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February 5, 2007
Pilotless Drone Drone Drone Drone
The story starts with the hip SF Chronicle online attempting to respond to readers' phoned-in comments. Of course, the volume of comments in any major newspaper is too large to permit individual responses and the Chron comes up with the bright idea to make a podcast out of the recorded commentary so at least readers can hear what each other have to say. So far so good.
Then someone decided to take umbrage at a particular subhead in a Chron news story that used the phrase "pilotless drone." Despite its popularity (about 36,000 hits on Google as of this AM) the phrase really is redundant since "drone" means "unmanned vehicle" in this context. So one could say "pilotless aircraft" or just "drone."
Another meaning of "drone" is to repeat something mnotonously. Which is pretty much what this caller did. As the NPR commentator put it, it wasn't long until someone noticed the rhythmic quality of this particular sound snippet. Bloggers such as Engaget linked to the audio file and asked people to remix it.
Never one to leave a gauntlet lie, people took up this challenge and.according to this update in the Chronicle, not only can you get this snippet as a ringtone, but there's an entire group on YouTube now dedicated to remixes and music videos.
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