Friday, July 31, 2015

man shoots drone, sues pilots

"Merideth, 47, lives in Hillview, Kentucky. As WDRB-TV reports, a neighbor heard gunshots and called the police. Merideth allegedly told the police that a drone was hovering over his house, where his teen daughter (he has two) was sunbathing. So he pulled out his gun and gave it a merry death.
The drone's owner, police say, said he was flying it to take pictures of a neighboring house."

Yeah, see, you don't fly over somebody's property without their permission. And you don't shoot somebody's drone in town.

Monday, July 27, 2015

California offers $75,000 reward to find drone pilots who interfered with fire suppresion efforts

"San Bernardino County in California is set to begin offering a $75,000 reward for information on whoever flew drones over three recent wildfires."  Firefighters were delayed almost 1/2 hour because of the drones.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

NASA and Google work on drone air traffic control

"Google is partnering with NASA and 13 other companies, including Amazon and Verizon, to create an air-traffic control system for drones, called the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Traffic Management.
Drones are the way of the future, and ‒ rather than let the air be clogged with unruly, unregulated unmanned robots ‒ the government is seeking to work with the private sector to create rules of the aerial road. The move comes after a series of incidents involving drones, including crashes at national parks and on the White House grounds. Yet, for some businesses, the regulations can’t come fast enough."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

hacking via drone

"Presumably, attaching a small network injector to a drone would give the ability to attack Wi-Fi networks from above, or at a greater distance. The system operator wouldn’t have to get physically near the target. Insitu did not respond to The Intercept’s requests for comment.
Hacking Team gained notoriety in recent years as human rights and digital security advocates found traces of its spyware on the computers of journalists and political activists from Ethiopia, Morocco and elsewhere. As The Intercept reported last week, the leaked files confirm that Hacking Team sold to many countries with dubious human rights records, and also to agencies in the U.S., where the use of such spyware is still the subject of legal controversy."

The creeps are starting to look for how to use drones.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

time to jail wayward drone operators?

"Phelan, California (CNN)Of all the elements they must battle in a wildfire, firefighters face a new foe: drones operated by enthusiasts who presumably take close-up video of the disaster.
Five such "unmanned aircraft systems" prevented California firefighters from dispatching helicopters with water buckets for up to 20 minutes over a wildfire that roared Friday onto a Los Angeles area freeway that leads to Las Vegas.
Helicopters couldn't drop water because five drones hovered over the blaze, creating hazards in smoky winds for a deadly midair disaster, officials said."

If enthusiasts can't stop themselves from getting in the way of  important government business, then I'm afraid it's time for some strict laws.  Thanks, idiots.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

weaponized quadcopter

It had to happen sooner or later.  Good things can also have bad uses.  Cars run over people, but we still use them.  So now we have quadcopters, that can do all sorts of wonderful things, also being used for bad things.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

firefighting hampered by presence of a drone

"However, she said fire officials grounded the planes for about eight minutes until the drone left the area of the fire.
It was the fourth time in the last month that the spotting of a drone over a California wildfire prompted the Forest Service to ground the firefighting planes out of fear that the drones will collide with the aircraft."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

quadcopters as characters becoming a thing

"Like the Snoopy one we featured earlier this week, R2-D2 is a remote controlled quadcopter created by Otto Dieffenbach. You can see more of his company’s creations on their website."

Where will the usefulness of quadcopters end?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Swiss mail by drone

"The Swiss postal service has started testing the use of drones to make deliveries, a move it says will help in emergencies and allow items to reach isolated areas.
Governments tightening rules on use of drones
Footage released by Swiss Post and its partners on Tuesday showed an unmanned drone, about the size of commercial devices used by hobbyists, in flight.
The company says it will be exploring the cost effectiveness of drone use, but does not expect widespread use until at least five years from now."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

quadcopters cause firefighters headaches

"So far this fire season, officials have recorded three instances where drones have interrupted firefighting operations.

Jennifer Jones is a Forest Service spokesperson. She said in a couple of those cases, officials had to shut down air operations causing the fire to grow larger."

I'm a fan of figuring out where drones can cause serious problems, and making rules about it.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

a simple design octocopter from Russia

"nother of the company’s drones, the ZALA 421-22 copter, is capable not only of conducting video surveillance, but of guarding a set perimeter or monitoring a designated infrastructure installation.
It can carry a specially designed sea rescue package, the SSK-4, consisting of an inflatable life jacket or small inflatable raft, and deliver it with high accuracy to the specified coordinates of an emergency area."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"drones are tools for art"

"You might think they're dangerous or tacky, but using drones as a means of capturing breathtaking, far-reaching images is becoming more popular for journalists, artists and photographers. HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd chatted Tuesday with a panel of drone-friendly content creators, who discussed embracing the depths of drones' reach. In the video above, check out their conversation about how drones are both changing and enhancing the quality of their work."

Interesting interviews from people using drones for all kinds of things.  It shows just how new and diverse this method of photography is.