This is either the best or worst idea ever, depending on your point of view. Microsoft has patented what it calls a "device manners policy" (DMP), a wireless zone-enforced device protocol that allows local operators to turn certain features off (or on) based on local manner and safety policy. Similar to how wireless service on planes can lock out voice
but allow data, Microsoft's DMP concept would allow local czars to enforce, for example, "no talking out loud" or "no photography" rules. Audio recording could be disabled at concerts, video recording killed at theaters, and ringers turned off at funerals. Of course, this all requires manufacturers to comply with the DMP protocol in their devices. In the end, we'd be looking at a pre-movie PSA that says "your phone is now being put on silent" rather than "please turn off your cell phone."
[Via Unwired Review