Tag: android

I Can Haz WiFi on Plane Flight?

wifi on plane flightI will be the first to admit that I don’t always own the latest and greatest technology.  I was one of the last people on earth to get rid of my old tube TV, I am still living without surround sound (*gasp!), and my car is over 10 years old, has nearly 200,000 miles and is somewhat embarrassing to drive.    Years of lean living has led me to a place where I have learned to find the ‘sweet spot’ when making an investment of money.    You know, the place where economy meets practicality–where you  can feel good about saving money and still have all the benefits of living in the 21st century.

Now I feel like I’ve really splurged, and I am having  a tinge of guilt because of I took the bait and connected my tablet to WiFi on a recent two hour  Delta flight.   I realize now that this technology has been around a while, but as usual, I was probably one of the last to experience  in-flight WiFi.

I have to admit that the WiFi worked better than I thought it would, there were no noticeable drops or slowdowns even though my flight flew over some of the most desolate country in the U.S. (sorry if you are from Wyoming.  I mean no offense;  besides, I think you know exactly what I mean).

When I got back home I decided to do a little research to see how they do that, ’cause that’s what I do.    What I found was very interesting:

The service that Delta uses in flight is provided by a company called Gogo. Gogo is a company based in Itasca, Ill that has equipped over 6000 business aircraft, and over 2000 commercial with their in-air service at the time of this writing.   Gogo uses several different technologies to connect passengers connected while in air.

Air-To-Ground (ATG) Gogo’s ATG network is a cellular based network that has more than 160 towers in the continental U.S., Alaska and soon, Canada. The towers are cellphone towers that have been outfitted to point their signals at the sky rather than along the ground. The aircraft picks up the signal through a receiver installed on its underside. When it reaches the aircraft, the data signal is distributed throughout the cabin via a Wi-Fi system.

ATG-4 Gogo’s ATG-4 service has enhanced the existing network (ATG) and improves per aircraft capacity through the addition of Directional Antenna, Dual Modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. This new platform is backwards-compatible and allows for upgrades to existing ATG systems through low-cost retrofits. ATG-4 is expected to enhance Gogo’s existing ATG network and deliver peak speeds from current performances of up to 3.1 Mbit/s to up to 9.8 Mbit/s per aircraft.

Ka-band satellite Gogo was named a service provider for Inmarsat‘s Global Xpress satellite service in November, 2011. Inmarsat also selected Gogo’s business aviation subsidiary, Aircell as a distribution partner for the business and government aviation markets.

Ku-band satellite Gogo has satellite agreements in place with SES (for coverage over the U.S., Atlantic Ocean and Europe) and Intelsat (for coverage over portions of the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over South America, Asia, Africa and Australia). Gogo has also signed an agreement with Intelsat for Ku band satellite capacity specifically for coverage in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans, as well as routes over Central and South America, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa. Gogo announced in May 2012, that it will partner with satellite equipment provider, AeroSat, to bring a Ku-satellite solution to commercial airlines. A Ku-satellite solution will allow Gogo to offer airlines connectivity services that extend beyond the United States, including transoceanic routes, and will serve the needs of some of their airline partners in the near-term until Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka band-satellite becomes available.[7][8][9]

Gogo Ground to Orbit Gogo’s newest service is a proprietary hybrid technology that combines the best aspects of existing satellite technologies with Gogo’s Air to Ground network. This technology uses satellite for receive only and Gogo’s Air to Ground network for the return link to the ground. Gogo GTO offers peak speeds of 60 Mbit/s or more to aircraft flying throughout North America and will be available in 2014. This new service is expected to increase speeds by more than six times the current performance.Virgin America will be the launch partner of the new service.[10]

Technology for business aviation For the Business/corporate aviation market, Aircell, a Gogo company, offers three different inflight technologies: Iridium Satellite, Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (satellite) and Gogo Biz (ATG and ATG-4).


Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogo_Inflight_Internet>


For those of you who just skimmed over that little blurb that I stole from Wikipedia,  let me summarize:

This is how it’s done:  Using  cell towers that are outfitted with antennas that point toward the sky,  and satellites.


Think of it as a simple mobile hotspot running traveling at 600mph at 30,000 feet.   All this,  and  just so you can browse to google or enjoy the latest cat memes.   I guess you could do real work too (if you really wanted to.)        Oh, and one last note, you can download coupons for Gogo from retailmenot or other coupon sites.  Have a few of them ready if you decide to rent some bandwidth while flying, it can save you some money (that’s for those of you who can relate to hitting that ‘sweet spot’ I mentioned earlier).    Just remember next time you fly, “Yes,  you can haz wifi”.

How to find your Android’s IP address

os monitor
Every once in a while, you actually care what private IP address your Android phone picked up on your wireless network.  Why?  Well, you may be capturing packets at the network edge, troubleshooting some obscure problem, or testing network connectivity.  If you use an iphone, you most likely don’t need to know this because you don’t have network or connectivity problems…and even if you did, you’d most likely get an Android user to fix it….uh…ouch. I went there… (inject hint of sarcasm here).

Your private IP address differs from your public IP address.  Your public IP address can easily be found using www.ipweasel.com, or the similar site www.ipchicken.com.   Your public IP address is the address you look like to a website you are visiting on the internet.

Your Private IP address is used locally, it is one of three networks which were defined by RFC-1918, 10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x/20, and 192.168.x.x.  These addresses can not be routed on the internet, and so mere mortals get to use them for private networks. If you want to browse the internet, your Private IP address has to be NAT’ed to a Public IP address….but I digress.    If you really want to read more Network Address Translation… google it

So anyways…I recently needed to find my ip address, and instead of searching through the menus, I decided to do it the hard way and downloaded an App from the Play Store.   It’s called OS Monitor , and not only does it show you your IP address, it also shows you every TCP connection and state, every process that is running, cpu usage, battery usage, voltage, temperature, and everything else you could possibly want.


You can also do the easy thing and go to ‘settings’….click ‘WiFi’ then hit the menu button and choose ‘advanced’, but this is way more fun, and we’re all about having fun here.

While I was there, I also tried a couple other network tools, and found some really great Android network scanners. (Wow, I can still remember when you needed an install of NMAP to get network scans like that, now it’s a 10 second free download!).

So in the end, I was able to solve my network problem using my android and a network sniffer, and found some really cool tools in the process!  Hope this helps you out and puts your Android to work too.



Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Photosphere

photosphereIf you like Google Street View, you’ll love this! Google has new feature in it’s latest Android software called Photosphere.  It essentially allows your phone to take a 360 degree photo, you can even pan up and down–much like Street View. The only difference is, you are in charge of the camera, giving you (and anyone using Google Maps or Google Earth) access to photo awesomeness!   Although slated to come out in Android 4.3, it is also available early for those of us waiting for the next update.  The application is installed using a simple APK file, and does NOT require root!  I recently installed Photosphere on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, and how well it worked!   This file will work with many android devices, though I only personally tried it on my Note 2 running v. 4.1.2

If you haven’t seen Photosphere in action, check out this site:


No question, this was the greatest feature or app that I have put on my phone in a long time.   Now, along with Google Earth, we will be able to take that vacation we never could afford–all while sitting at the office! 🙂

Google Plus users can post photosphere images, there is a widget in google plus that allows viewers to get the full photosphere effect!

Browse here with your android and Download the install file here,

or visit the AndroidCentral sites below for more info.


Happy PhotoSphering!

P. S.   Post back with your awesome photosphere images here,  we would love to see them!