If you've been feeling like you didn't already have enough zany and / or pointless Department of Transportation rules to abide by, you're in luck! Starting January 1st, 2008, you can no longer pack "loose lithium batteries" into your checked luggage on flights. If your battery is attached to a device -- or is packed into a plastic bag -- you're okay. According to the report, "Common consumer electronics such as travel cameras, cell phones, and most laptop computers are still allowed in carry-on and checked luggage," though, "The rule limits individuals to bringing only two extended-life spare rechargeable lithium batteries, such as laptop and professional audio/video/camera equipment lithium batteries in carry-on baggage." The new ban is related to lithium batteries' propensity to explode, and not due to any terrorism concerns. We're not sure what they're getting at with that plastic bag rule, but this should make everyone's already complicated travel plans just slightly more annoying.

[Via Gadling, image by rbrwr]

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DOT bans checked, loose lithium batteries on flights