Beautiful Drone Videos

As a proud owner and pilot of a quadcopter, I enjoy spending time searching for aerial drone footage via various online video platforms. No matter how many videos I come across, I am always amazed by the views we are now able to capture because of these incredible personal devices. It goes without saying, but we are so used to viewing the world from one perspective, we often forget the other ways in which we can view everything. Not only is the footage captivating, but they are quite the fun toy to play with. Below I have listed a few of my favorite videos to date, but I am sure there are many out there I have yet to see.

Utah

I enjoy this footage as it reminds me of the various videos I have put together myself. I have been fortunate enough to visit and explore this landscape and it is always breathtaking.

Golden Gate Bridge

I have spent a good amount of time on the west coast and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge tower over the bay area will never get old.

Extreme Sports in Maui

Who doesn’t like extreme sports footage in an exotic location like Maui?!

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Flying Your Quadcopter

ben sheehy aerial photography flying your quadcopterPracticing aerial photography requires a certain mastery of the machinery of your choice. Many professionals in this field go with the quadcopter to take their photos from up above. However, flying this complex machinery can be difficult at times. Below are 7 tips for flying your quadcopter like a pro.

1) Ease Into Manual Mode

Manual Mode is made for experienced flyers. The attributes put in place for stability purposes are not available in manual mode. One really has to have a mastery of piloting your quadcopter before venturing into manual mode.

2) Watch Out for Windy Conditions

Windy conditions will probably cause your quadcopter to crash. Keep your quadcopter indoors if there is over 10 mile per hour winds.  Some copters have automatic wind settings that adjust accordingly to the wind. Normally, you copter will have an indoor/outdoor setting, so make sure you adjust your copter to the appropriate settings.

3) Use GPS

Some of the more high-end quadcopters come with GPS. This is great for aerial photography and precision flying. With GPS mode, the copter is able to fly itself without guidance from the pilot. Another advantage is that you will always know where your copter is if it crashes or leaves your site.

4) Fly Into the Wind

If you feel a gust of wind coming towards your copter, the best way to counteract this effect is to fly against the wind. If the gust of wind is coming from the left side and pushing your copter to the right, fly left.

5) Keep It Simple

When you first start out, focus on mastering left, right, up, and down. Once you’ve mastered these, then you can start learning new tricks, like rolls and flips. If you want to try these more advanced tactics, make sure that there is optimal flying weather outside.

6) Master Hovering

An essential aspect of aerial photography is learning how to master hovering. It is critical to maintain an appropriate throttle, roll, and pitch to keep your quadcopter hovering in the same spot.

7) Turn Off the Throttle

If your copter crashes, you should turn off your throttle as quickly as possible, so the blades do not continue to rotate. If you do not turn off the throttle, the blades have the potential to brake, as they will be continuously hitting the ground.

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The Next Version of Google Glass

ben sheehy google glass servicenow tech blogGoogle Glass has not taken off like other products and services provided by Google, but that doesn’t mean they are done with it. We still see the occasional person wearing the Google Glass, but what is next?

According to TechCrunch, Google is currently working on their next version of Glass. The new version is reported to have replaced Texas Instruments for Intel. The first version of Glass had a few things that could be improved on such as longer battery life and a less bulky case. Additionally, the first device looked incredibly, as some would say, “nerdy,” or like something from the future. It is possible they would be more popular if the style were more current, or if it looked like an everyday device.

The first update since the creation of Google Glass was to make the system compatible with prescription lenses and the second update doubled the amount of RAM. While we do not know much about other updates, we do know that Glass is reported to be powered by an unknown Intel chipset. This is the first significant update to the product since 2012.

Intel has recently made moves to join the wearable, mobile chipset market, which it had been resisting previously. At last year’s International CES, Intel revealed their mobile goals and showed some wearable computing devices as demos. Later they announced the MICA, a refined, niche wearable computer. The idea of the MICA is that it is a non-computer looking computer. MICA stands for My Intelligent Communications Accessory. You can find more about this computer bracelet here. If Intel is creating the mobile chip that powers the next Google Glass, that would be a huge win for Intel, improving their reputation.

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2015 Dodge Challenger

Ben Sheehy Sports Cars 2015 Dodge Challenger SXTThe third generation Dodge Challenger made a big splash when it entered the scene back in 2008, when it seemed that the sun had set on the American muscle car.  It has been 25 years since the 2nd generation model by Mitsubishi went off the market, and a little over 50 years since the original model by Dodge came out in 1958.  With head-turning good looks and heart stopping power, this comeback is getting car fans revved up.

With 485 horsepower, eight speed transmission, a roaring 6.4 liter engine, and an acceleration time of zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds, the new R/T Scat Pack Challenger is well endowed.  This model clearly packs a lot of heat for a base model car by Dodge. When compared with the upcoming 2015 Ford Mustang GT and the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro, the new Challenger holds its own in the competition of power, acceleration, and engine size. Of course, if that is still not enough power for you, fear not. The performance model SRT Hellcat Challenger offers more, equipped with 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.

Stylistically, the new model differs from the previous year’s model with a narrower front grille, split LED tail lights, and a new spacious interior design. It also comes standard with rear-view backup camera and parking radar. The Challenger is built like a muscle car should be – big, heavy, and wide, with rear wheel drive and lots of power. Weighing in at 4235 pounds, the Challenger is extremely heavy when compared to the 2015 Mustang (3729 lbs), and Camaro (3908 lbs).

The new Challenger offers a redesigned interior. Contrary to the exterior, the inside of the Challenger is modern in appearance, save for the handsomely retro-inflected gauges. In addition to the modern appearance, the 2015 model allows you to fit adults in the back seat. This significant detail could really set it apart from other vehicle options. It is now a pleasant enough place to be on long drives.

 

Gaming Industry Helps US Economy

ben sheehy servicenow gaming industry blogIf you have been following updates on the economy here in the United States, then it should come as no surprise that there is reason to be optimistic. Unemployment is down to 5.8 percent, which translates to hundreds and thousands of new jobs according to monthly job reports. Attribute these numbers to a political party if you must, but the fact of the matter is the video game industry is partially responsible for creating jobs.

In a report released this week by the Entertainment Software Association, business grew by more than 9 percent annually from 2009 to 2012. With the economy hit as badly as it was in 2009, it is hard to imagine any businesses were able to grow at that rate. In fact, during these years, the US economy was only growing at around 2% annually. High-paying manufacturing jobs were disappearing while some of the creative industries were continuing to generate growth. The gaming industry was responsible for contributing approximately $6 billion to the US economy in 2012.

The study also found that the gaming industry can claim approximately 42,000 employees working throughout 36 states. Estimates put employment as a direct and indirect result of the gaming industry at around 146,000 individuals. With an average salary lying between $90,000 and $100,000 it is easy to see how playing video games for all those years is actually paying off. These numbers may help parents sleep at night when they wonder how to get their kids active and away from the gaming consoles.

According to the Chief Executive Officer Michael Gallagher of the Entertainment Software Association, “The high-energy, high-tech video game industry is rapidly producing some of the most valuable jobs in the U.S. economy.” He also added, “Our industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors and represents tens of thousands of high-paying, well-educated professionals, artists, and creators.” A consistent 9 percent economic growth allowed publishers and developers to reinvest in their companies, resulting in increased employment.

As gaming becomes more accessible and technology continues to advance, one has to believe that these numbers will remain consistent for some time.

NASA Partners with Boeing and SpaceX

ben sheehy servicenow blog nasa boeing spacexAs we have witnessed the consistent efforts by congress to slash and cut the NASA budget, many have wondered what may lie ahead for our beloved space program.  Budget cuts present a real threat to the goals and ambitions of the NASA program.  Bill Nye, head of the Planetary Society, and well-known figure in today’s science, has expressed these shared concerns in a letter to President Obama.  Despite cuts, the Obama administration has not completely neglected NASA programs, repeatedly insisting the U.S. should not rely on foreign nations to get into space.  One might suggest that recent heated relations with Russia have provided quite the catalyst.

In the wake of proposed budget cuts and uncertainty of these NASA programs, the private industry has taken the lead.  Companies from all over the aerospace industry have submitted proposals to NASA, exposing a light at the end of the tunnel – a very bright light.  NASA announced earlier this month that it will be partnering with American companies Boeing and SpaceX with the hopes of returning space launches to American soil.  Both have already submitted designs to transport astronauts to the International Space Station, which could be operational within a few years.

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Over the last 2 years, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have initiated the pathway for US-launched missions by transporting cargo to the International Space Station.  With the help of Boeing and SpaceX, NASA is closer to taxiing astronauts to and from space.  Not only will we end our reliance on Russia, but we will bring human spaceflight launches back to American soil.

NASA is launching a new and ambitious chapter of the iconic American program.  SpaceX founder and Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, remains enthusiastic as he publicly expresses his vision for the future of space travel.  The dreamers at SpaceX and Boeing possess the vision and knowhow to accomplish these goals.  Today, we are a step closer to launching our astronauts into space from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft.  Tomorrow may find us closer to putting humans on Mars.  The future is bright.

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2015 Corvette Hits Roadblock

As a fan of the Corvette this news was a bit unsettling, but not surprising given the extent of issues at GM.  According to multiple sources online, General Motors can now add the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette to a long series of recalls, bringing this years total to 67.  Announced earlier last week, approximately 2,800 Corvettes will be recalled due to problems with airbags and parking brake cables.

ben sheehy sports car blogThese reports are a significant hit, as Corvette sales have been up more than 200% since the same time last year.  The iconic american sports car will certainly see a decline in these numbers despite receiving rave reviews in recent reports.

In addition to halted sales at auto dealers, shipments of the high-selling vehicle have been delayed while the company addresses both issues.  According to GM, a public recall has not been announced.  Airbag issues will affect approximately 2,000 Corvettes, many of which are still sitting in their home factory.  It has been reported that driver side airbags in these vehicles run the risk of separating from the steering wheel in a crash, increasing the potential for injuries.  Not good.  Corvettes located at dealerships will require replacement airbag modules, which will be repaired in house.  Problems with parking brake cables appear to be slightly more complicated.  About 800 Corvettes are reported to be missing rear parking brake cables.  The missing cables will result in the operation of only 1 of 2 rear brake drums.  As many of us know, vehicles require these cables to avoid the potential risk of rolling away if parked on steep hills – a violation of federal standards.

One has to wonder if these vehicle problems will ever subside for GM, having recalled an astounding 29 million vehicles in the last year.  The latest discoveries with the 2015 Corvette are troublesome.  Are we witnessing the tail end of the recall debacle, or will this continue to be a trend for GM in the years to come?  One thing is for sure, they have a lot of ground to make up.  It is unfortunate that a high-selling, high-rated vehicle like the Corvette had to fall victim to these manufacturing problems.  Let’s hope GM leaves no issue unreported and continues to work diligently toward fixing everything and ensuring the safety of all who get behind the wheel of their vehicles.

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