Via Ars Technica:
Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the Federal Aviation Administration, told the New York Times the agency will take a “fresh look” at electronics use on planes.
This revisit will not include smart phones, but we as the masses still stand to benefit. By the end of 2012, more than forty million e-readers and sixty million iPads and other tablets will have been purchased, according to Forrester Research.
According to Nick Bilton, the reason the airlines have not conducted the necessary testing and approved the use of the above-mentioned electronics is because it is prohibitively expensive to do so. So now the FAA is taking it into their own hands.
But, as with everything else in which the government is involved, this will be a slow process. This is because every generation of a device (like the iPad, for example), has to be tested on a flight with no passengers. But at least the ball is roling now, and the potential for being able to avoid airport paperbacks is possible.