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[liberationtech] Drones are not storytellers or why Syrians need better storytelling was Re: Pirate Bay turns to drones

Allucquere Rosanne Stone sandy at sandystone.com
Mon Mar 26 21:02:41 PDT 2012


You don't need ethernet cable to talk to the balloon. A single pair
should do fine, though you'll need to use something less ductile than
copper. Since it's a one-off, you can choose your own power level and
impedance matching method--in this case, it's nice not having to worry
about standards. But there's no reason you have to limit yourself to
sending data to the balloon via the tether; it might be better to do it via
microwave or laser, and let the tether just be a tether.

On Mon, 26 Mar
2012 18:32:52 -0500, Gregory Foster
 wrote:
> A thought, springing from my
work with Public Laboratory 
> [ @PublicLab 
> ] on kite- and balloon-based
mapping 
> to generate on-demand 
> aerial imagery with resolutions an
order of magnitude greater than 
> publicly-available satellite imagery:
>

> According to Public Labs' summary of FAA regulations concerning 
>
exemptions for small balloons 
> , the 
> rope/cable used to tether the
balloon does not count as part of the 
> payload. Is it reasonable to
consider whether we could produce a 
> lightweight-enough tether which
integrates cabling for wired data 
> transfer between the balloon payload
and the ground station? Category 5 
> cables are only rated 
> for segments
of 100m without repeaters, but that height provides 
> substantial coverage
of a geography. That's also sufficient height to 
> enable LOS between
balloons in all but the most vertical of metropolitan 
> areas.
> 
> There
will be plenty of challenges regarding balloon stabilization, but 
> I
wonder if this might open up some interesting possibilities. Here I'm 
>
thinking of suspending radios as the balloon payload to provide 
>
substantial wireless coverage whilst preserving available bandwidth by 
>
using the data-tether to provide Internet-uplink via the ground 
> station.
Sensors could be deployed without exposure of traffic over the 
> air.
> 
>
Those are just suggested configurations, wondering if the data-tether 
>
tech itself is desirable and possible.
> gf
> 
> 
> On 3/23/12 12:51 PM,
Isaac Wilder wrote:
>> From a strategic standpoint, near-space dirigible
platforms seem much 
>> more promising than powered-flight drones.
>>
>>
FAA regs allow for two 6-lbs payloads per craft.
>>
>> At 30km up, not much
good for recon, but definitely able to support 
>> communications. LOS to a
400+ km radius. Oil companies and the Air 
>> Force have been deploying
this stuff for years.
>>
>>
>> Just a thought.
>>
>>
>> Isaac Wilder
>>
Director, The Free Network Foundation
>> www.thefnf.org
>>
>>
>> On
03/23/2012 12:37 PM, Brian Conley wrote:
>>> And this is exactly the piece
that so many are missing:
>>>
>>> "At the end of the day," according to the
first expert I consulted, 
>>> "a drone is a tool, and the strategic
advantage it may provide will 
>>> also depend on the funda-mental unity,
planning, and discipline that 
>>> a movement has or does not have. For
example, if a movement is 
>>> lacking a fundamentally good and unifying
message, no amount of 
>>> technology will substitute for that, and thus
the strategic value of 
>>> that technology is diminished in the context of
that movement. On 
>>> the other hand if a movement has a good and unifying
message and 
>>> levers technology to reinforce that message, then the
technology can 
>>> act as a multiplier and provide substantially more
strategic value."
>>>
>>> my corollary is that you also have to focus on
telling that message, 
>>> telling your story, not just exposing crimes and
heinous acts, those 
>>> encourage pity, not solidarity.
>>>
>>> On Fri,
Mar 23, 2012 at 10:13 AM, Andrew Lewis >> > wrote:
>>>
>>> I sent that
draft before I finished it. I meant to add/say that
>>> drones can provide
a view that on the ground can't, as well as be
>>> utilized as a
communication platform for a wide area without
>>> resorting to sending
satellites up or the associated costs with
>>> space programs. Amongst
other advantages.
>>>
>>> Andrew
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>
>>> On Mar
23, 2012, at 5:05 PM, "Patrick Meier (Ushahidi)"
>>> > wrote:
>>>
>>>> Some
thoughts on The Use of Drones for Nonviolent Civil
>>>> Resistance
>>>>

>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM, Andrew Lewis >>>
> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I never indicated it would, but it would defiantly
be
>>>> complementary, as well as useful for things outside
Syria.
>>>>
>>>> It is not an either or situation as you are portraying
it,
>>>> and as videos from drones in Russia/Poland illustrate not
>>>>
only are video resolution getting better, but they can
>>>> provide an
overview that on the ground coverage.
>>>>
>>>> Andrew
>>>>
>>>> On Mar 23,
2012, at 4:49 PM, Brian Conley
>>>> >
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Not only the
development costs, but the litigation/jail
>>>>> time costs as well are a
huge issue with more innovative
>>>>> applications of drone
tech.
>>>>>
>>>>> Further, the idea of implementing drones in Syria first
of
>>>>> all is a huge safety risk, and could fundamentally change
>>>>>
the perception of an already hostile regime to encourage
>>>>> increasingly
worse actions.< /div>
>>>>>
>>>>> Secondly, the drones for human rights
stuff all forgets a
>>>>> fundamental issue, people care about stories, not
grainy
>>>>> footage, unless the crimes are so enormous, and even
then
>>>>> they don't encourage action nor do they help inform
>>>>>
outsiders what exactly Syrians want or need.
>>>>>
>>>>> For example, there
is a fundamental difference between
>>>>> videos like these that Iraqis we
worked with in Baghdad
>>>>> were producing years ago:
>>>>>
>>>>>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVib2fMtP1w
>>>>>
>>>>>
http://www.aliveinbaghdad.org/2008/07/28/al-sahwa-mistakes-in-adhamiya/
>>>>>
>>>>>
http://www.aliveinbaghdad.org/2007/10/08/us-military-destroys-iraqi-homes-by-mistake/
>>>>>
>>>>>
...and shaky content and long range images of what often
>>>>> may or may
not be the "heinous crimes" individuals claim.
>>>>>
>>>>> see this video
for example:
>>>>>
>>>>>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kQMSkdo_jc&feature=player_embedded
>>>>>

>>>>>
>>>>> I think its pretty clear why more efforts are not being
>>>>>
made to more effectively and repeatedly tell the stories of
>>>>>
individual refugees and people who have lost homes and
>>>>> loved ones.
The people documenting are most often men, and
>>>>> as a man who has had
the same problem myself when
>>>>> documenting police violence, war, etc,
we too often resort
>>>>> to documenting horrible events, both because we
are shocked
>>>>> and because that involves an adrenaline rush and
provides
>>>>> its own sort of benefit to us as individuals, and
leaves
>>>>> beside the wayside any review of whether this content is
>>>>>
really moving minds or pushing forward a liberation agenda.
>>>>>
>>>>> As
a trainer who has worked with individuals all over the
>>>>> world in
conflict areas and the developing world, I have
>>>>> found that women are
the best trainees, followed closely by
>>>>> older men. Young people are
often too caught up in the
>>>>> moment and the injustice of it all to more
effectively
>>>>> document or listen to recommendations about
composition,
>>>>> pacing, etc. I guess this is a bit off-topic, but
after
>>>>> spending a long time in a fairly pointless discussion
with
>>>>> a man from Hama about this subject last night, I felt the
>>>>>
need to mention it here.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm still trying to sort out exactly
why I think the idea
>>>>> of drones as human rights documentation may make
sense, but
>>>>> it certainly cannot replace storytelling or
investigative
>>>>> reporting.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM,
Andrew Lewis
>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes, telecomix is looking at
drones, and really the
>>>>> proposal by TPB is outlandish to current
drone
>>>>> builders/operators, but most of the limitations seem to
>>>>>
be artificially limited technical issues that no one
>>>>> has thought past
due to limitations by US/UK/EU
>>>>> regulations. If you disregard these
rules, long range
>>>>> drones are well within the realm of possibility.
I
>>>>> think an open source drone program is possible, if
>>>>> people are
willing to commit the resources and accept
>>>>> the overall development
costs.
>>>>>
>>>>> Andrew Lewis
>>>>> Twitter: ThePunkbob
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent
from my iPhone
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mar 23, 2012, at 4:53 PM, KheOps >>>> >
wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> > Indeed, we're working on drones to film and
>>>>>
livestream stuff in hostile
>>>>> > environment such as Syria :) Will keep
you posted if
>>>>> something concrete
>>>>> > is somehow produced :)
>>>>>
>
>>>>> > On 03/23/2012 04:57 PM, David Johnson wrote:
>>>>> >> It sounded
ridiculous, but ideas can come from jokes.
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> On Fri, Mar
23, 2012 at 9:48 AM, KheOps
>>>>> 
>>>>> >> >>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> >>
>>>>>
>> This is a joke - at least according to tetsu0,
>>>>> one of the TPB
folks :)
>>>>> >>
>>>>> >> On 03/23/2012 04:44 PM, David Johnson
wrote:
>>>>> >>> http://thepiratebay.se/blog/210
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>>
>>>>>
>>> /TPB LOSS/
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> /We were down a few hours earlier today.
There's no
>>>>> need to worry, we
>>>>> >>> haven't been raided this time.
We're only upgrading
>>>>> stuff since we're
>>>>> >>> still
growing./
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> /One of the technical things we always
optimize is
>>>>> where to put our
>>>>> >>> front machines. They are the
ones that re-direct
>>>>> your traffic to a
>>>>> >>> secret location. We
have now decided to try to
>>>>> build something
>>>>> >>>
extraordinary./
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> /With the development of GPS controlled
drones,
>>>>> far-reaching cheap
>>>>> >> radio
>>>>> >>> equipment and
tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi
>>>>> >>> , we're going to
>>>>>
experiment with sending
>>>>> >>> out some small drones that will float
some
>>>>> kilometers up in the air.
>>>>> >>> This way our machines will
have to be shut down
>>>>> with aeroplanes in
>>>>> >> order
>>>>> >>> to
shut down the system. A real act of war./
>>>>> >>>
>>>>> >>> /We're just
starting so we haven't figured
>>>>> everything out yet. But we
>>>>> >>>
can't limit ourselves to hosting things just on
>>>>> land anymore.
>>>>>
>> These Low
>>>>> >>> Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the
first
>>>>> attempt. With modern
>>>>> >>> radio transmitters we can get
over 100Mbps per node
>>>>> up to 50km
>>>>> >> away. For
>>>>> >>> the
proxy system we're building, that's more than
>>>>> enough./
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>> >>> /But when time comes we will host in all parts of
>>>>> the
galaxy,
>>>>> >> being true
>>>>> >>> to our slogan of being the galaxy's
most resilient
>>>>> system. And all of
>>>>> >>> the parts we'll use to
build //that system on will
>>>>> be downloadable./
>>>>>
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