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Daily Archives: September 14, 2015

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry

CRS – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry. Bill Canis, Specialist in Industrial Organization and Business, September 9, 2015.
“Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — commonly referred to as drones — have become a staple of U.S. military reconnaissance and weapons delivery in overseas war zones such as Afghanistan. Now some new technologies and pending federal regulations are enabling the manufacture and use of UAS in domestic commerce, giving rise to a growing commercial UAS industry. Flying small, unmanned aircraft has been a hobbyists’ pastime for decades. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently prohibits the use of UAS for commercial purposes, except where it has granted an exemption permitting specific activities. FAA has granted such exemptions since May 2014, primarily to firms wishing to use UAS for agricultural, real estate, film and broadcasting, oil and gas, and construction activities. As of September 2, 2015, it had granted more than 1,400 such exemptions. FAA also has authorized limited use of UAS within defined areas of Alaska, as required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 ( P.L. 112 – 95 ). Around 89 companies in the United States now produce UAS, which can range from hobbyist planes that fly on a single charge for about 10 minutes and cost under $200 to commercial-level craft that can stay aloft much longer but can cost as much as $10,000. Manufacture of the aircraft, known as unmanned aerial vehicles ( UAVs), is relatively simple. The aircraft’s basic elements include a frame, propellers, a small motor and battery, electronic sensors, Global Positioning System (GPS),and a camera. Some UAVs are operated by controllers, but others can be guided by the operator’ s smart phone or tablet. The widespread availability of electronic sensors, GPS devices, wifi receivers, and smartphones has reduced their cost , enabling manufacturers to enter the market without worrying about the supply of components. It has been estimated that, over the next 10 years, worldwide production of UAS for all types of applications could rise from $4 billion annually to $14 billion. However, the lack of a regulatory framework, which has delayed commercial deployment, may slow development of a domestic UAS manufacturing industry..”

Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress

CRS Report – Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress, September 8, 2015. “Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress Congressional Research Service Summary Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio) assumed the papacy on March 13, 2013 , following the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict… Continue Reading

The EU in the world 2015 edition

“This publication provides a statistical portrait of the European Union in relation to the rest of the world. It complements information found in the continuously updated online publication Europe in figures — Eurostat yearbook and in the Eurostat regional yearbook. It may be viewed as an introduction to European and international statistics and provides a… Continue Reading

DNI Testimony on Worldwide Cyber Threats

Statement for the Record – Worldwide Cyber Threats – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, September 10, 2015. “Worldwide Cyber Threats – Overview – Cyber threats to US national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact. The ranges of cyber threat… Continue Reading

Global Financial Development Report 2015-2016: Long-term Financing

World Bank: “A shortage of long-term financing since the 2008 crisis is choking the investment-backed growth of companies in developing countries and hampering the ability of credit-worthy families to borrow for education and housing needs and escape poverty, a new World Bank report warned today. At the global level, this shortage of long-term financing also… Continue Reading

NY Fed – Consumers Expect Lower Short- and Medium-Term Inflation

Federal Reserve Bank of New York – “The August 2015 Survey of Consumer Expectations results indicate that median inflation expectations decreased slightly at both the one-year ahead and the three-year ahead horizons. Median expected one-year ahead earnings growth remained stable at 2.4 percent, while both perceived layoff and job finding probabilities improved slightly. Median expected… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Electronic Cigarettes, Federal Spending Accountability, Medicare Part D

Electronic Cigarettes: Effect on Federal Excise Taxes Collected on Traditional Cigarettes Is Not Currently Evident, GAO-15-771: Published: Sep 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2015. Federal Spending Accountability: Preserving Capabilities of Recovery Operations Center Could Help Sustain Oversight of Federal Expenditures, GAO-15-814: Published: Sep 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2015. Medicare Part D: Changes… Continue Reading resources on voting, political candidates and parties

“With the 2016 Presidential Election a little over a year away, do you know how to research presidential candidates and their political parties? On The Issues [Every Political Leader on Every Issue] has a complete list of all the current presidential candidates and includes their views on issues important to constituents across the United States.  For… Continue Reading

Zebra finches choose mates for love like humans

Roberts RG (2015) The Fitness Effects of Love. PLoS Biol 13(9): e1002249. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002249. September 14, 2015. “Humans are a mostly monogamous species—a large proportion of us choose mates with whom we spend long periods of time, and many of us produce children through sexual reproduction with those mates. We tend to think of our choice… Continue Reading

2015 Legal Technology Survey Report – Online Research

Via Bob Ambrogi [he refers to a fee based set of reports from ABA]: In referencing the 2015 Legal Technology Survey Report, Vol. V: Online Research – Ambrogi highlights that younger lawyers who replied to the survey indicated they choose to use free sources for legal research over fee based services more often than older counterparts. Continue Reading