How do you lose a plane in 2014?

in security on (#3FS)
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This is almost incomprehensible: Despite all of the awesome technology that mankind has developed, it's still possible for a Boeing 777-200 with 239 people on board to vanish. It's mind blowing that all we have to go on is the plane's "radar signature" and even then, that last radar reading was so poor that the search area is thousands of square miles of open water. Surely, given the fact that we can track a smartphone anywhere on Earth down to a few meters, there's a better way of keeping track of missing aircraft?
With recent wifi enabled aircraft and scads of modern incoming and outgoing signals, surely they cannot claim that some of the more legacy technology is to blame -- especially in the newest plane on the market? An EPIRB is pretty much mandatory for sea-faring craft and will signal the nearest SAR: why isn't there an equivalent on aircraft?

Unusual event (Score: 2)

by on 2014-03-14 14:05 (#JD)

There are plenty of systems and complete (even slightly overlapping) coverage in the area the signal was lost, that's why it's an actual mystery. A birdie asked for seismic information and some Chinese had a positive answer but it doesn't seem to be widely used as news yet, possibly too embarrassing or maybe someone got cold feet after all the duds. If that's where it is then we're still unlikely to learn what actually caused it.
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Forty six, 43, sixty four, ninety nine or seventy: which of these is the largest?