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by spocko

VIDEO: Shock and Awe, Taser Drone Zaps Intern at #SXSW

10:20 am in Uncategorized by spocko

I love a good publicity stunt. At the South By Southwest festival (SXSW) festival, Chaotic Moon Studio used a drone to tase an intern.


What I love about this stunt is that it was designed and developed to be the perfect news story and that William “Whurley” Hurley, chief innovation officer, understood that it would be a conversation starter.

Because military drones are a hot topic and SXSW is a large global event, Hurley said they decided to bring to life the “fantasy of some people and nightmares of others.”

“We wanted to have an educated, well-informed discussion about how people feel about this as a society, or whether you’re a police officer or private citizen,” Hurley said.  - ABC News

So, maybe we should have that discussion.

If not now, then on April 5 at 2:00 pm Pacific when I will be holding a Book Salon at Firedoglake with Daniel Suarez on his book “Kill Decision.”
Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

This should give you time to get and read the book. Yes, it’s science fiction, but it raises a lot of questions and it is structured as a thriller, so it really moves.

The book shows us a near future where drones have proliferated and any discussion with a public that didn’t want them was ignored. As is often the case, the only conversations that matter are the the ones between the drone makers and the people funding them.

Yet the public’s views can make a difference. Last year Seattle dropped their federally funded drone program.

Other states are looking at laws to restrict them. But if I know ALEC and weapons makers, they will be creating model bills for states on the NEED for drones.

They will tell the story of how,  ”If only we had a drone for a search and rescue operation the little girl lost in the woods would have been found!”

Then they will use fear, “You can’t expect the police to be watching your house 24/7, but a drone in your area, armed with a taser could have stopped this robbery and home invasion!”

As usual, science fiction is there first exploring the issues, like in this episode of Almost Human.

So, what are your thoughts, fears or hopes?

 Cross Posted to Spocko’s Brain

by spocko

Build Your Own Armed Drone!

3:30 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Yesterday Boing Boing linked to a Northeastern University engineering students’ drone that honed in on radio signals. Today we see the next step, arming those drones.

DroneGun Quadcopter

In this commercial for a cell phone screen protector product, a quadcopter flies up to some fruit, sodas and a cell phone and shoots them with a remote controlled handgun.

The company, Clearplex, has many videos of its screen protector products being shot at, so this one is a natural, although creepy, extension of that series.

The video is edited so it’s hard to know how accurate the quad-copter is, but consider how apparently easy creating this one was, what’s the next step?

Be the first on your block to make one!


by spocko

When Drones Attack! Daniel Suarez’s book Kill Decision

11:27 am in Uncategorized by spocko

Daniel Suarez’s book Kill Decision takes on the topic of drones, especially autonomous drones that can make their own, “Kill Decisions” as in, “Identify and Kill that person” with no human in the loop. (Gee, with no humans in the loop, drones with guns will screw up the NRA slogan. “Guns don’t kill people, autonomous drones with guns and kill decision programming, kill people.”)US Marine holding a Scan Eagle in Iraq

I was excited to read Daniel Suarez’s new book, “Kill Decision” because Daemon and Freedom (TM) were the two best SF books I read last year. While this book doesn’t rise to their heights it is still a good techno-thriller that contains a few of the big issues Suarez developed in Daemon and Freedom.

The Kill Decision characters aren’t totally stock, but still follow some of the same guidelines of caste that I’ve seen in other techno-thrillers.

  • Military caste interfaces with civilians.
  • Civilian scientists caste learn how great the military folks are.
  • Military folks grudgingly learn to respect the civilians.
  • Together they trace down the bad guys.

Tension! Action! Gadgets! Guns! Things that explode! Thrills!

It’s a real “page turner” as they used to say before eBooks. (I wonder what they say now?” Kill Decision is a really exciting screen toucher” or “Kill Decision is a really fast scroller!” )

Spoilers ahead, but nothing specific. You can still enjoy the book after reading them (especially if you like these kinds of book in the first place.)
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