California Firefighters Might Shoot Down Drones - InformationWeek

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California Firefighters Might Shoot Down Drones
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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/27/2015 | 7:29:30 AM
Re: How did they impede it?
I hope lawmakers realise this too and don't start thinking about banning them outright before we have had a chance to build up a common courtesy system with the new technology. It has so many potential uses, it would be a real shame to see it railroaded into illegality. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 2:38:27 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
@Vnewman2- Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical about how easy it was to hijack the Jeep. But the one key difference here is that unlike a Jeep where you can't control the steering, if you could hack a drone, you could actually fly it because it steers by signal.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2015 | 2:31:29 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
Well now that we know it possible to hack into and jack a Jeep - someone should probably look into doing the same for these devices as well.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 2:17:06 PM
Re: Actually, it makes sense
@jries921- Well, then one questions why drones need to be mentioned specifically. I think the reason is that they are outside the fire. For instance, if you smask a window to shoot water into a building that makes total sense to protect the firefighter. If you start blow up the house next to the one on fire so you can get a better angle on the fire, that's not reasonable.

So, the issue to me is are they taking care of these drones in a safe and effective manner, not their immunity. 

I don't think any of us disagree with the notion that saving lives and property are they priorities. It is about HOW that matters to me.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 2:14:00 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
@vnewman2- I think training is one way to put it. It might be an ettituquette thing, too. Remember when smartphones were new and people would go to dinner and ignore each other while on the phone? Eventually most (though you still see it) people adopted some rules about how to treat a phone call or text in front of live people. To me the social boundaries of drones just haven't been established yet.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 2:11:57 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
@vnewman2- Well, that's what they tried to do. But according to firefighters, they were never able to find the owners or the drones. They kept making announcements asking them to leave. Either the drone owners got the video they wanted and flew home or they heard the announcements and eventually complied. 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2015 | 1:52:22 PM
Actually, it makes sense
Firefighters in California (and probably most states) are already exempt from liability for damage to buildings and lands done in the course of fighting fires.  This bill appears to be based on the same principle which is that in a fire-related emergency, job one is to save lives and job two is to contain the fire so it endangers as few lives and property as is practicable; all else is lower priority.  To accomplish those jobs, firefighers have to move fast, greatly limiting their ability to be careful.  When a wildfire spreads to inhabited areas, property *is* going to be damaged one way or another and it strikes me as better that private drones that should not have been operating in a fire zone in the first place be damaged or destroyed, then people, homes, or businesses.

And yes, those who willfully interfere with firefighters trying to do their jobs *should* be arrested and prosecuted, but that happens *after* the fire is dealt with.  The presence of drones is a much more immediate concern.

I lived in the San Diego backcountry for several years and was evacuted to the desert for a week during the very nasty Cedar Fire in 2003.  This greatly influences my attitude on the subject.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2015 | 1:31:51 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
Do we think this behavior is a simple case of ignorance on the part of the drone owner (let's call this person a droner).

Remember the "Only you can prevent forest fires" PSAs.  Perhaps we need a "Only you can prevent forest fires from getting worse by keeping your drone away" PSA.

But in all seriousness, is this a "training" issue as we would say at my firm?
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/23/2015 | 1:09:01 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
I think you have to deal with the drone driver rather than dealing the device itself. I live in LA and although the news coverage talked about the drone issue a lot, they didn't mention the owner. He (I'm guessing) can't be all that far away from the drone itself correct? What's the range? I think you have to take over the controls in a situation like that.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/23/2015 | 12:49:09 PM
Re: How did they impede it?
@SaneIT- I think it had to do with the helicopters and not the firetrucks on the ground. But I also think the firefighters might be a little vague on purpose. Let's face it. They don't like them. They don't want them there even if they aren't in the way. They just don't want the distraction or the potential for recording their actions. And the safety issue is real but perhaps not the only issue.
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