SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 10, 2013

Column: Droning on with Amazon

(Continued)

With the war in Afghanistan winding down and the number of Taliban and al-Qaeda seconds-in-command rapidly dwindling, there should be plenty of highly skilled drone controllers coming on the market.

Admittedly, delivering a rush order of “Fifty Shades of Grey” doesn’t pack quite the thrill of unleashing a Hellfire missile into a terrorist hideout, but in peacetime we all have to make sacrifices.

The professional paranoids are already worrying about Amazon drones being hacked and your new Rolex watch being delivered to a shack down by the rail yard or drones hovering outside your bedroom window. These are surmountable problems; less so is the threat of deliberate vandalism.

According to The Washington Post, which Bezos owns (and if he thinks newspapers are a good investment, shouldn’t you?), residents of one Colorado town have considered giving out hunting licenses for drones.

First off, if it’s a military surplus drone, the sound of gunfire might set off some atavistic reflex deep within its wiring, one that escaped the civilian conversion, and it might seek to give you a chance to find out if that 72 virgins thing is really true.

Or, Amazon could cut off deliveries to the town, notifying the residents that there are packages waiting for them but they’ll have to pick them up at the company’s headquarters in Seattle.

A billionaire with his own fleet of drones is not someone you want to mess with.

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