82 posts tagged with drones.
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Attack of the Killer Robots

A quadcopter one inch in diameter can carry a one-gram charge. You can write some code to say: ‘Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target’. A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel. You can fit about three million of those in a semi-tractor-trailer. You can drive up I-95 with three trucks and have 10 million weapons attacking New York City. They could be here in two to three years.
posted by Chrysostom on Aug 30, 2016 - 80 comments

The Drone Presidency

"Remote killing outside of war zones, it seems, has become business as usual [...] a remarkable development [for] Obama, who came who came to office as an antiwar president" "The question for President Obama is whether he wants to be remembered as the leader who ushered in the era of permanent, low-level drone warfare. His actions will be looked to for justification by those that follow, here and abroad. As David Reisner, former head of the Israel Defense Forces legal department, has said, “If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it…. International law progresses through violations.”"
posted by OmieWise on Aug 10, 2016 - 89 comments

"We were literally dripping with snot in these dishes!"

Low-flying research drones have to watch out for whale snot. Researchers for Ocean Alliance are using DJI's Phantom 4 drone to shadow blue whales in the sea of Cortez, allowing them to capture pictures, video, and — yes — gooey biological samples without disturbing the creatures.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jun 1, 2016 - 7 comments

Lay my purple on the grass

Anohni's new album, Hopelessness , has a lot to say. She grapples with the surveillance state, ecocide, drone warfare, gender, and more in a more electronic setting than her previous work with Antony and the Johnsons. "A big part of [the album] is an examination of my own complicity and my own inability to truly extricate myself from the brokenness of the system that I'm a part of. It's that chasm, that denial that I wanted to model, an inquiry into and within myself." [more inside]
posted by hollyholly on May 6, 2016 - 12 comments

Indistinguishable from magic

20+ drones; 16,500 LEDs; 3 shamisen players; 1 Mt. Fuji: Filmmaker Tsuyoshi Takashiro orchestrates a performance combining drones and the Oyamakai shamisen ensemble.
posted by wintersweet on May 1, 2016 - 13 comments


The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people "In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA proclaimed that "we kill people based on metadata." Now, a new examination of previously published Snowden documents suggests that many of those people may have been innocent."
posted by cjorgensen on Feb 16, 2016 - 49 comments

baby that's all there is to the coastline craze

Stunning drone footage of surfers off of the coast of Teahupo’o in Tahiti.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Feb 9, 2016 - 21 comments

Dinosaurs vs. Robots - What could possibly go wrong?

Dutch National police are training eagles to take down drones.
posted by Mitheral on Feb 1, 2016 - 37 comments

Grim Reapers

More U.S. military drones are crashing than ever... Driving the increase was a mysterious surge in mishaps involving the Air Force’s newest and most advanced “hunter-killer” drone, the Reaper, which has become the Pentagon’s favored weapon for conducting surveillance and airstrikes against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other militant groups. From the Washington Post, January 19, 2016.
posted by cenoxo on Jan 19, 2016 - 32 comments

Spoofing Border Drones

The bad guys on the border have lots of money and what they are putting money into is into spoofing and jamming GPS systems. DHS was unable to say just how often smugglers tried to jam or spoof border-watching UAVs. CBP had little to show for the big price tag. UAVs helped in just 2 percent of apprehensions on the southwest border.
posted by sammyo on Dec 22, 2015 - 8 comments

Drone Registration Rules Are Announced by F.A.A.

The FAA announced today that all drone units weighing between 0.55 and 50 lbs must be registered with the government by Feb. 19, 2016. The new rules on drones come before the holidays, when an estimated 700,000 new drones are expected to be bought. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread on Dec 14, 2015 - 161 comments

The Drone Papers, from the Intercept

The Drone Papers-The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars. [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Oct 15, 2015 - 52 comments

Two free literary RPGs: The Drones, and Wuthering Heights

Here is The Drones, a free "light-hearted after-dinnerish roleplay game" based on Bertie Wooster's social club from out of P.G. Wodehouse. And here is Wuthering Heights, the free roleplaying game about tortured brooding Byronic heroes.
posted by JHarris on Sep 8, 2015 - 21 comments

Watch the skies

North Dakota becomes the first state to legalize weaponized drones. "Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are now permitted on drones, thanks to the actions of a lobbyist representing law enforcement.

Drones previously.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 28, 2015 - 75 comments

Do not fly drones near birds of prey

Angry eagle attacks UAV: How do drones affect wildlife? "This is the last thing a small bird sees when a Wedge-Tailed Eagle decides that you are dinner"
posted by Michele in California on Aug 15, 2015 - 31 comments

It has become death, destroyer of worlds

Over a thousand scientists and public intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Daniel Dennett, Steve Wozniak, Noam Chomsky, and Elon Musk, have signed an open letter calling for a ban on the development and deployment of "offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control”, i.e., the coupling of autonomous Artificial Intelligence to weapons systems.
posted by Rumple on Jul 27, 2015 - 84 comments

Who is dying and why?

“It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals,” write two New York Times reporters. “Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” In Washington, this weekly meeting has been labeled “Terror Tuesday.” Once established, the list of nominees is sent to the White House, where the president orally gives his approval to each name. With the “kill list” validated, the drones do the rest. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on May 17, 2015 - 55 comments

Families of the dead ultimately received $5,000 each, plus one goat.

How twenty-three innocent Afghani civilians were wiped out by self-deceiving drone operators seven and a half thousand miles away.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker on Mar 11, 2015 - 39 comments

Now THIS is pod racing!

It's 2015, so first-person-view quadcopter racing is a sport now. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Feb 25, 2015 - 22 comments


"Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot." Fox News, AP. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 22, 2015 - 123 comments

The gift that keeps on giving (information to the NSA)

They see you when your sleeping, they know when you're awake. They know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!
posted by HMSSM on Dec 26, 2014 - 24 comments

US drone strikes: data analysis

41 men targeted, but 1,147 people killed: New analysis of data conducted by the human rights group Reprieve raises questions about the accuracy of intelligence guiding 'precise' drone strikes.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Dec 19, 2014 - 84 comments


There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 17, 2014 - 12 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VII

Direct brain-to-brain communication in humans has been demonstrated for the first time. DARPA begins work on miniaturized implants to control and regulate the nervous system. Researchers study using brain signals to operate drones. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 3, 2014 - 56 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

Travel By Drone

TravelByDrone is a site that lets anyone upload videos and add the corresponding location, which is then pinned onto a map for you to choose from. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 13, 2014 - 17 comments

We better get used to them...

Signs from the Near Future: What the Near Future Is Actually Going to Look Like.
posted by homunculus on May 22, 2014 - 65 comments

The Ballad of Lost KMEL

Flying Robot Rockstars (SLYT)
posted by Joe in Australia on May 4, 2014 - 9 comments

"Let me be even more clear: The Internet already exists in Africa!"

Why flying 'Internet drones' over Africa is a dumb, libertarian fantasy
posted by infini on Mar 10, 2014 - 48 comments

Geo Cell: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people." - Scahill and Greenwald @ The Intercept [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 10, 2014 - 77 comments

Dirty, Dull and Dangerous

What Jobs Will The Robots Take? Eight Ways Robots Stole Our Jobs In 2013. Who is next?
Rescue teams? Managers?
Astronauts? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 31, 2014 - 91 comments


While Jacob Appelbaum grabbed headlines with his NSA revelations at this year's Chaos Communication Congress, other presentations provided equally fascinating insight into how the world works. Learn how data mining is bringing perpetrators of genocide to justice (alt), how an artist uses different concepts of secrecy landscapes (alt) to keep tabs on clandestine activities, and how India's surveillance state continues to grow (alt). previously [more inside]
posted by antonymous on Jan 4, 2014 - 23 comments

21st century birdwatching

Drone Survival Guide is a downloadable poster of robotic birds. It's also available on mirrored paper for those in harm's way.
posted by xowie on Dec 29, 2013 - 28 comments

Landmark Protect Protocol

Our Drone Future — A short film by Alex Cornell. "Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro, and a liberal interpretation of FAA regulations". If not actually the future of domestically deployed drones, it's probably the future of sub-$2K filmmaking hardware (if you don't include the software licenses and, um, FAA fines).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich on Dec 13, 2013 - 31 comments

It’s a symphony of robots now.

Amazon Prime Air. Like Amazon Prime, but with robots. 60 Minutes reports.
posted by un petit cadeau on Dec 1, 2013 - 188 comments

drone mapping

Drone Mapping the Matterhorn "The Matterhorn has been mapped in unprecedented detail by a fleet of autonomous, fixed-wing drones, flung into the sky from the peak by their makers. What's more, the entire process took just 6 hours." [via]
posted by dhruva on Oct 17, 2013 - 21 comments

hexacopter nework

Matternet will be a network of drones to deliver stuff (matter), “micro-transportation” that will allow unmanned aerial vehicles to ferry all sorts of (small) goods across long distances. Video (5m). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 15, 2013 - 56 comments

Snowden documents shed light on Shiban, Akbar, and Trojanov cases

New documents released by Glenn Greenwald from trove leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency officially viewed arguments about 'due process' to be an 'adversary propaganda theme', listed alongside military threats to drones. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 1, 2013 - 80 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VI

DARPA has funded the next generation of bionic legs and DIY brain scanners. Next up: drone submarines and a hypersonic spaceplane. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 26, 2013 - 21 comments

Operators will avoid flying during the Temple burn.

New Policy on Drones. Black Rock City Drones that is.
And a very cheery and relaxation-inducing 5-minute video shot with such an UAV (Unmanned aerial Vehicle). Floating around the Burning Man playa. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Aug 20, 2013 - 59 comments

US use of drones: The good and bad

This article covers the US drone program. It looks at the pilots of drones, the decisions to use a drone, their highly effective short terms goals vs long term potential blowback and whether drone strikes are legal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 15, 2013 - 50 comments

FYI, We Just Won a War in the Philippines

Did you know the U.S. was at war in the Philippines? An excerpt from David Axe's new book. Previously.
posted by destrius on Jul 1, 2013 - 15 comments

Murmuration: A Festival of Drone Culture

OB298 — A Preliminary Atlas of Drone Strike Landscapes. This is part of the Murmuration Festival of Drone Culture.
posted by homunculus on Jun 15, 2013 - 34 comments

Mom Dad Johnny little Zoe are going on a little trip…

An excerpt from the short film 5000 Feet is Best by Omer Fast. [more inside]
posted by ovvl on Jun 9, 2013 - 8 comments

Cities Of The Future

Cities Of The Future, Built By Drones, Bacteria, And 3-D Printers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 2, 2013 - 21 comments

Stop the killer robots before it's too late!

Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons. As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 27, 2013 - 123 comments

Visualization of Drone Strikes

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A visualization of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2013 - 88 comments

The Canon Drone

We've all seen it. The off-white UAV is seen side on, nose tilted slightly down, a stubby missile caught at the moment of launch beneath it, a blue and grey landscape of treeless mountains behind it. There's no motion blur and none of the markings on the aircraft have been obfuscated. It's a perfect shot. Except for one or two details. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Mar 19, 2013 - 56 comments

Chris Keegan's mirrorgram drones, and celestial (monster) imagery

Artist Chris Keegan has tons of his work up on Flickr, but here's some highlights: drones, a montage project created using mirrorgram app then redoing them hi-res, and celestial images, in which interstellar monsters are found in (or created from) Hubble space imagery.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2013 - 3 comments

tl;dr: Plant some trees

How do you avoid a drone attack? 22 practical tips from al-Qaeda (via AP). [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 22, 2013 - 61 comments

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