Acting as cheap flying cameras, drones already raise a lot of questions about privacy. But it's not just aerial photography people should worry about with drones. Earlier this month, AdNear, a Singaporean marketing company, flew drones with sensors that could detect cell phone signal strength and WiFi over part of Los Angeles. The drones identified and located people by the devices in their pockets, so that businesses could send highly-specific ads to their smartphones. The company praised this cyberpunk dystopian idea in a blog post, saying:
A lot of attention is paid to America's aging power infrastructure. As the 21st century continues on, and people purchase newer devices that demand more power from the grid, it's easy to miss another essential part of the power puzzle: the skilled technicians and engineers who make it all work. They're aging, and much like the parts of the grid they maintain, they'll need to be replaced in the thousands over the next decade.
The Federal Aviation Administration did something rather remarkable on Sunday: they proposed a new set of drone rules. For years, drone hobbyists and businesses have been left in limbo, flying in unregulated skies and wondering whether they were unintentionally breaking the law. In 2012, Congress mandated that the FAA offer new rules for small unmanned aircraft by 2015, and breaking with expectations, the FAA actually delivered.
I'm sure (P<0.0000003) I would fall for anyone who gave me one of these. The cards above are Valentines from Symmetry, a magazine published by Fermilab and SLAC, two particle-accelerator facilities based in the U.S. My favorite thing about the cards is that, just as there is matter and anti-matter in the universe, each of the Valentines comes matched with an anti-Valentine. So you can express the full range of emotions you need.
With both Google and Uber investigating self-driving cars, it's no surprise that people's imaginations would leap on the news that Apple's been driving minivans bearing complicated equipment rigs around Northern California. But if you're holding out hope for an autonomous iCar, keep waiting.