If you want protection from privacy intrusions by private UAV pilots, don't go all Annie Oakley on your neighbor's quadcopter like this guy; that's super illegal in most American cities. Instead, try these simple means of dissuasion. You'll definitely look like a bit of a loon, but that's just the price of freedom. And/or paranoia. First off, there's not much you can do about your neighbor who's legally flying a drone, short of shooting it out of the sky (which, remember, is probably illegal and definitely super dangerous). Jamming devices—those that actively block radio, GPS, cellular, or Wi-Fi signals—are highly illegal in the US and will get you in just as much hot water with the police as wildly firing buckshot into the night sky. So if you can't sever the command link or bring down the UAV itself, your best remaining option is to interfere with its imaging payload. That's actually a surprisingly easy task to accomplish—all you need to do is give the camera something sparkly to look at. Something a little too sparkly. A camera's CCD works much like the human eye: Incoming light stimulates specific cells or pixels which register the wavelength and pass that information along as an electrical signal. That means that, just like a human eye, one can either temporarily or permanently blind a camera by projecting more light than the sensor can handle. For conventional sensors that record visible light, a well-aimed low-powered laser pointer beam should be enough to temporarily knock an airborne camera offline. Read more via Gizmodo.
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