Boing Boing 

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking call for ban on “autonomous weapons”

elonhawking

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts have signed a letter calling for a worldwide ban on “autonomous weapons.”

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Boeing and disgraced malware firm Hacking Team planned flying spyware-delivery drones


An engineer at Boeing's Insitu subsidiary proposed that the disgraced malware company Hacking Team should add spyware-delivery tools to Insitu's drone platform.

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Watch this drone footage of a tornado

Drone footage of a tornado touching down yesterday in Hutchinson, Kansas.

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Best drone aerial photos of the year

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Dronestagram and National Geographic posted the winners of their "2015 Drone Aerial Photography Contest."

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Court nails man who shot neighbor's drone

DSC06180-640x427Eric Joe flew a home-made hexacopter over his own yard, out in the the country near Modesto, California. A neighbor shot it down with a shotgun. Now a court has told him he must pay for what he destroyed.

Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar posted the very polite letter that Joe had sent his apparently-deranged neighbor.

Joe started the conversation:

It was nice to meet you and your son. I wish it could have been under different circumstances, but I have to give credit to the McBay school of marksmanship. Still, I'm pretty bummed that I just built this hexacopter only to have it shot down. Also, it was a little disconcerting to know that the spread of the birdshot/buckshot was in my direction. In any case, I had a chance to test the components of the downed hexacopter. Good news is that the more expensive components (on the inside of the frame) are in tact. Stuff on the outside of the frame took the most damage. Joe included an itemized list of the damaged parts, which rounded up to an even $700.

McBay responded:

With all do [sic] respect $700 dollars seems excessive. Perhaps in SF it's normal for folks to have drones hovering over their property but we live in the country for privacy. I will be willing to split the cost with you but next time let us know your testing surveillance equipment in our area. I'll drop a check of [sic] this afternoon.

Joe wrote back:

I'm sorry, but I must insist on full payment for equipment you damaged, as you shot it when it was above my property. The aircraft's GPS data positions it clearly above our orchard. Additionally, the hexacopter crashed next to our driveway, ~203 feet (per Google Maps) from the dirt road that separates our respective properties.

I also dispute your characterization that I was "testing surveillance equipment." There was no camera on the hexacopter, and had a camera been mounted, the price for repairs would have been an extra $300. Just as you asked me to give the courtesy of notifying you of my flying activities, I also ask you the courtesy of not shooting live ammunition in our direction. This is the third time discharge from your firearms has hit our house and property. The first incident left a bullet hole in the door by our garage. The second incident occurred last Thanksgiving when birdshot from your skeet shooting activities rained into our backyard. The third, of course, being what we're currently discussing.

I'm hoping to resolve this in a civil manner. An entirely new rig would have cost $1500. Instead, I'm just asking that you pay for what you broke. Let me know if you wish to discuss further.

Three minutes later, McBay replied. "Your facts are incorrect, I'm considering the matter now closed."

The matter was not closed.

Man shoots down neighbor’s hexacopter in rural drone shotgun battle [Ars Technica]

Hobby drone blamed for grounding firefighting fleet in California

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.

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How to make a working quadcopter out of the Apple Watch packaging box

“I Watch You,” a most nifty hack by Eirik Solheim.

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Laser cut bamboo drone

bamboo-drone

Here's a special treat for people who enjoy being angry about "spoiled tech hipsters" flying drones in public: a video (below) of a hipster flying a multicopter made from bamboo, the ultimate hipster material, and fabricated with a laser cutter, the ultimate hipster CNC fabricator.

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The fate of the big box store

What happens to all the Wal-marts when we have every last Q-tip droned in from Amazon warehouses?

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Jordan is beautiful—especially from a drone-mounted action camera

Scott Sporlede and Ross Borden shot this gorgeous video of Jordan with DJI drones equipped with the H3-3D gimbal and a GoPro Hero 4.

Jordan is a land enshrouded in mystery. Serving as a crossroads of humanity for thousands of years has left the country with a cultural diversity unmatched by few. Come along with Matador as we explore this beautiful land from an angle never before seen, an aerial delight captured using the latest in drone technology. From the ancient ruins of Petra to the mind-blowing rock formations of Wadi Rum, Jordan is a place that will continue to amaze you—just watch and see...

Lily is a new type of drone camera

Lily

This adorable little drone is a potentially revolutionary camera whose creators claim can fly itself.

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Seattle power utility spent $35,000 to remove drone stuck in power line

No one has stepped forward to claim ownership of a $3,000 drone that was stuck in a Seattle residential power line for a week. That's probably because the owner doesn't want to get stuck with a bill for $35,000, which is how much Seattle City Light said it cost to remove the drone, which had been causing a "loud buzzing sound for the past several days."

Limited-edition 'Code Black' HD-camera drone for 50% Off

This powerful little drone ($99) is the size of your palm, and uses 6-axis gyro technology for an extremely smooth flight. With a flight time of about 10 minutes between charges, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to dominate the sky.

  • Ready-to-fly out of the box
  • Palm-size drone
  • 6-axis flight control system for an extremely stable flight
  • 4-ways flip (left, right, forward, backward)
  • Beginner and expert flight modes
  • USB charging cable for charging w/ a computer

You can also get the drone plus a crash pack, which includes 16 spare blades, replacement motors & more to refresh you drone’s armor for $115.

Guaranteed delivery by Father’s Day!

Here's the Amazon Drone that will deliver America to complete sedentariness

_82857752_image-gallery-01._v367570019_.jpg' The U.S. Patent Office has published details of the drone delivery system that Amazon hopes to soon use for delivering packages, reports the BBC.
Amazon is leading the effort to convince the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to approve widespread commercial use of drones. According to the plans, Amazon's drones will be able to update their routes in real-time. A mock-up delivery screen suggests that people will be able to choose from a variety of delivery options - from "bring it to me" to nominating their home, place of work or even "my boat" as places for packages to be dropped.

Key disclosures include details of the drones' elaborate sensor system, to avoid collisions and find safe landing spots.

Just days ago, the FCC relaxed drone rules and signaled its willingness to play ball with the new technology (or fetch, as the case may be.)

Astounding RC flying with counterrotating drive

Barry writes, "There's a thing called pattern flying, where pilots compete to perfectly execute an elaborate set of compulsory tricks."

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Drone's view of Detroit's abandoned Belle Isle Zoo

The Belle Isle Zoo in Detroit closed its doors in 2002, and nature has been reclaiming it since. In August 2014 TheGadgetGuy1 flew his DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter through the eerie abandoned attraction. (Thanks, Andreas!)

Drone Racing, Star Wars pod style

Kevin Kelly says: "Racers wear goggles and drive with a first person view (FPV). This video is in French, but there are now races all over the world, including of course the Bay Area" [via]