Saturday, November 23, 2013

Most airlines will charge for cell phone service aloft in the US, if they offer it at all

Airlines will be allowed to install firmware to enable passengers to make cell phone calls when over 10000 feet, but it’s not clear that airlines will want to, and most passengers say they don’t want to sit next to chatters.
   
So airlines are likely to charge heavy fees for the service.
   
My own cell phone usually simply doesn’t have a signal on the air until landing, but the clock works and local apps work. 
  

The FAA press release Oct. 31, 2013 is here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Washington Post, Pew Research look at digital divide

Andrea Peterson has a big story in the Washington Post Wednesday, November 13, 2013 “Offline in America” in a special Washington Post insert, “The Digital Divide”, link here
  
Pew reports that about 15 percent of Americans don’t use the Internet.  Some older Americans don’t find the Internet “relevant” – after all, a lot of us did a lot without it until the 1990s. The article points out differences by race and educational level, as well as rural residence. 
    
I didn’t sign up for email until August 1994, when I got it on AOL on an old IBM PS-1.  I think I had 2400 baud at home at first, but 56K by the late 1990s.   My first online experience was with AOL and Prodigy.  In fact, I found out about the Oklahoma City attack when I logged on to AOL when I got home from work on April 19, 1995.   Things were slower then.
  
At work, one employee tracked our merger negotiations on Compuserve back in 1994.
  
At age 70, I still don’t use social media (or Likenomics) as aggressively as some people.  I blog and tweet a lot, and I do some “Likes”, but I don’t’ make a big deal of volumes of followers.   Still, short posts on Twitter, which get sent to Facebook, get seen by scores of parties immediately, and they might not look at my blog postings, websites, or books.   
  
Today the Post also takes up issue of getting public schools up to speed, in the article by Lnndsey Layton. 
  

Pew reproduced the Post story online, and has an important story on how teens share the pictures of others online, which I’ll come back to soon on other blogs.  

Friday, November 01, 2013

FAA liberalizes airplane rules on electronics, but maybe I had been breaking them

There are widespread media reports that the FAA is relaxing most of the rules regarding the use of electronics on flights.

Tablets, latpops and smartphones can be used in airplane mode, with local materials, at all times.  I wasn’t aware that they had to be completely turned off.  In the past, I have put my cell phone in airplane mode and no one has complained.

Cell phone calls are not allowed at any time.  I wasn’t aware of that, but usually during flights the connection bars are blank and there is no service anyway at high altitude until landing. 
   
Internet service on long flights has typically cost about $12 or so, and has generally been pretty effective, enabling blogging on a laptop.  Some ads don’t serve onto websites in the air, however.
     

CNN’s story is here