I saw THE DRONE, the DRONE saw ME

This morning I watched a DRONE over the park near us. And it watched me!

But no, this was not a police drone–they’re still in the experimental stages. No this was someone’s hobby drone. A young Hispanic couple were playing with it in the park–he had ordered it from China, off the internet. I said, “I’m amazed it works, then.” But it does. It’s about the size of an extra-large-pizza pie plate, maybe a little bigger, with four rotors…and a camera on the bottom. As the girl controlled it with a fairly large remote control box, her friend watched its camera feed on his phone. He showed it to me–I could see myself from the sky! This model won’t be very secretive–it’s got lights on it, reflectors and, more important, it’s loud: it sounds *exactly* like a very large hive of really pissed off bees. He said it technically has a fifty mile range for control–but it only has 20 minutes of charge in its battery and its top speed is ten mph. It’s little more than a toy. But it’s a drone because you could use it to spy on your neighbors, say, if you were so inclined. You can send it some distance away–and see what it sees…

Larger, more efficient models will be used by law enforcement–already have been tested in the field on a lawbreaker in Texas–and are being tried out for use in fire fighting surveillance, search and rescue, and the like. Paranoids will be shooting at the things. Even this variety–this did NOT look like a toy. It would freak some people the hell out. And as it has lights on it, fly this internet-ordered model at night and: instant UFO report!

You could put a small tape recorder on it that made eerie sounds or said cryptic things.

Of course you know that drones will be used by criminals–they’ll be used by drug dealers to watch for cops. They’ll be used by transnational gangs to see if border patrol is coming.

Amazingly, Amazon.com is STILL talking about using drones for package delivery. They’re trying to get permission to try it. Now THAT is stupid. Look, how many packages would that be? How many drones? How many moving parts? How many chimneys and phone poles and power lines? How many malfunctions? How many crashes into windshields and house windows? That’s just not going to be practical, you damn fools.

But drones, in more rational applications, and some shady ones, are here to stay, so get used to it.

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