CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta drones. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta drones. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, septiembre 03, 2014

The Navy's X-47B Drone

TIME

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lunes, junio 23, 2014

Russian pizza chain starts pizza deliveries by drone

ITN


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lunes, diciembre 02, 2013

Amazon: Customers to expect home delivery by drones

Read on usnews >>

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miércoles, noviembre 13, 2013

U.S. Air National Guard Drone Crash Into lake Ontario During Training Mission

From War News Updates


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viernes, noviembre 01, 2013

Leader of Pakistan Taliban killed in US drone strike, US, Pakistani officials say

EPA, file
Hakimullah Mehsud, center, leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Movement of Pakistani Taliban), talks with journalists in Pakistan's Orakzai tribal agency near the Afghanistan border on Nov. 26, 2008.
The leader of the Pakistan Taliban was killed Friday in a U.S. drone strike in Northwest Pakistan, U.S. and Pakistani officials tell NBC News.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed  the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, head of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a CIA drone strike.
A Pakistani security official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told NBC News earlier that Mehsud was killed earlier in the day in Danday Darpakhel village of North Waziristan.
A senior member of the Pakistani Taliban, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the death.
"It is very painful to announce that our dearest, brave and sincere leader Hakimullah Mehsud died in drone attack," he said.
The U.S. official said he could not confirm other deaths in the attack, but reports in Pakistani news media said a total of four people were killed and five others injured in the strikes, which targeted a compound. The dead reportedly included two other senior TTP officials, Abdullah Bahar Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud's new deputy, and commander Tariq Afridi, the TTP commander in Pakistan's Dara Adamkhel region.
A senior Pakistani security official told NBC News that the country was placed on an increased state of alert to pre-empt retaliatory attacks by the Taliban.
The senior Pakistani Taliban member said the TTP held an emergency meeting in the tribal areas soon after learning of Mehsud's death and selected two commanders -- Maulvi Omar Khalid Khurasani, commander in the Mahmand tribal region, and Maulana Fazlullah, head of the Swat Taliban -- as possible replacements for Mehsud, who had a $5 million reward on his head posted by the U.S.
"Among these two men, one will replace our slain emir,” he said.
The TTP has waged a decade-long insurgency against the Pakistani government from sanctuaries along the Afghan border. It has mainly targeted the Pakistani government, in suicide bombings and other attacks, but has on occasion helped the Afghan Taliban in their war against U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.
The TTP also has claimed claims responsibility for a failed bombing plot in New York City's Times Square in 2010 as well as an attack on Camp Chapman in Afghanistan's Khost province in 2009 that killed seven CIA officials.
Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, announced after his election in May that he would open unconditional talks with the Taliban and Mehsud's death came as the Pakistani government was preparing to send a peace delegation to talk with the TTP.
Hakimullah Mehsud took over the Pakistani Taliban's leadership in 2009 when his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
He came to prominence as a young, brash field commander of the Pakistani Taliban in the mid-2000s, often appearing in propaganda videos.
U.S. officials told NBC News early last month that Mehsud’s second-in-command, Latif Mehsud, had been captured in Afghanistan by U.S. troops.
The Washington Post reported at the time that Latif Mehsud was captured as he traveled with an Afghan government convoy, and that his arrest had infuriated Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The day after Latif Mehsud’s capture was reported on Oct. 8, Hakimullah Mehsud said in an interview with the BBC that he was open to “serious talks” with the Pakistani government aimed at reaching a peace agreement.
The drone strike was the second since Sharif visited Washington last month and pressed the Obama admistration to halt the attacks, which are seen by most Pakistanis as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
NBC News’ Fazal Ahad, Courtney Kube, Fazul Rahim, Fakhar Remhan and Robert Windrem and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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miércoles, julio 17, 2013

Drone Fighter Jet Comes In 'Hard And Fast' In Fiery Crash Near US 98 In Florida

NewsBreaker
Geoffrey Ingersoll
Reports are coming in that a "QF-4" drone fighter jet has crashed near U.S. 98 in Florida, via eyewitnesses on Twitter and local news station WHJG.
The drone was from Tyndall Air Force base and represents the second crash in the last 30 days.
From WHJG:
Eye witnesses say the large drone, presumed to be a QF 4 came in hard and fast, exploded and sent up a large black cloud.
Traffic is blocked on Tyndall on US 98 and is being turned around.
Though pilots can and sometimes do fly in the cockpits of these drones, WHJG confirms this crash was of an unmanned drone. The military told WHJG that a self-destruct explosive charge is usually attached to these drones, just in case.
The QF-4 is a conversion of excess Vietnam-Era F-4 Phantom by BAE systems in California. The company has performed roughly 200 drone conversions of this model since 1995.
Tyndall's last drone crash was out over the Gulf of Mexico.
The base was also home to an F-22 Raptor crash late last year, also near U.S. 98.

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viernes, junio 28, 2013

The political economy of drones

Christopher Coyne, Abigail R. Hall | Jun 26, 2013
borderlinesblog.blogspot.com
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.
Read the full article at SSRN.com  >>
y on June 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm in Current Affairs, Law | Permalink
That is a new paper by Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall, here is the abstract:
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.
- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/06/the-political-economy-of-drones.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+marginalrevolution%2Ffeed+%28Marginal+Revolution%29#sthash.IracwpnG.dpuf
y on June 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm in Current Affairs, Law | Permalink
That is a new paper by Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall, here is the abstract:
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.
- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/06/the-political-economy-of-drones.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+marginalrevolution%2Ffeed+%28Marginal+Revolution%29#sthash.IracwpnG.dpuf
y on June 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm in Current Affairs, Law | Permalink
That is a new paper by Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall, here is the abstract:
This paper provides a political economy analysis of the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or “drones”, in the United States. Focus is placed on the interplay between the political and private economic influences; and their impact on the trajectory of political, economic, and, in this case, military outcomes. We identify the initial formation of the drone industry, trace how the initial relationships between the military and the private sector expanded over time, and discuss how the industry has expanded. Understanding the history and evolution of UAV technology, as well as the major players in the industry today, is important for ongoing policy debates regarding the use of drones, both domestically and internationally.
- See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/06/the-political-economy-of-drones.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+marginalrevolution%2Ffeed+%28Marginal+Revolution%29#sthash.IracwpnG.dpuf

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viernes, junio 21, 2013

FBI under pressure to explain drone use, as Obama names new director

Read on foxnews >>
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lunes, junio 10, 2013

Army Drone Like A Bird Attacked By Hawk

Business Insider
Brian Jones 
Researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by the U.S. Army, may have just taken drone warfare to the next level.
The Robo-Raven is a robotic bird, with wings that can flap independently of one another. This technology makes the aircraft appear like a live bird.
In fact, a YouTube video from the University of Maryland Robotics Department shows the Robo-Raven in flight, a flight so lifelike that the machine gets attacked by a hawk at 1:49 in the video.
Our goal is to create a robotic bird that can do things that have never been done before,” Dr. S.K. Gupta, a professor at UMD’s Robotics Department, says in the video.
The tactical potential is outstanding. In Iraq and Afghanistan, insurgents have been known to bury weapons or disperse when they see or hear surveillance drones doing low passes. With the technology harnessed by the Robo-Raven, a surveillance drone could hover overhead and no one would have any idea.
Check out the Robo-Raven in action:

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jueves, mayo 30, 2013

American drone crashes amid militant fighting in Somalia

A U.S. reconnaissance drone has crashed in Somalia, but it’s unclear if it was shot down by Islamist militants, a senior U.S. official tells Fox News.
The crash happened Tuesday in the southern Shabelle region, where African troops are fighting al Shabaab insurgents, the provincial governor told Reuters.
Abdikadir Mohamed Nur said the Al Qaeda-linked group had shot at the drone for several hours, eventually hitting it.
"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," Nur told Reuters.
The cause of the crash has not been determined, and the U.S. official told Fox News that it is still being investigated. The official says it is unlikely it was shot down by militants.
Kenyan, Ethiopian and African Union forces are fighting al Shabaab, the group driven out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in 2011. They hope to prevent the militant group from gaining ground in eastern Africa.
The U.S. does not disclose drone activities in Somalia, but they have been used to kill Somali and al Shabaab militants, according to Reuters.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a lobbying group, says U.S. Predator and Reaper drones cost around $2,500 to $3,500 to operate each flight hour.

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US Drone Strike Kills Taliban No. 2 In Pakistan

REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Lt Col Leslie Pratt
A MQ-1 Predator drone
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike killed the number two of the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan region on Wednesday, three security officials said, in what would be a major blow in the fight against militancy.
The drone strike killed seven people, Pakistani security officials said, including Taliban deputy commander Wali-ur-Rehman, in the first such attack since a May 11 general election in which the use of the unmanned aircraft was a major issue.
Wali-ur-Rehman had been poised to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud as leader of the Pakistani Taliban, a senior army official based in the South Waziristan region, had said in December.
"This is a huge blow to militants and a win in the fight against insurgents," one security official told Reuters, declining further comment.
The Pakistani Taliban are a separate entity allied to the Afghan Taliban. Known as the Tehreek-e-TalibanPakistan (TTP), they have launched devastating attacks against the Pakistani military and civilians.
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told Reuters the group did not have "confirmed reports" that Wali-ur-Rehman had been killed. He declined further comment.
Drone casualties are difficult to verify. Foreign journalists must have permission from the military to visit the Pashtun tribal areas along the Afghan border.
Taliban fighters also often seal off the sites of drone strikes immediately so Pakistani journalists cannot see the victims.
"That the Taliban are remaining silent and neither denying or confirming the news is itself peculiar," said Saleem Safi, a Pakistani expert on the Taliban. "But if this news is true, then the Pakistan army has the U.S. to thank."
The security officials and Pashtun tribesmen in the northwestern region said the drone fired two missiles that struck a mud-built house at Chashma village, 3 km (2 miles) east of Miranshah, the region's administrative town.
They said seven people were killed and four wounded.
FOREIGN MINISTRY DENOUNCES DRONES
"Tribesmen started rescue work an hour after the attack and recovered seven bodies," said resident Bashir Dawar. "The bodies were badly damaged and beyond recognition."
The Pakistan government had yet to confirm Wali-ur-Rehman's death.
A U.S. drone killed Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in 2009. There had been several reports that his successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed the same way but they turned out to be untrue.
But the Foreign Ministry again denounced drones in general on Wednesday.
"The government has consistently maintained that the drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law," it said.
U.S. President Barack Obama recently indicated he was scaling back the drone strike program, winning cautious approval from Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S. fight on militancy.
North Waziristan is on the Afghan border and has long been a stronghold of militants including Afghan Talibanand their al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban allies.
Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif said this month that drone strikes were a "challenge" to Pakistan's sovereignty.
"We will sit with our American friends and talk to them about this issue," he said.
Obama's announcement of scaling back drone strikes was widely welcomed by the people of North Waziristan, where drones armed with missiles have carried out the most strikes against militants over the past seven years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.
The strike also coincided with the first session of the newly elected provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former Northwest Frontier Province.
Former cricketer Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party won most seats in the assembly and denounced the strike, saying Obama had gone back on his word.

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jueves, mayo 23, 2013

Obama reframes counterterrorism policy with new rules on drones


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News
In a major address Thursday President Barack Obama sought to reframe the nation’s counterterrorism strategy, saying, “Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands.”
He said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, “We must define our effort not as a boundless 'global war on terror' - but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America."
In an attempt to define a new post-Sept. 11 era, Obama outlined new guidelines for the use of drones to kill terrorists overseas and pledged a
President Barack Obama discusses civilian casualties resulting from U.S. drone strikes while speaking Thursday at the National Defense University
renewed effort to close the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay.  In the speech, Obama argued that, “In the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.” He warned that “unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight.”
With efforts under way in Congress to redefine the 2001 authorization to use military force (AUMF) against al Qaida, Obama said he would work with Congress “in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF's mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.”
Toward the end of Obama’s address as he discussed the Guantanamo detainees, he was repeatedly interrupted by heckling from Medea Benjamin, founder of the antiwar Code Pink, whose members have frequently been arrested for disrupting hearings on Capitol Hill – but Obama patiently said that Benjamin’s concerns are “something to be passionate about.”
“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison's warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’ Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror,” he declared. 
As part of his redefinition of counterterrorism, the president announced several initiatives:
  • Setting narrower parameters for the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, to kill terrorists overseas and to limit collateral casualties;
  • Renewing efforts to persuade Congress to agree to close the Guantanamo detention site in Cuba where 110 terrorist suspects are being held;
  • Appointing a new envoy at the State Department and an official at the Defense Department who will attempt to negotiate transfers of Guantanamo detainees to other countries. 
  • Lifting the moratorium he imposed in 2010 on transferring some detainees at Guantanamo to Yemen. Obama imposed that moratorium after it was revealed that Detroit “underwear bomber” Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab was trained in Yemen.
Obama argued that when compared to the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, “the threat today is more diffuse, with Al Qaeda's affiliates in the

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
President Barack Obama talks about national security, Thursday, May 23, 2013, at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington.
Arabian Peninsula – AQAP – the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP's efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.”
So he said, “As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”
He said that the current threat is often from “deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – (who) can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.”
In discussing his drone strategy he indicated his remorse over the innocent people who had been killed: “it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
There remains considerable doubt about Obama’s ability to persuade a majority in Congress to change the current law on releasing detainees held there.
The defense spending bill which Obama signed into law last year prohibits any transfers to the United States of any detainee at Guantanamo who was held there on or before Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama became president.
And the law sets a very high legal bar for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to transfer a detainee to his country of origin, or to any other foreign country.
Hagel would need to certify to Congress that the detainee will not be transferred to a country that is a designated state sponsor of terrorism. The country must have agreed to take steps to ensure that the detainee cannot take action to threaten the United States, U.S. citizens, or its allies in the future.
The law allows Hagel to use waivers in some cases to transfer detainees.
Speaking a day before Obama’s speech, Ben Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-founder of the Lawfare blog which covers detainee news, said, “I don’t see any significant change in congressional sentiment right now” on closing the Guantanamo site.
“He’s got a lot of domestic pressure from his base to be seen to be doing something and he’s also got a hunger strike there (at Guantanamo) — and I think there’s a lot of genuine sentiment in the administration that they want to do something (about Guantanamo) so they’re committed to another push and trying again – but the question of what they actually could get done is a difficult question. There’s very limited latitude.”

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viernes, mayo 17, 2013

When war is desk job, drone pilots burn out

nbcnews
Driving a war drone is a stressful business. Shifts up to 12 hours long are stretches of dullness, watching and waiting, interrupted by flashes of intense activity in which pilots must make life-or-death decisions. Not their own life or death, however.
pilot trainee flies an MQ-1 Predator simulator mission at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico
U.S. Air Force/ A pilot trainee flies an MQ-1 Predator simulator
Pilots may be thousands of miles away from the flying weapons system they're operating. They often head home at the end of the day, as if returning from any other office job, maybe picking up milk on the way. But while at work, their drones' onboard cameras put them in a unique position to watch people being killed and injured as a direct result of their actions.
As psychologists learn more about the mental scarring warfare leaves on drone pilots — caused by long shift hours, isolation, witnessing casualties and those Jekyll-and-Hyde days split between battlefield and home — experts from within the U.S. Air Force are calling for a review of drone pilot selection.
Brad Hoagland, an Air Force colonel and visiting researcher at the Brookings Institution, and a fighter-jet pilot and operations commander of 23 years himself, believes that drone pilots could be picked better, and that existing selection techniques are due to be updated now that the service has accumulated almost a decade of research into the psychological characteristics of drone pilots.
"The thrill of taking off from a runway, flying a mission and then coming back and landing at the end of the mission — that’s very exciting," he told NBC News. "But I think that’s a different type of person who can do that, than someone who is maybe wired to fly an unmanned system from a console 7,000 miles away. It’s a different psychological makeup requirement to execute the mission."
Right stuff, wrong stuff"I think we are still trying to figure out exactly what the 'right stuff' is," Wayne Chappelle, a clinical psychologist consulting for Air Force Medical at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, told NBC News. "We have a general idea ... but I certainly think we're probably more aware of what the wrong stuff is versus the right stuff."
The trouble is that spotting the known positive attributes in up-and-coming drone pilots is harder than spotting the negative attributes. To begin with, Chappelle drew up a portrait of the ideal drone pilot from the recorded testimony of 82 drone pilots and their supervisors in a 2011 report.
Good drone pilots, according to Chappelle's findings, have excellent memory for pictures and sounds. They are bombarded with sounds and images from multiple screens through their long shifts, but parse that data quickly, cutting through the noise. They're multitaskers and collaborators.
"These guys are very smart, very bright in a wide range of areas. They are emotionally resilient and highly stress tolerant and very motivated," Chappelle said.
People who have a history of abuse or dependence on alcohol, drugs or other substances, anxiety or depression, and cognitive impairments such as learning disabilities tend to make bad drone pilots.
Although the strengths of a drone pilot differ from the strengths of a manned fighter pilot, Chappelle said the psychological screening protocol for both is the same — and hasn't changed in a decade. "We're still looking at ways to improve and expand upon the screening procedures."
In his research, Hoagland has found that washout rates among undergraduate pilot trainees headed to crafts like the F-16 are traditionally about 10 to 15 percent. But drone pilot trainees exit at 30 percent (though that's down from 45 percent a few years ago). Pilots may drop out, but more often, they fail to meet some flight or academic criteria along the way, Hoagland said.
And when they do graduate, they receive mental health diagnoses at a rate on par with pilots who fly in aircraft, and at much higher rates than other non-pilot Air Force personnel, according to a February 2013 report by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.
NBC News has requested to interview a pilot or pilot instructor at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where drone pilots are trained, but to date the Air Force has declined the request without further explanation.
Testing, testing
In an upcoming report headed to the Pentagon, Hoagland will suggest some fixes for his higher-ups to consider.
For one, though the Air Force has a test called the Pilot Candidate Scoring Method, not all pilot candidates — of drones or manned craft — are given the exam. (The Air Force Academy, for example, only recently started administering it, and only on an "experimental" basis.)
"I can't believe we as an Air Force haven't standardized this," Hoagland says. Once everyone's taking the test, and baseline scores are set, those scores can be mined for indicators as to who might be better suited to fly an F-16 and who might be destined for a drone. "It's a common sense approach."
Also, though it's been standard procedure to assess concentration, attention, psychomotor skills as part of the Medical Flight Screening-Neurosychiatric test in pre-screened pilots-to-be, that information is not used in the selection process. Tests do weed out the medically and psychologically unfit — Hoagland thinks it would be an easy next step to ask: "Is this person suited for an unmanned or manned system?"
The coming swarm
As the Air Force's drone program grows, so does the importance of pilot selection. What started in 2004 as five drone combat patrols — four aircraft each — will to swell to 65 patrols by 2014. By 2010, Predators had logged more than a million combat hours, more than any other military bird. And today's population of 1,300 combat drone pilots will be joined by 500 more in the next few years.
And as autonomous systems evolve, the capabilities of unmanned craft will, too. The Air Force will shift to a system with multiple vehicles flown in tandem, answering to a single pilot. These "swarm" handlers will have more complex tasks heaped on them earlier in their career.
"In terms of who we need to have, I think we're on a learning curve there," Anthony Tvaryanas, a doctor of aerospace medicine and technical advisor with the 711th Human Systems Integration Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, told NBC News.
"If [a pilot is] operating a swarm, what are you looking for in that person? I don't think anyone's looking into those concepts," Tvaryanas said.
"As we get from a pilot in an airplane to a pilot outside the airplane to a pilot controlling 100 airplanes, I think we're approaching the limits of what [prior experience and studies] can inform us. There's a need to look back at training," he added.

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miércoles, mayo 15, 2013

U.S. Launches Drone from Aircraft Carrier for First Time

(AP) - A drone the size of a fighter jet took off from the deck of an American aircraft carrier for the first time Tuesday in a test flight that could eventually open the way for the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft from just about any place in the world.

The X-47B is the first drone designed to take off and land on a carrier, meaning the U.S. military would not need permission from other countries to use their bases.
"As our access to overseas ports, forward operating locations and airspace is diminished around the world, the value of the aircraft carrier and the air wing becomes more and more important," Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Forces Atlantic, said after the flight off the Virginia coast. "So today is history."
The move to expand the capabilities of the nation's drones comes amid growing criticism of America's use of Predators and Reapers to gather intelligence and carry out lethal missile attacks against terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
Critics in the U.S. and abroad have charged that drone strikes cause widespread civilian deaths and are conducted with inadequate oversight.
Still, defense analysts say drones are the future of warfare.
The new Joint Strike Fighter jet "might be the last manned fighter the U.S. ever builds. They're so expensive, they're so complex, and you put a human at risk every time it takes off from a carrier," said James Lewis, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
"This is the next generation of military technology _ the unmanned vehicles, the unmanned submersibles, the unmanned aircraft. This will be the future of warfare, and it will be a warfare that is a little less risky for humans but maybe a little more effective when it comes to delivering weapons and effect."
While the X-47B isn't intended for operational use, it will help Navy officials develop future carrier-based drones. Those drones could begin operating by 2020, according to Rear Adm. Mat Winter, the Navy's program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons.
The X-47B is far bigger than the Predator, has three times the range and can be programmed to carry out missions with no human intervention, the Navy said.
While the X-47B isn't a stealth aircraft, it was designed with the low profile of one. That will help in the development of future stealth drones, which would be valuable as the military changes its focus from the Middle East to the Pacific, where a number of countries' air defenses are a lot stronger than Afghanistan's.
"Unmanned systems would be the likely choice in a theater or an environment that was highly defended or dangerous where we wouldn't want to send manned aircraft," Branch said.
During Tuesday's flight, the X-47B used a steam catapult to launch, just as traditional Navy warplanes do. The unarmed aircraft then landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
The next critical test for the tailless plane will come this summer, when it attempts to land on a moving aircraft carrier, one of the most difficult tasks for Navy pilots.
Earlier this month, the X-47B successfully landed at the air station using a tailhook to catch a cable and bring it to a quick stop, just as planes setting down on carriers have to do.
The X-47B has a wingspan of about 62 feet and weighs 14,000 pounds, versus nearly 49 feet and about 1,100 pounds for the Predator.
While Predators are typically piloted via remote control by someone in the U.S., the X-47B relies only on computer programs to tell it where to fly unless a human operator needs to step in. Eventually, one person may be able to control multiple unmanned aircraft at once, Branch said.
The group Human Rights Watch said it is troubled by what it described as a trend toward the development of fully autonomous weapons that can choose and fire upon targets with no human intervention.
"We're saying you must have meaningful human control over key battlefield decisions of who lives and who dies. That should not be left up to the weapons system itself," said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch.
Developed by Northrop Grumman under a 2007 contract at a cost of $1.4 billion, the X-47B is capable of carrying weapons and providing around-the-clock intelligence, surveillance and targeting, according to the Navy, which has been giving updates on the project over the past few years.
The X-47B can reach an altitude of more than 40,000 feet and has a range of more than 2,100 nautical miles, versus 675 for the Predator. The Navy plans to show the drone can be refueled in flight, which would give it even greater range.

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jueves, mayo 02, 2013

Robo-bugs! World's smallest bot takes off


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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The Drone Shield:Tiny Device Will Detect Domestic Drones

Excerpted from US NEWS
By
Worried about drones spying on you? Soon, a device might be able to send you text and email alerts that let you know when a drone is nearby.A Washington, D.C.-based engineer is working on the “Drone Shield,” a small, Wi-Fi-connected device that uses a microphone to detect a drone’s “acoustic signatures” (sound frequency and spectrum) when it’s within range.
The company’s founder, John Franklin, who has been working in aerospace engineering for seven years, says he hopes to start selling the device sometime this year. He is using the Kickstarter-like IndieGoGo to finance the project.
The device will cost $69 and will be about the size of a USB thumb drive. It will use Raspberry Pi – a tiny, $25 computer – and commercially available microphones to detect drones. He says he imagines that people will attach the Drone Shield to their fences or roofs to protect their home from surveillance.
“People will get the alert and then close their blinds,” Franklin says.He is currently working on an open-source database of drone sounds that the detector will check what it’s hearing against. Other devices with motors, such as lawn mowers and weed-whackers, will also be included to reduce false positives. Drone owners will be asked to record the sound of their drones to be included in the database. When the Drone Shield identifies a drone, it’ll flash and send an email and text message alert to a homeowner.
Franklin says that most commercially available drones have to come relatively close to a home in order to spy. More sophisticated drones, such as Predators, would fly too high to detect.
He got the idea for the device after getting into a bit of hot water with his neighbor, which Franklin says alerted him to the reality of people’s concerns about drones.”I bought a [drone] from Amazon and was going to use it to look at my roof. The wind took it and I crashed it into my neighbor’s yard. It freaked him out once he noticed it had a camera on it,” Franklin says. “It sort of dawned on me that it’s so easy to invade someone’s privacy with a couple hundred dollar drone.”


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miércoles, abril 10, 2013

Laser weapon takes out flying drone


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miércoles, marzo 20, 2013

Drones crash (a lot) but the military's safety lessons may help civilians

NBCNews
The remains of a Predator B, "Reaper" drone, sprinkled across the Arizona mountainside.
National Transportation Safety Board
The remains of a Predator B "Reaper" drone, sprinkled across the Arizona mountainside near Nogales, in this April 2006 photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Around 9:30 on the night of May 1, 2011, an Air Force Predator that had been in the air for 18 hours suddenly hurtled towards the ground at 400 feet per minute, crashing near a U.S. base at Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
The soldiers who brought the craft back to camp had to cut off its wings so it would fit in their vehicles. Cause of crash? Engine failure, clogged oil filter.
Five years earlier, over American soil, a similar incident occurred. A Department of Homeland Security drone on a routine border patrol was destroyed after nosediving into hilly scrubland near Nogales, Ariz. Investigations revealed a number of causes: pilot errors, display failures, poor design.
Big drones actually crash a lot. Official statistics on large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) accident rates vary, but drones are 30 to 300 times more likely to crash than small civil aircrafts, according to one estimate. According to a 2005 Department of Defense report, every 100,000 flight hours saw 191 AAI Shadow UAVs destroyed or in need of drastic repairs, compared to just four manned F-16s.
Drones suffer from the usual aircraft mechanical and pilot failures, but they also grapple with uniquely drone-ish issues: They're harder to launch and land, and lost communication links pose a problem. But as drones spend more time aloft, operators and craft manufacturers have had a chance to find and iron out kinks in the machinery. Most drones today are of the larger military variety, but that'll change. In 2015, regulators will begin granting permits to a wider array of small drone operators in U.S. airspace. Fortunately, they'll have detailed obituaries of hundreds of lost UAVs to help inform their safety guidelines.
Why do they fail?
Because they don't carry a human life, drones are sometimes pushed harder than piloted planes. In one instance, a Reaper drone was running perilously low on fuel as it neared its destination, but controllers felt that the target was important enough to sacrifice a drone. So they kept going, Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute told NBC News, citing a private Air Force briefing.
In another instance, a drone ran out of missiles. "But they really wanted the target, so they turned that system into a kamikaze," Singer said.
Like manned aircrafts, UAVs can run out of fuel or encounter mechanical failures, John Hansman, an aviation researcher at MIT, told NBC News. Though such problems aren't drone specific, they are significant — a DoD survey showed that 57 percent of accidents until 2005 were caused by flight control issues or engine or transmission problems.
downed Predator from Nogales, Ariz. 2006
National Transportation and Safety Board
Another 2006 photo of the downed Predator from Nogales, Ariz.
The same DoD survey said 14 percent of failures involved lost communication links. "Even if things move at the speed of light over fiber optics, there’s still a delay," Singer told NBC News.
It's getting better
These days, takeoffs and landings are controlled by a local crew within sight of the craft, while in-air maneuvers are controlled by mission control at a base in the U.S. To help drone pilots, researchers like MIT's Missy Cummings and Raza Waraich are studying ways to develop control systems and environments in which drone operators can operate more efficiently.
The unmanned craft are getting smarter, too. AeroVironment's small military drones can return to their launch point or land at a safe spot if their communication link falls silent, company spokesman Steve Gatlin told NBC News.
A tall tree or hill can interrupt the link, so some AeroVironment drones are programmed to climb in altitude and reestablish that link. If General Atomics' Predator or Grey Eagle UAVs lose contact, they can navigate to different air space and try connecting again. If that doesn't work, the crafts navigate back to the operating base. The Grey Eagle can even land itself.
Air Force stats reflect these improvements. In 2005, for every 100,000 hours of flight time, 22 drones cost the Air Force $2 million or more (each!). By 2012, that number fell to 3.5 per 100,000-hour interval, Air Force Safety Center spokesperson Masao Doi told NBC News via email. According to General Atomics, the original Predator now encounters 8.5 mishaps every 100,000 flight hours.
What about smaller flying robots?
The military tends to fly big UAVs, but the drones that may soon dot the skies over local municipalities are smaller, weighing under 55 lbs. For now, safety data on civil drones is scarce, Gerald Dillingham, a civil aviation expert at the Government Accountability Office told NBC News.
In preparation for a more drone-friendly U.S. airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration is working with the DoD. They signed an agreement in 2011, in which the DoD agreed to share military drone data on safety with the civilian regulatory agency.
Meanwhile, the FAA has begun collecting accident reports from companies that apply to test their drones domestically, and will set up six test sites within the U.S. to help establish the airworthiness of smaller UAVs.
"It’s still not black and white," Dillingham said about applying data from military crashes to civilian safety concerns. However, "I do still say that some information is a lot better than no information."

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martes, marzo 05, 2013

Holder: No drone strikes on Americans in US, except in ’extraordinary circumstance’

Michael Reynolds / EPA
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

openchannel
The Obama administration has no intention of carrying out drone strikes against suspected terrorists in the United States, but could use them in response to “an extraordinary circumstance” such as the 9/11 terror attacks, according to a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder obtained by NBC News.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who received the March 4 letter from Holder, called the attorney general’s refusal to rule out drone strikes in the U.S. “more than frightening.” 
The letter from Holder surfaced just as the Senate Intelligence Committee was voting 12-3 to approve White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director. The vote came after the White House agreed to share additional classified memos on targeted drone strikes against U.S. citizens overseas.
Paul had threatened to hold up Brennan's confirmation on the floor of the Senate if the administration did not clarify whether targeted drone strikes could be used inside the U.S.
In his letter, Holder called the question of drone strikes inside the U.S. "entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur and we hope no president will ever have to confront. … As a policy matter, moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat."
But Holder then appeared to leave the door open to such strikes in extreme circumstances.
"It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the president could  conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on Dec. 7, 1941 and Sept. 11, 2001."

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Drones to be used to find lost dogs, cats?


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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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