I would like to comment on the maxim “the principal function of a business is to make money for its owners and stockholders, and the people who find this objectionable are against capitalism.”
I fully agree with this maxim, but a clarification is in order: the purpose should be to make the most amount of money in the next ten years (or depending on the product type you can substitute 10 years by X years, where X is larger than 3.) The sad fact is that most CEOs and CFOs are not at all interested in maximizing the total delivered value to the stockholders in a period of 10 years or so. They are interested in maximizing the profits in the next six months, or maybe a year. They are happy to do that even if they know they are running the business to the ground in the long term. In the short term, they collect huge stock awards and bonuses. In the long term, when things get sour, they blame our government and all other governments, they blame cheap foreign competition, and so on, and move on to another position. Then the vicious cycle repeats.
I sincerely believe that the fundamental problem is not the globalization. The detrimental problem is the very narrow short term focus in terms of results. Today, many CEOs prefer to acquire successful small start-up companies by spending hundreds of millions of Dollars, instead of having taken the long term view several years back and having done the work in house for a tenth of the price. The financial markets reward this behavior.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.