DJI is inviting state, local and tribal governments to consider partnering with the company as they apply to take part in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new UAS Integration Pilot Program. According to DJI, the program smartly provides opportunities for government and industry to experiment with advanced drone operations and test new forms of airspace management. The company notes it is pleased that the program will also help inform policymakers on regulatory approaches to safe drone adoption. "DJI has worked for years with government officials around the world to help develop reasonable, safety-enhancing public policies while keeping open the pathways to innovation," says Brendan Schulman, DJI's vice president of policy and legal affairs. "We would very much value the opportunity to work with U.S. state, local and tribal governments to develop smart and comprehensive strategies for expanding how drones can benefit their constituents while properly managing their integration into the airspace."
The Libyan National Army has been battling ISIS in the cities of Sirte and Benghazi. The U.S. military has launched airstrikes this month in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Friday, for the first time since September, in Libya. According to a defense official, the drone strike in the desert of central Libya Friday killed "several" ISIS militants in a sign the Pentagon may be ramping up pressure on terror groups in Africa. The most recent strike comes a year after the military launched nearly 500 airstrikes against ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte, located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi. The September strike killed 17 ISIS fighters.
An exasperated bug bounty hunter has revealed that drone maker DJI left everything from AWS credentials to private SSL keys on public forums. As reported by the Register, security researcher Kevin Finisterre discovered the Chinese firm had left the private keys of the DJI HTTPS domain on GitHub, exposed for all to see for roughly four years. To make matters worse, DJI had also made AWS credentials and firmware AES keys available for anyone to search for through the GitHub repository. Given these tools, as summarized by the researcher as a "full infrastructure compromise," a cyberattacker could have free reign to cause utter havoc for DJI, stealing data, compromising systems, and much more. The problems started in August, when the Chinese firm announced a bug bounty program that invited external researchers to find, submit, and be rewarded for responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities in the company's products.
I'm a sucker for bio-inspired engineered. This air-and-sea drone, called the Aquatic Micro Air Vehicle, or AquaMAV, had my number from the first splash. The drone can fly up to 25mph and cover a distance of more than six miles on a charge. After it dives, it can collect water samples and then relaunch itself out of the water using a powerful gas jet. Developed by Mirko Kovac, PhD, who directs the Aerial Robotics Lab at Imperial College London, the device is one of a growing number of multi-domain robots that can traverse disparate environments.
Drones have become a common part of warfare -- but their use remains a subject of public contention. Lisa Parks, a professor in MIT's program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and director of its Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab, has spent extensive time analyzing this public debate. Now, she has co-edited a new volume examining the subject, while contributing a piece to it herself. The book, "Life in the Age of Drone Warfare," has just been published by Duke University Press. MIT News talked with Parks this week about the impact and public perception of drones.
Widespread devastation in Athens, Greece, was depicted Thursday in new drone footage following heavy flooding and violent storms. The destruction has left many surrounding areas underwater in what Mandra Mayor Yianna Krikouki called a "biblical" flood. Several regions in Greece have faced inclement weather for about a week. The situation escalated when heavy rain resulted in severe flooding Wednesday night. The death toll has risen to at least 16, and at least four civilians are reportedly still missing.
Hamas has blamed the Israeli national intelligence agency Mossad for the assassination of one of its Tunisian members after conducting an 11-month-long investigation. The Palestinian group said Mohammed al-Zawari, a commander of its armed wing the Qassam Brigades since 2006, was fatally shot outside his home multiple times while in his car near Sfax, 270km southeast of Tunis, on December 15, 2016. Hamas had set up an investigative committee in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. Speaking at a press conference in Beirut on Thursday, Mohammed Nazzal, Hamas politburo member, called the Mossad operation a "terrorist act". "Mossad is officially accused of being behind the assassination, which is not only a terrorist act, but a violation of state sovereignty," he said.
Robotics and big data have already revolutionized e-commerce. These companies are helping to distribute that revolution evenly. Drone delivery is already available, albeit in limited markets. Flytrex, a drone logistics company, is well on the way to changing that. The company launched the world's first fully autonomous drone delivery system in Iceland this year, cutting average delivery times for e-commerce company AHA by over 75 percent on certain items while saving 60 percent in delivery costs.
"We are really working on issues that policy makers have never tackled before," Mr. Kratsios, the U.S. deputy chief technology officer, told The Wall Street Journal in his first major interview since his appointment in March. "It's just a question of putting smart people around a table and trying to come up with an innovative approach to regulating" new technologies, he said. To do that, he will need to work closely with the science and tech communities--some of the staunchest critics of Mr. Trump's policies. Leading scientists and tech executives have abandoned White House advisory councils and complained that the president's policies in areas like climate change and immigration threaten to reverse years of economic and social progress. It may help that Mr. Kratsios, 31 years old, hails from the world of technology, having spent seven years as an executive at venture-capital firms founded by Silicon Valley luminary Peter Thiel.