So You or Your Kid Wants a Drone

If you follow me regularly on social media, you’ll know I have a drone. I recently upgraded from a DJI Phantom 4 to a DJI Phantom 4 Pro+. The camera quality and sensors are very much improved, but it is an expensive product.

Lately, a lot of people have asked me about buying a drone. I figured it was easiest if i just put it here. The fact is that drones can be difficult to fly, are expensive, and you really need to know what you are doing. They can be dangerous and are too expensive to break.

What I have started recommending is that you buy this first. It is a $20.00 indoor helicopter from Amazon.com Before I started flying drones, I flew this. It was the perfect training vehicle.

The helicopter is cheap, has similar controls to a drone, and flies indoors where you have to learn to control it in often cramped conditions.

Honestly, I broke a half dozen of these getting started. But they are $20.00 and I was not too upset about it. I finally ordered a couple different models. Once I was able to navigate them from the living room to the kitchen then through to the dining room, I knew I could control something expensive and more complex.

Only then did I invest in a Phantom 4 drone, which in and of itself has a lot of sensors to keep it from crashing into stuff. Had I not gone the helicopter route first, I would have probably wasted even more money.

If you or your child is interested in a drone to fly outdoors, start on this helicopter first. Yes, you have to fly it indoors, but that is the point. It isn’t going to break anything except itself. But once you have mastered it, you’ll have mastered the basics of flying a much more complex drone outside.

Liberals Abhor This: Inner City Blacks Don’t Use Uber or Amazon Prime

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” –Ronald Reagan

The sad tyranny of data speaks for itself. Über and Amazon, with a combined market capitalization of $353 billion, live and die by data. They look at cold, hard facts, and those facts paint a picture liberals don’t like: African-Americans are just not using those company’s premium services as much as others in inner cities.

Dante Ramos at the Boston Globe laments that the companies need to “grow up.”

Because lots of tech firms develop great products against daunting odds, they get a pass for behavior that would get established companies in trouble with regulators or the public. Eventually, though, a successful firm stops being a scrappy startup that can focus on its own survival alone. At that point, it should step up to a greater level of corporate social responsibility.

What does that mean? It means that Amazon’s new same-day delivery service is available in areas where there are enough Amazon Prime users to justify it.

amazon_boston

That crosshatched patch in the middle of Amazon’s same-day service area in Boston tells the story. Roxbury is a heavily black-dominated area comprising three zip codes where the service isn’t available. To liberals, this is racism in action. How dare Amazon use data to make decisions on where to offer service! How dare those–those capitalists!–pursue business in such a color-blind and objective manner.

There’s no evidence that Amazon makes decisions on where to deliver based on race. [Craig Berman, Amazon’s vice president for global communications] [no relation —Ed] says the ethnic composition of neighborhoods isn’t part of the data Amazon examines when drawing up its maps. “When it comes to same-day delivery, our goal is to serve as many people as we can, which we’ve proven in places like Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.” Amazon, he says, has a “radical sensitivity” to any suggestion that neighborhoods are being singled out by race. “Demographics play no role in it. Zero.”

Oh but it should play a role, according to liberals. Perhaps Amazon should offer free Prime membership to inner-city blacks. Maybe that would incentivize them to use the service. You can’t force them to use it, because that would be like forcing people to buy insurance and subsidize hospital administrator $500,000 salaries.

And Über, those radicals, refuse to hire drivers like buggy-whip cab companies who bribe city officials buy limited issue, enormously expensive “medallions” to run a highly regulated hack franchise. They dared to use rider feedback to kick low-rated drivers off their app. Because it’s not fair to use data to determine who keeps their job and who loses it–wait, it’s not a job, it’s called the free market.

They also forgot to tell riders that the tip was included in their Internet-enabled, app-processed payment. So a liberal Massachusetts lawyer hit them with a class-action lawsuit, which the company settled by paying up to $100 million and noting the tip is included in the app. They will also give poorly rated drivers more warning before giving them the boot.

Pauvre petit enfants.

What to do? The liberal solution–if they won’t “grow up” and stop using data to make business decisions, we’ve got to regulate’em. Let’s make Über into just another cab company, and let’s make Amazon into Ma Bell, and force them to offer service to everyone. Then charge a “universal same-day delivery fee” on every Prime user’s account so that Roxbury can have a service most people who live there will probably never use.

[Update: Amazon gave in to the pressure and will deliver to Roxbury. Of course.]

This is why we must keep liberals (of either party) out of the White House and out of Congress.

It Took Amazon.com TWO MONTHS To Respond to the New York Times

Wow. Amazon needs a Prime account for its PR Team to respond to stories. On August 15, 2015, Jodi Kantor wrote this long piece on Amazon’s workplace for the New York Times. The story was damning, wide spread, and has been recirculated frequently over the past two months whenever anything Amazon related comes up.

Two months later, Amazon.com has finally responded. Hilariously, its response is written by former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and he refers to the New York Times’ “recent” article.

If that story was a fish, it’d be covered in maggots and smelling it is so “recent.”

Unreal that it took them two months to compile a response when a core piece of their response is that one of the most salacious details, i.e. the quote “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk,” was uttered by a man who resigned from Amazon.com after “had attempted to defraud vendors and conceal it by falsifying business records.”

It took the company two months to offer that up. But then Carney goes on to claim that this was not “an isolated mistake.” In fact, he delves into the much criticized Anytime Feedback tool by, among other things, noting it is rarely used.

Again, it too two months.

For a company known for next day delivery of virtually anything, it is ridiculous it took two months to respond to a story that damaged the company’s reputation — a story that continues to percolate.

Does Jay Carney still think he is on government time or does he only respond when the new boss, like the old boss, finaly gets around to reading something in the paper. Oh. Wait. Jeff Bezos expressed his concerns about the New York Times piece two months ago. It’s just his company took two months to debunk it.

Weird.