Weekend Roundup 4/21

News Trending Now

“It sure would be nice to have a drone up there.” Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted about the usefulness of a drone in the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers. Popular Science Magazine discusses five ways drones could have helped during the Marathon bombing.

On a related note, the Danger Room blog writes about the modern manhunt: “Hiding in plain sight was an ocean of data, from torrents of photography to cell-tower information to locals’ memories, waiting to be exploited.”

Israel visualizes a future air war without airmen or airwomen. According to the Huffington Post, within four or five decades all aerial duties will be within the ability of unmanned aircraft.

The Syrian opposition wants the US to use drones against the Assad regime. (Bloomberg)

China has dispatched drones to monitor the post-quake situation. (China Daily)

The Ivory Coast has requested that the UN send drones to pick up the slack when peacekeepers depart later this year. (The Guardian)

According to Yemeni officials, a US drone strike has killed at least two militants near the capital. (ABC News)

Long-endurance drones, the ‘holy grail’ of aerial intelligence and surveillance, are still a long way off. (MilitaryTimes.com)

Drones and missiles galore! Iran shows off their gun closet in a warning to Israel. (Telegraph UK)

Florida has passed strict anti-drone legislation. (Examiner.com)

Luxury estates are captured  with a drone by a photographer in Australia. Butch Jones, a football coach at the University of Tennessee, uses a drone to get aerial coverage of the team practice. Princeton University wants aerial photos of their campus.

Opinion and Commentary

Roger Berkowitz writes on the future of modern war and drones.

Rafia Zakaria at Guernica Magazine ponders the impact of violent attacks on Americans.

The Atlantic questions President Obama’s drone heavy counter-terrorism strategy in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

A letter to the editor in the Arizona Sun Times argues that, comparatively, drones minimize civilian casualties.

David Axe at Reuters comments on the coming Pacific drone alliance between the United States, Japan, Australia and South Korea.

Gabriella Blum at Harvard Law School describes the individualization of the laws of war and the dangers of seeing war as a policing action.

Know Your Drone

The French developer of the Parrot A.R. toy drone has released a smartphone app where players simulate docking a spaceship. “‘This data is then used in our own research to teach robots how to navigate by judging distances. It’s the first step to reproducing these actions with artificial intelligence.’”

It appears that a ‘throwbot’ was used in the raid on the home of Kevin Curtis, the alleged source of the Ricin poison sent to President Obama.

Ha’aretz provides a look at the Israeli Navy’s first unmanned ship. (Article behind a paywall) DARPA plans to develop unmanned submarines to keep tabs on manned subs around the world.

The Huffington Post examines the micro-drone revolution. The Understanding Empire blog also writes about the militarization of nature and micro-drones.

Plenty of hype around drones in the movie Oblivion, featuring Tom Cruise as a drone repairman.

Not exactly a scene out of The Notebook: a California couple get engaged with the help of a drone.

(Image courtesy of thethinktrip.com)