DT Daily: Volcano melts a GoPro, Facebook payment plan, Duracell’s rescue fleet

Today on DT Daily: A drone gets a bit too close to some liquid hot magma, Facebook readies a payment system, and it’s Duracell to the rescue.

We can’t get enough of news from the dronosphere, especially when the little flying robots venture where humans can’t – like into a very, very active volcano.

Eric Cheng, Director of Aerial Imaging at drone maker DJI, recently loaded up one of their Phantom II birds with a GoPro and flew the setup into the teeth of a roiling volcano in Iceland. The footage the drone was sending back was amazing! But suddenly, Eric’s high-def feed went black, so he flew the drone back to base, only to discover the front of the GoPro camera had partially melted, ending the mission, at least temporarily.

Well that beats melting a person of course, who usually have to wear a stylish foil-like getup to get anywhere near Dr. Evil’s favorite substance. We’re sure a volcano-proof drone kit is probably in the works right now…

And you thought Facebook was addictive now. Well, it’s about to go to the next level since it appears a person-to-person payment system is about to go live… sometime soon.

Techcrunch talked with a Stanford computer science student who poked around in the code that makes up the Facebook Messenger app, and he says he found what appears to be a pretty much fully formed payment system that works with debit cards. And isn’t it interesting that the head of the Messenger project is the former president of PayPal? Very interesting indeed. Facebook hasn’t commented on the code snooping but the service seems like a natural fit.

Used to be, the main concern after a natural disaster was food, water and shelter. But modern technology, especially smartphones and other devices, can also aid in recovery and vital communication in a crisis. Duracell handed out a lot of batteries and charged up a lot of phones following Superstorm Sandy, and now, they’ve taken the next step and created a squadron of pumped-up, high-tech trucks as part of their Power Forward disaster relief program.

The five rigs are spread around the eastern U.S. for now. They all feature free batteries, wi-fi, and phone chargers among other capabilities. The biggest setup, the rolling Community Center, even features some flat screen TVs for weather updates, official information, or some cartoons for the kids. You’ll know they’ve arrived if disaster hits because, well, they’re all painted in those famous coppertop colors.

Today’s host is DT Automotive Editor Nick Jaynes

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