How the World's Largest PR Firm Uses Big Data to Grow Its Astroturf Campaigns

The CEO of the worlds largest PR firm has a policy when it comes to campaigns that focus on the environment. We do not work with astroturf groups and we have never created a website for a client with the intent to deny climate change,” Richard Edelman wrote in a blog post in August. That may actually turn out to be true. Technically. Edelman may not work with astroturf groups

View original article at Motherboard

Gov’t board: Like a drone, your RC aircraft is regulated by law, so pay up

Raphael Pirker’s unmanned aircraft was very similar to these RiteWings planes.


A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) panel has reversed a decision made earlier this year by an NTSB law judge, finding that a man’s remote-controlled model plane was indeed an aircraft. Raphael Pirker must pay the $10,000 fine that was originally ordered for violating the provision that prohibits commercial use of an unmanned aircraft.

As we reported in March 2014, Pirker used a RiteWing Zephyr II remote-controlled flying wing to record aerial video of a hospital campus for use in a television advertisement back in 2011. The year before, he posted a video filmed from a drone flying over New York City—including a close shot of the Statue of Liberty

View original article at Ars Technica

Court rules FAA can regulate and enforce rules on drone flights

Life for drone pilots in the U.S. just got more complicated.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scored an important win in its fight to regulate drone use in the U.S

View original article at Mashable

Cruising with technology: Robot bartenders and virtual balconies at sea!

Ever watched a robot rustle up a Moscow Mule? Always wanted to listen to the calm ocean breeze in the safety of your cruiser cabin? Or perhaps all you’ve ever wanted when sailing the seven seas is to play Call of Duty online. Well, now your life is complete.
While the rest of the world is turning smart – phones, watches, glasses – the cruise industry is not going to be left behind. Rolls Royce have even released plans to build unmanned ships.
But before that scary proposition eventuates, Royal Carribean have created the first smartship, Quantum of the Seas

View original article at Techly

Dumbass Appeals Court Rules FAA Can Outlaw All U.S. Drone Flights

In a remarkably stupid decision, an appeals court ruled today that the FAA can make all drone flights illegal. For drone pilots, this means a taking a flight could potentially set them back $10,000 if the FAA uses its powers for dumb.Read more..

View original article at Gizmodo

FAA Can Make All Drone Flights Illegal, Federal Court Rules

Some very bad news for drone pilots this morning: An appeals board has ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration has wide latitude to make all drone flights illegal in the United States.The decision, by the National Transportation Safety Board, determined that the FAA’s existing “aircraft” regulations can apply to model aircraft, drones, and remote controlled aircraft, which is perhaps the most restrictive possible outcome for drone pilots in a legal saga that has dragged on for more than a year.The case, which we have covered extensively, concerns Raphael “Trappy” Pirker, a Swiss pilot who was fined $10,000 by the FAA for a “reckless flight” at the University of Virginia in 2011. There was nothing overly interesting about Pirker’s flight, other than the fact that he was paid for his worksomething that the FAA has been trying to say is illegal for quite some time now. Pirker originally won his court case, in which a federal judge ruled that model aircraft aren’t technically “aircraft” subject to the FAA’s existing regulations

View original article at Motherboard

Russia Wants New Hypersonic Missiles

Big announcements last week from both Russian government officials and military scientists, suggests the former Soviet empire is still an arms racing state worth its weight in geopolitical power.Like in the Cold War era, ballistic missiles are on the minds of Russian military scientists. According to the state news agency (the newly branded Sputnik news wire), one state-owned military company is promising the Russian Federation will have much sought-after hypersonic missiles by 2020.The hypersonic classification means these missiles will travel, at the very least, five times the speed of sound. Related: China’s New ‘Anti-Terror’ Drone-Zapping Laser Hints at a Coming Arms RaceWe have approached (hypersonic missiles)

View original article at Motherboard

NTSB Rules Drones Subject to FAA Rules

The National Transportation Safety Board upheld a Federal Aviation Administration fine against a man for operating a drone recklessly, ruling drones are aircraft and subject to existing FAA rules.

View original article at Wall Street Journal

Topless sunbather pictured by drone

An Australian estate agent used pictures taken by a drone to market a property which included revealing images of a neighbour.

View original article at BBC World News

Clickbait, Normcore, Mansplain: Runners-Up for Oxford’s Word of the Year

On Nov. 17, Oxford announced that their word of the year for 2014 is “vape.” The venerable publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary also gave TIME three lists of candidates: the long list, the short list and the “blip list.”
The short list contains strong contenders that, had the linguistic winds blown a little differently, might have won the title. The long list contains solid candidates that editors found easier to cut

View original article at Time Magazine