FCC Fines HobbyKing Nearly $3 Million for Marketing Unauthorized Drone Transmitters

HobbyKing sells radio control model aircraft, subsystems and parts. For quite some time, they sold dozens of models of transmitters, especially for video links and telemetry, that operated on unauthorized frequencies and at unauthorized power levels.  They were also selling transmitters that had never received FCC approval. The FCC previously fined them $2.9 million for violating FCC rules and regulations.  HobbyKing pulled the products and protested the fine, but the FCC noted, they did not dispute they had been actively marketing illegal transmitters – and the fine stands, due within 30 days.

Source: FCC Fines HobbyKing Nearly $3 Million for Marketing Unauthorized Drone Transmitters

Today’s fictional news headline

Looks like nearly all news outlets went with this fake headline. Some even said the U.S. economy contracted 32 or 33% in Q2.

It did not.

They took the quarterly rate and pretended this would continue for 4 quarters – thus, the annualized loss would be 33% (rounded) if it continued but we already know it did not continue.

The quarterly drop was 9.5% (the NY Times got the story correct).

Some fake news reports compared the 33% annualized rate to a quarterly loss of 8.4% that occurred in late 2008, making the 33% look even worse. Right there the reporters should have realized their reporting error – but they did not.

The brain dead Oregonian made this completely untrue statement on the main page of their web site – it was a 9.5% drop, not a 33% drop in the quarter. The media doesn’t give a damn about accuracy.

Part of the problem is the NBER report and press release these news “stories” are mostly copied from did not make the Q2 quarterly number clear – and emphasized the annualized rate.

The annualized drop was slightly less than what had been forecast – and that would be good news, so shut up.

The result, of course, is excessive gloom and doom fake news headlines that did not accurately capture what just happened and what is happening now.

Some of the reports, such as the NY Times, did note that the massive drop was entirely self inflicted by public health policies.

Unlike past recessions, this one was a result of a conscious decision to suspend economic activity to slow the spread of the virus.

NPR, by comparison, completely mangled the story into nonsense:

Germany’s sharp drop in output [10.1% in the quarter] pales in comparison, however, to the  32.9% plunge [4 quarter analyzed rate]  in U.S. gross domestic product for the same period — the steepest quarterly downturn ever recorded for the American economy.

That interpretation by NPR is 100% pure idiocy on steroids. That is incredibly stupid reporting.

The good news – the -9.5% quarterly down turn is expected to be followed by a +13% increase in Q3. But shhh … don’t let anyone know that, okay? Wouldn’t want people to be hopeful – want them to be anxiety ridden and having panic attacks!

Interestingly, the lock downs, apparently, did not work – see the massive spread of viral outbreaks occurring in July. But at least they put 40 million out of work, closed schools, harmed student education, created significant mental health problems – and destroyed the economy, so there’s that. Guess we call it a success then?

Check the track record for those giving economic advice

Nobel economist Paul Krugman, Election night, 2016, writing in the NY Times:

Nobel economist Paul Krugman, July 28, 2020:

As Talib has observed, most economics prognosticators do okay for some number of years – mostly due to luck – and then reality hits. I used to enjoy reading Krugman’s columns but he increasingly went off the rails into politicized nutty land.

I agree with concerns over today’s stock market valuations, however a size-able part of this is the expectation of future inflation due to governments’ mammoth money printing required to accommodate their pandemic policies’ economic destruction.

My guess, though, as good or bad as any other, is that we are already seeing asset-price inflation due to the future devaluation of money caused by money printing. That’s why the stock market is up (and gold too). Owning assets that maintain their inherent value might be a good idea. Similarly, debt that will be paid off in future deflated dollars is a traditional good idea.

There are arguments that it is “different this time” – and the demand side might not be there to support inflation’s effects on prices. We will see!

Universities closing – permanently – their MBA programs

More than 100 MBA programs were closed from 2014 to 2018:

Several U.S. business schools have closed their struggling full-time M.B.A. programs in recent months, and the coronavirus outbreak may endanger more.

Source: Covid-19 Prompted Purdue University to Shut Its M.B.A. Program. More Closures Are Expected. – WSJ

The costs of full time, in-residence, on campus programs has become to unwieldy, say the schools. And with the pandemic, in-residence programs are essentially going away. A related factor, now, is the collapse of their international student enrollment.

Analysts think there could be only a few dozen in-residence MBA programs left, within in years – and those primarily at the elite schools.

When was the last time the media hyped a “drone sighting”? I can’t even remember.

Reports to the FAA of “drone sightings”, used by Congress and the FAA to drive forth draconian remote identification and mandated national surveillance networks using drones, with the goal of pricing drone flying out of the public’s reach – were based on bad data and media hysterics, much of which was false reporting.

  • Remember the Aeromexico flight in late 2018 that had a collapsed nose cone? The media blamed that on a drone. Six months later the official investigation found it was due to a maintenance defect on the nose cone.
  • Remember the Gatwick Airport fiasco? The only confirmed drone sightings were of the fleet of surveillance drones operated by the Sussex Police over the airport.
  • Remember the temporary Newark Airport closure due to a “drone sighting”? That drone report was from 20 miles away from the airport and may not have even been a drone at all.

Take a look at this – drone sightings have magically disappeared: Drone Sightings: The Actual Non-Hyped Numbers Analyzed (Graphs, Trends, etc.)

After awhile, when the FAA isn’t stealing Youtube content, they seem to have been busy making up fake drone reports to justify a remote ID proposal that mandates all drones be connected to the Internet cloud, in real time, and used as part of a massive national surveillance program, collecting imagery and telemetry and potentially sending it to China. Brilliant. Not like any drones would so something like that.

The FAA’s primary goal is to make hobby flying of radio control model aircraft so expensive and cumbersome as to eliminate it entirely. The reason is to clear the low altitude airspace for AmazonGoogleUPS delivery drones. The FAA asserts that it and it alone owns the airspace in your front and backyards from the ground up. Literally, the airspace below your head when you stand outside is controlled by the FAA and they intend to use it for corporate delivery and surveillance networks. (See my comments to see how that works.)

Rite Aid used facial recognition in cameras in stores serving poor customers

Claims they’ve turned it off due to “industry conversation” about such technology. The tech is kinda useless when everyone is required to wear an airway restriction device over their face:)

In the hearts of New York and metro Los Angeles, Rite Aid deployed the technology in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods, according to a Reuters analysis. And for more than a year, the retailer used state-of-the-art facial recognition technology from a company with links to China and its authoritarian government.

Source: Rite Aid deployed facial recognition system in hundreds of U.S. stores