Boing Boing 

“I caught a fish with my drone!”

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I believe this to be very likely faked, but nonetheless fantastic.

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Selfie drones are a huge problem in the ancient ruins of Provence, and the New York Times is ON IT

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Never change, New York Times.

Drone pilot spots man sunbathing atop 200-foot-tall wind turbine

Kevin Miller was flying his camera-equipped drone around a wind turbine in Rhode Island and spotted a man sunbathing on top. The sunbather waved to the drone then probably wished the drone would buzz off.

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Superman Drone

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

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North Dakota cops can now use lobbyist-approved taser/pepper-spray drones


Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer's Association introduced an amendment to ND HB 1328 that allows cops to shoot at citizens with drone-borne rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, tasers and sound cannon.

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Ammunition company is selling shotgun shells designed to shoot drones

Even though it's a federal offense to shoot a drone out of the sky, Snake River sells shotgun shells marketed for that purpose. They admit it's really just "high end goose or turkey load," which doesn't sound as bad ass.

Video of Flimmer, the US Navy's new drone that flies and swims

"Common across the services, autonomous vehicles are being seen as an effective projection of force, both above and below the water’s surface," according to the US Naval Research Laboratory.

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The drone warfare game where you spy on players with your smartphone

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"Bycatch" is a term used by fishermen to describe the extraneous marine life that unintentionally gets caught in their nets. It's also the name of a card game that deals with a very different sort of collateral damage: the civilians killed by drone strikes.

Created by Subalekha Udayasankar and the studio Hubbub, Bycatch is described as a game about "flawed surveillance, impossible decisions, and the people caught in between." Three to five players are presented with a series of cards, which signify either citizens of their own nation, or intelligence about "suspects" who, presumably, they need to kill. The goal is to shelter your own citizens from the drone strikes of your opponents, while finding and eliminating suspects in other nation.

In order to determine where to strike, you surveil your opponents' cards by poking a smartphone in front of their hands and taking a single picture of their cards. Of course, that doesn't mean they have to make it easy; they can literally keep their cards close to their chest to obscure your view, although they have to leave at least a small gap for your phone to poke through.

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Much like drone surveillance, this leaves you with imperfect data—if it's badly angled or out of focus, you're out of luck—but you have to decide whether to launch a strike anyway. If you're playing to win, you probably will. Although you lose ten points for each civilian you kill, you gain 100 points for every suspect you take out. This creates a significant incentive to strike early and often, even if your intelligence is bad or even non-existent.

Just so long as you don't mind having all those bodies on your conscience, of course. Perhaps the most striking thing about the game is how the system it creates makes the random killing of innocents seem first necessary and then almost easy—and then, perhaps, makes you uneasy with how effortless it has become.

Bycatch is available for purchase for €12 (a little over $13).

Watch an eagle take down a drone

"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.

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Drone drug delivery at prison spurs yard fight

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A drone dropped a package of marijuana, heroin, and tobacco into the recreation yard at Ohio's Mansfield Correctional Institution igniting a big brawl over the contraband. Just wait until drone drug delivery is free with Amazon Prime!

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Watch the solar-powered flight of this robotic raven

The University of Maryland Robotics Center's new Robo Raven III V4 soars on larger flapping wings that "have flexible solar cells giving the vehicle an extra 10 Watts of power. This allows this robotic bird to fly longer and recharge outdoors."

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Drone film festival

Boing Boing pal and drone videographer Eddie Codel, creator of this stunner above of the Port of Oakland, launched the Flying Robot international Film Festival and is calling for entries! Eddie says:

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The Flying Robot international Film Festival or FRiFF, is an open competitive film festival focused on aerial cinema created from the perspective of flying cameras, aka drones. Festival participation is open to anyone from around the globe. Drones, cameras and accessories will be awarded as prizes for winners in each of the 6 categories, as well as a "best of show" winner. Entry fees are $5-10, except the Student Film category, which is free.

Submissions are being accepted until the September 15th deadline. A panel of esteemed judges from beyond the Internet will select the winning films. Finalist and winning films will be screened live at a theater this November in San Francisco.

Flying Robot international Film Festival

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$75,000 in rewards to catch drone operators who interfered with firefighters

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Drone operators are causing problems for firefighters in California's San Bernardino County. On multiple occasions pilots of planes and helicopters loaded with flame retardant have had to abandon their missions because they've spotted drones flying next to their aircraft. If a drone collides with a plane or helicopter it could cause the aircraft to crash.

San Berdoo County supervisors are offering three rewards of $25,000 for tips leading to the identification of operators of drones that have interfered with firefighters this summer.

LA Times reports:

Drones first became a problem in the county during the Lake fire, which ignited June 17 and burned through more than 31,000 acres of wildlands in the San Bernardino National Forest and nearby San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Low-flying aircraft were preparing to drop fire retardant over flames in the Barton Flats area when a 3- to 4-foot drone was seen buzzing between two planes. Fire officials immediately grounded the aircraft. Fire officials later saw a second drone in the area.

On July 12 — the first day of the Mill 2 fire — officials had to briefly suspend a tanker after a drone was spotted flying over Mill Creek Canyon near California 38.

And for about 25 minutes, officials had to halt tankers over the July 17 North fire, which jumped Interstate 15 near California 138 and destroyed dozens of vehicles, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

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

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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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