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Wi-Fi while you flyImagine sending e-mails, browsing blogs, and booking your next trip with ease while soaring above the clouds. CNET's Kara Tsuboi tests out Virgin America's new in-flight Wi-Fi service and concludes that we'll no longer be able to slack off during a business...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:10 >> Kara: Hey there, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com and I am about to board a Virgin America flight with my laptop to actually surf the Web on-line; this is the first time they're given us technology to go, we're basically just gonna circle the San Francisco Bay area, I'm thinking I'm gonna maybe shop for a new pair of shoes, read the newspaper, maybe even watch a football game that's going on this beautiful Saturday. Let's go find our seats and test it out. ^M00:00:33 [ Music ] ^M00:00:40 >> Kara: I'm here with David Cush [assumed spelling] the CEO of Virgin America and we are -- just been given the go ahead to try out this new WiFi, how excited are you right now? >> David: I'm very excited, you know this is really gonna change the way people travel that in the past you've been locked into this cocoon away from everyone and now the great thing is you'll be able to communicate with people when you want to. For the first 20 or 30 minutes it will be email so they can act like they were working and then for the next 5 hours it will be whatever they do at home in their living room or their study. We've got standard power ports under every seat so you don't need any of these funky adapters or anything, we're gonna have wireless Internet, as we're talking about today, and we've got live TV. ^M00:01:19 [ Inaudible background noise ] ^M00:01:26 >> David: We're actually flying along the coast here; we're within site of a series of cell towers on the ground just like when you're driving around in your car and the signal from those cell towers is coming up to the airplane. Inside the airplane we have a good old WiFi hotspot just like you have on the ground. >> Kara: That sounds so simple, how come we had to wait until 2008 to do this? >> David: There's a lot of technology behind that, making this work at 35,000 feet and 500 miles an hour is not easy. ^M00:01:48 [ Music ] ^M00:01:51 >> Kara: Okay, I've got my code let's figure out how this works. [music] Look at this, we're connected to CNET TV, I know that girl. ^M00:01:59 [ Music ] ^M00:02:05 >> Kara: I'm not really sure what my favorite part of all this is yet, I sort of have been enjoying the shoe shopping, truly, I mean the pages are loading really fast and I can conceivably place my order on-line maybe even expedite the shipping and have it -- have the shoes arrive at my new destination, that's awesome. I also like the fact that I'm able to catch the football game that I missed because I had to get myself to the airport, I can just watch it on the ESPN site, that is awesome as well. And, of course, there is the emailing, I'm in my Gmail account right now and I have so many emails to catch up on, on a long 6 hour flight there's no better time. ^M00:02:43 [ Inaudible background conversation ] ^M00:02:47 >> David: It's not super, super fast but I think pretty good, I mean you were able to look at a streaming video, you were loading graphic intensive, a lot of heavy sites with pictures and it worked pretty well, and you can email, you can text, you can IM, and you can do anything that keeps you in some sort of communication. >> Kara: Flight is over we made it, Virgin America says they expect to have this Go-Go service in all of their planes by about the middle of 2009 but doesn't come cheap, for a flight that's 3 hours or more $12.95, 3 hours or under $9.95, but hey, small price to pay to do some on-line shopping at 35,000 feet. At the San Francisco Airport, Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com. ^M00:03:22 [ Music ]