So what is going on?
A vanished plane is the kind of story I look to The Register for to inform me about the arcane details of air traffic control transponders, black boxes, space & submarine monitoring capabilities etc.
How does one infer from the transmission that the satellite picked up that the search corridor is an arc stretching both north and south (geometry pedants you know what I mean) from the last known position?
Why is there a need to have the functionality to allow an identification beacon on a civil aircraft be switched off in flight?
Given that there is one known received transmission, can its timestamp be used to identify likely blips in backround static that other radio-frequency sensitive systems on the planet might have recorded, to enable even approximate triangulation?
Would a 777 crashing into the sea make a noise that could be recorded by submarine listening arrays like SOSUS? If so would the owner of the array consider it to be revealing too much information about their capabilities to mention it?