Technological Advances Proposed to Avoid Another MH370 Incident

The sudden disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 last March 8 has continued to baffle the entire aviation industry. Since then, no wreckage related to the plane has been found. In fact, despite the use of modern technology to locate the place, it is yet to be found. Efforts coming from various governments have already been in place, but none of which bore any positive result.

From the time the plane was lost, the only clue that the officials used to have is their last contact with the plane as it was crossing the Malaysian and Vietnamese air space. However, further analysis of the plane signals led them to a conclusion that it has crashed in the Indian Ocean with no survivor at all. Now, the search is focused on the vastness of the Indian Ocean with hopes of finding the black box as the only way to solve the mystery.

The difficult process that was undertaken in line with this search made everyone question our reliance on black boxes for answers. With several modern technologies in place, why do we still rely on a “tape recorder” technology that has been developed in the 1960′s? In fact, with the modern technology of sending and receiving data using mobile phones through satellites, people wonder why it is still not used in the aviation industry.

Based on the suggestion of Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Malaysia’s Communications Minister, maximizing the use of communication technology advancement may speed up searches for lost flights instead of simply relying on black boxes that are already deemed outdated. The Real-Time monitoring of plane data will replace the use of black boxes. Air traffic controllers will have information in regards to the actual status of the flight and will know exactly all the details that are contained in the black box.

Reasons Why this Technology is Still Not Used

If this technology will be implemented, airlines might have to spend a lot for bandwidth costs. The amount might not be too much at first.
However, given the number of flights on a daily basis and the number of planes that are in operation, it could spell thousands of dollars in losses for the airlines. There could also be some issues regarding privacy that have to be addressed should this technology be in place. The truth is that there are a few airlines that have started using this technology. However, no airline has gone too big in the implementation of this technology due to fears of huge expenses and the idea that airline accidents do not occur that often.

Benefits Outweigh the Cost

Though the overall cost for this technology might seem huge and totally impractical for airlines to follow, at the end of the day, the technology is still worth it. After all, no amount of money can pay for the safety and security of the passengers. Money cannot pay the feelings of family members who bear all the pains and sufferings for the sudden loss of their loved ones.

With plans underway in regards to the implementation of this technology, the aviation industry might be heading to a positive direction.

Fanboys are Not Geeks

Well, technically, they can be geeks but hey I would really feel embarrassed to be associated with them. Everytime I find comments by fanboys on articles about gadgets online, mobile phones in particular, I always expect a trend. It will become a battle among fans defending their favorite brands or at least their favorite flagship devices.

There are four brands I know that seem to have an endless supply of fanboys: Nokia, Samsung, HTC, and Sony. Each clique has something distinctive. If you encounter them, you have to expect something common with their arguments.

Nokia - For diehard Nokia fans, they’re pride for their devices’ imaging capabilities will make you cringe. “Physics always wins” — this is apparently their favorite slogan when defending their bulky camera phones. They would love to argue how it’s impossible for any current flagship smartphone to win against the imaging capabilities of the Lumia 808 and 1020 because of their bigger sensors and superior camera specs. When DxOMark announced that Sony’s Xperia Z2 dethroned the Lumia 808 from their ranking of top mobile phone snappers, the world seemed to have collapsed for them. All of a sudden, DxOMark lost credibility for them when they used the previous DxOMark ranking in defending the antiquated Symbian-bearing Lumia 808 as the best camera phone.

Samsung – Despite the aesthetics-challenged design of Samsung devices, it continues to captivate many fans. Of course, you simply can’t deny the sales figures. Samsung owns a lion’s share of the smartphone market. Recently, I was taken aback by DisplayMate’s curious declaration that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has the best display they ever tested—something Samsung’s legion of fanboys, of course, can’t help to not brag. Unfortunately, these are the same people, along with Nokia fanboys, who assail DxOMark’s credibility while hypocritically using another supposedly “independent” body’s findings to bolster their claims that their favorite company’s devices are superior.

HTC - If Nokia is about imaging, HTC fans tout the company’s flagship devices for their premium design and the superb speakers. The HTC One and the (apparently troublesome to name) HTC One 2014 or M8(?) have little else about them but their good looks and relatively superior speakers. The cameras on these devices are the gimmicky “Ultrapixel” 4 MP shooters even made more gimmicky in the 2014 version with the addition of another camera (dual camera setup) that does nothing to compete against the big guns from other companies. Fans continue to defend these devices despite the obvious flaws and despite the fact that it’s very clear how they themselves are disappointed with HTC’s decisions regarding the specs.

Sony - Sony’s Xperia lineup has some of the most dedicated fans. The difference, however, is that most of these fanboys are not very childishly annoying. It could be due to the difference in age. Sony was once the top electronics maker of the world so many of its fans may be from those days of yore who are now mature enough to handle brand wars more classily. Still, there are many Sony fanboys who can get irritating in their senseless defense of Sony’s multitude of flaws. For instance, many defended the Xperia Z’s awful display when it was very clear how awful it was in comparison to what others had in the market. Likewise, many were still unable to accept the fact that these poor displays were responsible for the poor battery life. Xpera Z1 came appered with a rather beefy 3000mah battery but it did not translate to better battery life because of the awful display technology. With the Xperia Z2, a new display technology (that addressed the criticisms in the past displays) was used and it translated to an impressive battery life.

I intentionally excluded Apple’s fanboys on this list because I think my criticisms on them would take more than just one post to cover a substantial amount of what needs to be said. They deserve their own separate post—haha.

Certainly, fanboys should not be associated with geeks. These obsessive brand fans know no logic or a sense of being rational. They only know how to defend their favorite brands. They can go on an endless litany of hypocrisy and misrepresentation to make their favorite brand and devices appear superior. Their focus is on the brand and not the technology—something that makes them very different from true-blooded geeks.

‘Quad Pro Quo’ from a Quad HD Display on a Mobile Device?

For the uninitiated, the right phrase is “quid pro quo,” which translates to “something for something.” In this post, the question is “does a quad HD display really offer something that can be called advantageous?” Does it bring something that can make up for whatever additional tech and cost there is in coming up with an ultra high resolution display for a small package?

As I publish this post LG shall have announced their latest flagship device, the LG G3, a QHD-toting smartphone with a monster display but with tiny bezels. I actually find it interesting. It’s taken quite some time before some major player in the international smartphone market decided to get a hint from Sharp’s impressive Aquos 32SH in terms of the display to overall size ratio.

The LG G3 also comes with beastly specs in tow. The processor will be the more powerful version of the Snapdragon 801. It will have 2GB of RAM—yes, only 2GB against the 3GB of competitors such as the Xperia Z2 and Galaxy Note 3. I actually don’t mind it since performance comparisons performed by several blogs and tech sites don’t really show conspicuous benefits in having 1GB more RAM. In terms of camera specs, the LG G3 will be offering a 13MP snapper with OIS.

Okay, back to the QHD display discussion, what makes the LG G3 supposedly extra special is its “super sharp and unique quad HD display,” as written on the company’s UK website. Yeah, unique *tapping the sarcasm toggle.* I have to admit I’m a sucker for perpetually upgraded specs but I’m not really excited with this uber high resolution display. It simply does not make sense. Some laptops even have below FHD resolutions.

LG claims that their QHD mobile display offers a number of advantages. These include better contrast and sharpness. The improved sharpness is technically correct but it’s something that is hardly noticeable. With the contrast, I don’t think the number of pixels has anything to do with it. The Super LCDs on the HTC One and the IPS display of the iPhone 5S boast excellent contrasts without resorting to the ridiculous addition of more pixels.

Interestingly, it is the CEO of a Chinese smartphone manufacturer who is saying that quad HD displays are nonsense. Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu, in an interview with Techradar, opined that there’s no point in having a 538ppi pixel density or a 2K resolution on a smartphone. The Chinese are known for coming up with over the top specs but at least one of them is acting more sensibly this time around.

LG may claim that they have found a way to make sure that there is no significant increase in the amount of power consumed in their new flagship device, but wouldn’t their device last longer if it maintained the 1080p display resolution? The benefits of a display that has 100 more pixels per inch (compared to current flagships) are marginal at best.

Smartphone makers should focus their efforts in coming up with better batteries instead of fighting for more pixels in their displays and cameras. Integrating new technologies to achieve battery life and capacity is a more worthwhile endeavor. Even better, they should exert more effort on achieving foldable displays if the goal is to really offer something useful to consumers.