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Matternet’s delivery drone design has been approved by the FAA

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/ It’s the first delivery drone to win such approval

Sep 11, 2022, 2:54 PM UTC|

Matternet’s Model M2 drone delivering for the Swiss Post. Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Matternet has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Model M2 drone delivery drone design. In a press release, Matternet explains that the Model M2 is the first non-military unmanned aircraft to achieve Type Certification by the FAA, which determines that an aircraft’s design meets regulatory standards.

The California-based Matternet has been testing its Model M2 drone over the past four years in the US as part of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program. Matternet says getting the green light from the FAA could help streamline the process of “implementing new networks and getting approvals.”

Matternet’s Model M2 delivery drone. Image: Matternet

Matternet partnered with UPS in 2019 to deliver medical supplies in North Carolina, and later started delivering prescriptions in Florida. Matternet also expanded its footprint to Switzerland, where it teamed up with the Swiss Post to deliver lab samples and blood tests. The program was briefly suspended in 2019 after its drones suffered two crashes in the country, but Matternet has since announced that it’s taking over the Swiss Post’s drone delivery program starting in 2023.

In a statement, the FAA says Matternet’s Model M2 drone “meets all federal regulations for safe, reliable and controllable operations and provides a level of safety equivalent to existing airworthiness standards applicable to other categories of aircraft.” The four-rotor drone’s been approved to carry four-pound payloads and fly at an altitude of 400 feet or lower with a maximum speed of 45mph.

Matternet’s announcement comes as other tech (and retail) giants begin ramping up efforts to get their own drone delivery services off the ground. In May, Walmart said it’s going to expand its drone delivery network — which it launched last year in partnership with DroneUp — to Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia by the end of 2022. Amazon also announced plans to jumpstart its stalled drone delivery program in June, eventually bringing drone-powered deliveries to Lockeford, California and College Station, Texas. Wing, the drone company owned by Google parent Alphabet, recently launched tests in parts of Texas and started working on drones capable of carrying larger payloads.

The Fifth Circuit really blew up the First Amendment by upholding the Texas social media law.

The law still isn’t in effect, but the court’s opinion sets up a Supreme Court battle over the future of content moderation and the First Amendment. Mike Masnick has a good (if wonky) breakdown up already. It’s… well, it’s one of the dumbest First Amendment opinions in a long time.

The fact that Oldham claims, that “the Platforms are no different than Verizon or AT&T” makes me question how anyone could take anything in this ruling seriously.

Forget vinyl.

If you appreciate media preservation, make some time for this Q&A with the “last man standing in the floppy disk business,” Tom Persky of floppydisk.com.

The customers that are the easiest to provide for are the hobbyists – people who want to buy ten, 20, or maybe 50 floppy disks. However, my biggest customers — and the place where most of the money comes from — are the industrial users…Probably half of the air fleet in the world today is more than 20 years old and still uses floppy disks in some of the avionics.

New terrible First Amendment ruling dropped.

Remember when a Texas appeals court decided to blow up internet moderation with no explanation? Well, it finally explained itself, and so far I don’t feel any better. We’re still working our way through the decision, but you can read it below. For now, though, the Supreme Court already temporarily blocked the law while its court battle continues.

Welcome to the new VergeRevolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13

Watch Tim Cook express his honest opinion about iMessage, Android, and green bubbles.

It’s not hard to figure out why Tim Cook won’t fix the green bubbles and SMS fallback that comes with texting Android users from your iPhone using iMessage.

But you’ve got to see this response for yourself, as Cook (while laughing) suggests Vox Media’s LiQuan Hunt should “buy your mom an iPhone” to fix the issue.

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

So now what do you do with your old phone?

I’m guessing at least a few of you snagged brand-new iPhone 14s today, and I love that for you, but I’ll keep using my Pixel 6.

But if you still have your old phone and want to avoid creating unnecessary electronic waste, Kaitlyn Tiffany writes in The Atlantic that your best bet — despite recycling programs and flashy robots — is probably to just keep it.

Please enjoy this moose crash test dummy.

In some places, such as Scandinavia and Alaska, moose are big hazards. (Moose crashes can be fatal for people.) So a master’s student developed a moose crash test dummy to help carmakers improve moose safety. “The crash test results were very pleasing since the demolished cars looked very much like cars involved in real moose crashes,” wrote Magnus Gens, who won a 2022 Ig Noble award for the work.

Who built the Dynamic Island?

The iPhone 14 Pro is shipping today and new owners will see the sharp little black pill pretty quickly after they power on their phone. One of its designers, Chan Karunamuni, took to Twitter to talk about it. Did you know it can move to the side of your phone when you have Reachability enabled? I didn’t!

The new project I designed arrives today – the Dynamic Island.

Its goal is to feel like a living, elastic bubble that can fluidly shape shift into different alerts and experiences.

This is just the start, but I’m excited to see it begin its life! pic.twitter.com/HTkhSK69LU

— Chan Karunamuni (@chan_k) September 16, 2022

Wordle was especially rough today.

We won’t spoil the word, but around The Verge, we got our butts kicked. “Ludicrous,” says Tristan; Jake declares he is “mourning”; meanwhile, Adi isn’t sure she’s ever heard this word before; Andy got yesterday’s Wordle in one try — only to fail today’s. “It’s been a rollercoaster,” he says.

How far would you go for a song?

Death Cab for Cutie made fans visit one of the around 800 locations the band had played if they wanted to listen to a single early. The game’s thematically appropriate — “Rand McNally” is about life on the road.

According to Wired, the band used a defunct fan site and the Wayback Machine to figure out all the places it had played. The Internet Archive truly is wonderful.

Things have not been going well for Parler.

Makena has the news about the conservative social network’s falling user base and subsequent pivot — but Parler has also been doing increasingly desperate things to make money, including licensing out their email list to weird content marketing schemes.

For instance, here is an actual email Parler sent me last month.

We’re so excited the new Verge is here.

Hi, I’m Will, the senior creative director of The Verge. We’re already working on the next set of improvements and new features for the site, and we hear you on legibility. The new site meets the same accessibility standards set by our last web platform, but accessibility work is never done. We will continue to raise the bar, and we value all of your feedback (including the impressive light mode hacks circulating on Twitter!), so keep sharing and stay tuned.

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