"Buy A Gun" Google Queries Hit All Time High, And Other Off The Grid Economic Indicators

Tyler Durden's picture

In lieu of a credible macroeconomic data reporting infrastructure in America, increasingly more people are forced to resort to secondary trend indicators, most of which have zero economic "credibility" within the mainstream, yet which provide just as good a perspective of what may be happening behind the scenes in this once great country. A good example was a recent Gallup poll, which contrary to all expectations based on a now completley irrelvant and thoroughly discredited ADP number, which led some br(j)okers such as the Barclays Insane Predictions Team to speculate a 580,000 NFP number was in the books, indicated that the jobless situation barely improved in December. Sure enough, this was promptly confirmed by the January 7 NFP number. And so, in looking for a variety of other "off the grid" economic indicators we read a recent report by Nicholas Colas, which proves to us that we are not the only 'nerdy' entity out there increasingly searching for metrics that have some rooting in reality, and not in the FASB-BLS-Census Bureau joint ventured never-never land. And while we recreate the key points from the report, the one item that should be highlighted is that, as we have suspected for a while, the social undertow of fear, skepticism and anger is coming to a boil, as Google queries of the "Buy A Gun" search querry have just hit an all time high. How much of this is due to the recent events from Tucson, AZ is unclear. What is clear is that the trend is most certainly not your friend (unless you are of course the CEO of Smith and Wesson).

We'll leave the interpretation of this chart to our very erudite politicians.

As for other must read observations on the topic of derivative economic indicators, we present Nicholas Colas' must read latest: "Off The Grid” Economic Indicators – Q410 Edition

There are a lot of economic indicators out there, and we pay attention to all of them because government decision makers have told us they shape economic policy. But there’s a wealth of independently developed economic and statistical data available as well, and much of it provides much-needed color on the real state of the U.S. economy. Our collection of anecdotal datapoints, which we have dubbed the “Off The Grid” indicators, paint a more nuanced picture of a slow growth U.S. economy that is still struggling with the aftermath of the Financial Crisis. Bullish points include demand for pickup trucks, used cars and an increasing number of people who leave their jobs voluntarily instead of through layoff. Bearish points are headlined by still-rising food stamp participation, with gun sales and rampant buying of silver coins underpinning continued popular concerns over personal security and the soundness of the dollar. Food inflation also features on this list. Neutral points: mutual fund inflows (but potentially turning positive) and Gallup poll consumer spending.

Ever wonder where the word “Nerd” came from? It’s a “nerdy” question, to be sure, but apparently it comes from a Dr. Seuss book entitled “If I Ran the Zoo.” I don’t remember the appearance of the word from my early exposure to the work, but I certainly remember the opening:

“If I ran the zoo,”
Said young Gerald McGrew
“I’d make a few changes,
That’s just what I’d do.”

That’s pretty much the way I feel about the current state of economic indicators that we all pick apart, analyze, and try to cajole into some form of investable signal every day. We look at them because the Federal Reserve looks at them. And the Treasury. And the White House. And every other seat of economic power. But in reality they look at them because these datasets have been around long enough that someone, somewhere, has done a doctoral dissertation or other academic treatise validating their relevance.

In the world of automated and computerized payrolls, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics still uses a telephone survey of a few thousand households to decide if employment is rising or falling. OK, this used to be a hard issue to tackle in the 1950s and 1960s. But the U.S. Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service tracks everyone’s contributions for payroll and tax withholding in real time now. If someone stops getting their paycheck, Treasury knows about it by the time of their next pay cycle. They can identify where the person works based on their zip code. The employment picture should be clear as day using this data. It used to be hard when paychecks doubled as computer punchcards (my Dad had those in the 1970s). The telephone survey approach is like using a horse and buggy to get around when there are the keys to a perfectly good Ferrari in your pocket.

All good natured ranting aside, there’s no excuse for not casting a wider net when it comes to the never-ending search for useful economic data. And you don’t need to be a “nerd” (there’s that word again) to get it – we aren’t talking about advanced language algorithms working against a Twitter API feed. The data is out there and thanks to the Internet it is pretty easy to track. That’s the reason we have developed our “Off the Grid” economic indicators – our “eyes” into the real U.S.  economy. And those “eyes,” we hope, are truly the windows into the soul of some form of lasting recovery.

Our take away from this quarter’s indicators is that the recovery in the U.S. economy is slow and unevenly distributed, with several long-tailed effects that may take decades to fully understand.

  • The bad news – and there’s still plenty of it – is that the Financial Crisis pushed millions of Americans into government assistance programs such as Food Stamps, dampened their confidence in the currency, and made them feel much less secure about their personal safety.
  • The good news – and there is more now than at any point in the year we’ve been looking at the data – is that more people are feeling better about the labor markets, buying big ticket items, and perhaps even investing in U.S. stocks again.
  • The wild card – and it is a big one – is food inflation. We’re back to where we were at the peak of the prior cycle in 2007, but with an economy that is nowhere near as strong.

The data, in short, supports the mainstream economic viewpoint that the U.S. economy is improving at a slow pace. The nuances that it highlights, however, are that the damage from the recent recession is as much cultural as economic. A consumer base – even one at the lower end of the economic ladder – with fundamental concerns over food security and affordability or personal safety is not the “dry tinder” of a strong economic bounce back. I don’t know whether to call that  “New Normal,” “Old Abnormal” or whatever other rubric might fit this paradigm. But it is a picture of the landscape that you don’t see as much in the government-approved economic indicators, and it tells a separate and perhaps more accurate truth.

The various indicators that inform this view are all included in the attachments to this note , and we’ll touch on a few of the important ones here:

Food Stamps – This program, originally created to sell surplus produce to starving Americans in the Depression, has morphed over the decades into a foodpurchase grant to low income households. The growth rates for SNAP (the modern name for Food Stamps – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) have been stratospheric for the last two years at +15% year-on-year growth. Part of this was a change to eligibility requirements in 2009, but a lot more was the impact on the recession among low income households. The program now helps over 43 million Americans feed themselves, about 14% of the U.S. population.

The good news, if one can call it that, is that the growth rates are slowing. Last month one of our one strategy team members went to several public assistance offices outside New York to speak to people waiting for a consultation and those interviews shed some light on this trend. The bottom line is that such facilities were simply overwhelmed over the past two years. People who qualified for public assistance needed to visit such centers several times, as the paperwork needed to complete the application process is lengthy and convoluted. So growth rates rose steadily as these individuals finally cleared the hurdles required to receive benefits. One other data point that supports that the growth in the SNAP program may have peaked: Google searches for the term “Food Stamps” are no higher than mid-year 2010.

The deeper question is what the widespread adoption of SNAP will do to the society over the coming years. This is actually not a budget discussion – SNAP is very efficient and costs less than $100 billion a year to help +40 million Americans. Rather, it is a question of the effects of long term reliance on government support to economic issues such as labor participation rates and employment levels. We are in uncharted waters here, to be sure.

Durable Goods Purchases – The most upbeat news from our indicators is the degree to which consumers are snapping up used cars and pickups. Yes, the economic data focuses on all light vehicles, but the “Off the Grid” indicators dance to a different drummer. Used car prices are a great leading indicator for new car and truck demand, and the Manheim Auto Auction data keeps hitting new highs. Pickup trucks are work vehicles, primarily purchased by small businesses. After a steep selloff from the bursting of the housing bubble, pickup truck demand is now positive again, to the tune of +20% year on year for several months in a row.

Guns, Ammunition, and Silver Coins – Whether you are “pro-“ or “anti-“ gun, the sale of firearms should be on your radar screen as a heuristic measurement of something I will call “consumer security.” There is a baseline of organic firearm demand in the U.S. – for years it was about 8 million units, as measured by the FBI’s instant background check request data. With the 2008 recession that number spiked to first 10 million and now 14 million background checks a year. At first observers chalked that up to a Democratic President, but it has been years since Obama’s inauguration and the numbers keep climbing. I  attribute that to a deeper sense of unease in the population – perhaps about government controls, perhaps about crime. Hard  to say how much of each. But it is easy to say that an unsure society is not one ready to resume a carefree spending profile. And keep in mind that guns are not cheap – a basic rifle or shotgun will run $300 or more.

Much of the same point applies to the recent surge in demand for silver coins. From a monthly sales run rate of less than 1 million coins, the U.S. Mint now pushes out close to 3 million coins a month, and dealers would clearly like to have more. As with guns, silver coins are not cheap - +$30/piece, or +$600 for a roll of 20. I suspect much of this demand stems from gold’s steady price move higher and the fact that the Mint is not producing as many fractional ounce gold coins as it once did. That means people with less than $1,400 to spend on precious metals coins migrate to silver. That is born out in the decline in Google searches for “Gold Coins” as prices there spiked in 2010. Bottom line – there is a fundamental lack of confidence among enough people in the population as to the long term soundness of the dollar.

We’ll close out on a few positive points and one real problem.

  • Workers are quitting more often now, according to the underappreciated but highly useful BLS JOLTS data. Almost half of all separations from an employer are now the employee’s idea, rather than a layoff. That dovetails with the recent rise in consumer confidence, as the attached chart highlights.
  • Mutual fund flows into U.S. stock funds had a positive week, ending 1/12/11. It has been a long dry spell here – ever since May 2010 – so perhaps investors are finally reengaging with domestic equities as they start contributing to 401(k)s in the New Year.
  • Food inflation could be a very large, very nasty problem. The Dept of Agriculture’s “Prices Received” data shows that “All Farm” prices are back to where they were in 2007.

And all the non-government originating charts that's fit to print:

Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index and Equity Mutual Fund Flows:

Food stamp participation and gold coin sales

Silver coin sales, Prices Received, and NCIS Background Checks

Pickup truck sales and Consumer confidence

Google Queries: "Buy a Gun", "Buy Ammunition", "Food Stamps", "Gold Coins", Gallup consumer spending.

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Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Don't forget to get suitable training with your new firearm.

http://www.frontsight.com

 

Salinger's picture

I thought this was an Infowars article

 

Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement likely to prompt privacy debate

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/22/AR201101...

JW n FL's picture

nope.. not until they get hungry... which print and extend will keep from happening...

welcome to the ex-United States of America, nazi village of stupid.

Personal rights are gone and not coming back any time soon... and it will get worse until it gets better.

Sudden Debt's picture

Maybe google got the interpretation wrong and the most used search was:

"Find kinky local escorts to fire your gun"

 

Or it are just some college kids that are looking for a harmless solution for the school bullies.

 

What I mean is: as long as Obama isn't going to Dallas, you shouldn't worry :)

Gully Foyle's picture

Sudden Debt

The ZH Guns and Gold anthem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gec1fzhLdF4

Pretty Smart On My Part lyrics

PHIL OCHS

I can see him coming
He's walking down the highway
With his big boots on
And his big thumb out
He wants to get me
He wants to hurt me
He wants bring me down
But Sometime later when I'm feel a little straighter
I will come across a stranger
Who'll remind me of the danger
And then I'll run him over
Pretty smart on my part
Find my way home in the dark
I can see her coming
Sure looks pretty
Her breasts are bold
And her mouth is large
She wants to get me
She wants to hurt me
She wants to bring me down
But sometime later when I feel a little naked
I'll lead her to altar
Then I'll tie her all in leather
Then I'm gonna whip her
Pretty smart on my part
Find my way home in the dark
I can see him coming
He's walking through bedroom
With a switchblade knife
He's looking at my wife
He wants to get me
He wants to hurt me
He wants to bring me down
But sometime later when I feel a little braver
I'll go hunting with my rifle
Where the wild geese are flying
Then I'm gonna bag one
Pretty smart on my part
Find my way home in the dark
I can see them coming
They're training in the mountains
And they talk chinese
And they spread disease
They want to get me
They want to hurt me
They want bring me down
But sometime later when I feel a little safer
We'll assassinate the president
And take over the government
And then we're going to fry them
Pretty smart on my part
Find my way home in the dark

 

pwnedbyisrael's picture

Welcome to the United States of Israel.

CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

The F'n J-Tribe here is going to fall... and the idiot Jews don't think we know about it all either... that's the funniest thing. The idiot Jews scamming America... and not thinking some us are clued in to their SCAMS here. Wall Street? The Fed? The bought US Weimer-US Congress.. are these all Jew Scams? Yes. Yes they are. Like another leveraged Jew Multi-Cult SCAM.

--CSR

Israel Did 9/11 (along with a lot of NeoCon US JEWS) -- no Jesus doesn't love these Talmudics and their hatred of the GOYIM AMERICAN. The US is going bankrupt fighting Jew wars for SCAMS... and the idiot J-B*tches don't think we see it:

http://theinfounderground.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5367

Keep and eye open and a gun loaded... JEW TALMUDIC SCAMS ABOUND:
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2011/01/america-is-trapped-in-m...

SMG's picture

There is good and bad in every ethnicity/religious group, in the end we must remember we are all the Creator's children.

The real problem for all of us is the Illuminati (the eyeball triangle worshipers).

Until blame is correctly placed, they will continue to get away with their evil.

robertocarlos's picture

+1 I wish I really knew who are the real bad guys.

DosZap's picture

True.except we are not all GODS children.

We are all made in HIS image, big diff.

Also for wild eyed racist rant above, Jesus loves everyone, even you,(and yes the Jews,all of them).

Quixotic_Not's picture

Who is this "God" you speak of, and is he a democrat of republican?

Goldman Sucks executive?

From where I sit I see human nature run amok, with a bunch of entitled children thinking they've somehow "evolved" beyond it...

They even elected a metro-sexual, cross-race "evolved" person to be "their" President (birth certificate be damned).

Yep, no need to regulate human behavior - I'm OK, You're OK, free credit, bonuses and blow jobs for everyone!

Lesson for today:

In a "free" society, not everyone is "equal"; Ergo, in a society where everyone is "equal", no one will be "free".

P.S.  Please don't bother trying to convert me to some middle eastern mysticism, that ain't dog ain't gonna hunt with this American...

DosZap's picture

It would be a superb enhancement for ZH posters to put the handles of those they are addressing in their posts.

No one can really know most of the time what, or who a slam, or a question, comment is directed at/to.

When we post here, and comment on a comment, it may not show up until its down the page six more posts...crazy.

web dizajn's picture

what does israel has to do with this??

JW n FL's picture

The converted Rothchild's are out to get us all... BOO!

they are idiots, pay them no mind.

Mr Poopra's picture

As a Jew, I can assure you that not all of us are in agreement.  The problem is not Jews, but Zionists and bankers.  The worst, of course, being both.

MarketTruth's picture

Agree, it is not "all the Jews" fault, yet it IS THE ZIONISTS that are the problem. There i a difference and as a Jew i wish the Zionists would FOAD.

Mad Max's picture

It would be extremely interesting to read a detailed, rational, and as unbiased as possible article on this issue.

DosZap's picture

Ok,

My spin after many years with the firearms issues,the American consumer, is this.

ONE, the election caused a huge spike, and Barry is the best weapons salesman since Clinton(former title holder).Plus, the AZ incedent, started the McMurray NEW BILL shite, which automatically caused everyone and their dogs, to buy every std cap(15-17-19-20-25-30-33rd mag they can find.

At VERY inflated prices).These are the Std sized mags, not considered HIGH capacity(that is the MSM's MANTRA, for ANTI's MONEY).

Long guns that use Hi Cap mags naturally, have gone up in price minimum of 30%, and Handgun mags, Doubled,if not tripled, IF you can find any.

Same with any other Hi Cap weapon, as the Antis are trying to get a bill to outlaw current and past owners from keeping these mags.( i.e.) NO GF Clause.

(that will surely sell well.)

In 9mm,45ACP,5.56, 7.62x51.

The mags for these are being sucked into the usual Vortex of fear, this is purely at least 90% of the reason for the surge.

Trust me, been thru the Clintons twice(enough arms,ammo, and mags were bought during his Admins, to defeat any conventional army on the planet.

Sammy is just EXTRA.( A Lot extra)

Passage of Socialist laws, and programs,building up ther Fed LE corps(all branches, have brought this on).

The other 10%, are fearful of retaining what they have, and plan on trying to keep it.(this is economy driven, and others job losses driven).

As for this;

The most upbeat news from our indicators is the degree to which consumers are snapping up used cars and pickups.

Companies, small & Large can only hold off SO long, before they MUST update their fleets,we're looking at close to 3+years of no real purchases of these sized/type  vehicles.

Now, if they want to stay on the road, they either buy,or quit.

No CHOICE, so this is not nearly as rosy as most think.

As for the USED cars, the best of them were sent to the crushers(thanks to the ObamaRama Trade in and Crush) drive.

There has been a shortage of used vehicles (decent ones) since that event.So, rather than buy NEW cars, if a decent used floats by, typically its gone like a fart in the wind.

If you go/have been to a  Used vehicles auction, you will NEVER get the vehicles, (that are good sellers, and good shape), Dealers will beat you to them and pay Full Wholesale PLUS for them, individuals are out of luck.

As for the BIG ticket items, same there, Fridges,Stoves, TV's, etc, can only last so long.

Plus the AMERICAN consumer can only KEEP themselves out pf debt for no more than 2-3yrs.

Here we are again, been here, done this, many times in many decades fighting the PTB.

 

 

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

DosZap,

My spin on firearms.  I bought my AK and my 9mm stainless Beretta about a year ago, thinking that the O-team would ban them.  Yes, I have been to the ranges to practice and am stocking up on ammo and accessories as I get more familiar with my weapons.

A guy I know in rural NC (who already had a BIG gun collection) went and bought $12,000 worth of guns & ammo the day after O was elected.  He is also the only guy I know who owns a .50 caliber Barrett.  Don't trespass onto his property, LOL...

Having lead and lead delivery systems allows me to protect my OTHER precious metals.

Misstrial's picture

Also this:

http://shelter101.com

Former software guy laid off and now trying to make it by mopping up a Micky D's four nights a week & working odd jobs with NO unemployment or pension.

Lives out of his RV.

~Misstrial

Quixotic_Not's picture

Thankfully the majority of useless idiots in 'MeriKa will be totally unprepared for a post 2012 USofA.

Me and mine will not only be prepared, we'll actually THRIVE, and not anywhere near the herds of sheeple that will be lining up for .GOV hand-outs...

Personally, I can't wait!

DosZap's picture

Do,

In any country you should be a firearm/s owner, except in the ones that simple ownership will cost you your head, and the rest of ther populace is so fearful they would not back each other up.

That said, we are in America,We have a Right and a Responsibility to own, and know how,when,and where we can/should use them.

Thats part of the Right.Idiots that own weapons, and do not know them inside out, should not own one.(IMO)

The dude w/ the 82 (I assume its a semi for that jack$), is in no better shape than a field savvy due with a Bolt gun(capapble to hit consistently at ranges to at least 800-1000yds, and have the ability to use that advantage.

Then you can own his .50,LOL

.50's are great investments(esp 82's),make great boat anchors, but suck for anti personell work at extended ranges.Now,as a field weapon I would have chosen a dfferent .50( a more portable, accurate weapon).

AR's are good to 500-600yds, AK's (due to crap ammo, and design, are basically 30-30's, great 150-200yd max weapons,brush guns) and will take hell and back and keep working.(but I do not want to have to use any weapon (unless forced),at ranges under 500yds,preferably much farther.

Stealth and the upper hand goes a long way.CQB requires buddies, and your in the shit if your having to defend a position that close,you need buddies.

For in home use(no kids), no apartments, a 20/12 ga w/bird is great.

Handguns are not the weapon of choice for Apt use, or where others(kids) live with you.They are over penetrative, and if used should be loaded w/Glasers,or a similar round.

You have defensive weapons covered, now you need one good OFFENSIVE one, and thats a Bolt , Heavy Barrel, preferable SS, and since you likely have the $$, have a shop like GA Precision build you one.Not cheap(nothing good is), but for $3500.00, you can have a solid bulletproof platform that will give you the ability(with training, and practice), the ability to shoot .5moa, all day, and do so without having to be cleaned every 200-400rds.

And their SIMPLE to maintain,and tough as nails.I suggest a M40 stock, a #6 -#7 tube,( I prefer the 5R barrels) and about 22-24" OAL.( no bells and whistles, just a solid patform, that will be able to be passed down to your kid, and his too.

Optics, 3-15 variable, and a GOOD quality(they can reccomend), and your good to go for under $5k out the door to you.

You will always be pretty much guanteed to be  able to break even if you were foolish enough to sell it.(<;

JW n FL's picture

As dawn broke, a SWAT team waiting to execute a search warrant wanted a last-minute aerial sweep of the property, in part to check for unseen dangers. But there was a problem: The department's aircraft section feared that if it put up a helicopter, the suspect might try to shoot it down.

So the Texas agents did what no state or local law enforcement agency had done before in a high-risk operation: They launched a drone. A bird-size device called a Wasp floated hundreds of feet into the sky and instantly beamed live video to agents on the ground. The SWAT team stormed the house and arrested the suspect.

"The nice thing is it's covert," said Bill C. Nabors Jr., chief pilot with the Texas DPS, who in a recent interview described the 2009 operation for the first time publicly. "You don't hear it, and unless you know what you're looking for, you can't see it."

The drone technology that has revolutionized warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is entering the national airspace: Unmanned aircraft are patrolling the border with Mexico, searching for missing persons over difficult terrain, flying into hurricanes to collect weather data, photographing traffic accident scenes and tracking the spread of forest fires.

But the operation outside Austin presaged what could prove to be one of the most far-reaching and potentially controversial uses of drones: as a new and relatively cheap surveillance tool in domestic law enforcement.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/22/AR201101...

cossack55's picture

Do you have the story of the SEC using drones to record amorous events ocurring in various bedrooms nationwide for future download and enjoyment in their plush offices?

Sudden Debt's picture

makes you think he....

 

I TO WANT A DRONE FOR MY AMUSEMENT!!!!

JW n FL's picture

we should have a zero hedge fleet to follow Dimon and the like...

I will call for an umbrella tomorrow, just for shits and giggles... if the insurer's think we are serious Dimon will know about it in 5 fucking minutes.

GoinFawr's picture

DIY one of these.

http://vimeo.com/1003193

 Glide ratio is so good that,with a decent operator, a small thermal will keep it in the sky as long as you want too, practically silently.

"Spy on them as they spy on us"

A Nanny Moose's picture

Yeah, but they will arm their drones, and "hellfire" your glider outta the sky.

 

HellFish's picture

Hellfire isn't an air to air weapon - learn about which you speak.

ColonelCooper's picture

I think that since he was making a joke, it is quite alright.

goldsaver's picture

Yeah, but they will arm their drones, and "sidewinder" your glider outta the sky.

There I fixed it for him.

Salinger's picture

and this from wikileaks from earlier this year

takes a while to load video starts at 2:30 mark (after the wikileaks preamble)

 

http://rawreplaymedia.com/fvp/flvplayer.swf?file=http://rawreplaymedia.c...

 

 

GoinFawr's picture

Yeah, I guess so.

Heh, 'Sidewinder'; can you say 'overkill'? I knew you could. I'm sure a Canadian with a .22 would do just fine at knocking one of those outta the sky; less risk of collateral damage in an urban area too. But at less than $500 bux a pop, who would give a ratz anus anyway?

Heh: trying to tap in poster pins with sledgehammers.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Oh to be a drone on the wall.

thegr8whorebabylon's picture

SD, are you related to Kim Jong Il?

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

You got it. Developed by the genius' at MIT. Control with iPhone or iTouch on a wi-fi network. See through the camera. See them coming!

http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/usa/

DisparityFlux's picture

 

I happened to have witnessed one of the first public demonstrations of a remote control model plane equipped with a video camera which provided real-time flight imagery to a ground control station.  The system, developed by a U.S. Air Force research lab, was flown at a national model aeronautics meet held at Wright Patterson Air Force Base sometime between '69 and '72 -- don't remember the exact year since I was about 12 at the time.  From my vantage point at the control station, I was able watch their video monitor through out the model aircraft's take-off, flight and final spin into the ground when the controllers lost communication.  They said the system cost upwards of $20k.  One of the adult bystanders said, "Well, back to the ol' drawing board"; which got a good round of chuckles from everyone.  That was 40 years, ago.  Obviously someone went back to the drawing board.

GoinFawr's picture

I would imagine most of that cost in those days was in sizing down the RC and video feed systems.

DIY you could build one today for under 1,000 bux (mb under 500 even) I am guessing.

DisparityFlux's picture

 

The model plane had a 1/2 horsepower engine and at least an 8 foot wing span.  The developers said the operational range was about 1/4 mile, which they believed the plane flew beyond, resulting in their loss of control and the planes crash.  I think the video system was not "off the shelf" commercial, but derived from some early video guided bomb system developed during the Vietnam war.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Attack of the drones is still a long way off.

There's no practical computerized flying system so they still need to be controlled by remote. Anyone who's flown a helicopter or airplane by remote can attest to the difficulty. Now turn off the lights, fly it first person on camera.

Its not hard to send one up in the air and back down at night for a quick peak over a fence, but anything more involved isn't going to happen.

unum mountaineer's picture

http://www.brookstone.com/ar-drone-quadricopter.html?his=2~46337~2~root_...|C4CategoryProdList1FDT|9319170

ordered one. pretty easy to use. good first try. get plenty of back up batteries..12 mins is pretty good

Clampit's picture

A friend of mine cracked the serial port and can now download GPS data to the microcontroller of an AR drone ... we keep joking about flying quad rotors anywhere via IP addy, just find a wifi enabled flightpath or hack waypoints along the way.

As for our one world government, clamp down on the internet rising of power of state nonsense, bring it on.

 

A Nanny Moose's picture

That is badass. I want one.