Drones delivering pizzas. What could possilby go wrong?

In today’s segment of WTFs In the News:

Domino’s Pizza is working with a company in UK testing drone prototypes for airborne pizza delivery

The agency [T + Biscuits] hired custom drone makers in the U.K. and tested a few prototypes until they found the best. “Domino’s said: ‘Right, that’s the one. Let’s make a video and get it out there,'” Hatton said.

On delivery day, two large, hot, pepperoni pizzas were boxed, stacked and stashed in a thermally insulated bag. The team hoisted the package not onto the scooter rack belonging to a pizza delivery boy but aboard the copter. Operated by a experienced drone pilot, it travelled about 4 miles in about ten minutes.

The delivery was a success, Hatton says — the two pies arrived at the other end in pristine shape. “If anything it went quicker than a pizza boy,” because it didn’t need to stop at red lights, Hatton remembers. “We were amazed at how easy it was going to be.”

The two large pizzas hit the weight limit the drone could carry. “We thought: ‘Oh perfect,'” Hatton said, but a big response so far has been: “Well, what if someone ordered more? ” To which Hatton’s response is: “I can’t believe anyone would want to order more than two large pizzas.”


Ya know, kids,  ol attila’s fav pizza place in Missoula was called Red Pies Over Montana. It was a play on the movie about some brave fire jumpers and a very nasty incident of a jump gone bad. Bad pun and perhaps always  ‘too soon’, but hey, college town. They did serve up great pizza though. The mural of flying pizzas over the mountains was a surreal work of art, or something. But it was acknowledged as surreal, not a hair brained scheme that some capitalists figured was the best thing since sliced cheese. The good old days, when logic was generally put before corporations as people thinking, I miss them.

Now, as usual, life or commerce, is imitating art, or earlier commerce. This is due to the reality that  there really aren’t many new ideas out there, just a lot of modifications and applying new tech to old ideas. There might be just a hint of a class of business people who are too isolated from reality and perhaps to able to afford mind altering substances in units not generally recommended. The rub with blindly applying new technology to old business paradigms always falls back to ‘just because you can  do a thing, it does not follow that you should do a thing’.

OK, flying pizza has a certain panache and whimsey that does appeal to the ‘Awesome!’ brain center that kicks in before the rest of the brain has had coffee and time to do what brains are supposed to do. And it may be a way to deal with traffic gridlock in large urban areas, for a time at least.

Near as I can figure, there really aren’t many, if any, regulations governing corporate use of drones to transport product, which ya know just has to appeal to the pirates, err, corporate officers.

But what could go wrong? Or more to the point, what couldn’t?

Delivery drones? If Domino’s actually went operational with flying pizzas, every other monster food corporation would have to take to the air just to compete and take away the novelty factor. Will joystick jockeys for Sky Pizza have radar to keep cheesy goodness out of the way of flying fried chicken? What happened when the Chinese take out place gets into the arms race and launches a fleet of Flying Tigers? Will drone delivery competition escalate to the point that drones are armed in order to preserve and protect their air freight? What about the likelihood of hungry students hacking into the drones and hijacking the food deliveries? And how long before cleaver birds like crows and seagulls start testing to see how many birds can land on a flying pizza to take it down? Will cities be inundated with well fed attack pigeons, landing, one at a time until they have safely landed and scarfed down the dinner someone is watching the skies over their driveway for?

Consumer protection will be a problem. One must assume that without a pizza delivery person actually showing up with the goods and getting your cash in return, the customer will be required to provide a valid credit card number when placing orders. Yes, many delivery franchises already do this, but with flying pizza, it will be required. Now, what happens when a patron is electronically charged for a pizza at time order is placed but the pizza is hijacked by angry birds or hacker neighbors with really good WiFi? Ah those pesky unintended consequences!

Airports have air traffic controllers, and still the burdens of air traffic make the occasional near miss, or actual collision inevitable. How about unregulated drones delivering the goodies? Who will keep the air ways neat, orderly, and safe? Who pays in the case of falling fast food related injuries? Who is liable if a pizza lands on my windshield and blinds me so that a car accident ensues? And what are we to do with all the car drivers texting orders to the pizza palace then racing through traffic in hopes of beating the drone? And what if the drone forgets the goddamned chili flakes and extra Parmesan packets? Huh? Whose gonna pay for all that gastronomic mayhem? Is Allstate gonna grab a slice with those good hands? How much extra will falling food insurance add on to consumers’ tabs?

Hell, let’s toss in some Stand Yer Ground fun into our hypothetical problem list. If the average American corporation can start delivering goods via drones, can the average American citizens insist on corporations not violating airspace over their homes. My guess is no.  Note: airlines fly over, albeit not as low as a pizza drone and we don’t get to swat them down. But just how low can a corporate drone go without Joe Second Amendment feeling threatened and blasting it to the higher heavens? Then there is that liability thing again. What happens when Joe homeowner stands his ground and airspace, fires off a few rounds and gravity kicks in. Bullets go up, up to a point, then somebody gets lead rain. Who gets held responsible for injury and damage from self defense against low flying food stuffs?

Oh, and what about the children, err, dieters? Just how much latitude will Weight Watchers have in preventing the temptation of forbidden fruit and junk food passing too near their windows? Remember that horrible travesty of justice known as the ‘Twinkie defense’ when a bigoted pol got off easy for spilling Harvey Milk? What sorts of horrors and docket constipation will the courts go through sorting all these conflicting interests out?

See what I’m sayin here? All sorts of possible unintended consequences. But it strikes me that corporations get to do what they want, so I doubt our legislative bodies and regulatory agencies will manage to get ahead of the curve on this one and get some rules and constraints put in place before those consequences hit the fan.

By the way, drone chopper delivery of pizzas will mean less jobs for the struggling youths who need them. But maybe it will save lives. At least it will save struggling youths the expense of subsidizing business with their own vehicles, fuel and insurance, so maybe it would actually be a financial wash for the kids who want to work and make some money. One does not make money pulling minimum wage AND using ones own resources to subsidize cheap ass franchise owners. One is old enough to know few legislators are interested in protecting the interests of workers. My daughter is still waiting to get paid for three weeks of delivering chow 20 some years ago.


Ol Mitch is running scared. First he says he might join a Rand Paul filibuster

Then he whines that he has been Watergated and evil libruls are bugging him an’ stuff. Oh, and libruls are picking on his wife’s ethnic background… for mentioning that as Bush 43’s Labor Secretary, she enabled more job outsourcing to China than any other cabinet member in the history of the known universe so boo hoo stop making me get all butt hurt ‘n stuff.

Phew. Sorry about that. Been reading Wonkette too much first thing in the morning and my inhibitions have gone the way of that surplus Clinton left Bush….

Seriously, the turtle (ok, not TOO seriously) is looking pretty stressed and scared these days. Rand Paul gets some atta-boys from the tea bagging brigade for that pointless filibuster and Ol Mitch wants to jump in when Rand Man says he might put a catheter up his nozzle and go on a verb binge to feign a stop to any vote on  gun control legislation. So, yes, we can add pandering to the paranoid gun nuts (and the merchants making record sales based on imagined threats to the 2nd) to Mitch’s list of fraidie-cat-iechisms. Check.

Then ‘the liberals are bugging my office! The liberals are like the Watergate guys…’ play for sympathy from the persecution-complexed-but-not-quite-paranoid RW Christians who love to hate liberals, because, you know, JESUS ‘n stuff.   We have to give McConnell props here for knowing his target audience and their propensity for mis-remembering history and the probability that they might recall that Watergate was a bad thing, but totally disassociate it from the reality that it was also a GOP thing. He is lower than the barnacle on a whale’s belly, but he isn’t a brainless barnacle.

Then, as part of the GOP outreach and warm fuzzy hugs and kisses to those who care about the not-rinso-white peeps, ‘They pick on my sweet lil wife cuz she’s not rinso-white, so THEY are the bigots!’ Totally ignoring the fact that the flak Mrs Mitch got was about her record-setting enabling of corporate job outsourcing while working as G.W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, and the fact that she was called by name, which happens to be the Chinese surname she kept and has gone by professionally, Elaine L. Chao.  So, really, McConnell was trying to mooch sympathy for the fact that his wife’s name was accurately reported along with her record. Check off ‘appearing to appeal to broader spectrum of color peeps without actually doing any such thing’ on Mitch’s To-Do list.

Now, to really get attention for all these things checked off his list, he has to get LOTS more attention for it all. So, call the FBI right fracking now! Investigate all this evil doing by doers of evil!

Ooopsies, seems that tape was not a wire tap, so no Watergate here. And since it is pretty clear that the recording device was moved to better capture the sound when someone from the back of the room spoke, it seems pretty evident the ‘bug’ was a phone or computer device and on the table in the room, in plain sight. And even if the recording device was somehow clandestine, KY is a single party state, so as long as one party in the meeting was OK with recording it, it is legal. One would guess anyone recording a conversation, openly or covertly, would be OK with recording a conversation, so LEGAL in Kentucky! The ugly reality for Team McConnell: ‘Quick, call the plumbers, we have a leak and it is us!’

Furthermore: in the taped conversation, it is said that LAs (legislative aides, as in official federal employes working on Mitch’s staff, but paid by We the Taxpayers) did a lot of research work to ferret out info on Ms Judd (by reading the book she wrote). So now we get to the crux of the matter: Did Mitch violate the LAW by having senatorial staffers doing campaign work on the taxpayers’ time or were they doing it in addition to their regularly scheduled work hours and not on the taxpayers’ dime? And in what space was this work done? At their homes, as volunteers? At campaign office space? Or did ANY of that research take place in ANY official senatorial office space?

Yes, call the FBI to investigate! Proceed, Senator…….

In the immortal words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “Hello fellow babies!” Let’s blow the blues and get down to some rock and roll!

Friends, have you grown weary of being good little troopers, always playing nice and doin’ what the man expects, what makes it all work for the man? Are you tired of being disappointed that implied social contracts just don’t seem to get notice from the powers that be, no matter how well and diligently you hold up your end?

Does it make any sense that we go shopping at places that create shortages just to whip us up into a frenzy to where we will fight each other over unnecessary things while commerce just smiles, nods, run to the bank with deposits?

Friends, it’s time to just step back and think about it. Why go dancing to bad bands? Fellow babies, I am serious. We need to think about where we point our feet.

Walmart? Fuggitabout it! Saw some news items that some mall stores got so pissed off about the frenzy they whipped up with their ‘limited supplies’ of Door Buster Specials!!! that they locked their doors.

Yes, folks, some stores created the very messes that got so out of hand with people getting so frustrated and angry that they just went uncharastically bonkers. Then, some of those stores just shut their door, drew the bars across the window and expected everything to just magically get better on its own.

Weird, man, just too freaking weird. I mean, people, take a smoke break or something and think about it. You have your nice big family feast. Sure, now you are stoked on calories and carbs. Then all that information hits your mailbox and you get like, “Dude, where’s the mall? I gotta go shopping! I must do what is expected…..” You show up prepared, serious shoes on, wallet in one hand, list in the other. Ok, maybe you are frothing a bit at the mouth, but it’s not like you bite people regularly, and it’s unlikely you really have much of a bite anyway, let alone rabies or any other dangerous communicable cooties. And your very presence scares some commerce dudes to the point they lock doors and throw up bars to slow down the very widespread contagion of crazy they set the stage for.

What the figgy pudding? Fleck the malls. If some commerce dudes get so shortsighted that they lock out the very customers who really do shop often, supporting them in all seasons, just because of some temporary shopper mayhem, well, Fleck the Malls and light up a fatty, pour a tumbler of Christmas hooch, break into the chocolate stocking stuffers or what ever else you do to just relax, and give yourself the gift of some quiet, silent nights.

Fellow babies, ya gotta remember: The commerce is dependent on you, not the other way around, unless of course you are working as a temp in a Honey Baked Ham emporium, hoping for enough cash to get you through the next half semester at Whatsamatter U. If that’s the case, well, the Doctor can see you’re just screwed. But for the greater good, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. And no, I won’t bogart that spiff. I want you to be calm too, cuz you are my fellow babies and the Doctor loves each and every one of you, in varying degrees, of course. And only in a non-bibical way, if you get my drift. OK, OK, there are a couple of clowns the Doctor would let Herb toss out of a helicopter next time he takes a flockin’  bunch of turkeys for a ride, but it’s not like it would ever actually happen fer reals.

The doctor knows you don’t want to get stampeded into buying crap you don’t really need from businesses that treat you like a commodity instead of like individuals.

Malls don’t work if they are empty. No mu-zak man. Just not what stirs the soul and puts a fire in the belly.

And now, the doctor is gonna be out for a spell. This is KGON radio, the waves that rock and roll.

FOIA, like the Bill of Rights, seems to have been recycled and re-puroposed as toilet paper for high ranking officials

UPDATE:  DOJ says OK, we won’t do that bad stuff and lie outright about documents we don’t want you to see after all.


Maybe Herman Cain will be let off the diversion hook now?  Hey, anytime there is a big sexy news item that media is overly invested in reporting, I always figure there is some real damage being done while we are engrossed in the splashy story de jour.  Not that I dismiss the importance of uncovering Herman Cain’s predatory ways, I just think media needs to keep an eye on more than one thing at a time.


From: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed…


At present, if the government doesn’t want to admit the existence of a document it believes to be exempt from FOIA, it may advise the person making the request that it can neither confirm nor deny the document’s existence. Under the proposed regulation, an agency that withholds a document “will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”


This is NOT change. This is more of the SSDD and it seems to be getting worse all the time. Where is the transparency CANDIDATE Obama was so gung-ho about?

I understand the need for some secrecy in what governments do, I really do. But FOIA has an app for necessary secrecy. A court considers requests for information and weighs the right to know against the need for secrecy on a case by case basis. This business of government flat-out deciding ‘If we think it’s important for you not to know, we can deny it even exists should you file a FOIA request for it’ is NOT what the laws were written for.

Is we is or is we isn’t a NATION of laws? Guess not. Laws are just harnesses for the 99%. The 1% and their henchmen, and I put Obama squarely in that henchmen column, don’t seem to think laws are any sort of mediating factor in what they can and can’t do.

I have had it with this administration. This is one outrage too far.

People sitting quietly with messages on their shirts removed, some arrested in WI capitol

The cowardly side of the aisle  in WI legislature who are so terrified of the people are having them removed and arrested for having signs.   So a few show up with pieces of paper on their shirts. It has been explained to the cowardly part of the legis and the security they command that people can wear tee shirts with messages. But the cowards figure people with paper on their shirts can be tossed out, and they do so.

The people being removed have not been disruptive in the least. One member of the legislature pointed out the members of the body would not even know of the protesters’ presence save for the disruption the security officers create in removing and arresting them.

The sgt at arms and officers are engaging in acts of provocation just as surely as NYPD White Shirts with pepper spray and batons. They are denying THE PEOPLE any means of speaking to their government and the end result of such strong-arm tactics on the part of any state will always result in frustration levels that will lead to illegal acts of aggression against the state.

You cannot take away the means of a people to dissent in constructive ways without planting the seeds of destructive means. Heavy handed refusal to allow civil forms of dissent and petition is what eventually spawns terrorism. If the Lords of WI want to rule like the family Saud, they will get the same responses eventually.

22nd richest person on the Hill, Denny Rehberg, now bullying kids for their lunch money.

 From Talking Points Memo
“Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), who’s expected to face Sen. John Tester (D) in the Montana Senate race next year, is worried that some families who receive federally subsidized lunches may be gaming the system and therefore bilking you out of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.It’s about waste, fraud and abuse, he suggests. But Democrats say it’s about something else: A Republican looking to scrimp on a program that benefits the least fortunate of all Americans, poor children, while he fights to protect subsidies for multi-billion dollar oil companies.

Rehberg is fond of looking to the nation’s education subsidies to find extraneous money that can be cut. Back in April, he landed in some hot water after he said that Pell Grants were the same as welfare, a comment he quickly walked back after public outcry back home in Big Sky Country.

But even in the walking back, there was evidence of Rehberg’s concern that taxpayer money earmarked for making it easier for people without a lot of income to get an education is place where cuts need to be made. Pell Grants are “are an attempt to do the right thing,” he said, and “the difficulty is, often times a program is so successful that it grows and grows and grows and grows.

More here

Brain off in too many directions on this to write all of what I want to say, but I will point out a couple of things right now:Denny is reading from the script the Koch brothers and RNC handed him without thinking even a little: In Montana, in rural counties that tend to vote for his drunken ass time after time, the majority of kids get subsidized lunch. AND the majority of services in all those small towns rely on various grants which are based, in part, on the percentage of kids in the local schools that get subsidized lunch! He doesn’t have the brains to tell the script writers that this is NOT a good can of worms to open up in Montana.

As to why the need for Pell grants and other help to people trying to get educations, he complains that the programs keep growing, but never once mentions why that need increases: more Americans are falling into poverty and the middle class wage earners are losing real wages all the damn time! Need for help is increasing because real people are not making as much money as they used to.  IOW: It’s the ECONOMY, stupid!

The RNC and Hoarder Class know that campaigning for a senate seat is cheaper in Montana than just about anywhere else, while that seat has the same power as one from NY or MA. They are funding (and scripting) the drunken sot, Denny Rehberg.

Even though most of the $$ for his senate campaign here will come in from across the nation, it is still a local race between him and Tester and this issue will bite his ass hard if we all work to show the GOP in Montana just what it will mean.  A lot help to provide services people rely on, and cash strapped local governments can’t do without, comes from grants that are based upon the ration of kids in the school lunch program/total enrollment in local schools. It isn’t really just about the lunch money. Koch brothers wouldn’t bother with it if there weren’t other important social programs being involved.
After working to sue firemen for his failed business venture of houses on a high, windy platue, far from conveniences, and under the airport flight path, is  Dim Bub Denny really going to shake kids down for their lunch money? Seriously? He just let the RNC script writers make him into a literal cartoon of the dim witted school yard bully who is all brawn and no brain, no heart, no soul.By the way, officials were in town recently telling the county that they had a bunch of senior citizens daring to eat at the subsidized, once a week senior lunch who really don’t qualify and/or aren’t paying their $10 a month. Makes me wonder what other services are partially funded based on poverty among the senior citizens.

The Brothers Koch know so much more than most voters about how funding for critical social programs is figured. Time to help get info out to the voters about how these whiny attacks on the needy really relate to everybody.
The GOP is trying to condition everyone into accepting their demonization of anyone who gets federal dollars. Well, anyone but huge corporations anyway. Denny is always there, voting to defend federal dollars going to industries which are not floundering.

Mitt Romney is middle class? So, where does that put the poverty line?

Pardon the cynicism, but Attila the Blond has always sorta figured anybody who wanted the job of President Of The United States, would be, by that goal alone, found mentally unfit for the job. What sane person would want that kind of headache?  Maybe delusional, maybe optimistic to a point that would make Pollyanna blush, maybe megalomania, maybe just struck with some intense need to be in a history book.  Easy to name past presidents who fit one or more of those category.

But now, we might consider a new category: It’s the money! Oh, sure the job does not pay well, considering the conditions and responsibilities. But there is all that money you and congress would get to direct. There’s the payoff.

Are you a rich rich RICH guy? Well then, a well placed desk might just put you in position to decide how much you and your well-heeled peers have to pay (or avoid) in taxes, and what sort of loopholes you might be able to wrangle.

Are you sorta rich? Well, then, by arranging taxes, loopholes, and who gets what no-bid government contracts in exchange for campaign donations and/or cushy positions for family members or yourself, upon retirement from an office where most of your time was spent funneling money and perks to those who promise such jobs.

Are you really a working person of the middle class? Fuggit about it! You are too busy scrambling to get the next meal to have time for the back scratching it takes to get the dough to even run. And unless you have a real healthy bank account and portfolio, it seems most Americans think you are just not one of them and they won’t take time between their two or three jobs to stop by the polling place to vote for you.

So, Mitt, AKA M-Rom, just what is your reason for running? Delusion? Optimism that you are a swell guy, and by golly, people just like you? Power, you just can’t get enough, because, well just because some people just can’t get enough of something they already have in abundance just for being born in the right family? History, you want your name in all the text books and you want it so bad you will pretend you are the leader of the free world? Really, Willard? History books?

What ever the reason, and it could be any combination or even all of the above, the motives do not suggest any sort of fitness for the job.  And anybody who will lie, distort, obfuscate to get the job, well, my ol momma always said we should never even sit at the lunch counter with liars and con men.

Even Main Stream Media knows M-Rom is pulling your leg. Furthermore, MSM even admits as much.

A look at Romney’s personal financial disclosure form, however, reveals he’s in the bracket that President Obama is targeting with his proposed “Buffett rule” to tax millionaires. An analysis of Romney’s 28-page accounting of his wealth by the Boston Globe earlier this year put the former Massachusetts governor’s net worth at between $190 million and $250 million.

It’s not the first time Romney has raised eyebrows by attempting to identify with Americans struggling with the economy. On an earlier visit to Florida this summer, he told a group of jobless workers: “I’m also unemployed.” *

Mitt Romney is not one of us. Any attempts he makes to refer to himself and us as being members of the same group is laughable at best and more likely just a manipulative trick to get us to think he’s the sort of guy we would like to have a Neer Beer with.

The way I see it, his attempt to become POTUS is just one more example of rich Republicans trying to keep worker bees, folks who really do need to work, out of one more job.

* By the way, Willard, you are not unemployed, you are between hobbies and maybe a little restless. Order up some iced lemonade and caviar nachos, pull up a chaise and watch the contractors rebuild that house on the beach if you are bored need some entertainment.

Jeesh, anybody with that kind of moola who can’t come up with some great ideas for whiling away the hours is just way too dim to be attempt herding all the cats.

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