Big New Yorker article on drones (includes us!)

If you're a New Yorker subscriber you can read Nick Paumgarten's very long and well-reported article on civilian UAVs in this week's New Yorker. It quotes a lot of people including this one from me: 

"The Internet was once a military thing, but we colonized it and took away from them," Anderson told me. "Right now, drones are scary. I'd like to make them unscary. What if all the UAVs in the air don't say LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] and, instead, say 'Pizza Hut'?"

Includes visit to Aeroenvironment and U Penn's GRASP La, home of the swarming nanoquads shown at right. 

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 11, 2012 at 10:24pm

I wonder how many years it will take to change perceptions

Comment by Patrick Egan on May 11, 2012 at 10:54pm

I think we have a chance to change it. We just have to wrangle it from the old guard. This country/world is changing and that same old guard is loosing control of what they don't understand.

Comment by Mike on May 12, 2012 at 12:36am

@Gary - far fewer if people don't keep saying "Right now, drones are scarey."

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on May 12, 2012 at 4:04am

@Mike, I agree.  I've never once heard a normal person comment to the effect that "drones are scarey".  It's only people trying to defend drones who say it, but defend it from what?  I don't get it.

Comment by Patrick Egan on May 12, 2012 at 9:14am

I don't know what circles you guys are traveling in, but there are plenty of folks that have apprehension about this technology. ACLU, Code Pink (not so much play now the GWB isn't in office), the Electronic Freedom Foundation et al domestically. I've also noticed that "riffling" folks in Central Asia and Africa isn't real popular with folks abroad either.  

I think that the trailer for Call of Duty, Black Ops 2 serves to shed insight into some of the popular misconceptions. The public at large does not fully understand that there is usually a human in the loop. Beyond that, I have been at meetings where future technology capabilities are discussed that have given me great trepidation.  

Bottom line...

We need more plowshares, and less swords.  


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