DMA TECH WATCH: ‘Force’ Secrets, Drone Regs, Hyperloop Development & More

By Phill Powell

Welcome to DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of December 14, 2015:


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And those $100 savings can really come in handy at the holidays. (And what cool tech gifts could you buy with your DMA holiday savings?)


Here come the public service announcements: “Register your drone. It’s the law.”

It’s a development that will affect lots of people who plan to buy or receive some type of flying drone this holiday season. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the start of a much-discussed drone registration program.

And just like in our lead story, Dec. 21 plays a critical role. Those getting a drone after that date will have to register their drone with the FAA before they can send the drone on its first journey. (Get a drone before that date and you get an automatic extension until Feb. 19.)

Registration will involve filling out either an online or paper-based application and paying a $5 registration fee, although during the first month of registrations, the FAA is waiving the fee.


Tube-tastic hyperloop experiments are going on in Nevada…

It’s got to be making Elon Musk happy. Inventor Musk proposed the idea two years ago for a tube-based hyperloop transportation system that could shuttle passengers and cargo at high speeds between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Now that concept is being experimented with by a company called Hyperloop Technologies, Inc., which is currently testing an electric engine at a test facility in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas.

The engine created by Hyperloop Technologies is reported to achieve speeds approaching 336 mph. The goal is to develop a full-scale track-and-tube system that can hit 700 mph, and to do it within one year. This comes as exciting news to anyone interested in engineering.


Twitter has warned some users of a potential hack attack.

This past Friday, some Twitter users received an ominous message from Twitter, informing them that their Twitter accounts could have been targeted by hackers.

The especially alarming part: language pointing to the possibility of “state-sponsored actors.” Because if there’s one thing less comforting than learning that an anonymous individual is hacking you, it’s discovering you might be getting targeted by government agents of a rogue nation.

This is the first time Twitter has issued such a warning, and the social media giant said although it didn’t have specific evidence of a theft of account information, it was busy investigating the possible breach.


And here’s a little something to prep you for Friday, as if that was necessary.

With mere days to go before it opens, all eyes are on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In a symbolic moment, R2-D2 recently appeared on the cover of Time, a pretty good achievement for a robot.

Movie theaters are bracing for epic crowds… and maybe the biggest box office bonanza of all time. The first critical reviews of the film should begin appearing around 12 AM on Wednesday, Dec. 16th, although even lackluster reviews won’t slow the wild audience stampede that begins on Friday.

One person who will be paying at least some attention to those reviews is the movie’s director, J.J. Abrams. Abrams friend Steven Spielberg revealed to 60 Minutes that Abrams is “terrified,” as he awaits the world’s verdict, because of the intense pressure that arises when the world’s most beloved film franchise is involved…and that franchise reportedly cost Disney more than $4 billion.

Tonight is the film’s official premiere in Los Angeles at famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now known as TCL Chinese Theatre) with fans expected to mob the scene.

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