Items tagged with Airplane

Is it possible to take control of an airplane using an infotainment system as a gateway? Chris Roberts, a well-known hacker and security researcher with One World Labs, claims that it is. The FBI, who is investigating Roberts' claims, is taking no chances that he's incorrect. On April 15, Roberts posted this tweet: Find myself on a 737/800, lets see Box-IFE-ICE-SATCOM, ? Shall we start playing with EICAS messages? "PASS OXYGEN ON" Anyone ? :)— Chris Roberts (@Sidragon1) April 15, 2015 It's as if Roberts was looking for trouble. And if that's the case, he certainly got it. Upon landing, he was greeted by two FBI agents and two police officers, and was then interrogated for a couple of hours. Before... Read more...
United Airlines isn't too happy with a savvy 22-year-old who built a website that helps people find cheaper airfare. Neither is Orbitz for that matter. What is it about the website that would prompt United Airlines and Orbitz to file a civil lawsuit against its owner, Aktarer Zaman? It's the fact that it finds cheaper airfare using a strategy called "hidden city" ticketing.Here's how it works -- let's say you want to travel to Chicago. Using the "hidden city" ticketing method, you would buy a one-way ticket that has a layover in Chicago, and once you arrive, you simply stay there rather than board whatever connecting flight you paid for.While it's not always cheaper to use this method, a lot... Read more...
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its findings regarding the investigation it conducted following the events that led to the grounding of 50 long-range Boeing 787s. According to its report, a series of failures have been attributed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing Co., and its supplier of lithium-ion batteries. Back in January 2013, ground workers at Boston Logan International Airport noticed that smoke and flames were coming from an auxiliary power unit lithium-ion battery that was in a Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner that was parked at a gate. A second incident involving the battery, manufactured by GS Yuasa Corp, occurred days later on another 787 Dreamliner... Read more...
If flight attendants get their wish, you'll once again be prohibited from using electronic gadgets like your smartphone or handheld gaming system during takeoffs and landings. Why? For one, flight attendants are concerned that many passengers are no longer paying attention to emergency instructions, and secondly, they're worried that mobile devices will turn into projectiles during turbulence, as has happened at least once since the ban was lifted. "Essentially we want to set the reset button to the way personal electronic devices were handled prior to October 2013," Amanda Duré, attorney who is representing the flight attendants, told The Wall Street Journal. She added that takeoffs and... Read more...
There's progress, and then there's going too far. While you won't find too many technology lovers who are opposed to having Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet or being able to leave one's Kindle on from gate-to-gate, there's a fine line here that may soon be crossed. Enabling connectivity in the sky is a godsend for those who fly frequently and need to get work done, but by and large, all of this happens at a low volume level. The noise of one's keyboard is largely drowned out by the rumble of the airline engines, and there's a good reason that most in-flight Wi-Fi services don't allow VoIP or video calls. The airline is a cramped place, and any semblance of privacy is precious. But, a new report suggests... Read more...
As you're probably well aware by now, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 bound from South Korea crash-landed onto the runway at San Francisco International Airport yesterday, killing two passengers and injuring dozens more. Including the crew, there were over 300 people on board the flight, and had things gone to plan, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sheryl Sandberg, would have been one of them. Fortunately for her, she switched flights at the last minute in order to accumulate miles on United. Sandberg revealed in a Facebook post that she was originally scheduled to fly on Flight 214, but ended up on a different airline that landed 20 minutes prior. "Taking a minute to be thankful and explain... Read more...
Remember when that 757 aircraft came crashing down midway through takeoff, killing everyone on board all because a passenger's handheld media player interfered with the plane's onboard electronics? You don't remember reading about that or seeing it on the news? That's because it never happened, nor is it likely to, yet passengers are always asked to turn off their electronic devices during takeoff and landing. It's a rule that's been in place and unchanged since 1966 when experts feared electromagnetic interference could disrupt onboard navigation equipment. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on loosening restrictions on personal... Read more...
San José airport officials are close to striking a multimillion dollar deal to convert an old parking lot into a private airstrip that would be used primarily for Google's fleet of aircraft. Signature Flight support, a global player in FBO and flight support services, won a bid to develop and operate the 29-acre, $82 million facility on the airport's west side, pending city approval. "We’re pleased that the evaluation process for the development of Mineta San José International Airport’s West Side is now complete, and the recommended outcome will prove to be incredibly prosperous for SJC, the City of San José, and Silicon Valley," said Director of Aviation Bill... Read more...
Ever been on a flight with a TV in the headrest? Sadly, too few planes still have these, but those fortunate enough to see one may have seen some fairly compelling content of late. But evidently, more of that is to come. YouTube has reportedly signed a deal with Virgin America that would see an airline offering YouTube channels for the first time ever. Google's video portal has been striving to turn into a more serious outlet for serious content in the past few years, and this would certainly cement that effort. According to Variety, the airline will make programming on five YouTube channels -- Warner Bros.' "H+ The Digital Series," produced by Bryan Singer; WIGS' "Blue," starring Julia Stiles;... Read more...
One of the more annoying parts of flying, outside of the ridiculous TSA security process and the notoriously packed flights, is the whole "turn your phones off" thing before taking off. While the skeptics would argue that it's just a myth that a phone could wreck a plane's GPS system, the FAA takes the "better safe than sorry route." But now, Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is seemingly ready to take a second look at just how practical these silly rules are. Forcing people to turn everything off between the ground and 10,000 feet (on both ends of a flight) is pretty annoying, especially to businesspeople who are trying to make an office out of the sky and utilize... Read more...
Aircell today announced it has secured $35 million in private equity funding, proceeds of which will be used to expand the company's Gogo Inflight service for both commercial and business flights. As it stands, Gogo already serves nine of the top 11 U.S. airlines and offers inflight Internet on 6,000 business aircraft, Aircell says. "2010 was the year inflight Internet went mainstream and Aircell established its leadership in this exciting new mobile Internet venue," said Michael Small, Aircell President and CEO. "Since securing our exclusive spectrum license in 2006, we've raised more than $500 million." Aircell has ambitious plans for 2011. The company said it wants to increase its install... Read more...
Microsoft's Zune HD sure has seen a difficult road. No matter how hard the company tried, they never could gain ground on Apple. The iPod has proven too strong for even Microsoft's marketing powers, and now it's rare to hear anything about the player at all. Microsoft is still making them, but they're hardly marketing it; at this point, the iPod has simply taken over, and as SanDisk's CEO pointed out a few years back, it's hard to "out iPod the iPod." But that's not to say the Zune HD is dead. United Airlines has just given the media player a new lease on life thanks to a partnership that will place Zune HDs into the hands of patrons. Reportedly, United will host around 500 Zune players on extra-long... Read more...
In-flight Wi-Fi. When you hear the phrase, what do you think about? Obviously, some people consider Internet in airports and on planes far more important than even food, but unless you fly one of those high demand routes (New York City to San Francisco/LA, for example), you may feel that in-flight Wi-Fi simply isn't available on enough aircraft. But apparently those feelings are changing. The whole thought of having broadband speeds while traveling at 35,000 feet seems pretty insane. And even now, after you've used an in-flight Wi-Fi service such as Row44 or Gogo one or twice, it's still amazing to get connected while flying. We won't pretend to understand how it all works, but it's clear that... Read more...
Australian airline Jetstar's in-flight entertainment is about to get a whole lot more, well, entertaining. No, they're not hiring dancing girls to boogie down the isles, but the airline from down under will start renting out iPads on some of its domestic flights. It will cost $10 to rent an iPad, which will provide some additional in-flight services, such as movies, TV programs, ebooks, music, and games, Jetstar announced. "Based on demand for the iPads as part of the trial, we'll be looking to roll out the devices across our entire domestic and international network later in the year," said Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan. We could see this being a big hit with passengers, especially at the $10 price... Read more...
If there's one thing everyone needs on a flight, it's in-flight Wi-Fi. That's something we can all agree on, right? While the business and casual travelers debate, Aircell is announcing yet another partner in their efforts to blanket the sky with Internet: US Airways. The company has managed to land deals with nearly every major (and minor) American airline, and with US Air onboard, there's really no stopping things. Starting today, a total of five Airbus A321 aircraft have been outfitted with the service, enabling users to actually get online with their notebook or smartphone while flying. US Air isn't saying which five they are, but they'll have Gogo logos everywhere when you board (so be on... Read more...
In-flight Wi-Fi has been around for a few years now, but only in limited circumstances. Just a few airlines have bought in, and even then, in-flight Wi-Fi is only available on select routes. It's definitely a fledgling technology, and we can certainly see it expanding rapidly in the coming years and more and more passengers make clear that Internet is more important than food.We kid, we kid. Southwest Airlines has finally announced that their in-flight Internet plans are back on track, after dealing with a number of delays that likely involve red tape that you're frankly not interested in. Row 44 has now been signed on to provide the equipment necessary to give passengers the ability to surf... Read more...
There's little doubt that having Wi-Fi on planes is one of the greatest inventions of all time (or at least this decade), but actually finding a flight that's Wi-Fi enabled can be tough. Darn near impossible, even. American Airlines is looking to make the process or making your day or breaking your heart just a bit simpler with its new Wi-Fi Widget, which enables passengers to check to see if their flight will be Internet-ready 24 hours before takeoff.It's the first US legacy airline to launch such an application, and given that it's Web-based, it can be loaded on any PC, notebook, smartphone, etc. We were half expecting AA to just release an iPhone app, but in a way this is far better; it allows... Read more...
Scared of flying? Would you rather drive 20 hours than hop in the sky for 3? You're obviously not alone, and now it looks like Virgin Atlantic is hoping to help those of you out who can't quite come to grips with soaring in the friendly skies. But we're not talking about fear training or something like that, we're talking about a new iPhone app. Yeah, an app!The company's own "Flying Without Fear" course is now being made available via Apple's App Store, and it reportedly has a success rate of 98%. iPhone and iPod touch users can download it now, and according to company president Richard Branson, this app could help millions deal with their fears and hop onboard for the first time."This is Virgin... Read more...
Gogo Inflight Internet service may be looking forward to big expansion plans in the future, but there’s one airline that’s missing from its growth list: Southwest Airlines. That’s because Southwest Airlines and Row 44 have their own plans to roll out Wi-Fi beginning in the first quarter of 2010. This fall, Southwest will move to the next step of certifying its full fleet with plans to begin fleet wide rollout of the Row 44 satellite service. Southwest has been testing the service on four aircraft since February and has received positive feedback on the product. During the testing phase, customers have been able to use the service for everything from checking email to streaming video. Customers... Read more...
Has it already been a year? Aircell, the company responsible for the now-heralded Gogo Inflight Internet service that's in far too few planes (though that's changing for the better on a month-by-month basis it seems), is this week celebrating the service's first birthday. Aw, ain't that just so sweet? As the service turns one, it's completely clear that consumers who fly have a hunger for Wi-Fi in the skies. The biggest knock on air travel for business is the lack of productivity while in the air. Heck, even on a cross-country road trip you can work via a WWAN modem if you stick to the interstates, but on most airplanes, you lose that ability to stay connected as soon as your captain readies... Read more...
We've heard of crazy recommendations and pointless surveys, but man, this is just world-class comedy here. Though, to be fair, most everything recommended is legitimate, but it's mostly common knowledge. Inflight Wi-Fi is expected to soar in popularity of the next few years--that's a well known fact at this point--but debates are still raging over whether or not that's a good thing.Most airlines, if not all, have disabled VoIP calling while on their planes. This keeps patrons from dialing up friends via Skype while onboard, and in turn making every other passenger around them furious and agitated. A recent survey commissioned by 3M found that four in five business travelers admitted that they... Read more...
For the business traveler (and the traveler in general, really), Wi-Fi is important -- crucial, even. But more important than sustenance? That's exactly what was found in a recent survey by American Airlines and HP, where some 47% of business travelers responded that Wi-Fi was the "most important airport amenity, outscoring basic travels needs such as food by nearly 30 percentage points." The online study gathered results from 1,500 frequent travelers who log more than 20 trips a year on three or more airlines, and it also found that the largest complaint wasn't delayed flights, cramped areas, endless fees or the lack of an AC outlet in coach -- no, it was dead PC batteries. Yes, dead batteries,... Read more...
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