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Drones Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prison 137

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the prisons-upgraded-with-anti-drone-missles dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Over the weekend, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of using a small quadcopter drone to smuggle an unknown quantity of illegal drugs into a prison in Melbourne, Australia. While it's certainly not the first time small-fry UAV technology has been used by a mid-level mule to airmail drugs into the clink, it does suggest a growing trend in the highest-tech of prison highs. Here, then, is a brief history of drone-assisted prison drug smuggling In November 2013, guards at Hull jail in Gatineau, Canada, spotted a small drone flying over the prison's walls [beware the autoplaying videos]. An exhaustive search of both Hull's grounds and the immediate vicinity turned up nothing by way of whatever contraband the drone might have been toting around.

Nevertheless, it didn't appear to be one-off incident 'This sort of thing happens often in prisons all across Quebec,' Stephane Lemaire, president of Quebec's correctional officers' union, told the Ottawa Sun. 'Usually the drones are carrying small packages of drugs or other illicit substances.' The problem, Lemaire added, is that 'the drone can be controlled from more than a kilometer away, and the [Hull] prison is surrounded by forest.'"
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Drones Used To Smuggle Drugs Into Prison

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  • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:17AM (#46452763) Journal
    Solution [flowershell.com].
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      That's un-American.

      You need at least a Phlanax CIWS to get the job done in the USA.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Its funny how one of the shells is called "Columbine". The flower is known by two other names: Aquilegia and Granny's Bonnet. The former is the title of the Wikipedia article.

      • by chihowa (366380) *

        Columbine is by far the most common name for the flower, though, and is in fact the namesake of the town in Colorado. Also, Wikipedia seems to list most plants by their genus or genus and species. If you look hard enough (not you in particular), you'll find offense anywhere.

    • The guards need to see the drone to shoot it. And if they see the drone, wouldn't they be able to stop it from being collected without shooting it? It's not like the prison yard is enemy territory, they control it. Hit an alarm, tell all the inmates to get down on the ground or whatever it is you do when anything happens there. It's not like simply flying over the prison is sufficient to deliver drugs.
  • by arcade (16638) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:18AM (#46452771) Homepage

    This is quite an interesting idea. DYI drones are getting more and more common - and there are plenty of people with electronics background who can make the control interface.

    Make the commands sent to the drone be sent encrypted/signed - allowing automatic handoffs between controlling terminals.

    It would be pretty easy to make drones do the 'chore' of crossing international borders for you. Just put out a couple of 'base stations' that are quiet unless the drone is coming by .. and which directs the drone when it is close.

    I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

    • I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.,

      You're basically describing skeet shooting right there.

      • by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:39AM (#46452819) Journal

        I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.,

        You're basically describing skeet shooting right there.

        And it's not physically possible to set up a human skeet shooter every hundred meters on the entire bloody border. Expect this to lead to some sort of arms race whereby we start allowing automated skeet shooting, anti-drone drones, or something else entirely that is just as scary.

        Or we could just stop the whole waste of money that is the war on drugs. But that would be dumb.

        • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:50AM (#46452843) Journal
          I'm sure some criminals have already looked into the use of drones; R/C planes or quadcopters navigating by GPS are more or less off-the-shelf these days. They probably found them unpractical as they have a small payload and range.

          Getting stuff across the border isn't all that hard for criminals anyway, unless you're talking really bulky stuff one has to truck in (booze etc). Even sending stuff by airliner isn't that hard; you're ok if you send 10 drug mules and 5 make it through. The quoted "street value" of seized coke is crap, its actual value at that stage is bugger all.
      • by rjune (123157)

        A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 birdshot would work quite well for prison guards to take out drones.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

      It's irrelevant. Drug dealers won't be using this because:
      a) It's complex, requires skilled operators
      b) The payload is small
      c) Getting drugs across the border is a solved problem

    • My drones are fully autonomous. It needs no base stations, just give it gps cords, take off, switch to auto mode and go home.

      I've tested flying to destination, drop package and return to base. Works like a charm and for $500 it could carry a few grand worth of more expensive drugs. Probably not a cost effective pot mule though.

      Look at ardupilot.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        The problem is getting paid.

        1) Load drugs on drone
        2) Drone flies to destination
        3) Recipient unloads drugs
        4a) Recipient considers attaching agreed upon bundle of cash for a moment
        4b) Recipient decides instead to curb stomp drone
        5) ???Profit???

        • by LoRdTAW (99712)

          The drugs are probably smuggled in by gang members who are delivering to fellow members already behind bars. The pay is having someone on the inside to keep the gang alive and strong as drugs give them control inside the prison. This can help recruit new members as well as ensure snitches or rival gang members are dealt with in the can.

        • "5) Get shanked to death, and maybe have your loved ones raped and murdered "

          FTFY

          Your analysis represents a complete misunderstanding of how the prison drug trade works. Money exchanges hands outside the wall through a relative or friend. Prisoners aren't carrying aroiund any cash, never mind thousands of dollars. Even if that were not true, how long do you suppose before said prisoner who doesn't pay gets shanked, and how well do you think their loved ones (if any) will fare?

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Yeah, I suspect that non-payment for drug deliveries is one of those things drug dealers have an efficient system for handling. I doubt it involves civil suits, either.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      This is quite an interesting idea. DYI drones are getting more and more common - and there are plenty of people with electronics background who can make the control interface.

      Make the commands sent to the drone be sent encrypted/signed - allowing automatic handoffs between controlling terminals.

      It would be pretty easy to make drones do the 'chore' of crossing international borders for you. Just put out a couple of 'base stations' that are quiet unless the drone is coming by .. and which directs the drone when it is close.

      I'm wondering how well prepared border control / custom agents are for taking down fast moving drones that sweep in pretty low.

      Border patrol (and just about every other agency with an enforcement mandate) is already exploring UAV use, what we will see eventually is an air war where unauthorized UAVs are simply shot down automatically.

      • The Drone Wars (TM)

        Coming to a Cable Channel near you. Or maybe Netflix. Or Amazon. Or YouTube. Who the Hell knows?

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Border patrol (and just about every other agency with an enforcement mandate) is already exploring UAV use, what we will see eventually is an air war where unauthorized UAVs are simply shot down automatically.

        Good luck with that... [youtu.be]

        Drones can be fixed wing which can give them fairly decent speeds, and they would be capable of terrain-following, which combined with their small size would make them quite difficult to pick up on radar. Or they could fly slow and be hard to distinguish from birds. They're already working on DIY drones that use ultrasonics to measure altitude. Include laser ranging or vision in them and they could fly inches off the surface dodging brush.

        And nobody has even tried making them steal

    • One thing I'm waiting to happen is when this becomes an international incident. How long is it before a North Korean defected to the south doesn't put a blocks of C4 onto a drone and orchestrate a prison break?

      One drone to fly to and from the prison. Determine where every guard post is. $100k for 20 drones to take out guard towers and blast a path through the fences/walls.

      Or even milder forms of activism such as dropping leaflets on prisoners.

      I'm sure there are quite a few people more than happy to do

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:24AM (#46452789)
    Personally I am shocked that throwing drugs to a few people in cages is the only crime a drone has committed. It strikes me that a crime committed by a drone has the huge advantage of being low risk as compared to committing those same crimes in person. Arson, terrorism, bank robberies, break and enters, murder, and why not go whole hog and even go petty thuggery and do some muggings?

    Most of our existing justice system is based upon game theory. The idea is to dissuade criminals from doing their various crimes by causing them to balance the benefits of a successful heist against the penalties when they are caught. A simple example would be that bank robberies are very easy and generally net a fair amount of cash; and if done properly should be fairly low risk. So the idea is that you make the penalties huge with the hope that regular bank robbers will eventually slip up and then face a monster penalty. So even the average sociopath will think twice before saying, "stick'em up". But if you can reduce that risk to something resembling zero then your average intelligent sociopath should be out there causing all kinds of criminal mayhem.

    I am willing to bet that before 2020 that we will see some very interesting crimes committed by drones, I am not talking crime of the century (although that is possible) but something where the drone was put to a very innovative use.

    While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities; again right now the only people who do the game theory on terrorism and think that the benefits outweigh the risks are either very stupid or very fanatical; these are circumstances that have generally kept terrorism as a fairly infrequent event. But again if you are changing the math so that being caught is no longer a near certainty then drone terrorism may very well become attractive to a slightly greater number of fruitcakes. I don't think there will be a tsunami of attacks but I am willing to bet that you will see a multiple of 2 or 3 times the number of serious attacks in normally stable countries.

    But the sad part is that for the most part this type of technology will probably catch the public imagination and there will be all kinds of restrictions put on drone technology. The reality is that it will simply be another tool used by criminals and terrorists as the shoes they wear or the cellphones they call with.
    • by Nemosoft Unv. (16776) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @05:18AM (#46453181)

      While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities; [...]

      Congratulations, you have been properly brainwashed. Any type of technology can be used for both 'good' and 'bad'. A spear can be used to kill a wolf that attacks you, a mammoth for food and clothing, or your rival in the clan. Gunpowder can be used to build roads, conquer a fortress or send a bullet flying at the speed of sound. An airplane can be used to travel quickly to your vacation spot, bring relief goods to a disaster area or yes, crash into a building. Drones can be used to monitor nature parks, deliver packages or point a laser at a target for a bomb to strike.

      So there is no point in being scared; if people want to hurt you, they can. That's just part of living. However, I do agree that newer technologies are more insidious: with a spear you have to stand face to face with your opponent, but with a drone you can kill someone from a long distance without seeing him.

      And all this talk about terrorist-this, terrorist-that only got you into a mindset of fear, and that is exactly what a terrorist wants (and if you believe some, your government as well). It doesn't really help too that every little incident is blown out of proportion, even if it happened at the other side of the planet. Fear can be a very powerful weapon, one without buttons or triggers or even blood flowing; but it can also be defused easily. So it is time to overcome your fear and come out of your cave. Be careful, but not frightful.

      • Actual my fear is that some bozo will do this every now and then causing a lockdown on any relevant robotic technologies. So actually my fear is that TSA types will declare servos a forbidden technology or some other such stupidity. So that saying "the only thing you have to fear is fear itself." is perfect. I fear a bureaucracy fueled by fear.

        Look at Britain, they have this "knife culture" fear driven by the press and then run with by politicians. This makes my Swiss army knife a serious problem there. A
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      While what I am suggesting will be fun to read about; I am much more scared of the terroristic possibilities;

      I see the government propaganda is working.

      Question: What exactly is stopping "terrorists" from running riot all over the country right now?

      Lack of drones? Nope.

      The TSA? Nope.

      Heavily armed response teams all over the place? Nope.

      The only logical answer to the question is that there aren't any terrorists.

    • by jittles (1613415)

      I don't think there will be a tsunami of attacks but I am willing to bet that you will see a multiple of 2 or 3 times the number of serious attacks in normally stable countries.

      Last I checked 2 or 3 times 0 is still 0. So for 2013 you might get 3 terrorist attacks on US soil. And for all years from 2002-2012? You get... 0. Well 0 successful attacks anyway. Perhaps there were plots foiled in those years.

      • I am thinking worldwide. There are all kinds of stupid attacks in places that are members of the G20 as opposed to the G8. Basically think of where there are two groups that have a serious beef with each other but not a civil war, so China, Egypt, parts of India, Pakistan, and even vaguely stable places like Iraq.

        The idea is that you know that in Syria they will use every tool at their disposal so no surprises there. But if it were to happen in Egypt then people would take some notice.
    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      "and why not go whole hog and even go petty thuggery and do some muggings?"

      I laughed at the image I had in my head of a cartoon quad copter drone sporting a newsboy cap flying up to someone and a small robot arm extends out of the bottom revealing a larger-than-the-drone-club which is used to knock the victim unconscious.

      • A mechanically extending boxing glove!

        My realistic guess for petty crimes will be something where you swoop in and steal things that are small and valuable. Sort of drone pick pocketing.
  • How long until drones are used to fly a prisoner out of prison?

    http://www.techspot.com/news/5... [techspot.com]

    • by freeze128 (544774)
      Sure, the prisoner will escape, but by the time the drone lands, he will be dead.

      Dear inmates,
      If the best thing that you can think of doing with a drone is getting drugs, then you're doing it wrong. Drugs won't get you out of prison. Next time, have the drone bring you a lockpick set and a couple of smoke grenades.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Because prisons aren't just locked at the cell doors. And the cell doors ... they don't use keys anymore, they're electronically controlled from a guard room. Then they have several more STAFFED checkpoints with locked doors to get through, several processing areas designed to ensure that some prisoner with a lock pick and some smoke bombs and even a gun, can't get through it.

        You won't break out of prison with a lock pick and some smoke grenades, real prisons aren't a TV show.

        Prisons are designed to keep

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        Sure, the prisoner will escape, but by the time the drone lands, he will be dead.

        Dear inmates,
        If the best thing that you can think of doing with a drone is getting drugs, then you're doing it wrong. Drugs won't get you out of prison. Next time, have the drone bring you a lockpick set and a couple of smoke grenades.

        I'm not sure that's true, there have been a number of helicopter prison breaks, and a civilian helicopter offers only moderate protection against rifle fire.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

        They'll need more than the 40 seconds of battery life for the helicopters in the video link I provided to get a safe distance away to a getaway car, but $10K helicopter drones are a lot easier to come by than a $500K helicopter.

  • by invictusvoyd (3546069) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:26AM (#46452795)
    Maybe someone in the jailhouse ordererd a package from amazon ?
    • No this was from "Silk Road." It just took a while to find the bitcoin in the virtual sofa. Damn that Simms game has gotten laggy.

    • No computer access/internet in jail. If you could play WOW all day/night in jail, it would be full to capacity.

    • Why do they assume the people are within a kilometer? Drop a cell connection into the drone and you've got worldwide control.

      Your typical drone will probably give you a 2-5 mile range bc of battery life.

      • by chihowa (366380) *

        If you have a cell connection, you can even drop the thing off in an out of the way place and travel for days before actually taking off. As you said, the pilot could be anywhere on earth.

        [This stuff is fun to figure out... A base station of sorts could hold a second battery that keeps the cell modem alive and keeps the onboard battery charged up. Leave the whole thing out in the woods or on a rooftop or something while the pilot goes and hides out. Only the size of the base battery and the likelihood of di

  • Eh kinda hard to get line of sight to a drone through a forest. Maybe they should be looking for the guy clingling grimly to the tops of the trees?

    • Who needs line of sight?

    • Re:LOS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rich0 (548339) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:47AM (#46453093) Homepage

      Eh kinda hard to get line of sight to a drone through a forest. Maybe they should be looking for the guy clingling grimly to the tops of the trees?

      The only people who think that you need line of sight to operate a drone are busy working for the FAA.

      You don't really even need to be anywhere nearby to operate the things - just program it to wake up at 3AM and fly a GPS route long after you've placed it at the launch point. If the value of the delivery is high enough you won't even have to go recover it. Or you could wait at the recovery point which need not be anywhere near where it launched from.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:42AM (#46452827)
    They already sold a trailer of weed to Canadian prison guards and smuggled weed into the US using a "drone" model train. This is exactly the sort of thing they would do! Bubbles buys a quadrocopter to play with, Julian figures out how to use it for selling drugs, Ricky crashes it, Trevor and Corey take the blame.
    • I would watch that. :)
      I have heard that there are going to be new seasons of Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. I may have to renew my Netflix subscription.
  • I for one welcome our new drug-smuggling robot overlords.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with netting the prisons open grounds? It's fairly inexpensive and will do a pretty good job..

    • Someone would use a drone to start a net-fire that would proceed to rain down on inmates like hellfire during yard time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Which would be a bad thing because .... Sorry I'm missing the next part of this.
        • Re:A solution (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:18AM (#46453553) Homepage Journal

          There are over six million people in US prisons, only a small minority of which are in there for violent crimes. You're 8.5x more likely to go to prison for a non-violent drug offense such as possessing a trivial amount of drugs or even living in the same home as a drug dealer and being charged as an accessory. Your are 6x more likely to be in prison for a public order or "victimless" crime such as prostitution than a violent crime. You are 2.5x more likely to be in prison for a "weapons violation" in which nobody was hurt than you are for a violent crime.

          So why is it OK to be happy about the prospect of people in prison being killed in a fire?

          One solution to many of the technical, administrative and financial problems of running prisons would be to imprison fewer people. Canada imprisons less than 1/6 the fraction of its population than the US, and it's not a crime-ridden hell hole; Germany 1/9th and Denmark 1/10th the US incarceration rate. We could half our prison spending and spend the money on education (or give people a tax break if you prefer), and still have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.

          Why do we have so many people in prisons? Well, putting people behind bars is good for a prosecutor's career, especially if he has political ambitions. Also in states with privatized prisons the taxpayers are financially penalized for having occupancy rates less than 95 or even 100%. Think about that. Your prisons are overcrowded, so you hire a politically contractor and build a virtual guarantee into the contract that prisons will remain overcrowded.

          Anyhow, a coarse net wouldn't rain fire down on prisoners. Stretch a piece nylon (very flammable) rope and try to ignite it by throwing burning stuff onto it. Even if it does catch it will only smolder. So net would be cheap and practical, which is precisely why it would never be used in the US: not enough profits to prison operators.

          • As they are the health care provider that covers stuff that the ER does not.

          • Anyhow, a coarse net wouldn't rain fire down on prisoners. Stretch a piece nylon (very flammable) rope and try to ignite it by throwing burning stuff onto it. Even if it does catch it will only smolder. So net would be cheap and practical, which is precisely why it would never be used in the US: not enough profits to prison operators.

            Not enough profit from the net.

  • Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

    Just monitor the CB band for activity that seems weird, and broadcast something that can knock them down. Whistling into a mic often works. An R/C hobby enthusiast could easily override such a signal, and take control with a much stronger local unit. Any decent computer tech should be able to snoop out a Bluetooth signal, if that's what they're using.

    Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look fo

    • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @03:48AM (#46452959) Journal

      Then you just switch to internal navigation and let the drone go fully autonomous. A smuggler could launch the drone anywhere within the drone's flight range, from a moving vehicle, whatever.

      This is a race that the guards aren't going to win. Of course, it's not like anyone's ever been able to stop contraband getting into a prison anyway.

      -jcr

      • This is a race that the guards aren't going to win. Of course, it's not like anyone's ever been able to stop contraband getting into a prison anyway.

        Weld them into a cage, inside a huge warehouse. No visitors.

        This is a trivially solvable problem, you just need to have the will to actually solve it (note: I'm opposed to the death penalty just in case new evidence comes to light).

    • by nm03101 (1484827) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:12AM (#46453007)
      Who needs to communicate with a drone once on its way? GPS waypoints - make sure it gets off the ground and go on your merry way. Let it land next to a school for some kid to experiment with later (or enjoy the show as it get chased down). $750 if you don't want to do DIY: http://3drobotics.com/2013/08/... [3drobotics.com]
    • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:13AM (#46453539) Homepage

      Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

      Generally, these days RC uses the same 2.4 GHz band as Bluetooth, but not at Bluetooth energy levels or protocols. They tend to have a range of up to a few kilometers. Can probably easily be extended if needed.

      But as others pointed out, these things are often quite autonomous and don't need a control signal anyway.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

      CB uses the public 27mhz band, only the cheapest of shittiest of RC toys use 27 mhz. Technically its not even legal to use 27mhz for aircraft over a tiny ass size and at a wattage so low that its not leaving your back yard. The 27 mhz band is shared by all sorts of shit from cheap kids walkie-talkies, to cheap remotes for things. You don't use 27 mhz in an aircraft if you want to keep it in the air.

      REAL RC aircraft USED to use 72mhz, a band dedicated to ONLY RC aircraft flight. Now days, everyone has sw

    • by Ranbot (2648297)
      As technologically exciting as triangulating broadcasts may be, prisons could go the more mundane route and just install more cameras. They might not be able to get the person on the outside controlling the drone, but if they see the delivery, see who picks it up, and get them right away that seems almost as good and relatively low cost.
    • by n7ytd (230708)

      Bluetooth is short range, and R/C uses audible signals on CB channel 14 or so.

      Just monitor the CB band for activity that seems weird, and broadcast something that can knock them down. Whistling into a mic often works. An R/C hobby enthusiast could easily override such a signal, and take control with a much stronger local unit. Any decent computer tech should be able to snoop out a Bluetooth signal, if that's what they're using.

      Triangulate on the broadcast before the takeover, and you have a place to look for the perps, while having taken down the drone for analysis and follow-up.

      Two birds with one stone, there.

      Some R/C uses frequencies near 27MHz, which is near the CB band, but there is nothing magic about that frequency. Especially on a drone delivering illegal substances, I doubt the operators would care much about violating FCC regulations with their control signal. For something like a drone that doesn't need real-time control, the whole flight could be done without any communication at all; pre-programmed waypoints loaded into the computer the night before would be sufficient.

  • Set up a few antennas that add some noise on the controlling frequencies, problem solved.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Set up a few antennas that add some noise on the controlling frequencies, problem solved.

      Drones don't actually need to be controlled. For a delivery job a pre-programmed route would work just fine.

    • Add a GPS and pre-programmed way-points, problem unsolved.
  • A drone-finding unit that combined radar (to detect small airborne objects), with auditory recognition of drone-propeller noise signatures (using microphones distributed over the prison boundary) would be cheap and perform quite well.

    The auditory component prevent false positives caused by birds, flying debris, etc.Radar could help detect helium balloon drones, or even the 'ballistic' lobbing of contraband over prison boundaries (either manually, or using catapults). The only thing it'd miss is carrier-pigeons or a new generation of flapping-wing drones in development. However, pigeons are unlikely to land in prison yards. That is, unless a creative prisoner raised pigeons in the prison. Of course, he'd have to arrange to have the pigeons smuggled out or somehow trapped outside so contraband could be 'attached' to them (perhaps by tracking them by radio transmitter foot-band previously smuggled into prison).

    The alternative is steel-mesh netting.

    Or conscientious prison guards.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      My glider is silent when the motor isn't running and I have absolutely no reason to land if I'm just dropping off a package.

      Its called 'dropping' off for a reason.

      Considering my glide slope is something like 150 horizontal to 1 vertical, I can travel a LONG ways silent with just a little altitude extra.

      • by GuB-42 (2483988)

        You mean a glide ratio of 150 ? It there is no mistake it is quite impressive.
        Top class sailplanes hardly exceed 60.

    • by luther349 (645380)
      flying wing drons can easily glide over without making any noise. but mesh netting is cheap and easy to stop any drops. but shh your talking common sense.
  • fly a gun inside

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      And do what? Shoot maybe 10 people ... and still be in prison?

      Its not like the gun is going to actually get them through the 20 or so doors that are locked from the outside using electronic locks controlled by men who have been trained not to open the doors in a hostage situation?

      This isn't NCIS or CSI, all these silly cute little ideas you have and post on slashdot ... they fought off and fixed thousands of years ago, slight variations in new technology aren't going to radically change it all.

      You aren't c

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:02AM (#46453501)

    I wonder what prisons would be like if they actually went ahead and sold drugs to inmates?

    They'd badly damage the smuggling trade which is what drives much prison gang behavior. Buying drugs would provide a behavior incentive for inmates since they'd have to do their prison job to earn commissary money to pay for them as well as display good behavior to get them.

    You could hand out only pills and control doses to make them too small to split or easily overdose as well as requiring they be taken at the point of distribution. Inmates buying them would be drug tested to make sure they took them, anyone failing the test (and thus presumably selling them) would lose buying privileges.

    Besides the reward component, perhaps prisoners would be less violent if they were getting high.

    Most of the anti-drug messages for broader society wouldn't apply, ie, no children, no driving.

    I'm surprised that drugging inmates period hasn't ever been tried, even in countries where there are no rules they seem to prefer much more difficult violence and intimidation.

    • by Hypotensive (2836435) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:50AM (#46453721)
      Why pay for the drugs with money? You could pay for them with additional jail time ;)
    • by luther349 (645380)
      your talking the same prisons that banned smoking. only to have that become a form of currency. most prsions look the other way anyways when it comes to the drug trade unless the media is near by.
  • by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:35AM (#46453639)
    to the concept of the remote controlled plane or helicopter? Now, the marketers have got their dirty mitts on it and have to call in a drone! It's not a drone, it's simply a fucking remote controlled aircraft. I love hearing the kids ask for drones for a birthday present or whatever. This entire thing is not a NEW concept yet everyone is drooling and oooh aaaahing it like it's white shit hot. I hate to break it to you but this shit has been around for a very long time. In fact, many ham radio operators got their license so that they could fly model aircraft higher and at longer distances. I should know, I'm one of them.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Drones are autonomous.

      RC planes/helis/quadcopters are not drones unless they have autonomous flight systems on them.

      I have 2 electric RC helis, 3 RC aircraft, and 2 quadcopters. All of them are R/C aircraft until I flip the switch on the transmitter that puts them in auto mode and they go off and do their preprogrammed course.

      One aircraft can be both, and almost certainly are.

    • by luther349 (645380)
      a drone is a rc as well. but the old classification for a rc was a visual flight only device that could only fly short range, a drone can fly long range can have fpv and gps and can fly past visual flight range.some use 3g and pretty much can keep going until they run out of fuel.
  • They could enclose the yard. I'm imagining chain link fencing ran horizontally between the top of the existing fence and the roof of the building.

  • self-tuning portable RF jammer http://www.ladyada.net/make/wa... [ladyada.net]
  • Autonomous sentry drones patrolling the skies intercepting enemy drones! Let the Drone Wars begin!

    For better coordination of attacks, you could network them all together. However for it to be effective, you will probably need some kind of neural net processor, a learning computer if you will.

    Its either that, or anti-aircraft guns, which is just plain silly.

  • Cut them down for 500m or so from the walls this is sop for a secure site you dont let trees grow right up to the fracking walls - its Canada for Christs sakes dont they have a glut of lumber jacks
  • People were using things like RC helicopters to fly mobile phones (and earlier 2-way radios) into prisons for communications during break-out attempts since - certainly the early 1990s, and probably years before that. Other contraband too (i.e. drugs, weapons, money).

Algol-60 surely must be regarded as the most important programming language yet developed. -- T. Cheatham

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