The Mile High Blogging Club

So the other day:

Encrypted OTR chat initiated.
natfriedmani'm on an airplane

over the atlantic

they have wifi on these things now

this is unbelievable
jwzthat's pretty rad
natfriedmanit is so cool!
jwzis it porn-blocked?
natfriedmanhaha well and load so probably not
jwzif I ask you about the explosives and box-cutters, will you get a visit from the air marshall right now?
natfriedmanoh my god!

you bastard :-)

the guy next to me is so fat he can't put the arm rest down

i wish my camera weren't in the overhead bin

i would be webcasting this shit

the valium is on way too strong for me to do anything about that right now

And then today I read: Tracking Plane Flight on Internet

I just saw my plane cross the mid-Atlantic, not by looking out the window, but by watching routing updates cascade across the Internet. [...] I was able to see the mid-Atlantic shift because the plane I'm on withdrew its routes from the European communications satellites and re-announced them in North America.

The main problem that the Boeing engineers faced is that geostationary satellites are really high up. In fact, they are at least 300ms unidirectional latency all by themselves (that's aircraft->satellite->Europe).

So how did they solve it? They assigned a /24 (256 globally visible IP addresses) to each plane. They announce that network from the origin site (in my case, Europe since I took off from Germany). When the plane is between the two satellites and in view of each, it is programmed to re-connect to the North American satellite. So traffic is always getting to the ground the fastest it can, minimizing latency. In the example above, they were able to cut that latency in half by utilizing this strategy.

The IP addresses on the plane are all NATted, but the plane itself still has a visible /24 of address space.

About 2 hours west of Ireland, my connectivity froze for about two minutes. I had a ping running in the background and it just hung. I waited until it restored, reconnected to my screen session, and sure enough, colleagues at home reported massive routing change associated with that network: Boeing had withdrawn that prefix from their European ground station and advertised it from the North American one. This showed up as a change of origin alert as well as a series of announcement and path change alerts.

Previously, Timekeeping in the Interplanetary Internet.

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Current Music: Tricky -- How High ♬

"America's Army", meet "Infidel Online"

You're the Bad Guy Here

Tech-savvy militants from al Qaida and other groups have modified video war games so that U.S. troops play the role of bad guys in running gunfights against heavily armed Islamic heroes, a Defense Department official and contractors told Congress.

"What we have seen is that any video game that comes out ... they'll modify it and change the game for their needs," said Dan Devlin, a Defense Department public diplomacy specialist. [...]

The sites use a variety of emotionally charged content, from images of real U.S. soldiers being hit by snipers in Iraq to video-recordings of American televangelists including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell making disparaging remarks about Islam. [...]

Battlefield 2 ordinarily shows U.S. troops engaging forces from China or a united Middle East coalition. But in a modified video trailer posted on Islamic websites and shown to lawmakers, the game depicts a man in Arab headdress carrying an automatic weapon into combat with U.S. invaders.

"I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters," a narrator's voice said as the screen flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults.

Then came a recording of President Bush's September 16, 2001 statement: "This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while." It was edited to repeat the word "crusade," which Muslims often define as an attack on Islam by Christianity.

I understand that the traditional response here would be lol pwn3d!!1

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They are made out of meat

Terry Bisson's awesome short story has been filmed: They are made out of meat.
"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

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awesome new Titan movies

NASA - Cassini-Huygens: Close Encounter with Saturn:
"New views of the most distant touchdown ever made by a spacecraft are being released today by NASA, the European Space Agency and the University of Arizona. The movies show the dramatic descent of the Huygens probe to the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on Jan. 14, 2005."

  • View from Huygens: a sped-up spacecraft-view of the descent.
  • Descent with bells and whistles: this one is cool in a very screen-saverey way: I especially like how they created an IDM soundtrack with a beat every time an image slice came in, and a background based on signal strength.

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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein you are issued a Chainsaw Totin' Hillbilly Advisory, and webcast whinging recurrs.