Drones Are the New Flying Saucers

Photo illustration: A bunch of flying saucer-looking objects floating above an airport.

Excerpt from this article:

There’s something weird in the sky. It’s blinking, it’s hovering, it’s making loud noises. But how do you describe what you saw? Your answer is probably dependent on the time you live in. In 1561, you might have called the weird flying thing a heavenly portent. In the U.K., just before the start of World War I, you would probably say you’d been startled by an unexpected zeppelin. During the Cold War era, you might have called the thing a flying saucer of possible alien origin, or perhaps a secretive Soviet spy weapon: objects that fell into the category of UFOs. And in 2019, you might assume the weird thing twinkling in the sky is a drone.

Psychologists Propose Horrifying Solution to PTSD in Drone Operators

Old article, but… whoa:

Drone operators often kill their targets from a continent away, but studies suggest that even thousands of miles of distance cannot mitigate war’s devastating psychological effects. But just wait until you hear how researchers propose preventing PTSD, alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide in drone operators.

… So how best to ease the consciences of America’s Drone Warriors? Powers mentions one solution in a parenthetical, emphasized below:

These effects [PTSD, alcohol abuse, suicidal ideation] appeared to spike at the exact time of Bryant’s deployment, during the surge in Iraq. (Chillingly, to mitigate these effects, researchers have proposed creating a Siri-like user interface, a virtual copilot that anthropomorphizes the drone and lets crews shunt off the blame for whatever happens. Siri, have those people killed.)

When Your Neighbor’s Drone Pays an Unwelcome Visit

Illustration: Taylor Callery

Excerpt from this article:

The way these spats usually go, one neighbor gets a new drone (often around Christmas) and begins flying it around the backyard. Then, naturally, the drone flies over to the neighbor’s yard. Then, the neighbor gets upset, especially because most recreational drones these days are equipped with cameras.

Some voice their outrage through social media. “My neighbor just flew a drone to my window and was recording me,” a Twitter user wrote this month. “I have never talked to him in my life.”

Last July, William Merideth, 47, shot down his neighbor’s drone in Louisville, Ky., saying it was spying on his 16-year-old daughter while she was sunbathing by the pool. He was arrested, but a judge ruled that Mr. Merideth had the right to shoot down the drone and dismissed the case.


Nixie is a wearable, autonomous drone that takes selfies

selfie Nixie is a wearable, autonomous drone that takes selfies

Following up on yesterday’s Selfie Stick post, here’s an excerpt from this article:

A selfie drone on your wrist sounds too good to be true, but Nixie has pulled it off. It’s a tiny bracelet you wear and can take off at any point, throw into the air and it takes a selfie automatically for you…

You can’t actually buy one yet; the company is working on making the technology better before it puts them on sale.