Bill Gracey

Officials at Yellowstone National Park told reporters on Wednesday that a tourist had crashed a small drone into the iconic Grand Prismatic Spring last Saturday.
The incident marks the latest in a string of drone-related episodes in this region of Wyoming. A drone went down into Yellowstone Lake near the Grant Village Marina. Officials in nearby Grand Teton National Park have already issued one citation to a visitor for flying a drone within the park—it later got trapped in a tree and was then stolen, according to the Associate Press.
Yellowstone National Park did not immediately respond to Ars’ evening request for comment by phone or e-mail

View original article at Ars Technica

If I’ve learned anything from watching The Wire, it’s that, after committing a murder, you want to make sure your gun is good and submerged after you inevitably toss it in some body of water. I suppose the same goes for if you happen to go on a burglary spree.Unfortunately for one alleged criminal in New York, he didn’t hide the his weapons well enough: Local police in Clayton, New York called on a drone company to scan a marsh in the town where they suspected five stolen rifles had been stashed. The drone found them, no problem. Indeed, 22-year-old Tyler Farmer was arrested on several counts of grand larceny, burglary, criminal mischief, and possession of a controlled substance—he allegedly stole at least five rifles, jewelry, medicine, and, oddly enough, a canoe

View original article at Motherboard

Thomas Hawk

Newly published documents show that the San Jose Police Department (SJPD), which publicly acknowledged Tuesday that it should have “done a better job of communicating” its drone acquisition, does not believe that it even needs federal authorization in order to fly a drone. The Federal Aviation Administration thinks otherwise.
Late last month, a set of documents showed that the SJPD acquired a Hexacopter called the Century Neo 660, along with a GoPro video camera and live video transmitter. The nearly $7,000 January 2014 purchase was funded through a grant from the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative, a regional arm of the Department of Homeland Security. San Jose, which proclaims itself the “capital of Silicon Valley,” is the third-largest city in California and the tenth-largest in the United States

View original article at Ars Technica

Yesterday, police in San Jose issued a statement apologizing for failing to consult the public ahead of acquiring an unmanned aerial vehicle. Hours later, the department released additional documents showing the department considered itself immune from FAA regulation.San Jose Police Department posted its statement yesterday morning, three weeks after a Motherboard-MuckRock report first highlighted that the department had received nearly $7,000 in federal homeland security funds to purchase a unit. While the SJPD records staff twice denied having any documents on drones even as its bomb squad worked through the year-long application process, last week the department released its grant application materials and documents confirming it acquired a six-rotor Century Neo 660 in January 2014.While grant materials pitch the SJPD drone as a bomb squad tool to inspect suspicious packages from a distance, the posted statement outlines additional potential uses, which could include dangers such as active shooters, hostage taking, or other such tactical situations where lives might be in immediate danger

View original article at Motherboard

The human version of nocturnal shutdowns has absolutely nothing on plants. When we sleep, our bodies continue doing a lot of the functions they do when we’re awake. But when darkness sets in over the plant kingdom, at least the very large portion that derives its energy from sunlight, it’s like an off-switch: no germination, flowering, growing, food production, or even aging. Nothing, and no arguments. Once the sun comes back out, signals within the plant get the whole process started again, hopefully persisting for long enough to keep that plant alive and, crucially, completing its reproductive tasks

View original article at Motherboard