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Boeing uses potatoes to test wi-fi

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Hum    6,930

US planemaker Boeing used an unusual substitute for passengers to test its in-flight wi-fi system - potatoes.

Passenger seats on a decommissioned plane were loaded with huge sacks of the tubers for several days as signal strengths were checked.

The company's researchers say that potatoes "interact" with electronic signals in a similar way to humans.

The technique also took advantage of the fact that spuds - unlike humans - never get bored.

Boeing's engineers did a number of tests to ensure that passengers would get the strongest possible wi-fi signal while in the air, all while meeting safety standards that protect against interference with an aircraft's electrical systems.

Wireless signals fluctuate randomly in the enclosed space of an aeroplane cabin as people move about.

This means that signal distribution is uneven throughout the cabin, with weaker and stronger connectivity in different seats.

"You want your laptop to work anywhere it's located on your seat, [but] there can be significant signal changes just due to the location of the laptop," said Boeing engineer Dennis Lewis.

To test the signal distribution, the firm turned to spuds instead of human test subjects, filling the seats with 20,000lbs (9,000kg) of potatoes in sacks.

According to Boeing, potatoes' "interactions" with electronic signals mimic those of a human body, making them "the perfect stand-in for people who would otherwise have had to sit motionless for days while the data was gathered".

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Glassed Silver    940

I feel like pouring a cup of sour cream on my head now...

Glassed Silver:mac

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Richteralan    377

I feel like pouring a cup of sour cream on my head now...

Glassed Silver:mac

dont forget bacon

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Growled    3,880

So we are little better than spuds? How depressing.

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remixedcat    2,766

nah... just use AMPED WIRELESS!!!!! and you'll be fine!

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primexx    372

nah... just use AMPED WIRELESS!!!!! and you'll be fine!

amped wireless always reminds me of the 4loco ads... annoying and fake and i would never want to buy one.

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*RedBull*    608

Now they're taking couch potato a little to far no?

amped wireless always reminds me of the 4loco ads... annoying and fake and i would never want to buy one.

Until you actually own one, kindly keep your annoying comments to yourself. Thank you.

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hjf288    68

Now they're taking couch potato a little to far no?

Until you actually own one, kindly keep your annoying comments to yourself. Thank you.

You should heed your own words considering poor product placement.

The whole OMG AMPED WIRELESS thing is annoying.

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Hum    6,930

So we are little better than spuds? How depressing.

You are what you eat -- and I think many people's diet is 75% potato. :p

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TrekRich    121

What will happen to them after the test though?! They better get eaten!

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Hum    6,930

^ After all that microwave radiation, the tatters should be ready to eat ! :woot:

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remixedcat    2,766

amped wireless always reminds me of the 4loco ads... annoying and fake and i would never want to buy one.

um they don't have tv ads

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*RedBull*    608

um they don't have tv ads

I know right? lol

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Growled    3,880

What will happen to them after the test though?! They better get eaten!

Maybe they will be used for seed potatoes. :p

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