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Inside Drones (Nov 25th, 2016)

UK revises drone safety rules, Black Friday drone shopping, Israel's awkward drone gift to Russia

The UK has revised and updated its drone safety code to prepare for people who may get drones as a gift next month. The country's Civil Aviation Authority updated their regulations following four near-misses between drones and civil aircraft. The revised code uses a DRONE mnemonic to make the rules easier to remember: Don’t fly near airports, Remember to stay below 120m and at least 50m away from people, Observe your drone at all times, Never fly near aircraft, and Enjoy responsibly. - BBC

DJI and GoPro both failed to have their highly-anticipated drones ready in time for Black Friday, thanks to setbacks. The two companies were set to go head-to-head for the holiday shopping season with their foldable, portable camera drones — but GoPro’s Karma had to be recalled after malfunctions caused it to fall out of the sky, and preorder deliveries of the DJI Mavic Pro have been delayed. This is only the second holiday season that Americans have been able to use drones, so this year’s drone sales will indicate how much the technology has really caught on. - RECODE

The portable Hover Camera Passport drone is like having “a 65-foot selfie stick,” according to Digital Trends. Writer Drew Prindle reviewed the flat rectangular drone and found it very well designed, with a decent camera equipped with image recognition software. The carbon fiber prop cages protect the drone from collisions and protect the pilot from the rotors, removing the fear of damaging property, the drone or other people while flying. - DIGITAL TRENDS

Spain wants Israel to explain why their agriculture minister Uri Ariel gave a helicopter drone to Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev as a gift. The drone was made by Spanish company Alpha Unmanned Systems and had US-made cameras. Spain prohibits the export of sensitive technologies to certain countries, and the drone’s export license had a clause requiring Spanish permission to do so. Israel said the gift had been approved by “relevant professional officials.” - BBC

A drone photograph shows the stark economic inequality of Nairobi, with a wealthy neighborhood adjacent to a slum. American photographer Johnny Miller captured the shot with the support of Code for Africa, the Thomson Reuters Foundation and a local pilot familiar with Kenya’s strict drone laws. He photographed areas like the wealthy suburb of Loresho, where large gated housing complexes stand next to shacks made of scrap metal, sticks and mud. Miller has taken similar photographs in Cape Town, South Africa. - QUARTZ

PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that agricultural drones could become a $32.4 billion market. Now that the FAA is streamlining regulations for commercial drones, agricultural efficiency is poised to take a big step forward. Merrill Lynch also projects agriculture to eventually make up almost 80% of the commercial drone market, and Goldman Sachs predicts the agriculture sector will be the largest user of drones in the U.S. and the second largest in the world in the next five years. Drones can be used to map fields and gather instant analytics about soil and crops. - MOTLEY FOOL

FROM THE FORUMS

Holiday shopping is on a lot of people’s minds these days. Redditor Dotifo turned to the Drones subreddit to get some advice. “I am looking for a drone for my son that has a camera on it within a budget of $200,” she writes. “He does not have much experience so a beginner drone would be preferred.”

Doubleb8 replies, “The problem with getting a drone for 200 dollars is that it's not cheap, it's not extremely expensive, but it is still a good chunk of money; and usually drones in this price range have about the durability of a 60 dollar drone. So in my opinion, a Phantom 3 standard which is extra money, but it has so many great features such as return to home mode, a great camera and about 500 meter range. Plus it has a for 3 axis gimbal camera for stable footage real time.”

galaxy1004 sees it differently: “You really don't want to spend $200 on his first drone. Check out this article and pick something around the $100 mark, then if he's enjoying the hobby and likes it enough, he can upgrade to something bigger and better.”



To get you into the holiday spirit, check out this stunning footage of a winter wonderland in Chamonix Mont-Blanc, courtesy of dronealps. "Gave me a pang of want in my gut," comments Vtiboy.

THE BIG QUESTION
Are there any drones on your holiday shopping list? Which models would make the best gifts for beginners, or for experienced pilots?

Hit "Reply" and let us know what you think, and we'll include your recommendations in the next edition of Inside Drones.

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