back to article Airbus A380-800: an airborne treat for gadget fans

I’m writing this sitting in a Singapore Airlines double-decker Airbus A380 bound for the carrier’s home city. We’re at 35,320ft and I’m up in tech heaven. I have my Eee PC 900 open in front of me, its meagre battery being kept topped up from the power socket in the armrest to my right. My iPhone is sitting on the fold-out …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And if you wanted you could get up and go lounge around the bar area, work out a bit in the gym, maybe have a swim in teh swimming pool...

    Oh wait, that stuff never happened did it...

  2. Kyriacos Sakkas



  3. spegru


    Linux. I wonder why they chose it?

    Could it be:

    1. cheaper licencing

    2. virus proof (relatively)

    3. no-one (relatively) knows how to hack it and add unwanted apps

    4. they wanted it to be more of an appliance and less a PC as we have understood it up to now

    5. all of the above

  4. David Perry

    Swimming pool on a plane?

    Water wouldn't be stable, so all sorts of potential problems:

    - weight distribution could change (i.e. rock the plane)

    - turbulence could send water everywhere (i.e. if waterproofing around pool area shite then, err, water leaks into other parts of plane god forbid onto electrics!

    - they'd need seats for emergency landing there, and if the plane nosedived, you might drown

    Some of these might seem slightly paranoid, but I think there may well be good reasons they didn't happen. Shouldn't have been promised in the first place if they were.

  5. KenBW2

    "if the plane nosedived, you might drown"

    Well, beats impacting at 300mph and burning to death...

  6. Dazed and Confused

    re: heaven at 37,000ft

    I though you earlier carried a story about Singapore Air requesting passengers didn't seek heaven at 37,000 feet for fear of embarrassing the attendance.

  7. Xander

    @Swimming Pool

    I imagine it was originally pitched as "big enough for a swimming pool" which gradually got warped to "a swimming pool" and then cancelled.

  8. SimonG

    Joke: Swimming pool on a plane

    I suspect that the earlier comment was made in jest . . .

    Come on - a swimming pool 5m long, 2m wide and 1m deep would contain 10 tonnes of water - the max payload on a 747 cargo is in the region of 150 tonnes . . . they go to all sorts of lengths to make things lighter even down to having plastic cutlery (pre 9/11) in coach class.

    About the only thing getting heavier is the human cargo.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Cheer up, might never happen...........

  10. DrXym


    To answer your points and add my own thoughts:

    1) No licencing at all. Maybe RH has a support contract in place but you could copy that thing all over the place if you wanted. Not only does it remove the pain of buying a licence but also the pain of administering licences too. Then again, I wonder what licences they would need for any movie playback system sitting on top. I doubt its entirely free from licences somehow.

    2) Virus proof. Not really. Linux is vulnerable to local hacks just like any other OS. Maybe its more secure by default but that doesn't mean its invulnerable. Once hacked you could trojan it, put a worm it, install a virus or whatever. Imagine if these things had credit card swipes and gambling games or phone apps or online shopping. Or worse if the entertainment system was actually linked into the aircraft system in some worrying way. Those are the sorts of incentives that could justify somebody for breaking into the system. Some people might like to hack it just to be able to steal the movies.

    3) Lots of people know how to hack Linux. Probably more so than Windows in some ways because you can see the actual source code the OS is running. Linux is not invulnerable to hacks. It's just easier to harden than Windows and dists tend to be more secure by default.

    4) Linux is certainly far more tunable than Windows. Different versions of Linux exist for running on anything from digital watches, washing machines, routers, PCs all the way up to big iron. Not just one chipset either but multiple chipsets. This is probably a major consideration that doesn't even exist with Windows unless you look at something running on CE.

    I think Linux is probably more suitable simply because you can strip it down and rebuild it any which way you like. Lower system requirements mean less power consumption and heat which is probably quite a significant consideration too.

  11. Ayko

    oh yes, god yes!

    Could you hear the lady's moaning from upstairs while you were playing with your gadgets?

  12. Matt


    your Mrs is happy with you working whilst on holiday? I'd certainly be in trouble for that kind of thing.

    Otherwise cooool!

    PS. Just to prove I can be a techy, are you sure it wasn't CentOS?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but...

    Is there enough legroom for people with legs?

    That would be a real selling point in cattle class.

  14. b

    long flight

    wow, that's pretty impressive.

    would almost be a shame to fall a kip!

    this will vastly increase productivity (or should that be "productivity"?!) during flights.

    now roll this out over ALL planes, please!



  15. Anonymous Hero
    Paris Hilton


    What is this, fucking slashdot? Fuck me, you only have to make the slightest mention of linux being used for some app (they've been using linux for fucking years for inflight entertainment systems you chump, nothing new) and then the freeturds pile in making their pointless noises and repeating the usual FUD about how fucking wonderful their Loonix crap is. The article was about the toys you find on an A380, not an invite for you to whack off and ejaculate your predictable fanboi jizz every where.

    Go here and find out how wonderful your OS really is:

    Then fuck off back to slashdot.

    Paris, 'cos she enjoys being plugged-in for some inflight entertainment.

  16. Tom Cook
    Paris Hilton

    Yes, and...

    It only rebooted mid-movie once for me during my 12.5-hour Singapore to London flight. But when my wife made the same trip, the whole thing died about four hours in and didn't come back. An overheating problem on that particular aircraft, apparently.

    Yes, the screen is nice a big; yes, the gadgets are fiddly and cool; yes, it still has some bugs to work out.

    Paris, 'cos she likes a good workout, too.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Here's how you fit a swimming pool on a plane...

    Suspend the circular pool on a lockable 2 axis gimbal. This way no matter what the attitude of the plane the water will stay level. For extra security you can surround the pool with a curved over perspex bubble with entrance/exit doors which lock on landing/take-off/turbulence with emergency override by crew. Remember that there is already hundreds of gallons of fuel on the plane to swill about, get in the electrics etc and this never upsets people (OK tanks are baffled , but you get the idea...). Bet Hugh Hefner would be willing to give it a go... ;-)

  18. Aodhhan

    Linux virus proof?



    Thank you for the laugh of the day. Not sure where you get the idea Linux is virus proof. Anything which runs applications is subject to malicious code.The fact most people who do hacking learn it first on UNIX/Linux of course makes it virtually unhackable as well eh? Heck, the best tools run in *NIX. I have to hand it to you; you did get one part right. It is pretty cheap to license. Go figure.

    heh.. I'm still laughing. Thanx again!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swimming pools...

    The swimming pool was a joke.

    There were ridiculous claims about in-flight facilities however:-

    "The aircraft is designed to incorporate amenities such as bars, lounges, beauty salons and duty-free shops, according to operators' specifications. "

    (May 2006)

    The press are suckers for that kind of stuff..

  20. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @ac with link

    Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.

    Play nice.

  21. Chris

    @ Anonymous Hero

    Jesus christ that was some serious vitriol!

    What is this, fucking 4chan?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More nutters...

    "Some airlines plan to use the extra space for casinos and bedrooms."

    "Passenger Bar area in business class. Onboard gyms and showers will all become a reality ."

    Yeah, spin that wheel, roulette with turbulence...

    I was actually go ad absurdum, with the gym thing, but it seems it was indeed suggested.

  23. Anonymous Hero


    Blame Tony for secreting a linux turd, in his otherwise interesting article, and attracting the GNU/flies.

    Boy I'm angry today.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Swimming pool on a plane? Already been done

    Could be a myth but I remember reading about one of those planes that fly low, scoop water and then drop it on forest fires - it scooped some guy up out for a swim. Unfortunately he died from burns or landing on a tree or something.

    Back to the drawing board....

    How can a plane collect clouds? I'm thinking Star Wars moisture farms on the wings...

  25. Paul
    Jobs Horns

    @ Anonymous Hero

    I don't know what happened to you when you were younger, I'm assuming it involved penguins and caused you to be mentally scarred for life, but please, seek professional help before you hurt yourself or someone near you.

    Or at least bugger off back to your cozy corner office with all the nice, throwable, chairs where you can act all unhinged in relative safety. :)

    Steve-devil because, well...duh.

  26. Dave

    Linux on Aurcraft

    Well, you wouldn't want something that was likely to crash, would you?

    Having said that, last time I crossed the Atlantic on a Virgin 747, I managed to crash the seatback entertainment system. I tried to get a picture of the Linux kernel panic but there's obviously a watchdog in their somewhere and by the time I'd retrieved my camera from the overhead locker, it had started the reboot.

  27. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    The fact that it's an A380 is irrelevant...

    The same seats and systems could be fitted in any type of aircraft, because that stuff is Buyer Furnished Equipment (BFE) not Airbus. Relatively little of what a passenger sees in an aircraft has much to do with the airframer (Boeing or Airbus, these days).


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just the 380

    I just traveled from Singapore to North America, finding similar toys on a Singapore Airlines 777 -- including the OpenOffice suite and some other goodies. That said, I tried typing on the handset and found it only worth curiosity; it's absolutely not usable for any document longer than an SMS text message. It would be interesting to see whether the system could recognize a USB keyboard -- anybody tried this?

    I also found that I was unable to save my documents to my thumbdrive -- I kept getting an "unable to write" error. I could see the drive and read from it, but could not write.

    Air Canada's new crop of Boeing 777 planes also has the pervasive power outlets and the USB ports.

  29. Jonathan McCulloch


    "Well, beats impacting at 300mph and burning to death..."

    I suspect if you impact at 300mph you're long dead before the flames get anywhere near you.

    Puree comes to mind.

    -- Jon

  30. Thomas
    Dead Vulture


    ....Tell me what you think about Apple? Please? No honestly, and No holding back this time!

    AC, Because that shit made my day.

  31. WonkoTheSane

    @ AC

    <quote>Could be a myth but I remember reading about one of those planes that fly low, scoop water and then drop it on forest fires - it scooped some guy up out for a swim. Unfortunately he died from burns or landing on a tree or something.</quote>

    That was an episode of CSI.

  32. James Pickett

    The next time..

    .. anyone here finds themselves next to Steve Ballmer on a plane, do ask him what he thinks of the entertainment facilities (with onlookers, so you don't get hurt).

  33. Rich

    Completely enclosed pool?

    With no air gap, so the water can't slosh. You enter, wearing scuba gear, through a water/airlock type thing. The servers could be kept in there too, for cooling.

    They'll have them in Teh Future.

  34. Philip

    Dying linux on IFE's

    The talk on RH being the best disti for in-flight entertainment systems reminds me a bit of the discussion here: Apparantly, Matsushita, who make the darn things, tends to take some shortcuts here and there which sometimes causes a less-than-happy user experience...

  35. Homard

    @James Pickett

    Can't I smack the a$$hole ??????

    If not, that ain't fair !!

  36. cp



    "Eee PC 900..." "Tech heaven..." hahaha Oh make it stop... my sides ache from laughing.

  37. Andy Neale


    <quote>Could be a myth but I remember reading about one of those planes that fly low, scoop water and then drop it on forest fires - it scooped some guy up out for a swim. Unfortunately he died from burns or landing on a tree or something.

    That was an episode of CSI.</quote> of those urban myths.

This topic is closed for new posts.