsules make up eInk. Each microcapsule, about the diameter of a human hair, is filled with clear fluid and white and black particles. The eReader display consists of the microcapsules and fluid sandwiched in one layer between a sheet of electronic circuitry and a clear plate of glass/plastic. The millions of microcapsules are individually controlled by corresponding circuits which create and select the charge of millions of individual electronic fields.  A click of the Kindle’s “Turn Page” button activates the pattern that results in a page of words on the screen.  Once the text appears on the screen no further power is needed until you turn the page again. That’s why those illustrations stay on the Kindle when the power is off. (And why the battery lasts so long.)

Of course, my explanation is highly oversimplified. More information about this technology can be found at