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Gads, ya gotta just love free enterpriseand other random thoughts

Wouldn’t you just know it? Wouldn’t you just? As soon as domestic drones even start looking like they could be a nuisance, somebody comes up with this: Drone Shield.

Yes, indeedy, you to can keep the paparazzi and other airborne vermin away. Fancy that! But look who all is in the list of potential clients — a veritable roster of the crony capitalist police state. Pity.

(H/T MJR.)


People laughed earlier this summer when big-time columnist Maureen Dowd tried her first cannabis, did it unwisely, and wrote about feeling like she was dying. They thought she was making a ridiculous big deal out of a pot experience.

I didn’t laugh. I had an experience like hers. Edible pot. Not for some of us, no, no, not ever. Turns out even the Emperor of Pot, Willie Nelson won’t touch edibles for that very reason.


In more mundane news, I had to pull a tick off the base of my cat’s ear tonight. We don’t usually get ticks and though I’ve yanked a few off dogs, I’ve never tackled a kitty.

I figured that “tackle” might be the operative word. But Kitsu is such a mild-mannered little thing that after a few token twists to keep her head out of my hands, she sat still for the procedure. She was very offended, and demanded out immediately afterward, but the only one harmed by the experience was the tick.

I was kind of surprised.


  1. david
    david September 22, 2014 5:47 am

    Given the list of potential purchasers, I’d suspect that Drone Shield is priced out of range of most of us working stiffs. However, I would also guess that you could make the same thing at home for a few hundred bucks if you already have broadband and wifi.

    But, for those of us who don’t, did you ever see your cat watching some bug fly around and didn’t know there was a bug until you noticed the cat watching it? Well, for most of us working class folks, cat + shotgun = drone shield. Or for those who live in places where clear distances are greater than urban areas, cat + AK = drone shield.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 22, 2014 7:04 am

    Possible, David, but I’d hope whoever tried it had some serious experience with trap and skeet. Those clays are not easy to hit without a lot of practice. Not to mention that clays are never armed and can’t shoot back. I’d want to give this some serious thought before I started shooting, for sure. 🙂

  3. Bear
    Bear September 22, 2014 7:50 am

    Heh. DroneShield is an acoustic system: ShotSpotter for model aircraft. In fact…

    “DroneShield has low cost and low false alarm rates with high detection and classification rates.”

    …sounds a lot like ShotSpotter claims, and we’ve seen how well that works in the real world.

    As for what they claim to be doing (matching sounds picked up by a mic with an acoustic database of known drones); that’s not entirely unreasonable. In a world where computer speech recognition actually works reliably, outside of a quiet office with one known user with lots of errors. But we don’t live in that world yet.

    You could rig up something that would work reasonably well in quiet areas. Computer w/sound card (which they all are now), mic, software filters separating out freq bands for small prop whine sounds, 2-stroke engine noise. It would likely get more false positives than the DroneShield, but might have fewer false negatives- that database matching suggests at least three ways to mask a drone, and one for spoofing it with false positives damned near guaranteed to make the user turn the system off.

    Wait. four ways…

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another September 22, 2014 7:53 am

    I have had dogs that wouldn’t sit calmly and let ticks be removed. Lucky the cat was understanding. I have one old cat that will sit still for that kind of work. But he had to be reparied so many times when a young cat that he is used to being poked, prodded and stitched.

  5. Laird
    Laird September 22, 2014 8:18 am

    Droneshield was a crowdfunded project on Indiegogo a year or two ago. I liked the idea and gave them some money ($69) and last spring they sent me one. It’s a tiny little thing (maybe 3″ x 4″). I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t hooked it up yet (it requires some software installation and rejiggering of the computer which I’ve been too lazy to do). I should get around to it.

    But the idea is a good one and it’s very inexpensive. It can’t hear the serious military drones which fly very high up, but it should work for most private (hobby) drones and even the little ones local police forces tend to use.

    Here’s the description:

  6. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau September 22, 2014 8:31 am

    The price of useful (and some not so useful) tech always goes down. In the end I think drones are going to be more a problem for the ruling class than for the peons. Those who drone, will be droned.

    I didn’t hear about Dowd’s experience with pot. I tried brownies a few times back in the day but didn’t like being stoned for that long. One of these days when the old age aches and pains get bad enough I will get into smoking pot again.

  7. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 22, 2014 9:36 am

    Hope they can discern the government drones from the civilian drones that are just out for fun or non privacy reasons.

    On another note, have anyone seen Ayn Rand’s Roark lately?

    Originally went on the website to take a look at the Not a Camera(I think she’s nuts about the price considering the quality of the image).

  8. Curt S
    Curt S September 22, 2014 10:24 am

    Years back, and I do mean years I tried smoking pot. Once was enough for me! Egad!!! Talk about a wierd feeling! I cannot understand why anyone in their right mind would want to do that stuff. I dunno…seems to me if one needs that kind of lala land there is something radically wrong with their mind. I cannot believe people would be that bored or dissatisfied with life! Yes, I know some will say alcohol is a drug also…same with coffee. That to me is absolute bullshit!! Sure, one can overdo anything but pot, or any other drug that alters one’s mind with just one application of it is totally idiotic in its use. Period!

  9. Claire
    Claire September 22, 2014 12:47 pm

    “seems to me if one needs that kind of lala land there is something radically wrong with their mind.”

    LOL, well some 50 million of us or so (not sure of the latest figures) must be real sickos, then. And cannabis affects me much more positively than liquor ever did!

    I smoke seldom, but pot brings out my creativity tremendously.

    To each his own, but you’ve put some heavy judgements on some perfectly normal, healthy people, which seems to be based solely on the fact that you didn’t like the stuff.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 22, 2014 1:31 pm

    No matter what you eat, drink, smoke or however you get it into your body, everything has some effect… even water, and the effect will be different between individuals and even, depending on other influences and substances, different between uses. Most of those differences are subtle, but some can be profound.

    For some strange reason I can’t drink more than two beers because I always fall asleep first. Other than beer, I only like single malt scotch and I’m too Scotch to buy it. LOL And when I do get some, a “wee dram” is more than enough.

    My sister, who uses medical cannabis, got me to try one of the edible forms. I have no interest in smoking anything, but thought I’d at least try the “brownie.’ She said it was quite strong, so I should take just a nibble at a time until I got the affect I was comfortable with. Well, I finally nibbled through the whole thing after an hour or so, and felt absolutely nothing but a desire to eat something spicy to get the nasty taste out of my mouth.

    So much for the party. 🙂 I’m no fun at all.

  11. LarryA
    LarryA September 22, 2014 10:33 pm

    I just want drones authorized for search and rescue.

  12. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán September 23, 2014 11:57 am

    I’m sure DroneShield can “discern the government drones.” And omit to alert on them.

    it’s good of them to say, right there on their home page, that their clients include “military and homeland security departments.” That makes the fact the system’s designed to conceal government drones painfully obvious.

    Of course, it doesn’t mean our nation of fabricators and code-crunchers won’t find out ways to eliminate those filters.

    (I suspect sniffing for EM signatures will prove a more effective drone-detection technique than acoustics.)

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