In-Flight Wi-Fi Gives Me Clarke Moment

I don't know if it's newsworthy, but I've never been on a plane offering in-flight Wi-Fi. Until now, that is.

I've just been checking the various newsfeeds by connecting my MacBook to the plane's information circuit - you know, scanning the latest reports from Earth.

Kind of like Heywood Floyd did in Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the novel, Dr. Heywood Floyd is in flight:

When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers; he knew the codes of the more important ones by heart, and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display unit's short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he quickly searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him...

Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications... The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.

It was hard to imagine how the system could be improved or made more convenient...
(Read more about Clarke's Newspad)

Actually, I think this is improved - for one thing, they're offering it free! And, I can get updates anytime.

Now, I need to find an instance of a fictional character posting a news story from a flight. Then, I'll have a twofer.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/10/2009)

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