#3 Tech Tuesday 13th January, 2015

Hello, I hope you are all having a good week so far. Let’s jump right in to Tech Tuesday. What I’ve noticed from the tech show in Las Vegas and what seems to be quite popular – so this week we’re going to talk drones.

If any of you watched anything on the show last week or read anything (cough my tech Tuesday last week I hope!!) you know that everything connected online that is the big thing, the largest single consumable though seems to be drones, or maybe i should say the biggest growing consumable at the moment. So a little about drones to start off. Drones have been the source of quite a heated argument for the past fourteen years, ‘drone attacks unmanned aircraft’ has been the core of numerous films; stealth, the TV show series 24, Call of duty, Black Op Two. All of these are set with drones as their main theme, so in the movie/book/game genre drones have been around for quite some time. Drones have been used by most major military operations since the war in Afghanistan first began with a heated debate about the ethics of drone attacks killing people but that is a whole other story. What is obvious from keeping my ear to the ground (or sky maybe would be better) is that retail consumer drones are the big thing and will be the biggest thing this year, being hugely popular over Christmas with quite a large amount of family’s. I fully understand why, they are amazing; you can now fly a quad copter or something of that nature with an on board camera and see from the drones perspective. What’s cooler than that (secretly we all want to fly) so I can completely understand the massive boom in drones from tiny ones that I would hazard a guess would be the type quite a number of people got for Christmas, to the huge eight rotor professional drones that most decent production houses are using on their film shoots. For the first time in the industry you can get beautiful serene shots from the air without having to employ a helicopter pilot, fuel and a specialised camera crew to ride in it. This can only be good news for viewers (not for pilots or camera crew though) This has already been shown from the countless drone videos that have been uploaded to YouTube (just go have a nose, there are thousands) most of which show breath taking views of land marks; cities and countryside in a way most of us haven’t seen before. So the idea of drones is a good one they are bringing countless memorable images.
However, we do have to take into consideration the fact that anyone can fly one of this things, anyone can use them to carry anything or take pictures of anything. We live in an age where peoples’ privacy is constantly under threat – so is this an issue, but people seem generally to be fine with it because for most of us it doesn’t matter, we are not famous enough to be bothered by it but there are a few things we should consider. Drones have opened up a massive loop hole in stalking as people can stalk someone from the comfort of their own home, if they choose to – that is a concern. On top of that the sanctuary of your home is now in question as drones can easily sit a few hundred feet above your garden and a camera can be watching you or peep through your bedroom window! The point I’m making is privacy is taking another massive hit which most people might not care about until they find their privacy is invaded! Personally, I don’t like the fact I get recorded on cctv so much in this country so the thought of drones flying above me is not a pleasant one. My feelings on this are simple what happens if some day you do get recognition, you are suddenly thrust in to the public eye, and people have streams and streams of drone footage with you which they can now release, maybe with your children or showing your home address, do you see my point? Anyway on top of the obvious privacy issue, let’s consider the health impact. A fact that as shown in numerous videos on said YouTube of drone mishaps, a recent famous one is where some lad is flying a drone which is running out of power and we see him, from the drone, jumping in to a large body of water to rescue said drone from a watery grave just in time before the drone splashes down, quite an amusing video but what it showed has been replicated in other videos – lacerations to arms by drone flyers(not sure they are really pilots) where the rotor blades have inflicted deep cuts to body parts. My point is that these things can be pretty dangerous in the hands of some – drones are all copter based and all have rotors that have to turn at high speeds to induce lift. When it is flown by a poor amateur it can really do some damage. Then there the fact that, like the video I described, electrical failures or the fact people allow there drones to run almost flat could lead to a device weighing almost up to a few kilo falling out the sky – onto someone’s head, seriously injuring them in the process. So what my view, is that in this new drone craze people need to recognise that these devices are not really toys, they can be quite dangerous and need to be viewed as such. However, I don’t agree with calls to regulate or restrict them, an extreme reaction, typical of the UK, where you seem to have to have a licence to pretty much do anything. Instead we should use some common sense, we need to stop blaming the government and maybe blame parenting or the person themselves for being an idiot. I’ve said it before, we shouldn’t be living our lives to the beat of the thickest or laziest in society – it makes no sense. So drones are amazing things and I’m amazed how cheap they are now, and how accessible they are and I don’t think they need to be restricted but people do need to take a grip and think first; be polite ask for the land owner’s permission, don’t fly over people, don’t fly into restricted air space (military bases or prisons) just use some common sense. The only issue where the government should get involved is with potential stalkers and the easy way to do that is provide an alert to someone who reports they are being stalked that alerts them to drone activity near them or make it a criminal offence for convicted stalkers to buy drones. So drones are the future, if last year was the year of the selfie, I believe what people are saying that this year will be the year of the drone. Anyway just something to think about, let me know what you think. As always, have a good week. If you enjoy any of my stuff videos/blog/post or if you enjoyed my short story on Amazon now, please share – pass it onto friends and family and help me reach a larger audience. Thank you.

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