Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Panasonic May Relaunch In-flight Broadband

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the surf-the-friendly-skies dept.

109

Glenn Fleishman writes "Panasonic's avionics division may relaunch Connexion by Boeing by using similar technology that's better, cheaper, and lighter. The company said today that they were looking to get airlines to commit to 500 planes within 60 days, and already had 150 aircraft committed. They'd still use Ku band, but have a cheaper and smaller set of leases. Connexion had at least $120m in yearly fixed expenses, a large part of which was transponder licenses. The new service would provide 12 Mbps down and 3 Mbps (versus Connexion's 5 Mbps/1 Mbps), and be priced conceivably as low as $10 per session wholesale, with airlines choosing to not mark up rates. With that higher rate, even with latency, in-flight VoIP seems more achievable at a reasonable cost, although some airlines may choose to block VoIP services. I reported for The Economist magazine last week about mobile phones in flight (services coming in Europe in 2007). Three U.S. airlines told me that American passengers have very low interest or negative interest in allowing any voice (cell or otherwise) during flights. Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy perhaps, are more open to it." We covered the story back when Boeing decided to scrap Connexion.

cancel ×

109 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What I do care about... (5, Insightful)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16150964)

I could really care less about making calls on a plane. In fact, I WOULD HATE IT. You know why? Because every annoying person in the world would converge on my airplane and make calls through-out the flight. This would result in me not being able to sleep or relax, and I would then arrive at my destination tired and strained.

Slippery slope? Not really, think about all the boring calls you have to listen to on a shorter transit system. Now put 300 bored people on a plane and see how they go about trying to relieve that boredome.

Now. I would certainly be happy to have internet access on the plane... and the slight tapping of keys I could deal with. Plus, give me something to do on my computer and I'd easily forget what else was going on.

So what do I say? Spare me having to listen to cell phones or VOIP for the whole plane trip. If you can limit it to 10 minutes of calling per passenger, then fine. Otherwise, stop trying to make my co-passengers even more annoying.

Try noise cancelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151059)

That is what these [amazon.com] are for, and if you have been travelling without them up till now, welcome back to sanity.

Re:Try noise cancelling (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151865)

Yeah, except my ear canals are sooo small, I can't wear those without extreme pain. And yes, I did use the smallest pair of plugs they provided. The foam ones were slightly less irritating, but still too painful to wear for more than an hour. I really liked them because I really couldn't hear anything around me, not even cranky infants. Now I use a Bose sound-cancelling headset to mitigate the engine noise, but they do little to cancel out voices.

Re:What I do care about... (1, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151060)

You already can make calls on international flights, even in cattle class. Just swipe your credit card and call.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

TheAlmightyChimp (939529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152379)

But At least they charge a heffty fee for annoying everyone.

Re:What I do care about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151063)

Your complaint is easily remediated by having "sleeping" and "non-sleeping" sections in the airplane. So why the lengthy drivel?

It's not about privacy (4, Insightful)

DRue (152413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151084)

"Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy"

It has nothing to do with privacy, and everything to do with the fact that nobody wants to sit in a tin can listening to some guy talk for 2 hours about his hemorrhoids and digestive problems.

Re:It's not about privacy (0, Offtopic)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151218)

The fact that it's not allowed at the moment might also have something to do with the fact that the electromagnetic radiation from cellphones have been proven to be capable of induction of current in aircraft electronics, which in turn can interfere with instruments. You know, like the computer that handles the autopilot that flies the plane most of the time.

Yes, I know that this is one of the major reasons why they put shielding all over all the sensitive wiring, so it shouldn't happen. That doesn't mean it won't happen, though - they said that the Titanic could never sink too. There's been a few aircraft anomolies and accidents recently which are suspected of being caused by cellphones, and there's the fact that a lot of the commercial aircraft flying at the moment are quite old, perhaps making them more susceptible to interference.

It may be statistically a small chance, but there is a reason why they have regulations against using cellphones in commercial aircraft.

It's probably worth noting that this is also completely irrelevant to the system being discussed in TFA, but this is slashdot after all.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151400)

How old is "old"? I don't think a modern handset is going to do anything to a 727. Or, at least, nothing that the pilots won't notice
when those huge fucking trim wheels start whizzing away in the center console...

Re:It's not about privacy (3, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151802)

Um, no.

The "danger" cell phones pose to airplanes is that you might get a signal, and not pay $10 a minute for the in flight phone system.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152486)

I thought there were also some issues with roaming? I.e. that because of the high speed of flights, the unobstructed line of sight to towers and the fact you can see many towers at once, the switching between different towers could congest the system - reminiscent of the old days of analog phones that you couldn't use on a tall hill without breaking the network.

Probably (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152580)

I recall someone in Britain using a cell phone to collect data from a stratosphere balloon, so that certainly seems plausible. But that doesn't particularily endanger the plane.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153330)

The ban on Cell phones on planes was originally an FCC rule, not an FAA rule. A cell phone that has a Line Of Sight to many, many, many towers can gum up the works. A plane full, or several plane fulls of cell phones with LOS to hundreds of towers can bring down the network.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151232)

I would actually hazard a guess (illogical, though) that it's "terr'ists". Who knows, perhaps the Jihadis might be trying to coordinate attacks. "Thank you for using Skyfone" "Ahh, Achmed, it is time."

Re:It's not about privacy (4, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151309)

"Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy"

It has nothing to do with privacy, and everything to do with the fact that nobody wants to sit in a tin can listening to some guy talk for 2 hours about his hemorrhoids and digestive problems.


Indeed. Considering the current issues of warrantless wiretapping, I can't imagine why Americans would have higher expectations of privacy. We just know that our fellow americans would abuse the ability to talk loudly in a confined place. Now, I wouldn't mind seeing a reasonably priced sound proof phone booth on the airplane. If I need to make an important call, I can. But, I can do it without disturbing other passengers. Hell, maybe just put phones in the bathroom, and make them dual purpose...

Re:It's not about privacy (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152362)

"maybe just put phones in the bathroom, and make them dual purpose..." You are not serious, right?

Because if the pain of hearing about hemorroids of your neighbor is strong, the embarassment of peeing in your pants waiting in line to the loo consisting of travellers sufferring of communication-diarrhea is even stronger, one would think.

I am thinking earplugs as a solution.

Europe is no different (1)

blorg (726186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153199)

TGV carriages have this cute little logo of a sleeping mobile phone, with a logo of a smiling mobile phone bopping about at the ends of the carriages, by the doors/toilets. I don't know that there is any culture that enjoys listening to other people yapping on mobiles.

Interesting Mind Games (0, Offtopic)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151497)

This reminds me of a mind game that I played in public once; in fact, it was on a bike trail in Seattle with many bicyclists and joggers. I was seated on a park bench, well within earshot of many of them.

I once took out my cell phone, flipped it open, and proceeded to dial a number. However, I never touched the send key. The phone was still switched off.

I waited an appropriate time and then said loudly:

"Hi! Is this Dr. Paul, the psychiatrist's office?"

I wait, and then say, "This is Mrs. Clear Plastic. I have a session now."

I would wait, say 'Thank you' to the receptionist, wait some more, and then proceed to act out my side of a therapy session, talking about my fetish in clear plastic, and adding in a whole lot of 'baggage'.

The looks of the passers-by were worth every moment of fun.

Now, perhaps it sounds like I should do this same game at the airport while you are all waiting in line . . .

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151559)

It has nothing to do with privacy, and everything to do with the fact that nobody wants to sit in a tin can listening to some guy talk for 2 hours about his hemorrhoids and digestive problems.

We're talking about cell phones here, not ham radio.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151913)

... nobody wants to sit in a tin can listening to some guy talk for 2 hours about his hemorrhoids and digestive problems.
Please explain how talking about this on a cellphone is different from talking to the person next to him.

Re:It's not about privacy (1)

ftsf (886792) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153179)

Please explain how talking about this on a cellphone is different from talking to the person next to him.
because you only get to listen in to one half of the conversation.
of course this means you can fill in the other half yourself to entertain yourself in your boredom.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151144)

I say lets do it. Like the others have mentioned, phones already exist on planes. People make things out to be worse than they are going to be. It's like when a parent tells the kid that they are moving. The kids like "this sucks, I'll lose all my friends and I'll hate the new place." Then they move and the kid loves the new place and makes new friends.

I bet $20 that you'll be using your phone just as much as the next guy or gal. I bet people complained when TV's were being added to planes, but they aren't a problem.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151813)

I bet $20 that you'll be using your phone just as much as the next guy or gal.

Don't be silly. Everyone knows that people on /. are antisocial nerds with no one to call.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152870)

What about "mother"? She likes to hear from me every once in a while.

Re:What I do care about... (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151188)

I WOULD HATE IT. You know why? Because every annoying person in the world would converge on my airplane and make calls through-out the flight.

I smell a business model here.

You can pay $10 to use the internet.
You can pay $20 to use the internet and let VoIP traffic through.
You can pay $50 to disable the VoIP traffic for the people sitting in the seats around you :)

Re:What I do care about... (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151231)

I could really care less about making calls on a plane.
So you do care to some extent?

Re:What I do care about... (1)

dreamlax (981973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151538)

I've never understood why people say "I could care less...". Care less then. Care so much more less that you can't care less. Then say it properly: "I couldn't care less...".

Re:What I do care about... (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151306)

If other people annoy you that much, you should consider taking private transportation.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

rachit (163465) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151967)

Now that almost all airlines did away with smoking sections vs. non-smoking sections, I can see them coming up with cellphone sections vs. non-cellphone sections.

Which doesn't help because you have the same problems we had before with smoking sections. On a full flight, you may be forced to take a seat in the cellphone section, or you may be seated close enough to the cellphone section that you still get disturbed.

Re:What I do care about... (1)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153227)

Buy an iPod.

Re:What I do care about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154818)

"I could really care less about making calls on a plane. In fact, I WOULD HATE IT. You know why? Because every annoying person in the world would converge on my airplane and make calls through-out the flight."


We all know from 9/11 that cell phone calls can be made In-fight all ready right? There was a movie about the people calling from planes.

[J]

kinda annoying (1)

Wizzerd911 (1003980) | more than 7 years ago | (#16150988)

I agree with the annoyingness of in flight phone calls. If I were a traveling business person I'd love the excuse to be out of contact with everyone for a while. Plus, who wants to sit there and listen to the person next to you talking about their job or girlfriend or worse, TO their girlfriend! I just want to sit there and eat those nuts in peace after all that hard work getting em open.

Re:kinda annoying (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151091)

I'm you new boss and we are paying for the internet on this flight so we want you to get some work done.

Re:kinda annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151114)

I'm your ex-girlfriend. Remember me? I'm the one who left you because you would never listen to me when I just needed someone to talk to. And you always said it was because you were busy with work.

Inconceivable (4, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151001)

priced conceivably as low as $10 per session wholesale, with airlines choosing to not mark up rates.


Is it really conceivable for airlines to not mark up rates of something?

Re:Inconceivable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151158)

Two words:

"Captive audience"

Re:Inconceivable (2, Informative)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151335)

Yes, it is. Most European "budget" airliners have won amazing marketshares by doing just that: no more drinks etcetera free-of-charge (and where possibly/feasible using cheap airports instead of the main ones). And what they charge are normal commercial rates for public places. Actually, by the gallon beer is cheaper on a flight than in some of the clubs I visit.

Re:Inconceivable (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151977)

Actually even with the worst flights the beer is cheaper on the plane than in most airports.

I don't travel often (2, Insightful)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151008)

But when I do for business I enjoy the fact that myself and everyone else on the plane cannot talk and is not in contact with anyone.

Its like a few hours of peice and quiet where I actually don't need to think about work or listen to other people yack on about similar stuff.

I'd be happy to see planes without internet and phone access because then I wouldn't feel preassured into actually doing more work during a time where I should be relaxing.

Re:I don't travel often (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151029)

cos(sin(cos(pi/2))) == csc(pi/2)

Re:I don't travel often (0, Troll)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151053)

But when I do for business I enjoy the fact that myself and everyone else on the plane cannot talk and is not in contact with anyone. Its like a few hours of peace and quiet where I actually don't need to think about work or listen to other people yack on about similar stuff. I'd be happy to see planes without Internet and phone access because then I wouldn't feel preassured into actually doing more work during a time where I should be relaxing.
Yes, I totally agree. And while we are at it lets get rid of phones and Internet in the house since people should be spending time with their kids. Also, I really hate seeing people mow their lawns on Sunday. It really bothers me. Lets get rid of that too. People should be relaxing on Sunday.

I don't know what happened to the land of the free but my fellow Americans have turned into the biggest bunch of busy bodies complainers in the world. We want to limit the rights of others because "it is just so annoying".

What is wrong with you people. My right to extend my arm ends when it hits your face, not before.

Re:I don't travel often (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151250)

> What is wrong with you people. My right to extend my arm ends when it hits
> your face, not before.

But your right to yammer on your phone extends right inside my ear?

Re:I don't travel often (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151622)

My right to extend my arm ends when it hits your face, not before.

So you're free to whip it out and spank your monkey on a plane now? After all you're not physically hitting anyone.

Sheesh you dorkus libertarians give us more sensible ones a bad name.

Re:I don't travel often (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16152226)

So you're free to whip it out and spank your monkey on a plane now?

If you can't stand that sight, don't fly Virgin Airlines then...

Re:I don't travel often (2, Interesting)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151866)

*waves fingers three inches in front of Ada_Rules's eyes*

Think of it this way. The airplane belongs to the airline and they're letting us ride it, so they get to make the rules about what we do in it. It's in their best interest to keep the passengers happy on the whole. (They often fail miserably at this, but anyway.) Passengers will be happier if they don't have to listen to the guy next to them yakking away. So the airline says you can only sit on their plane if you promise not to call anyone until you land.

Sound like an unfair deal? Flap yours arms really hard and enjoy your trans-Atlantic sojourn. It's your right, after all.

...but look on the bright side (3, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151022)

... ...

It's not the privacy... it's the ANNOYANCE!! (2, Insightful)

Ledfoot (75412) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151036)

Internet access on the plane - GOOD.... Gives me something to do rather than twiddle my thumbs for 2+ hours...

Cell phones on a plane - ICK! NO! It's already bad enough having to hear everyone else on the plane's stupid conversations during the boarding process and as soon as we touch down... Apparently people don't get the concept of "Keep it short and simple". Instead they have to have these marathon discussions over the phone and talk LOUDLY. And god forbid if they have one of those Nextel -type walkie talkie phones. I HATE THOSE THINGS!!!!

No... Give me internet, screw the cell phone users! They can wait till they get off the damn plane to make a call.

--Ledfoot

Re:It's not the privacy... it's the ANNOYANCE!! (3, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151241)

If you hate people having social interactions within earshot of you, buy noise cancelling headphones. What is it, "Thank you for your time watching the safety demonstration. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight. And do so quietly, for Ledfoot in Seat 38A has requested silence, for your inane braying is annoying to him."?

Re:It's not the privacy... it's the ANNOYANCE!! (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153134)

But what do I do about the really fat guy sitting next to me that is spilling into my seat even after I get the armrest down after a half hour struggle.

Re:It's not the privacy... it's the ANNOYANCE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16153561)

But what do I do about the really fat guy sitting next to me that is spilling into my seat even after I get the armrest down after a half hour struggle.

Try not to fly on a plane carrying Americans.

Re:It's not the privacy... it's the ANNOYANCE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16153954)

>

Except that Noise Cancelling headphones don't block out speech. They only cancel noises that follow a consistant cycle, like the drone of the jet engines or a humm or buzz. Since human speech is not cyclical and hence not predictable by the noise cancelling circuitry, the headphones cannot cancel out other's speech.

who's going to pay for this? (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151039)

I don't know about you, but even on a 2 hour flight I wouldn't be in the mood to surf the internet or trying to make a VOIP call. And to pay $10-$20 for the luxury of internet access for such a short flight? Not likely. Maybe a longer flight, but probably not most people who aren't flying first class already. Besides, they already charge that $10 fee just to use the in airport wifi. So if you have one connecting flight and a wait at each airport thats: 10*5 = $50. Once while you're waiting for the first flight, on the first flight, at the next airport, on your next plain, and finally when you're waiting to get picked up.

Re:who's going to pay for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151055)

At MCI in Kansas City we have free WiFi, most other airports have it too.

Re:who's going to pay for this? (1)

darkov (261309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151333)

(a) for some people an hour doing nothing is a long time and they can probably earn $100 in that time (b) obviously you don't fly very long distances, lots of people do. I do 23 hour flights a couple of times a year and I would kill for the service.

Re:who's going to pay for this? (1)

Exocrist (770370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151422)

The one problem I see with wireless on planes right now is battery life. My PowerBook battery gets about 4 hours under "optimal conditions" (read: fully charged, brightness at minimum setting, little HD activity, etd)

11 hour flight? No problem, as long as your battery doesn't die. If they also decided to put in power outlets, perhaps even multiple types, or provide adapters for international flights, then I think it'd be a pretty good deal. 11 hour flight across half of the US and the Atlantic?

Re:who's going to pay for this? (1)

darkov (261309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151466)

Quite agree, I think if the airlines are serious they need to distribute power in every seat cluster and maybe hire out laptops for use by people who don't travel with them. Why are you asking about 11 hour flights btw?

Re:who's going to pay for this? (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151620)

First the laptop manufactures have to get their act together and STANDARDIZE ON DC POWER! I'm sick of all the different types of power bricks required. You should be able to plug into a standard 24V port, with 2-3 amps current available. But no, we have to use 120V outlets for everything. :(

Re:who's going to pay for this? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151862)

It looks like they may be doing just that [arstechnica.com] .

Will they... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151061)

Use a balloon? [slashdot.org]

I love flying. There's so much to look forward to on each flight..

  • Packed into seats like sardines
  • Crying babies
  • People on cell phones
  • People with MP3 players cranked up through cheap buds so loud they sound like a swarm of wasps trapped in a tin can.
  • Recirculated air as an equal opportunity distribution system for germs
  • Dehumanising security checks
  • Being in continuous discomfort from entering origin airport to leaving destination airport.

Well... maybe I can steal a few industrial secrets, peek at the screen next to me or in front of me. Next up on ebay...

302785349102 Bifurcated Wombat Exhonorator, Includes Nebulousity Interrogator $120.00 Buy It Now

Re:Will they... (1)

calix0815 (899216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151748)

> Recirculated air as an equal opportunity distribution system for germs

Don't they use compressed air from the engines to ventilate the cabin while the pressure regulator in the tail is constantly bleeding the excess (i.e. used) air back to the outside?

So you might smell some bird farts, but your cold is probably caused by the dry air and the sometimes ice cold temperature and not too high a concentration of germs.

Just Fly Yourself (1)

mirio (225059) | more than 7 years ago | (#16155436)

Do what I do.

I travel a lot for business, mostly just trips around the Southeast US, with an occasional longer trip to New England or the West Coast. I had always been interested in flying and I finally bit the bullet and went and got my license.

I now fly my own airplane. I can beat the airlines time-wise on any trip under about 2000nm. It takes me 40 minutes to drive/take the train to Hartsfield, whereas I can drive to my local airport, pre-flight and load the airplane and be on my way in about 30 minutes. Flight planning I do at home (Internet is wonderful).

I know that not everyone can afford to fly themselves, but I think if most folks would look at the costs involved they would find the convenience very much worth it. Plus, it's lots of fun to spend every weekend with my wife in a different state seeing whatever. And oh yeah, fuel economy is not half bad. I burn about 8.0 gallons per hour @ 160kts which yields about 23 statute miles/gallon. This is far better than the efficiency of passenger/mile/gallon on the airlines. My plane is a little speedster that only carries two people, so my passenger/mile/gallon is about 46, whereas that airlines are around 46.8. These passenger/mile/gallon figures are for airlines in general. Airliners are extremely efficient at altitude at cruise settings -- they burn *lots* of fuel taking off, so the overall efficiency of the flight increases with the length of the flight. So these relatively short 500-1500nm trips I make are done more efficiently in my airplane.

webcam? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151072)

The problem with access is if you hate phone, imagine webcams. Oh noes!!11!

Re:webcam? (1)

TheAlmightyChimp (939529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152422)

And of course just like video calls the idiots will be unaware that they are in a public place.

Even more disturbing when combined with the bussiness class seats that now turn into beds.

Re:webcam? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152497)

Bring it on!!

missing word? (3, Funny)

rocketman768 (838734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151098)

The new service would provide 12 Mbps down and 3 Mbps (versus Connexion's 5 Mbps/1 Mbps), and be priced conceivably as low as $10...
Should that read "...and 3 Mbps UP..."?

Re:missing word? (1)

CptHoratioMindblower (1004210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151486)

Wait, if my laptop is at flight level 350, which end of the network is "down"?

Re:missing word? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151551)


"Wait, if my laptop is at flight level 350, which end of the network is "down"?"

The landing part.

Re:missing word? (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16155658)

The enemy's gate(way) is down.

This seems wrong (4, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151128)

"... Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy perhaps, are more open to it."

The last few times I've had to fly, I haven't been asked to have an anal probe inserted while answering ungodly questions about my personal life. That's because I fly in Europe.

Re:This seems wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151180)

YAY! Ill be able to play WOW while airborne :D

Re:This seems wrong (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151352)

Iv'e only ever been truly (no not that) searched in Europe. Then again, maby thats because I'm flying to America. I've come to expect way more questions and scrutiny on the way back from Europe than leaving the US for Europe.

I can just picture the Spanish security guard who propably couldn't care less if 250 Americans crashed in to the ocean thinking, "Oh shit. I hope no Americans get killed on my watch. You know how those Americans are. Lose their luggage and they act like you just killed a family member. Imagine what they will do if you killed a family member."

Oh well. At least in Europe they put your shit back in your bag.

Re:This seems wrong (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151988)

No that's because you fly from the UK. Now move the continent..

Re:This seems wrong (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152369)

Never been to the UK... I live in Denmark. I actually (pre-2001) once forgot that I had a fishing knife in my carry-on bag (my trusty rucksack). This was of course spotted when they x-rayed my bag.
At first, I was sent into a queue (consisting of only me, behind a very bewildered old lady) to hand over the knife and have it shipped home. However, the guy who sent me over to the queue came over to me after a few minutes, told me to hand over the bag and the knife, looked around, and stuffed the knife into the bag and sent me off for my plane.
This was a plane to Greenland, by the way. In... 1999.

Re:This seems wrong (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154591)

I fly internationally once-or-twice per year. The only time I ever had a problem was at the Zurich airport. In the US, I only have to wait in those god-awful lines, but there was no problem.

We all know where this is headed (4, Funny)

Ugly American (885937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151205)

In related news, the RIAA has announced the purchase of several F-22A raptors to pursue downloaders.

Re:We all know where this is headed (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151427)

downloaders

What about uploaders?

Re:We all know where this is headed (1)

Ugly American (885937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151444)

What about uploaders?
"What goes up must come down."

Re:We all know where this is headed (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151474)

Ground attack. That is why the RIAA/MPAA has purchaced the government, access to the military.

co34 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151215)

Snakes on a Plane (1)

Beuno (740018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151238)

Well, someone has to provide internet on a plain.
How else are you suppose to email the pictures of the snakes?

Re:Snakes on a Plane (1)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151688)

Well, someone has to provide internet on a plain.
How else are you suppose to email the pictures of the snakes?


hey, do you then think the snakes in Spain stay mainly in the plane?

Americans don't like cell phones? (2, Informative)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151280)

I've travelled frequently - and here's my synopsis of phone useage and planes - if I may:

Australia: Phones are off all the way. When disembarking up the walkway, you'll start to hear SMS messages come in.
Hong-Kong: Touchdown, SMSs are in. Calls being made while disembarking.
USA: Calls made until the plane taxis, calls made the instant the plane lands.
Europe [Denmark, France]: SMS on disembark
UK: SMS the instant the plane hits
Japan: Not a peep. Those guys actually know how to use the vibrate setting.

Of course the above is far from conclusive - but everytime I travel to the US I am still amazed how attached Americans are to their last desperate phone call before the phone takes off..

Public Airwaves (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151408)

"Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy perhaps"

No, Europeans have higher expectations of privacy, as reflected in their much stronger privacy protection laws. Maybe their openness just comes from their manners, which let them all talk on mobile phones quietly and discreetly already, though they're all jammed together in a little continent full of cities. Or maybe Americans are mostly just hundreds of millions of primitives who can't respect each other, dependent on an increasingly foreign tech workforce to keep our highly tech society running without getting in the way of American Idol.

Re:Public Airwaves (3, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151488)

into phone: Hello... yeah?... can you hear me now?... how about now?... yeah?... good... Listen I just called... what?... How about now?... good... Listen, I just wanted to say... wanted to say that... now?... Say that I have to agree with you about the lack of... Hang on... How about now?... lack of manners that some people have when they are on the... Is that better?... when they are on the phone... How about now?... I'll call you again in 5 minutes... You're breaking up... I'll call you back...
  to fellow passenger (trying to sleep): Don't you just hate these things?

Thankyou

Re:Public Airwaves (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153228)

I bet that's a lot harder to say, and even harder to hear, in French, German, Italian, Romanian, with a British/Irish accent, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch...

Re:Public Airwaves (1)

nchip (28683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151730)

Maybe their openness just comes from their manners, which let them all talk on mobile phones quietly and discreetly already

My word.

* Guns don't kill people
* Cellphones don't make people loud and rude

All things in moderation? (0, Offtopic)

TrebleMaker (628707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151505)

Another reason I don't like cell phones on airplanes: The electromagnetic radiation causes "Troll" and "Funny" moderations to collectively transmogrify into "Underrated" mods after I hit the "Moderate" Button.

So sad. (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151589)

and already had 150 aircraft committed.
It was for their own protection. The poor unfortunate airplanes had completely lost their grip on reality, and believed themselves to be ocean liners.

When the 737s started terrorizing maintenance workers on the runway by taxing over to them and shouting "I'm a luxury cruise ship, play shuffleboard on me damn you!" we knew it was time for the padded hangars.

Cell phones and small children... (1)

coleopterana (932651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151611)

We've discussed how unpleasant cell phone conversations on planes would be, and have hoped that perhaps if they become enabled and allowed that there would be planes for people who will use their cell phones on which there will also be all people with small children who have not been sedated.

Is it necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151694)

With exploding laptops, planes no longer allowing users to charge their laptops and batteries last 2-3 hours if you're lucky, is it worth it? Until they can give everyone the possibility of power on the plane, this is useless.

With all the technology in planes, they still haven't learned how to increase baggage allowance to more than the weight of the suitcase (20kg, what does that get you?), more leg room, or comfortable seats, yet want to give us internet access for the whole of 30-40 minutes until the batteries run out.

Where did that come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16151740)

Europeans, with shorter flights and lower expectations of privacy perhaps, are more open to it."

WHAT? O_O

no voice (1)

Squigley (213068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151797)

> Three U.S. airlines told me that American passengers have very low interest or negative interest in allowing any voice (cell or otherwise) during flights.

Yeah, I go along with that, I've got a negative interest in allowing voices during flights, ie shut the hell up.

You don't really need to worry about using the phone, if you can't speak.

Perhaps it could be like Neo in the Matrix, "How can you use VOIP on a plane, if you can.. not.. speak".

This is a pretty poorly written story, other faults have already been pointed out.

And the self absorbed whining begins... (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151931)

Ok, every person too stupid to bring ear plugs when they know they are going to be in a crowd and want silence, raise your hand!

Laptop (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152332)

But only if they let your Dell, Apple, or [perhaps] IBM laptop on the plane with a battery. Otherwise, I'd call this a good idea. Just make it available in Economy Plus, and include it as a courtisy feature...

text messaging (1)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16152671)

I've suggested this before -- instead of opening up the voice channels, why not just let everyone use their phone's text messaging feature, and that's it? Satisfies the need for people to tell their friends/family/dog about where/when they are, delays, arrivals etc. and eliminates the voice chatter.

This seems just intuitive to me, why doesn't anyone pick up on it?

Re:text messaging (1)

barath_s (609997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153496)

Because not everyone's friends / family / dog have cell phones with text messaging ? Some of us still use landlines, you know. And some things are best accomplished by voice.

Re:text messaging (1)

symonty (233005) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154514)

They already have, I am aware of many business plans for text messaging, and I have even implemented a system for many airlines just for SMS, via there seat-back.

I absolutely agree about text, and I can tell you that I see around 1000 text messages a day from the airlines I have implemented, at the moment and passengers use the service extensively and are very happy with it.

Up vs. down (2, Funny)

booch (4157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153451)

I assume they mean that it has 12 Mbps download speed. Which is actually 12 Mbps up from the ground to the plane.

Re:Up vs. down (1)

symonty (233005) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154484)

Remember that it is shared across all planes in a spot beam maybe transponder even.

What about the security? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16153469)

So, American airlines will probably never commit if people can't ever bring their laptops, PDAs, or phones on planes. Or has that changed?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>