Kickstarter hires journalist to investigate failed drone campaign

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After a Kickstarter campaign raised $3.5m to make drones only to fly away into the void, it brought the shortcomings of crowdfunding into sharp relief. But Kickstarter itself is hiring an investigator to unravel the circumstances of the failed venture.

What's more, the pick isn't a buttoned-up accountant-type, but a journalist, Mark Harris—signaling its intent to tell a meaningful story of how things can go wrong on its platform. James Vincent reports that the drone's backers are an audience—and that they deserve the truth.

In a blog post on Medium announcing the news, Harris writes: "[Kickstarter] wants to help the backers of this failed project get the information they are entitled to under their agreement with the project creator. They would like to uncover the story of Zano, from its inception to the present, and decided that the best way to do that was to hire a journalist." Harris says his "primary audience" is the Zano's original backers, and that he will try to publish the story "in the middle of January."
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Drone footage of insanely huge "sinkhole" outside of IHOP restaurant

Did you hear about the International Hole of Pancakes, the massive drainage structure collapse that swallowed a at least a dozen cars in an IHOP parking lot in Meridian, MS just a few days after the restaurant opened? Here is Jason Hartwig's drone footage of the site.

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Animals attacking drones

They've already made up their minds about annoying buzzing noises we humans are in two minds about. Read the rest

Millennium Falcon quadcopter

Skinning drones with iconic spaceship shells is an absolute natural and I expect to see a lot more of it -- here's a salvo, Air Hogs's Millennium Falcon quadcopter, which hits stores on Sept 15 -- part of a family that includes landspeeders, TIE fighters, X-wings, and speeder bikes. Read the rest

Watch: hypnotizing aerial timelapse videos

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“Bird's-eye aerial timelapse cinematography.”

Superman Drone

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“I duct-taped a Superman figure to my Phantom 3 and flew it over Victoria Park. Glorious!” Read the rest

Watch an eagle take down a drone

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"Eagle was fine - she was massive, and used talons to 'punch' the drone out of the sky," writes the drone operator from Australia's Melbourne Aerial Video. Read the rest

Drone footage of gray whales and calves

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Photographer Mark Carwardine got this lovely drone footage of a pod of gray whales frolicking off the coast of Baja California. Unfortunately, the boaters then approach and touch the whales. Read the rest

WATCH: model plane + box kite + LEDs = glow kite

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FliteTest tracked down a father-son team who spent five years perfecting their remote-controlled box kite prototype, a plane/kite mashup. They demonstrate two of them below: Read the rest

WATCH: This here's corn maze cuttin' season!

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If'n y'all got raised in the heartland, y'all know this here's corn maze cuttin' season! The good folks down to Dull's got one-a them newfangled drones to get all the goings on. Read the rest

WATCH: Gentleman recovers old drone using new drone

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YouTuber Harrisen Howes made the mistake of letting a drunk friend crash his drone on a neighbor's roof. Solution? Use a new drone to save the old one. Read the rest

WATCH: Drone-eye view of a Detroit hotel demolition

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Detroit's historic Park Avenue Hotel was demolished on July 11, and YouTuber TheGadgetGuy1 caught all the action via drone. Read the rest

Sculpture makes drone strike casualties more visceral

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In Artificial Killing Machine, visitors sit in a chair below cap guns that fire for each drone strike death reported publicly, which print out on a tally from a public database. Read the rest

Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl): new track accompanied by glitchy video synthesis trip

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Go deep into the modular dronescape with "Arc," a lovely new track by Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl), accompanied by stunning synthetic video glitch from Montreal-based media artist Sabrina Ratté. "Arc" is from Caminiti's LP Meridian, just released on Thrill Jockey. Read the rest

WATCH: Gorgeous drone footage of Iceland

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Cinematographer Dima Balakirev created this striking montage of Iceland, including waterfalls, geothermal features, and lava formations. Crank it up to 2160p! Read the rest

Hobby drone blamed for grounding firefighting fleet in California

A DC-10 air tanker drops chemical fire retardant below Pilot Peak at the Rim Fire. The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest near in California began on Aug. 17, 2013 and is under investigation. The fire has consumed approximately 199,237 acres and is 32% contained. U.S. Forest Service photo by Mike McMillan.

The U.S. Forest Service is blaming a hobby drone for grounding a fleet of planes delivering fire retardant to a blaze near Big Bear Lake on June 24th. Read the rest

Watch firefighters try to squirt down $2,200 drone

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Message to drones: watch where you're going.

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