The Morning After: Drones that can charge on power lines

A quadcopter was able to charge for five cycles over two hours.

Drone Infrastructure Inspection &Interaction Group / YouTube

Battery life always limits a drone’s ability to perform tasks and get anywhere. So why not let it slurp from nearby power lines? (Well, there are reasons.)

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark attached a gripper system to a Tarot 650 Sport drone, which they customized with an electric quadcopter propulsion system and an autopilot module. An inductive charger pulls current from the power line, enabling it to recharge five times over two hours during tests. The benefit here is that power lines already exist (duh), but there is the real concern that a drone could damage a line and knock out electricity for thousands.

— Mat Smith

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The owner of WordPress has bought Beeper, that brazen messaging app

It challenged Apple and lost almost immediately.

WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic has bought Beeper, the maker of the Beeper Mini app, which challenged Apple with iMessage tricks on Android phones, late last year. Although it ultimately lost its only USP when Apple blocked the exploit — mere days later — the incident gave the DOJ more ammunition in its antitrust suit against Apple. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Automattic paid $125 million. It’s a lot of money, especially when Automattic already owns a messaging app, Texts. No, I hadn’t heard of it either.

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Starlink terminals are reportedly being used by Russian forces in Ukraine

There’s a thriving black market for satellite-based internet providers.


According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Russian forces in Ukraine are using Starlink satellite internet terminals to coordinate attacks in eastern Ukraine and Crimea as well as to control drones and other forms of military tech. The Starlink hardware is reaching Russian forces via a complex network of black-market sellers. After reports in February that Russian forces were using Starlink, US House Democrats demanded Musk act, noting Russian military use of the tech is “potentially in violation of US sanctions and export controls.” Starlink can disable individual terminals.

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Congress looks into blocking piracy sites in the US

The Motion Picture Association will work with politicians.

The Motion Picture Association chair and CEO Charles Rivkin has revealed a plan to make “sailing the digital seas,” so streaming or downloading pirated content, harder. Rivkin said the association is going to work with Congress to establish and enforce site-blocking legislation in the United States. He added that almost 60 countries use site-blocking as a tool against piracy.

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You can now lie down while using a Meta Quest 3 headset


Shh, relax… And strap two screens to your face.