It's Friday, November 23, 2007, and welcome back to Good Day, BWIA, a light compendium of news, items of interest, irreverent commentary, and occasional light analysis relating to Broadband Wireless Internet Access (including WiMAX, public access Wi-Fi, etc.).
Alaska Airlines - BWIA Service Provider Another example of why Alaska Airlines is my favorite airline - the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Alaska Airlines is seriously considering adding satellite-backhaul in-flight Broadband Internet Access via Wi-Fi to their entire fleet (hopefully, just the 737s and finally retire the old and tired MD-80s). Here's the "favorite airline" part - they're not considering it as revenue enhancement, but rather as a service differentiator from other airlines. Doing would make sense purely for the "Nerd Bird" flights (named for the nearly 100% use of laptops on certain Seattle - San Jose flights), but Alaska Airlines is thinking of some of its other routes where in-flight Internet access would be welcome, such as their routes to Mexico and Hawaii, and (not mentioned) their transcontinental routes such as Seattle-Boston and Seattle-DC. Alaska Airlines was the first I saw to go to sane electronic ticketing and their web site was one of the first genuinely useful to get etickets on. If you've never flown on Alaska Airlines, you should consider them, but I'm completely prejudiced living in the Seattle area which is Alaska's hub. I used to work in Alaska; my early career was Marine Doodlebugger (a separate breed from "muddy" Doodlebuggers) working aboard the M/V Western Glacier and M/V
Western Anchorage. There's something really special about an airline that flies to some of the most remote areas of the US, including the oasis of civilization in the Aleutians that is Dutch Harbor.
Today's Clearwire Modem Weather Report - Hollywood Hill, Woodinville, Washington - Solid 4 Bars; very crisp this morning - sub-freezing temperatures last night brought a hard frost so the modem has it very easy today. It's blindingly sunny; Mt. Rainier, the Cascades, and the Olympics were all displaying their glory this morning as I chauffeured my wife to work.
Apologies for no Good Day, BWIA for Wednesday and Thursday Wednesday just got a bit busy and Thursday was US National Holiday Thanksgiving. Much of my writing time late Tuesday, which I normally use to get started on the next day's GDBWIA, was consumed with diving deep into the Amazon Kindle, which I'm still very impressed with.
Communication Towers As Sculpture One of my favorite blogs, and a perfect illustration of how blogs have completely changed the publishing industry by allowing unfiltered propogation of incredibly valuable insight is Spectrum Talk by Michael Marcus. Those who know Marcus' work at the FCC hold him in reverence; at least I do, especially for his amazing prescience of the potential of license-exempt spectrum allocation and spread spectrum technology. Marcus discusses Ericsson's Tower Tube in his blog, and looking at the image at right, would you guess that their reason d'etre is functioning as a communications tower? I didn't at first - they look like sculpture to me. Reflecting further, I remembered some of the descriptions of the structures inside "Rama" whose purposes the human visitors couldn't discern, but admired the (in their eyes) artistry of form. I sure wouldn't mind seeing such things in my community, even in prominent public spaces such as parks.
If You Notice Your Broadband Wireless Internet Access Connection Is Somewhat Intermittent You might want to go out and check your tower (Scary YouTube clip). No mention that I could find of where this was or what the outcome was... but those of us who know a bit about towers can guess what the outcome was - I can't imagine this tower surviving that kind of punishment for much longer. This is a graphic illustration of why windloading calculations for adding antennas (especially big dish antennas like this one has) to towers really are important. Thanks to Marlon Schafer and Kris Kirby for mentioning this on a mailing list.
GDBWIA reader David would like better topic descriptions for GDBWIA; OK, fair point. I'll try making use of TypePad's "Excerpt" feature and see if that info shows up in RSS instead of the opening paragraph which, granted, doesn't change much day-to-day. I'll also consider how to make the title a bit more descriptive and interesting. It's a struggle; from what I can tell, most GDBWIA readers view the content conventionally via web brower (often after subscribing to email notification via FeedBlitz), but the early adopters and uber-technies are using RSS (I get it - I do too).
By Steve Stroh
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(Last updated 2007-11-06)
This article is Copyright © 2007 by Steve Stroh except for specifically-marked excerpts. Excerpts and links are expressly permitted (and encouraged).
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