back to article In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

It’s sunny outside, which can mean only one thing: I am about to go on holiday to a place where it will be pissing down with rain and sleet for the next fortnight. My globetrotting exploits have been limited this year, so I’m looking forward to enjoying my first experience of in-flight entertainment via Wi-Fi to my own device …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge

    5 years?

    Because most of the prognosticators will likely be gone by then, having not correctly predicted the future, and not seen that their jobs were at stake?

    1. Ian 55

      Re: 5 years?

      Either fans of David Bowie or our hero and leader, the great Stalin?

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: 5 years?

      I thought 5 years was the elegant balance between safely being able to predict the state of things to come and a 'Tomorrow's World' level of idiotic fantasy; the sort of fantasy where we all drive electric cars, use something called the 'interweb', can travel to another country cheaper than using our own public transport and no longer talk to each other except via small devices we call 'cellphones'.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Wouldn't touch their app, or their Wifi.

      Honestly, how hard is it to just get Google Play or similar, download a couple of series or a movie, and then sit back and relax with a device that:

      - you can write on.

      - you can read loads of books on.

      - you can play loads of games on.

      - you can watch loads of movies on.

      - you can watch loads of TV series on.

      I don't need live Internet streaming with YouTube comments, just give me a phone and half-hour in an airport lounge on 4G to preload what I feel like watching.

      The actual "you might have to wait a couple of hours to send an email" is a blessing, surely. And messing about with third-party apps to watch the in-flight dross? Not a chance.

      But I'll happily pay you £50 extra to leave me alone and stop bothering me about everything from lottery tickets to drinks to perfume (If I want that stuff, I'll ask, but I'll gladly pay for a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign to hang on my forehead that the crew respect).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Childcatcher

        Sorry Lee: Deleted my splaff before your reply landed, on account of heinously b0rked spelling for which the pedants would have murdered me. (The annoyingly inadequate 10min editing window had just lapsed).

        The corrected effort:

        "Oh, and of course airlines need to provide us with an app for our ODs with which to enjoy their ghastly selection of MOR music and middle-class TV murder mysteries."

        Why? Pray tell?

        Couldn't they just provide us with a URL? Or simply DNS hijack* us directly onto their system, as "hotspots" do so enjoy doing? Don't they know our newfangled electronical thingies already have perfectly functional remote media browsers/players? *Or could they, possibly, have some other motive for wanting to shove their quarter-baked crapware into our devices?

        Still, nice to know that a handy wodge of those ever-more-malignant baggage charges is being squandered on malignant crapware with which they can further abuse us.

        1. MrXavia

          DLNA

          Surely this is what DLNA should be for...

          Wifi and a DLNA box somewhere full of content...

          Although DLNA is a bit of a mess with terrible interfaces usually and a poor menu system on all the free servers I've used...

          What I wonder is how can WiFi handle 400+ passengers all streaming HD video at once??

          My 300Mbs WiFi struggles at home sometimes with a single family using it for video and audio streaming....

          1. Oh Matron!

            Re: DLNA

            Agreed. Although I have no problems when flying Delta using a BYOGB (Bring your own Goggle Box)

      2. Brenda McViking
        Megaphone

        Do not disturb

        Is available, in the form of bose QC-series noise cancelling headphones. Several shades more than £50, and if you're an audiophile then you'll probably want to throw yourself out at 37,000ft due to their inability to reach ultrasonic, "unfaithful" 14.7kHz frequency response or some other reason I don't understand.

        However, they are incredibly good at blocking engine noise, cabin announcements, screaming babies, and usually the dollies get the hint that you're completely oblivious to any attempt at communication whatsoever whilst you remain blissfully unaware. They don't stop you being tapped on the shoulder, but you can avoid that by not sitting in the aisle. Assuming you get a choice.

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: Do not disturb

          Is available, in the form of bose QC-series noise cancelling headphones. Several shades more than £50, and if you're an audiophile then you'll probably want to throw yourself out at 37,000ft due to their inability to reach ultrasonic, "unfaithful" 14.7kHz frequency response or some other reason I don't understand.

          However, they are incredibly good at blocking engine noise, cabin announcements, screaming babies, and usually the dollies get the hint that you're completely oblivious to any attempt at communication whatsoever whilst you remain blissfully unaware.

          I got a pair of (refurbished) QC-20 as an impulse Vegas purchase a while back, and the active noise cancelling is indeed superb. They utterly wiped out any trace of engine noise on the flight back, and the sound reproduction is pretty good (I'm not an audiophile so I couldn't give a shit about perfection).

          It's a lot of money for a tiny pair of in-ear headphones, but if you have a use case for turning the outside world off they certainly fit the bill :)

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Do not disturb

            I picked up a pair of Sony noise canceling headphones at the big box store for £30 that work nearly as well as the Bose. I spent the extra wonga on drinks which improved the quality beyond measure.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do not disturb

          As Mach points out above, the main audiophile complaint against Bose isn't that they're necessarily bad headphones/speakers, just that you can get the same quality for cheaper or better quality for the same price. And no matter how perfect the sound replication is, some "audiophile" will still hate it.

      3. Adam JC

        I believe the idea was that content would be hosted locally, aboard some sort of storage device on the plane itself and distributed locally via WiFi. No internet access required. :-)

        And yes, no e-mails for any period be it 30 seconds or 2 hours is a blessing!

  3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    my biggest concern with a newfangled byod system on a plane would be that you'd spend most of the flight looking at a little hourglass(rip win3.1) / please wait / buffering type icon.

  4. Nixinkome

    Bank Hols.

    Hope you're not going Stateside for your rain session - TSA QUEues may eat into your quality time ... while your OD goes through the body and bomb scanner, telling all the location of your smartphone/tablet/laptop files.

    P.S. Red Dwarf Series XI and XII coming this year and next [Wikipedia]. Yay.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bank Hols.

      Yes they are, and they are good. Very good.

      Nice one Dave.

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    Pre-flight checks?

    Back in January I and a few other people sat on the apron at Birmingham for an hour and a half while engineers tried to fix a fault in the cockpit. Eventually they left and we were told that although they hadn't been able to fix the problem it wasn't an important instrument so they'd cleared us to take off.

    So..important enough to spend an hour and a half trying to fix but not important enough to cancel the flight.

    I see :-/

    1. Brenda McViking

      I'll introduce the concept of a Minimum Equipment List - i.e. what can fail on an aircraft and how quickly it should be fixed (a period usually between Cat D - 120 days to Cat A - immediate). I'm guessing it a was a Cat B if the engineers tried for a couple of hours but then let it go (they might have 3-10 days under regulations) - something like a radio or autoland button. Not necessarily needed as pilots are qualified to fly without it's use but certainly a nice-to-have.

      There is an example here Cessna Citation 560XL MEL

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Devil

      Oh, I'm sure it really wasn't anything vitally important to the flight - probably something of no consequence like that fuel gage reported and neatly labelled "out of order" on that plane that would have told the pilot he's going to run out of fuel mid-flight because he's being refuelled in metric instead of imperial (or something like that) and doesn't have enough naphta to stay up there for long enough...

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    I'd only use the on-board WiFi to log on to Flightradar anyway...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gimp

      For a spot of DIY ATC? Sounds stressful...

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I'd only use the on-board WiFi to log on to Flightradar anyway...

      Although if you've got a beard or any melanin in your skin there's a good chance that the moron you're sitting next to will think you're trying to down the aircraft by remote control...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

    ....and left uncorrected indefinitely never fails to amaze and appall"

    Or as we like to call it, El Reg! :)

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

      Indeed!

      However, I would like to bet that Mr Dabbs spent an inordinate amount of time proofreading this article, just so his comments didn't come back to bite him :)

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

        Muphry's law: "If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written"

        (and yes, it's Muphry's law, not Murphy's)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gimp

          Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

          Timeliness?

          :o(

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

            Personally, I object less to mistakes in comments than in main articles if only because the latter should have been proofread by another party, where the former may have been dashed off on a mobile device with a perverse autocorrect feature whist sitting on the loo.

            Well, that and Murphy's Law, of course.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gimp

      Re: "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly...

      To be fair to the Hun, there's a button for tips and corrections, helpfully labelled "tips and corrections" and placed at the foot of every article... it spawns an email with subject and body handily pre-populated... and using it works! In fact they've been quite hot on the timelyness of corrections of late.

      As long as your tip/correction is reasonably useful and polite they'll even shoot you a little thankyou... although I didn't get one yesterday (can't think why). Nevertheless, the object of my objection was addressed in no time:

      re: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/26/a_billionandahalf_years_ten_seconds_wrong_optical_clock_moves_closer_to_reality/

      How did this pass proofreading as a complete paragraph?...

      "Their work, published in full in the journal Optica here, sets out how the second, currently standardised against the operation of cesium fountain clocks."

      ..sets out how the second (currently standardised against the operation of cesium fountain clocks) [...what? is measured?].

      Looks like someone confused themselves by attempting to abuse commas where they SHOULD have been using parentheses... presumably because their English teacher told them to "avoid using too many brackets, mmmkay"

  8. Tabor

    5 is the new 10

    Excellent. I'll dig up my Windows 2000 install disks.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but why

    why would I want to f... about with wifi (dis)connection, (failure of) authentication, and then despair over their (obvious) selection of crappy movies half-hidden by the ads injected by the airline's carefully selected business partner, when I can despair / enjoy my own selection of (crappy) movies on my Own Device?

    p.s. given that no matter what I try, I can't connect - wirelessly - my camera to my phone to my telly to my laptop (three out of four being by the same manufacturer), unless I also connect them to the router, perhaps it's all my fault and the article describes a perfect solution for perfect people.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: but why

      And you know it's going to be an open AP with routing between clients.

      Watch a film on Wi-Fi, then leave the airport with 8% battery and the Monarch app using location services and building up an ad profile. What could possibly go wrong after that that would need you to have a phone with a full battery?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but why

        well, I guess if I need a new battery, then I get spare one I usually carry around with me when I travel, no?

  10. david 63

    Last time I looked (about a year ago) Norwegian Air was offering free wifi...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Norwegian Air was offering free wifi...

      Yeees. I'm pretty sure I tried it on 'wegian a couple of years ago, and it looked an awful lot like they were injecting extra stuff into the web pages I was trying to browse. Also it was slow, which was perhaps understandable, but I just thought 'sod this' and gave up.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good old Chuck Y's Air Combat

    The mission builder was brilliant. To this day can always remember the last option -

    "And the guys in those planes were .... Amateurs"

    1. Darryl

      Re: Good old Chuck Y's Air Combat

      That was the only flight sim that I ever enjoyed

      And every time I played it, after I got bored, I'd humour myself by seeing how fast I could fly a jet straight down into the ground.

      "Left wing ripped off"

  12. srochford46

    I flew with Transaero to Mosco a few years ago; the plane had 2 SSIDs available. One gave you paid for wifi (but the sign up text was in Russian with a price in Roubles), the other allowed you to connect to what looked like a NAS with a bunch of (possibly) pirate videos - complete seasons of Game of Thrones, for example.

  13. Arctic fox
    Terminator

    "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

    hacking in and reprogramming every video channel to loop reruns of Red Dwarf I-X."

    Oh the temptation!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

      Series I-VI for the plebs in Economy, series VII-X for the posh wankers in Business and First. Serve 'em right.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: "All they have to do is ensure the Wi-Fi is secure enough to stop Reg readers from...........

        Actually, I didn't think Red Dwarf X was too bad, and my boys, who were introduced to RD when they were perhaps 10 and 12, quite enjoyed it, though I think their favourite episodes all come from series II to V, with the notable exception of the "Rimmer Experience" scene from - erm - series VII?

        Put it this way, we are all looking forward to series XI and XII :-)

        M.

  14. moiety

    "An' 'e pulled it out and there was a bit of sweetcorn on the end"

    "nyaaa hahahaha!"

  15. Marc 25

    Preflighting

    Incidentally, the production process of checking print pages before they go to press, or are published digitally, is known in the industry as a “preflighting”.

    Are editing and Preflighting the same thing?

    What you have described, to me is "editing". As I understand it, editing is the act of checking the content is valid, understandable, meets the agenda and has no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

    Preflighting is the act of checking that all the required digital pieces are together before printing. For example Indesign has a preflight feature which checks that all of the images and fonts are gathered so that when an output is done you're not missing bits from the PDF.

    Either way, Editing is an age old probably that seems to have gotten worse as the digital era has matured

    1. Nixinkome

      Re: Preflighting

      Accepted Marc 25.

      Typos are more widepeed tool.

      "nyaaa hahahaha!"

    2. Darryl

      Re: Preflighting

      Marc, Dabbs is right. Editing is done before you get to the paste-up/typesetting stage, and checks the original copy. Originally, preflighting was checking the final product for errors made by the typesetter. It migrated into digital preflight as you describe with DTP

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Preflighting

      "

      As I understand it, editing is the act of checking the content is valid, understandable, meets the agenda and has no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

      "

      IIUC all you have described, apart from the "meets the agenda" bit, is known as "proofreading". Editing is where the content itself is altered, perhaps to make it more interesting, to introduce a bias, or merely to fill the desired number of column-inches.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    TYPE SOME SHIT IN HERE PLEASE

    HOW did I miss that one?

    I can only think that I skipped the whole thing because Paint Pot 2 was too babyish compared to Deluxe Paint 3.

  17. Old Buccaneer

    Prey vs. Pray

    AC that'll have Mr Dabbs grinding what's left of his teeth!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prey vs. Pray

      Quite. Thought I'd better correct it for fear of having my commentarderate membership revoked.

      Sorry I leapfrogged the reply and messed up the thread though.

      Can't we have 1/2 an hour Reg?

  18. Old Buccaneer

    Screens & pringles

    Noshin' and boozin' while watchin' means I need somewhere to prop up my device. What about a screen in the back of the seat in front of me? Oh, wait...

    & don't get me started on wifi "entertainment" on trains. Bloody airline style seats bloody can't see out of the window mutter mutter....

  19. Valerion

    Bandwith worries me

    I'm doing one of these BYOD flights in a couple of months. What worries me (1st world problems) is the bandwidth.

    Assuming that it's only SD not HD, that's still about 2Mb/s per stream. And assuming 300 passengers, that's 600Mb/s (I'm good at maths, me).

    What kind of wifi can support that?? Or will, as I am wearily expecting, the experience be utterly shit resulting in 9 hours of Kevin Bacon-style "Buffer face"?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Bandwith worries me

      802.11n can do 600Mbit on the outside, and 802.11ac goes into the gigabit range. Mix the two together (as ac is 5GHz and n is 2.4GHz), and you have some potential there, especially if the passengers stick to the in-flight stuff kept in the server cage (now they only need one maybe two instead of 20 or so). Now, if we have to start talking backhaul on an airliner at 37,000 feet, probably out over a big ocean somewhere (think those lengthy transoceanic flights, especially those ones from Sydney to Santiago the flat-earthers claim are all fake), then physics dictates we have a problem...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Bandwith worries me

        Or a very long bit of cat5 extension

    2. Down not across

      Re: Bandwith worries me

      Assuming that it's only SD not HD, that's still about 2Mb/s per stream. And assuming 300 passengers, that's 600Mb/s (I'm good at maths, me).

      If they are intending to replace the normal scheduled in-flight entertainment (and not foray into on-demand), then they could always just use multicast.

  20. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

    "Actually, sod that, I’ll go straight for Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat."

    IIRC, that came on 2x 3.5" HD Diskettes.

    Which I will now spend the weekend trying to find in my "closet of almost lost things" only to discover, after many hours of trying, that I can't get enough free memory under the 640k line in DOSBOX to run it.

  21. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Reminded of the job interview in Family Guy

    "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

    "Don't say doing your wife...don't say doing your wife...Doing your...son?"

  22. Chris Miller

    On some high-speed trains the on-board WiFi includes a live streaming video feed from a front-mounted camera, which is quite cool (if a bit hypnotic after a while).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      That wouldn't be too bad. Some airlines (I know some Japan Airlines flights do this) offer this on their in-flight systems, too. It's forward for takeoffs and landings, down while aloft. Put this together with a live map and you can get a better sense of progress especially on transoceanic flights.

  23. Daedalus Silver badge

    MINHO

    I downloaded the in-flight entertainment app from a US airline named for a compass point.

    App: passable.

    Entertainment content : MINHO **

    Result: uninstall

    **Movies I've Never Heard Of

  24. Esme
    Coat

    Read a book

    The pictures in your head are better in books than they generally are in films. I don' need no steenkin' wifi! Oh, wait - you're going to read books on your 'phone or tablet PC, aren't you? I have much less hassle than you moderns - it must be hell for you! :-}

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Read a book

      I don't know about that. With its own light I don't have to turn on the overhead light and disturb my neighbors (I can dim it, too, something the seat light can't). I can fit more books than you can given the tightening carry-on limits (I can even carry an extra battery and still pack light), plus I can also listen to the audiobook version, which doesn't need a light or my eyes open, all in the same device and without getting airsick.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Read a book

        " I can fit more books than you can given the tightening carry-on limits"

        How many books do you actually read on the average flight?

      2. Adam JC

        Re: Read a book

        No loose batteries on flights I'm afraid.

        Source; My Acer spare battery was confiscated whilst leaving Bristol. :-(

        1. Mark York 3
          Coat

          Re: Read a book

          I usually take my aged HP TC4200 on flights with its extended battery pack for in flight entertainment.

          I usually slip the supplied regular battery into my coat (See Icon) when it comes to weighing in my carry on luggage & refitting it shortly afterwards later.

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Read a book

          Hmmm. Does that include power banks? (...He asked, expecting the answer "yes".)

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Read a book

            If you can carry on a laptop, you could use that and a cable to recharge any modern phone.

            Yes, it's a workaround, not a solution.

          2. What? Me worry?

            Re: Read a book

            Nope, not yet. I carried a power bank with me in my carry on bag. This year it's been through European and North American airports. Though my experience is constrained to a small subset of the world, think my sampling covers enough to say it's okay.

        3. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Read a book

          "Source; My Acer spare battery was confiscated whilst leaving Bristol. :-("

          Since when were battery packs verboten in carry-on baggage? Because I packed a whole bunch on them on a flight to Asia without incident either way.

  25. Sureo

    Tech support

    If your wifi doesn't work, you're going to ask the flight attendant what's wrong. So they'll have to send them to tech support school, in addition to their normal training. Will they escalate a difficult problem to the pilot?

    1. Darryl

      Re: Tech support

      "Attention passengers. We have a WiFi issue on board. Is there an IT guy on the plane?"

  26. epideme

    in the Outer Hebrides, surviving on dead puffins and seagull piss

    Actually Guga and sheep piss are the staples up here in the Outer Hebrides….oh and the odd bottle of whiskey washed up from the SS Politician. So far as Aircraft and WiFi are concerned, well you’re lucky if you can find a working aircraft never mind WiFi!

  27. epideme

    surviving on dead puffins and seagull piss

    Actually Guga and sheep piss are the staples up here in the Hebrides….oh and the odd bottle of whiskey washed up from the SS Politician. So far as Aircraft and WiFi are concerned, well you’re lucky if you can find a working aircraft never mind WiFi!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes yes...

    Very good. Inflight BYOD...but what about those of us who enjoy an in-flight wank?

    Increase the elbow room in the toilets please.

    In flight tech support isn't an issue either.

    You can use phones in flight now. So they can outsource to India.

    Fred in Support: Good morning welcome to Inflight Tech Support services. How can I be helping please?

    Passenger: The movies wont streat...wtf dude.

    Fred in Support: Good mornings sir. Please be restarting your device.

    Passenger: Ok done. Still no movies.

    Fred: Oh I am terribly sorry sir I am looking at your machine on system here and it says you have a Wirus.

    Passenger: Wirus?

    Fred: Yes sir. Terrible Wirus. Please be installing the file I emailed to you please.

    Etc

  29. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    "never fails to amaze and appall"

    "The very fact that so much stuff in the digital age is bashed out poorly and left uncorrected indefinitely never fails to amaze and appall"

    I guess that qualifies as a variation on McKean's law: when pointing out errors in other people's writing, you'll invariably make mistakes yourself.

    To be fair, though, when I hit the "corrections" button on The Reg, the article usually does get updated.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: "never fails to amaze and appall"

      This word can be spelt with one L or two. Choosing the spelling that does not happen to be your favourite doesn't mean it's wrong.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: "never fails to amaze and appall"

        This is a murcanism that I was not aware of. My apollogies.

        (Incidentally, it has helped me fulfill my downvote quota for the month. Many thanks)

  30. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Install spyware and kill my battery

    Every company has an app these days they want you to download, that wants access to phone services that it doesn't seem like they should need and is furiously working away in the background doing something mysterious. Are we clicking on an Agree button that expressly gives them permission to copy our data or are we lending computing power to some sort of massive crowd sourced super computer that these companies have implemented so they don't have to invest in their own hardware?

    I bring a book (treeware) and my iPod (audiobooks) for some light entertainment on the rare occasions when I fly these days. I've never had a seat with a power point to keep my phone battery topped up and I want to arrive at my destination with the ability to make a few calls.

  31. Bucky 2

    Ah. A variation on the old "I saw an error message" riff.

    "I saw an error on screen."

    "What did it say?"

    "I don't know."

    One assumes that the reporter must exert a serious effort of will to invoke his powers of literacy. By the time the error appeared, his will was exhausted.

  32. John Tserkezis

    I don't do airline-supplied in-flight entertainment.

    It's either Flash delivering the ads, and the strategically placed interruptions, or worse still, Silverlight (no really, let's pick a properly obsolete way to do it. Not mentioning any names Virgin Airlines).

    I can store my own movies/media on my own device (holy crap, did we forget we could do that?). No interruptions, what *I* want to see, and complete isolation from any weirdos.

    I use silicone ear plugs with integrated earphones. They're not super hifi, but I'm half deaf so I can't tell. Better still, these babies block everything out (40dB attenuation across the board), including babies. Heck the plane could crash and I'd be the last to realise it...

  33. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Happy

    Type some shit here, please.

    "Indeed, to recoin another cliché, five is the new 10. Pretty dramatic, that."

    Actually, 10 is the new 9, at least if you believe Microsoft's OS release schedule...

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Type some shit here, please.

      No, 8.1 = 9.

      According to the the guys that brought you Excel, anyway.

  34. veti Silver badge

    Why paper beats electronics

    "I must deduce that designing, printing and distributing a leaflet to every customer around the country takes less time, effort and expense than rewriting two lines of text on a website."

    Very possibly. You've got to reckon on the website being maintained by a 'Content Management System' that only two people know how to update, one of those is off interviewing for a better job and the other is too busy posting smartarsed remarks on El Reg to answer emails or any other kind of contact.

    Whereas the leaflet lists prices that were actually agreed and checked properly, rather than just what some tit in marketing thought looked "sharp" last month. So they may not be the latest or cheapest, but at least they will have been correct at some time.

    It's often the way. Technology gives us something wonderful, then we use it to shoot ourselves in the foot. In the case of CMS, the sheer ease of updating means that it has to be locked down securely to stop "unauthorised" people from doing it. Net result: it's, if anything, less flexible than it was, because either the process for "authorised updates" is half-secret and half-unworkable bureaucracy, or there is no process so nobody even knows how to do it.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Why paper beats electronics

      "... one of those is off interviewing for a better job and the other is too busy posting smartarsed remarks on El Reg ... "

      I think you're on to something here...

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

        Re: Why paper beats electronics

        Don't forget the change control that must be submitted, while the CAB is busy for 2 weeks deciding on whether plain or lemon-scented toilet paper should be used in the restrooms.

  35. Stephen W Harris

    Oh great

    So I get to watch a movie on my 5" phone screen (or spend $$$ on a tablet that needs lugging around) and need charging cables and adapters (I hope they have power to every seat) to last the whole flight? Uh, and a case for the phone/tablet that let it sit at the right angle on the seat table... which will need to be down and thus encroaching on the limited space already present in cattle class.

    Yay?

  36. Tim99 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    SMBs don't work that way

    "By this, I must deduce that designing, printing and distributing a leaflet to every customer around the country takes less time, effort and expense than rewriting two lines of text on a website."

    This is the problem when looking at technology in the real world. The printed stuff was originally drafted out by someone senior in the business, (s)he then passed it up to the MD. The MD took it home where it was looked at and scribbled on by the MD's partner. If you are lucky, someone in the family could type, so it was then redrafted at least 4 times on screen, printed out a few more times, and then corrected again, and then finally taken back to work, where suitable artwork/colouring and layout was done by somebody who was probably a contractor. The "finished" work then went back via the MD to their partner who suggested that the fonts should be changed; and they did not really like the neutral corporate pale background, so please change it to a nice pink colour 'like their poodle's dog collar". The artwork and dog collar then go back to the contractor, who thought about the invoice that they would generate, gritted their teeth, and then made the changes, hopefully making the shade of pink a bit less virulent. A final proof was then agreed, which went as a .docx file and a printed copy to the local printing franchise run by the MD's partner's cousin; who tried to do their slightly incompetent best, particularly as the MD's partner said when they dropped it off, "Oh could you make the pink a bit brighter it seems to have faded". The SMB now has 5 reams of leaflets most of which are on boxes on the floor by the receptionists feet.

    Now comes the good bit, someone believes that "To show that they are a modern company", this information needs to be up on the website. The website was originally designed by a partner of the same contractor who did the flyer, but he has not been allowed near it since, as the invoice that they sent was too high. "It's only computer stuff" thinks the MD - "My daughter's boyfriend is always doing computer stuff, he can do it for us" - The said boyfriend's experience was gained mostly as many hours spent playing WoW on Windows. He cobbles together a scanned copy of the flyer and gives it the same name as the original on the website, and somehow manages to copy it up to the "correct" place to replace the original flyer.

    It did not have to be like this. About 2 years ago, the MD met a consultant on the golf course who told him that they gave advice on modern business practices. He came in and produced an expensive report that suggested that everything should go up on a local copy of the company website first, and then when everyone was happy, any changes should go up on the real website. If they needed printed copies they should use the website documents directly. The existing staff were horrified, and the senior staff member who produces the first drafts told the MD "We don't have anyone here with those skills, and if we did they would be very expensive - What we have works well, so let's not change it".

    I have been there many times, and have even mentally designed the T shirt while waiting the "recent" back up to restore the receptionist's data, which contained stuff that she thought was too important to go onto a server in someone else's office. The receptionist (if she is not the pretty young woman "who does the typing and answers the phone") is invariably a really pleasant 48 year old woman who is actually the only person who knows how the company actually works...

  37. Shugyosha

    Works fine

    Used this a couple of years ago on a budget Virgin flight, Sydney to Narita I think. Didn't know it existed on the outbound flight so I didn't have the app ready. For the return flight I downloaded the app in advance and it worked perfectly. No issues connecting, no issues streaming, no issues full stop.

    For a tech site I'm frequently surprised by the amount of luddite naysayers here.

  38. Neoc

    "Oh, and of course airlines need to provide us with an app for our ODs with which to enjoy their ghastly selection of MOR music and middle-class TV murder mysteries."

    Must be a problem with the Northern Hemisphere. Down here in Oz I know for a fact that Virgin Australia and NZAir have refitted their older planes to provide WiFi and have an app for you to access the content (so they don't have to refit every seat with a screen).

  39. Updraft102 Silver badge

    I think that copy writer now works at the Daily Mail.

  40. Jeff Wojciechowski

    Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat

    "It's a great day for flying!"

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whenever I fly cross-country or internationally, I just relax with my Gear VR and a few good grumble flicks, er, award winning films.

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