some drone links I accidentally collected
I favourite a lot of things on Twitter, always meaning to get back to them. Here are some of the drone-related links, from the silly to the serious, that I’ve accumulated over the past month.
Like all electric vehicles, the design challenge is all about range, range, range and range. And battery technology is always the excuse for not being able to dramatically increase distance between charges. Historically, one of the biggest challenges for long-range airplanes has been weight. And heavy batteries don’t make for a good mix of range and light designs. So Yates isn’t waiting for any breakthrough in battery technology, and is instead pushing for a breakthrough of his own in how the batteries are used.
Do you have trouble pacing yourself while running? You could download a speedometer app for your iPhone. Or if gee-whiz is more your speed, hold out for this drone, currently in the works. The idea is that the drone—known as Joggobot—would fly a little bit ahead of you so you can regulate your speed. There are two modes—a rigorous “coach” setting that challenges you to keep up, plus a more casual mode that takes its cue from your pace.
ProPublica: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Drones
Everyone is talking about drones. Also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, remote-piloted aircrafts have become a controversial centerpiece of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism strategy. Domestically, their surveillance power is being hyped for everything from fighting crime to monitoring hurricanes or spawning salmon. Meanwhile, concerns are cropping up about privacy, ethics and safety. We’ve rounded up some of the best coverage of drones to get you oriented.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: Covert War On Terror — The Data
No blurb, this is a subcategory of their site.
As I figure it, there are two death panels in the United States. One is within the C.I.A., where high-ranking intelligence professionals decide, via some opaque protocol, who they want to kill with armed drones. I used to assume that they put all the names on a list. But it was subsequently reported that sometimes the C.I.A. kills people whose identities it doesn’t even know.
Then there’s the other death panel. It determines whose death will be sought by drones that the Department of Defense controls. These human targets used to be determined in a meeting that involved the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, various unnamed national security officials, and Obama Administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. They’d talk things over and debate names.
Now the protocol is changing for both programs.