Tag Archives: DJI

The arms race

It sounds weird, but whenever I see two brands fight each other for market I think of the old arms race (when Russian equipment allegedly worked). In this war it is GoPro Hero versus DJI Osmo and would you have it, a man named Matt Gonzalez posted one really good review putting both against one another. Now two things I like about it was the neutral flavour of the review. He was giving both sides a fair chance and gave what he thought mattered. The review called ‘GoPro Hero 11 VS DJI Osmo Action 3 – DON’T MAKE A MISTAKE’ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNHWjUXxtHs) is excellent. For me the GoPro won, but there was another side that Matt was unaware of. You see he gave you correctly the information, but in Australia the two differ by a mere $10, and at that point the larger sensor by GoPro owns the entire field in my personal opinion. DJI had a few other things that worked in their favour, like the touch screen front display and the ease of their connector (magnetic), yet I personally come from the world of photography and a larger sensor is a massive advantage in my mind. Their are a few more advantages, but as he states, it is a personal choice in the end and he is correct. Because he is on the fence, not taking a side this review is much better than some other comparing reviews and it is well appreciated. I have been looking at the GoPro Hero 11, especially if things go my way, and I have been smitten by all these walkthrough videos, yet the idea of having a GoPro is enticing for a few ways. It was also the stage where we hear that not much changed, but for a player like Google (or Amazon) a lot changes. When we consider that these videos also get advertisement, the idea of a software solution that can identify the video, the location, map it out and have advertising that connects to that specific street is one that is currently not completely researched. Deeper machine learning opens that field for more directed advertising, optionally opens the pricing. You see 5G will take localisation and personalisation to higher levels and thousands of walkthrough videos that allow for inserting advertising that is not merely to the point, but also to the place and to the interest of the watcher will take the forefront and it will be sooner rather than later. Consider merely this video where GoPro and/or DJI could appal to the 61,000 subscribers. Or perhaps a London Walking tour video with 331,000 subscribers and most likely at least twice as much watchers. These number work and I am merely pointing at TWO video’s. So, yes there is a market no and there will be a much larger market soon enough. You only have to wait for the 2024 Paris Olympics when thousands more videos will hit YouTube, and I have no idea how much TikTok will get, but I feel certain that they are already on board. But perhaps just like the $6 billion I found players like Google, they will fret that it is not enough, too small a find. Of course when you see ‘Google Reports Slowest Revenue Growth In Nearly 10 Years’ where we see “$69.09 billion vs. $70.58 billion expected” my $6,000,000,000 which is merely the lower estimate going for a lot more was not that much, it was a mere 402% of the total annual margin of profit, so I think I have something and now we see the stage of additional advertisement revenue. OK, I am not stating that the second part is a given, I am merely stating that this is a path a place like Google could entertain. And with the walkthrough videos they can test and experiment, when Paris 2024 comes with their tens of thousands of videos it will become lost opportunity. But then perhaps like the Russian weapons side, the Google engineers have become a little too flaccid, they cannot entertain that race in innovation. I cannot tell, I was never that kind of engineer. I still feel strong about the solution that can put any Russian reactor in meltdown mode. But that is me, always skating the edge of innovation, even when I am not wanted there. But as I see it, I am sitting on IP that gives Google (or Amazon) $6 billion plus so there!

In the end this was about GoPro versus DJI and that is still the case, they have opened up markets and that will continue in other ways too. You see, I watched a dozen over the last week and NONE of those videos gave me a travel agency advertisement that traveled to THAT location, you still think my idea is in the air? If someone watches a travel video to a greek island, d you want to see an advertisement to a car, or to a travel agent? What would have the best impact? You tell me, it is not a race I am in, but I am seeing it happen like all the other watchers.


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Quick money?

Yup that is how it started. I was watching a ski movie that someone made with the GoPro, and the two I saw were actually really nice. It showed the action from the point of view of the skier (so it felt real), it was a really nice view of a downhill act from Blackcomb mountain (Canada) so you get to see what that is about, and it was an impressive ride. It was at this point that I thought a few things through. You see, at the end of every run you see the man fumble about to switch it off in the last second and that is fine. But then I thought, there is an app that connects it to the phone. So why not expand that by also connecting it to a smartwatch with the option to see settings and to stop recording (and start recording). 

Which would be a nice thing to have. So I did my homework and low and behold there are several models and the prices ranges from $90-$300, so what stops a clever programmer (who already has a GoPro) to make and app that does the same and offer it on the App Store (Android and iOS) for $10-$20? Now I get that plenty of people will not buy a remote for $300, but an app for $10? Makes you think does it not? 

It is not the only thing and there are plenty of options out there, yet it seems that people overlook the obvious (as people tend to do). I am no better. I have overlooked the obvious plenty of times. But I did check the store and I found two of them, but with ratings of 2.8 and 2.5 I would state that there should be more out there, and there is no indication that these apps would work on wearables. And in a case where seemingly 50% gives it a one star rating I would like to know why it was only one star. I did not test the app as I have no GoPro, but the foundation is there. Why is there (at present) no wearable app for GoPro. In this day and age where that thing is used on all kinds of sport events, a wearable app makes sense. It makes less sense when it is a person walking around with a gimbal, but on bikes, skies, snowboards, and several other settings it makes sense that you can apply a remote (which GoPro has), and plenty of people will more likely than not prefer a wearable solution. 

So is this quick money? For some it might be and there is a clear market. From 2015 onwards there seem to be 20-25 million people using a GoPro, so there is enough traction to warrant the investment of time. Now, not all will need some remote, but the amount of action camera uses implies that thousands might be game for such a solution. And so far no one has pushed that market, so why not? You see, I am not a programmer, I have no GoPro and I do not do these sports (at present), so three reasons to give it a miss (and my 5G keeps me busy). There are more settings that my mind sees now, but that is up to the makers and DJI might have an advantage here. And there is a second set of thoughts here. The interaction of devices are becoming more profound, there is every indication that those with cross device programming skills might have a much sweeter deal coming their way in the near future, so spending time on this endeavour should pay off and if you have the two elements you need to start programming! When the next set of needs come calling, you will be able to show that you have experience.

It’s just a thought, make of it what you will.

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The more it stays the same

 On one side it is nice to the the US of A being s stupid as they were in the age of Joseph McCarthy. In the time he was in office (January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1955) he was able to become one of the strongest black pages in American history. To be honest, I cannot say whether the fear was real or not, this was all before my time. Yet the largest station of fear created was also the setting of the cold war, the anti Communism events and a whole lot of other settings, like McCarthyism and the second red scare. The problem is that there was a massive absence of evidence. We see the practice of making accusations of subversion and treason, whilst there was an absence of evidence. Flaming was as good as it got and the media was part of this. The USA is now in a similar stance like ‘Tax the rich’, and the setting of ‘US sanctions drone maker DJI’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59703521) is now out in the open. We get to see “It has been alleged that DJI’s drone technology has been used for the surveillance of Uyghur Muslims in China.” If there was concrete evidence it is one thing, but to see ‘alleged’ so conviction without evidence is more than harsh. It shows how deep the US has sunk, a setting of BS and accusations that are followed up by convictions on alleged events. And all this is ‘simmered down’ by “the ban is largely symbolic as DJI is not a publicly-traded company”, my personal guess is that you miss the facts that follow, like “The company had close to an 80% market share in consumer drones last year in the US, according to Drone Industry Insights”, you see, it is a personal observation. Yet I believe that Huawei and DJI are showing the US how insignificant they have become. If I can come up with a dozen pieces of New IP, all whilst showing the US has nothing to oppose it, as I saw a solution where DARPA and the NSA struck out. When I created new 5G IP that NO ONE has, when I create movie ideas and new classes of hardware when the US and its companies have nothing to oppose me with I have shown to be the stronger party and that is why it is in hidden places in 4Chan. That is why, because the USA cannot steal it, they can replicate it and when I give the world the clear locations an how they can be read, all whilst at present one IP shows well over 10,000 hits, they will have no option but to admit that I got there first and before the market realised that China was there first. That is the benefit that they have in 5G, that is why the US keeps on lagging, and that is before you realise that the 6G advertisements might be preemptive as Huawei was already making headway there.

So as we realise that we re being told story after story, the realisation needs to be on what evidence there is. So when you read “Reuters has reported that the Biden administration is considering imposing more sanctions on China’s biggest chip-maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation” why this is done, to herald in a new era of McCarthyism now aimed at China, or is there evidence? You see if there was clear evidence and it was presented it would have been a different thing, but they haven’t done that and the BBC hiding behind ‘alleged’ is a problem, it is a huge problem because it implies that the rest of the world has no freedom of choice, if can only choose stuff that is approved by the Uncommonly Skint of America. When did you sign up for that? 

This is not some anti-America rant. I am not anti-American. I am anti-stupid and for the most the media can no longer be trusted. They did this to themselves. In all this I would be happy to be wrong, it merely requires the US to present evidence, a stage that is very unlikely to ever happen, they have done this before, and they will likely do this again. And whilst we see news on how much taxes Elon Musk will pay this year, no one is looking at the other 613 billionaires and the 5000 people who own well over $100,000,000, why is that you think? Why do we get flamed article by the ICIJ when evidence shows that a tax overhaul is essential and no one is moving into that direction, no the people will get a new version of McCarthyism, all flames and no adherence to evidence. You look for yourself and you judge, do not take my word for it, learn what is being done and then decide for yourself.

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Before the script

That is a stage we find ourselves in. There is no real reason, it was a stage I moved into as I was contemplating a few ideas. You see with any erotic tainted movie it is about how it starts (and for some do they get married at the end). With spy stories it tends to be jumbled, to maximise the impact of the story the movie Anna is a great example. Yet with assassinations it tends to be about timelines, and it needs to start in the middle, a great example is Colombiana with Zoe Saldana.

You see it adheres to a few items. A good assassination adheres to the golden three. 


You separate the target from his support system, we do not need to comedy capers to involve themselves making matters worse, the career person likes to get away from it all before it is too late. You segregate the person from the people that know and trust their insight, their family, it is a separate cog in the machine and not always required, but it should always be considered. Isolation is the kill moment. It is best to have that person apart when you perform the deed. I do not believe in the Jason Statham method (the Mechanic), it is nice, it makes for good movie suspense, but too many things can go wrong and they tend to go wrong at the wrong instance. 

So in all this when we look at the Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri case, I just have to laugh. 12 people? I am still decently convinced that he got out (with the money) by setting up an attack and warning the US of that attack, but that is me. It matters because now we see (source:  Reuters) “A former top Saudi intelligence official who is living in exile accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday of targeting him, and made an unprecedented public plea to the Biden administration to help obtain the release of his children jailed in Saudi Arabia”, a larger stage as he is in Canada, so why is he not pleading with Canadian authorities? Did you consider that?

It matters in this stage as we look at ending the involuntary heartbeat of a person. He has to some degree isolated himself, he is decently segregated, but not completely and there is the mere need of isolating him, that never required 12 people and any intelligent person would see that, lets be clear MBS is not stupid, so the entire song and dance that the media gives us does not make sense.

But back to the story. When the golden three are adhered to the decimation can begin. The important first part is information, in case of the person we discussed earlier, he is in Toronto, a city. This means that there are more options to get to him. The opposite is that he got there with hundreds of millions, so he can afford all kinds of security. The second consideration is given by The Star “It is alleged one of the companies, Sakab Saudi Holding Company, “had no operational business” despite receiving $8 billion US in government funding and was used “almost exclusively” as a vehicle to funnel money to the other companies, which did carry out legitimate business, as well as to Aljabri and his co-conspirators”, so in what universe do you get awarded $8,000,000,000? 

The stage for any target is to understand what is going on and this implies that he is more than an exile, he is optionally a US intelligence taskmaster (Middle East minder of intelligence). Using him as an example is nice, for a few reasons. He has Canadian protection and he gets American protection, in Canada it will be the CIA, optionally the CSIS is involved. The problem for any target of this size is that the Canadians have their own Navy Seals, they are extremely capable and on a person like this, they are somehow involved. There is no way that stakeholders walk away from a $8,000,000,000 jackpot. 

So why does it matter? Well the story is about more then suspense, it will be about realism. So how to get to such a target? Well we could ask Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri and that is where we get to the good stuff. You see, the foundation of this was seen in a comic book in 1978.

It was the first Franka, a comic made by Henk Kuijpers. The researchers researched a crime for a movie, which then was soon thereafter done by criminals. The stage to get the experts to solve the problem for them, simple and brilliant. You see there is nothing wrong with a silenced .50 from the top of any building, but when you see what you are up against, the stage changes soon thereafter. I saw the premise of a c4 loaded drone, which allows for a few settings, but that pesky CSIS. These people get awfully cranky when you trespass on their soil and if you think the CIA is trouble, wait for the CSIS to get creative and nasty. So you need two options. The first is that you were never there. The second is that you need to vanish with a clear path (to your fake alibi) that can be tracked on the other side of the world. Like what they did with the RAF, spending some of their money in a place like Buenos Aires, all whilst the missing people were already laid to rest (mom, dad and the three children). When a large enough pile of cash goes missing people will find you, unless the money is burned (apart from the cash spend in BA) and the bodies can not be found, not in decades, not ever. 

That setting when united gives a much larger stage to play and when it is done, I reckon that it is better if the assassin is a she. (Zoe Saldana made good on that in Colombiana). So whilst we wonder what more we can do, I personally believe that simplicity is best. It is the one stage I did not like in the Mechanic. Even it all seemed simple. The air-vent scene showed how things turn sour in an instant. Simplicity is key. What is simpler then flying a DJI drone three buildings away straight into the open window and boom? After that it becomes a mere exercise to vanish, which in Toronto is still a massive undertaking, unless they look for the wrong person, it becomes a little easier then. You could join an Oracle event in Mississauga, or take across lake Ontario and vanish via Rochester, at which point you are in the US. 

That script is easy enough to write, it will be about the details and about how the details play out. There is no use if the event results in a global hunt by the CSIS and their seal equivalent giving you less then a 1% to survive for any decent amount of time, a number no career person wants to consider. And these are the thoughts before the script is made. If you can pull it off you have the making of a new Hollywood (or Netflix) blockbuster. 

Darn, it is only 06:36, what ever will I do the rest of the day? 

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That’s the way the money flows

The Independent had an interesting article 2 hours ago. The article (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/china-drones-spy-us-dhs-security-data-alert-a8922706.html). The title leaves little to the imagination with: ‘Chinese drones may be stealing sensitive information, DHS warns‘, after the Trump google play, after his refusal to submit to subpoena’s, after the anti Huawei activities that so far has never yielded any active evidence (the 8 year old case was settled within months are done with). Now we see: “Chinese-made drones in America may be sending sensitive data to their manufacturers back home where it can be accessed by the government, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned“, which might be a nightmare if it was not so hilarious. You see the next quote: “CNN, which obtained the internal alert, reported that the DHS fears drones will offer Chinese intelligence unfettered access to American data“, it comes across like we have a case where a CNN reporter has been hit by a silly stick and never recovered. Consider the drones we see, there is no space to have a dedicated hack system on board. Yes some can be done with a mobile, and there is plenty of space in that device, now consider the ‘sensitive’ data that needs to be found, the data needs to be connected to (and with all these faulty Cisco routers that is relatively easy at present), then a selection needs to be downloaded and that is merely for one place, one device. All this stops when any person uses common cyber sense. It is the revelation that we see next, that is the one that matters. With: “Though the alert didn’t name specific companies, the vast majority of drones used in the US and Canada are made by the Shenzen based Company, DJI, CNN reported” we see the part that matters. As drone services are up on an almost exponential growth as we see the push that got there. The news from November 2016 gave us: “Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) and drone delivery partner Flirtey delivered the first order, a Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza, and a Chicken and Cranberry Pizza“. Consider the option to avoid traffic in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh, all places with massive congestion. Drones are the optionally the newest quick way to deliver food, Amazon needs, Walmart needs, all in growing need due to the events where retailers and shippers combine forces to avoid a few items, and with congestion set to zero, people will flock to that consideration. Now the operational part, it seems that DJI is ahead of the curve, another Chinese company decided to truly innovate and now that the push is there and America is bankrupt (as I personally see it) anything possible to avoid money going to China, America is taking a pot shot at that. So when we are also treated to: “A spokesman for DJI denied that any information was being transmitted to it from its drones, adding that the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government.” I start wondering if DHS was able to do its job properly. Now let’s be clear, there is no doubt that ANY drone can be used for espionage, especially if it is quiet enough. Yet is that the issue for DJI, or is that an issue with the spy that utilises drone technology? Yet that is actually not the only side, on the other side we see mentioned: “Those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities,” Now, this part does make sense. It is the same as the Apple Fitbit, that due to its global nature started to hand out the jogging patterns of Special forces in the Middle East, so within 3 days several members of the two dozen operatives had a check on their calorie burning and health, whilst the mapping data showed the world where the CIA black site was (oh apologies, I meant to say a military specialist endeavouring location of an undetermined nature). The question becomes how was the ‘the security of its technology has been independently verified by the US government‘ achieved? Was that verification process competent, or perhaps slightly less so?

I am not stating my verdict in either direction; yet the entire Huawei mess, as well as the DJI setting implies that the growth industries are shunned from America, mainly because it is not an American industry. Yet in all this, the forget that places like the EU and India are large enough to go forward with both players and truly grow further, whilst the downturn and the economic lag that the US is creating will merely grow the loss of momentum and the recession it will fuel in other ways. I would consider that the setback that Google is trying to create will have larger repercussions down the road. As larger Data vendors will now optionally choose the Chinese side, they will grow market share. You see no matter how it is sliced, all this is data based and data can only grow if there is usage. So when people remain with Huawei as their phone keeps on working, we see that there is a larger concern soon enough. At some point people will stop trusting Samsung, Google and Apple phones, which works out nicely for several players (Microsoft actually more than most), what do you think happens when the larger share of 14.7% of a global market changes to player three and not use Google apps to some degree? Google momentum relies on non-stop data and usage, when a third of the 60% that these three cover stops, do you think that this has no impact for Google?

The same applies to drones. You see intelligence makes the drone and as it grows its market share and the collected data of drone usage is set, the innovation of DJI grows faster. It is the difference between generation now and generation 2022, DJI will grow and can grow in several directions, yet the entire the setting of ‘data theft’ we see that there is a lack of ‘what’ data. What data is collected, the flight path? Well, I think we all need to know in 2023 what flight path was taken for the delivery of 342,450 pizza’s delivered per hour, is it not? It is not that Google Map has that data, and within a building in New York, is there truly a clear sign in the drone itself who exactly the merchandise was for, or was that on the box (instead of the drone). Now, there is no denying that some of that data would optionally be accessible to the Chinese government? Yet what data, what level of data? Do you think that they have time for the hundreds of drones and the data whilst they can monitor 20,000 times that data with a spy satellite (and an additional truckload of data that the drone never had in the first place?

It is when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘ where the questions become pressing. It is like watching Colin Powell coming into a non-disclosed location with his silver briefcase and in the end the lack of WMD’s, are we going in that direction again? when I see ‘unfettered access to American data‘, it is at that moment I see the optional comparison (an extreme lose comparison mind you) with the innocent preachers daughter who did the naughty thing to 30% of the boys coming to Sunday sermon, having attempted things I cannot even rent on adult video. It is the CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/politics/dhs-chinese-drone-warning/index.html) that gives additional rise to concerns. When you see: “Users are warned to “be cautious when purchasing” drones from China, and to take precautionary steps like turning off the device’s internet connection and removing secure digital cards. The alert also warns users to “understand how to properly operate and limit your device’s access to networks” to avoid “theft of information.”” It seems to me that there are dozens of ways to get this data, a drone seems like an expensive long way round-trip to get to that data, whilst more can be accessed in several other ways and it is the speculation through ‘device’s internet connection‘, so when we see one of these devices (at https://www.dji.com/au/phantom-4-pro-v2/info#specs), we are treated to: “The new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features an OcuSync HD transmission system, which supports automatic dual-frequency band switching and connects to DJI Goggles wirelessly“, where did the internet come in? Yes there is an app, to get a live view from the drone, so what ‘unfettered access to American data‘ could there be that Google Maps at present does not have in more detail?

It is the next part that is the actual ace. When we see: “DJI, which reported $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, is best known for its popular Phantom drone. Introduced in 2013, the drone is the top-selling commercial drone on the market“, information the Independent did not give us, that is the actual stage as I personally see it. It was $2.7 billion in 2017, there is no doubt that when drone delivery truly takes off, at that point revenue that sits between $15 and $27 billion is not unrealistic, the dire need to avoid congestion on a global scale will drive it and that is before you realise the non-US benefits in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Moscow. At that point you will see stronger growth and I haven’t even looked at the opportunities in a place like Mumbai, Tokyo, Delhi, Bangkok, Rio, Buenos Aires and Sydney yet. Everything leaves me with the impression that this is not about security, it is about money. That fact can be proven when you realise that everyone remains silent on the 29 new vulnerabilities that Cisco reported merely a month ago. How many Cisco router stories have come from that non-technologically refined White House, where they are currently optionally limited by “Cisco routers, including ones that can be found in malls, large companies or government institutions, are flawed in a way that allows hackers to steal all of the data flowing through them“, the cybersecurity company Red Baron handed out that issue to the media last week, so who picked up on that danger to ‘unfettered access to American data‘? And when you consider ‘it allows potential malicious actors to bypass the router’s security feature, Trust Anchor. This feature has been standard in Cisco’s routers since 2013‘, when we realise that Cisco is a household name on a global scale (especially when connected to the internet), the entire Cisco matter seems to be at least 15,000 times worse than any DJI drone ever could be, and the fact that DHS remains silent on that gives (again, as I personally see it) is added proof that this is merely about the money and the fact that US companies are losing markets on a global scale.

I could set the stage by singing ‘All ‘Bout the money‘ by Meja and ‘That’s the way the money goes‘ by M, but then, I realise that people would most likely pay me serious money not to sing (my voice is actually that bad).

That’s the way the money flows, specifically at present in a direction that the US is for the foreseeable future most displeased about.


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Freedoms removed by Amazon

One of the most outrageous articles of the year hit me this morning, via the Guardian off course! The piece in question is ‘Amazon proposes drones-only airspace to facilitate high-speed delivery’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/28/amazon-autonomous-drones-only-airspace-package-delivery). In the first, since when does a company decide on traffic rules? Can anyone explain that to me? In the second, since when is a company allowed to set FAA rules (or in general rules of flight regarding safety of airspace)? In the third, how in the name of all blazing hell does a company decides on how amateurs, hobbyists and innovators do their work?

Well, it seems that Amazon has stepped up to the plate to ‘suggest’ a few changes. Let’s face it, Amazon is a place of nothing, a mere grocery store for parchment products. In the UK they paid £11.9 million in taxation and the year before that £4.2 million, so why should we give them even the slightest consideration? The Australian Amazon site is limited to kindle stuff, so they pay even less there. You know, they are big in Luxembourg, so there is every possibility that they can pursue their drone packaging strikes in that country. But to give any consideration outside of Luxembourg and the US is a little too strong, so the quote “Amazon is proposing that a pristine slice of airspace above the world’s cities and suburbs should be set aside for the deployment of high-speed aerial drones capable of flying robotically with virtually no human interference” should not be taken too seriously.

We cannot fault Amazon for having vision, but it comes at a cost. You see “It envisages that within the next 10 years hundreds of thousands of small drones – not all of them Amazon’s or devoted to delivery – will be tearing across the skies every day largely under their own automated control” shows us that there would be a massive drop in the need for delivery people, which is not good for job security. Now, in opposition, these things happen, when people started to correspond through their computers, the people did not think it would grow beyond the realm if Geeks and Nerds, now, the bulk of the population has not touched parchments, quills and ink for a long time. Less postman were needed and on a global scale dogs were in mourning for nearly a decade.

Now we get the part that Amazon thinks is visionary “The company’s aeronautics experts propose that a 200ft slab of air – located between 200ft and 400ft from the ground – should be segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment and flying at high speeds of 60 knots or more. A further 100ft of airspace – between 400ft and 500ft – would be declared a no-fly zone to act as a buffer between the drones and current conventional aircraft such as passenger and cargo planes, thus mitigating fears about the impact on manned flight or dangers posed to people on the ground“.

I wonder how these aeronautics experts got their degree, perhaps it was added to the side of the pot of vegemite in an effort to market the product to Americans? Perhaps their degree was the wrapper for Troyer Roll Butter (if you know the product, the joke makes sense, Google it!). You see, the sky is filled with these weird things, that need to be all over the place, they are called helicopters, the police uses them, the press uses them and oh, yes, the emergency rescue services uses them all over the world, also in city areas. So this ideas hold a few operational holes even before it is seriously considered.

There is an additional concern. We do not deny that drones will be the big thing in the next decade, which also means that indie developers and visionaries will emerge, so is the quote “segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment” anything else than an attempt to crush market growth and keep it in hand for a few established brands? How will that ever be any good for innovation? Furthermore, the image gives way that hobbyists, rural hobbyists will be pushed from their rural live to little spots, just like the Native American Indians were. In my view, if you want to be top dog, you’ll just have to create a superior product that can anticipate these events. By the way, helicopters come in all these areas, including in the no fly zone, so this idea is saturated with bad insights from even before day zero. Not a good start me thinks!

So in reference to the position papers where the call states “It calls for a “paradigm shift” that will allow hundreds of thousands of small unmanned aircraft to fly under their own technological steam without the current involvement of humans through air traffic control“, that part could only work if there is one player, once there are more, if becomes a technological jungle of miscommunications and lost handshakes due to iterative updates, flaws and glitches. So how about letting drones work above the freeways and major lanes? It would not hinder anyone, hobbyists and innovators continue and unless a helicopter absolutely must land on a highway (likely medical emergency) they can continue without any hiccups.

Wow, I just solved the ‘lack’ of free airspace in 7.2 minutes. How clever am I?

Then we see “Amazon sets out five capabilities that drones must meet if they are to be allowed to fly inside the new 200ft high-speed corridor“. well let’s just agree that this is not up to Amazon to begin with, the fact that they precede this with “to realise that futuristic vision safely“, implying that they are working on a solution only they will offer, laws must abide with… In my view it is not up to them, many nations know that drones will be the new slave labour force (read: unpaid population that will drive others away from a job), which is a little out there (the way I framed it), but the reality is that this market will massively evolve over the next 2 decades and we have to give space to innovators and visionaries, not limit their scope to the need of “sophisticated GPS tracking that allows them to pinpoint their location in real-time and in relation to all other drones around them“, which is basically stating that drones must be a product made by DJI, Raytheon or Northrop Grumman to be allowed in this airspace. Amazon does NOT get to make THAT call!

the additional quotes “Online flight planning that allows them to predict and communicate their flight path” and “Communications equipment that allow them to “talk” and collaborate with other drones in the zone to ensure they avoid each other” give additional notice to forcing us into a one player path. That is not what innovation is about. First the TPP is pushing innovation to the mercy of big business, now Amazon add more limitations here? That is not a playing field that the world signed up for.

So as we see that hobbyists and indie developers (and visionaries) are slowly pushed into reservations like the Native American Indians by the quote “Under Amazon’s proposals, by contrast, hobbyists would only be allowed to fly within the new 200ft-400ft corridor if their vehicles were equipped with the latest hyper-sophisticated gadgetry for autonomous flight. Otherwise, they would have their activities confined to geographically demarcated airfields in relatively unpopulated areas that would be set aside specifically for the purpose” we have to wonder what Amazon has up his sleeve. Because either the US government is so bankrupt that it will agree to anything to not collapse before the results of the next elections, or is Amazon just waving in the air to be noticed?

The quote by Brendan Schulman, drone lawyer and senior executive and DJI gives us additional issues regarding the Amazon statement “by far the greatest use of unmanned aerial vehicles today was by amateurs. That’s currently by far the most common use of the technology, so before you disrupt their experience you want to think carefully about what slice of airspace would really be needed by these new technologies“. I would say ‘Amen!’ to that, because the issue that the article danced around (perhaps intentionally) is that Amazon needs to adhere to established safety protocols, we do not change protocols because of Amazon. I can agree that down the track changes will have to be made, but that time is not now and especially as the paper ignored several basic avionics issues.

Which now gets me to the paper where in a mere flash something stood out to me. Consider the quote “Amazon believes the current model of airspace management will not meet future sUAS demands, particularly highly-automated, low-altitude commercial operations. A paradigm shift in airspace management and operations is necessary to safely accommodate the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“, in that apart from a massive dose of arrogance, we see “the one-operator-to-many-vehicle model required by large-scale commercial fleets“. So it is already on the premise for big business where one controller manages 100-200 drones. The shift of a workforce that only requires payment in cc’s of fuel.

In my view, the air is for now still empty, it will change, that much is certain, but it will be the people that decide on how far this goes, it is not Amazon to make that move. I am not entirely certain that Amazon should be the lead at all, but that is perhaps a discussion for another day.

What is in the last part an issue is the small part privacy activists were given. They are all up in arms regarding police and spook drones. Which is massively farfetched as these people have already given away their liberty through Facebook and other social means, so these two parties receive via e-mail all you did, including the amounts of times you ogled the ass of the neighbours wife (and teenage daughter). We seem to forget the massive danger that follows, it is not Amazon with its non-human package delivery system. It is the fact that in any innovation, organised crime follows pretty quickly, because they know that it takes the government up to 5 years to catch up, so in the first 5 years they can strike it rich. Drug deliveries, via cheap drones to penthouses. The paying clientele gets balcony to balcony delivery via a $499 drone and there is no link between the parties. Crime is already making a nice killing here, so the proper focus is not here and when it gets to be in the right place it is already too late.

So Amazon should not be setting the pass for removed freedom, it should set pace to create the right atmosphere, an attempt that they failed miserably from my point of view.

My opinion in this matter is strengthened through a previous article regarding Amazon which was published on March 30th (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/30/amazon-tests-drones-secret-site-canada-us-faa). The title ‘Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration‘ already implies the ludicrous part in all this. A ‘secret Canada site‘. Why? Because a spotter could take a pic? Because of industrial espionage? Actually, that last one is not THAT far-fetched. So let’s leave it for now.

In the article we get two parts that show my view the first is “Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs“, which represents as stated in the article for 86% of all the packages, now that is fair enough, if you want to address 80% of what is done now, yu see a choice that is just common sense. Now part two “The Company wants to offer its customers the ability to have packages dropped on their doorstep by flying robots within 30 minutes of ordering goods online“. Initially that pat makes sense too. Yet combined, we get ordered articles are delivered within a range of 18 miles. Here we account for loss of time for picking up, after which the drone gets 30 minutes, so 18 miles is pretty much the limit, so this is a metropolitan solution, this is less about ‘global change’, but more the need to address the high impact profit places like New York, Vancouver, San Francisco, Honolulu, Seattle, New Orleans, San Jose, Chicago and Los Angeles and a few other congested places. The ‘global’ part was just nice to give it marketing. They need to address congestion and dromes will make sense. Yet the visionary part is that they are trying to address it on a global scale, because if this is accepted, Amazon would be sole player in places like London, Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Munich, Berlin, Rome and Sydney for that matter too. That seems to be the reality and it is not a bad idea to have, but in that adjusted view, Amazon does not get to set policy, especially as Europe might develop its own drone solutions. Binding options for developers through ‘sophisticated GPS tracking‘ is what I would call ‘the big No No’.

Brendan Schulman, aka the drone lawyer shows us the merits of my thoughts “Amazon’s Canadian airstrip-in-exile should be a “serious wake-up call to politicians and regulators”. “America has led the world in aviation development,” he said, “but for the first time in history we are at risk of losing out”“.

There is the part, where I made the reference to the TPP. These presentations are all about big business carving their patch making sure no one else can inhabit it. The plane industry is polarised, but drones are another matter, drones can invigorate visionary workers and dreamers, because a drone is not an expensive tool, you can buy them in a game shop and the next kid getting one could be the one who revolutionises that field because he/she thought ‘what if I want to do this, could I alter my app….?’ that is all it takes to create a billion dollar corporation.

The FAA has (according to Amazon) taken much too long to make up its mind, it also stated “it does not believe that drones can be flown safely under their own autonomous control, and is insisting that humans must keep them within eyesight at all times“, which makes it non-profitable for Amazon. For now the FAA is right, but there is no given certainty that this is still a truth in 5 years. The mobile industry, Wi-Fi and sensor market is evolving at an alarming rate, my $699 mobile phone now has the same technological options a $15K digital film camera had 10 years ago, only the lens is the physical difference in quality, so that market will evolve, possibly beyond my comprehension before I die.

I feel certain that the FAA realises this, but they report to others and those people see that drones will be the new orgasmic high for organised crime. Common Law in the US and in the Commonwealth is flawed enough for all players to realise that this opens up massive undeclarable profits for these players. With the one to many option, whatever small chance of successful prosecution of a drug dealer any Districts Attorney had in the past, flies straight out of the window via drone. Here we see how the law has not caught up again.

Should it stop drone development? No! But there are a few sides that need addressing, which cannot be done today, but soon it will be the only blockade remaining. What happens when that day comes?


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