Category Archives: Drones

California ends lock downs, there was no holiday surge

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have fallen substantially in nearly every region of California to the point where, this past weekend, there were fewer COVID-positive patients being treated in hospit…

Source: Coronavirus: California’s cases, hospitalizations looking up

California today lifted its stay at home orders across the entire state. Peaks in new cases were just narrowly before Christmas. They’ve admitted there was no holiday surge in the Sacramento metro area.

The original order was based on secret pseudo science the state refused to make public – because it might confuse people, they said. Yes, secret science.

The ordered was lifted even though the State does not meet their a priori metrics for re-opening, but is opening because a model projects they will meet those goals in 4 weeks. In fact, there are more daily new positive tests on January 25th than there were on December 7 when the lock down began.

The decision to re-open is based either on pseudo science or politics – a recall petition to remove the Governor is nearing its required signatures. Some joke that Newsom said all decisions are based on numbers – and in this case, his poll numbers – hah hah 🙂

The surge myth was created because of a very weak correlation without causation, which provided a convenient way to explain away what they could not explain (as one paper headline proclaimed “California has run out of reasons“).  With new cases in CA and LAX peaking before the holidays, the “surge upon surge” meme collapses.

The single highest day of new positive tests was on December 15th. The 7-day moving average peaked on December 26th. There was no holiday surge and anyone claiming such is lying. The large increases in cases began in early November and rose steadily, unmodified by holidays. 

Drones: DJI Mavic Mini 2 adds 4K video, RAW photos and better remote link 

The DJI Mini 2 quadcopter is quite a nice unit, and its under 249 grams. In some countries, that low mass exempts the unit from various regulations; in the U.S. that mass exempts it only from FAA registration and future Remote ID requirements – still need to fly it properly under FAA rules and regulations.

But being exempt from future (as yet unknown) Remote ID requirements is a big plus.

Source: Review: the DJI Mavic Mini 2 is the perfect drone for beginners: Digital Photography Review

Drone deliveries: The end of quiet neighborhoods

Here is a video clip of a Walmart-based drone delivery of items to residential home. You may have to fast forward past the half way point to get to the drone delivery.

What I noticed is how incredibly loud these drone deliveries are. These are not small consumer quadcopters but very large, heavy and loud drones.

They will be criss crossing our neighborhoods and the process of the actual package delivery can take a minute or more as the drone hovers in place.

Drone dropping my covid-19 test to my door! #droneup #walmart #quest

Posted by Brent Morgan on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 

California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars to combat climate change starting in 2035, a move that could help reshape the nation’s automobile market and its output of greenhouse gases.

Source: California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 under Newsom order – SFChronicle.com

The State that is currently unable to provide sufficient electricity to its people, will require that all new vehicles sold after 2035 be – basically – electric. Will be interesting to see how they solve the infrastructure challenge in just 14+ years. The State is presently building just half of a high speed rail system over a period of 25 years.

Related: I do not understand the full concept of Executive Orders. The report notes this mandate is done via Executive Order in order to bypass the Legislature and public input. That is not a democracy in action – that is an authoritarian and undemocratic government.

Separately, the SF Bay area Metropolitan Transportation Commission has voted to mandate that 60% of all workers must work from home – with exemptions for work that cannot be done from home.

Issues have been raised as to how this creates social isolation, difficulties for many people who do not have homes suitable for work, and wipes out large numbers of businesses and jobs that support workers downtown. It also treats those who already walk or take public transport to work the same as everyone else – they too would be required to work at home.

Continue reading California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 

Google joins AMA, AOPA, and EAA asking the FAA to make fundamental changes to the FAA’s Remote ID proposal

This is significant: AMA, AOPA, EAA and Google’s sister company, Wing, urge FAA to Make Essential Changes to Remote ID Rule | AMA IN ACTION Advocating for Members

Last December, the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Remote ID of remote control small aircraft that will de facto ban home made radio controlled model aircraft. That ban is not subtle but intentional in the FAA’s rules. The FAA fully intends to ban the nearly 100 year old model aircraft hobby – under the new rules, only certified, manufactured model aircraft which continuously transmit their location in real time (probably at the cost of a monthly subscription fee) would be permitted.

Additionally, the FAA would move flights of existing model aircraft to about 2,400 “reservations” – a number that would gradually shrink over time to the point that all home made radio controlled aircraft would be banned in the United States.

The purpose of the FAA’s proposal is to seize the public airspace over the United States and turn it over to private industrial drone operations, and to increase costs to members of the public – by mandating realtime, continuous location data transmissions into cloud databases for a likely fee – so as to largely eliminate all model aircraft. This is why it is significant that Google has joined in this effort to retain the traditional model aircraft hobby.

The FAA largely banned ultralight aircraft through a convoluted and confusing set of multiple rule making proceedings. The effect was to ban the use of two-seat ultralights for training purposes. The ultralight flying community has largely vanished as a result. The FAA has gone down the same path to regulate all airspace not only in your backyard, but under their proposal, to regulate the airspace even inside your home. The effect is to ultimately eliminate model aircraft in the U.S. in order to turn over the airspace in your backyard to private corporations. This is not wild speculation – this is exactly how their NPRM was written.

Let’s just mandate it: “NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat”

The National Security Agency issued new guidance on Tuesday for military and intelligence-community personnel, warning about the risks of cellphone location tracking through apps, wireless networks and Bluetooth technology.

The detailed warning from one of the nation’s top intelligence agencies is an acknowledgment that Silicon Valley’s practice of collecting and selling cellphone location information for advertising and marketing purposes poses a serious national-security risk to many inside the government….

Source: NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat – WSJ

In December 2019, the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring mandatory radio-based Remote Identification and tracking of all hobby radio controlled aircraft weighing more than 250 grams (about 1/2 pound). The Final Rule is expected in December of 2021. The NPRM itself eventually ends the radio control model aircraft hobby that currently exists, makes it legal to fly only certified, manufactured drones that are tracked in real time. The primary purpose is to clear the air space above your home and turn it over to AmazonGoogleUPS. The FAA asserts all rights to the airspace in your back yard, for example.

Every remote controlled aircraft would be required by Federal regulation to connect to the Internet and log its activities in an Internet cloud database, in real time. Those providing the cloud databases may offer them for free in exchange for who knows what – but the FAA itself proposed they might collect photo images and telemetry – such as WiFi and Bluetooth communications collected by the craft.

In effect, the FAA mandates a nationwide low level altitude surveillance network of potentially millions of drones collecting data in real time and logging it in data bases – that may as well be located in China.

Meanwhile, the US DoD and the US Department of the Interior banned the use of Chinese made drones over fears of their use for espionage.

While the left hand bans drones from collecting data, the right hand mandates that all drones must collect potentially invasive data on behalf of foreign organizations.

We know that U.S. firms and others are collecting massive amounts of private data through the use of apps on our smart phones. Google itself collects your location data, even when you turn location services off.

The primary business function of the Internet is surveillance to be used for many purposes.

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

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.)