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New Extension Improves Inflight Wi-Fi

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A team of researchers at Northwestern University has developed an extension for the Google Chrome browser that drastically improves Web browsing speeds at 30,000 feet.


A team of researchers at Northwestern University has developed a Google Chrome browser extension called ScaleUp, which they say dramatically upgrades Wi-Fi browsing speeds at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Northwestern professor Fabian Bustamante says ScaleUp adjusts browser content by enlarging the images, pushing content down the Web page and subtracting the number of objects the browser must accommodate at any given time.

In addition, Bustamante notes ScaleUp drops font-load requests and increases font size minutely, which also speeds up loading time.

Although the results are promising, Bustamante says his team needs more data, and ScaleUp will provide it the more travelers use the extension.

One issue he feels demands more comprehension is inflight packet loss and its causes. "There's a lot we don't understand, and the more we learn about it, not surprisingly, the more we learn how much we don't know," Bustamante says.

From Northwestern University Newscenter
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