Hendricks County Flyer
The Hendricks County Flyer
Sat Dec 07, 2013, 02:50 AM EST
Jeff Bezos has seen the future of retail delivery, and it is the drone.
When the storied CEO of Amazon told “60 Minutes” that he’s working on 30-minute delivery by tiny unmanned octocopter, it prompted an instant wave of disbelief and derision. One wag on Twitter joked that Amazon would offer free shipping to all military-aged Muslim males.
Our culture is primed to celebrate the new and marvel at technological innovation — except when it comes to the drone. Then, the first reaction of many people is to muse about shooting the newfangled contraptions out of the sky. If the country is to be kept safe, evidently, all aircraft within the United States must always and forevermore be manned.
The root of the drone’s image problem is obviously its outsized role in the war on terror, where it is a highly effective tool of surveillance and assassination. That doesn’t mean it’s exclusively a tool of warfare or inherently nefarious, any more than that is true of airplanes, guns, helicopters, barbed wire, sandbags or tracked vehicles — all of which play their part in horrific wars, and are still useful civilian tools.
Certainly, nothing could be more blissfully pacific than the promotional video for Amazon Prime Air. It shows a drone picking a small package up from a warehouse conveyor belt — where it was placed by a human — and then taking it on a pleasant jaunt in the air before dropping it outside a satisfied customer’s door.
It’s not going to be that easy, of course. Imagine the lawsuit the first time an Amazon drone hits someone or crashes into someone’s roof. And good luck getting the Federal Aviation Administration to play along. In its wisdom, the agency issued an advisory against the commercial use of drones back in 2007. Full-blown certification of unmanned aircraft may not start until 2020.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
April 18, 2014
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