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Set Free Your Inner Jedi (Or Pyro)

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the sharks-sold-separately dept.

Toys 463

sirgoran writes "We've all thought about being the hero fighting off evil-doers and saving the day ever since we first saw Star Wars. The folks at Wicked Lasers have now brought that a little closer to reality with their latest release: a 1-Watt blue diode laser that can set skin and other things on fire. From an article at Daily Tech, where they talk about the dangers of such a powerful laser: 'And here's the best (or worst) part — it can set people (or things) on fire. Apparently the laser is so high-powered that shining it on fleshy parts will cause them to burst into flames. Of course it's equally capable of blinding people.' The thing that caught my eye was the price: $200. I wonder if they'll be able to meet the demand, since (if it works as advertised) this will be on every geek's Christmas list."

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463 comments

2nd Amendment (4, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568006)

Does the right to bear arms cover arms which are for more awesome than ever conceived of by the writers of the constitution?

Re:2nd Amendment (5, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568128)

Does the right to bear arms cover arms which are for more awesome than ever conceived of by the writers of the constitution?

I'd suggest you not have bare arms if this thing can set flesh on fire.

Re:2nd Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568704)

Does the right to bear arms cover arms which are for more awesome than ever conceived of by the writers of the constitution?

I'd suggest you not have bare arms if this thing can set flesh on fire.

I wonder if this thing can set bear arms on fire... Might be good to take with you when going camping.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568164)

This is 200 times more powerful than what can legally be sold as a laser pointer in the US, so apparently not.

Re:2nd Amendment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568192)

then don't sell it as a laser pointer

Re:2nd Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568278)

But it is a LASER in any case, which is regulated by the FDA.

Incidentally, by the same argument as OP, would the first amendment cover inconceivable (by the founding fathers) communication methods like the Internet?

In short (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568408)

Yes.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568494)

The First Amendment covers what the US Government *can* do to limit one's Freedom of Speech.
 
...anything not covered under the First Amendment cannot legally be infringed upon by the US government.

Meaning: The US government, except in cases where a a clear and present danger exists to the rights of others, has no legal authority over the internet. None. Zippo. Zilch.
 
...and yet we're trying harder than ever to give them all of that authority and more.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568650)

clear and present danger is a depreciated test for free speech.

Re:2nd Amendment (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568498)

The real question is, does the FDA regulates the sales of freakin' sharks?

Re:2nd Amendment (5, Informative)

spinkham (56603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568266)

There is a high power laser pointer ban, but the ban is on marketing terms only. Only class 3a or lower lasers (0-5mW) may be marketed as laser pointers. Class 3b and higher lasers (5-500mW) may be sold in a hand-held form, but not marketed as pointers or amusement devices.

More to the point, there are regulatory requirements for features in high power laser devices that are often ignored.
All types of laser devices of any power must be registered with the FDA prior to sale in the US. Note this is registration per product type, not per sale. Class 3b and higher lasers must have a key based lockout, a remote interlock connector, and a warning label affixed to the product. Most importers of cheap chinese lasers of class 3b (>5mW) fall afoul of all of these requirements, and they are often confiscated in shipping with no recourse for the buyer.

http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/LaserProductsandInstruments/ucm116373.htm [fda.gov]
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?FR=1040.10 [fda.gov]

The only class 3b hand-held lasers I've seen recently which meet all the requirements above are sold by wickedlasers.com. In the past year they have added a safety "key" and interlock connector to their class 3b laser products, and they now meet all the legal requirements. Other vendors might also meet the legal requirements, but I have not personally seen any.

Re:2nd Amendment (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568572)

I'm guessing this blue laser would be quite effective at 'disabling' those pesky stop light/speeding cameras the city has recently been trying to set up, eh?

BWHAAHAHAHAHAHAHahaa....

Re:2nd Amendment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568242)

Do not take them with you if you're going to war. Weapons which can primarily be used to blind people are against the Geneva Convention.

Regarding the demand for these laser diodes: I am a geek and this is not on my wish list. I can see the use in applications like holography or laser engraving, but I prefer less dangerous gadgets for purely toying around. With that much power, a stray reflection can permanently harm your vision.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568532)

Could that 1-watt blue diode be used to make a dirt cheap CNC engraver for wood nameplates?

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568550)

On the plus side, you can still use them on civilian rioters...

Re:2nd Amendment (2)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568288)

Just imagine using this laser to mess with your cat. It'll go nuts chasing the laser dot AND running away from the laser dot after it's fur is set on fire.
Note: I do not advocate the abuse of animals or the lighting of cats on fire. I just find that scenario incredibly funny.
Additional note: Sharks with friggen lasers don't sound so audacious any more.

Re:2nd Amendment (1, Offtopic)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568390)

I can't wait for the "Assault Laser Restriction Act of 2015".

Then the UK will ban flashlights with latching buttons, because they are more dangerous than flashlights with momentary buttons.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

RogL (608926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568678)

re the "Assault Laser Restriction Act of 2015"

This will ban lasers painted in camouflage colors (forest, desert AND arctic), lasers with connectors for a shoulder sling, lasers over 36" long (and ironically, sawed-off lasers under 18" in length). Also, the sale of military-style "high-capacity" batteries will be restricted to military and law-enforcement only.

Re:2nd Amendment (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568430)

Sure - the nuke in my basement keeps the neighborhood criminals away just fine.

Set up instructions (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568010)

The thing that caught my eye was

The label that read "do not look at laser with remaining eye"?

Re:Set up instructions (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568130)

A common joke among laser enthusiasts. BTW, I want two of those. Plus the driver required.

Re:Set up instructions (5, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568216)

I absolutely do NOT want one of those things. Call me old-fashioned, but I like stereoscopic vision. I would really rather have both of my eyes working just fine, thank you.

The good thing about guns is that they do not constantly spew out a continuous stream of dangerous projectiles for minutes at a time. Even a full-auto machine gun will run out of bullets after a dozen seconds or so. A laser can emit dangerous projectiles for minutes as a time, and the projectiles can bounce off any reflective surface. This thing is very likely to blind somebody unless rigorous safety procedures are used.

Anybody who buys one of these without the appropriate safety glasses is a complete idiot and deserves what they get. I just hope they do not blind anybody else in the process.

Re:Set up instructions (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568316)

Yeah it's down there at the very bottom of my list along with "a pair of 4-inch-cube rare earth magnets". More trouble to worry about safety than fun to use.

Re:Set up instructions (1)

DarkSabreLord (1067044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568584)

If you visit the website in question, you'll find that these laser pointers DO in fact come with the appropriate safety glasses to protect your vision. That being said, they won't protect anyone else's in the area...

Re:Set up instructions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568750)

Anybody who buys one of these without the appropriate safety glasses is a complete idiot and deserves what they get. I just hope they do not blind anybody else in the process.

"Gets what they deserve" is always a slippery slope. One could also say that "anyone standing next to an idiot with a powerful laser gets what they deserve!" too, thus negating the second part of your statement.

Personally, I find it best to refrain from being he "what they deserve" judge.

Re:Set up instructions (3, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568142)

It's not that hard to find, here in Sweden it's next to the label that points out that using high-powered lasers in public without a permit is illegal. Not that teenagers care, apparently there are lots of them who have figured out that lasers are a lot better weapons than knives when you want to hurt some other kid or just slow down the cops (by causing permanent eye damage) after you did something stupid...

OMG Lazers (3, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568046)

You can get a lasers and related materials off of ebay [ebay.com] , United Nuclear [unitednuclear.com] and Sparkfun [sparkfun.com] at much better values.

Re:OMG Lazers (2, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568126)

Even buying the raw laser diode and making the driver (and heatsink) yourself, you'd be hard pressed to get 1-watt output for under $200.

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568160)

1-watt blue, I mean. IR laser diodes are much, much cheaper.

Re:OMG Lazers (2, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568212)

Although by value I was not necessarily referring to dollars here is a 1 watt diode currently listed at $43 bucks [ebay.com] for a lot of 5.

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568184)

You're going to have to be more specific for the dummies like me. Take the United Nuclear link that has a laser but it's $30 for 30mW. The one this article is about is 1000mW. So on a per-watt basis it's 1/5th the price, which seems the better value really if what you care about is the setting things on fire part.

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568298)

You're going to have to be more specific for the dummies like me. Take the United Nuclear link that has a laser but it's $30 for 30mW. The one this article is about is 1000mW. So on a per-watt basis it's 1/5th the price, which seems the better value really if what you care about is the setting things on fire part.

First of all if your interested in playing with more powerful lasers it's important you understand safety and basic laser theory.

There are plenty of [wikipedia.org] resources [amazon.com] out there. [librarything.com]

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568226)

Aren't these high powered lasers illegal in the US? I thought the maximum power laser you could buy in the US was 5mW.

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568334)

They can't be illegal b/c they have (and are used in) valid industrial processes. They may be restricted, and I'm sure there are regulations that limit how they are sold (for example, an earlier poster cited a rule that prevents high mW lasers from being sold as "laser pointers").

Re:OMG Lazers (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568546)

Only if you sell them as a "laser pointer", a device presumed to be eye-safe.

I've got a 40-watt CO2 laser handy that would not only set your skin on fire, it'd tattoo your bones. No licensing needed, but I'm not likely to hurt anyone with it because I'd have to lug it and a generator around on a cart.

WTF? United Nuclear? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568522)

The story's about LASERs , not La za rs One's a source of coherent photons and one's got a record for pandering to alienz.

Homemade Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568054)

I saw this on another tech site, the url of which escapes me, and I recall hearing laser enthusiasts mentioning that this company has a reputation for not always exceeding homebuilt lasers - certainly on the pricing angle. Can someone comment on how feasible it would be to make one of these for less than the $200 they ask?

Re:Homemade Alternative (2, Informative)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568180)

Can someone comment on how feasible it would be to make one of these for less than the $200 they ask?

Source the parts better. It sounds like they have pulled this diode from a display projector, I'm sure that you might be able to buy a broken projector for a few dollars and pull the part yourself.

Part sourcing (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568652)

Source the parts better. It sounds like they have pulled this diode from a display projector,

Yes, they admit they did that. So they just have a prototype.

There's no big secret about the laser diode. It's a Nichia NDB7352 [nichia.co.jp] . Any legit company can order those things in bulk from Nichia in Tokyo. No US distributor, including Nichia America, stocks them. WickedLasers probably doesn't buy enough of them to place an order with Nichia.

In other news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568060)

Local pet stores sell sharks in record numbers.

1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (5, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568076)

Unless you hold it there for a *long* time. I've been hit by a 40 watt (CO2) laser and it left me with a burn that was like a bad sunburn. I have a 400mW (red) laser that I've been using to shoot down wasps in my workshop (it's a tall building and I can't get anything up to where they want to build a nest -- but let me warn you that a flaming wasp is a fire hazard) and it takes several seconds of exposure before the wasp dies.

With that said, I might be trying to get one of these because you can do some pretty cool stuff if you mount a laser this powerful in a plotter. It gets even better if you gut the plotter and add a Z axis so you can melt the top layer of material selectively, then lower the z stage, add a bit more material, and again melt it selectively: a relatively inexpensive, relatively high-precision 3d printer.

Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568386)

I like how you think, however the lack of depth control on a laser would be problematic. Personally, I would much rather do that sort of work with a CNC Router [wikipedia.org] . Obviously it does have limitations - materials, item design features, etc - but it is a mature, well proven platform.

Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568456)

WTF? 40 watt CO2 laser will instantly make a hole in you.

Unless it was VERY unfocused.

Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568496)

Does it make a difference that it's 1W of blue light as opposed to red light? I'm not exactly sure how laser power is measured... I assume 1W of blue would require fewer but more energetic photons than 1W of red.

Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568582)

Could it be used in projects such as RepRap [reprap.org] ?

Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568698)

I have a 400mW (red) laser that I've been using to shoot down wasps in my workshop (it's a tall building and I can't get anything up to where they want to build a nest -- but let me warn you that a flaming wasp is a fire hazard) and it takes several seconds of exposure before the wasp dies.

          Same with WD-40 and a lighter.

I need one for my car (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568082)

Cut me off and burst into flames!

superhero (1)

kai_hiwatari (1642285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568084)

one step closer to my dream of becoming a superhero.

powerful laser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568090)

I would like a laser that can disable a street light from a hundred feet away. Our city decided to place a street light in our back laneway and it shines in the bedroom window. I prefer darkness. They won't move it... what kind of laser would I need to deal with this?

Re:powerful laser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568148)

A laser pointer for presentations will do the job, if you can hit it right on the light sensor.

Re:powerful laser (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568218)

You need black out curtains.

I doubt you can burn out a streetlight with one of these lasers, maybe if the bulb was exposed but its not.

Either that or a sling shot or above if you don't mind them knowing it was purposely destroyed. And that would only be temporary until it gets replaced and then you'll have to shoot it again, etc etc.

Re:powerful laser (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568600)

I doubt you can burn out a streetlight with one of these lasers, maybe if the bulb was exposed but its not.

Have you ever noticed that glass blocks very little blue light? Your objection would only apply if we were talking about a UV laser.

Re:powerful laser (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568782)

Yes, glass may not block much blue, but the bulb is behind a diffuser to help spread the light.

Re:powerful laser (2, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568262)

An interior designer, Realtor or a politician is the correct tool for the job.

Re:powerful laser (4, Insightful)

Zediker (885207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568276)

what kind of laser would I need to deal with this?

You would need the Remington 870 Pump-Action

Re:powerful laser (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568438)

Well done, you beat me to this answer.

Re:powerful laser (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568306)

why don't you request they add a shield on it? That's what they do around here. It blocks 180 degrees and still allows the light to go down where it is needed without lighting up your room. The laser isn't going to do you much good, as the sensors are often on top of the lights.

Re:powerful laser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568440)

Back in the days before the world was Nerfed, any kid could tell you a Daisy was the correct tool for your dilemma.

(Oblig: You'll shoot your eye out!)

Re:powerful laser (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568588)

Have you considered a paint-ball gun?

Re:powerful laser (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568736)

>what kind of laser would I need to deal with this?

A 12bore shotgun type laser will work just fine

How soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568094)

...until somebody tests one out on a busy hornets nest?... and then finds themselves with a nice attic fire.

(Still, I'd enjoy watching such footage on YouTube. That would be more entertaining than what's on TV.)

Re:How soon... (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568228)

and then finds themselves with a nice attic fire.

I think the part about being swarmed by VERY angry hornets who are on fire would rate pretty high on the suck-o-meter as well.

Re:How soon... (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568538)

A swarm of flaming hornets would ran slightly under a wall of flaming alligators [xkcd.com] on the list of ridiculous-dangerous-yet-awesome-meter (So long as you are not in the path of either, then it would be the suck-o-meter instead)...

Re:How soon... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568634)

I have that one on my cubicle wall.

"An Alligator-Filled Wall Of Flame" is now part of my normal daily vocabulary.

Re:How soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568724)

and then finds themselves with a nice attic fire.

I think the part about being swarmed by VERY angry hornets who are on fire would rate pretty high on the suck-o-meter as well.

Maybe, but it would increase the YouTube hits by a factor of 10 at least.

Re:How soon... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568780)

Well, that's the nice thing about a laser. You can set the nest on fire from quite a distance as long as you have line-of-sight or some very good mirrors. So no stings.

Laser Steak (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568134)

I plan on cooking my steak with one of these from now on.

sounds cool (1)

KernelMuncher (989766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568144)

but I'll wait to buy one until it can cut off someone's arm

Another trademark problem (1)

Xamusk (702162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568208)

The name of the technology should be blueray of death.

Instant Blindness (5, Insightful)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568210)

I'm not sure if people get how crazy dangerous even a low end class 4 laser is to people's eyesight. Even diffuse reflections can cause blindness. And blindness from a direct beam or specular reflection is virtually instant, literally before you can blink. This laser is not a toy. Not something you can casually show off safely to your friends. You can blind people, forever, accidentally, in an instant. Just keep it in mind.

How can this be a general consumer product? (5, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568224)

Even the most ardent advocates of gun ownership being available to any and everyone will probably agree that selling a gun to someone who has no idea how to use and store it safely is a bad idea.

So other then what I imagine to be the joy of setting things on fire with a laser, what purpose can this thing serve? This kind of product should be sold with the same level of precaution as explosives and firearms.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568348)

You should check out United Nuclear sometime.

You can buy Thermite, Lasers, Uranium, and all sorts of FUN stuff without a license.

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568482)

Thermite

Fancy rust.

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (0, Troll)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568384)

Damn straight! ban all them ant vaporizing magnifying glasses and cool Fresnel lenses from Edmund Scientific. next up: sharp edges can cut you if you aim them at your fleshy bits.

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568524)

Seems to me that being able to blind anyone you see from a long distance is quite different than holding a magnifying glass up to a stick or even wielding a knife.

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568548)

There's a difference between stuff that can be dangerous if you very carefully try to make it dangerous and stuff that is dangerous unless you very carefully try to make it safe.

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568778)

Good god, someone talking sense. You must be new around here...

Re:How can this be a general consumer product? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568718)

As one of those ardent advocates I agree, bad idea, but on the same note, that shouldn't preclude responsible ownership. People should be taught proper gun safety, but until they handle a weapon improperly it should be assumed that they can take care of themselves.

After looking at the product page for this it seems that people have to sign some kind of liability waiver that tells them all the bad things it can do, so if they don't pay attention it's their own damn fault and the company is legally off the hook.

Though I do think the company is being irresponsible for portraying them like toys for lighting cigarettes and such. That would be like Ruger making an advertisement where somebody shoots a can off of a person's head. Yeah, technically an expert shooter could do that, but it's so insanely irresponsible that nobody should do it except maybe a stunt man and an exhibition shooter with decades of experience and daily practice.

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!! (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568274)

After all the lawsuits. Remember lawn darts?

Re:GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568374)

Were I a more anarchy-inclined person, I would say that these would be perfect for anti-riot-police weaponry... stay well out of the fray, aim with a scope, pop the stormtroopers in the eye. The one downside is they could trace the ray back to your location, but hey. If you're stupid enough to fight the pow#@$^W$%

DISREGARD THAT. DO NOT ASSEMBLE UNLAWFULLY AND ALWAYS TREAT THE POLICE WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT.

Still waiting for Amazin Laser (1)

xleeko (551231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568300)

Phhht, pass. Get back to me when you have something as good as Amazin Laser [jt.org]

Practical uses and registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568304)

1) simply put it under the same laws as a rifle or pistol (i.e. should already be covered anyhow)...would require waiting periods, felony checks, age requirements.
2) would make a great soldering tool and welding torch for plastics and metals if it actually works and lasts a while. Would beat butane hands down. Been looking for a good tool to cut thick plexiglass, etc. If it is what it says, it should be good for that purpose.

Slashdot already bought one (3, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568320)

And apparently pointed it at the wickedlasers.com server...

It's just a matter of time before some bozo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568326)

tries to blind a political figure from a distance with one of these things. The government should regulate them - the laser may not kill, but blindness is permanent.

The one time I e-mailed the FBI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568414)

I was driving at night, and saw someone playing with a fairly powerful green laser, shining it on traffic signs, etc, on I-5, south Seattle, including passing Boeing field.

The next day there was a news report about a cockpit laser detector going off about that time, and anyone with info to contact the FBI.

Interesting (3, Insightful)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568426)

What is the target purpose for this? Research experiments that could be done? What kind of safety goggles are used with this (material/wavelength tint/etc) and what kind of clothing/protective gear will NOT set on fire if accidental exposure should occur? Also, what kind of battery life are we looking at? (or is this a plug in stationary laser?)

Re:Interesting (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568714)

If the laser is 1 Watt, it probably draws a relatively low power (1.5 Watts? Not sure what the efficiency on this thing is). Seeing as there are multi-watt handheld flashlights, which are battery operated, why not this laser?

1 Watt Can Be Bad... (3, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568428)

But only if it stays trained on one spot for enough time and is close to the laser as opposed to 50 feet where the energy per square centimeter is less. Of course, some jerk will try it on his arm.

I accidentally found out what a 25 watt CO2 laser will do to the palm of your hand when a coworker left one on with no warning signs up and it burnt a branding iron across my palm as my hand quickly went into the beam. When I heard the sizzling, instead of keeping my hand moving through the beam, I pulled back and in the tens of milliseconds stopped before pulling back it vaporized (not burned) a hole about 1/8" deep in my hand.

Don't screw with this stuff you are not trained and careful or you'll wind up paying doctors and lawyers.

Re:1 Watt Can Be Bad... (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568552)

At least this one is visible light. I'm somewhat paranoid when I'm playing with fiber optics because it's all infrared. You probably wouldn't have stuck your hand into a 25W visible-light laser beam.

No problem... except. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568464)

Since this thing is technically a weapon, I don't don't mind assholes having these.... As long as I can return fire with bullets.

Re:No problem... except. (1)

psyque (1234612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568660)

You need to be able to see your target.

SharkTech. (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568520)

From TFA:

The retailer warns: "Customers will be required to completely read and agree to our Class IV Laser Hazard Acknowledgment Form."

Dorsal or tail fin prints are acceptable.

New Bionic Initiative (1)

BEATSIE (811670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568528)

Maybe if enough people start using these lasers and modding them then the end result would be The 6 Million dollar man bionic arms and legs! WOOT good fun!

TSA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568576)

It is legal to board a plane with one of these things but not with a bottle of Evian. I feel sooo protected.

Joy! (0, Redundant)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568636)

Sharks with lasers attached to their forehead. The future is NOW!

BarberCut cheat (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568640)

I walked past this arcade machine a few weeks ago at a local movie theater. Object of the game was to cut a string with scissors on a robotic arm, the prize attatched to the string falls down, you win. The prizes were really nice, things like Nintendo DSI's and Ipods.

I thought to myself, "Gee, if I had a laser, I could win." For $200 I could clean out a few barbercut machines for ipod touches, sell them and make my money back fast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF7kqi5VbPY [youtube.com]

Eye + Laser (2, Funny)

ZirbMonkey (999495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568642)

"The thing that caught my eye was the price: $200"

The other eye? Fried by a friggin laser

Just in time for the World Cup!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32568646)

They already confiscated a green laser in Johannesburg. Look for blue flashes now before penalty kicks.

Perhaps... (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568688)

This thing should require a license to use, just like a gun. I can just see urban gangs using these to terrorize citizens, commit acts of vandalism, robberies, etc. What if somebody used 2 or 3 of these things at once?

What is this world coming to?

It seems to me that somebody could also use one of these in combination with a fresnel lens or some other photon amplifying device and REALLY crank up the power. Like just about anything else, it could be used for good or evil.

ordered one a few days ago (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32568732)

though I'm rather skeptical that they'll really be able to deliver what they've promised.

If they really do, the first thing I'll want to do is take it apart and change the current limiting, to get it down to 5mW, so that it can be used safely as a laser pointer.

I don't need a 1W blue laser, but I haven't found any 5mW blue lasers for under $200.

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