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Boeing Gets FCC Approval For Broadband Service

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the keep-it-moving dept.

The Internet 154

lba writes "Boeing's plans to offer broadband on their planes (as in this earlier /. article) gets into the next phase... BBC News has a story about them now getting FCC approval for this project. Protoypes of Connexion, as the service is called, would be installed on Lufthansa planes in about a year. Three US Airline companies canceled their support for the project last November."

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154 comments

Live Streaming Ass-Kicking! (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760683)

Woohoo! Next time some terrorist waltzes through airport security and the passengers kick his ass, we get live streaming video!

Re:Live Streaming Ass-Kicking! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760696)

> live streaming video!

(And more importantly, Slashdotters can now claim FIRST POST while travelling! w00t!)

Re:Live Streaming Ass-Kicking! (-1, Offtopic)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760785)

I'd just settle for kicking the ass of ANY Muslim shithead that tries to get on a plane right now.

Re:Live Streaming Ass-Kicking! (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761118)

Yeah, or like I said on my site [blazeconnect.net] - you can send ICQ messages to your friends at home that the guy in the next isle is trying to light his shoes ;)

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760684)

I rule

The main benefit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760688)

Is that the seats will be wider to accomodate the extra wiring and laptop-platform. Of course, all the pictures I've seen of this setup have people turned 90 degrees to the side making it a little hard on the back. Then again, a little lower back pain will go nicely with my carpal tunnel.

Finally (1)

Sase (311326) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760690)

It's about time :)

I can't wait... Does anyone know if they'll impliment this on older craft?

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760721)

I have a sneaking suspicion that when it is implemented, it'll wind up in first class -- which most of us almost never get to use. All of the news articles I've seen so far have been implying that this will be a great revolution that will allow us all to check our AOL e-mail at 50,000 feet -- but something tells me that the only people who will get to do that will also be sipping wine and eating caviar while they do it.

However, I also have to say that I'd never expected the US airlines to back out. We Americans are the most wired country in the world, and certainly one of the most gadget-happy -- and our airlines turn their backs on this just when it's literally ready to fly?

Go figure. I have to wonder how much of a "free ride" Lufthansa is going to get now that those who the system may have been built for no longer care about it.

Re:Finally (4, Informative)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760770)

We Americans are the most wired country in the world, and certainly one of the most gadget-happy

I think that might be an over generalization. There is a great disparity between haves and have nots in this country such that it'd be hard to support that claim. Count the palm pilots in rural mississippi or louisiana. If there were a "most wired" or "most gadget-happy" nation, I'd have to give it to Singapore or Japan.

Re:Finally (2)

Buran (150348) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760794)

"If there were a "most wired" or "most gadget-happy" nation, I'd have to give it to Singapore or Japan."
True. Apologies. I should probably have said instead that the US is one of the most well-known countries for typical PC networking (in other words, Americans tend to use desktop PCs and notebooks far more than is the case in Japan); I don't know what types of devices are used in Singapore, but I know that a lot of the computing in Japan is on game consoles -- the differences between English language and Japanese is a big barrier to overcome for a typical keyboard user.

(Way off-topic: I was surprised to find that IRC seems to work just fine with accented characters for the most part; the channel I frequent has a German user, and my copy of mIRC receives his umlauts just fine -- I didn't know it could do that. The MUCKs I use -- a type of MUD -- don't. Neat stuff.)

Now understanding what he's saying? Completely different matter entirely; I don't know much German ...

Re:Finally (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760829)

If there were a "most wired" or "most gadget-happy" nation, I'd have to give it to Singapore or Japan.

I have no facts about "most gadget happy", but "most wired" does exist - currently (as of June 2001) the honor is a tie, and goes to Switzerland and Canada [multimediator.com] with 73%

The US was a close second (third?) with 72%.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760778)

We Americans are the most wired country in the world, and certainly one of the most gadget-happy

Sorry, the Japs have us beat easily.

Wha??? (5, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760784)

We Americans are the most wired country in the world

Can you back that up with a reference?

A quick search tells me that Finland [www.stat.fi] is #1.

Or were you using the term "world" as in "world series" (which apparently means "USA - and maybe Canada occasionally if we're feeling particularly generous")?

Re:Wha??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760796)

This is off-topic, but the World Series was originally the "New York World Series", named after the newspaper "New York World" that sponsored it. People got sick of saying that so it got shortened to the "World Series." It has nothing to do with claiming the US (and Canada) are the entire world.

Re:Wha??? (OT) (1)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760843)

the World Series was originally the "New York World Series", named after the "New York World" that sponsored it.

Yes, I know that - and you know that, but how many other people (especially in the US) know that? Everyone I've talked to seems to believe it's because it decides the world's best baseball team.

To paraphrase John Cleese:
One of the things that makes the UK better than the US is that when we hold the world championship for a sport, we invite teams from other countries.

Re:Wha??? (OT) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760850)

The thing is, it actually does decide the world's best baseball team. Or at least does so to the best of a tournament's ability.

Japanese and Cuban teams are probably the closest competitors to American and Canadian teams, but they just don't have the juice to beat the U.S. in international play.

Re:Wha??? (1)

_fuzz_ (111591) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760888)

A quick search tells me that Finland [www.stat.fi] is [the most wired country in the world].

There's a nice graph on that page with a bar that shows Finland ahead of the US in Internet connections. That doesn't really mean much, since this is how they figured it:

There were some 546,000 Internet connections in Finland in January 19992, 107 per 1000 inhabitants, as calculated mechanically on the basis of the country code shown in the network address, an approach which nevertheless entails a number of uncertainty factors. The users of the commercial com. network, for example, cannot be located to country, so that the network address of a computer located in Finland does not necessarily have to end with 'fi'. It is similarly impossible to count the number of Internet users on the basis of these data.
So basically it's saying there are more hosts on .fi domains per capita than the US. That doesn't really qualify Finland as the most wired country in the world.

Re:Finally (2)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760939)

have a sneaking suspicion that when it is implemented, it'll wind up in first class -- which most of us almost never get to use.

If they can make money off of the cattle-class customers by charging them for the service, they'll do it!

tenzing did this already... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760698)

www.tenzing.com

Interesting, but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760704)

I'm lost.

Re:Interesting, but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760729)

I'm lost too. I've lost my soul to alcohol. Can't control it anymore.

Wrong investment (1, Offtopic)

Peter Dyck (201979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760705)

I'd rather have the cash-starved airlines investing in the security and maintenance than this.

Wrong department (4, Informative)

Brendan Byrd (105387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760725)

This is Boeing, not American Airlines. Boeing makes planes, not fly them. The guys making the planes make a LOT of money.

Re:Wrong department (1)

Peter Dyck (201979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760738)

Yeah, I know it's Boeing and that Boeing makes planes.

But these are the planes the airlines buy. My point was that they should not buy this new stuff (because it has "the net") but to improve the existing fleet.

Re:Wrong department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760863)

they should not buy this new stuff (because it has "the net") but to improve the existing fleet.

Well why not improve the existing fleet by adding network connectivity? You didn't really think lufthansa would buy 200 new planes just to get online?

Re:Wrong investment (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760754)

I'd rather have the cash-starved airlines investing in the security and maintenance than this.

Why do their investments have to be 'either-or'?

I'd rather they invest in security, maintenance, AND improvements like this all at the same time.

Re:Wrong investment (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760765)

Why do their investments have to be 'either-or'?

see "cash-starved" adjective in the above statement.

Re:Wrong investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761248)

See the $15B bailout. I'd hardly call them "cash-starved." Not to mention, the major american ones still have billions in on-hand cash. Yes, they are losing money, but it's like losing a week's allowance.

Re:Wrong investment (5, Interesting)

Byteme (6617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760758)

After security and maintenance I'd ask for better food. I'd put broadband-in-flight last on the list.

Re:Wrong investment (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761106)

I'd rather have the broadband, and no food. Or just let us bring our own. Why on earth would I need a meal on a 3 hour flight? Do they think that we all need to eat every 2 hours or we die?

You can bring your own food... (5, Funny)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761141)

So many people thing airplanes are like movie theatres (although things may have tightened up since 9-11). Personally, I like to buy a box of piping hot Cinnabons and slowly consume them during the first 90 minutes of the flight... The smell makes everyone for 10 rows in both directions think really evil thoughts about me!

Re:You can bring your own food... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761147)

I was stuck in the back corner of a 737, surrounded on all sides by hyper highschoolers eating peanut butter and crackers. If there was ever any justification for the aiming of projectile vomit, this was it.

Re:Wrong investment (2)

Byteme (6617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761244)

OK, I'd rather have a toilet at my seat in the place of broadband. A fully stocked bar would be nice. Free Valium? Massages? The real issue is the fact that it should be long after improved security and maintenance. However, not all flights are 3 hours, and the food does suck.

Re:Wrong investment (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761273)

Well I think they should just let us bring our own food. So when I fly out of La Guardia I can stop by the local deli and grab a real sandwich instead of the styrofoam they serve us.

Re:Wrong investment (1)

ez76 (322080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761228)

After security and maintenance I'd ask for better food. I'd put broadband-in-flight last on the list.
Remember we're not talking about what the consumer wants, but what Boeing could do.

While Boeing could probably devise features that facilitate better airplane security, getting airlines to be better about maintenance and food is an issue that is probably less in their control.

A humorous accident (1, Offtopic)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760706)

I don't know if it's just my browser or what, but the photo of three Boeing jets in the article seems a bit corrupted. The lead jet appears to be either burning or mangled right after the trailing edge of the left wing.

In articles about airliners, you'd think that this specific type of compression artifact would be noticed earlier.....

Re:A humorous accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760743)

mine's the same. the near plane also appears to be having troubles on the left wing.

my guess is that because the engines are right there, all the heat pouring out of them are distorting the original photo

Foreign flight requirements (2, Interesting)

TexTex (323298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760707)

With the coming of broadband to the air abroad, does anyone know what other requirements or rather preventions foreign airlines like Luft has in-flight? Can you use cellphones or GPS or good stuff like that in other countries?

Broadband midflight may actually make voice-over-IP rather interesting competition to those $9.00/min AirPhone calls...

Re:Foreign flight requirements (2, Informative)

Brendan Byrd (105387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760957)

Seeing as it's not a major issue between airlines (as in: "nobody's going to stop going to an airline because this one has cheap air-phone costs"), they will probably just quietly implement voice-over-IP and still charge the $9/min. After all, airlines still charge sky-high prices for food.

Re:Foreign flight requirements (3, Insightful)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761148)

Heh, what makes you think they won't charge $9.00/min for the broadband? I mean, these are the airlines!

One Guess Why (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760711)

... Three US Airline companies
canceled their support for the project last November."


Overreaction. As american as Mom, the Flag and Apple Pie. When will the government and business realize that if there's a weakness it's in not having a legacy of assasinating leaders and setting up banana republics, winning no matter the cost.

stability? (1)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760712)

If I go on IRC will I see myself getting peer'd often because of a cloud or two? What about latency?

I think I can live without the internet for a few hours.

Boeing's areas of commerce (3, Funny)

MathJMendl (144298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760713)

First lightning fast air travel, then lightning fast internet access. What's next, lightning fast pizza delivery?

Wireless on an airplane? (1)

msolnik (536110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760714)

How about wireless 802.11 stuff on an airplace too? I would live to be able to wip out the laptop and have inet connection no more listening to that stupid person next to you on the plane.

Re:Wireless on an airplane? (1)

filtersweep (415712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760755)

Wireless? They already act like your walkman or cellphone will bring the plane down...

This airborn broadband seems like an expensive gimmick. Last hotel I was in charged a fortune (per minute) for hookup... can't imagine what an airline will charge.

Finally, I've never been forced to listen to anyone sitting next to me on a plane. Skip a few showers before you board, if you must!

Ugh - have you thought about the cancer risks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761078)

Sorry - but there's been absolutely NO studies about the safety of 802.11 devices. The closest are the cellphone studies - which do indicate a link between cancer and cell-phones.

And you want to sit on a plane with a bunch of microwave transmitters all over? No thanks.

Re:Ugh - have you thought about the cancer risks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761162)

Don't forget the studies that show that flying through the atmosphere exposes you to more cosmic rays and thus higher cancer risk.

AirLine Costs ... (3, Interesting)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760723)

Acutal BBC article ... [bbc.co.uk] Anyone here ever used AirPhones?? yeah ... well I see this as being a great way to drop a good $40 on a plane ride for the ability to look at pr0n and check email ... plus who's going to give tech support?

Though it would be cool to join the "Downloaded and recompiled my kernel mile high" club ... Personally terrorism or not ... I can't stand to be in a plane more than an hour ... but this would be nice ...

I don't see this being in coach at all ... but it is nice to see that you can feel more comfortable when traveling ... to save on installation problems ... using 802.11 would be the best way to go ... and with everything popping up with 802.11 it's about time for notebook users to grab a card anyways ...

This will go over well ... (5, Funny)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760726)

With out new "anti-terrorism" laws.

I can just see a bunch of headphone'd CS freaks on their laptops screaming at the top of their lungs, "OH YEAH, YOU WANT SOME?! FUCKING DIE! SUCK THE SNOT END OF MY FUCKSTICK YOU PUKE!!"

while the beverage cart rolls by ...

Cheers,
- RLJ

Re:This will go over well ... (2, Funny)

ender81b (520454) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761000)

better yet they turn up the volume on their laptop just to add to the fun as the cart rolls on buy

*Cover me!*
BOOM!
*Need backup*
RAT-TAT-TAT
*The Bomb has been planted*
At this point I imagine their would be some sort of incident.. involving sedation. and belts.

Issues (0)

supertedusa (541578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760730)

So a group of terrorists can IM each other to coordinate an attack? Flipside would be that I could snap a digital picture of the people in the plane around me, then upload it to checkforthugs.com and get a response letting me know if there are any known terrorists that match any of the passengers in the photo. I guess the capability's been there already with the airphones already in seatbacks, but seriously, is there really a need for this?

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Time to get rid of the voice/data recorders? (1, Interesting)

curunir (98273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760739)

If this thing actually works, maybe they should get rid of the cockpit voice/data recorders and just upload all the information off the plane.

In addition to being able to determine the cause of crashes more quickly, it might help ground personel know what is happening with airplanes long before they crash (perhaps helping pilots avoid crashes).

Let the trademark suits begin! (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760745)

Conxion [conxion.com] probably won't be too happy with them using the name "Connexion" with regards to an Internet service. Lawyers everywhere rejoice.

How? (3, Interesting)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760750)

Airborne internet access would, if successful, help diversify the Boeing group away from the cyclical jet building business.

And how?

Boeing is going to install internet connection on their airplanes, and Boeing is still in the business of .... building airplanes. How is installing a few more wires going to change that?

Retrofit (2, Informative)

Mr. X (17716) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760768)


Boeing can retrofit the already sold planes with this new tech.. It's not limited to only new planes. This gives them work to do when the airlines stop ordering new planes.

Because... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760788)

Because Boeing will get a cut of the cost charged for internet access using there service...

New way to crash an airplaine (4, Funny)

embobo (1520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760761)

root@laptop:# ping -f cockpit

"This is your captain speaking. Would whoever is ping flooding the cockpit please stop? I'm trying to telnet to the altimeter and the packets are being dropped. I'm not sure, but I think we are about to hit Mount Rushmore."

Re:New way to crash an airplaine (3, Funny)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760777)

How about hacking Microsoft Flight Simulator to take over the cockpit entirely?

Or X-Wing in that matter.

Pricing? (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760767)

Any hint of what this connectivity is going to cost per hour?

Also, are we ever going to see airline travel deregulated to the point where I can fly Lufthansa from SFO to LGA? ;-)

-jcr

Re:Pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760815)

Per hour ???? This'll be per-minute, just so at first glance it won't look like you'll need a second mortgage...

Convergence (3, Interesting)

Zen Mastuh (456254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760780)

Now they can watch live streaming video, courtesy of cnn.com [cnn.com] , of their plane crashing into a building after being hijacked by some sick bastard. Until that happens, it's a great way to pass the time in those cramped cabins.

By the way, I hope it's not connected at all to any of the plane's navigation/communication/control systems...

Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760804)

So we'll soon be able to have high-speed access in the middle of the ocean at 30,000 ft. But yet, my parents in a San Jose suburb are still forced to use a 33k dialup?

Its a weird world....

Tom

So much better than AirPhone (2, Interesting)

actappan (144541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760805)

Having just spent something in excess of 15 hours on board aircraft these holidays i seriously could have used this.

The obvious thing would be to install airport or other 802.11 stuff (wasn't there an article sometime back about Virgin Atlantic loking to do something like that?) And I know that some airlines are already installing 110 outlets on the bulkheads and such.

LAN party at 30,000 ft!!!!

Another plane crash... (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760810)

...everyone using Boeing Wireless in the Southern U.S. is down and using Netzero.

Funny thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760817)

Each plane should have its own IRC channel. Could make for some interesting chats:

31337 b0y: do u cyb3r?
r00t luvin gurl: yeh. u wanna mile h1gh???
...

Even more interesting (legally) is if one of the parties in under 18. As you fly over one state it is legal, fly over the next it isn't, fly over the next it is (again), ... It sure is confusing to live in a police state!

In-Flight Announcements Of The Future! (5, Funny)

Freneticus (546178) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760825)

(inside the plane of the future ...)

Stewardess- "Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll please look at the color code bar fastened against your seat backs, you can tell whether you have been seated in your requested section or not. Please recall that all seats with a gold border are regions 1-3, all seats with a silver border are region 4-6, and all seats with slate border are not allowed access. Remember, color denotes permissable access. Red bars denote pornography, blue bars denote warez, green bars denote live video feeds of you looking at the green bars, orange bars denote a block on port 6667, yellow bars denote smoking *and* pornography, and purple bars denote seats not yet installed with broadband access. Also, remember that the color beige does not actually signify anything; that is the color of seatbacks without digital panels. Please do not request assistance on manipulating your seatback. No matter how hard you push, it will not sprout a flat panel display. Thank you for observing all regulations."

What about trains? (2)

pinkpineapple (173261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760836)

I live in the bay area and read recently that CALTRAIN plans to shutdown the railroad system every weekends for TWO years! Reason given: repairs and improvements.

Do you think that they are planning on installing a broadband access in trains too?

I seriously doubt that but since the recent events of downturn economy, uprising traffic and risks in flying have cropped up, train usage has rapidely become popular around here.

They could even use the tracks themselves to carry the signal. And typing on a laptop during an hour commute to the city would make more sense than sitting in a car stupidely behind the wheels.

Ah! I miss Japan.

PPA -- the girl next door.

Perhaps I am missing something. . . (1)

*ZiggyP0P* (231807) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760842)

Could someone mind telling me exactly why people need broadband on planes to begin with?

Noone is doing so much downloading that they cannot put it on pause for a few hours.

Hardcore gamers wouldn't use this service either -- signals bouncing from sat to sat to plane rarely provide nice pings.

I might expect someone to say "What about those telecommuters that MUST check in and work while on plane?" -- since that bill would be footed by the boss I DOUBT they would make this mistake more than once. . . and they think airphones are expensive.

Could SOMEONE tell me what an average (or even slightly rare) traveler would need a sweet broadband connection while in the air? Perhaps the other companies pulled out because they couldnt answer this question themselves...

Re:Perhaps I am missing something. . . (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761117)

so I can frag the guy in first class?
because it would be just as expensive to put in a slower service?
Business traveller that spend many hours on a flight could get some work done?

Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (1)

Allocutor (518994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760844)

What's to keep a suicidal terrorist from combining a handhelp GPS unit with broadband to reveal the plane's course and location? Maybe this service needs to provide only incoming connections?

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (1)

maX_ (46318) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760880)

what's to keep you from going to Flytecomm [flytecomm.com] and tracking it yourself?

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (1)

Allocutor (518994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760920)

Nothing. But I assume -- good grief otherwise -- that Flytecomm does not provide real-time , 3-meter precision. I expect its considerably less precise and somewhat delayed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I sure hope not!

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760942)

Goddamn you're a fucking moron.

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (1)

ZPO (465615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761003)

You don't need broadband. Just the GPS. The GPS itself will read out all the required info. Add a couple stored waypoints and you're all set to fly the aircraft to any point you like.

As for folks on the ground you can just listen to the ACARS frequencies and track all the aircraft around you (usually 100-200miles)

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (1)

Allocutor (518994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761036)

ZPO: excellent point. I guess I was more concenred with the terrorist relaying real-time position data to his SAM-weilding buddies on the ground -- a poor man's radar if you like. But maybe its not such a big deal.

Re:Security Implications of GPS + Broadband? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761123)

not a whole lot of sams will fire 30,000 feet in the air.
If its on landing or take off, you can see your target.

hell, I guy at the end of an airport with a rifle can bring a plane down on take off.

I don't want to be pessimistic (5, Informative)

Breace (33955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760895)

but don't have your hopes up yet.

I work in the industry, and in fact our product would probably benefit (as in, sold more) if Connexion was available.

I have to say though that it is at the moment mainly vapor. (their demo link uses a satellite dish the size of Washington). I've read a bunch of their documents, and it's surprising how much time they spent on describing silly details and being very vague about how to actually solve the real problems.

Their biggest problem though: they have a .com business plan. As in, it don't make no sense. To sum it up: we are going get this fast pipe to the airplane and then we are all going to be rich. It sounds an awful lot like the in-seat airphones fiasco in the making. (for those who don't know it: these things have only COST money, which was carried by GTE & AT&T)

Again, I would love to have a high speed connection to the plane, but there are many problems to overcome. On the less-technical side for example: tech support. Take an office with 300 people all connected to the internet. What kind of staff is needed to support that? Who's going to do that in the airplane? I can guarantee you that it's not going to be the flight attendants. Especially in the US where their union will scream bloody murder over just the slightest increase in workload.

Sorry to be so negative, but the combination of Boeings bureaucracy and a .com business plan just doesn't sound good...

Re:I don't want to be pessimistic (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761230)

actually quite simple. 1 linux box and 1 802.11 accesspoint. the linux box will dhcp everyone and if they cant get it to work the stweard's response will be "sucks to be you, want some peanuts?" needs no admin except when it lands and needs updates because some script kiddie was riding with his parents and 0wn3d the box on the flight from DC to Chicago.

Re:I don't want to be pessimistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761284)

1 linux box

I love how "linux box" is the answer to everything here.

Ask Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2760911)

I can just picture the next Ask Slashdot:

"Next year, I'll be leaving the dorms and heading out to live in the Real World. With broadband access now available on airplanes, does anyone know if any of the major airlines would allow me to take up residence in one of their aircraft? -- a roomy 777 if possible..."

Will, and How will access be controlled? (1)

John_McKee (100458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760946)

While filtering may be a diffrent story on in library, what about on a plane? In such a confined space, surely there would be very vocal objections to someone looking up hate sites and pornography in clear few of children, and those why may be offended. This, in my mind, is enough to damper the whole idea. Who, and how would filtering be controlled?

Re:Will, and How will access be controlled? (1)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761138)

How is this a new problem?

"Objectionable Material" on aircrafts does not seem to be a problem despite the fact that we can already bring as much as we want.

Let's count the number of ways we can already carry "objectionable material" onto a plane.. On your hard disk, on a CDROM/DVD, Magazine, Book, Poster, blow-up doll....

I think people would BYOP (bring your own porn) before they would pay for it through what will be grossly overpriced (see airphones for an example) net-access, anyway.

You alarmists who want to filter everything sicken me. Why don't you just title your post "oh, won't you pleeeese think of the children"...

@home ex-customers flock to the air (2, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760980)

"Addicted to 1Mb/s download rates, former @home customers appear in droves at airports, hoping to get a taste of the high bandwidth connections"

Technical details (1)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 12 years ago | (#2760983)

Some technical details can be found in the post [slashdot.org] that I made when the first item came out in June. At the time, I posted it a bit late, so it missed the usual early Informative modder-uppers and thus stayed in Score:1 oblivion.

no more CDPD from the plane! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761043)

"..Yes, stewardess, thats just my laptop's solar panel suction-cupped to the window."

New SPAM Platform? (1)

Allocutor (518994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761047)

So, if a scruples-challenged marketer SPAMS all of us from 30,000 feet, who has jurisdiction. And you thought anti-SPAM laws were tough to enforce now? :)

heheh, get your directional antennas primed! (1)

braddock (78796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761067)

heheh, if they put 802.11 in the cabin, get your rooftop servo controlled directional antenna up, 'cause I'm getting my broadband from that spec at 35,000 feet! (damn shielding...:()

Braddock
who has often wondered about bouncing boosted 802.11 off passing aircraft for 100+ mile range.

Funny thing is... (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761114)

There is a billboard on the 405 South in Long Beach of a guy sitting on a plane with a laptop. Big Boeing logo, and I think it says something like "Connexion" in large white letters. Doesn't really explain what it does or how it's supposed to magically change our lives.


So, instead of the whole idea just being a black pit that Boeing is dropping money into, they are also racking up the expenses on an ad campaign. I wonder how many line workers they are going to have to lay off to pay for this screwed up idea...any guesses?

Sounds great (1)

xercist (161422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2761190)

but I assume this is going to be a pay service. Shell out $X per minute of connectivity, or such.

What's to stop someone from plugging in a laptop, paying for the service, then giving the rest of the plane NAT'ed access via 802.11?

Sorry, us techies just like to spend our time thinking of ways around things like that :)

Re:Sounds great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2761283)

Probably the fact that no one is going to recompense the guy who's paying for the service.

Who owns the airwaves? Bandwidth wants to be Free!
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