Browsing Tag: technology


Millimeter wave technology produces whole body images (woman at left, man at right) that reveal what's under your clothes, including Metallic or non-metallic devices and objects are displayed.

Remember those scanners from Total Recall? The kind that could see through your clothes and detect if someone is carrying something they shouldn’t? The future is getting closer and that has a few people worried about privacy.

L3 Communications is testing new Millimeter Wave (MMW) technology scanners at six airports around the country, with up to twenty airports planning to start using MMW technology later this year. Unlike the Total Recall’s “just walk right through” scanners, passengers still must remove jackets, metal items, and shoes and step into a small glass chamber. Sensors take about 3min to read the energy coming off the human body and can detect if there is anything that shouldn’t be on the person.

Even though the faces of passengers are blurred out and the technology does not allow printing or storing in anyway, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that this technology is too intrusive, showing catheters, underwear, and other non-natural items under a person’s cloths. Not to mention that it quite easily shows the curves of the person’s body which can be seen on the image with this blog.

 At this point it is being offerred by the TSA as an alternative to a traditional pat-down search. The TSA states that more than 99% of passengers given the choice are choosing the MMW technology, but I wonder if they know what the scan is doing. Passengers might think it is like the “sniffing scanner” which is mostly harmless.

Although the concept of this seems like a smart idea, actually seeing the images produced would make me feel uncomfortable being scanned with a MMW scanner. If you get a pat-down you can see the person and know they are being professional. How does one know what a TSA agent is doing with the images they are seeing via MMW in their “remote location.” Although images cannot be recorded, what stops someone from taking photos of the screen? I love technology and would hate to hinder the evolution of Total Recall type scanners. I think if people are informed what the scan fully entails (ie maybe have an example picture next to the scanners) and are given this as a choice, then I think this technology can work and keep people safe.

Thanks Jessica for the tip!

Source & Image:

Scanning a cell phone

I  have always taken advantage of the e-check-in before it became something that everyone does. Now that everyone else is doing it, I want to feel more hip and technologically superior!

I might not have to wait very long. Delta, Continental and American Airlines are rolling out mobile ticketing, which allows travelers to have a barcode sent to their phone that can be scanned as a normal boarding pass.

Phones are sent an encrypted bar code with your normal flight information. TSA agents are able to scan these barcodes and verify you are authorized to move forward.

I look forward to using this technology soon and once ahead be one step above my fellow passengers!

Source: Image: HowStuffWorks
We can do silly things to get that internet!

We can do silly things to get that internet!

On the ground we live in a world of easy communication. Access to the internet is pretty much everywhere, from Wi-Fi, to phones, to city-wide free wireless access. However, the technology has seemed to take a while to find a foot hold in the sky.

It would seem to make sense. People are willing to pay to use the internet at hotspots on the ground (even at the airports) why hasn’t the technology taken off (heh) in the air?

Connexion by Boeing used to be the beacon of hope. Here was a big name (you probably have heard of Boeing if you are reading this blog) that was to provide internet access to passengers on planes. It went online on May 17, 2004 and only lasted until December 31, 2006. Boeing stated, “the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected.”

Prices varied from $9.95 per hour to $29.95 for unlimited access. Even though this might be a little too pricey for some, it would seem cheap enough to provide enough entertainment, communication, and business productivity for those who are dropping at least a few hundred on a ticket.

So, where is the beacon of hope now? One of the brightest beacons is Row 44. It was also created in 2004 around the same time as Connexion, but unlike Boeing it is still around and with a hopeful future.

Row 44 currently has plans to set up trial runs on Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Unfortunately there was been a little delay due to competition for FCC approval. However they are on track now for testing to start in early 2009. The beauty for those of us in North America, is we might have a chance to use the system (Connexion was not in N. America).

One way or another, I have faith that sometime in the near future we will have seamless internet connection from the ground into the air. Many people have already made it clear they don’t want to be sitting next to someone for a few hours talking on their cell phone (including myself), but I know I would love to be entertained (and gosh maybe even write an airline blog) at 30,000 feet in the air.

Image: Juicyrai



Boeing is working to allow their jets to run off a bio fuel made from algae. Of course we all like the idea of fuel that isn’t as bad for the environment, but one of the benefits of this type of fuel is that jatropha (the image above and where the fuel is made from) is a nonfood plant (at least for us humans).

E85 Ethanol fuel has seen the ramifications of using a food plant where the prices rise dramatically as the price of corn rose.

Currently Continental Airlines is working on flying one engine of a 737-800 on a fuel mixture.

This looks promising. Goldman Sachs recently stated that, “Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production.”

Source: KOMO Image: TheLandScaper

american_10-12-08-thumb-400x268The idea of passing the time on a long flight by surfing the web (or maybe getting some work done) is very appealing. At a time where internet is pretty on all other forms of transportation (buses, trains, ferries, even your personal car), it is about time for the airline industry to catch up. However, with allowing access to the internet in a very cramped, very public place, American Airlines is planning to not allow passengers to surf any porn sites.

Although there haven’t been any reports of passengers surfing the naughty pages, it is probably a good idea to do this now before little Sally, the underage flying alone child, sees something she shouldn’t.

Source: NY Times