Tag Archives | Drones

Confessions of an American Drone Pilot

confessions-of-a-drone-warrior-gq-magazine-november-2013-02Chilling 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.

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Fake Signs On California Highways Warn Of Enforcer Drones

fake signs

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.

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Colorado Town To Issue Permits For Hunting Of Drones

hunting of drones

Can the ragtag hunters of one Colorado town stop the Rise of the Drones? Denver’s ABC 7 News reports:

The Deer Trail, Colorado town board will be voting on an ordinance that would create drone hunting licenses and offer bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel drafted the ordinance. “We do not want drones in town,” said Steel. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”

Even though it’s against the law to destroy federal property, Steel’s proposed ordinance outlines weapons, ammunition, rules of engagement, techniques, and bounties for drone hunting.

The ordinates states, “Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle […consistent with those…] known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”

If passed by the town board, Deer Trail would charge $25 for drone hunting licenses, valid for one year.

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Pakistani Folk Art and US Drones Collide in These Ornate Paintings

ku-xlarge

Repurposing something to say the opposite is punk as fuck, and magick in my book.

via Gizmodo

Pakistani-American artist Mahwish Chishty was originally trained in painting miniatures in her native Lahore. But these days, Chishty is also emerging as a notable conceptual artist abroad, treading the potent line between Pakistani and American culture. Yesterday, in an interview with Mother Jones, Chishty discussed her paintings of American drones—which she covers in traditional Pakistani ornamentation.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan since the early 2000s, mostly in the rugged northwest. The proxy war, Chishty says, “triggered her imagination,” and she began a series of paintings that feature the familiar shapes of the MQ-9 Reaper and other UAVs covered in ornate decoration. The patterns are borrowed from a tradition amongst truck drivers in Pakistan, who cover their vehicles in rich ornamentation and color as a means of pure self-expression.

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Drone Demonology: Flying Robots, Cop Mustaches & Resistance in the End Times

MissingDrone2Russ McSpadden writes at the Earth First! Newswire:

The first time I ever saw a drone I was sweating my ass off, hiking jugs of water through a cactus forest to drop in remote canyons for famished migrants making the deadly trek through the Sonoran desert. U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance drones patrol the skies along the border with Mexico on the daily. Like any good activist I gave the drone the bird and then quickly ducked beneath a cholla, which I don’t advise doing, as it is a cactus with a reputation.

Since his inauguration, noble peace prize winning president Barack Obama has increased the U.S. military’s use of drones and rewritten the rules of engagement in over a dozen countries around the world. Hundreds of civilians, including swaths of children and several dozen Al Qaeda operatives have been eviscerated by remote. Even four U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones, violating due process and habeas corpus protections in the U.S.

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Germany To Use Anti-Graffiti Drones

droneWill drones render petty crime a relic of the past? The BBC reports:

Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, plans to test small drones to try to reduce the amount of graffiti being sprayed on its property.

The idea is to use airborne infra-red cameras which could then be used to prosecute vandals who deface property at night. The drones would have infra-red sensors sophisticated enough for people to be identified, providing key evidence.

German media report that each drone will cost about 60,000 euros and fly almost silently, up to 495ft above ground. A company spokesman said drones would be tested at rail depots soon.

It is not yet clear how Germany’s strict anti-surveillance laws might affect their use. Using cameras to film people surreptitiously is a sensitive issue in Germany, where privacy is very highly valued.

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