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299 comments

Final report (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046674)

MOAR DAKKA!

Re:Final report (1, Interesting)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046760)

The article was very light on details. Why was the weapon scrapped? Why was it never tested in a real world scenario as a non-lethal measure. The truth is that as much as the military is against non-lethal weapons, they can actually save lives on both sides and help in the winning of the war at the same time because you have less casualties which tend to cause the other side to galvanize against you.

Re:Final report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046872)

Why are you replying to a troll? Just to stay high on the comments page? Tsk, tsk...

Re:Final report (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047366)

The truth is that as much as the military is against non-lethal weapons, they can actually save lives on both sides and help in the winning of the war at the same time because you have less casualties which tend to cause the other side to galvanize against you.

Not really.

The truth is "conditioning" pisses people off. Useless missions to touch the edge, raze some troops for non-tactical entertainment, and run off are a good way to show the enemy that we're completely evil and have no respect for life. Defending our borders and encampments is fine; but dipping into enemy lines just to do some damage and run is not.

Unfortunately, any useful military strategy involves penetration. While defending our encampments has obvious tactical advantages, those encampments are worthless if they don't support military motion. Thus, our military is of the predisposition to advance through enemy resistance onto a target.

In any non-lethal strategy, we have problems. If the enemy is allowed to retreat, they will increase resistance further ahead: the 500 troops facing us at the next battle become 1000 troops. If the enemy is left for dead, they trap our troops in a pincer maneuver: the enemy troops immediately behind us don't have to mobilize for interception far ahead, and can prevent our retreat and attack from behind when we encounter more resistance. Alternately, we can take prisoners of war; this is a lot of prisoners to deal with though, quickly mounting to several times the number of active troops.

Thus, the only viable military strategy to win a war is to advance through enemy resistance, inactivating troops we encounter-- that is, killing them or butchering them to uselessness (remove limbs). For those being invaded, a repelling defense eventually wears out the political atmosphere and economics of the invader; but a decapitation exercise is a better strategy for either side. In either case, lethal force is necessary: invaders that don't die will continue to attack until you die for quite a while, without eroding the political atmosphere anywhere near as quickly as casualties.

Re:Final report (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047566)

This isn't an ordinary war. It's a house-to-house search for malefactors. Or at least it should be. Clear an area, leave a presence to prevent it from being taken again and to cap anything that was hiding, then move your main force on to the next one. Tile the country with your wins, and the war ends.

Unless in the process you turn good guys in your pwned sectors into bad guys by acting like the bad guys they once helped you exterminate.

Regardless, in the process you don't allow yourself at any time to fall victim to medieval tactics like pincer moves. Unless you're a stupid cunt.

Re:Final report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047424)

I don't think that's quite right.

Severely burning enemy soldiers with a "heat ray", while great from the standpoint of taxing the enemy infrastructure to care for the wounded, probably won't endear the other side towards you more than killing their troops outright. And it could galvanize them even more.

IIRC there are a number of non-lethal chemical weapons that have the same effect.

Now if we're talking about stun guns or some other weapon that doesn't maim the enemy soldiers, it's a different story.

Re:Final report (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047560)

It seems like today is a very light on details day. Everyone is probably busy combing over wiki leaks for potential stories.

As for the weapon, I don't think it has any effectiveness in the situation. It has limited range and its difficult to verify its effectiveness. Most of the time soldiers see potential threats momentarily in the distance. A weapon like this is pretty useless I think. Machines are not going to win any hearts and minds.

Re:Final report (5, Funny)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047028)

Ultimately, upgrading your units to use the heat ray is not worth the points cost. Despite the superior strength and AP, you need to be within 12 inches to use it. This is assault range, and at most you are going to get one round of shooting before your opponent closes in. There's an excellent chance you will not get to use it except with bike mounted troops.

The heat ray is ultimately a weapon of opportunity, and you would be better off with the plasma gun for 5 more points. It's rapid fire and gives you a couple good rounds of shooting. Another alternative is a combi-gun with a melta attachment, for all intents and purposes you are going to get to use it the same number of times in a game. Even a standard rapid fire rifle is going to result in more shots against infantry, and the probability of a hit...

oh wait...

this isn't a conversation about 40k, and we are not talking about fantasy SF weapons that don't work. We are talking about real world fantasy weapons that don't work. My mistake!

M

 

Re:Final report (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047242)

I don't think distance was the deal beaker. The vehicle based one I saw the other night on Discover/NatGeo/Science (I forgot which one) works at quite a distance up to several hundred meters (yards). But it does require a big vehicle with a large flat rotating vertical antenna and a good sized generator to reach that range. That makes it kind of hard to deploy in places like Afghanistan where the terrain can be very rough and enemies are hiding (someone has to be in the open for it to work). I also would wonder if rain/snow/dust would attenuate the beam or spread it reducing effectiveness. I could see a police department finding a use for controlling an unruly crowd but I can't see them being able to find the several millions needed to buy one.. Until it can be made man-portable or on something smaller (like a HUMVEE ) can be fired up quick and doesn't have a huge antenna it's just an interesting toy for the military.

Re:Final report (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047550)

Keep in mind that the diesel fuel to run that generator costs around $400/gallon when you take all the supply chain costs into account.

toast / bake / broil (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046680)

I guess it didn't have enough settings - I'm sure they were looking for a 'Death Star' setting, for the truly pesky insurgents.

Re:toast / bake / broil (2, Funny)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047016)

Perhaps they realized the enemy would come out wearing tin foil hats, and bounce signal back at them with pizza pans?

Re:toast / bake / broil (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047274)

Perhaps they realized the enemy would come out wearing tin foil hats, and bounce signal back at them with pizza pans?

Tinfoil hats you say? Aha, clear proof that this death heat ray was developed specifically to be used against the slashdot protest crowd when ACTA is signed into law!

insufficient setting (was:toast / bake / broil) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047412)

it's obvious the unit they used did not have enough settings. what they need is the Ronco Model 2108 SUX. Unlike the model they have now that only goes up to 10, the Ronco unit goes all the way up to 12. With the Ronco unit, they can roast the insurgents to a nice golden brown, ready to serve, in shorter time while retaining the moisture keeping them juicy and tender...

Proving once again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046684)

That we should have been investing in either freeze or death rays.

Re:Proving once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047018)

You mean "freeze" as in it stops time, not an ice beam?

Re:Proving once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047718)

Yes, but Johnny Snow's been working on an Ice Beam anyway.

Re:Proving once again (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047234)

or maybe just some sharks with freaking lazier beams on there freaking heads.. hell maybe even ill tempered sea bass

Re:Proving once again (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047330)

or maybe just some sharks with freaking lazier beams on there freaking heads..

You probably meant "more energetic."

Re:Proving once again (1)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047426)

No, no, no...he meant lazier, but they're not really beams. More like a bonfire with a bale of weed.

Is it on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046692)

If each volunteer could withstand this thing 15 times it probably isn't doing its job.

First (0, Offtopic)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046706)

I for one, welcome our money spending, heat ray developing, yet strangely not "deploying" overlords.

WTF! (1, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046714)

They need to find whoever made that stupid decision and hit them with it. Then maybe they'll think it's effective. I mean seriously, when I first heard about this, I thought it's the PERFECT WEAPON! It still is. Someone has seriously got their head up their ass on this one.

Re:WTF! (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046802)

They need to find whoever made that stupid decision and hit them with it.

Who knows? I mean, there was a very interesting thread on the last story about how to circumvent it [slashdot.org]. Perhaps the first thing they did with it was turn it on their own soldiers only to find out that a resourceful individual could easily bypass it with shielding or simple armor? If that's the case, what's the point of deploying more expensive bulky power consuming equipment when you're most likely going to end up using lethal force anyway? They could have identified this as one ineffective step in a cat-and-mouse game ... the details were thin as I submitted this I looked for more sources than the BBC but came up short.

The summary's wrong. (5, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046856)

It didn't fail any tests at all, it was merely not deployed. I can think of multiple reasons not to deploy this. The biggest being that it is really only useful as crowd control during riots, and even then could be relatively easily taken out. There's also the fact that leaving enemies angry enough to shoot at you alive would seem to be a bad idea. Since the US military, the only people using the tech, would not have enough manpower to roundup all the people they used this against, all it would do is cause greater US casualties in the long run.

Re:The summary's wrong. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046970)

Exactly. Bad summary. FAIL != NOT DEPLOYED

Meanwhile, with it being about 1650 AD in that part of the world, I can see why commanders aren't keen on using this on civilian crowds.

Not in Afghanistan... (4, Interesting)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046726)

So does that mean they're bringing them home and will be using them domestically? /tinfoilhat

Re:Not in Afghanistan... (1)

LarrySDonald (1172757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047084)

It would probably make more sense for breaking up crowds/riots domestically (similar situations to where a water cannon, pepper spray, etc might be used). A tinfoil hat/bodysuit would indeed block it though (or any other metallic cover such as conductive fabric paint) so a prepared protester wouldn't have to work that terribly hard to counter it.

Re:Not in Afghanistan... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047392)

Yeah, because causing a panic from invisible burning sensations is so much better. At least with water cannons people can see it coming so they know the gloves have come off and its time to run.

It simply isn't practical, unless you want to cause a panic.

Failed to achieve satisfaction... (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046730)

I'm kinda baffled why anyone in the military thought a heat ray pain gun would help them achieve satisfaction... but who am I to judge someone's kink?

Re:Failed to achieve satisfaction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047282)

I'm kinda baffled why anyone in the military thought a heat ray pain gun would help them achieve satisfaction... but who am I to judge someone's kink?

Yea the main problem is that they wanted a heat ray with 'full release'... tack that on to the requirements list.. sponsored by Carl's Jr.

Not to worry! (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046752)

I'm sure these things will start showing up in U.S. police departments soon enough.

Re:Not to worry! (3, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046976)

They already have the sound cannons that cause instantaneous and permanent hearing damage, and can rapidly cause permanent deafness.

They were used against protesters to the G20 meeting.

Re:Not to worry! (0, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047830)

They already have the sound cannons that cause instantaneous and permanent hearing damage, and can rapidly cause permanent deafness.

They were used against protesters to the G20 meeting.

Citation needed. I thought we had laws here in the US about using weapons that maim? I am fairly certain we have at least signed an international treaty that prevents us from using weapons that blind people...

Re:Not to worry! (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047300)

I'm sure these things will start showing up in U.S. police departments soon enough.

...and in grocery stores next to the Jiffy Pop.

Re:Not to worry! (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047512)

I really don't think one of these would be good for a Jiffy Pop. Those things are wrapped in foil, so if any of the RF energy did make it to the corn, it wouldn't be evenly distributed and would probably burn anything that got hot enough to pop. If, however, you aimed it up and put your corn and butter on top of the output RF window, you could have a very large-scale popcorn maker with no moving parts (except in the coolant system for your klystron).

Exactly (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047596)

How else will poor little struggling Raytheon recoup their losses? They'll no doubt also create a model that incorparates a ticket cam.

the military doesn't understand psychological war? (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046754)

say it simply gave you an itchy feeling, no more

ok: then the military should have acted like it was an anthrax ray or something horribly nasty. and then let simple fear in the people it was pointed at do the rest of the work: "get the hell out of here, the americans have some scary new technology that causes your eyes to glow/ flesh to fall off in a month/ all your female relatives to lose their virginity!"

Re:the military doesn't understand psychological w (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046860)

"get the hell out of here, the americans have some scary new technology that causes your eyes to glow/ flesh to fall off in a month/ all your female relatives to lose their virginity!"

What, they are going to introduce beer in large quantities?

Re:the military doesn't understand psychological w (4, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047488)

American beer? That is evil. If you are going to introduce them to beer, at least make it a good beer.
Or how about beer with alcohol in it. Introducing the native Americans to alcohol worked out pretty well, for the Europeans. :)

Re:the military doesn't understand psychological w (1)

tacroy (813477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046894)

I imagine that would work against "winning hearts and minds" and probably add to the "the USA hates us all, kill them."

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047098)

Not all is lost, the business of government raked at least a few easy million through the military-industrial complex from this investment. A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you're talking about an industry measured in billions.

Oops, you're not part of the military-industrial complex? You lose, so that they may win.

Another misleading /. summary (5, Informative)

timholman (71886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046794)

RTFA. There's nothing in the linked story about it "failing" any test. What happened is that the military decided that no operational need for the weapon existed in Afghanistan.

The ADS does work for crowd control, but generally the military isn't dealing with crowds of rioting civilians attacking their outposts. They're dealing with insurgents fighting with guerilla tactics and IEDs. The ADS is the wrong tool for the job.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (-1, Redundant)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046906)

What happened is that the military decided that no operational need for the weapon existed in Afghanistan.

That still doesn't explain why it isn't being deployed.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046958)

Why would you deploy it if you don't have an operational need for it?

No, the BBC Changed the Story (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046988)

If you look at the right side of the page, the second most popular article is titled

"US 'heat ray' gun fails final test"

This morning, when I read this article and submitted it to Slashdot, that was the title. The words "fails final test" were all over the article. Unfortunately Google doesn't seem to offer a cache for it but those words are all over [google.com].

The summary isn't wrong, it's just that the BBC changed their story. In the original version the final test was actually putting it to use in Afghanistan. And the US Military Leaders decided ADS doesn't work in that war scenario.

The ADS is the wrong tool for the job.

So if you use the wrong tool for the job and it doesn't work wouldn't you call that failing?

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (2, Insightful)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047222)

If you use the wrong tool for the job, I call that failing. But it's not the tool that failed. It's you.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047386)

If you use the wrong tool for the job, I call that failing. But it's not the tool that failed. It's you.

Perhaps you should speak to the company that sells the tool [mediaroom.com] and advertises its use in military combat:

Raytheon's Active Denial System 2 provides military, civilian law enforcement, and security organizations with a truly non-lethal system that is optimized for situations where the use of lethal force may not be appropriate or warranted.

You know as well as I do what happened. The military took our tax dollars and dumped it into the development of this project under the guise that they wouldn't have to kill as many people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And now who is it going to end up being used on? Only you and me. No military value, surprise surprise.

Yes, the tool failed the purpose it was marketed, sold and purchased to fulfill. It worked in all tests and demonstrations except the one that counted.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047230)

So if you use the wrong tool for the job and it doesn't work wouldn't you call that failing?

No, I'd call it "using the wrong tool for the job". If you need a screwdriver, and I offer you a hammer, that hammer didn't "fail". It's a perfectly good hammer, it does what it's supposed to do, but it is the wrong tool for the task you require.

Right now the U.S. military is looking for new weapons to deal with the Taliban insurgency on the Pakistan border. They're not dealing with massive crowds of civilian rioters in Kabul. If they were, there would be an operational need for the ADS, and it would be deployed.

I do expect that we'll be seeing more of the ADS in the future, but more likely in urban environments where crowd control and perimeter defense are required.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047688)

Well, one could say that by not being the right tool for the job and not being deployed, it failed its "final test".

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (1)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047262)

So if you use the wrong tool for the job and it doesn't work wouldn't you call that failing?

No. Failing would be if the tool didn't work. Using it for the incorrect application does not mean the tool has failed, it means the user has failed to correctly use the tool.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047324)

So if you use the wrong tool for the job and it doesn't work wouldn't you call that failing?

So if I try to use a screwdriver to drive a nail into a wall, did the screwdriver fail or did I? I certainly wouldn't call that a failure on the part of the screwdriver, it still performs its essential function well.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047580)

Well, if I was sold the screwdriver as a tool to put nails in, then yes, I'd consider it a failure.

Re:No, the BBC Changed the Story (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047414)

So if you use the wrong tool for the job and it doesn't work wouldn't you call that failing?

A powerdrill is the wrong tool for hammering a nail, but it doesn't fail at the job. Damages the powerdrill though.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (2, Informative)

quax (19371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047004)

Civilian cars are often shot up at military check points because the drivers don't understand that they are supposed to stop. Since soldiers have to assume these could be car bombs they shoot to disable the vehicle but in real life that means people get killed. Often times children are involved or like it happened in Iraq pregnant women who the husband tried to rush to the hospital. A non-lethal weapon system that'll get a car to stop would be great but obviously microwaves can not penetrate a car so this weapon system is useless to help with this pressing problem.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047186)

Civilian cars are often shot up at military check points because the drivers don't understand that they are supposed to stop.

I know giant STOP signs in their native language with army men pointing guns at you are far too ambiguous....

Re:Another misleading /. summary (1)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047466)

Literacy is not 100% in that area in the world, and I doubt many people driving vehicles are tested and licensed before being allowed access to a vehicle.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047706)

Literacy is not 100% in that area in the world, and I doubt many people driving vehicles are tested and licensed before being allowed access to a vehicle.

Most people in the world outside of United States understand to STOP when a group of soilders with guns standing by the side of the road. Especially when barricades are involved. They can at least read the body language.

Re:Another misleading /. summary (4, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047504)

"Civilian cars are often shot up at military check points because the drivers don't understand that they are supposed to stop."

Military checkpoints often lacked APPROACH BARRIERS and SIGNAGE. Even if someone is shooting at you from a distance, if you don't SEE the muzzle flash or SEE/HEAR the IMPACTs you may keep driving or even speed up to get (what you assume is) "away".

What failed it? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046830)

Was it not effective enough? Was it -too- effective? Did they decide that this 'non-harmful' weapon wasn't harmful enough? Was it too expensive to use/move?

I think I know what. They were pissed because they realized the very principle of the thing wouldn't heat their burritos any more evenly than their microwaves.

Re:What failed it? (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046996)

Actually, it failed because they were firing a heat ray at a bunch of desert-dwellers. It's not like these guys are going to go, "oh, ow, it burns!" They live in the goddamned DESERT. Burning isn't a sensation, it's a lifestyle.

It's kinda like using pepper spray on a true spice lover. They're just gonna smile and ask you for the recipe before they kill you.

Ditto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33046868)

Exactly, the article I read about this (not this one, too lazy to look for a link) said they were being redeployed to the US.

They'll look pretty kickass beside those sound cannons they've been using in the US and Canada

It didnt go "ding" when it was done. (2, Funny)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33046880)

The "popcorn" setting was ineffective ... everyone knows you cant have a war without popcorn!

Microwaves & Cold War (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047090)

My physics PhD ex told me about one of her professors. In the 1950's in Nevada, he was working on DoD projects concerning radar. Well, it gets awful cold in the desert at night, and it's still awful cold in the morning. So my ex's professor and the rest of the crew would stand in front of the RADAR set and let the microwaves warm them up.

Re:Microwaves & Cold War (1)

ekgringo (693136) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047686)

I heard that the microwave oven was invented after a person standing in front of a radar device noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted.

11,000 times on 700 volunteers (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047080)

That's 15.7 times each. Being shot with that thing must feel awesome. You'd think the military would have caught on once the volunteers started queueing up for the fifth or sixth time.

Re:11,000 times on 700 volunteers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047184)

Maybe the manufacturer can sell it to carnies?

Re:11,000 times on 700 volunteers (2, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047454)

I figured out a cool way you can experience this in your own home! All you need is a screwdriver (flathead) and a microwave oven. The screwdriver is for pressing the door-closed switch while you have the door open. I'm about to go try...

Re:11,000 times on 700 volunteers (2, Interesting)

krakround (1065064) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047456)

Really, they needed to invent the orgasmatron ray gun. Then there would be no issues with testing and it would always be declared a success.

Re:11,000 times on 700 volunteers (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047692)

That's 15.7 times each. Being shot with that thing must feel awesome. You'd think the military would have caught on once the volunteers started queueing up for the fifth or sixth time.

Well, the military obviously used it wrong. They tried to use it to get rid of people being in their way. Instead more and more people came. So they declared it a failure.

The correct solution would have been to give each Taliban one shot, and tell them they only get more of it if they stop fighting. In a few days, no Taliban would fight any more.

16 times! (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047082)

700 volunteers, used 11,000 times.... that's 16 times per volunteer. I kind of wish the police used this instead of tasers. Maybe they should change the name from heat gun to tickle gun.

Not the only failure... (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047146)

The cold ray failed as well.... It seems the troops were firing it at themselves to keep comfortable and keeping beverages cold instead of fighting evil...

I know why it failed... (3, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047168)

Bullets are more reliable, effective, and cheaper.

Re:I know why it failed... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047762)

There's a stat (this is original research but this isn't the wikipedia so fuck it) that 3,000 bullets are expended for each enemy killed.

This has been fairly constant for all wars since at least the Civil War (don't have data on the Revolution or earlier euro wars that had bullets in them; but the CW and both world wars and Viet Nam followed this model; can't remember if I saw data for the first Gulf War (i mean, it lasted a couple of days and we were cluster-bombing cars and rounding up prisoners more than shooting), but I did see one snippet that suggests the current wars are following suit).

The stat comes from logistical reports, so it includes all the bullets used in training, covering fire, diversion, yada, yada.

You can do the math on whether 3,000 bullets to kill someone to stop them from standing in the wrong place is cheaper than zapping them with a heat ray. Don't forget the cost of the paperwork if you use your weapon on the wrong person.

bullets cheaper (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047188)

Bullets are far cheaper and effective nearly 100% of the time.

Put them on Japanese whaling vessels (3, Interesting)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047294)

I was thinking of this heat ray the other day when watching previous for that stupid show Whale Wars. Put them on the whaling ships as a non-lethal, extended range, deterrent to keep people from approaching the boats.

Re:Put them on Japanese whaling vessels (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047646)

Not that I have any sympathy for those yahoos but wouldn't that constitute some kind of assault? Seems like it wouldn't be much different than zapping someone with a taser for getting too close to your car, though maybe I'm wrong and there's actually some maritime law that gives you the right to protect your boat from anyone who gets too close.

Though maybe those Sea Shepard people would be guilty of the same crime, throwing their stinky cheese onto the fishing boats or whatever it is they do. But something tells me if they were the ones with the heat ray, using it on fishing vessels, it wouldn't be considered ok.

Re:Put them on Japanese whaling vessels (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047764)

Catapulting dead dolphins would be more fun and would better get the point across.

Re:Put them on Japanese whaling vessels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047770)

Or on ships traveling near Somalia.

Re:Put them on Japanese whaling vessels (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047816)

Back of my mind (low-reliability recollection) says they actually did that.

It also tells me they're using them on boats off the east coast of Africa to deter pirates.

Failed final (marshmallow) test (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047368)

The final test by the military is to see if it can properly assist in the making of smores. They hoped it would do better than just mildly tingle and warm the marshmallow, but were saddened.

Volunteers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33047656)

At what point do you respond "Yes" when asked, "Hey, Do you want to volunteer to be shot with a top-secret weapon? We call it the Heat Ray Gun."
I mean, I'd volunteer to be shot with a stun-gun...but only once, and only if highly intoxicated. But a heat ray gun? No thanks.

should have gone COTS (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33047710)

Again, there were billions spent on energy weapons research when they could have just gone to get one of these Death Rays [unitednuclear.com] instead.

I know, I know, CO2 laser is not even remotely like a microwave weapon, but it should be useful for other purposes.

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