Shelly Palmer Radio Report – December 21, 2012

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The next time you’re on a Boeing flight and pull out your laptop to check your e-mail through the plane’s Wi-Fi, take a moment and thank a potato. Seriously. To ensure in flight Wi-Fi signals are consistent throughout the cabin, Boeing is using about 20,000 pounds of potatoes at stand-ins for passengers at the company’s labs. Rather than having to pay dozens or hundreds of people to sit around during the tests, the Chicago-based airline is instead using bags of potatoes in place of people. Why potatoes, you ask? A Boeing spokesman said that sacks of spuds actually do a good job of replicating the way we reflect and absorb electronic signals. So while it may sound silly at first, Boeing’s only trying to make our flights more comfortable and more connected. Now, if only someone could get some yams in Boeing’s hands to work out cell phone signals during flight, we’ll be even closer to fully connected in the skies.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit


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