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Wireless Internet Launched on Lufthansa FRA - IAD

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the don't-let-the-pilots-surf-below-10km dept.

Technology 223

JpMaxMan writes "On flight LH 418 from Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington, DC, Lufthansa AG began on Wednesday a three-month trial for a new onboard wireless broadband service that allows travelers to connect to the Internet some 10,000 meters in the sky."

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223 comments

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This sounds familiar... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092201)

ffiirrsstt ppoosstt

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092204)

.... oh and here comes the dinner service..

The thing about airlines that scares me (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092213)

Is that they go through all this trouble to prevent bombs getting on board, yet they act like the plane will crash if I have my CD player on during take-off. Heck, if it could, and I wanted to crash the plane, I'd just turn it on and leave it out of sight!

Re:The thing about airlines that scares me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092421)

curios....

i realize that it's a blanket policy to turn off all devices during takeoff/landing, but why is the rule there to begin with?

Re:The thing about airlines that scares me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092434)

You, as well as most of the public, knows nothing about airplane systems or operations. Electronic devices are *MOST LIKELY* not going to cause the airplane to crash. What they may do is interfere with various navigation systems causing the airplane to go off course. This increases the time of the flight, which increases the cost, which increases the ticket price.

Going off course also creates a safety hazard, in that the airplane may drift into the path of another one. HOWEVER, it is still unlikely that a crash will result as there is both a controller watching the airplanes on a radar (usually), and TCAS on the airplane (often airplaneS) in question which will alert crews to the danger. But you probably don't want to be a passanger when TCAS suddenly commands a descent.

So you're probably not going to crash an airplane with your electronic device, you'll just piss a lot of people off, and the pilot could quite easily have you arrested, as it is a federal offense.

Re:The thing about airlines that scares me (5, Insightful)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092494)

"You, as well as most of the public, knows nothing about airplane systems or operations. Electronic devices are *MOST LIKELY* not going to cause the airplane to crash. What they may do is interfere with various navigation systems causing the airplane to go off course. This increases the time of the flight, which increases the cost, which increases the ticket price."

Riiight, so we're told that environmental radiation on these flights is high enough to be an "occupational hazard" [hps.org] but rather heavily regulated devices in my pocket are going to be a problem for the plane's (hopefully) hardend systems?

Bullshit.

Yeah, I gues I could some items like cell phones/radios maybe eletric motors & other such devices that are very rf "leaky" but there's no way in hell I'm buying that story for, say, a cd player.

I suppose there could be other reasons like "our insurance carrier will kill us if we don't take reasonable precautions to ensure that you at least pretend to pay attention to the (generally usesless - I mean wtf cares what you do if your plane smokes some field at 700km/hr?) safety notices, so please kindly turn the walkman"off". yeah I suppose I could buy that, but that's not what they tell you - they say some babble (and it's never really the same on each flight) about "being found to interfere with electrical systems" or "navigation systions" or "the plane's systems" and never once say anything meaningfull or cite a regulation, or give contact info for those with inquiries or complaints.

Re:The thing about airlines that scares me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092569)

I think it's just because they have no way of knowing that your CD player is actually a CD player. It could be a radio that listens in on the flight crew. It could just as easily be a device designed to screw with the navigation systems, or it could even be a homing beacon for a missle. I realize that the chances of someone doing this are pretty close to zero, but even if you were to open up the CD player how many people could look at the circuit board and tell you what it actaully does?

Cost and Speed (3, Funny)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092214)

I wonder how much this costs, and I'm assumming its satalite so does that affect pings for online gaming? Fragging from 10,000feet..........

Re:Cost and Speed (2, Interesting)

targo (409974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092243)

I wonder how much this costs, and I'm assumming its satalite so does that affect pings for online gaming? Fragging from 10,000feet..........

If it's anything like the phone service (really crappy line quality, >2 second delay) in most airplanes then you're lucky if you get something like 4800bauds from them. You'd better forget about gaming, porn etc. right away.

Re:Cost and Speed (5, Informative)

mni12 (451821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092350)

Beginning in 2004, the service will cost between 30 (US$32) and 35 per flight. Not bad compared to for example what T-mobile charges [t-mobile.com] at the airports.

Will gravity affect the uploads to my comp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092378)

Then again, downloads to earth should zip pretty fast.

pr0n and the very friendly skies (5, Funny)

sugardaddyano (515561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092217)

does this mean i can finally join the solo mile high club?

Re:pr0n and the very friendly skies (1)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092297)

ha ha ha, that would be a great way to start a conversation if a nun sat next to you.... tho i think that things would get even more exciting if you recognized her in the pics....

i am the xao
xao gypsie

Re:pr0n and the very friendly skies (1)

buffy (8100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092306)

I can see it now...

airautopr0n.com [autopr0n.com] .

Re:pr0n and the very friendly skies (1)

dankow (462225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092405)

You think that's a joke! I've seen it, and it didn't even involve pr0n.

I was flying KLM from Amsterdam to Atlanta several years ago, and thanks to a KLM screwup (what a bummer), I was in business class. The guy across the aisle from me had a blanket over his lap, and for a long time, you could see his hand under there, slowly moving up and down. In broad daylight, in the middle of business class, this guy was flogging the bishop! It only ended when the stewardess came over and whispered something to him.

Incredibly off-topic, but oh well...

Re:pr0n and the very friendly skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092455)

Jay-zus. Hasn't he ever heard of the lav?

Re:pr0n and the very friendly skies (5, Funny)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092479)

Sort of a high jack?

great (3, Funny)

Stanley Feinbaum (622232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092218)

I always enjoy surfing the net while high.

isnt that dangerous? (-1, Troll)

rainman31415 (576575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092222)

i mean, yes, lets give terrorists yet another way to coordinate themselves while in the air....granted that is a little unfair, but it seems that there is jsut yet another thing to use against us. i would feel better if this came out after things calmed down a little bit...

weeeeeee
rainman

Re:isnt that dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092254)

You sir, are an idiot.

Re:isnt that dangerous? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092275)

How is this a more effective way for terrorists to coordinate themselves than the airphone that's been around for years. They can just use codewords not to tip anyone off like "nice weather" = "we're in position".

Re:isnt that dangerous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092536)

"Tickle your ass with a feather?"

"Excuse me?"

"PARTICULARLY NASTY WEATHER! haha Akmed, I am just fucking you."

"You are not fucking me Mohammad. Damn you"

"I mean Akmed I fucking WITH you. You know. You know what I mean."

"What you mean? You fucking me now? Who fucking who? Pay your own attention."

Sample Terrorist IM Log (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092314)

Akmad469GoodTime: R U RDY 4 KILLING????

SexyGirl17Muslim: no meal service yet :(

Akmad469GoodTime: I H8 NUTS!!!

SexyGirl17Muslim: u r nuts!!! LOL!

Akmad469GoodTime: ROFLOLOFLOLFO!!!!!!

Re:Sample Terrorist IM Log (-1, Troll)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092346)

except it would be more like:
lvkjdgn;kn;jdsvnksjnv;sJENvsjenlisenvlnsD vliSNDev.msnD vlibevlnks dvlibsrelvn sdlvkj,

well something like that....cause arabic scare me...looks like squiggly lines and stuff
i am the mighty xao
xao gypsie

risks and advantages? (4, Interesting)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092224)


It will be interesting to see how different countried react to this availability onboard - many countried are VERY paranoid about RF gear operating on an airliner due to fear of interferance with the onboard systems...

Personally I'm quite suprised that this is a wireless solution, and not wired onboard, as that would seem a much more 'acceptable' solution worldwide, and quite probably more secure for individuals.

I wonder how well seperated the network streams are between users? network sniffing count suddenly before very interesting ;)

Re:risks and advantages? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092278)

The first class and business sections do have wired connections available. Adding wired connections is more expensive, so it'll be more limited. Also, newer laptops these days are likely to include wireless access, and you find very few desktop computers on planes.

Re:risks and advantages? (3, Funny)

jmt9581 (554192) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092295)

It will be interesting to see how different countried react to this availability onboard - many countried are VERY paranoid about RF gear operating on an airliner due to fear of interferance with the onboard systems...

The article forgot to mention the thousand miles or so of Cat5e running out of the end of the plane. :)

Re:risks and advantages? (3, Funny)

Ponty (15710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092407)

Don't forget the repeaters with parachutes.

Risk is more dependant on your software (0, Flamebait)

Carp(310) (641771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092554)

Obviously, I think most of us with a reasonable schooling in software would agree that applications written in C++ are the biggest security threat for PCs today. This is why you've been seeing more and more Java based applications on the PC lately. Most of the C++ vulnerability comes from a single, well known, and often exploited bug in the Windows C++ virtual machine. This bug allows C++ programmers to access protected and private data that is SUPPOSED to be secured by the C++ virtual machine. Here's a simple example of a crack that would allow a C++ programmer to access improperly secured data:

Let's say we have this class called PersonalFinances:
Class PersonalFinances
{
private:
char creditCardNumber[16];
};

To bypass the Windows C++ security manager, all we need to do is write some code like this:
Main( )
{
Finances finances; // Forge a pointer to peek inside the class
char *cardno = (char*)
printf("Stolen credit card number = %s\n", cardno);
}

Simple as that... we have stolen "secure" data. Curiously enough, this code sample came from O'Reilly's "Learning Java" book. This book was first printed in 2000, which means that this critical security bug has been known for over 3 years! I find it quite unbelievable that this lack of response (from Microsoft) is tolerated in the software community. Why haven't they responded? Simple... MONEY. Rather than maintain old code, Microsoft would rather push their new .Net framework as a new standard and make big cash off of its widespread adoption. Another way that MS will profit from this security hole is by pushing their dreaded Palladium scheme on us. Palladium, put simply, is just a hardware solution for this exact sort of security issue. Meanwhile, we consumers sacrifice our privacy through insecure software so Microsoft, Intel, and AMD can reap big profits sometime in the future.

If you are fed up with these monopolistic profit schemes, this is what you do. Start or support an open source Windows C++ virtual machine project. A port from the Linux VM should be possible.

A second parallel approach should be to put political pressure on Microsoft to fix this issue. I've started this petition to get things started. Please sign and forward the link to everyone!

We DEMAND better protection of our privacy!!! [petitiononline.com]

Re:Risk is more dependant on your software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092565)

Doesn't C++ Compile into a native executable?
Also, correct me if I'm wrong (I don't really code in C++) but wouldn't that source have to be in the program itself?

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092225)

...Washington, DC flys to YOU.

but if.. (1)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092226)

if it goes 10k meters into the sky how far does it span on a horizontal plane?

Should have been implemented years ago (1, Informative)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092229)

In Andrew Tanenbaum's Computer Networking, he outlined the idea of a "flying LAN" as early as 1996. It's a much better approach to the problem than those godawful "airphones". (Thank God those are going away).

Kind of, sort of, related (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092230)

How Warchalking Died . . .
http://webword.com/moving/warchalking.html [webword.com]

Ttalks about WiFi stuff and WiFi zones. Wonder what'll happen with WiFi this year, and what with warchlking?

Re:Kind of, sort of, related (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092253)

That's okay. I don't think the airline would want me chalking up their planes.

3000/128 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092242)

While it's better than my DSL connection, is it really enough to support up to 50 people? 3000/50 = 60, which is acceptable, comparable to dial-up. But 128/50 = 2.56! Ouch! If you've ever maxed out your upload while downloading, you'll know how it causes downloading to come to a crawl. I really think they'll need to seriously considering upping the upload speed.

Re:3000/128 (1)

cioxx (456323) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092377)

To Blockquoth the article:
"Users will be able to download from the Internet at speeds up to 3M bps (bits per second) and upload, initially, at speeds up to 128K bps, according to Lufthansa. The upload speeds will later increase to 750K bps, it said."

It doesn't say whether it's shared on not, but I am pretty sure they have per-seat speeds in mind when it says 3M/128K. Otherwise, there wouldn't be enough bandwith left for the ACK pockets to utilize the 3MBPS downstream speed.

Maybe they capped the upload speed to 12kb/s to prevent passengers from sharing stuff on Kazaa? Who knows?

Re:3000/128 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092588)

I don't think that'll be a problem. At one time I had a cable modem with a telephone return, and I was able to download 4Mb on a 28.8k uplink. IIRC, it was about 20kb worth of bandwidth up.

Some day... (4, Interesting)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092246)

Eventually the Internet will become an essential service in any business that's open to the public: malls, airports, schools, bus stops... just like drinking fountains, walkways, and bathrooms.

For the near future though, everyone is going to be trying to figure out how they can charge a few bucks a minute to let people with important business acces their $50/mo DSL line. I hope people just decide not to pay for these services. There's no reason why an airport/airplane/whatever can't afford to give access to a wireless AP just as a courtesy.I would definitely enjoy flying a lot more, and they'd get way more business from me by throwing stuff like this in for free.

Re:Some day... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092264)

It is "free" in that they aren't changing you extra to use it. It's included in the cost of a ticket. Kinda odd that they're bundling this into the price while America West is looking at charging people seperately for meals.

Re:Some day... (3, Interesting)

Patrick13 (223909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092548)

All I can say is that I hope that they have a relatively "techy" crew member on board, because 2 out of 5 people who bring their laptops to my cyber cafe have some sort of weird configuration kink that has to be worked out -- almost always people who have installed the AOL "virus" into their system. Once that POS is in a system it doesn't want to let go.

Also, pre-OSX Macs have to have be manually configured, they can't be autoconfigured by the DHCP server.

Granted, none of this is a big deal for your typical slashdotter, but I am talking about your average business traveler who doesn't know the windows control panel from that stupid blinking banner ad that says "WARNING - Your Computer is not optimized!!!" and then trys to install "Gator" when you click on it.

If not, this is going to fail, because the flight is going to be full of pissed off business & first class passengers who can't get into their law office's exchange server.

Re:Some day... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092285)

There's no reason why an "airport/airplane/whatever" (I shall take that to mean "airline") can't afford to give access to a wireless access point just as a courtesy? I'm not sure whether you've actually noticed but the airline market is very tight at the moment with major economic problems.

I read an article, but can't find the link right now about this on the BBC - they're giving it away on a trial at the moment to figure the best way to pay for it (may be include it in the ticket price).

As much as I'd like it, you must remember "there's no such thing as a free lunch" - especially in business.

Re:Some day... (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092332)

I'm not sure whether you've actually noticed but the airline market is very tight at the moment with major economic problems.

All the more reason for them to offer services which cost them virtually nothing, but vastly improve their customer's experience.

they're giving it away on a trial at the moment to figure the best way to pay for it (may be include it in the ticket price).

Again, do you think this really costs them anything significant? They should keep their ticket prices competitive, and ALSO throw in some goodies. I sincerely doubt whether those pay-per-minute access points are profitable, with all the overhead it takes to run them - setting up the kiosks, marketing them, collecting payments, etc. But if you just order a DSL line and stick an open access point in the airport, everyone's happy, it costs you practically nothing to operate, and MORE PEOPLE will fly your airline. K.I.S.S.

As much as I'd like it, you must remember "there's no such thing as a free lunch" - especially in business.

Thanks for the lesson in economics. Here's a tip for you: listen to your customers. I hate flying. If the experience were less painful (maybe like that machine they had on southpark) I'd fly more. I won't submit to being nickel-and-dimed for something as piddly as checking my email.

Re:Some day... (2, Funny)

shivianzealot (621339) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092589)

Eventually the Internet will become an essential service in any business that's open to the public: malls, airports, schools, bus stops... just like drinking fountains, walkways, and bathrooms.

My god, I must have fallen into some sort of trans-dimensional rift; I'M BACK IN 1997!

/me runs off to buy stock

Not to bad it's free for awhile (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092249)

Well it's nice to see the bait and switch methds being used :) Realy this would be a boon to my travaling at least. Funny I wonder what the latency will be like and why they need such a big router to do the job. A 265x can run things wire speed to 100bt easly unless they have all sorts of things going on. Now I winder will they be handing out public IP space and what the SWIP will look like for that one :)

In related news (5, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092267)

The RIAA and MPAA, building upon their already close relationship with law enforcement agencies, are lobbying to give armed air marshalls the power to shoot on sight anyone caught engaging in "terrorist activities" such as file sharing and unauthorised humming.

Re:In related news (1)

mbredden (641756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092313)

After all, what more is an airline terrorist than just a pirate in the sky?

Excellent! (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092362)

I wish I'd thought of that :)

shared connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092270)

They are talking about a 3Mb down, and 128Kb uplink.

I guess this is a shared connection for all users? This will become a large bottleneck when you get a couple of users.

Re:shared connection? (4, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092312)

Most people aren't going to download large quantities of mp3's or movies while sitting on a plane. They'll do that before they leave.

The service is intended for websurfing. Think about what percentage of time you spend loading pages vs reading them on your high speed connection. Even with 50 people sharing the connection, only a few will be downloading pages at a time, and the rest will be reading what they've already downloaded.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:shared connection? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092586)

Besides, what is their uplink? I'd bet it's satellite, which means 600ms+ latency.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092273)


Eat it lAmm3rz!

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092294)

In soviet russia, first post comes last!

little late there bud.

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092320)

al i have to say is......simply stunning..

i am the mighty xao
xao gypsie

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092358)

HAHAHAHAHHAHA thats hilarious.

1) soviet russia uber-jokes
2) ??
3) profit!!

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092380)

more like:
1)Soviet russia jokes
2)??
3)bad mod, cause that joke is old

i am the mighty xao
xao gypsie

Re:First Post (1)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092420)

yeah but that isnt funnie

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092379)

He was posting from the plane. The lag is still a bit much.

Most popular comment ? (1, Redundant)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092282)

Commence the in-flight porn jokes...

Re:Most popular comment ? (0, Troll)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092511)

flight attendant: Would you like some peanuts?
passenger: I think you should work on your pronounciation.

flight attendant: Would you like some peanuts?
passenger: Are you a cross-dresser? I thought you were a woman.

flight attendant: Would you like a pillow?
passenger: How about just the pillowcase?

flight attendant: Are you Mr. John Holmes?
John Holmes: Yes I am. How did you know?
flight attendant: You keep hitting the flight attendant call button.

flight attendant: In the event of water sports, your seat cushion can be used as a flagellation device.

Last word: cockpit

I wonder... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092288)

how many geeks are going to consider themselves a part of the mile high club now that their allowed to surf porn on a flight and make a mad dash to the bathroom.

PRICELESS (5, Funny)

hckrdave (588951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092290)

Ticket: $200
Cab to the airport: $12
Drinks at then lounge: $30
Watching porn @ 600mph feet all wasted: $PRICELESS

Re:PRICELESS (1)

hckrdave (588951) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092300)

man i wes too stoned to post... :-(

now you can spam (3, Funny)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092296)

from 10, KM high in the sky (in no man's territory), and be never convicted for it..... Next time i am travling on lufthansa, i am taking my 1 million email address CD with me.

Re:now you can spam (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092329)

10km still belongs to the country that owns the land below it. From an international law standpoint, airspace goes all the way up.

Even if you're on a ship in international waters, you're still bound by the laws of wherever you ship is registered.

You'll also be restricted by the laws of whoever owns the connection you're using.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:now you can spam (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092360)

how high do you have to get in the sky before it becomes no man's land (or sky in this case).....?????

Re:now you can spam (1)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092544)

here is some interesting info:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a5_136.html

arguably 90km, or as high as you want.

BUT - IIRC on a plane (which is considered a "vessel" you are skill under the jurisdiction of the vessel's country of soverign - i.e. Germany; even though you are travelling through international waters.

However, if you get on a boat and sail out to the middle of the atlantic, well - spam away! (not that it's encouraged)

Warchalking (Warflying) Bums in Lear jets (5, Funny)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092299)


Now we will see bums in their lear jets
warflying in close formation to the airliners
just to get the free internet access.

:^)

Re:Warchalking (Warflying) Bums in Lear jets (1)

Aropax20 (636154) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092355)

Maybe Lufthansa should change their logo to the appropriate warchalker's symbol and save us the trouble of trying to tag their planes on the tarmac or midair...

Re:Warchalking (Warflying) Bums in Lear jets (1)

webword (82711) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092401)

How Warchalking Died [webword.com] -- "The purpose of this article is to explain how Warchalking has become obsolete. It is being replaced by Wi-Fi Zones that are being fueled by home networks, corporate networks, and even payphones. The internet will be all around you in all places but you won't ever need to care about Warchalking. Let's bury the idea and move along."

Question (5, Funny)

Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092315)

As a pilot, and an American, I just have to ask one question:

What the hell is a meter?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092383)

It's the unit of measure, from the 17th century,
that's the legal basis of the definition of
an inch in the USA. Google is your friend.

Re:Question (5, Funny)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092454)

it's, roughly, the distance from your head to your ass. Oh wait, sorry - my bad, that would be an _inch_

Re:Question (1)

HillBilly (120575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092457)

A meter is a device to measure something, like a water or gas meter.

A metre is a unit of measurement.

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092471)

1m=3.218ft

Re:Question (1)

dave3124 (121377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092517)

"Meter" is the American spelling of "metre".

A Flying Webserver (5, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092341)

Eventually someone will take their webserver along on the plane and then posts a Slashdot article about it. What happens when we slashdot an airplane?

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:A Flying Webserver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092373)

With 128 up, that'll take like... 3 or 4 people.

Re:A Flying Webserver (0, Troll)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092477)

1. in soviet russia, airplane slashdots YOU!
2. build a beowolf cluster
3. there's no step 3
4. ??
5. Profit!!

RF Concerns a Non-Issue (5, Informative)

Foxxz (106642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092348)

Researchers have already bombarded commercial jets with all types of RF of many frequencies and varying power and found no flight threatening effects. This is due to heavely sheilded cables. The electronic device usage fear stems from cellular phone companies advising airlines not to use the phones in flight as they would have difficulting tracking the signal and the signal would reach many towers simultaneously. For the most part, RF is a non-issue. But still comply to keep the paranoid at bay.

Private aircraft on the other hand is more effected by RF than their commercial counter parts. Cell phones and ham radios have been known to crash private aircraft.

A recent story. A local car stereo business installed a TV and sound system in a private aircraft. The FAA was on that like stink on a hog. The equipment was not certified and threw out quite a mess of RF. Not to mention non of the cables were sheilded. Both the pilot and the company who installed the equipment were fined.

I recently received the device that creates the high voltage needed to strobe the lights on an aircraft along with its timer circuit. The device oscilated 24v at high frequency through a transformer and was rectified into two capacitors at 600v. this was creating noise in the radio and the part was promptly removed.

My father is a mechanic and supervisor for a private aircraft repair business. Thats how I get my info on the personal airecraft. I saw the commercial aircraft RF bombardement on Disconvery i beleive.

-Foxxz

Re:RF Concerns a Non-Issue (3, Insightful)

nucal (561664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092397)

The electronic device usage fear stems from cellular phone companies advising airlines not to use the phones in flight as they would have difficulting tracking the signal and the signal would reach many towers simultaneously.

I wonder how much of the ban on inflight cell phone use is also designed to force people into using (and paying for) air-to-ground phones installed on airliners.

People are paranoid... (3, Funny)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092390)

You cant even talk about Bombs in an airport, now we're gonna have dorks on planes yelling about their FPS game, "Score, i just got the rocket launcher!!". As if the skymarshals dont have their work cut out for them, now they have to sperate gamers from terrorists.

I dont think the sky marshals will mind... (1)

mbredden (641756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092400)

they'll get lots and lots of shooting practice :)

Soon you can use your cellphone too? (2, Interesting)

mni12 (451821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092394)

If FAA is relaxing rules to allow passengers to use 802.11b transmitter while flying, there are some possibilities to get cellphones approved for flights as well. I hate when flight attendants ask you to shut down your cellphone upon departure...

No, you won't be able to (1)

kilonad (157396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092435)

The rules on cellphones have nothing to do with potential RF interference with the instrumentation. Imagine, if you will, thousands of cell phones, thirty thousand feet up, each connecting to dozens of cells. The reason they ban cell phones on airplanes is because it just wreaks havoc on the cellular network (which in many places is overburdened as it is).

Re:No, you won't be able to (1)

mni12 (451821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092462)

If the basestation is located in the aircraft, then the phone will use that one and does not try to use basestations on the ground. Obviously this requires that basestation is connected to cellphone network via satellite link.
See description [howstuffworks.com] how cellphones work with basestations & cellular network.

So now electronics wont crash planes..... (5, Insightful)

originalhack (142366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092403)

This finally proves the assertion that the reason for the ban on in-flight electronics was to protect Airfone and in-flight movies from competition and had nothing to do with RF interference. Now that the airlines found a way to extract revenue from this, suddenly spread-spectrum RF signals are perfectly safe.

Turn off your cellphone please. And put away that gameboy.

It's hard to feel sorry for the struggling airlines when lie as much as they do.

Re:So now electronics wont crash planes..... (1)

Dilly Bar (23168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092518)

So I accidently left my cell phone on during one flight, so just out of curosity I checked the service level and there was no service. Don't know if this has any point, I just thought it was interesting...

Re:So now electronics wont crash planes..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092549)

And why would this be suprising? You were inside a metal tube (faraday cage).

Re:So now electronics wont crash planes..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092520)

This finally proves the assertion that the reason for the ban on in-flight electronics was to protect Airfone and in-flight movies from competition and had nothing to do with RF interference. Now that the airlines found a way to extract revenue from this, suddenly spread-spectrum RF signals are perfectly safe.

You miss the point. The cell phone argument has already been resolved in this discussion.

More importantly: Wireless networking uses a signal at least one or two orders of magnitude less than a cell phone. That's why it's now being certified for planes.

But you'll still be told to put things away on takeoff and landing. That's just the airline being extra cautious.

read the article...no wireless 802 for connecting (2, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092538)

The wireless is the satellite to the plane...inside there is one wired ethernet connection for every 1st class seat, and one for every two business/coach.

802.11g? maybe later....

Can't wait for the "Linux at 36,000 feet" posting. (1)

shess (31691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092441)

Why-do-I-care panders: The other day, Some Guy [mailto] took his radical casemod out for a bit of 802.11 [80211-planet.com] action [sex.com] at 36,000 [leaderu.com] feet [loc.gov] . That's amazing, beats [hampsterdance.com] the onboard movie.

Power outlets? (3, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092458)

Let's see some power outlets...I hate how my laptop runs at 1/4 speed off the battery. Then there's long flights to Japan, and the fact that my particular wireless NIC drains my battery way quicker than I care to admit...

Wireless Power (1)

mni12 (451821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092504)

You need wireless power [pcmag.com] .

Incredible (2, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092478)

This is amazing. Think about how far technology has come, that allows you broadband internet access on an airplane 35,000 ft high, travelling between two continents over nothing but water.

Holy crap.

I know the very first thing I would do, without a doubt, is fire up XMMS and listen to Digitally Imported Radio [www.di.fm] , and smile :)

Bad four line poem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5092493)

AirPort
AirPlane
AirSnort
AirGame

Lufthansa cross-atlantic flights are nice... (3, Interesting)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092514)

They give you great meals (especially for airplane food), free wine with your dinner, and movies playing all the time. And that wasn't even in first class. It's so cushy, no wonder they're the first to implement that wireless internet on a passenger plane.

Goodbye Airphone -- Hello VoIP (3, Insightful)

dracocat (554744) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092558)

Great... I wonder if I can use Voice over IP! Seems like the connection is fast enough on the download side at least.. Although I would hate to see 60 people trying to make a phone call on that 128K uplink.

Lufthansa???? WTF??? (0, Redundant)

rbabb (134729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092560)

This can't be the same Lufthansa I flew from Paris to Frankfurt, and then Frankfurt to Atlanta! Those planes throughly SUCKED! They didn't have TV or in flight movies of any kind. Only 1 sky phone per row. I was spoiled on British Airways to London (Video screen in every head rest, phone/remote in every arm rest, & free unlimited snacks). I can't beleive that Lufthansa, one of the crappiest airlines i've ever flown on, is going to be one of the first to offer wireless internet in flight. It just Boggles my mind.

BTW, I flew these flights in April of 1999 for reference.

what's a meter? (-1, Offtopic)

hashish (62254) | more than 11 years ago | (#5092581)

why would they need 10,000 of them? What are they measuring.

Maybe they mean 30,000 feet....
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