It’s finally happened. I got flamed by Code Pink, the fringe anti-war group famous for … well, wearing pink and being annoying. Tony Blome from Code Pink’s San Francisco operations wrote to scold me for my recent Wired article “Hidden History: America’s Secret Drone War in Africa,” in which I detailed drone operations over Somalia since 2007.
Archived posts with tag ‘drones’
More secret bases. More and better unmanned warplanes. More frequent and deadly robotic attacks. Some five years after a U.S. Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flew the type’s first mission over lawless Somalia, the shadowy American-led drone campaign in the Horn of Africa is targeting Islamic militants more ruthlessly than ever.
The Russian military will acquire long-range, presumably jet-powered strike drones to help replace its arsenal of decrepit Cold War-era Tupolev heavy bombers, according to Moscow’s long-range aviation commander, Lt. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev.
Since at least February the Syrian government has been using Iranian-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to track and target Free Syrian Army rebels in their strongholds, including Homs and Hamah. Now some fresh commercial satellite imagery provides new details about the drone’s possible tactics and capabilities.
Lethal strikes by armed drones are America’s best and less obtrusive method of killing Islamic militants and dismantling their terror networks while minimizing civilian casualties. Or they’re a misguided and counter-productive attempt at sterilizing the dirty work of counter-terrorism — one that serves as a rallying cry for terrorist recruiters and ends up creating more militants than it eliminates.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN This month, the Army planned to deploy to Afghanistan an unusual new drone: an unmanned eye-in-the-sky helicopter programmed to use high-tech cameras to monitor vast amounts of territory. But now the drone might be lucky to be deployed at all, as the Army has moved to shut down production — possibly ending [...]
Animal New York: Our Robot Future
Just one reporter had the unconstrained ability to get a bird’s-eye view on police action during the height of the Occupy protests. Tim Pool, a 26-year-old independent video journalist, began sending a customized two-foot-wide robot–made by French company Parrot–whirring over the police’s and protestors’ heads. The camera-equipped ‘bot streamed live video to Pool’s smartphone, which relayed the footage to a public Internet stream.
The next decade could see a huge shift in the way armed drones and their human controllers interact, with potentially profound effects on future battlefields. At the heart of this change: two-way voice controls for autonomous systems, just like your iPhone’s Siri app. Also, vibrating controls like an Xbox controller. A drone operator could literally talk to a drone — and the drone could talk right back, and also alert its human operator with a sensation similar to touch.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN The military has a data problem. More specifically, it has a too-much-data problem. Analysts have to sort through massive amounts of information collected by orbiting surveillance drones and satellites, or finding the data trails left behind by spies inside defense networks. Sorting through all this data is also necessary for making unmanned [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN The CIA offered in January to scale back its unofficial drone war in Pakistan, hoping to convince the country’s reluctant spy chiefs to acquiesce to a continued robotic campaign against al-Qaeda and its allies. The problem: a fair-sized chunk of Pakistan’s political leadership would rather have the drones leave altogether. The offer [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Iran is planning to build drones for the Venezuelan military. Just so you know, it sounds worse than it is. That’s according to Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, chief of U.S. forces in South America. According to Fraser, who spoke to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, the drones are to be manufactured [...]