MLB gets in trouble with the FAA for unauthorized drone usage

A small, four-rotor drone hovered over Washington Nationals players for a few days during spring training in Florida last month, taking publicity photos impossible for a human photographer to capture. But no one got the Federal Aviation Administration’s permission first. The agency bars commercial use of drones no matter how seemingly benign. The lone exception is an oil company that has been granted permission to fly drones over the Arctic Ocean, and it took an act of Congress to win that concession.

You heard it here first: “Drone” will beat out other buzzworthy contenders to be crowned 2014’s word of the year (last year’s, in case you missed it, was “selfie”). That’s just a prediction, of course, but judging by the way they’ve dominated the headlines recently, it seems a safe one. Drones all the rage right now: Amazon wants to use them to deliver goods to your house, Facebook wants to put them in space, while Rolls-Royce wants a fleet to roam the ocean floor. (Netflix, meanwhile, is just using them to take a jab at Amazon). More seriously, drones are starting to change the way companies do business (at least in other countries); they’re being used to do everything from spray crops in Japan, to cover cricket matches and deliver textbooks in Australia, to shoot real-estate videos of pricey properties in the U.K.

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