Science fiction short shot with semi-autonomous drones

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Tim Maughan writes, "Thanks to all the Boing Boing crew that checked out the trailer for our Detroit LIDAR film, it'll be out soon - in the meantime our film IN THE ROBOT SKIES is now up to stream. The first narrative film shot entirely by semi-autonomous drones, it's a love story set on a highly surveilled housing estate in London. Written by me, directed by Liam Young, with music by Forest Swords." Read the rest

Here are the devastating capabilities of the weapons Obama will leave behind for Trump

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Even the extreme legal theories of the George W Bush administration were mild compared to some of the "compromise" positions Obama's DoJ argued for, and now Donald J Trump gets to use those positions to further its own terrifying agenda of mass deportations, reprisals against the press, torture and assassination, and surveillance based on religious affiliation or ethnic origin. Read the rest

Watch man's confused reaction at drone that fell from the sky

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A GoPro Karma drops from the sky and lands at a surprised and confused bystander's feet. As this was not an isolated incident, GoPro recalled the Karma.

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Man who flew hot dog to his hot tub faces fine, but isn't this just an ad?

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The Australian man who sent a drone to pick up a hot dog, then return it to him in his backyard hot tub, is in trouble with the law.

The BBC reports that the aerial meat journey breached local drone flight safety rules.

"Tim," as he is anonymously known, reports that the hot dog was "freezing" anyway by the time it got to him.

There's something a bit fishy about it. It's all sourced to "YouTube video", but the BBC heavily edited and rehosted the video and doesn't link to either YouTube or the original story at The Age. It doesn't even name it, instead calling it "local media". Go looking for it, and the only thing on YouTube seems to be a ripped and reuploaded version of a professionally-produced ad for a hot dog shop that isn't on YouTube.

There's an interesting ethical question for you: if something viral is newsworthy (Man Fined Over Hot Tub Hot Dog), but not newsworthy enough to do any real work reporting out whether it's a marketing stunt or not, how clever can you be in removing non-newsworthy elements that might be The Marketing Part?

After all, you might get it wrong. You know, like that thing where I carefully avoid using the word "GoPro" when posting that "GoPro footage of Badgers Skydiving" video, but fail to notice that all the badgers are wearing North Face. Read the rest

FAA okays use of semi-autonomous drones for Disneyland and Disney World fireworks displays

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John Frost writes, "I know Boing Boing has covered Disney's patent to use flying drones in the parks. Here's the latest update, the FAA recently approved the use of drones in the parks at night. It's only a four-year permit and Disney isn't waiting around. The Mouse House just posted a teaser video for a new holiday show at Disney Springs, the dining and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World, that will begin later this month." Read the rest

Flying Robot International Film Festival in San Francisco on November 17

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Drone filmmaking pioneer (and Boing Boing Video contributor!) Eddie Codel shares word on his Flying Robot International Film Festival and a fun day of workshops and demos on aerial imagery!

Event #1

The Flying Robot international Film Festival returns to San Francisco's Roxie Theater on November 17th for the world premiere screening of the 2016 FRiFF drone shorts program. Join us for a delightful evening of the planet's most incredible short drone films.

FRiFF received 180 submissions from over 40 countries across 8 categories this year. A couple dozen of the best as selected by the FRiFF jury will be shown. The world premiere screening will be followed by a short awards ceremony honoring the best selections in each category, hosted by the Internet's Justin Hall.

Details and tickets can be found on the Flying Robot site here.

Event #2

Please join us in San Francisco on November 19th from 11am-7pm for the first ever Flying Robot Aerial Imagery Day, part of the 2016 Flying Robot international Film Festival. The day will be chock-full of presentations, demos and workshops focused on various aspects of drone-based aerial imagery. Whether you're brand new to aerial photography or you're a master flying pixel tamer, there's something here for everyone.

Subject areas include aerial photography, cinematography, 3d mapping/photogrammetry, color grading, 360 & panoramic aerial photography, FPV systems, live streaming and drone building 101... to name a few.

This event will be a lightly structured day of fun and learning. We will provide a stage for presentations, an enclosed drone cage for demos and breakout areas for workshops.

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US endorses self-driving cars, with a catch: Feds want to control tech approval, not states

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Federal auto safety regulators today said that self-driving cars “will save time, money and lives,” but also sent a clear signal that they want the power to inspect and approve technology before it hits the highways, rather than each U.S. state setting its own safety standards.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on a press call today that a new federal premarket approval system "would require a lot more upfront discussion, dialogue and staffing on our part."

The government's statement today is big news for Uber, Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley firms pouring millions of R&D dollars into figuring out how to swap human drivers for smart machines, or at least allow us to share control in “semiautonomous” setups.

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Criminal entrepreneurship in Mexico's high-tech drug cartels

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Dr Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez is a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, studying "criminal entrepreneurship" in drug cartels, who beat Amazon to using drones for delivery by years, use modified potato guns to shoot cocaine and marijuana bundles over border fences, and represent the "true libertarian, Ayn Rand capitalism." Read the rest

Sobering overview of the future of autonomous weaponry

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Sarah A. Topol profiles Mary Wareham and several other experts concerned about the near future of autonomous weapons. Read the rest

Experience Norway's midnight sun by drone

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Michael Fletcher collaborated with Alan Mathieson to capture drone footage of northern Norway's mist-shrouded mountains during this summer's midnight sun. It's like watching a moving Bierstadt painting. Read the rest

UK gives OK to Amazon for drone delivery exploration

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Amazon.com says it has entered into a partnership with the British government to get the nation's aviation authority approval for deliveries via small drones.

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To hell with the Trolley Problem: here's a much more interesting list of self-driving car weirdnesses

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Jan Chipchase has assembled a provocative, imaginative, excellent list of "driver behaviors in a world of autonomous mobility" that go far beyond the lazy exercise of porting the "trolley problem" to self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles, including flying drones. Read the rest

That time London was nearly destroyed by Nazi paleo-drones

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The Nazi V-1 "robot bomb" (AKA the "buzz bomb") was a kind of flying landmine that terrorized London during the Blitz, doing incredible damage to the city, sowing disarray and fear, as this Periscope newsreel makes clear. Read the rest

Drone's eye view photos reveal the racism of South African neighbourhoods

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Johnny Miller is a Cape Town-based photographer who uses drones to capture aerial views of neighbourhoods and cities that reveal the deep, racial inequalities in architecture and city planning between black and white populations. Read the rest

Hey Y'all We're Having a 4th of July Drone Sale in our Store Because America and Freedom

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No, you can't kill civilian noncombatants with them. We only sell happy fun drones.

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Obama says US drones strikes have killed up to 116 civilians, watchdogs say real count is higher

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The Obama administration today “partially lifted the secrecy that has cloaked one of the United States’s most contentious tactics for fighting terrorists,” as the New York Times puts it, and revealed that it believes U.S. airstrikes conducted outside established war zones like Afghanistan have killed as many as 116 civilian bystanders. The administration says it also killed an additional 2,500 people in those non-war-zones who were members of terrorist groups.

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Moral economy and software development: software without politics is recipe for totalitarianism

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Maciej Cegłowski (previously) keynoted the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics conference with a characteristically brilliant speech about the "moral economy of tech" -- that is, the way that treating social problems like software problems allows techies to absolve themselves of the moral consequences of their actions and the harms that result. Read the rest

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