Weird Tech: Airline holds man for iPhone use

The passenger says he tried several times to explain to the flight attendants that his iPhone was in 'airplane mode' - they were having none of it

As usual, it's been a great week for odd happenings in the world of tech. Robbers, free beer and angry aeroplane passangers - we've seen it all...

Apple iPhone owners take heed: just because you've got your iPhone in 'airplane mode', it doesn't mean you're allowed to watch movies on it mid-flight. It certainly doesn't mean you can argue with cabin crew - even if you do think they're missing the point - without expecting some repercussions back on dry land.

Inflight iPhone plight

An American man found himself talking to policemen in Hawaii after refusing to turn off his iPhone during a flight over the Pacific. Despite demonstrating that he was using it as a media player, not as a phone, staff continued to insist that FAA regulations prohibit talking on mobiles when the cabin door is closed, and demanded he turn it off.

A New Zealand brewery is offering a "lifetime supply" of beer for the return of a laptop containing designs and financial information which was stolen earlier this week. Anyone tempted to dob in their mate would be advised to read the fine print though - apparently for co-owner Paul Croucher, a 'lifetime supply' actually means "about 12 bottles a month".

A man who holds a glider's licence but wasn't good enough at maths to be a pilot has constructed a life-sized reproduction of a Boeing 747 cockpit in his spare bedroom. John Davis, divorced, has now quit his job as a graphic designer to run a flight simulation business from his two-bedroomed terraced house in Coventry.

Largest artificial tornado ever

And the Mercedes-Benz museum in Germany is now home to the world's largest man-made tornado. At an impressive 34.43 metres high, its purpose is actually to save lives (rather than just getting in the Guinness Book of Records) - it'll suck smoke out the building should a fire start.

Meet VinylDisc: CD on one side, vinyl on the other. According to the Guardian, it's intended as the answer to falling CD sales and rising vinyl sales. Drawbacks? Well, the vinyl side only holds three minutes worth of audio. The band they've got backing it is emo rock band, Fightstar (typical fan profile: 15-year-old teenage girl)... need we go on?

And finally...

Two inspired Chinese amateur robbers were chased by 100 police officers for three kilometres after legging it from a hotel with 60kg in coins. According to The Register, the pair "huffed and puffed their way to a cuffing bearing the breathtaking haul of 6,000 yuan (392 quid) in coins, cunningly concealed in sacks".

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.