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).

Q&A: Privacy implications for aerial drones

The greatest public concern over domestic drone use is that of privacy.  At last weekend’s Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference held at New York University, a legal scholar considered what drones meant for privacy, and suggested that perhaps recent technological advances required some changes to how we think about what privacy is.  It is far […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Unmanned Vehicles in Fiction: “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

In the pilot episode of Marvel’s new TV show, the protagonists use a fleet of mini-quadrotors to inspect and map a crime scene.  While the miniaturization and capabilities shown are beyond current technology, the idea of using unmanned vehicles to map crime or disaster scenes is not.

Nissan’s Autonomous Car Is Road Legal in Japan

Nissan can now test it’s mostly autonomous prototypes on roads in Japan.  The system is not yet fully autonomous, but can handle much of the routine driving.  The system as currently described sounds very similar to Tesla’s autopilot goal mentioned in an earlier post on this website.

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’

That this story appeared in the Guardian (UK) and alJazeera (Qatar) but not U.S. news organizations underscores the uniqueness of the U.S. majority support for drone strikes in a world that generally disapproves of them.

Air Force wants technology that will let drones sense and avoid other aircraft

Collision avoidance might seem an obvious area of interest for UAVs, but the Air Force has often seemed to be dragging its feet when it comes to increasing the deployment of drones.

German chancellor’s drone “attack” shows the threat of weaponized UAVs

A small UAV was dropped at the chancellor’s feet, an effective statement by a member of the opposition party.  The potential for a more bloodthirsty application (assassinations and has raised many concerns, possibly to the detriment of the potential benefit of unmanned vehicles.  The article suggests directed energy weapons as an active defense against such […]

Falcon UAV Supports Colorado Flooding Until Grounded by FEMA

Falcon UAV was getting some good PR by helping map the rapidly changing contours of the flooded areas of Colorado.  However, when FEMA arrived, they grounded the drones.  This story is entirely based on the company-written article linked from this post, but apparently the weather has often made manned flights impossible, and manned flights are […]