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When people talk about airplane technology, they usually mean the know-how that keeps the plane in the air. Other sorts of technology — say, checking e-mail and making mobile phone calls — may be nice, but at 35,000 feet, everything else is secondary to staying in the air. Indeed, mobile phones can’t even be used on aircraft, because the phone know-how can interfere with the staying-aloft know-how, and no one wants to mess with that. Thanks to some recent advances, however, all sorts of slick (and safe) services are making their way into the cabin — even in coach. Say hello to in-flight Internet access and on-demand video. Say goodbye to the last cell phone-free zone on (or above) earth.

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