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How an 80s Book for Kids Predicted Today's Spy Satellites and Cyberwars

Back when I was a kid in the 1980s and 90s I assumed that one day governments would be able to spy on anyone from space. Where did I get this idea? From the odd sci-fi movie or three. As well as books like Future War and Weapons by Neil Ardley from 1981. The unnerving part? They weren't wrong. » 8/19/14 7:10pm Yesterday 7:10pm

​Africa's First Indigenous Aircraft Will Compete With Surveillance UAVs

While Africa's backyard space program has yet to get off the ground, the continent's first (arguably) homegrown aircraft has already taken flight. Throughout the continent, these ultralight two-seaters could soon fill the skies where long-range surveillance UAVs are too expensive to fly. » 8/19/14 11:40am Yesterday 11:40am

The Show That Warned Us Enemy of the State Was a Documentary

"PFFFFTTTTTT! WE ALREADY KNEW THAT!" was a common response from some people when last summer's Snowden leaks revealed that the NSA was monitoring American communications. And in some ways, they were right. We already knew a lot thanks to PBS documentaries. So what PBS documentary will we point to when we learn that… » 8/18/14 8:00pm Monday 8:00pm

The Secret US Drone Program that Killed JFK's Eldest Brother

The Ryan Firebee is widely considered the first true UAV developed by the US military, however, it was far from their first attempt. Take Operation Aphrodite, which loaded B-17s with high explosives and remotely crashed them into enemy targets, for instance. This early UAV program wasn't just an abject failure, it may… » 8/15/14 11:40am Friday 11:40am

Unmanned Drones Landing Autonomously Next to F-18s Is a Very Big Deal

The days of piloted combat aircraft are quickly coming to an end, soon to be heavily augmented if not outright replaced by UCAS, or Unmanned Combat Air Systems. Just yesterday, the Navy's X-47B demonstrator proved that manned and unmanned operations can take place on the same flight deck. » 8/10/14 2:37pm 8/10/14 2:37pm

Kanye West Said a Crazy Thing About Drones But Was Also Right

Kanye West is a worrier. Except these days, he's not upset about Bonnaroo or water bottles, he's worried about adult stuff, like the safety of his one-year-old daughter North. More specifically, he's worried about her getting electrocuted by a paparazzi-piloted drone while she's swimming. As with most things Kanye,… » 8/07/14 10:02am 8/07/14 10:02am

DJI's New Heavy-Load Drone Comes With Retractable Landing Gear

Most people are familiar with DJI as the manufacturers of the Phantom series, one of the most popular consumer drones on the market. The company is continuing to expand its horizons into the pro market with the new Spreading Wings S900. This professional-grade drone not only looks cool. It also sort of works like a… » 8/05/14 11:36am 8/05/14 11:36am

Share the Best Drone Video You've Ever Shot (And Tell Us How You Did It)

Last week, a man pushed a drone out his Seattle hotel window and conducted a fly-by of the nearby Space Needle. Police got a report that the drone had hit the Needle, and confiscated the video he had shot as evidence. But there was no collision, just this dramatic sunset footage, with tiny tourists waving from the… » 7/28/14 1:53pm 7/28/14 1:53pm

This Dreamy Drone Tour Shows the Rebirth of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles's swiftly mutating downtown is usually viewed at street level. Now, thanks to filmmaker Ian Wood, we get a top-down perspective of the city's transformation in this gorgeous video, which he shot with a lightweight remote-controlled quadcopter and camera system. 20 stories up, there's change afoot as well. » 7/25/14 4:49pm 7/25/14 4:49pm

Believe It or Not, the World's Fastest-Growing Drone Fleet Is in Japan

Japan is a peaceful nation, in no small part because its post-World War II constitution required it. All that changed last month when President Shinzo Abe ended the ban that's kept Japan's army in check since 1945. And do you know what the country did next? It started buying drones. Lots and lots of drones. » 7/21/14 6:10pm 7/21/14 6:10pm