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Virgin American In-Flight Internet Review, From In-Flight

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the latency-desires dept.

Transportation 198

wintersynth writes "I've posted a review of Virgin America's in-flight internet provided by Gogo. Here's the scoop: Avg. .90 megabits/sec DL, .283 megabits/sec UL, ping: 130.6 msecs, $12.95 for the duration of the flight. Verdict: AWESOME. In fact, I'm posting this from 36,000 feet right now. Skype did not work for voice, even though I'm pretty sure those stats are over the minimums. Any ideas from the slashdotters on what might be going on?"

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198 comments

Skype (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865177)

You could be experiencing a difference of bandwidth versus latency. Although the two are related, you could be suffering high latency with Skype's servers. You might try pinging those servers compared to pinging www.google.com. If you are experiencing high latency, Skype uses UDP rather than TCP (like normal web traffic). If I remember correctly, UDP packets are many small packets which may perform badly over connections of very high latency. Your bandwidth readings on a TCP sight might look just large enough to use Skype but since it's a UDP service it could be unusable.

Another possibility is that Gogo is demoting UDP traffic in some sort of QoS scheme to ensure that things like e-mail and regular HTTP traffic aren't slow or interrupted because 4 people are using Skype.

Re:Skype (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865285)

Skype uses UDP rather than TCP (like normal web traffic). If I remember correctly, UDP packets are many small packets which may perform badly over connections of very high latency.

UDP shouldn't have anything to do with latency, nor is it limited to "many small packets". UDP is just a transport protocol that lacks the error checking/data integrity and ordering mechanism of TCP. If such features are important to you then you need to use TCP or build them into your application that uses UDP.

The advantage of UDP comes in time critical applications where it's probably better to lose a few packets (i.e: have a second or two of dead air during a phone call) than delay the transmission (conversation stops while it waits for the lost packets to be retransmitted). Latency really doesn't have anything to do with it, although latency is bad for VoIP for other reasons.

Re:Skype (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865935)

In other words, UDP says:
"here take it!".

TCP says:
Client: "Hi, Nice to meet you, I'm TCP-Client".
Server: "Hi, TPC-Client I'm TCP-Server." (shakes hands)
TCP-Client: "I've got data for you. Here you go."
TCP-Server: "I got most of the data and it appears uncorrupt, but I'm missing page 2 and 374. Cand you send them again?"
TCP-Client: "Here you go. That's all, Goodbye"
TCP-Server: "Damn, he left before I could say goodbye"

Or something like that, it's been a while since my network programming class. But it was a lot of fun implementing these protocols. =P

Re:Skype (2, Insightful)

willda (1369247) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865401)

We recently switched to WildBlue satellite internet service and it has a fair amount of latency. No big deal really but it would be too much for Skype and you have to assume that the same problem would hold true for any sat service. (BTW WildBlue is awesome compared to the dial-up rurals have to put up with :)

Re:Skype (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865643)

(BTW WildBlue is awesome compared to the dial-up rurals have to put up with :)

I hope it survives overcast skies and rainy days. My company had Hughesnet for a long time before we got sick of the limitations and finally ponied up for a T-1. We are too far out to get cable or DSL. The T-1 isn't really cost effective from a bandwidth point of view (my cable provider could give us five times the bandwidth for what we are paying now) but it's great from a reliability standpoint and WAY better than any satellite service I've ever seen.

Re:Skype (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865773)

I use Wildblue as well, have for a few years, and it handles weather far better than Hughes did. It slows down some but has yet to go out entirely.

Re:Skype (1)

willda (1369247) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865779)

It's done nothing but storm for a week here & we haven't had a seconds trouble with it. TV has gone out a couple of times but not WB.

Re:Skype (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866209)

It's done nothing but storm for a week here

You live in Central New York? ;)

Sounds like they have a better service than Hughesnet. Hughes would die on days with heavy cloud cover, no rain required.

Re:Skype (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865973)

How does it work? Is it satellite based? Or is it using terrestrial radio.

I seem to recall that those in-flight pay phones they used to have worked on a VHF radio network operated by ARINC [arinc.com] .

Needless to say, if the service is satellite based, you will have noteceable latency.

Re:Skype (4, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866029)

I fired up Skype and dialed out. Massive failure. For some reason the sound is horrendously choppy and thin sounding. It was completely unusable.

You're experiencing high "jitter." Jitter is the change in delay from packet to packet. If odd numbered packets take 100 ms and even numbered packets take 150 ms then you have 50ms of jitter.

Certain protocols like VoIP and NTP require connections with low jitter in order to perform acceptably.

No (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866077)

If I remember correctly, UDP packets are many small packets which may perform badly over connections of very high latency. Your bandwidth readings on a TCP sight might look just large enough to use Skype but since it's a UDP service it could be unusable.

Not to be an asshole, but why has the above been modded "informative"?

All voice traffic is UDP. TCP wouldn't make any sense for streaming. Skype uses separate flows for chat, voice, and control. UDP is perfect for connections with very high latency because it can fill the pipe. Try using a straight TCP flow on a 2Mbps satellite connection. Good luck if you can use more than 800Kbps. ACKs will kill you.

Skype? (3, Insightful)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865191)

Probably blocked everything VoIP related to force airphones on you.

Skype is Not Blocked (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865295)

Probably blocked everything VoIP related to force airphones on you.

From the article:

I'm trying to get some critical production tasks done, and the rep I work with emailed me to call her. Thinking I was so tricky and cool, I fired up Skype and dialed out. Massive failure. For some reason the sound is horrendously choppy and thin sounding. It was completely unusable. I didn't get a chance to speak and see how I sounded on the other end. I tried dialing the Skype test call, but I only caught every other word.

Sounds like he could connect, it was just choppy.

Re:Skype is Not Blocked (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865465)

Tinfoil hat theory: they could throttle Skype packets just enough to "make it look like an accident" that it doesn't work.

Re:Skype is Not Blocked (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865663)

Tinfoil hat theory: they could throttle Skype packets just enough to "make it look like an accident" that it doesn't work.

I knew there was a reason why I route all my traffic through a VPN when I use connections I don't own......

Re:Skype is Not Blocked (2, Informative)

lefiz (1475731) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865937)

I have an asterisk PBX at work, and have used my VPN to connect to the box using SIP and AIX from multiple Virgin flights (some full, some empty). All of the calls, through any configuration, were choppy (though the call remained connected). I think its a combination of latency, jitter, and the bandwidth that ruin the call quality. Although it was choppy, I could check my voicemail (download side) but voicemails that I left for others (upload side) were nearly incomprehensible. I was getting pings greater that the OP, despite getting slightly faster speeds.

Re:Skype is Not Blocked (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866163)

My experience would suggest that the jitter is more to blame than the latency. It's kind of cool that it worked well enough to check your voicemail though. I'd probably be content with that -- who wants to be making a bunch of phone calls from the airplane anyway?

Re:Skype is Not Blocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865489)

Could still be throttled to those amounts. So it allows text chatting but not voice...

That said, average speed of 0.9 megaBITS? 900kb/s connection? And if that is average, it means that half the time it is below that... No wonder if it is hard to use Skype, especially if he has any other traffic.

Re:Skype? (3, Insightful)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866355)

Probably blocked everything VoIP related to force airphones on you.

Except that most airplanes removed airphones long ago, since they never really worked economically. Certainly Virgin America's brand-new planes won't have them.

They probably blocked everything VoIP related so that the people next to you don't throttle you for shouting in to your fucking Bluetooth headset while they're trying to read, sleep, or otherwise try to ignore you.

May I be the first to say (5, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865195)

I tried dialing the Skype test call, but I only caught every other word. So much for my dreams of in-flight video conferencing while yelling over the din of jet engines.

Oh god, I hope you, nor anyone else, ever gets this to work.

Re:May I be the first to say (-1, Offtopic)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865371)

Oh god, I hope neither you or anyone else ever gets this to work.

Grammar nazi to the rescue!

Re:May I be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865501)

Did you mean, "I hope neither you, nor anyone else"?

Re:May I be the first to say (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866003)

Did you mean, "Did you mean, "I hope neither you nor anyone else"?"?

The second comma separates "nor anyone else" from "you", but "anyone else" is an ultimate qualifier, which should be placed at the end of any lists.

You're using "gets" for "you" when you should be using "get". This seems correct since you're using "neither" and ", nor anyone else" to (incorrectly) form a list.

Since there is no list involved, the ultimate qualifier should be used parenthetically after the verb, or without the comma. If we're using it parenthetically, we drop the "neither" and commute that negative over to "ever", and change "gets" to "get" as well.

"Oh god, I hope neither you nor anyone else ever gets this to work."

"Oh god, I hope you never get this to work (nor anyone else)."

If you add in a third comma it's still wrong.
"Oh god, I hope neither you, nor anyone else, ever gets this to work." Separating out "nor anyone else" with commas before the verb "gets" ties "gets" to "you", which is incorrect. Parenthesis should be used here if you want to keep "nor anyone else" before the verb in order to prevent any conjugation conflict.

If you're going to be a Grammar Nazi, do it correctly.

If you're going to bitch about my use and nesting of quotation marks and punctuation at the beginning of my post, eat a dick. What is inside a quotation must be copied exactly. If it includes quotation marks, so be it. Nobody said it had to be easy (or unambiguous) to parse, and any attempt to use single quotes, block quotes, etc. can be foiled if you need to quote something containing them, so they do not provide complete disambiguation.

Re:May I be the first to say (2, Insightful)

lawaetf1 (613291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865459)

Amen. Can you imagine an 8-hour flight with everyone yapping around you? Hideous.

"yeah.. no that's what I said!.. oh he always acts like that HAHAHA... hey are you going to that thing on saturday?....... yeah but Jim will be there!..... oh this flight is taking for-EVER... geez promise you'll come visit me!.... oh hang on, he's calling, I'll call you right back!.. no, it's ok, we don't land for another four hours.. mmkay, bye--kisses!.... hey honey!"

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865825)

People seem to have no problem doing this attempting to have a convo on a busy street (times square for example), whats the big deal other than people complaining as if they have some logical reasoning? Sure, you don't want to hear about someone's gonorrhea, I get that. People don't tend to scream at the top of their lungs in an airplane, plus it is pressurized to reduce the need to scream further.

If everyone has small chatter it actually creates a bit of a whitenoise effect = sleep.

Re:May I be the first to say (2, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866401)

People don't tend to scream at the top of their lungs in an airplane,...

They talk louder because they judge how well they are being heard by how well they hear themselves. Over the constant drone of jet engines, people have to talk louder to hear themselves. Thus, they assume they need to be that loud so the microphone just an inch away from their face can hear them.

plus it is pressurized to reduce the need to scream further.

"Pressurized" is a relative term. Standard cabin air pressure is around 8000 feet altitude. Less than sea level. The pressure is lower than normal, even though the cabin is "pressurized".

If everyone has small chatter it actually creates a bit of a whitenoise effect = sleep.

I don't know what airplanes you fly on, but on the ones here on earth, lots of people chatting isn't "white noise" by any stretch of the imagination. The people ahead/behind you are always louder and prevent any realistic averaging. HA HA HA YOU DIDN'T...

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866309)

Too bad we aren't allowed to bring any sharp objects or weapons...I guess I will just have to slam my head against the wall till I pass out...

Re:May I be the first to say (3, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865715)

The plastic knives and forks supposedly don't work well for hijacking, but they should be okay to use on an in-flight yapper. For bonus points, use the spoon.

Re:May I be the first to say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27866473)

The plastic knives and forks supposedly don't work well for hijacking, but they should be okay to use on an in-flight yapper. For bonus points, use the spoon.

"Why the spoon?"

"It's dull. It will hurt more, you twit!"

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

Reber Is Reber (1434683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865717)

Sitting down with the Boston Globe, AirCell chief executive Jack Blumenstein said American, Delta and Virgin America have asked his company to block VoIP calls. "People don't want to have people talking around them on their cellphones," said Bluemstein. "The nightmare of 20 people on the plane shouting, 'Can you hear me now,' all the way from Boston to LA . . . a lot of people have taken positions saying we don't want that. So we block it." Interestingly, Blumenstein revealed that AirCell also provides the ability for in-flight communications via VoIP for the cockpit crew and cabin crew for voice communications to an airline's operations center. In the future, the high-speed data service may ultimately provide a path for enhanced cabin services (one presumes this would be a combination of stored/local updating and real-time feeds) such as video, audio, television and more. http://www.fiercevoip.com/story/inventory-airline-flight-voip-0-3-4-undecided/2009-03-08 [fiercevoip.com]

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865967)

How different would that be from people already talking to their neighbor on the airplane... no need for wifi to make a lot of noise :)

Internet on a plane (3, Funny)

kentrel (526003) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865203)

Yes,

You need to watch this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jETv3NURwLc [youtube.com]

Re:Internet on a plane (1)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866285)

This was the first thing I thought of when I saw this article. I knew some knucklehead would bitch about the speed or the fact it does not work with his home-made Linux distribution. Thanks for the perspective.

Skype... blocked or just sounded bad? (1, Insightful)

Zondar (32904) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865229)

They might have a way to block Skype, or it could just be a large amount of jitter from you to the Skype gateway you were trying to reach.

Louis CK would be pleased. (5, Funny)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865257)

Skype did not work for voice, even though I'm pretty sure those stats are over the minimums.

Everything is awesome and no one is happy!

VOIP on planes = bad (3, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865265)

We don't want to hear you talking on the phone while flying, and neither does Virgin.

Logically, they likely blocked it in order to preserve the sanity of other passengers.

Srsly? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865271)

Maybe I'm just insufficiently wealthy, or insufficiently internet addicted; but is 13 dollars for what is essentially five hours of DSL actually exciting?

Re:Srsly? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865389)

I was going to post the same. I'd much rather spend say $6.00 on a book and read it on the plane. Powering up a notebook and jabbering on tweeting on twitter about "omg, I am totally on the tubes from 30,000 ft." is just a waste of time and money.

Re:Srsly? (1)

PoliticalGamer (1548891) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865505)

I think it is impressive that it is even possible. The price will probably work its way down eventually, but this shows that it can be done.

Re:Srsly? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865555)

I think it would be great down time to write or work on stuff that takes 5 hours of concentration that you rarely get in other places.

That's actually why I like taking the train so much. It takes longer to get there, but I can't be distracted by all the "normal" things, so I work on stuff that doesn't get attention often.

Re:Srsly? (1)

redstar427 (81679) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865599)

Very exciting!

Most plane trips are boring enough. Having access to the Internet would be worth that money to me.
The cost of the plane ticket was far more money that the Internet fee.

Re:Srsly? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865605)

When you're paying 300 or more for the flight, and you're sitting in a cramped tin can for 6 hours, 13 bucks for internet is a godsend. I just wish the power adaptor under my seat wasn't broken on my last flight.

Re:Srsly? (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865645)

2 magazines at the airport gift shop could easily cost you $12.95, nobody bats an eye at that...

Re:Srsly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865647)

Considering that your hard drive can be confiscated without any reason during immigration, yeah, I'd say internet access on international flights is pretty cool.

Re:Srsly? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866359)

Bring a blank HD with you, download the data from your home server on the way to the meeting, sync it back before heading home ...

Re:Srsly? (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865769)

Am I the only one who assumed they are targeting business travelers? 13 dollars is nothing to them, literally - their company pays for it.

Internet on the plane is an awesome concept to the average person, but I think most people will change their mind when it comes down to typing in their credit card number.

Re:Srsly? (1)

lefiz (1475731) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866247)

This is exactly right. I fly coast to coast for work dozens of times per year and being able to do research, keep up with emails, and be otherwise productive is great. And my clients are more than happy to pay $13 to allow me to work for 5-6 hours, rather than sit there not working, but still billing.

Why pay for this (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865999)

Depends on the reason you're flying.

Business travel is sometimes "fire fighting". There is a big problem, so the company flies in an expert to fix it (or at least diagnose and convince the customer a fix is forthcoming).

In this situation, being able to work on the problem remotely while in the air is a good thing.

Traceroute? (4, Interesting)

maxrate (886773) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865275)

A traceroute to (anything) would have been very interesting.

Re:Traceroute? (5, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865635)

Tracing route to www.l.google.com [74.125.45.103]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 3 ms 1 ms 1 ms linksys.local [192.168.1.1]
    2 4 ms 2 ms 6 ms really.powerful.transmitter [192.168.1.0]
    3 424 ms 527 ms 530 ms secret.router.on.the.moon.moo [127.0.0.2]
    4 830 ms 832 ms 927 ms pwnt.by.brazil.sat.mil [403.406.408.410]
    5 84 ms 79 ms 79 ms GOOGLE-INC.FTL.warp.Level3.net [4.71.20.22]
    6 52 ms 53 ms 51 ms yx-in-f103.google.com [74.125.45.103]

Trace complete.

Re:Traceroute? (5, Funny)

breakfastpirate (925130) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865759)

Is the .moo TLD reserved only for celestial bodies whose composition is above 50% dairy?

Re:Traceroute? (2, Funny)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866183)

Nah, it's reserved for MOOs [wikipedia.org] . secret.router.on.the.moo.MOO is actually a text-based VR specializing in dusty conspiracy theory role-playing. And furries.

Banned VOIP (2, Informative)

Reber Is Reber (1434683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865323)

Joining American Airlines, Virgin America has demoed its in-flight Gogo broadband service. Official policy for Virgin Airlines is to block VoIP parts, but, rather than just let sleeping dogs lie, it seems to be a rite of passage for tech media wonks to demo work-around as they write about their experiences. From: http://www.fiercevoip.com/story/no-voip-blocking-virgin-america-beta-voip-holes-aa/2008-11-23 [fiercevoip.com]

Welcome (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865345)

"AWESOME. In fact, I'm posting this from 36,000 feet right now."

Let me be the first to welcome you to the Mile High Virgin Club.

Any ideas what might be going on? (5, Funny)

kindbud (90044) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865361)

Any ideas from the slashdotters on what might be going on?

No. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Your choice (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865369)

Any ideas from the slashdotters on what might be going on?

It's the "block the VOIP" feature which tested much more positively than "kill the annoying guy on the phone" with focus groups.

Re:Your choice (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866171)

It sounds like they're not outright blocking VOIP (yes, I get that it was a joke, bear with me) but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find that they're screwing with VOIP traffic. Don't they already provide phone service on board? Sounds like what I would do to protect that business.

Re:Your choice: Skypes on a plane? (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866223)

It's the "block the VOIP" feature which tested much more positively than "kill the annoying guy on the phone" with focus groups.

Odd, I would have expected the latter to be much more entertaining. Certainly more so than the movie.

RF on planes? (0, Troll)

Avatar889 (670455) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865387)

I thought they explicitly banned RF devices from being operated on planes for "security reasons"?

Did they also make a whole bunch of changes to the plane or did they actually test to see if it would cause any harm (like the FAA prevented the MythBusters from doing).

I for one can't wait to fall out of the sky because some 12 year old needs to download his pr0n faster, so he brings a yagi on the plane.

Re:RF on planes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27866109)

No, they banned RF devices from operating on planes for 'financial reasons'. Those $4/minute calls wont happen if johnny customer can yap away on his celly cell under 10,000 feet, or on his skype/vent chat thingymabober over the great series of tubes.

Compared to other bogus airline charges . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865441)

. . . you at least get something for the extra money.

As opposed to those other airline surcharges, like: extra baggage charge, security charge, too little baggage charge, late charge, early charge, right on time charge, homeland security charge, screaming kid charge, lack of screaming kid charge . . .

"Hello, and welcome to our flight. In order to ensure Homeland Security, alcoholic beverages will now cost $20 each. And non-alcoholic beverages will not be served."

"Our toilets are fitted with lapping sensors, so don't even dream of doing the family dog thing."

I tried this, it was good (1)

vmxeo (173325) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865495)

I tried this service several weeks ago between LA and NYC. While I didn't try Skype, I did RDP back to my computer back at my office through a VPN. Surprisingly, it worked quite well. There was also a novel trill in people asking where you were, and giving them a location 30,000 ft above some midwest state. Having outlets underneath the seat was nice too. Those perks alone are *almost* enough for me to dump JetBlue as my priamry airline of choice and fly Virgin America. But sadly, their routes and time schedules aren't quite there for me yet. Maybe someday soon...

Crypto (2, Insightful)

t00le (136364) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865541)

You might want to try to vpn into work or home, then try to use Skype. Chances are they filtering what ports are allowed, so going through a crypto tunnel will remove this ability.

Re:Crypto (4, Insightful)

t00le (136364) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865627)

I didn't added QoS into my original post. If you VPN into work or home you can remove their ability to filter or tag your connections through a VPN. By tunneling everything through a VPN it would be a true test since anyone with a clue will set crypto traffic with a high priority on a border network.

If it's still unusable it will be due to errors on the transmission, which with tcp would be classed as slowness. With UDP it would be missing packets that are not re-transmitted.

An analogy, in quake w/ tcp code you would hump a wall when lagged, but with udp you would teleport through the wall.

Re:Crypto (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865981)

Actually the difference inbetween NetQuake and Quakeworld performance was the addition of clientside motion prediction... it really had very little to do with TCP or UDP. Prior to that, a client had to wait ~300ms for a status update before you were allowed to move, or other players would move. With client side prediction, for a limited period of time you can keep moving in the world even after you've lagged out, and the other players will get a predicted path of movement until you come back. If you've been lagged out for too long you get the "teleportation" problem when your packets finally reach the server, because you didn't follow the client-side predicted path and the server just told the other clients you're elsewhere. It still beats netquake.

Re:Crypto (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866097)

An analogy, in quake w/ tcp code you would hump an invisible wall when lagged, but with udp you would teleport through the wall.

There, fixed that for you

I hope (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865553)

Any of you fellow nerds will make your laptop adhoc/an access point to share the connection if you end up buying service.

Or, better yet, offer a discounted rate for the above and make some or more of your money back :D

maybe... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865581)

you couldn't use skype because the connection was likely via satellite and that usually means you get to download really big packets really fast, but a lot of small packets could be highly inefficient I THINK

Your fellow passengers are thankful... (1, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865587)

Skype did not work for voice, even though I'm pretty sure those stats are over the minimums.

Re:Your fellow passengers are thankful... (0, Redundant)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865783)

I don't get this; your screaming brats are a-ok, but someone talking on the phone is not? As if all people that talk on their phone end up screaming.

Re:Your fellow passengers are thankful... (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866071)

No, screaming brats are NOT okay. But the only proven method for shutting them up tends to be frowned upon in most legal circles. However, the constant nattering of someone on the phone does not need to be added to the situation. I fail to see how VoIP and screaming kids are even close to analogous. There's factors such as "kid's ticket was paid for, person being chatted with did not purchase ticket." Thus, it's in their interests to keep things as quiet as possible for the people who have actual tickets.

Next time try MSN messenger... (3, Funny)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865611)

...you can send wave file samples and receive them as "packets" using the record button. Start with this 2 way radio approach to talking and see where you can go from there.

Voip in the sky (2, Insightful)

Igarden2 (916096) | more than 4 years ago | (#27865755)

If there is a god in the sky, voip will stay blocked.
I can't imagine sitting around someone who is talking incessantly on a phone on an airplane.
I don't care to listen to my own family members talk on a telephone for any length of time.

It's not supposed to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27865851)

Skype (and other VOIP apps) don't work on GoGo inflight internet by design.
I happen to be in a position to know.

In Flight (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866067)

Virgin American In-Flight Internet Review, From In-Flight

Which would be far better if the blog in which this was written was called "In-Flight". And if this person was on the run from the law. Then we'd have "Virgin American In-Flight Internet Review, From In-Flight, On In-Flight, In-Flight".

Latency would be *bad* (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866275)

I was an early adopter of WAN wireless internet in my area. While reasonable download speeds *could* be achieved on average the latency was terrible. Essentially the latency of data traversing the cellphone networks with some proprietary transmission protocol was unavoidable, since these networks were never designed for Teh Internets. Indeed you don't really notice 200-300ms of unstable latency when you're on a mobile call, but you do when your trying to shunt data over it the same network. All up, I had a 5mbps connection where a minimum latency floor of 300-350ms to local servers was the norm. These days with new GPRS through to HSDPA or whatever, things are a bit better.

The same with something in flight internet.

I would have been more interested in your pings to Google.com I bet they would have been rubbish.

Great streaming porn (0)

ItsPaPPy (1182035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866329)

Just what we need the ability to pull up your favorite porno streaming site and have some kid jacking it in the bathroom. Its bad enough you can only use 1 bathroom per your section of the plane.

Southwest airlines testing now (5, Informative)

Eharley (214725) | more than 4 years ago | (#27866403)

Southwest is testing Wi-Fi on four of its planes now. I was on one on a flight from Las Vegas to Baltimore. They sent me an email the day before telling me that the plane would have wi-fi and that it would be free during this test period.

The speed was fantastic, but I didn't benchmark it. However, I was able to do a video iChat with my wife at home. Didn't try to do any audio, just video.

The big drawback about Southwest is that their planes have no power outlets. Not sure if they're going to add them. But they're aware of the issue.

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