Despite my 30 years of travel and work in the US, this place never ceases to amaze me. This morning finds me transiting Boston on my way to New York and I'm having a brief lunch break at Logan Airport.
Just out of interest I logged onto Logan's Wi-Fi network to see what was available. I expected to find all the same timetable, arrival and departure info as displayed throughout all the terminals, and I did. What I didn't anticipate was access to the radar information up to 90 miles out - all for free.
So here I am eating lunch and able to see all approaching and leaving flights. Moreover, clicking on a plane icon gives me the make and height - I can work out the approx speed for myself!
There are also unpopulated display slots for flight ID, origin and destination. Given that this is the nation that suffered 9/11, I find it paradoxical that they would do this. But I salute them for doing so, what a service! And it doesn't stop there: entertainment listings, eating houses, hotels, transport, weather, CNN News, sport and other events are all available too. Cool or what?
This looks like the information world the way it should be: open, available, helpful and low-cost. Most of the services are absolutely free but if you do have to pay to get external access it is a mere $7.95 per day. Alternatively, if you are signed up with another ISP you can use that account too. So I just managed to catch the early evening news in the UK... brill!
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Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.