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Handhelds Hardware

Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones 474

Ant writes in with news that an amusement park in the UK is trying out a ban on smartphones and PDAs, with the intent to enable families actually to have fun together. The press release says that from May 25 to June 1, adults found using a PDA will be asked to drop it off at a "PDA Drop Off Zone" — no word on what happens if they refuse. But both the Sun and BoingBoing, which picked up their brief story, strike a more ominous note with the claim that "special wardens" will confiscate the devices. If the experiment is deemed a success the park may make the ban permanent.
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Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones

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  • Not just PDAs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muellerr1 ( 868578 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:33PM (#23537183) Homepage
    This reminds me of a restaurant in Colorado Springs that prided itself on cutting your tie in half if you stupidly showed up with one on. Casual diners only!
  • texting on the PDA? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:34PM (#23537191)
    Why yes...I'm talking to my kid who is waiting in line at another ride. You have a problem with that?

    Kiss my ass.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:36PM (#23537215)
    I would hate to see attendance figures as they plummet - how many teenagers would want to go to a place where they have to give up the cell phone?

    Instead they should be going the other way, and see how they can integrate mobile devices into the "fun" they are offering. Disney does this today in a limited way in an attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, called the "Laugh Factry" or something like that. It's an animated live stand-up comic show, where while you are waiting to get in you can text jokes you like to them and they use some of them in the routine.

    That's pretty limited, but you could imagine parks texting you when a show or parade you signed up for was about to start, or having some mobile app that could somehow integrate into a ride or receive SMS messages with pictures of you on a ride.

    Anyway, there are lots of better things they could be doing that trying to strip away technology from people who will be very reluctant to do so.

  • Forced fun? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tango42 ( 662363 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:38PM (#23537227)
    I'm not sure forced fun is going to work. It's a worthy cause, but I don't think this is the way to do it...
  • by kullnd ( 760403 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:11PM (#23537487)
    Funny you should combine the two, as last month I was at the lake doing some scuba diving when the call came in that work needed some emergency router configuration changes... Got my laptop, put in the cell card, and did the work I needed to do at the lake between dives... Sure am glad that I was able to use the available technology vs. having to leave the park, drive to work, and do what I needed to do, which would have ruined the remainder of my fun for the day...
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:24PM (#23538059) Homepage

    My question is: what if you are using it to communicate with other members of your party in the park? Suppose you have a copy of the park map on it?

    Smartphones/PDAs are not just used for business, after all.
    The iPhone has a media player and a camera. What if you are making a home video of your family enjoying the amusement park?
  • by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:32PM (#23538111) Journal
    I like to carry a laptop or subnotebook in my hands while I walk and work with it, and that's what I did last time I went to a zoo park: Writing code while lemurs and rabbits were jumping all around me (but you have to take care as lemurs sometimes have the tendency to jump on your head!). I had fun playing with the lemurs AND more fun writing code. The last thing I want is a PDA police telling me how to have fun, and if they came to me I'd tell them it's not a PDA :)
  • Re:Oh Please... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:51PM (#23538201) Journal
    Re they going to guarantee that the PDA or the data stored upon it won't get stolen? Because with identity theft so rampant and the amount of personal data that can be on someones cell or PDA it seems to me that this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. But that is my 02c,YMMV
  • by kylehase ( 982334 ) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @07:20PM (#23539113)
    They paid their entrance fee so they can do whatever they want as long as it does not disrupt the experience for other parties (or break the law of course) and I don't see how using a PDA would disrupt others. It may create a less engaged experience for one's own family but that's a private matter.

    If the PDA addict's wife says to put it away that's another story.
  • by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @07:34PM (#23539205) Homepage

    IMHO this ban is protection from asshole bosses who think they own you 24/7/365.
    This seems to be less common in the UK (where this park is).
    My boss has only once in 7 years rung me up out of hours, and he told me that he was very sorry, as it could be taken as harassment.

Variables don't; constants aren't.