Facebook’s huge but delicate Aquila drone returns to the skies in 2nd test flight

Just be sure it can livestream flight videos

Following Facebook’s recent mission statement change to reflect its goal of world world-wide connection, there’s good news on that front as a second test flight of Zuck’s big R/C plane, also known as the Aquila drone, had a successful conclusion, unlike the first go-round. The sci-fi but very graceful-looking V-wing drone took to the air on May 22nd and ascended to 3,000 feet during the hour and 46-minute sortie.

It then glided in for a dusty slow-speed landing, which went better than the first flight, which resulted in a damaged wing and an NTSB investigation. Seems like they got the problems figured out, although we suggest perhaps adding some landing gear. The solar-powered drone is designed to fly at high altitude for 90 days straight and beam internet access – and Facebook – to the multitudes below in areas not served by traditional access points.

No magic bullet for Petya malware

Computer users around the world are still struggling with the Petya ransomware attack, also known as “Not Petya,” which is now especially frustrating since the email address to receive the unlock code is no longer working. But computer security experts now say they think the real purpose of the attack was to install malware on government computers, possibly for future operations, and also to just wipe the hard drives of people who clicked the link.

Forbes says computer experts told them that NotPetya is primarily a “wiper” – malware that’s just plain destructive – and that computer users in the Ukraine and in Ukraine’s government seem to be the primary targets. But, like many illnesses both analog and digital, the infection spread much farther than anticipated. And so far, there’s no quick cure like the one that surfaced for the WannaCry virus.

We get their drift

Hey it is Friday, and if you’re wrapping up your week and looking for a bit high-octane fun, you can’t do much better than some tire-shredding drifting action courtesy Team Monster. This time, it’s a Nissan GT-R behaving badly in England, turning a shipyard course into a four-wheel slip-n-slide. But what’s this? The GTR has been joined by an all-wheel drive Lamborghini! It’s enough to make the locals buy a sponsored energy drink. But wait, there’s even more! Hey, why not toss a jumpin’ Jeep into the mix as well?

As you can imagine, much more than tires take a beating in the video, so hit this link and put on those headphones, and try to keep it under 100 on the drive home.

Have a good weekend.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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