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The Lede, A Candle in the Wind, and a Drone Above Your House

The Lede, Tuesday, June 26, 2018
By David Royse

Drone Batteries Burned Out Long Before Their Legend Ever Did

The drone industry isn’t really a new, emerging business anymore. They’ve been around for well over a century (trivia: do you know how drones are connected to Marilyn Monroe?)

Nikola Tesla invented radio control technology in the late 1800s, the Predator’s been around since the 1990s and its predecessor Amber since the 1980s.  The Department of Homeland Security first asked hobby shops to report suspicious people buying drones that might be used for terrorism back in 2004. 

Trivia answer and weird side note about the role of the drone in the fame of Marilyn Monroe: she was “discovered” by an Army photographer while she was working at the Radioplane Company, which made remote control planes for the military during World War II. The drones she worked on there, while she was still named Norma Jean Baker, were used for target practice. Later the company was bought by Northrop. (As for Norma Jean, they whispered into her brain, and then they set her on the treadmill. And then they made her change her name.)

But the use of drones for commercial deliveries may be on the cusp of becoming the next big industry to really take off. See what I did there?

On the military side, the big “military industrial complex” players have been involved a long time – see Northup’s purchase of Marilyn Monroe’s old employer.

But the commercial side of drone use is no mom-and-pop hobby shop photo op either. Amazon has been perhaps most notable in its exploration of the idea of drone delivery among big companies. Now, one of the most venerable old American industrial companies is getting in on it. 

Boeing announced today it has invested in a little start-up called Matternet that has been developing drones for medical supply delivery. 

“Matternet’s technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality,” Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said in a Boeing press release. “Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing’s position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions.”

We Are the World

Thinking About Global Competition: If We Need or Want Something, What Difference Does it Make Where it Comes From?
Really good make-you-think piece from John Tamny at Real Clear Markets this morning. The basic gist: If something is good and benefits us, assuming that it actually is good, who cares where it comes from? 

“Would You Refuse a Cancer Cure Manufactured in North Korea”

“Thinking about all of the above in terms of 5G technology, it’s of no consequence if the Chinese beat American companies to 5G dominance.  Assuming it lives up to its potential, everyone will benefit in much the same way as we will if U.S.-based Qualcomm proves the victor.  No business invests in advances in order to hoard the innovation, so unless the Chinese win the 5G race only to dynamite their creation, Americans will benefit as though the technology had been created right in San Diego, CA.  The genius of divided labor does not stop at country borders.  Along these lines, will any American be downcast if doctors in China solve the problem of paralysis first?…

…:So long as the Chinese produce feverishly to meet our needs, they’re the opposite of our “enemy.” An “enemy” wouldn’t have citizens working tirelessly to serve us, and would instead have no stake in how the U.S. economy does.  The national security danger is when countries aren’t selling, buying and investing with each other.”



How will sports betting betting change the sports media landscape? Penn State prof (and former AP reporter John Affleck) raises the question, looks for the answer in The Conversation


Florida’s Morgan Hints at Effort to Legalize Non-Medical Marijuana There. Morgan notes the Cannabis industry is flush with cash.  “Money won’t be a problem.” LedeTree


Will again be allowed to operate in London. BBC

Says Google Home Now Habla Espanol. LedeTree

Thanks for reading!

About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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