5 Interesting Drones News This Week

Things are getting real exciting in the world of drones. Here are the latest events this past week.

Facebook Drones Program Will Bring The World Online, From The Skies
Mark Zukerberg is not one to be left out of the growing drone technology, especially with a mission on hand.

The company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, said in a post on his personal Facebook page: “In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky. Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone.”
Read the rest of the article, and learn more about Zuckerberg’s big plans for the internet, here.

Why Zuckerberg prefers drones to Google’s balloons
In related news, Zuckerberg’s explanation as to why he prefers drones over balloons in giving wider internet access is presented.

The article mentions that Facebook’s founder Zuckerberg didn’t exactly take a potshot at Google, but he did mention twice why he thinks drones are a better option than balloons for beaming Internet access to remote places. With drones, Facebook will be able to “precisely control the location of these aircraft, unlike balloons,” Zuckerberg wrote in a paper on the topic. And drones, he said elsewhere, “have more endurance than balloons.”
Read more of the article here

Farmer: Lack of FAA drone rules presents challenges
Although drones have already been helping farmers to some extent, there are many considerations or concerns that they face in the absence of clear FAA rules over the use of drones in the farm.

As farmers press ahead using drones, there is some uncertainty over how much flexibility the federal government has really given agriculture to use the aircraft. Even farm operators and drone companies are divided over how much authority they have been given to fly the aircraft. There also is uncertainty today as to whether a farmer who decides to use his own drone to survey crops would be considered a commercial entity. Brent Johnson, who uses a drone on his Iowa farm, said the lack of rules from the FAA is the biggest challenge for farmers eager to embrace the technology.
“We just don’t have enough direction from the FAA as to what we can do and what we shouldn’t do,” he said. “The technology is extremely exciting. People just have to be careful right now with the political pressure and lack of rules.” Read the rest of the story here

Attack of the Drones – Snoopy drone can steal your smartphone data
For every new-found technology, there will always be ways of using it either for good or bad. A new kind of drone is reported to be capable of stealing vital personal information, doing real snooping. But this is part of an experiment according to its creators, just to make people aware of how vulnerable our electronic devices are and that we should be careful in using them.

Every smartphone and tablet with Wi-Fi onboard automatically searches for new Wi-Fi connections as soon as your preferred Wi-Fi network is out of range. Your smartphone continually searches and searches and searches for Wi-Fi networks that you’ve joined before until you connect it to one. Cuthbert and Wilkinson set out to show people just how dangerous this constant searching can be for smartphone users. That’s why they created the Snoopy drone. “Their phone will very noisily be shouting out the name of every network its ever connected to,” Wilkinson said. “They’ll be shouting out, ‘Starbucks, are you there? McDonald’s Free Wi-Fi, are you there?” Read the rest here

Amazon ‘drones’ stir up privacy concerns among lawmakers
There is pressing concern among drones users, and lawmakers too, for FAA to come up with clear guidelines and regulations, especially in the light of Amazon’s plan to use drones in their deliveries.

On Monday Sen. Edward Markey, (D-Mass.) issued a statement in response to the “60 Minutes” story urging the FAA to adopt privacy regulations before such a service is implemented.
“Before drones start delivering packages, we need the FAA to deliver privacy protections for the American public,” he said in a statement. “Convenience should never trump constitutional protections.”
Markey, who co-chairs a bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, introduced legislation earlier this year that would protect citizens’ privacy when drones are used. A bill he introduced in March would create new rules to protect individuals’ privacy from domestic drones.
Read more here

 

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