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Honeywell To Sell Miami-Dade Police a Surveillance Drone

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the setting-trends dept.

Crime 253

AHuxley writes "The Miami-Dade Police Department recently finalized a deal to buy a 20-pound drone from defense firm Honeywell. The drone can fly for 40 minutes, reach heights of 10,500 feet and cruise in the air at 46 miles an hour. As the Miami-Dade Police Department has recently made a lot of budget cuts, the funding may have come from a federal grant. An eye in the sky like over Iraq and Afghanistan may soon be looking down over South Florida 'to keep people safe.' Honeywell has applied to the FAA for clearance to fly the drone in urban areas."

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253 comments

Important question (2)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792500)

Does it come with missiles?

TASER (Re: Important question) (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792926)

Does it come with missiles?

For police use, a TASER would be a better idea. A quadrotor drone equipped with a TASER would be very useful to police. Once you've identified a perp using gyrostabilized telescopic video cameras invisibly from 1000's of feet in the air, you can wait until the perp is alone, then swoop in and stun the perp while a patrol car is called in with the GPS coordinates to take him in.

Hilarity (read police atrocity) ensues

Re:Important question (3, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792980)

No, but model rocket hobbyists are plotting ways to missile this motherfucker right out of the sky.

Re:Important question (0)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793102)

Honestly, I hope they do. I was thinking that it would make a good test target for a rail gun project... though, have to be really careful about how you fire it if you want to avoid killing anyone with a missed shot... or landing the bird on their heads.... oh well... small price to pay to restore safety and security to your nieghborhood. Can't let the biggest, most violent gang in the area get too much power.

Re:Important question (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793170)

>>>Honestly, I hope they do.

Why? The police are merely enforcing the laws and protect human rights from thieves, murderers, et cetera. An eye-in-the-sky helps them complete that mission. If you are think there are some laws that are too onerous, then modify the law not the enforcement.

NBC is also guilty of doctoring a video showing a Black man carrying a rifle, to make it appear that it was "white racists" who want to "execute the president". Woah. First class propaganda.
http://www.google.com/search?q=msnbc%20black%20man%20white%20racist&tbs=vid:1 [google.com]

Re:Important question (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793314)

Why? The police are merely enforcing the laws and protect human rights from thieves, murderers, et cetera. An eye-in-the-sky helps them complete that mission.

You're not too familiar with the Miami-Dade police department, or indeed with police in general, are you?

Re:Important question (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793386)

Or worst he is one. It really is hard to maintain perspective when your paycheck requires you to have your head so far up your own ass that you can't see how little of what you do actually makes a difference, and how much of it is needlessly harming other people for little reason more than supporting the prison-industrial complex and auto insurance companies.

Re:Important question (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793456)

Yeah. I was held by Homeland Gestapo when I refused to let them search my car's trunk w/o a warrant. They made me stand in the hot Texas sun for over an hour.

BUT as I said in my original message: If you are think there are some laws that are too onerous, then modify the law rather than weaken the enforcement. The police are just doing what the politicians told them to do (via laws); it's the politicians you need to denigrate and force them to change the law (or else fire them). In my specific case I'd like to see laws put in place that provide mandatory jailtime for Homeland Security/police when they perform unconstitutional, warrantless searches.

But in the case of the drone, if you steal or murder in plain view of..... well everyone..... then you deserve to get arrested.

Re:Important question (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793182)

You'd need G type engines to reach that height or bigger, and you need a special license to acquire those and you need to clear with FAA on the date, time, and place you're going to launch them.

Re:Important question (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793350)

And you expect anyone trying to take out a predator drone with a home made rocket is going to obey those "laws", while planning to destroy "public property"? What fantasy world do you live in.

Re:Important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793498)

So what you are saying is it's more of amateur rocketry than model rocketry?

I'd say that anyone able to make a guidance system accurate enough to hit a 20 lb model plane 10,000 feet away is already well out of the realm of "model" rocketry. There's no size mentioned in TFA, but I'd assume it's under 20ft wide.

Re:Important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793168)

Ooo new project.

Re:Important question (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793384)

and I'm sure police are working to ensure they will get 20-life for destruction of police proporty. Just like the FBI car bugs

Re:Important question (4, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793068)

Miami Beach? Could I, um, have my own drone just kind of fly around looking at "stuff?" I'm thinking Goggle Earth would never be the same...

Just like HL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34792536)

Remember the scanners from Half-Life 2?

40 minutes (2)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792550)

doesn't sound like a very long time, do they launch it with an elastic band or something ?

Re:40 minutes (3, Interesting)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792614)

doesn't sound like a very long time, do they launch it with an elastic band or something ?

That was my observation too. Also, what is the point of being able to go to 10,500 feet if you only have a 40 min. of flight time?

Re:40 minutes (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792826)

You can then extend that to 40 minutes and ~26 seconds before violently crashing the drone at about 250 meters per second.

Re:40 minutes (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792892)

Ehh, no joke, the most dangerous neighborhoods in Miami are right around police HQ. And the courts. It's kind of sad.

Re:40 minutes (2)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792998)

Ehh, no joke, the most dangerous neighborhoods in Miami are right around police HQ. And the courts. It's kind of sad.

Maybe Fergie needs to be made aware of this so she can raise awareness.

Watch out Dexter (3, Funny)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792576)

I hope this doesn't complicate Dexter's employment at the department.

Re:Watch out Dexter (2)

cluedweasel (832743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792770)

Dexter works for Miami Metro. It's Horatio Caine, AKA Mr. Sunglasses, who works for Miami Dade Police. Imagine the witty one liners he could hang on a drone. On the other hand, lets not.

Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (4, Informative)

splatter (39844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792594)

Assault on a Police officer with a door knob. Yeah you read that right told Miami police to pound sand at 3 AM after they woke me up talking about a dead body smell (was the refig in the apartment next door which was off and had gone bad) with no warrant. Closed the door and got my ass handed to me when the door knob hit the officer and he claimed I assulted him. Spent the night / next day in MIA prison waiting for bail facing 7 years for assault, & resisting arrest.

fuck miami, and 'the man' that live there! sorry had to be said.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (-1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792806)

I guess you'll be more polite next time - honestly, police officers have a hard enough time dealing with the crap they have to and risking their lives for people like you, I'll bet if you had just cooperated you'd have been back in your safe warm bed in no time and probably not even remembered the incident the next day.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792870)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793474)

If you've got nothing to hide, why care about privacy?

oh wait, it's not that time in the thread yet?...

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34792948)

People who quote Sun Tzu are almost always seriously conceited asshats.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (4, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793008)

No, people who quote Sun Tzu are almost always speaking Chinese.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793128)

No, people who quote Sun Tzu are almost always speaking Chinese.

Probably not. Most people obsessed enough to spew out-of-context Sun Tzu quotes are adolescent Western gamers.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793242)

But I don't think Sun Tzu ever spoke in English....

Aside, I've wanted a copy of The Art of War in the original Chinese for a while now, though I can't read it. If I want to read it that bad, I'll have to learn the language; I don't want to read a bunch of bullshit interpretation (translation is hard) just so I can say "oh, I've read The Art of War, 'cause I'm cool." I read stuff like that for understanding, not for the ability to quote things and shout loudly.

I can never find the original... that and Musashi's Book of Five Rings in Japanese (I'm far more interested in this than Art of War). And, more interesting, Toshiro Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go in the original Japanese.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793310)

Frosty's comment: You hit the nail on the head, case closed.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793084)

Hey, guess what. Even if I'm a total ass-hat to the police, unless I actually put them in danger I don't deserve any legal repercussions for it, let alone being threatened with years in prison. The OP was completely within his rights to close the door on the police officers, unless he slammed it as hard as possible with no warning and the intention to cause harm I don't see how he should possibly be charged with anything.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793172)

While the reaction to the door slamming seems certainly overzealous, I agree with the FP to this one. Being an asshat generally reaps likewise behavior. I would hope any court would find closing a door, however abruptly, to not be assault though.

BTW, knocking on a door does not require a warrant. If the story is true, the police were doing their due diligence.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793152)

I'll bet if you had just cooperated you'd have been back in your safe warm bed in no time and probably not even remembered the incident the next day.

The 3 o'clock knock wouldn't be welcome here either. As for the assault with the door handle bullshit, it's clearly a nonsense charge. The police harrasing people in their own homes at 3AM in routine inquiries over a funky smell is unreasonable, "fuck off" is a perfectly appropriate reaction.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793184)

I never asked them to risk their lives for me. I also happen to know what kind of entitlement programs they have working in their favor (which I never asked for the privilege of paying for either). Retirement after 20 years of work? Making gobs of overtime pay for standing around doing what a flag man could do on details (yah I live in MA), getting an hour and a half added to their already inflated time sheets for every bogus traffic ticket they write....

all for what? So they can catch the occasional bad guy after the fact? So they can harass me on the roads for perfectly reasonable driving that happens to break the letter of the law? Fuck them. I would rather they get real jobs and stop sucking of the government tit.

All to enforce laws...written by corrupt liars, who don't even try to represent the people, or do much of anything but take care of their cronies and inflate their budgets so they can give cushy jobs to their buddies.

Fuck them and the horse they ride in on.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792942)

Meh, that's nothing: During street protests, it's not uncommon for people to be arrested for assaulting a police officer's knee with their groin.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (-1, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792960)

told Miami police to pound sand at 3 AM after they woke me up talking about a dead body smell

Right, because it's so annoying when the cops investigate people's deaths. Don't you hate that? Deaths, and any accompanying odors, should only occur between 9:00AM and 5:00PM on weekdays, right? Regardless, there's no question that instead of saying, "Thanks for investigating, guys" that slamming the door in their faces is a great way to show a little respect for people who put their lives on the line for you, for a living.

with no warrant

If your nose tells you that there might be a dead body rotting, you don't need a warrant - no more than seeing a gun or hearing a scream. Of course, you know that, and you're just adding a little Troll spice to your story.

All you had to do was apologize for hitting the guy's hand, and express a little genuine surprise and concern that it happened, instead of acting like an asshat. Of course, you're not acting, are you?

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793134)

Um.... you think seeing a gun is probable cause to search without a warrant?

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793256)

you think seeing a gun is probable cause to search without a warrant?

In the context of someone brandishing it, or in the case of it matching one reported stolen and reported as being in the location where it's seen, or any number of similar situations, yes. The mere presence of a gun, by itself, without any sort of alarming context ... of course not, obviously. No more so than the presence of a steak knife.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (1)

splatter (39844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793510)

right so I just should have let them come into the wrong house when they asked for no reason because they wanted to?

Maybe in Russia but here in the US there is a thing called a warrant. Back under your bridge troll.

Re:Just what the corrupt MIA police dept needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34792978)

Everyone knows that a door knob is a much more effective weapon when put inside a sock and swung wildly. Goddamn, boy, everyone knows that.

Hackers' Dream Come True (2)

BattleWaryMushroom (1964952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792596)

So, with the superfluous knowledge about hacking, how long will it be before it is hijacked and goes AWOL from the police?

Re:Hackers' Dream Come True (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792786)

Probably/hopefully never.

If the drone uses a sufficiently long one-shot key (a 128-bit random string comes to mind) to encrypt the communication with the operator, there's no way they can crack it fast enough to hijack the drone before the 40 minute lifetime runs out.

Re:Hackers' Dream Come True (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793146)

Assuming, of course, that the police model (unlike the military model) is actually encrypted.

Re:Hackers' Dream Come True (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793388)

One should certainly (fervently) hope so.

As one poster said in another comment thread: "Assume Joe Average's "rofl" response to someone sending him a picture of a cat in a Santa hat, needs to be safe from the transcendent intelligences existing in the High Beyond portion of the galaxy. Then only relax that assumption when it's inconvenient. I think we'll find there are many scenarios where it's not inconvenient." This, I believe falls under the "Not inconvenient" heading.

Re:Hackers' Dream Come True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793376)

superfluous knowledge about hacking

I don't think superfluous means what you think it means.

This is Florida (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792616)

So expect the drone to be shot down around minute 4 in the test flight. Dibs on the fallen cameras and servos! Next invasive technology, this one is compromised.

Heard somewhere in a Miami police station... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34792666)

"UAV Recon standing by!"
"Our UAV is online!"

T-Hawk (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792674)

The drone in question is a "T-Hawk". Seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_RQ-16_T-Hawk [wikipedia.org]

Re:T-Hawk (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793254)

Yup, I had to search to see what it looked like, seeing as the highly informative video insisted on showing a Predator (I think) drone.

I suppose the Predator looked a lot better than something that looks like an RC toy.

Honeywell (1)

Redlite (1588373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792736)

I thought these guys made washers and dryers!

Re:Honeywell (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792938)

Honeywell makes everything. EVERYTHING!! Supercomputers, brake pads, turbines, washer/dryer combos..

Re:Honeywell (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792950)

Washers, dryers, POS systems & other specialized IS, surveillance & encryption tools, satellite & weapons system components...

One possible use for it... (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792798)

I'm guessing one use will be following criminals from the air to relay positions. That, and keeping track of a car on a protracted chase, although from what I read, this bird doesn't have that long a radius and run time compared to a helicopter. I wonder if it is cheaper to spin something like this up than get the police in the air, so that is one reason this is being looked into.

Get the toy then get permission to fly it? (3, Interesting)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792804)

"Honeywell has applied to the FAA for clearance to fly the drone in urban areas. This has never been allowed before, but if it does happen, the Miami-Dade Police Department will be the first police agency in the US to use the technology."

Sensor payload? (4, Informative)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792816)

I am less worried about flight duration than the sensor payload that Honeywell is installing for Miami-Dade. IR, Thermographic, NightVision, and HD cameras at the very least to make the drone "useful". TFA only mentions "cameras" not what type.

This statement by police says it all. "It gives us a good opportunity to have an eye up there. Not a surveilling eye, not a spying eye. Let's make the distinction. A surveilling eye to help us to do the things we need to do, honestly, to keep people safe," said Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus.
Hmm. "Not a surveilling eye," then "A surveilling eye to help us..." Maybe a typo, but still telling.

We knew this was coming. http://news.cnet.com/Drone-aircraft-may-prowl-U.S.-skies/2100-11746_3-6055658.html [cnet.com]

Time to start-up my own residential sheilding supply and installation company. Any investors interested?

Re:Sensor payload? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793142)

Yeah, the first "Not" should probably not be there. It's "A surveilling eye, not a spying eye."

Please say, "NO" (5, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792818)

I can only hope the FAA is smart enough (funny joke there) to say no. The risk to other aircraft can not possibly be justified. And given that this would likely trigger as a "pop up" means that the pilot and passengers this drone may murder would likely be "at fault." - even if hit from the rear.

There is absolutely nothing safe about having an idiot cop with a remote control aircraft mixing with air traffic which has can not see and avoid - which is a mandate of the FAA.

people worried about surveillance in public spaces (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792874)

come across to me as paranoid. look: cameras in public spaces is just pretty much reality now, and you just need to deal with it, and accept it

i can hear the howls about orwell already

but its NOT ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT. its not about the power of the state. really, its not. if you took away every government camera in existence, there are still PRIVATE cameras everywhere, on every cellphone. in fact, the greatest use of cameras in public spaces is to FIGHT the government. ever hear of rodney king? if the police abuse you, PRIVATE cameras are right there, recording the abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Neda_Agha-Soltan [wikipedia.org]

in other words, cameras in public are a double edged sword, equally pointed against the power of the state as it is used to enforce the power of the state. in other words, if you think the idea of cameras in public spaces carries with it the only consequence of the growth of the power of the state, then this is a prejudicial assumption on your part and you are in fact clearly factually wrong

the issue is not the state, its not big brother, its simply THE MARCH OF TECHNOLOGY that you are fighting against, and its a fight you can't win

if you go in public, you probably will be recorded. you don't have to like that fact, but that's pretty much the facts of your existence now. so you are going to have to make peace with cameras in public and just get used it. welcome to reality, now deal with it, and stop wasting your effort on a fight you can't win

the game is over, the subject is closed. move on

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793016)

Your screed assumes that the public has the same access to all these cameras as the police.
The reality of the situation is a bit murkier.

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793164)

pick ten random people on the street

most will have cell phones

most of those cell phones will have cameras

in fact, most will be turned on, pointed at the police, should they see the police do something abusive

and that video will be on youtube 10 minutes later, and on the evening news by the 6 pm broadcast

that's reality

now wake up

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793326)

pick ten random people on the street

most will have cell phones

most of those cell phones will have cameras

in fact, most will be turned on, pointed at the police, should they see the police do something abusive

and that video will be on youtube 10 minutes later, and on the evening news by the 6 pm broadcast

that's reality

now wake up

Yeah, because cops who were actually committing a crime would NEVER just round up those people, confiscate their cell phones as "evidence" and delete all the video. Somebody's asleep here, but I don't think it's the poster you were responding to...

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793452)

how are the cops going to round up 10 cell phones from 10 different people in 10 different locations, most of whom aren't around by the time the cops even notice

you have some sort of strange faith in the ability of the state to keep the lid on things

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (2)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793348)

in fact, most will be turned on, pointed at the police, should they see the police do something abusive

Except in the increasing number of places where recording the cops is a crime.

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793054)

You're right private cameras are there. The cops have to jump through additional hoops to get the footage. If a business owner was aware of his (and his fellow citizens' rights) he'd tell the cops to get a warrant. Being that even public video footage isn't even worth watching [lazylightning.org] to prosecute most crime [lazylightning.org] because there is so much of it to go through, I'm guessing they'd ignore it for most crime unless it was super serious.

But hey, if the drone is flying they probably have someone watching the thing during its 40 minute flights and finding the crime going on. All this is going to do is pack our prisons with more unnecessary prisons while claiming it's protecting society.

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793246)

if there is crime going on, its good it is being caught if before the drone it wouldn't be caught

i don't understand a mentality that says society is better when less crime is being punished

now if you mean by crime things which shouldn't be a crime, like smoking a joint or prostitution, i agree with you. and society is slowing changing in that regard: marijuana will soon be legal in the usa, and prostitution should be made legal, and many people will agitate for this positive change on our society

but never, ever will i believe that society is better when less behavior that is CLEARLY criminal is less caught and less prosecuted. a camera caught a guy smacking his girlfriend? send that asshole to jail. that's one less asshole on the street who will clearly smack more women if allowed to stay on the street

i see nothing wrong with better enforcement of laws, as long as those laws are clearly just. and if the law is not just, then WE CHANGE THE LAWS, we don't engage in less enforcement!

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793324)

If you think that marijuana and prostitution are the only to crimes which are leading to the most ridiculous prison population in the world you're wrong. These are crimes which definitely need to be prosecuted but not require jail time and thus tax dollars to pay for the individual to be incarcerated.

The drone isn't going to find important crimes in 40 minute flights. It's going to find every day run of the mill crime which honestly isn't worth the cost of operating this drone.

Re:people worried about surveillance in public spa (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793410)

anything that leads to better enforcement of laws is good

anything that leads to more sane laws is good

but in no world is less enforcement of laws a good thing

time for this to figure in CSI:M?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792924)

place your bets everybody as to exactly how this gets worked into one or more CSI episodes

1 the drone is hijacked: 30 to 1
2 the drone crashes on somebody: 600 to 1
3 a primary character takes the controls of a drone for %reason%: 10 to 1

any takers??

(offer void in any jurisdiction using US Dollars as currency or funds convertible to same)

Re:time for this to figure in CSI:M?? (1)

Jake Griffin (1153451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793096)

(offer void in any jurisdiction using US Dollars as currency or funds convertible to same)

So you accept Monopoly money?

When does SkyNet Go Online? (1)

tdisalvo (1528465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792930)

Stupid terminator movies always changing the time line. Lets go with 2012, it can become self aware and eliminate those pesky humans. I for one welcome our robotic overloards and remind them humans make great batteries when kept in womb-like fluid.

ATC interaction? (1)

samsonov (581161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792958)

The aviation community (myself included) might have some concerns with a drone flying around in Class B airspace. Is it taking off/landing at MIA? Interacting with ATC or MIA tower? Hmm, 10,500ft seems a bit high to monitor traffic/crime from ;)

Surveillance (3, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792984)

The summary insinuates that this drone will be circling the skies watching the citizens below, big-brother style. But with 40 minutes flight time (and every flight would cost money) it's far more likely this would be used to track fleeing suspects, as a cheaper alternative to a helicopter.

A solar-powered plane that can stay up for days at a time, or a blimp with cameras, would be much more threatening to our privacy. If the police want me bad enough to send a drone up to track my movements, then the drone is probably the least of my worries.

Re:Surveillance (3, Insightful)

Yold (473518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793272)

it's far more likely this would be used to track fleeing suspects

On what? A moped? Its got a (reported) top speed of 42 mph... It seems like a waste of money to me.

The only sensible use seems to be equipping it with FLIR and using it to find suspects who are hiding outdoors. Even though SCOTUS has ruled that it is unconstitutional to use FLIR for fly-over searches (think indoor marijuana grow operations), I suspect that this is an ulterior motive behind the purchase. In which case, you should be concerned about your privacy because these FLIR cameras can literally peer into your bedroom.

Re:Surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793470)

Yeah, except the Wikipedia article is wrong. 130 kph is 81 mph not 45 mph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_RQ-16_T-Hawk

Re:Surveillance (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793330)

While personally I don't fear being seen in public places I can say it's fully possible to hit the slippery slope idea. They start out with the short term drone, get laws passed ensuring the legal rights of police to fly unmanned monitoring devices. Once the laws have passed, then you get the swarm of solar plains or whatever.

...swarm of solar plains... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793382)

Once the laws have passed, then you get the swarm of solar plains...

Now that would be interesting...

In a related story, the state legislature... (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793044)

has introduced a bill the have the name of the state changed from Florida to Oceania.

Oblig. (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793140)

Our police department just got a radio controlled drone and the damn thing doesn't even have a Visual Basic interface to control it!

Well you know,

*Puts on sunglasses*

There's no use to drone on about it all day.

YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See what I did there, 2 CSI memes in one post, I rock.

South Beach girlwatch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793398)

Shades of Blue Thunder!

Does it make it too easy? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793404)

What I find interesting about surveillance discussions is it seems to be the case that the consensus on /. is that surveillance is OK if it's difficult and expensive to the taxpayers, but it's not OK if it's easy and cheap to the taxpayers.

For example if you're a suspicious character, it's considered OK if a law enforcement surveillance team stealthily follows you everywhere you go for a week, without your knowledge, meticulously recording everything (at great expense). However, it's considered NOT OK to attach a GPS device to your car that basically does the exact same thing, only much more cheaply and efficiently.

Similarly, it's OK to track bad guys and keep an eye on a city with (very expensive) manned & piloted helicopters, complete with infrared night-vision gear and spotlights. It's not, however, acceptable to fly drones to do the same thing.

I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong, but I find the contrast confusing... Is it simply the case that surveillance is OK provided it's difficult? If that's the case, why do we allow helicopters at all? Or in the case of manned surveillance, why are the police allowed to use radios? Shouldn't they have to use call boxes? Either we're OK with the concept, or we're not...

Honeywell isn't a "defense" company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34793406)

You're thinking of ATK, which was split off from Honeywell in the 90's. Honeywell DOES have an Aerospace division, but it focuses mostly on avionics. Most of their income is from Energy Services.

Trust (2)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793518)

Considering the proximity of several very busy airports there has to be an awful lot of trust in allowing drones in the area. Miami International Airport among others is right in the center of Miami. We could get a huge oops type of event and it is so hard getting those bodies out of the Everglades.

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