Sunday, January 02, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Just a few minutes ago, on a flight from Atlanta to Managua, my students and I were curious about our progress. A solid deck of clouds at a lower level made physical landmarks impossible. I am taking advantage of the fact that Delta is offering its new WiFi service for free during the winter holidays, today being the last day of the offer. I am not sure I would be willing to pay for this access, but it has been a very intriguing thing to put to use. Within minutes, we were able to use a combination of GPS and Internet technology to figure out where we are, and to post it on a web page about our trip and on this blog.

By the way, in the time it took me to write about all this, we crossed the Straits of Florida and are about to traverse the western end of Cuba.

Post-script: A few hours ago, as we were winging our way toward Cuba, I tried to send this post to a friend when the internet connection cut out. It was not a Trading-with-the-Enemy problem, though: the WiFi service on airlines extends to within 100 miles of the U.S. coastline and above 10,000 feet elevation.

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