Southwest to test in-flight WiFi, but only to the first 20 passengers :-)

Southwest is bringing the world WiFi. But what about electricity?

Southwest Airlines is experimenting with in-flight WiFi. I guess this means that the first 20 passengers to shove and push their way to the front of the line will get the WiFi. Everyone else will be hosed. :-)

Southwest says it isn't allowing cell phone calls on the service, despite the fact that the technology allows VoIP calls. Is it planning to block VoIP? It's not saying.

One question lingers: When will it put electrical outlets on the planes? It's nice to have WiFi, but somewhat useless to do so without a constant feed of electricity to one's laptop. WiFi sucks battery life. Lots of battery life. Southwest may be OK because most of its flights are short-haul flights. But for the other airlines (like American and Lufthansa) that are dabbling in WiFi, they'll need to come up with some way to power the laptops or it will be a bittersweet blessing to travelers.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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