With the OK to test drones, is Amazon.com pioneering Wright brothers 2.0 or headed for crashing disappointment?

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Amazon.com’s hopes for a fleet of delivery drones took a big step forward with Federal Aviation Administration approval to test a craft outdoors and train a crew to operate it.

CEO Jeff Bezos loves to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what will stick. But his interest in using drones to deliver is more than a momentary fad.

If it succeeds, drone delivery might be transformational, albeit part of the coming shift where advanced robots and automation cause prolonged unemployment for humans (I suspect the idea would be for a crew to operate many drones, replacing delivery drivers).

If it fails, does the plug get pulled before a spectacular amount of money is wasted or a fatal incident occurs? There’s also questions (or should be) about Amazon also being a major Defense Department and CIA contractor.

What do you think?

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This Week’s Links:

* Hedge funds find new way to target drug companies and short their stock | Bloomberg

The power of anecdote, climate change edition | Incidental Economist

The bonds that can cure America’s ills | Barry Ritholtz

Bait and switch: The fraud crisis in the seafood industry | The Atlantic

Yellen strikes a dovish tone | Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

Inequality in black and white, in five studies | Pacific Standard

STEM graduates can’t find jobs | US News

Robot workers will be only as ethical as their masters | Motherboard

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Tanker is behind

McNerney gets a big raise

It’s the unions’ fault


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