Friday, December 06, 2013

I don't get it.

Will someone explain to me why the wookie-sphere is losing its collective fecal matter over Jeff Bezos's imaginary Amazon delivery drones?

I don't know why having a flying robot bring the Blu-Rays for Season 7 of Archer to my front door would be somehow creepier than a strange man I don't know doing it. (A strange man who might be wearing a government uniform, I might add!)

36 comments:

AndyN said...

A strange man who might be carrying a whole squad of other strange men in the back of what looks like a repainted police tactical van. Yeah, if I'm going to freak out over a strange vehicle delivering something to my front door, it's not going to be the vehicle that can't hide it's contents.

Anonymous said...

SQUIRREL!!

(distract you they did)

Tam said...

That's not an answer. It's barely even English.

pdb said...

Deliver us from these wicked savin's!

I guess it's some combination of the absurdity of the operation and mistrust of Bezos himself, who is not exactly John Galt.

Bram said...

I like Bezos' idea - and there is always a chance the Amazon drone will collide with the NSA drone hovering over my neighborhood.

Light29ID said...

I LIKE IT. Free Kindles, free iPads, free boxed set of all 4 seasons of "Game of Thorns", just free shit period. All for just the cost of a couple shells of buckshot. Or a round from Barrett 82A1 if it's flying higher.

Tam said...

Classy.

Why not jack a UPS truck? These things would only carry five pounds of stuff for you to steal after you destroyed someone else's property.

(In case you can't tell, I fucking hate thieves and vandals.)

Anonymous said...

UPS gets very creative when choosing a spot to drop my packages this time of year. I just found some car parts that had been delivered 5 days ago (retailer never sends shipping notices).

A robot (flying or not) could be programmed to be more diligent in dropping stuff at the appointed location.

Samsam von Virginia

light29id said...

I guess it's a little early for humor. Sorry Tammy.

Light29ID said...

I guess it's a little early for sarcastic humor. Sorry Tammy.

Richard said...

Amazon is not first. There is an outfit in South Africa? Brazil? that does beer delivery by drone at sporting events. Smart phone app. The drone homes on the phone and then drops the beer by steerable mini-parachute.
The location of the link has gone down the memory hole, unfortunately.

And thanks for changing the comment sign-in so I can be myself without signing in again.

staghounds said...

It's all savings, until one of them flies into someone's eye...

Firehand said...

I'd guess that, considering the past history of 'sucking up to politicians' of some business bigshots, some are suspecting they'll add a video recorder to the machine and scan the neighborhood as they fly along in a 'cooperative operation for public safety' or something.

The rest of it's mostly "What load for drone?" game we've been playing for years.

Scott J said...

I must not be plugged into the wookiesphere well enough. I haven't seen any freaking out.

I expected it though because the rule changes which would allow his vision would also allow drone flights for less innocent purposes.

The way I see it any technology can be used for good or evil. I remember freaking out back in 1995 about my DirecTV box phoning home. I had visions of increased auto insurance rates if you watched a lot of Speedvision or perhaps increased life insurance premiums if you liked The Food Network.

Of course I once said "it's how it gets used" about The Patriot Act and that seems to not be going well at all.

Anonymous said...

My dog carries on non stop when the UPS truck pulls up. I can't imagine what it will do with a flying drone buzzing around.

Gerry

Craig M said...

It may cause a resurgence of trap and skeet interest in some of the more urban areas.

Joel said...

My reaction to this was that it is very creepy, and yes I concede that's not very rational. I think it's a combination of Bezos, to whom I don't react with warm fuzzies, drones=scary, and Google's dismissive attitude toward privacy. I just picture these things showing up wherever you happen to be, not necessarily where you live. They just follow the signal you didn't know your cellphone was broadcasting.

Paranoid, I know. But it does seem to be the direction such things are going, and some people think it's cool. And that's the creepiest part of all.

Tam said...

Joel,

"Paranoid, I know. But it does seem to be the direction such things are going, and some people think it's cool. And that's the creepiest part of all."

I don't know that I think it's "cool" so much as the fact that, well, the government is going to have and abuse this technology anyway. I'd like to get some convenience out of it myself, before they come and put me in the Soylent Green vat.

It's hard for people my age and older to really wrap their heads around what a Mephistophelean deal computers have turned out to be. Privacy is dead, at least for as long as the lights remain on now.

og said...

" before they come and put me in the Soylent Green vat."

I don't think you have any thing to be concerned about. Those of us with pins and screws and plates and other surgical appliances will probably be harvested to reuse those appliances. I'm guessing that young vegetarians will be the raw material of choice.

At least I hope so. yumm!!

DOuglas2 said...

A previous generation had to deal with property rights and aircraft overflying private property. The stuff they worked out to deal with that wasn't liked by all, but it has been effectively the law of the land in the US for most of our lifetimes so we are used to it. (well yes, it is trespass, but it is privileged, and you have no recourse unless it is a nuisance because there is an effective easement up there for aircraft above minimum altitude)
Same deal for package delivery over surface rights-of-way -- when they come through that front gate and drop the box on the porch they are trespassing, but cannot be charged as such because there is a common-law convention that coming to your front door and knocking for non-nefarious purposes is acceptable behaviour to the reasonable person.
Householders accommodate this situation -- we may have a privacy fence around the hot tub, but we leave it open to the sky since you can't see much detail from MAA. And we place it in the back yard, not somewhere where a visitor to our front-porch will have full-view. We also keep valuables out-of-sight from the windows around the front door.
Now, -- "poof" -- we have no way of knowing the route that our visitor will take from the edge of our curtilage to our doorstep. And we don't even need to extend the invitation by ordering something, it could be our neighbor who has done so, bringing to the edge of our curtilage this delivery vehicle that is (oh by the way) also recording the visible, IR and EM emanations from our house as it goes, in order to build "better 3dmaps to serve us better in the future".

So if you like to sneak a smoke behind the shed where your wife won't catch you, don't be surprised when the "3d map view" shows a nice picture of you (having blurred out the faces of both you and the dog, of course) skulking behind the shed with a plume of smoke above you.

Tam said...

Douglas2,

Almost a quarter century ago, I worked for a small business called Sky Shots.

We did aerial photography, mostly for real-estate, using a tethered blimp with a remotely steerable camera "from the street to 300 feet" as our brochure stated.

LCB said...

Doesn't weird me out. I just can't wrap my mind around the logistics. Like it or not, in certain neighborhoods people will take pot shots at them. The difference between an unmanned drone and a UPS truck is...the man. Not gonna take a certain group of people long to figure out that knocking these things down will be fairly easy to get away with.

And a drone would have to make an awful lot of DVD deliveries before a return on investment is made on just the cost of the drone.

In the IT world there's a lot of talk that this is just a publicity stunt...free advertizing from CBS for Amazon.

Tam said...

LCB,

"In the IT world there's a lot of talk that this is just a publicity stunt...free advertizing from CBS for Amazon."

Yeah, that's why I referred to them as "imaginary drones".

(Although people in Rolling Acres Estates are less likely to shoot them down than people in the hood, and the people in Rolling Acres Estates already have so many GPS and RFID tags on their persons that I don't think they'll mind a little helo-delivery drone convenience.)

Rick C said...

LCB and Tam have it. You guys have seen civilian drones, right? Your average little quadcopter can only carry a few ounces and has a flight time measured in minutes. Flying a book or Kindle or even a computer for 30 minutes each way? Come on, you'd need a Predator or something. Well, not something THAT big but certainly far larger than is practical.

Graybeard said...

Yeah, what LCB and Rick C said. This was Bezos coming up with a way to get everyone talking about Amazon in a week where they typically start paying attention to online Christmas shopping. Very smart marketing. Bezos actually said in the piece that this was a long way off, but everyone jumped on it like we'll see it this month.

In addition to the payload capacity problem that Rick C mentions, think how long it would have to fly carrying that few pounds. Where does it pick up the package? A local distribution center? How many of those are there? Do the drones need to fly an hour under load? Add in that since it has to be self-navigating, it has to be autonomous, and not interfere with general aviation. These things terrify guys flying small one and two seater aircraft for good reason. A drone carrying a five pound load goes right through the windshield into your face - or does other really bad damage. Forget about the automatic collision avoidance systems. For the most part, small planes don't have them.

This is years from happening.

Critter said...

personally, i welcome our new robot delivery drones.

The Jack said...

Right now I see this Amazon Drone to be in the same category as the old Regulus Missile Mail or the Fedex Ballistic idea.

Jon said...

Besides all the logistical problems with this idea (and the geek part of me says 'oooh, neat') - the relative ease of theft/lack of security is a rather large issue.

The UPS/Fed Ex/USPS man is in a way, physical security for the packages. You want the stuff in the truck you have to go through him.

You wanna see what that drone is carrying? You just need to hack the drone. And you know someone will. And then someone else will make it easy for joe blow to do.

I find this more likely and common then your neighbor deciding to get a little skeet practice.

But it just adds up to the likelyhood that this is a giant (and effective) publicity stunt.

Anonymous said...

It will probably be safer than rocket mail.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_mail

h_p

Richard Blaine said...

I find the talk about shooting them down kind of amusing - Given the laws about firing weapons inside city limits and the probable reactions of your neighbors, it sound a bit like an invitation for a no-knock warrant and a swat team. I believe that's the current reaction to "possible firearms" now days.

Then there's the destruction of private property issue, and - oh yeah - hitting a small moving target. Somehow I don't think it's going to become a trend.

global village idiot said...

My angle is a bit different, and it's not new either.

It has more to do with the fact that we blindly accept machines doing for us and for each other that which people used to do for themselves and each other.

We are approaching (already passed?) the point at which we're not really going to be worth doing that much for.

gvi

Brigid said...

It still would be more efficient than the USPS and their fleet of trebuchets.

Sebastian said...

I for one welcome our new robot delivery overlords!

Roberta X said...

I paid $7.298, American, to get my French Press coffeemaker *today* and guess what? It has not turned up. They promised it would be here an hour and a half ago.

So send me that drone. Send me that drone carrying a box with a smile on it, and inside, the head of the deliveryman on a plate.

...But they ain't. I'll prolly have to fight 'em for my extra shipping money back.

Rob said...

I don't know why having a flying robot bring the Blu-Rays for Season 7 of Archer to my front door would be somehow creepier than a strange man I don't know doing it.

Drones FROM THE FUTURE!

Ba bu ba dun doodily diddly doodily du....

global village idiot said...

Caveat Emptor holds true in the digital age every bit as much as it did when no one (in the "civilized" world) needed Google Translate to figure out what it meant.

gvi