Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday that it will outfit its domestic aircraft with Wi-Fi over the next year.The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft complete by summer 2009. The full fleet agreement between Aircell and Delta will provide a consistent, convenient experience for customers traveling on the airline who wish to use the Gogo Internet service.
The Aircell Gogo service, which will be on the first planes this fall, will run $9.95 or $12.95 for trips under or over three hours, respectively, and will allow connection of any Wi-Fi device. It will be interesting to see what ports and applications they shut down--that is, Skype or other voice over Internet Protocol apps, and of course, porn.
Consider the idea of social networking or gaming across your plane. Kinda cool.
Enemy combatants are close to feeling the heat from an airborne laser weapon called the "long-range blowtorch" and, if officials at US Air Force are right, nobody will know what hit them.
The 5.5-ton Advanced Tactical Laser combines chlorine and hydrogen peroxide molecules to release energy that stimulates iodine into an intense infra-red, silent and invisible laser with a 20 kilometres striking range.
New Scientist reports that both Cynthia Kaiser , chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate and John Corley, director of USAF's Capabilities Integration Directorate, used the phrase "plausible deniability" at industry briefings to describe one of the weapon's advantages, namely "that the US could convincingly deny any involvement with the destruction it causes".
"The target would never know what hit them," John Pike, an analyst with defense think-tank Global Security told New Scientist. "Further, there would be no munition fragments that could be used to identify the source of the strike."
Besides the covert - plausible deniability angle, other pros to this 100KW-class high energy laser include "ultra speed of light engagement" and pinpoint accuracy, according to Boeing .
Boeing recently tested the ATL at Kirtland Air Force Base Base N.M., firing the high-energy chemical laser through a rotating turret mounted on the belly of a Hercules C-130H. The company claims the weapons is accurate enough to pick off a vehicle's tires.
"This is a major step toward providing the ultra-precision engagement capability that the warfighter needs to dramatically reduce collateral damage," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems. A larger version that can pick an incoming ICBM out of the sky will be mounted on a Boeing 747, according to the Chicago, Illinois based company.
The U.S. Navy is seeking its own version to take out "small boat threats".
And depending on which process and which study you personally ascribe to, the answer on how "carbon clean" ethanol looks depends. In most debates centering on corn fermentation, for example, the studies cite a range from say, 20 to 30% less carbon intensive than gasoline, to 20 or 30% more. This begs one very big question in my mind, what's the difference? How does the same ethanol in my car have a possible carbon footprint range that wide?
The true answer lies in the ground we walk on. When I started to read a few of the studies and articles about them, an interesting fact emerges, the difference depends in large part on which land gets counted. Most of ethanol's carbon footprint falls into one of several categories, in roughly ascending order , the fuel used to make it, the fuel used to grow or transport the feedstock, the carbon content of the fuel itself, and the lost carbon not sequestered in the vegetation that would have been on the land used to grow the feedstock.
The last one, land use change, is the bugaboo. For example, if you assume that all the land used to produce the ethanol feedstock is already in production, you tend to find a carbon footprint at the low end of the range, since there is little net reduction in the carbon sink, and ethanol looks pretty good. If you assume that all the land used to produce the ethanol feedstock came from forests that had been chopped down, or marginal land that produces very low yields, you tend to find a carbon footprint at the high end of the range, and ethanol looks bad. Thought about another way, ethanol made from corn or sugar that displaces human or animal food production is likely to be relatively greenhouse gas friendly compared to ethanol made from corn or sugar that comes from new land put into production just for ethanol. The same logic applies to cellulosic ethanol sources, though not quite to the same degree. Interesting conundrum.
As usual, the devil's in the details, and people tend to use the case that best addresses their agenda, and apply it to all ethanol as a whole. Personally, I'm buying all my ethanol from land that is already in production, so my carbon footprint must be good. The rest of you can buy the OTHER ethanol with all the bad carbon footprint.
Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, a Contributing Editor to Alt Energy Stocks, Chairman of Cleantech.org , and a blogger for CNET's Greentech blog.Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners, advising the technology and venture arms of multinational energy companies in clean technology. He also edits and writes the Cleantech Blog . He is a member of the CNET Blog Network , and is not an employee of CNET.
Just as I finished my post about the do-everything small-business suite, Veetro , I got an email about Pipeline , a Web service that tracks prospects and sales leads for small businesses.
This service is not nearly as ambitious as Veetro, but it is much easier to understand and to get productive with. If what you want to do is keep track of your pipeline of potential income, it will help you get organized in about five minutes. If that.
Also, since it's a Web application, you get the standard benefit of the platform: Access from anywhere , both for yourself and for collaboration with colleagues.
Now, the downsides: There's no integration with other business systems, so any data you put into Pipeline is locked in there. There's no export function to get your deal information into an accounts receivables system, your to-list into your Outlook calendar, or your list of contacts onto your Treo.
Pipeline is free if you manage 10 or fewer deals at a time, with no restriction on the number of users who access the account. There are four paid plans ranging from $12 to $99 a month, depending on the number of deals you want to be able to work on at once.
I remain a believer in the ultimate value of integrated systems, but Pipeline makes a very good argument for focused, single-purpose products.
In addition to its new M series of budget compact cameras, Kodak announced an ultrazoom compact and a high-megapixel compact for its Z series line of digital cameras on Tuesday.
Both cameras, set to be available this August for about $249, have Kodak's digital-image stabilization feature to assist with camera shake.
Kodak's Z1275 offers an impressive 12 megapixels for $249.
The Z1275 has a 2.5-inch LCD screen and will stitch together photos for one panoramic, a fun feature to have on board. It also has 64MB of internal memory in addition to an SDHC/SD/MMC card slot.Kodak's ZD710
For what it's worth, Kodak claims that this camera has an ISO sensitivity of up to 1,600, with a 3,200 boost, depending on which mode you are shooting in and the size of the photo.
The ZD710, as the name and body suggests, is the obvious predecessor to the Kodak Z710 as it also has a 10x optical-zoom lens that offers the 38mm to 380mm range.
Unlike the Z710, however, which we at CNET complained had no optical image stabilization and an ISO of only 400 with an 800 boost, the new ZD710 does have Kodak's digital-image stabilization and offers an ISO up to 1,600.
While digital-image stabilization is not the same as optical-image stabilization , it's a start.Kodak's ZD710 with 2-inch LCD screen
The ZD710 also comes with the typical SDHC/SD/MMC memory card slot, scene modes, color modes, video capability and shooting modes for partial manual control typical of a camera in this class.
As is the problem on many of these cameras caught between the compact and dSLR worlds, the ZD710 has only a 2-inch LCD screen in order to fit in a control wheel.
SUNNYVALE, Calif.-- Google just announced its Chrome Web browser , but Yahoo co-founder David Filo doesn't expect his company will follow suit.
Yahoo co-founder and Chief Yahoo David Filo
"I don't think you're going to see a browser from us," Filo said in an interview Thursday at the company's headquarters here.
Rather, the company is focusing its attention on improving its current products, for example by opening up the Yahoo home page, the My Yahoo customized start page, Yahoo Mail, and search to others' applications , Filo said. Those are examples of what's enabled by the Yahoo Open Strategy , which the company will tout more aggressively during its second Open Hack Day 2008 on Friday and Saturday.
"We're getting to the point where everything we do is a completely open platform," he said.
"They've been trying a lot of things, most of which won't go anywhere," Filo said. "This is another thing they're throwing against the wall."
Visitors to this summer's Olympics in Beijing may see a familiar American gadget on the go, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of China.
China's military demonstrated on Tuesday their skills at balancing and shooting while on Segways during a series of drills of anti-terrorist units in Jinan, Shandong Province, according to Xinhua.
The Segway was demonstrated as a useful tool since it allows soldiers, once they are trained in balancing and maneuvering the machine, to keep both hands on their weapon while still accelerating and turning the device with their body movements. In skilled hands, a Segway could be kept still enough to offer a stable position from which to shoot.
While visually amusing, the use is not entirely surprising as Segway proudly touts its Robotic Mobility Platform on its Web site and lists all four branches of the U.S. military as clients.
See also: " Photos: Segway rollouts, recalls and pratfalls "