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April 7, 2012
New startup idea you should follow: SurfAir. Basically, sorta like an airplane version of Uber — that is, an attempt to disrupt a mode of transportation. Pay $1,000 a month, fly first-class up and down the California coast, between Palo Alto and Los Angeles at will. Imagine this being tough to scale, but this would prove popular on the East Coast, where an inter-city Amtrak commute isn’t unheard of. (On a side note, when is someone going to disrupt the passenger train system already?) Anyway, this sounds slightly more realistic than Taco Copter. (ht Hacker News)

New startup idea you should follow: SurfAir. Basically, sorta like an airplane version of Uber — that is, an attempt to disrupt a mode of transportation. Pay $1,000 a month, fly first-class up and down the California coast, between Palo Alto and Los Angeles at will. Imagine this being tough to scale, but this would prove popular on the East Coast, where an inter-city Amtrak commute isn’t unheard of. (On a side note, when is someone going to disrupt the passenger train system already?) Anyway, this sounds slightly more realistic than Taco Copter. (ht Hacker News)

22:57 // 2 years ago
April 3, 2012
Flying cars: How one company is prototyping “the future”
More tests are needed, but Terrafugia is on the right track: It’s not quite ready yet, but engineers have been hard at work perfecting the world’s first flying car. The “Transition Street-Legal Airplane” is expected to be released in 2013. ”With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” said Terrafugia CEO and CTO Carl Dietrich. According to Computer World, the “Transition’s first flight reached an altitude of 1,400 feet above the ground and lasted eight minutes.” source
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More tests are needed, but Terrafugia is on the right track: It’s not quite ready yet, but engineers have been hard at work perfecting the world’s first flying car. The “Transition Street-Legal Airplane” is expected to be released in 2013. ”With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” said Terrafugia CEO and CTO Carl Dietrich. According to Computer World, the “Transition’s first flight reached an altitude of 1,400 feet above the ground and lasted eight minutes.” source

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10:05 // 2 years ago
March 20, 2012
Hillary Clinton digs into mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance: Clinton will meet today with a group that’s launching a new effort to try to find Earhart’s plane wreckage. Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan went missing in 1937 off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in what’s now the nation of Kiribati. source Follow ShortFormBlog

Hillary Clinton digs into mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance: Clinton will meet today with a group that’s launching a new effort to try to find Earhart’s plane wreckage. Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan went missing in 1937 off the remote island of Nikumaroro, in what’s now the nation of Kiribati. source

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10:33 // 2 years ago
March 18, 2012

FAA: Let’s take a second look at electronic devices on planes

  • cause The FAA’s policies on electronic devices on planes — which disallowed the use of devices during takeoffs and landings — has faced growing criticism in recent months, as it’s become clear that there was no technical reason to limit such devices.
  • reaction Now the FAA’s ready to reconsider their stance, allowing for possible access to certain classes of devices — notably, tablets and e-readers — which didn’t exist when they considered the issue in 2006. BTW, the policy on cell phones and likely wouldn’t change. source

» But there’s a major downside: Because the FAA is so entwined with the kind of red tape only a complicated government organization could invent, if things are decided a certain way, it could force some crazy rules before an airline could allow such devices. For example — just for the right to allow the iPad on their plane, the current standards would force each airline to test each version of a device in a plane by itself (i.e. no passengers) to make sure everything was OK. If that sounds like an insane waste of money, that’s basically how the airlines feel.

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13:29 // 2 years ago
February 2, 2012
imwithkanye:

Pictured above is an earlier version of the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. Richard Turley, the publication’s Creative Director (who is also on Tumblr), explains why his favorite version was scrapped: 

We tried two versions of our planes screwing cover. This was the other option which I really want to show people. I love it - probably more than I love the cover we went for. Love the woman covering her child’s eyes and the people going crazy in the control tower. But we thought (i think rightly) that the simplicity of the clouds cover made for a more direct, impactful cover.
You can also see that we were messing around with the livery on the front of the planes, trying to carve out some mouth shapes.. which didnt really work.
And this was before we added ‘romantic light’ to the scene…
Illustration by Justin Metz
(NB - The idea holds a debt of inspiration to this classic Economist cover)


Fans of plane porn, today is your lucky day.

imwithkanye:

Pictured above is an earlier version of the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. Richard Turley, the publication’s Creative Director (who is also on Tumblr), explains why his favorite version was scrapped: 

We tried two versions of our planes screwing cover. This was the other option which I really want to show people. I love it - probably more than I love the cover we went for. Love the woman covering her child’s eyes and the people going crazy in the control tower. But we thought (i think rightly) that the simplicity of the clouds cover made for a more direct, impactful cover.

You can also see that we were messing around with the livery on the front of the planes, trying to carve out some mouth shapes.. which didnt really work.

And this was before we added ‘romantic light’ to the scene…

Illustration by Justin Metz

(NB - The idea holds a debt of inspiration to this classic Economist cover)

Fans of plane porn, today is your lucky day.

12:02 // 2 years ago
December 6, 2011

ohheybill says: Well, anyone who's been on a plane will know that flight attendants don't make the pilot turn the whole plane around at the first sign of tweeting. They tell you to turn it off. Baldwin escalated it rather than comply. I disagree with the policy too, but not to the point where I'm willing to make a complete ass of myself and inconvenience a whole planefull of people. If you or I were to do this, we'd be seen as a crazy a-hole. Alec Baldwin is practically getting endorsement deals out of it.

» SFB says: Sometimes you just have to laugh at things like this, rather than getting offended. Clearly, this doesn’t happen often. But you have to admit, there’s something funny about Alec Baldwin getting kicked off a plane for playing Words With Friends. The absurd nature of it is why it’s great to make jokes about it. That’s the path we’ve chosen. — Ernie @ SFB

21:18 // 2 years ago
November 29, 2011
American Airlines parent files for bankruptcy: Will keep normal schedule
They were the only major airline to avoid bankruptcy in the past decade: In 2003, American Airlines parent AMR, which also operates the American Eagle airline, managed to stave off bankruptcy by scoring an agreement from its unions. The country’s third-largest airline, however, wasn’t able to get past it this time around. With the company’s stocks in freefall (down 45 percent since September) and a recent wave of pilot retirements playing harbinger, it seemed like signs were pointing towards bankruptcy. Here’s what their financials look like, according to their Chapter 11 filing, which they submitted to a New York court today:
$24.7B the amount in assets American Airlines parent AMR has on hand
$29.6B the amount in liabilities the company owes to creditors
$4.1B the amount of cash the company has on hand source
» What this means for consumers: The company says it plans to honor its reservations, keep its normal schedules, continue its frequent-flyer program, maintain its Admirals Club lounges and pay employees their normal wages and health benefits. So outwardly, there should be no obvious signs that the company is trying to reorganize itself. (photo by Clara S. on Flickr)
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They were the only major airline to avoid bankruptcy in the past decade: In 2003, American Airlines parent AMR, which also operates the American Eagle airline, managed to stave off bankruptcy by scoring an agreement from its unions. The country’s third-largest airline, however, wasn’t able to get past it this time around. With the company’s stocks in freefall (down 45 percent since September) and a recent wave of pilot retirements playing harbinger, it seemed like signs were pointing towards bankruptcy. Here’s what their financials look like, according to their Chapter 11 filing, which they submitted to a New York court today:

  • $24.7B the amount in assets American Airlines parent AMR has on hand
  • $29.6B the amount in liabilities the company owes to creditors
  • $4.1B the amount of cash the company has on hand source

» What this means for consumers: The company says it plans to honor its reservations, keep its normal schedules, continue its frequent-flyer program, maintain its Admirals Club lounges and pay employees their normal wages and health benefits. So outwardly, there should be no obvious signs that the company is trying to reorganize itself. (photo by Clara S. on Flickr)

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11:03 // 2 years ago
November 28, 2011

Guy watches child porn on plane, story ends as you’d expect

  • cause A University of Utah professor took a ride on a plane over the weekend; during said flight, he watched child porn on his laptop, in view of other passengers. Sickening. And a bad idea, because said passengers told officials about it.
  • reaction Now, Grant D. Smith is stuck in a Massachusetts jail after he was arrested after the plane landed. The school placed Smith on administrative leave. And many are confused as to why someone would do something like this. source
10:51 // 2 years ago
November 27, 2011

falconieri says: I would also imagine that airlines WANT you to buy your stuff. Your movies and entertainment. Last plane I was on headphones from 1949 were still $8.

» SFB says: To some degree this is true, but on the other hand, it’s not like they’re without options. (Plus, the FAA arguably doesn’t have jurisdiction over business motives like this.) Do you know how much they charge for wi-fi on some flights? That certainly makes up for the headphones. And on top of this, they could totally run a Starbucks-style closed network with free Netflix or something, and sell ads against it. They have options. — Ernie @ SFB

21:15 // 2 years ago
Surely if electronic gadgets could bring down an airplane, you can be sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, which has a consuming fear of 3.5 ounces of hand lotion and gel shoe inserts, wouldn’t allow passengers to board a plane with an iPad or Kindle, for fear that they would be used by terrorists.
New York Times reporter Nick Bilton • Going in for the kill with his story regarding the use of electronic devices on planes — specifically, why can’t they be used as a plane’s taking off or landing? According to FAA spokesperson Les Dorr, the agency chooses to err on the side of caution, despite evidence that the usage of electronic devices have no effect on a plane. “There have never been any reported accidents from these kinds of devices on planes,” Dorr said, reluctantly. So, why the policy? Good question. source (viafollow)
20:11 // 2 years ago