The seeing-eye tongue, pt. 2

Abort, retry, fail

This is wonderful: This airplane runs Linux as its onboard-display operating system, and as someone documented in a picture on Flickr, it crashed out. As Aaron Suggs noted:

I like how white this photo is … like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. Except for the flight attendant.

Actually, I think the flight attendant is a nice touch — straight outta 2001: A Space Odyssey! But seriously, I’m fascinated by the fact that the airlines base their display systems on Linux. Every time I fly somewhere and I use the seat-view entertainment system to play those godawful versions of Tetris and Poker (why in hell can’t they just run Flash and get some decent casual games?), I always feel a shudder of fear. “Yeah, apparently some guy tried to play Hangman in Row 34 and the system brought the whole plane down.”

Check out the threat on the Flickr page for endless speculation about precisely what that airplane system was doing when it went down.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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