Drone News

Drone is a new documentary by Norwegian film company Flimmer Film. The film focuses on the pilots of U.S military drones used to remotely locate and kill people in Pakistan from the comfort of a desk in the United States.

The Guardian is featuring an extract of the film which shows fascinating interviews with the operators, struggling to come to terms with the dawning reality of their actions.

‘Recruited at video game fairs by military leaders who know the value of games that glamourise ‘militainment’, drone pilots are left traumatised by the civilian casualties – or ‘collateral damage’ – their strikes cause. Psychologically distanced from the enemy, are drones the future of warfare’?

Ben Kreimer from Drone Journalism Lab spoke last week at news:rewired. As a journalism technologist he uses drones to enhance stories with ‘visual experiences that can be got no other way’. Working in Africa (where the laws on drone usage are more relaxed than in the airspace above his native USA), he collaborated with AfricanSkyCAM is produce a video and 3D interactive model of Nairobi’s Dandora Dumpsite.

…and finally. Google got a taste of their own medicine when artist John Gerrard was denied permission by Google to take images of one of their ‘data farms’. Using a drone he has compiled his own street view/google earth portrait. The Guardian reports; ‘A camera very slowly pans around a vaguely sinister industrial complex in the middle of nowhere – well, Oklahoma. Cooling towers, pipes, blank walls, and a lonely basketball court are revealed in the silence and cruel sunlight. This is one of Google’s eight vast data farms where your emails and searches are sorted and remembered. The information superhighway ends here’.