Op-ed pick: A better black box

As the Malaysian Airlines disappearance continues into the fourth day, many of us remain (perhaps a bit sheepishly) transfixed by the story. In the age of Google maps that allow us to virtually wander remote deserts, constant phone and internet connection and minute-by-minute flight trackers – it seems nothing short of spooky that a giant jet could simply vanish and we’d be left waiting to find some sort of physical evidence.

An op-ed from The New York Times’ Editorial Board calls for a switch to better technology that would keep us from relying on the outdated black-box communication system:

It’s worth asking why, in this era of instant wireless communication, investigators must hunt down a physical object that stays on board the plane. Why isn’t black-box data transmitted in real time?

Perhaps this will be the future of airline data collection – but in the case of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, we’ll just have to wait the old-fashioned way for answers.