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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jan 21st, 2019)

1. Six months after canceling its solar-powered internet drone project, Facebook is reportedly testing out drones with Airbus in Australia. Germany’s NetzPolitik first reported the news, citing a document showing that the two companies discussed trials of drone flights, which may have already taken place last year. The trials involved or could involve Airbus’ Zephyr drone, which is similar to the solar-powered Aquila drone blueprint that never got off the ground. A Facebook spokesperson told NetzPolitik that it continues "to work with partners on High Altitude Platform System (HAPS) connectivity," but offered no further details to share at this time. - TECHCRUNCH

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2. China-based drone manufacturer DJI uncovered cases of employee fraud that will cost the company up to $150 million, according to Bloomberg. The corruption marks of the largest recent cases of graft for a Chinese tech giant. After discovering the corruption in an internal probe, DJI said it fired multiple employees who inflated parts costs for personal gain. DJI said that it's "taking steps to strengthen internal controls" and created "new channels for employees to submit confidential and anonymous reports relating to any violations of the company's workplace conduct policies." - ENGADGET

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3. A man was charged with flying his drone near London's Heathrow Airport last month. George Rusu, 38, is accused of flying his UAV near a runway at Britain's busiest airport on Dec. 24. Rusu, of Blunts Avenue, Hillingdon, was charged with flying a small unmanned aircraft without the permission of air traffic control. The incident occurred days after London's Gatwick Airport temporarily shut down due to local drone sightings, affecting 1,000 flights. - TELEGRAPH

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4. The U.K. experienced at least 18 near misses between aircraft and drones from July through October, according to the U.K. Airprox Board. The highest risk of a collision occurred when a drone passed within 20 meters (66 feet) of an Airbus A380 that was approaching London's Heathrow Airport during that time. In December, drone sightings affected about 1,000 flights at London's Gatwick Airport, which was temporarily shut down for safety reasons. Twelve of the 18 reported drone incidents took place in metro London. - BBC

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5. WIRED published a report outlining tips on how to shoot the best aerial drone footage.

6. Major League Baseball's Kris Bryant posted an Instagram video showing off his new drone. The Chicago Cubs player called it a "New hobby with great friends!"

7. A Sydney-based yacht captain recovered his DJI Mavic drone after losing it in the sea for seven hours.

8. The startup Passerine has developed a drone with bird-like legs. The avian-inspired UAVs could eliminate the need for runways that support drones with heavy payloads.

9. DJI has officially debuted its Multilink accessory ($99) for Inspire 2 Cendence controllers.

10. Japanese drone provider Terra Drone is bringing its oil-and-gas drone inspection services to Brazil.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine, and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news in southern California here. Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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