Facebook reported to be acquiring drone maker Titan Aerospace


#1

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#2

I have no words for this so a gif will have to do to express my confusion...

Sometimes I feel that I can't communicate with the rest of the world when I see things like this.


#3

Those in Ethiopia and Sudan will finally be able to enjoy our foodie pictures of Crêpe Suzettes. You're welcome.


#4

Skynet likes your photo


#5

Huh. $60 million for a company that actually makes tangible items, vs. $19 billion for Whatsapp. The gods must be crazy.


#6

This could benefit places in remote locations, like clinics and schools. And I wouldn't worry too much about the use of drones for the surreptitious gathering of personal information, because Facebook has never...um...


#7

I work in defense/aerospace and I am used to seeing large numbers and dealing with companies historically thought of as large, influential, and possibly evil. Valuations of consumer electronics companies and social networking service companies makes our business look small. $19B is more than the enterprise value of defense companies employing tens of thousands of employees.


#8

Hey, but using the WhatsApp valuation, at $42 per "customer" we know the DOD is planning about 140,000 Drone strikes.


#9

I think this drone acquisition actually makes the WhatsApp acquisition a lot more sensical -- well, in terms of the why, not the valuation. But it seems like Facebook is planning how they can become a telecommunications provider and go head-to-head perhaps with cellular and who knows what else. It's interesting, especially considering that Google seems to be pursuing similar lines.

All these sky-based networks. So fascinating. If you had to abbreviate it, you'd call it something like... Sky Net. SkyNet.

Oh, fuck.


#10

Clinics and schools as a trade-off for privacy? You're thinking too small. There's insufficient profit there.

Think god-games like Populous, where you have an overhead view and control the population by applying manna in subtle ways. Combine it with FaceBook's Farmville-type games. For a significant amount of real-life manna, create gaming clans / factions / guilds like in Eve Online and other online multi-player games.

Each guild would adopt a real 3rd-world village, and then compete with other guilds to grow their village and its power and influence faster.

Individual in-app purchases may buy a single textbook or water filter or malaria shot, gaining more points for the player. Or an in-app charge may go towards the guild's group purchase of a one-room school, generator, digging a well, etc. If a guild gains enough members, they might attract corporate sponsors. Soon a guild would be buying clinics and cell phone towers. FaceBook would retain control of internet infrastructure. Connect your village to a power grid, and FaceBook would put an XBox One with a Kinect camera in every home for a more Sims Online style experience.

FaceBook would get a small cut of each transaction, and would supply the overhead drone view and "character bios" of the NSNPCs (Not So Non Player Characters.) Real life random events would provide, er, random events. Instead of the usual MMORPG villagers asking you to go kill the trolls that have been attacking them, FaceBook would serve up real-life tragedies, emergencies, homes and dreams for your guild to tackle. With FaceBook's all-powerful data collection you could even crowd-source crime solving, Boston Bombing style.

It would certainly put a spotlight on the sort of corruption that holds back many 3rd world countries. A corrupt local official pocketing aid isn't news today, so little is done. But when 5000 1st-world players see their investment pocketed by a corrupt 3rd world local official - THEY will be heard. It'll be posted to Boing Boing and a hundred blogs, and mainstream media may pick it up. FaceBook will have to flex some muscle to keep its games honest, probably using all that collected data to put pressure on the government.

If successful the technology used and lessons learned would go into the next generation game, set in first world countries. The 1% would use the 99% for their own god game. Big Brother with a gamepad.


#11

And flame wars will finally involve real flames. First up, Crimea Online; the ultimate cosplay will give you a true sense of adventure.


#12

I was hoping to avoid the battle/invasion part of Populous.

At least we could prosecute those responsible for creating in-game warfare. They'd be the ones distributing large numbers of GoPro cameras - possibly modified to add a corporate sponsor logo in the corner of the picture - right before all hell breaks loose.


#13

Wait, is it April already?


#14

Brings a whole new meaning to "Unfriend."


#15

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