High-tech companies control top three spots
For the seventh year in a row, Apple has taken the top spot on Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies" list. The ranking is based on a survey of corporate executives and directors, as well as industry analysts; all three groups were asked to evaluate companies based on factors like innovation, social responsibility, and people management. Apple took home an overall score of 7.94, beating out Amazon, which achieved 7.09. Google in turn dropped to third place.
Southwest Airlines to allow in-flight iMessages for $2
Southwest Airlines is allowing users of Apple's iOS devices to send iMessages while in flight for just $2. A post on the company's blog revealed that the airline will be rolling out in-flight iMessaging for $2 per day for users with a device running iOS 5 or later. The feature was enabled on Southwest flights on Wednesday, and it joins a number of other digital-oriented features the airline has rolled out of recent.
Southwest Airlines allows devices, Wi-Fi throughout flights
Southwest Airlines has joined a host of other airlines in allowing low-altitude electronics use during flights, following the FAA's recent rule changes. To counteract the delay in changing its policies, Southwest is claiming itself to be the first to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi, via Row 44's satellite Internet service. In comparison, other airlines using systems such as Gogo's inflight Wi-Fi service have to wait until 10,000 feet to activate the service, due to the nature of air-to-ground connections.
DISH offers in-flight iPad loans for select Southwest Airlines flights
Dish and Southwest Airlines have announced the release of in-flight iPad 2 borrowing, with content from its "Watch TV on the Fly" libraries. iPad loaning is available on WiFi-enabled flights, such as those departing from Chicago-Midway, Denver, and Oakland International Airports. Guests can 'check out' an iPad for their flight, and can try out Dish's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR and sign up for Dish home service if desired. TV content can be enjoyed during the flight, and the iPad 2 is then returned to the destination airport's corresponding Southwest library.
Live TV promoted by iPad giveaway to passengers on flight
Satellite TV provider Dish Network will be providing free live TV to passengers on Southwest Airlines flights. The service, titled TV Flies Free, will be available on more than 400 Southwest planes with Wi-Fi onboard, and will offer up to 75 on-demand shows at no charge, as well as access to 13 live-streaming channels.
Qualcomm pushes for 300Gbps in-flight broadband
Mobile chip and network gear maker Qualcomm has now proposed an in-flight wireless network that would bring speeds as fast as 300Gbps. It would use spectrum in the 14GHz to 14.5GHz bands for this, and the so-called Next-Gen AG system would use about 150 towers located throughout the US. The network would use familiar airwave techniques to get ther, including a time division duplex communications mode and orthogonal multiplexing, which stitches together multiple signals into a coherent whole.
Cites doubled profits, iPad 2 event
For a fourth year in a row, Fortune has once again identified Apple as its Most Admired company in the world. Apple has an overall score of 8.16. "The company's blistering pace of new product releases has continued to set the bar high for tech companies across the board," Fortune writes.
In-flight service generates royalties
Southwest Airlines has launched a new in-flight service selling content from iTunes, according to Variety. Dubbed InAirtainment, the service actually takes the form of a website through which people can browse for music, movies or TV shows hosted on iTunes. Southwest says is it is claiming a small royalty from every download, which may be 5 percent if the airline is enrolled in the normal iTunes Affiliate program.
JetBlue vows to bring Wi-Fi to planes in 2012
JetBlue has become the latest airline company to announce it will bring Wi-Fi to its fleet. The company, which flies across the US, will partner with ViaSat to install hardware that will enable broadband Internet and TV service on its 160 aircraft by the end of 2012. Before this happens, however, the FAA needs to test and approve all the gear.