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Comment Re:The problem is not the FAA, or the FCC... (Score 1) 106

I wouldn't say that. I'm sure the companies who already provide WiFi services let alone the history of AirFone and other hardware manufacturers have lobbied the US for years. The difference is that the EU use common sense while the FAA are mainly run by luddites stuck in the 1950's.

Think of how long it has taken to get GPS based ILS put in place and approved even tho the practices and technologies have been around for decades.

Comment Re:Cost Benefit Analysis Needed... (Score 1) 106

Satcom is a mostly fixed cost as it's based on usage overall (think 95% average billing). Plus deals can be worked out with the satellite providers. They would rather have the network making money rather than being idle.

But think of the stream coming off the satellite as one big pipe. So that's a known cost based on overall usage. But then it's routed on the ground different ways. Since GPRS/GSM/UMTS/LTE/etc... is a mobile protocol, you're now having to route to another network or if you're the provider having to invest in infrastructure to unencapsulate all this data and turn it back into IP as opposed to WiFi which is already IP. Hence it may be cheaper to still use WiFi opposed to leaving LTE burning. In Europe, you're already used to that tho.

Comment Re:Cell towers (Score 5, Informative) 106

On old school 800mhz AMPS cell phones and at lower altitude this may be true. But today most cell towers are pointed at the ground hence why you don't get a carrier signal until you're approaching/leaving the runway. What happens today is that cell phones just burn power as the phone goes to full power trying to connect. Think of how many people leave their phones on in the luggage or pocket while flying. If a phone can bring down an airplane, don't you think you'd see mobile phone jails prior to boarding?

These systems work on the premise of noise generators that blot out the external signals and a new carrier is presented just above the noise level that commands mobile phones to idle their transmitters down. In fact, one might say this causes *less* interference as you don't have a bunch of phones blasting away RF energy inside the cabin.

Comment Cost Benefit Analysis Needed... (Score 3, Interesting) 106

Having worked for a provider of these services, I can tell you that telephone calls are usually very, very short due to cabin noise and connection charges. But SMS and Data have always been a bigger draw. I see this as a win as hopefully this will nudge the FCC/FAA to become more symmetrical in the rules between the US and Europe.

The real question is what will be the cost model for UMTS/LTE vs In-Cabin WiFi as each has a entirely different set of data protocols and are routed differently once they reach the ground network.

Submission + - GIMP Abandons SourceForge. Distributes via FTP Instead (

Dangerous_Minds writes: GIMP, a free and open source altenernative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was "the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge." The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead. Is Sourceforge becoming the next CNET?

Submission + - Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over to Computer if it Meant Lower Insurance Rates ( 1

Lucas123 writes: Most drivers would consider buying an autonomous vehicle if it meant their insurance rates would be reduced by 80%, a new survey of 2,000 licensed drivers found. Oddly enough, the survey by the online consumer insurance site also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers. And 75% would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school. The survey also asked what commuters would be doing if a computer handled the driving: More than one-in-four would text/talk with friends; 21% would read; 10% would sleep; 8% would watch movies; 7% would play games; and 7% would work. The rest of those survyed said they'd just watch the scenery blow by.

Comment Re:More Courts (Score 1) 599

The requests were made multiple times. Yes, his manager wasn't heavy handed regarding obtaining passwords due to the desire to keep the talent. But the fact is that he designed in backdoors into a critical system and rigged it to where he was the only one who could access the network management. The rest is theatrics which lead to his demise.

Comment Re:Passwords are property of the employer (Score 5, Informative) 599

Wrong - it wasn't that simple.

In December 2007, the city‟s Human Services Agency (HSA) experienced a
power outage. When power was restored, its computers could not connect to
FiberWAN—the configurations of its CE device had been erased because they had been
saved to VRAM. Childs reloaded the configurations and got the system reconnected.
When the HSA information security officer learned that the CE configurations had been
stored in VRAM, he protested to Childs that this was unacceptable. Citing security
concerns, Childs explained that he wanted to prevent a physical connection to the CE that
would allow someone to obtain the configurations using the password recovery feature.
He suggested disabling the password recovery feature instead; the information security
officer agreed. Tong also agreed to this solution, as it would address a concern about
hacking into the HSA‟s CE device. Soon, Childs disabled the password recovery feature
on all CE devices citywide, and there were no backup configurations on any of the city‟s
CE devices. As the password recovery feature could not be disabled on core PE devices,
Childs erased their configurations that had been stored on NVRAM.

Comment Re:Passwords are property of the employer (Score 1) 599

No, that's not true either. The junior admins likely only had access to the switch infrastructure or maybe pieces that were not part of the core network. But from what I recall, he was the only one who had access to the core network infrastructure and ran it in a memory-resident condition without a configuration saved to the NVRAM for "security purposes".

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