Rise of the Drones

Woman Violently Assaults Teen Boy Flying Drone Over Beach

Ms. Mears assaulting Mr. Haughwout. (Screengrab: LiveLeak.com)

A 17-year-old boy flying his drone over a beach ended up getting called a “pervert” and having a stranger’s fingers shoved into his mouth.

Austin Haughwout, 17, was reportedly flying his radio-controlled quadcopter with an attached GoPro camera over a beach in Connecticut on May 12, when he was allegedly confronted and attacked by 23-year-old beachgoer Andrea Mears, who accused him of taking pervy pictures of her. Read More

It's the Cops!

LAPD Adds a Couple of Drones To Its Arsenal, Tells Public Not To Be Alarmed

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 7.38.43 PM

When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around. Read More

the robots are coming

Amazon to Add 9,000 Robots to Workforce, Ending Great Robot Depression

Robots, robots everywhere (YouTube).

Were you hoping Amazon would go away so you could stop buying things you don’t need solely because they come in two days? Oh well.

Amazon is about to multiply their robot army times 10, CNN reported.

The online retailing giant announced plans to increase their robot workforce to 10,000 by the end of this year. Currently, Amazon employs 1,000 of the wondrous warehouse machines. Read More

Rise of the Drones

Criminals Using Drones To Find Marijuana Farms, Steal Their Crop

It's coming for your weed. (Wikimedia Commons)

Criminal gangs in the UK’s Shropshire county are using drones to locate marijuana farms, and then blackmailing the farms’ owners or straight up stealing their weed, ITProPortal reports.

It’s a tactic that law enforcement authorities worldwide have been employing for years — using thermal imaging to detect possible locations of grow houses. Marijuana requires hot temperatures and hydroponic lamps to grow, meaning that grow houses generally emit a ton of heat, and show up on cops’ thermal cameras. Read More

Fun Fun Fun

Japanese Inventor Creates Drone-Powered Quidditch Snitch

Yer a wizard, Harry. (Photo via lab.rekimoto.org)

Dust off your Gryffindor cloak, because real-life Quidditch is one step closer to being a reality.

A Japanese inventor has created the Hoverball, a device that comes about as close to being a Golden Snitch as human technology possibly can. It’s a quadcopter wrapped in ball-shaped wiring, capable of floating, swerving and spinning. It’s technically a drone, so this is one more point for the “benign drone use” team (which doesn’t really stand a chance against drone abusers). Read More

Rise of the Drones

New Drones Can Steal Information Straight From Your Smartphone

Put these AWAY. (Photo: File)

Drones are incredibly versatile, able to do everything from delivering beer to, er, killing innocent people :(. And now, hackers have developed a new skill for the flying robots — and it’s definitely on the disconcerting end of the drone use spectrum.

Hackers have developed a drone that can steal information from smartphones, CNNMoney reports. It’s being tested in London, and research on the drones’ functionality will be presented at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore next week. Read More

Fight! Fight! Fight!

eBay CEO Sassily Dismisses Amazon’s Drone Idea As ‘Fantasy’

Thinks Amazon is stupid. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Everyone is excited about Amazon’s improbable plan to deliver packages by drones, except for one person: eBay CEO John Donahoe.

Drinking a gallon of haterade before recently appearing on Bloomberg, Mr. Donahoe lambasted Team Bezos’s plan to replace some delivery drivers with the unmanned aerial vehicles as a “fantasy.” Emily Chang, a reporter at your dad’s favorite business network, asked him if eBay had any similar plans. He responded with a big, fat nope. Read More