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Your best bet for in-flight entertainment

December 28, 2009 |  4:33 pm

After Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to set off explosives on a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day, everyone wants answers. President Obama wants to know who was involved. Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano wants to know why the system didn't work. And passengers want to know what they can do to keep themselves entertained.

Updates from the Transportation Security Administration  have indicated that the use of electronics will be curtailed. Airline-supplied live television and wi-fi may be disabled during flights. Passengers hoping to bring along their own video fun, on portable DVD players or laptops, would have no luck, according to early reports. No gadgets would be allowed.

In their new unofficial guide to flying, Gizmodo warns that fliers should be prepared to entertain themselves without any gadgets at all. The site warns, in big bold letters, Bring a Book or Prepare to Die of Boredom:

Bring a book. Not a Kindle, not a Nook, not any other sort of ebook reader, but a plain ol' low-tech book. Because apparently books are pretty much the only thing you can have in your hands during the final hour of your flight ("the government says OK")...

Although the earliest regulations have been revised so that there may be some wiggle room, bringing something on paper to read is the safest way, for now, to keep yourself entertained while on a plane. But since you won't be able to stand to retrieve it from the overhead compartment in the last hour of flight, make sure to keep your reading material close -- or be stuck perusing the SkyMall.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by Joseph Reicherts via Flickr