Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Drone On

So I'm just sitting outside enjoying some iced tea when I finally noticed a dull buzzing has been lingering for quite some time. It sounded like wind blowing through some sheets, constantly. Or a television that was still on long after the cable was turned off. 

Then I looked up and thought, "Why has that plane just hovering over 13th Street?"

It's not a plane. It's a drone!

Regardless of what South Park had to say about drones, they're far from crowding the skies. I've only ever noticed one once before, and it was above the Art Museum. It was just as unusual but it made sense at the end of the Parkway. At North 13th Street? Not so much.

What's it filming? Why here? And how- goddamn those things are cool! 

I'm filming a drone filming something. How meta.

Say what you will about privacy, these gadgets are fun, and I really hope to get my hands on one before the FAA begins seriously cracking down on them.

Besides the spectacular photography opportunities they offer hobbyists, they have practical applications too. Have you ever had one of those lovely fall or spring evenings, one of those nights you have your windows open as a gentle cross breeze makes its way across your bed, only to be awoken by one of the news helicopters waiting for something to happen?

In fact, there goes one now. 

So what do you think? Do civilian drones really pose a threat to our privacy? Should users be licensed? Should their usage be tracked? Should they be limited to news crews and police departments? Or should they be banned altogether? 

Let's be honest, the only reason this technology is new is because no one ever bothered strapping a digital camera to a radio controlled airplane. 

But we wouldn't get stuff like this without them.

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