Thank the Potato
I always knew that the potato was a tasty, healthy little "spudder", but I didn’t know it could also be an aide to researchers in the technology industry. Used to be passengers couldn’t anymore surf the internet while mid-flight than they could, well, fly. Now they can, but the signal is spotty at best. That’s why Boeing began working on a way to make in-flight Wi-Fi signals stronger and more consistent throughout the airplane cabin. They needed test passengers, so to speak, in order to see how they interact with electronic signal properties, but since not very many people want to spend hours upon hours setting in a parked airplane no matter what you pay them, sacks of potatoes were used. And researchers found that water logged spuds interact with signals in a way similar to the way people would, plus they’re cheap. Project SPUDS, as Boeing likes to call it, made it possible for such testing to be reduced from a period of weeks, to just a little over ten hours. So the next time you’re flying at 30 thousand feet above the ground at 600 miles per hour and happily browsing the internet at the same time, remember that it was the lowly potato that made that pleasure possible.