Why did Boeing’s wifi service die?

Three words: Lack of power.

I flew SAS flight to Copenhagen 1.5 years ago and paid my $30. But I could only use the Wifi service for two hours because my laptop’s battery wouldn’t last longer than that.

Om Malik opines that this is a time when listening to early adopters didn’t pay off.

Sorry, normal people will do without wifi if they have to pay $30 for two hours.

But, I was talking with some of Microsoft’s Dynamics managers and employees a few months back. That team does a LOT of travel back to Copenhagen. You’d think they would be very active users of the wifi.

I was suprised to learn that they enjoyed the 10 hours “off the grid” where their employees and managers couldn’t talk with them.

Anyway, what killed this was cost. When I met with the Connextion team they told me it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit a single plane with wifi.

The profit margins in the airline industry are razor-thin, if they exist at all (many domestic airlines are losing money) so there was no way they would invest in something like this, especially in the face of rising fuel prices.

I’m sad to see it go.


Monkey-proof wifi

No, it’s not Google’s wifi network in Mountain View (although that could probably use a money-business-resistant design). Rather it’s a wifi network in India, cobled together from thrown out USA junk.

One of their main design constraints? It has to put up with abuse from monkeys.

Hmmm, I have a router to donate. Wonder where I can drop it off? Anyone know which Silicon Valley Computer Recycler is best to use?

Why I don’t write about video games

My brother, Alex, writes for Computer World. Now, you’d think that his obscure little blog would be safe from 14-year-olds everywhere. But, he posted his thoughts about Xbox vs. Play Station 3 and the kiddies show up and start bashing him.

Here’s the quality of the commentary that’s showing up:

“Let me just say Alex Scoble is incredibly naive one sided, retard, You sir have revealed your stupidity in this pointless article. Xbox360 is yesterdays news. You’re reading up on way too much Xbox crap, because if you get your head out of your ass and research a little, you’d know there are thousands if not millions who would plunk down $600 for a PS3. (What the heck is Microsoft thinking releasing external HD DVD drive? Who’s gonna buy it???)”

Oh, boy. That kind of commentary makes Slashdot’ers anonymous cowards look downright erudite.

What the 14-year-old fanboys totally don’t get is there’s a new gameplaying market out there that’s going to prove many many times bigger than the 14-year-old market.

You’re looking at it.

That’s Kim Sacha who has one of the world’s highest scores on Zuma on Xbox 360. My son totally thinks that game is lame, but Kim has introduced me to a whole subculture of people who play Xbox 360 games that you wouldn’t expect to see.

One thing about these women? They have money. And time. And they kick ass.

That’s Kim playing during my party. She played the entire game through, losing only one guy. It’s a joy to watch someone like that.

Hint to the guys who want a big HDTV screen: bring your women over some guy’s house who has an Xbox 360. Let her play Zuma for a few minutes. Then watch what happens.

One downside of doing that? You’ll never be able to play your Xbox without getting her out of the house.

Yes, Maryam, I’m talking about you.

Shhh, don’t you DARE tell Maryam that they released Pacman on the 360. I’ll never get to play if you do.

As to the kids. Patrick says the Xbox 360 rocks. To tell the truth, he took it home while we were moving the big screen and he hasn’t brought the thing back. Sigh. I might have to buy another one.

My brother is right. The games are what sells the console. But there’s more to the Xbox too. Media Center is gonna be important here (you can play your pictures, audio, video that’s kept on a PC somewhere else in the house on your Xbox through its Wifi connections).

It’s stunningly sharp. Every kid who came over and played this summer was jealous.

I just hope those kids don’t come over and flame me. Go talk to my brother. 🙂

Hint to the kids: if you think this kind of evangelism impresses anyone, keep doing it.