For years, the Obama administration’s favored method to combat Al Qaeda-affiliated extremists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia has been controversial drone programs, operated by the CIA and the Pentagon
But when it comes to fighting the radical Islamic State in Iraq, the administration has seemed less reliant on missile-firing drones
See also: Why the Islamic State Is Scarier Than al-Qaeda in Iraq
Experts say that one reason why the U.S. military hasn’t used armed drones more widely in Iraq this time around may be because drones are no longer an effective weapon, given the size and scope of the Islamic State. Read more.

View original article at Mashable

The Disney theme park empire is always working to stay on the cutting edge of spectacle tech, and judging by some recent patent applications, The Mouse has his eye on the skies: Disney’s R&D teams want to use drones for their theme park parade floats and aerial displays. Read more…

View original article at Gizmodo

As doctors treated injured locals and geologists measured ruptures, one Napa man flew his drone around downtown to film the damage caused by Sunday’s earthquake.
See also: Jawbone UP Data Shows How Many Woke Up During the Napa Earthquake
On his YouTube page, Evan Kilkus wrote that he filmed for five hours with a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ quadrocopter, which retails on the DJI website for $1,369

He condensed the footage into a seven-minute video which brings the viewer up close to a damaged post office, courthouse and church. The video also showcases a collapsed garage with crushed cars. Napa-based musician Bill Scholer provided a medley of musical accompaniment. Read more

View original article at Mashable

The main argument against drones, at this point, is a safety one: What happens if a drone crashes into a plane? Well now, at least one airport is looking at using drones as a means of protecting planes that land and take off from its runways.Drones, it turns out, can scare birds away from airports, where they pose a threat to planes. My colleague Becky Ferreira took a deep dive into the technology behind “raptor drones” earlier this month, and now it appears at least one US airport is considering using the technology (or other drone technology) to protect planes.Image: ClearFlightSolutionsWestchester County Airport has had seven bird strikes so far this year, and 338 since 2008, according to the Journal News, and CBS is reporting that the airport is now looking into using “radio-controlled drones or fake predator birds to drive birds away from airspace.”It makes sense—the only issue, now, is what the Federal Aviation Administration will think of it

View original article at Motherboard

Oh dear god.

Imagine the horrific sight of a giant, skeletal figure dancing in the sky, illuminated by garish laser light. That could soon be part of a child’s dream vacation, based on patent applications filed by Disney. “Aerial display system with marionette articulated and supported by airborne devices” is just one of three patent applications filed by Disney Enterprises that look to use drones to add a little something extra to Disney’s theme park experience.
“The system includes a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and a ground control system… with a different flight plan for each of the UAVs,” reads the filing, published last week by the U

View original article at Ars Technica