Sramana Majumdar

"Violence, Identity and Self-determination: Narratives of conflict from the Kashmir Valley" 4:15 PM, Monday 18 Nov Room 239, BYC Bryn Mawr College

Exposure Index

Tired of paper and pencil questionnaires about integration and intergroup contact? Try the new and improved EXPOSURE INDEX (click tab above on this page).

US drone strikes could be classed as war crimes, says Amnesty International

Variations of this story have been produced by many major news organizations around the world, including the New York Times (“Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report“, “The Deaths of Innocents“), al Jazeera (“US strikes condemned in rights report“) in addition to the Guardian story directly linked by this post.  This appears to be […]

SenseFly and Drone Adventures Toss UAVs Off the Summit of Matterhorn

Not only did these drones get good aerial photographs of very rough terrain, they used teamwork to do so.  In labs, roboticists are developing the methods for dozens or robots to work together, but for now six UAVs coordinating flight patterns and dividing a job between them are an impressive sample of things to come.

Rise of the drone hobbyists

The drone industry owes much to the hobbyists and universities who developed much of the technology.  Going forward, the industry will owe even more to the hobbyists for creating acceptance and familiarity amongst the wider public.  The article mentions the recent story of a man who died in an accident involving his drone helicopter.  The […]

Machine gun-toting robots may soon back up U.S. soldiers

Various kinds of unmanned vehicles have long been used in war – from self-guiding missiles and torpedoes to the more recent bomb-disposal robots.  This article points toward a future where unmanned vehicles will not just track targets selected by humans or keep humans out of dangerous situations, but actively and autonomously assist human soldiers.

At Drone Conference, Talk of Morals and Toys

At New York University this weekend, there was a drone conference focused on commercial and private use.  Needless to say, privacy and other moral hazards were a major topic.  Or, as the articles author described it, “the checkered reputation remained the day’s subtext.”  Many of the visitors and speakers quoted in the article explicitly connected […]

European Defense Firms’ Drone Push Remains Elusive

Despite interest, the United States and Israel remain the dominant manufacturers of drones.  Some of Europe’s problems seem to originate from bad management – see the part about their being more requested variants of a drone than countries offering to buy it.  Others come down to bad PR management – namely Germany’s EuroDrone project, killed […]

Drone Pilot Fights for Right to Profit in the Unmanned Skies

The subject of drone regulation is very much up in the air.  As the word “drone” covers anything from a bird-sized toy to something dozens of feet wide, the current blanket rules often seem arbitrary or unfair.  This article describes a man who is arguing in court that the FAA has no authority on unmanned […]

‘Terminator’ Robots Kill Jellyfish, ‘Sliced Up’ To Eliminate Swarms

In what sounds like the start of a science fiction plot, a Korean university group is developing a swarm of robots designed to kill swarms of jellyfish.  However, the technology, particularly the planned “cooperative strategies” part, has a lot of potential uses, such as fishing, trash/debris removal, and mitigating oil spills to name a few.

Aging F-16 Converted Into a Target-Practice Drone

The word “drone” is a controversial one.  It originally referred to automated targets for training, such as the F-16 in this article.  While many in the Air Force (as well as other UAV operators) detest the term, ‘drone’ appears to be becoming the standard word for the technology.  A similar linguistic example would be how […]

DOJ calls for drone privacy policy 7 years after FBI’s first drone launched

The greatest public concern over domestic drones is privacy.  As UAVs become more common and more widely used, the debate over their use and regulation will only get more intense.  This year’s revelations about the NSA has presumably not helped various departments’ arguments for self-regulation, though surveys on the subject of drones remain rare and […]