stories filed under: "airplanes"
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 7th 2008 10:12am
Wired is running an article about FAA concerns about the computer networks on Boeing's new 787. Apparently, the airplanes have been designed with a computer network in the passenger area that can give fliers internet access. That seems reasonable enough. However, somewhere along the way, someone at Boeing decided to connect that network to the plane's control, navigation and communication systems. It's hard to fathom how anyone would ever consider connecting a general passenger network on an airplane to critical systems that actually deal with issues related to keeping the airplane in the sky. Boeing's response is less than satisfactory as well. While it claims it's fixing some of the issues raised, it also says the report is overblown, noting: "There are places where the networks are not touching, and there are places where they are." That really doesn't matter. If the network is touching anywhere it should be seen as a fairly serious problem. There's simply no good reason to connect the two in any way, no matter how "secure." Glenn Fleishman is saying that this report is Wired making a mountain out of a molehill, and insists that the story is probably not a big deal at all. Yet, I'm still wondering why the two systems would ever touch each other.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 18th 2007 11:46pm
from the let-the-airlines-decide dept
While the US government has basically decided not to allow mobile phone calls from airplanes due to complaints from people worried about sitting next to people who are too chatty, the EU seems to be taking a more reasonable approach. Recognizing that the technology problems with calling from airplanes have basically been solved, the EU is ready to let airlines decide for themselves how they want to handle the issue. In other words, rather than having the government decree that people shouldn't suffer sitting next to half a conversation, why not let the market decide? If people are really annoyed by it, then airlines can simply advertise themselves as "mobile-phone free" or set up "mobile-phone free" sections.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 8th 2007 8:44am
from the but-what-about-voip? dept
Over the weekend, a story out of the UK began to get some buzz, when an American FAA representative supposedly told a British newspaper that the FAA will not approve in-flight mobile phone calls after the agency received a ton of complaints when it publicly began considering the shift in policy. Of course, this is somewhat meaningless, because the FCC had already said no to the change in policy, and both agencies would likely need to agree before any change went into effect. So, for those of you (and we know there are lots of you) who were terrified by the idea that you might get stuck sitting next to someone jabbering away into a mobile phone for a cross-continent flight... rest easy. Well, rest easy until you realize that voice is just a form of data, and it's only a matter of time until internet access in the sky means the person sitting next you will be jabbering away via Skype for a cross-continent flight no matter what gov't agencies have to say about mobile phones in the sky.