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How to turn off `airplane mode` in Ubuntu 11.10?

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http://askubuntu.com – I have a problem get the WiFi to work in Ubuntu 11.10. When I use gnome network manager it indicates that wireless is disabled by hardware switch while it is not. In the Network Settings Panel in the wireless section, it only shows the hardware address and the switch is off and it's disabled so that I can't change the status to On. At the bottom there is an airplane mode switch which is On, and turning it off has no effect and it immediately turns back on. I use a Dell Vostro 1520 laptop. (HowTos)