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Question of the week

This week we’ll keep it simple: I’d like to hear from those of you who don’t yet own a drone. I have a few questions.

PS: This isn’t so we can sell more drones. Answer only the ones you want.

  • Why have you held out on getting a drone?
  • If you eventually want a drone, why do you want it?
  • If you don’t think you’d want a drone, same thing — how come?
  • What about drones impresses or fascinates you?
  • What about drones worries you?

Leave your comments below!

And now, making your brain just a tiny bit more clouded with information, the very best links:

Headlines

But was it just a float? A man received a summons for flying over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. He was from Russia, watching the parade with his son, and said he didn’t know the rules against drone flights. (NBC)

Austin Haughwout — the kid from Connecticut who shot to international headlines with his homemade handgun drone — is apparently in an arms race with himself. He just built a flamethrower drone. It’s somehow still unclear if this is illegal. Also: Why in the world did I make this a headline? (The Verge)

Culture and commentary

Here’s a pretty informative and comprehensive top-level article from Time about the wave of drone purchases expected this holiday season, and what it means for consumers, the industry and the airspace. The media is starting to catch on.

But for you media carnivores who demand something a little meatier, here’s a Stratfor analysis and forecast re: the future of commercial drones in the US.

Best Buy (a Solo retailer!), in anticipation of these holiday drone sales, has collaborated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics in an effort to educate all of those new drone users. Best Buy will make these educational materials, developed with the AMA, available in stores across the country. (AMA)

All you anti-authority types out there might want to check out this pointed argument against the FAA’s proposed drone registry: “ineffective and unenforceable.” (Daily Signal)

Pinewood, the studio producing the new Star Wars movies, is worried about drones spying on production. They “were asked if Pinewood, which also owns Shepperton Studios in the UK and has joint venture facilities in sites including Atlanta, Toronto and Malaysia, was considering the option of shooting down drones that enter production facility airspace. ‘You may say that [but] I couldn’t possibly comment,’ he quipped. ‘We are waiting for the report. We will need to see what can be done.’ ” (The Guardian)

Tech

Lockheed has successfully demonstrated their air traffic control system for drones, using two drones in tandem to put out a fire without accident. They worked with NASA on the technology, which uses both geofencing and flight scheduling to deconflict airspace, and they expect to be able to transfer it to the FAA by 2019. (Digital Trends)

Not so fast, Lockheed: It’s being reported that the aerospace giant has sold about $900 million worth of minehunting drones that “don’t work.” (Fortune)

Drones are providing archaeologists with a view that would otherwise be deadly. A field of mysterious stone jars in Laos — thought to be involved in the funeral rites of an unknown vanished civilization — is also a field of unexploded bombs that US planes dropped during the Vietnam War. (For a number of years Laos was the most heavily bombed country in the world; an estimated two million bombs were dropped, with an estimated 30% remaining in the ground, unexploded.) With drone footage, archaeologists can finally access the site for study. (PRI)

Video

Disrupting Saint Nick: Two years after the first big announcement, Amazon has unveiled what seems to be the real version of its delivery drone. (If you can get a close look inside, just see what you can see in there…) (CNN)