Boeing moves flight attendant call button

call buttonIt happens on many flights: you or a seatmate is groping blindly for the reading light or trying to plug earphones into to the armrest, accidentally hitting the flight attendant call button. This may happen several times per flight, causing flight attendants needless trips up and down the aisle to check on embarrassed passengers. It’s a pet peeve on the Gadling team, among both crew and other travelers.

Not anymore. The new Boeing 737 airplane, unveiled this week at the Paris Air Show, has finally corrected this design flaw. The call button has how been moved away and distinguished from the reading light button, to prevent future mistaken “dings.” Other new design elements for the most popular passenger jet include LED lighting and higher overhead bins to provide more headroom. Airberlin will be the first airline to receive a new 737. “On every flight somebody pushes the wrong button. It is an issue for flight attendants,” said pilot Tim Techt.

Photo courtesy Flickr user gurms

Beam N Read personal LED reading light review

In the world of travel gadgets, simpler is usually better – and there is no better example of this than the Beam N Read personal portable LED light. The Beam N Read is a compact battery operated LED light that you wear around your neck. The product really isn’t much more than a strap, a couple of LED’s and a battery pack.

The Beam N Read is available in a version with 3 LEDs and one with 6 LEDs. The practical applications are endless – but I came across the product when I was searching for the perfect reading light to use with the Amazon Kindle.

Using the Beam N Read won’t require a user guide – you simply hang it around your neck, and turn it on. Even that part can’t go wrong – turning it on involves little more than folding the light up to the angle you want it.

With the 3 LED version (the BNR 3), a set of 4 AA’s will keep things powered for 120 hours – the 6 LED Beam N Read lasts 48 hours. The Beam N Read 6 comes with a magnifying lens and a light filter designed to make the white LEDs less harsh.

Using the Beam N Read in real life is where I realized that this simple looking product really performs perfectly – by keeping the design simple, the folks behind this product (ASF Lightware Solutions) managed to create what I consider to be the best Amazon Kindle reading light.

Of course, the uses don’t stop there – the light is also perfect for working on your laptop in your bedroom (or on a dark plane), reading a book in the dark or even for some extra light in your tent. The photo above is of a Kindle in a totally dark room – and the photo was taken without a flash.

Best of all, the prices are very reasonable – just $19.95 for the 3 LED version, and $25.95 for the 6 LED version. All in all a very simple and effective product. You’ll find more information about the product over at readinglight.com.