"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Buying a Quadcopter Drone or Similar? MyFirstDrone Has an Updated List of Best Drones

Looking to buy your first drone and need to know where to start? Korey Smith at MyFirstDrone has an updated February 2016 List of Best Drones For Sale.

Legal Aspects of FPV Drone Flight vs. Line-of-Sight Drone Flying

Mark LaFay in Drone Flight Modes For Dummies has a take on the legal difference in the United States between "line-of-sight" drone flying and "first person view" (FPV) drone flying using a camera and a viewing screen to (help) pilot a drone.

LaFay writes that: "The FAA hasn’t placed an official ban on FPV flying, but the law specifically says that if you are hobby flying, you must fly line-of-sight. That said, if your drone offers FPV flight mode and you want to limit your risk of potentially getting busted, you should fly out in the middle of nowhere."

As regards specific laws and regulations applicable to drones in the U.S.A., we refer to a professional view at Current U.S. Drone Law by Peter Sachs at the Drone Law Journal and to our previous LawPundit posting at FAA Announces Mandatory Drone Registration Effective Virtually Immediately ! Get it Done !

The restricted legal status of FPV flying explains in part why "FPV drones" are less frequently offered commercially (for now) than "line-of-sight drones".

Two other reasons for the dominance of line-of-sight drones on the market is of course that FPV camera drones are much more expensive and because the added weight of a proper camera and apparatus cuts down on flying time.

Persons such as myself are, however, not so interested in having a camera on board to help "pilot" the drone as such -- as opposed to using line-of sight for general piloting.

However, we ARE interested in using a camera-enabled FPV drone to better place it in the air in order to make aerial photographs of ancient megalithic or other very old archaeological sites from directly above the megaliths, mounds, earthworks, etc.

Our pre-drone-era models in that regard are some books about prehistoric Britain from the air, which used photographs made from other flight vehicles other than drones. There is much to be done here now in the drone era as regards, e.g. megalithic sites. It is a new aspect in archaeological-type work.

The Wine World Loses a Legend as Peter Mondavi Passes Away at Age 101

Had a glass of wine recently?

Then this obituary should be of interest to you, about the man who, among many other innovations he brought to the U.S. wine business, also brought Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Napa Valley.

The Drinks Business has the story at
Napa ‘legend’ Peter Mondavi Sr dies aged 101.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Jerome A. Cohen of NYU Law School Asks Whether Ideology is Trumping Law in China and Creating a Crisis for China's Legal System

At ForeignPolicy.com, NYU Law School's Jerome A. Cohen writes that there is a A Looming Crisis for China’s Legal System in the offing.

This is a very interesting read because Cohen also summarizes the great advances that the Chinese legal system has made in recent decades.

As Cohen writes:
"Since 1979, despite political changes and sometimes harsh repression, China has witnessed the construction of a comprehensive legal system....

Judicial reform is one of the main challenges now confronting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Despite his emphasis on “rule of law,” Xi wants local courts reliably to submit to the discipline of the central party and judicial officials.
Our question of course is whether that is really any markedly different from the political "Party" meddling taking place in the United States as regards the upcoming nomination of a new Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by the passage of Justice Scalia.

China is Buying Up Foreign Companies and More: As Goes Wentworth, So Goes the World?

We read at Business Insider via an article by Portia Crowe that
China is buying up American companies fast, and it's freaking people out.

Well, the Chinese have the money to do so.
That's capitalism.

The problem of capitalism, however, is that
whoever has the money, usually calls the shots (somewhere along the line).

As a golfer, we read with interest in this connection about the consequences of a fairly recent sale of the famed professional golf venue, Wentworth Golf Club, the most expensive in the United Kingdom, to a Chinese conglomerate.

Those kinds of cultural and financial clashes mean trouble down the road.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Frank Bruni at the NY Times Asks: "Is There Any Stopping Donald Trump?"

Regardless of how you stand politically, Frank Bruni has a marvelous piece of writing at the New York Times at Is There Any Stopping Donald Trump?

Hat tip to CaryGEE.