Connect with us

Gadgets

California Senate Bill 347 Could Crush Drone Combat as Sports Entertainment

blank

Published

on

drone combat

Drone combat is gaining popularity in the sports entertainment business. As currently written, California Senate Bill 347, the State Remote Piloted Aircraft Act, will hinder the development of this growing industry. This bill further defines regulation for the operation and use of drones within California. The potential to impede development of drone combat as sports entertainment is Section 21754. This section states that “A person shall not weaponize a remote piloted aircraft or operate a weaponized remote piloted aircraft.”

The problem is that the word “weaponize” is extremely vague.

The Aerial Sports League (ASL) is at the forefront of the drone sports entertainment industry. ASL events include drone racing and drone combat. Also, the company’s headquarters are in San Francisco, so SB 347 will directly affect its continued operation. Understandably, the ASL is encouraging the California senate to provide a clear definition of what counts as weaponization.

Sticks and Ropes and Nets – Weaponized?

The ASL does not allow drones to use fire or electricity, chemicals, or projectiles that can fit through the protective netting surrounding the combat zone. These prohibitions are positive for three reasons. First, they provide protection to both the spectators and the drone operators. Second, matches are lengthened as a result. Third, they require drone creators to use ingenuity in the creation of drones’ offensive options.

There are some effective weapons common among the drones. Net launchers do exactly what the name implies, they launch nets. Some drones have bundles of ropes dangling from the undercarriage. If the drone is able to fly over another drone, then the dangling ropes interfere with flight capabilities, often causing crashes. Also, sticks or rods are used to whack-attack or to interfere with propellers.

Under the vague wording of Section 21754, these drones are weaponized and are illegal if the bill passes into law. Furthermore, a strict reading of the vague wording could mean that anything not vital to the functioning of a drone classifies it as weaponized. Take a camera. Sure, it seems silly to count it as a weapon, but a camera is a metal box. If it is moving fast enough it will cause serious harm if it connects with flesh.

Drone vs. Drone = Fun!

This focus on a clear definition is not solely for the benefit of ASL as an existing company, but for the future of any company involved in drone combat as sports entertainment. Beyond any company’s existence, it’s also important so a couple kids in a backyard aren’t prosecuted for having fun.

The California Senate has not voted on the bill. The sponsor, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, cancelled the most recent hearing on it for unknown reasons. Let’s hope the senator realized that the bill still needs some fine-tuning. I hope so because I really want to continue enjoying drone combat.

Archaeology, technology, science, movies and TV shows, video games, government and politics, reading sci-fi and fantasy, '60s/70s classic rock. These are the areas in which I spend my days (somewhere in there are food and travel...).

Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

blank

Published

on

blank

PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

Continue Reading

Consoles

New PS5 firmware is available for download!

blank

Published

on

blank

A PS5 firmware update on a cold winter morning is unmatched. The latest PS5 system software update is 23.02–08.40.00 from Sony. Does this one add useful features or just boost system performance?

Though closer to the latter, it’s more than Sony’s favorite patch note. It fixes security issues, improves messages and usability, and boosts system software performance. Official patch notes for this 1.185GB update:

  • We updated system software security
  • We improved system software stability and performance
  • Some screens now have better messages and usability

That’s it. PS5 gets another win to recover from its midweek slump. Do you share our enthusiasm for this firmware update? Comment below. To spice things up, make your comment rhyme.

 

Continue Reading

Consoles

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Version Will Help PS5

blank

Published

on

blank

Belgian developer Larian Studios’ work on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Series S version will improve performance on all platforms, including PS5. The game’s fifth major patch, expected to launch this week, will include upgrades and new features. More details will be revealed later today.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse says PS5 performance improvements may be the “least exciting thing” in the title’s next update, so it sounds like a big one. Larian Studios employees are proud of “finally” implementing tweaks, fixes, and changes, Douse says. Later today, we’ll bring you all the Baldur’s Gate 3 update details.

blank

Those who reached the RPG’s third act have reported technical issues during the narrative’s conclusion, especially in co-op, so today’s update should fix them. New features like a permadeath mode are expected, along with Xbox Series S optimization fixes. What else should be added to the game?

Continue Reading

Trending