Tag: Technology

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Yet Another Moronic Study on Cell Phones and Airplanes

May 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last time we went over this nonsense we included the line "yes of course this is idiotic," before stepping back and promising to watch our language because "this is a family blog." But now those same moronic 2011 anecdotes are being recycled as proof that cell phones and tablets can interfere with the navigation systems of gigantic airliners? And now Bloomberg is declaring that "more than a decade of pilot reports and scientific studies" imply that it's true? Fuck. That.

Listen. If you believe that something you bought off the shelf at an Apple Store has the ability to interfere with a Boeing 747... well, we're not going to do the stand-up comedian thing where we tell you to kill yourself. But at a minimum, as a public service, consider chemical castration. "A decade of pilot reports and scientific studies"? Holy. Shit.

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How to Hack an Airplane? There's an (Android) App for That

April 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We were going to use this post to turn today's US Airways meltdown at PHL—luggage left in the rain, flights boarding at random times, etc—into a Teachable Moment about travel social media. Telling people to work with your on-the-ground reps is pretty much the definition of using Twitter wrong. But we're so blindingly furious at the airline right now that it's probably better for everyone to count to 10.

Maybe next week, after our blood pressure has returned to sub-heart attack levels, we'll have a group discussion about why telling people that they should know better than to wait in your airline's airline lounge isn't a great idea.

Anyway, this story—about how Android phones might be able to hack airplanes—is, first, real news, and second, interesting. So we're going to put aside our theory that US Airways reps are sadistic travel trolls determined to ruin our lives. Instead, how about how an Android app may or may not be able to "modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane"? Added the hacker who wrote the software: "that includes a lot of nasty things."

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The $39 Accessory Every Traveler with an iPhone or MacBook Needs

April 4, 2013 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Note: This story pertains to users of Apple MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.

You know the distinctive white MacBook power cord? It has a name. It's called the "MagSafe Adapter" and that white block portion does more than plug into the wall to charge your laptop; it also works with different voltages to allow travelers to safely plug their MacBooks into the 110-volt electricity of the US, or the 220-240 volts of almost everywhere else (without need for a clunky power converter).

That said, the plug shape still needs to change to fit foreign power outlets, and that's where our new favorite thing comes into play.

It's the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit, it's $39, and it's saved our work life during three months of heavy international travel. We've only had it since Christmas (a gift from a family member) and already we can't imagine living/traveling without it.

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Four Tiny Things Making a Huge Difference at London's Smallest Airport

April 3, 2013 at 10:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

How many of London's airports can you name? There's Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, uhhh Luton and....City! It's that last one that's often forgotten because it's the smallest of the bunch and nearest to downtown, though the most innovative (and not just because they offer free WiFi).

We just flew through London-City for the first time and came out of the experience a little more hopeful for the future of air travel. It's true they have some freedom to experiment because the airport is tiny, the passengers are mostly frequent flying professionals, and the flights are mostly limited to Europe, but that's all the more reason to detour away from the mega airports to try City's particularly civilized "boutique" airport experience.

Here's what LCY has got going on that makes it so...so fly:

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Qantas' New In-Flight iPads are Boss

Where: Australia
February 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday we talked about Qantas' comfy new black leather business-class seats, but the real champion of the overhauled airplane is the in-flight entertainment system. We have mentioned Q Streaming before and we're excited to get our hands on the technology.

Not for lack of trying, we have been on a few planes with the hopes of discovering an Apple iPad in the seat-back pocket all to be disappointed. As soon as we turned the corner to board the plane and saw the product logo right next to the door, admittedly, our heart skipped a beat. We can finally catch up on a few episodes of Modern Family directly streamed to the device over a WiFi network.

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Yippee! JetBlue Joins the Mobile Boarding Pass Cool Kids Club

February 13, 2013 at 4:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yo, is that an iPhone in your pocket or are you just excited for Valentine's Day?

Hopefully the answer is "iPhone" (or both), because that means you can download or update the JetBlue mobile app, which now FINALLY supports beautiful, beautiful mobile boarding passes and adds some other goodies.

Here's what you'll be getting with that update, now available (and free to download):
· Airport terminal maps
· Direct TV programming schedules
· Flight timetables
·' Updated destination city guides
· New graphics in the virtual postcards and more downloadable iPhone wallpaper
· The ability to book flights within the app using TrueBlue points
· Mobile boarding passes!!!!!!

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Plan for Better Airport WiFi, Thanks to the FCC

January 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM | by | Comment (1)

It seems that government agencies have been pretty busy this year, and we’re not talking about the boys and girls bickering with one another in Congress. Both the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Administration have been throwing in their two cents regarding the state of WiFi and electronic doodads up in the air, and now it looks like the FCC is moving their attention back towards the ground.

We’ve all experienced our WiFi access slowing to a crawl. We understand that we all can’t be watching cat videos simultaneously on YouTube, but when even our email is slow to load that’s a problem.

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In 1956, Computer Technology Belonged in an Airplane's Cargo Hold

January 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last night, by an open-air fire pit in Palm Springs, we met a man who had lost his lighter. He had owned it for 32 years, a present from an ex-girlfriend, he said. Sure, he later found it had slipped underneath his drivers seat, but still it got us to thinking. Here's a basic accessory of function—a lighter—and, next to us, our iPhone on which we basically run our lives. How many years does the latter last? Two? If we're lucky.

All of this leads us to show you the photo above, which has made its way around the internet this past week as it does about once a year. It's an incredible image that falls in the annals of both technology and aviation history as it's a 5MB hard drive being loaded onto a Pan Am plane in 1956. it weighs one ton.

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In-Flight WiFi Could Be Free-Flowing Faster if the FCC Has Their Way

January 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

It might be a little early to predict—it’s only the third day of 2013—but we’re expecting in-flight WiFi to come on even stronger than ever this year. We’ve already heard rumblings about Uncle Sam and his various agencies debating the merits of turning electronics off—or leaving them on—during flight, and now it looks like the Federal Communications Commission is chiming in once again.

We’ve always kind of assumed that getting WiFi up in the air was a big pain in the overhead bin. Not the technology portion necessarily—although we’re sure that’s kind of tricky—but more so the paperwork and approval process. Well, the FCC is anxious to help move in-flight WiFi roll-out full speed ahead, as they’ve streamlined the process—efficiencies, synergies, and what not—to make it all a little bit easier on the airlines.

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FCC Tells FAA to Get Moving on In-Flight Electronics Rules

December 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

We were going to spin an entire post out of a throwaway line published in The Hill last week, where the journalist dropped in a half-sentence about how "most passengers" want to use cell phones in the air. Polls have over and over again shown the exact opposite, with almost the only exception being a Fly.com poll that seemed more about publishing a press release than figuring out what people believe. But we're not sure it's fair to inflict our travel-journalist-nerd-bravado on you guys just because we can.

So instead we're going to point out what is true in that Hill story, which is that the FCC is pushing the FAA to permit more in-flight electronics use.

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Even Australian Police Hate Apple Maps

Where: Australia
December 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM | by | Comment (1)

We've already talked about the problems with Apple Maps and how we miss Google Maps as a standard feature on our iPhone. The former has renamed cities, created new land masses and even directed us down some thru roads that ended abruptly with a dead end sign. Even Apple sacked the guy who created the application last month.

Now, Australian police have gotten involved with their hatred for the navigation app. No, you wont get arrested for using the maps, but you might get lost and they don't want that to happen.

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The FCC is Telling the FAA to Chillax Over Electronic Usage During Flights

December 10, 2012 at 8:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

Unfortunately it’s not quite time to start leaving your electronic do-dads in the on position during taxi and takeoff, but once again it seems to be a point of discussion. This time it’s not passengers protesting about their right to bear iPhones, but it’s one government agency bickering with another.

Now it’s the Federal Communications Commission taking a stand, as they seem to be just as fed up with having to stay out of touch with friends and family for like the first twenty minutes of a flight. Since this is the government we’re talking about a letter is necessary, so the head honcho over at the FCC has written a note to the big cheese over at the Federal Aviation Administration requesting a revision to current electronic policies.

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