We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's been 45 days since my last post on spy drones. That's when I started saving links for this post. Want to guess how many links I saved in 45 days?
The good news: People are trying to get the word out.
The bad news: Talk is cheap.
When we last left our exciting spy drone story, the airliner you were flying to Denver in had just run into an off-course traffic drone whose guidance system had just been fried by solar radiation and you ended up in a molten pile of burning aluminum and plastic.
U.N. officials describe several narrowly averted disasters in which drones crashed into a refugee camp, flew dangerously close to a fuel dump and almost collided with a large passenger plane over Mogadishu, the capital.
That'll be the real wake-up call. A 747 hits one just entering New York City air space. 293 dead including the crew, 187 on the ground.
And the nightmare of links below the fold?
Actually, I'd suggest you skip it. Why ruin a perfectly good day?
The real story in this post isn't the content of the articles, but the volume of them. As noted, on average there's been one a day for the past month and a half.
And they're divided into four fairly distinct camps.
First are the fawning acolytes and drooling sycophants working for the MSM who daren't utter a discouraging word because, after all, a Democrat is in the White House.
But FAA officials say they expect the number of commercial and scientific UAVs to rise as the agency develops new rules to integrate drones into civilian airspace by 2015.
That’s good news to environmental researchers such as David Schmale, an associate professor in Virginia Tech’s plant pathology department. Schmale and his colleagues are using drones to sample air currents in their study of a fungus that has been devastating crops and fruit orchards.
Insitu’s ScanEagle UAV...has been used to study migration of wildlife in Alaska, floods in North Dakota and the spread of invasive weeds in Australia.
"We have a lot of educating to do as an industry to make sure that people know that these things do not pose a threat or any kind of additional imposition relative to privacy," McDuffee said.
Being watched 24 hours a day is just an imposition, you see.
Link is broken on "Are Olympics a Trojan horse for Big Brother?".
It seems the problems and issues are a very close parallel to the dawn of manned-flight. How do we avoid collisions, how do we avoid crashes that damage property and injure or kill people on the ground, and how do we protect the rights of those dwell near or under the flight path.
The last time around we ended up with a de facto easement above 400 feet allowing any FAA regulated flight over just about any private property. So rights against trespass over and above private land were lost, although one can still make a private action for nuisance...
I suppose one of the biggest problems is that the things are so damn small. And especially the cheap 'economy model', which does nothing more than beam a camera down to monitor traffic for the local news. Hell, the average older-style airport radar might not even be able to pick them up. And if a couple of friggin' birds can bring down an airliner, you can imagine what even a small drone would do. It doesn't look pretty.
Thank you for mentally writhing in agony from my post. Mission accomplished.
As for 'cheerful', well, kind of. Ever heard of a show called "World's Toughest Fixes"? It's friggin' awesome. I'm posting an episode tomorrow as a teaser. It'll cheer you right up that you're not one of those guys!