Tag Archives | Drones
Basically, envision Alfred Hitchcock’s The Byrds but with Amazon delivery drones suddenly turning against you. Ars Technica reports:
Serial hacker Samy Kamkar has released all the hardware and software specifications that hobbyists need to build an aerial drone that seeks out other drones in the air, hacks them, and turns them into a conscripted army of unmanned vehicles under the attacker’s control.
“How fun would it be to take over drones, carrying Amazon packages… or take over any other drones and make them my little zombie drones,” Kamkar asked rhetorically in a blog post.
Dubbed SkyJack, the contraption uses a radio-controlled Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter carrying a Raspberry Pi circuit board, a small battery, and two wireless transmitters. The devices seek out wireless signals of nearby Parrot drones, hijack the wireless connections used to control them, and commandeer the victims’ flight-control and camera systems.
Is it April Fool’s Day? Apparently not, although the Amazon Prime Air drone delivery test has the twitterverse in uproar. Story from MarketWatch:
If we let Jeff Bezos proceed unfettered with his latest plans for disruption, we will soon be faced with Skynet-type helicopters of terror blowing up airplanes, abducting our children, and destroying everything our society holds dear.
That’s the extreme reaction to what Amazon says it’s cooking up these days. There are more rational fears, as well.
Either way, the overwhelming public response to the concept of drones buzzing through the air and dropping off packages to customers within a 30-minute time-frame seems to be that, at best, it’s a half-baked longshot…
Does a spate of UFO sightings reflect our our confusion and unease over the coming age of drones? TIME writes:
“The thing about drones is…that you can make them look like UFOs,” Speigel says. “You can go to the hardware store, and can pick up the materials you need…to make people go crazy.”
The National UFO Reporting Center says that UFO sightings increased 42 percent between 2011 and 2012. “You have to think of the older people who have no concept of what a drone is,” explains Tony Hallett, CEO of drone consulting firm Unmanned Response.
Last year, confused drivers near Washington, D.C. took pictures of a saucer-like object on the back of a truck and posted them to Twitter, prompting one concerned individual to call 9-1-1. The object turned out to be a military drone.
In June, an unidentified flying object spotted by protestors in San Paulo, Brazil also turned out to be a drone that belonged to a local TV station.
When I was a kid I couldn’t wait for robots to be a part of daily life. Sadly, my childish dreams of a robot buddy a la R2D2 have long been replaced by the reality of globe-crossing semi-autonomous bringers of death. Check out Lockheed Martin’s newest entry into the world of robot death machines, a hypersonic drone that should be on schedule to be killing babies born today by the time they’re nearly adults.
Lockheed Martin has begun work on a successor to the supersonic Blackbird SR-71 spy plane.
The unmanned SR-72 will use an engine that combines a turbine and a ramjet to reach its top speed of Mach 6 – about 3,600mph (5,800km/h). Like its predecessor, the SR-72 will be designed for high-altitude surveillance but might also be fitted with weapons to strike targets.
Lockheed said the aircraft should be operational by 2030.
Phoenix’s ABC15 reports on the forging ahead with new forms of corrupt policing:
Arpaio confirms to ABC15 he has a plan to use drones, if he can get them. While Arpaio didn’t specify exactly the types of drones he wants, at a Tuesday press conference, he said the models they’re eyeing are between $5,000 and $20,000, and he’d like them outfitted with cameras and infrared capabilities.
The first drone, if obtained, would circle or hover in the areas above Arpaio’s jails, he explained. “Surveillance regarding crime scenes and drugs, catching dope peddlers,” Arpaio described.
When asked about people’s privacy, Arpaio responded without hesitation. “Privacy in the jails? Privacy for criminals, privacy for those with drugs? They better watch out.”
As for the cost of the drones, Arpaio says the money would come mainly through drug seizure dollars. “Isn’t it great? It would be the criminals buying these to arrest more criminals,” said Arpaio.
Abby Martin’s exclusive interview with the Rehman family, who lost their grandmother due to an American drone strike. The Rehmans came to the US from the North Waziristan region of Pakistan to testify in front of Congress about the horrors of living under drones. Abby also speaks with Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer traveling with the family about what it will take to end drone policy.
Chilling stuff from GQ. A drone pilot recalls his experiences as a member of America’s secretive drone program.
He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pixel stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form. Time became almost ductile, the seconds stretched and slowed in a strange electronic limbo. As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.
Airman First Class Brandon Bryant stared at the scene, unblinking in the white-hot clarity of infrared. He recalls it even now, years later, burned into his memory like a photo negative: “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater.
MEOW MEOW MEOW! BETTER RUN NOW!
I’ll quote YouTube commenter Chubbington on this one: “Cool! Its gonna be hella neato being killed by one of these in 2037 in a food riot! Science is awesome!”
Would you bat an eye if you saw this sign? Via NBC News:
California commuters may have been alarmed last week by highway signs that warned them that they were being watched by missile-equipped drones. But the signs were fake, installed by an artist from Napa, and have quickly been taken down by the California Highway Patrol.
“The motivation is partially political and partially a prank,” the artist Stephen Whisler, who lives in Napa, Calif., told NBC News, explaining why the “Speed enforced by drones” signs he put up last Monday show a Predator firing a missile.
The California Highway Patrol was still investigating the issue, and has yet to decide if they’re filing charges. Meanwhile, Whisler has been waiting. “I’m sort of surprised, I’m expecting them to show up any moment,” he said.