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[P]
Airplanes with the Internet

By schnits in Op-Ed
Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:11:56 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

I was heading to Ottawa this week during the Easter break. I was bored so I started looking through the Airline propaganda in the pocket in the back of the seat in front of me. Something caught my eye.

It was a pouch in the magazine filled with CD-ROMs (The discs not the drives). I read the pouch and it was talking about how the jet I was on was equipped with Internet access and all I would have to do is plug my laptop in to their phone system and install the software.


Let's get one thing straight, I am all for having the Internet everywhere and anywhere. You see, cellular phones/modems can't be used on aircraft for it interferes with the jet's frequencies. So this could allow people to surf the web, using dial up modems. My complaint about this however is their reasons for allowing this. The package kept saying how much you HAVE to use the internet "to get that big report in to your boss" and how business doesn't stop just because you are on the plane and that you must always work using the Internet...


How brainwashed are we that we, as a society, can justify working non stop on an airplane. For many people the airplane is their only refuge for work because their boss is always standing on their backs when they are home, they have been forced in to this, they aren't with their family they are at the office and now the corporation wants them to work on the airplane.

I admit that there are people who have their lives only to work and they use work to escape, but the vast majority of office suit workers, I'm sure they'd much rather be on the Airline enjoying their bag of peanuts.
That's my opinion.

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Airplanes with the Internet | 43 comments (35 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
The reason for internet access on airplanes (3.25 / 4) (#4)
by eLuddite on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 06:25:52 PM EST

is so that hax0rs can land the plane if something happens to the pilot.

The package kept saying how much you HAVE to use the internet "to get that big report in to your boss" and how business doesn't stop just because you are on the plane and that you must always work using the Internet...

Well, airline _management_ told someone to write that. Typical.

---
God hates human rights.

More Details (4.00 / 4) (#5)
by markbach on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 06:52:25 PM EST

I'd be interested in knowing more about this.

What airline/aircraft type was this?
Who was the service through?
What type of interface did it use?
How much did it cost?
Is there a link for more information?
---
Mark

If your computer says LINUX, run...computers can't talk (unless you have text-to-speech software)
Info (3.00 / 2) (#7)
by schnits on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 07:17:17 PM EST

What airline/aircraft type was this? Air Canada, it was an Airbus Who was the service through? I can't remember the name, damn my memory. It started with a T though What type of interface did it use? phone cord How much did it cost? "FREE" Is there a link for more information? There was, it was the company name .com but, sorry I can't remember it right now.
Schnits
[ Parent ]
I was on the plane before his (none / 0) (#40)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:09:39 PM EST

i was...we were on the same trip to ottowa! so it should be similar to what i flew Air Canada(used to be Regional airlines i think before it was bought over)
http://www.aircanada.ca/tenzing/detail.html i'm not sure if this is the *only* awnser but it might help you if not contact him, or me, as i will i'll ask him. (email in case that dosnt work themusicgod1@klanprophet.com)
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
COMMIE! (4.31 / 16) (#6)
by Signal 11 on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 06:59:46 PM EST

It's completely unamerican of you to not want to work 80 hours a week. Whenever you are taking leisure time with your "family" or out partying friday night, some nigerian kid is busy making shoes or milking cows to undermine american economic supremacy. It's a war out there, dammit, and you should do your patriotic duty! How dare you complain about long work hours, poor conditions, lack of leisure time - can't you see we're at war with not only the European Union, but India, and many other 3rd world countries that have cheaper labor. Your employer is working hard to SAVE america from those communist bastards - and you have the balls to complain? You long haired hippie bastard... Get out of my country!

All Out For America: Work Harder, Buy More.

...this message was brought to you by the house on unamerican economic activities...


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

Duh (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by Devil Ducky on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 12:05:58 PM EST

Of course it would be unamerican! He was going to Ottawa, CANADA.

Other than that, Yeah, management is war! :)

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
Well... (2.75 / 4) (#8)
by Dacta on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 07:55:36 PM EST

Considering how I spend on planes, and how often I wish I could just fix one more bug before I got onsite... Damn.. I wish we had internet on planes.



Computers/Internet bring more work, not less. (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by tnt on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:26:15 PM EST

It's kind of funny. The more our technology makes work easier to do, the more work we are expected to do. (And have to do.) Technology does not seem to be the great liberator, as many would hope; but seems to be tending towards the great enslaver.

Technolgoy is often made in the hopes [at least by normal people] that it will give us more free time -- to spend with our families, to spend with our friends, to spend resting, to spend persuing our own interests, to spend doing whatever it is we want or feel like, to have a good life. Instead, technology is infact producing the opposite effect. The free time technology is producing is instantly filed with more work. And the work we do often seem to be harder or more stressful. The social impacts of our inventions are often hard to predict. [Just look at the car for example. It was seen as the solution to the great horse manure problem. But the problems it has produced have been far worse.]

Of course it can be expected. Business does seem to be war. If one competitor [business] uses the free time to get more work done (instead of giving it to the employees to do whatever the want) then others will have to do so too to compete.

The only way I can see to get the free time for ourselves is to mandate, by law, that we get it -- for example, make it illegal for anyone to work more than a four day work week... 32 hours a week -- that way no business can get the advantage.

Of course there are problems with this. Other countries might not have a similar law; and if you have any kind of free-trade agreement in place, then you'll have the unfair competition. (I guess that can be seen as an argument against free-trade.) A similar type of situation is happening with countries that have slave-like labour. Because some coutries have slave-like labour (and because of the global economy that we have) all coutries are having to create populations of slave-like labour forces, of their own people, to compete.



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

Yes and no (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:39:00 PM EST

there's an interesting counter-effect, too, in that technology lets you relocate your work in time. Which is to say, if you work with technology, you can now work in the middle of the night rather than during the day; you can be more flexible with *when* you get things done. I regularly take long afternoon breaks and make up for it late at night, when i'm naturally more productive --- in my view that's a step forward.

make it illegal for anyone to work more than a four day work week... 32 hours a week -- that way no business can get the advantage.

Yuck. I don't like being *required* to work more than that, but at the same time, the nature of what I do is such that once in a while I get massive mental bursts of understanding and clarity that demand that I work on fixing the bug whose answer just came to me *now*; I don't care how long it takes or how many hours i've worked, the fix has to be made while the idea is there in my head before it goes away and i cease to understand. I can't control *when* these bursts happen; limiting me to some sort of legally required work schedule would basically screw me over.

[ Parent ]

Was talking about labourers (none / 0) (#18)
by tnt on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 10:09:31 AM EST

In reply to when I said:

make it illegal for anyone to work more than a four day work week... 32 hours a week -- that way no business can get the advantage.

You said:

Yuck. I don't like being *required* to work more than that, but at the same time, the nature of what I do is such that once in a while I get massive mental bursts of understanding and clarity that demand that I work on fixing the bug whose answer just came to me *now*; I don't care how long it takes or how many hours i've worked, the fix has to be made while the idea is there in my head before it goes away and i cease to understand. I can't control *when* these bursts happen; limiting me to some sort of legally required work schedule would basically screw me over.

My comment was geared more towards people who do manual labour. And other jobs that don't involve creativity. Artists, Engineers, Scientists, and occupations such as that, that involve alot of creativity [as you said] don't always do their work by the normal work day.

People who just do tedious work would benifit from it greatly. (For example: warehouse workers, any unskilled labour job I can think of, construction workers.) For them having the work week reduced (by law) from 40 hours a week to 32 hours a week would be great.



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
Granted (none / 0) (#22)
by aphrael on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 01:53:51 PM EST

a shorter standard work week would be good for everyone. But ...
  • A lot of unskilled laborers already work more than 40 hours a week because they can't afford to live on what they're earning;
  • Reducing work hours in that fashion would probably lead to a greater number of people working two jobs;
  • You can't implement a scheme which reduces work hours only for certain types of work without involving the state in classifying labor, which means a more complex bureaucratic imposition on employers.
Not that it can't work. Just that to make it work requires more work than most proponents are willing to put into it. :)

[ Parent ]
32? 34? Hour work week... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by Jin Wicked on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 06:57:11 PM EST

France did this quite recently and it supposedly fared quite well. Not only does it improve the amount of time people have for personal things, but it also drives down unemployment because more people are needed to do the same amount of work. I would call it a win-win situation, except for the bosses, perhaps, who'll be forced to make due with a bit less profit. (Yes, they could raise prices, but that does no good if the workers can't afford to buy them...) Oh no, two cars and a boat instead of six cars and an oceanliner...boohoo. A shorter work week is something the unions (and workers) here should definately be fighting for.


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
I thought so (none / 0) (#30)
by tnt on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 10:13:10 AM EST

I thought this was done somewhere in Europe; I thought it was Germany though.

You said (because of the shorter hours worked a week):

the bosses... [wi]ll be forced to make due with a bit less profit.

Ya, that's the result I expected. A redistribution of the wealth.

You know, one thing I've noticed is that in countries like Canada (my home) and the USA, the majority of the wealth doesn't even seem to be possessed by people! Corporations seem to have it. What a waste! (I'd like to write alot more about the subject -- about our society not actually getting the fruits of our labour -- but it would be too long for this reply.)



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
I'd like to have net access on airplanes (4.50 / 6) (#11)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 09:35:00 PM EST

Airline flights are *boring*. The quality of most of the movies is low --- once in a while they're cool but they're often things i've deliberately avoided. A 9-hour flight (say, from SFO to LHR) hits the point where I just can't keep reading my book(s) any more; I *have* to do something else.

Being able to get online and talk to my friends, read K5, read the newspaper, whatever, would break the monotony of the flight.

Now, as for the marketing --- well, it turns out that the seats that airlines make the most money on are last-minute business flights. (Last minute personal emergencies --- eg., funerals --- are discounted by most carriers, and most family vacations fall under 2-month advance purchase cheap seat rules). There's an immense amount of money to be made off of businesspeople; is it that surprising that the airlines would market their new features at businesspeople? And if you're a procrastinator, being able to get your work done on the plane is a godsend. trust me. :)

Business Seats (none / 0) (#27)
by dzeroo on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 04:08:05 AM EST

In fact, I was told that airline companies make no (real) money of the cattle class section, but depend solely on the seats up front. As these are pretty much only filled with suits (and the odd married couple) airlines are obviously trying to implement the laws of marketing (create a need, then a solution).

As mentioned above: you don't HAVE to use it. Nevertheless, the distraction would be nice, but it would be naive to expect anything near high-speed Internet during a flight in the near future.

It comes down to technology speeding up our productivity and thereby making it hard for us not to use the spare time we have to "get our job done" .. Think of tele-commuters: research actually shows that people work longer hours at home than in the office. Hooray technology!


== chicks are for fags ==


[ Parent ]
Darn right (none / 0) (#38)
by costas on Tue May 01, 2001 at 05:34:36 PM EST

I used to think that people who worked on the laptop on airplanes were workaholics... until I started travelling on business a lot. Flights are boring. I would much rather sync up my laptop before the flight, and catch up on some browsing, or work on some document rather than watch a bad movie, with so much noise it's incomprehensible or read an in-flight magazine.

And books are often not the answer if you try to travel light --a decent paperback is too bulky for a daypack...


memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
[ Parent ]
Re: laptops on airplanes (none / 0) (#42)
by Teehmar on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:34:17 PM EST

When I got bored of my books, I used to keep myself entertained playing games on my laptop on the plane, and in the airport.
MAME made things alot more fun while travelling.

People will look at you strange if you're playing a flight sim on the plane... But that's part of the fun.

[ Parent ]
Something to think about... (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by Anodos on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:22:30 PM EST

Wouldn't it be neat to chat over X (fill in messaging client here) and let them know that you're currently at 5000 metres, flying over Alberta?

I think it would be. And I'm live in the States. :)

Working on a plane (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by skim123 on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 01:13:10 AM EST

I am one of the laziest people you'll ever meet, but I get my work done. I figure when going on a business trip I have to get my work done, and I can either do it on the plane or while in a new city. I'd rather get my work done on the flight and have some time to explore the city, rather than the other way around. (There's not much to exploring an airplane from the cabin, and once you've explored one you've explored them all.)

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


advertising (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by Defect on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 09:52:51 AM EST

Just because some ad tells me i need to use the internet while flying in the air for some 14 thousand hours doesn't mean i'm brainwashed. I've got Sprite on one side telling me to 'Obey My Thirst' and America Online on the other side trying to make me believe that i'm going through far too much work to get online that i simply must use their service, not to mention Old Navy trying to make me understand that i can't possibly live without their designer crue cut whatever-the-fucks.

I'm willing to bet that people who use computers will know whether or not they need to dialup en route, and if they in fact do have to get something done, then why not use those seventy-eight million hours you're in the plane flying half a galaxy above the earth to get it finished?

Most people are busy people, it's not an issue of being brainwashed, it's everywhere. Whether or not that's a good thing is completely irrelevant to the fact that airlines offer dialup, they're just taking off on the current demand.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Service Interruptions? (none / 0) (#19)
by FlightTest on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 10:54:52 AM EST

Was there any mention of if/when service might be interrupted?

With all the accounts of laptops interfering with aircraft navigation systems, I'd bet the internet access is turned off below 10,000 feet. I'd think you'd be "strongly encouraged" to turn of your laptop below 10,000 feet as well. I'm sure the link itself has been tested to death to make sure that it doesn't interfere, but they're having you use your own laptop, which has not been tested. And I'm sure the captain has the ability to turn it off anytime (s)he wants to.

It'd suck to be in the middle of sending that big report, only to have the connection turned off as the aircraft decends for landing.



Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.


Your sig (ot) (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by ODiV on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 06:49:57 PM EST

Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.

sounds like you do really late abortions. Yeah, it's gross, sorry :)


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
My sig (2.00 / 1) (#34)
by FlightTest on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 06:33:59 PM EST

It's actually a line from "Under Siege". It was Tommy Lee Jones playing the bad guy explaining to someone why he went bad.

It's been pretty appropriate around here (work) lately. :(



Why did I flip? I got tired of coming up with last minute desparate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people.


[ Parent ]
My Question: Linux and other AltOSes (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by titivillus on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 12:06:23 PM EST

The work laptop I'm borrowing is Win98, but if I was travelling with my own (currently non-existant) laptop, I'd be running Linux or Be. I'm sure Macs are popular. The question is, what's the networking setup on board? Can't I just pump?

Guilt (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by weirdling on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 03:18:48 PM EST

Well, people *will* get online to check email, whathaveyou, but most people will feel better if they do it under the guise of 'work', thus 'justifying' the stratospheric cost of such systems. I doubt that an awful lot of work will get done, but much K5 reading &c. will...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
why bother? (3.33 / 3) (#25)
by lokmant on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 05:33:50 PM EST

that internet is available on the plane doesn't mean you have to use it.

it's just an option. and options are always okay. :-)
"fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care" (jewel)

Big boss is always watching (3.00 / 1) (#31)
by suture on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 10:15:26 AM EST

Granted you don't /have/ to use it, but as soon as your boss knows you can, he/she/it will expect it. So the choice becomes moot.


Eagle
A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents. - G. C. Lichtenberg
[ Parent ]
can and do? (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by lokmant on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 05:32:17 PM EST

But I have internet at home too .. the boss surely doesn't expect me to work in my free time as well, just because I can?

And in the near future, everything will be wired probably, I hope that won't mean I will be working continuously. :-(
"fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care" (jewel)
[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#41)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:10:15 PM EST

good quote
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
my internet is down (2.00 / 1) (#28)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 09:36:11 AM EST

Since "Internet" and its RFC's describe a network of networks, "my internet is down" could be proper if you are describing a connection between 2 or more of your networks.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage

oops (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by wiredog on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 09:38:15 AM EST

This was supposed to be a reply to this but I hit the wrong button. Operator headspace and timing.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

marginal gains (none / 0) (#35)
by _Quinn on Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 04:26:49 AM EST

   Suppose BigMoney corporation is paying one its executives a million a year, and that this executive spends a tenth of his time flirting with the first-class stewardess. Then it's worth up to a hundred thousand to BigMoney to get him to work on that plane. Or, alternatively, worth up to fifty grand to cut the amount of time he spends travelling in half.

   That's a lot of money. But the reasoning applies to Joe Wageslave; if BigMoney can spend less than his hourly wage (plus the time advantage) to pay for doing an hour of work that he otherwise wouldn't do, they'll do it. And since he's flying `on company time,' he'll do it. As, it seems to me, the white-collar worker competes in a `buyer's market,' the expectations will drop (rise) to those of the most desperate...

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
wages and chains... (none / 0) (#36)
by botono9 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:36:57 PM EST

If a person gives in to the cumpulsion to work during their "free time" then they deserve everything they get. That's why they call it "wage slavery". Why are you allowing yourself to work for someone who makes such outrageous demands? How valuable is your time? I'm sick of people complaining about their work situations as if they didn't put themselves there in the first place.

But, of course, these kinds of feelings have been engineered in us. Even during periods of record profits, most workers fear being laid off. Why? Because a "work force" which is filled with fear and doubt can be made to work for lower and lower wages. If you have confidence in yourself and are willing to walk out the door, then you've broken your chains.

Consumption shall set you free...


"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson

It was the same when mobile phones first came out (none / 0) (#39)
by Lionfire on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:08:51 PM EST

It really isn't any different to your boss demanding that you carry a mobile phone. I refuse to get myself one, simply because I enjoy being "unreachable" on occasion.

If I've managed to get away from work for a little while, the last thing I want to do is to get a phonecall or email giving me more things to do. Guilt or no guilt, my time is always my time.

[ blog | cute ]
Planes Are Boring, I'm on a Deadline (none / 0) (#43)
by Waldo on Wed May 02, 2001 at 10:45:10 AM EST

Airplanes are boring. They're too uncomfortable for me to sleep, they won't let me use my MD player, and the people are stuffy and non-conversational. Inevitably, I end up screwing around on my laptop. It's a logical extension for me to get on-line.

Secondly, my boss isn't breathing down my neck: I am my own boss, and I need to meet my self-imposed deadlines. Not everybody flies only once every few years. Some people commute via plane daily, and there's absolutely nothing interesting about airplanes: they're an extension of the office.

If you don't like Internet access on airplanes, don't use it. It's that simple.

-Waldo

Airplanes with the Internet | 43 comments (35 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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