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First take

We think of Boeing as the designer and manufacturer of big planes, and they are, but they’re also getting into some really cutting edge stuff. Boeing also builds satellites, and some of them is getting ready to do something remarkable: Creating a global broadband system. Boeing expands on this: “Each of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites use fixed narrow spot beams to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals. Steerable beams direct additional capacity in real-time to where it’s needed to provide seamless, global broadband communications coverage to Inmarsat users worldwide on land, at sea, and in the air. The first two Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites were launched December 2013 and February 2015, respectively. A fourth Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 (F4) is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.” As broad as the Internet is now, it could get broader still. And then the report just out in the Puget Sound Business Journal that Boeing is developing anti-aircraft weaponry: A cannon set up to combat drones. The story said, “Boeing tested the laser cannon last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The cannon can cause a drone to burst into flames after being exposed to the laser for as little as two seconds.” Boeing is redefining itself.

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