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Drone wars

1 September 2014

Firstly... woohoo, it's spring!

Well it might be spring -- since there has always been some disagreement as to whether spring begins on September 1st or on the date of the equinox -- but I opt for Sept 1 because I can't wait for the weather to get warmer.

But now to the subject de jour... the drone wars between at least two major players in the online world.

Last week the wires were filled with reports, pictures and videos showing Google's drone testing for product deliveries. This testing is taking place in Australia, mainly because the FAA has gone troppo in respect to trying to restrict the use of such craft and now faces several law-suits as a result.

It seems that Australia's regulations in respect to drones are far more amenable to those companies wishing to develop and test such craft. How embarrassing for a nation like the USA that holds itself up as being on the cutting edge of technology development.

According to the reports and a carefully crafted video posted to YouTube by the company itself, the delivery test went off without a hitch, despite a stiff breeze.

What a shame that this testing wasn't done in NZ. All we got from Google were a bunch of plastic bags filled with helium that simply floated away into the distance -- in the form of Project Loon.

Meanwhile, Amazon are still chomping at the bit to leverage drone technology to hype up their brand and there's talk of them also going offshore to continue the development of their craft and systems.

Should NZ be touting for that business perhaps?

Regular readers can probably understand my intense frustration in watching all this going on when I'm still prevented from continuing the development of my SAA system, the crucial "missing link" that will almost certainly be mandated by airspace administrators around the world, before these craft can actually be unleashed into the skies over our heads.

Likewise, if I had any hair left I'd be pulling out out by the handful as I stare out the door of my workshop at Tokoroa's virtually unused airfield and wonder why the local council is so strongly opposed to turning it into a tech-hub for the development of these drone craft and associated technologies.

When we look at just how dirty our politics has become, even at a national level, I think one would be naive to believe that the seemingly crazy decisions made by local-body government around here is done with any more consideration for the public good.

I see that Sir Owen Glenn has given up on New Zealand (NZH story) and I can empathise with him. It seems that abuse of power and corruption has reached such intolerable levels in this country that we'll see even more folk throwing up their hands in frustration.

Here in Tokoroa, we have a Mayor who seems to be only interested in casting aspersions on someone like myself who has put enormous effort into promoting the district and bringing opportunities to its people and businesses -- even when in doing so, he betrays his council's very blatant bias and prejudice.

When I look at the crap going on around me I really do wonder what will become of this country. Too many of our politicians are as dirty as dishwater, philanthropists are bailing from sheer frustration, our core assets are being sold off to the highest offshore bidder and our very sovereignty is being annexed by powerful corporate lobbyists through the US government.

Is the situation really as dire as I might suggest?

You tell me.

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