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StunRay Incapacitates With a Flash of Light

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the taking-blinded-by-science-literally dept.

Crime 431

Hugh Pickens writes "Scientific American reports that a newly patented method of non-lethal incapacitation can render an assailant helpless for several minutes by overloading the neural networks connected to the retina with a brief flash of high-intensity light. 'It's the inverse of blindness—the technical term is a loss of contrast sensitivity,' says Todd Eisenberg, the engineer who invented the device. The device consists of a 75-watt lamp, combined with optics that collect and focus the visible light into a targeted beam, which can be aimed like a flashlight to project a controlled beam of white light more than 10 times more intense than an aircraft landing light with a range as far away as 150 feet. Recovery time ranges from 'seconds to 20 minutes,' says Eisenberg. 'It's very analogous to walking from a very bright room into a very dark room.'"

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431 comments

...liabilities (5, Interesting)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702342)

...and I'm sure the long term effects of overloading your sensitive, incredibly difficult and costly to regrow optic nerves to this degree are well known, and this represents no long term danger. right?

Re:...liabilities (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702396)

no problem, look at how Taser International's massive legal team can get all the maimings and deaths by electrocution swept under the run by buying off judges and doctors and county coroners. The military-industrial complex can steam-roll over peons, it's just operating costs and part of the business plan.

Re:...liabilities (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702518)

You had me until "military-industrial complex"

Re:...liabilities (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702572)

Can you think of a better name for it shit head? In this case the shoe fits.

Re:...liabilities (3, Informative)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702666)

Yes, it's generally known as "The man". The man is always trying to bring a brother down.

Re:...liabilities (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703000)

You had me until "military-industrial complex"

I know, right? I mean, what kind of commie, hippie loser came up with the name "military-industrial complex" anyway?

Probably some leftist liberal trying to assert his homosexual agenda on the rest of us.

What a concept: "military-industrial complex". Sheesh!

Re:...liabilities (2, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702564)

all the maimings and deaths by electrocution

[citation needed]

Re:...liabilities (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702688)

You must be knew here. Citations are only needed if you're *defending* corporations or the government.

Re:...liabilities (4, Informative)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702708)

"Excited delirium."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser_safety_issues [wikipedia.org]

Re:...liabilities (-1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702898)

"Excited delirium."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taser_safety_issues [wikipedia.org]

That article is chock full of bullshit spin and propaganda from both sides of the debate. Also, the "Death and injuries related to Taser use" section has several publicized incidents that didn't actually result in death or injury.

The fact of the matter is that, with proper training and handling, a Taser device, when used in its intended setting against a deserving individual, is far safer to innocent bystanders, the environment, public safety personnel, and in most cases the suspects themselves than any other incapacitation method that I've ever heard of. So what if there's a slight risk of cardiac arrest if you're tasing a dangerous individual that's whacked out on meth? Would you rather he was shot by a firearm? Would you rather the police wrestle him to the ground by hand?

The problem with a debate like this is that the people who are against the topic at hand only look at the bad things about it, and can't be convinced by their relation to the good things. Allow me to cite a totally unrelated subject that is experiencing the same kind of public phenomena: The vaccine/autism debate. 1 in 110 children today have been diagnosed with autism, and some people have placed the blame on vaccines. Even if vaccines WERE to blame for autism, it would still be better to accept that 1 in 110 risk of autism than to accept the far greater risk of being killed or permanently disabled by the many diseases we are currently protected from by vaccination. Here's a neat video explaining that point: Penn & Teller's Bullshit - Vaccinations [youtube.com] .

Same thing with Tasers. We can accept the very small risk of death or injury to people who are quite possibly dangerous criminals (and whether or not they're dangerous criminals, they are in every case of proper Taser use acting stupid and refusing to comply with very reasonable demands made by police in dangerous situations), or we can instead accept a much GREATER risk of death or injury to public safety personnel, innocent bystanders, and the suspects who we're trying to "protect" by banning the use of Tasers. I know which risk I'm willing to accept.

Re:...liabilities (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702762)

I understand the pitfalls of anecdotal evidence as much as anyone, but it turned me into a newt.

Re:...liabilities (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702824)

you are using a computer so you must have gotten better.

unless you are telling me there are newt who twit tweets.

Re:...liabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702872)

BURN HER!!!

Re:...liabilities (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702968)

{citation needed]

Only by uninformed basement dwellers, anyone who's been even casually following "the news" for the past five years would know it's true.

Re:...liabilities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702746)

Fewer people die from tasers than die from bullets. It's not perfect, but it's better than the alternative.

Re:...liabilities (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702796)

When you're a psychotic PCP crazed naked guy running down main street with a samurai sword, and the police chose to tazer you or flash you with a bright light, it's a whole new level of irony that you can then turn around and sue them for any negative side affects of the procedure they chose to use instead of shooting you in the head. I think we might all be better off if the police just went back to the old, much more lethal methods of threat mitigation.

Re:...liabilities (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703030)

Nice troll. You might be singing a different tune of you'd been an innocent bystander who got tased for "being in the wrong place at the wrong time" (in my case, Seattle 1999 WTO protests). This is a tool for repressing dissent, not for maintaining legitimate law and order.

Re:...liabilities (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702538)

...and I'm sure the long term effects of overloading your sensitive, incredibly difficult and costly to regrow optic nerves to this degree are well known, and this represents no long term danger. right?

I'd worry more about the short term danger, as it sounds conceptually an unholy heck of a lot simpler and cheaper than an IR guided surface to air missile, yet probably equally effective... So cheap you could use it against tank drivers... or police car drivers... or just random civillian / citizen / consumer (whatever we are?) car drivers...

Re:...liabilities (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702742)

So cheap you could use it against tank drivers...

What, is that a problem?

Re:...liabilities (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703028)

So cheap you could use it against tank drivers

Considering these weapons are meant to be used against us, or at least those of us who are so unpatriotic as to not be rich and powerful, I don't think the "tank drivers" have anything to worry about.

These are weapons for domestic use. Not for foreign entanglements.

Re:...liabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702590)

As a child I developed a bit of an addiction to firing an electronic camera flash directly into my eyes from about 1 inch away, just because I used to enjoy watching the entire room turn purple for about 10 minutes. Didn't really think about the health consequences

about 25 years later... no side effects that I know about.

Not saying it's good, or healthy, but I don't think it's automatically bad.

Re:...liabilities (2)

arun84h (1454607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702660)

...and what about the "liabilities" that come with using lethal force (aka your sidearm) to incapacitate a criminal? Isn't this much better than say, firing off a round into someones leg?

The only thing that worries me is what the target may do when all of a sudden he's disoriented. What if his gun is drawn at the officers (or civilians) when he's disabled? TFA says most victims "freeze", but I don't see how inverse-of-blinding light would make your entire body stop working. What if the victim starts blindly firing his weapon?

Re:...liabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702728)

"Isn't this much better than say, firing off a round into someones leg?"

Yes, but when the cops use it as a substitute for EVERYTHING else in their arsenal it becomes quite dangerous. Suddenly 10 year old girls and 90 year old grannies are getting tased/blinded because either the cop had a chip on his/her shoulder or he/she was under duress because he/she didn't have 100000% control of the situation. (exaggerated for emphasis)

I remember a time when a cop had to use patience and discussion to diffuse rough situations. Now the taser is the first thing he/she goes for, and people have died from it.

Re:...liabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703026)

I remember a time when a cop had to use patience and discussion to diffuse rough situations.

I'm 60 years old and I remember those days. These days cops are just out of control. I have absolutely no respect for any of them any more. The number of 'bad' cops far outnumbers the 'good' cops these days. Big bad asshats who taze 10 year old girls and 90 year old grannies is now the norm.

Re:...liabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702822)

...and what about the "liabilities" that come with using lethal force (aka your sidearm) to incapacitate a criminal? Isn't this much better than say, firing off a round into someones leg?

The only thing that worries me is what the target may do when all of a sudden he's disoriented. What if his gun is drawn at the officers (or civilians) when he's disabled? TFA says most victims "freeze", but I don't see how inverse-of-blinding light would make your entire body stop working. What if the victim starts blindly firing his weapon?

The problem is police often seem to use tasers as a way to shut people up or avoid running, instead of as an alternative to a firearm. That's why we frequently hear about little old ladies being tased, or people who are unarmed.

Rape light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702850)

I'm sure the unintended consequences can be mitigated by passing new laws.

Analogy translation service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702346)

It's very analogous to walking from a very bright room into a very dark room

It's like you're driving along in your car and the nutter in the car coming the other way left his headlights on full beam.

Re:Analogy translation service (REDUX) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702498)

It's like having the curtains thrown open on an East facing window at 9:00 in the morning after a night of f--ing an extremely hot chick you met last night only to find some toothless, fat, hag lying next to you in the bed and your head is about to split open from all the high-quality spirits^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hshitty tequila you drank last night.

And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702348)

The military has no use for non-leathal weapons, it will be used on civilians, ie you.

Re:And... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702434)

militaries do a fine job of using their lethal weapons on civilians too, with complete impunity and immunity. Warring for power and money means the civilian body count is of no import

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702530)

They can indeed do that... in other countries, they cant do it at home yet.

Now non-lethal weapons can and will be used against anyone who bother the government in their own backyard, this is why it is dangerous.

Force against civilians (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702700)

countries in africa, asia and the middle east do use their lethal weapons 'at home' to preserve the power of the current regime and have done for a long time. In spite of the success of some of these 'revolutions' in recent months (Egypt, Tunisia) I can't see that changing much.

Re:And... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702562)

They do now. They used to have no use for non-lethal weapons, but now they have to do a lot of peacekeeping in places like Iraq and Afganistan, which involves angry mobs from turning into a full-blown riot. You can't easily kill them, because then everyone hates you more, so a nonlethal means of crowd dispersal would be useful.

Re:And... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702838)

The military already knows.

From wikipedia:
"A stun grenade, also known as a flashbang, is a non-lethal weapon. The first devices like this were created in the 1960s at the order of the British Special Air Service as an incapacitant.

These grenades are designed to temporarily neutralize the combat effectiveness of enemies by disorienting their senses. The flash of light momentarily activates all light sensitive cells in the eye, making vision impossible for approximately five seconds until the eye restores itself to its normal, unstimulated state. The extremely loud blast produced by the grenade adds to its incapacitating properties by disturbing the fluid in the ear."

The incapacitating effects of sensory overload are also known by some user interface designers and their long term effects are obvious: after 2 decades of MTV videos we have justin bieber.

Oh, boy (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702350)

I'm sure this will end well...

I hope it's not an incandescent lamp (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702352)

Anyway, I like this one [azonano.com] much better..

Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702354)

Where are the leaked schematics and design specification so I can build my own for pennies?

Re:Brilliant (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702422)

just buy and misuse a photographic strobe, much more light output too

Re:Brilliant (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702532)

Here [tpub.com] you go!

safety? (4, Funny)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702368)

Can't be good for the retinas? Second link was busted but the first link is very light (ahem) on details

Re:safety? (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702492)

Mod parent +1 Punny.

Re:safety? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702798)

It sounds like a very bright light, which is why it's odd/predictable that they're going for the opposite description on the endorsement linked to when they say:

Itâ(TM)s very analogous to walking from a very bright room into a very dark room.
Itâ(TM)s the inverse of blindness

etc

Re:safety? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702836)

Exactly. As someone who is currently dealing with a choroidal melanoma, this article pisses me off. There is currently no known cause for choroidal melanomas, but exposure to very bright sources of light has not been ruled out. This guy's a dick, and I wish eye cancer on him.

isn't this is an old idea? (3, Interesting)

volkerdi (9854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702370)

I remember advertisements in magazines in the years before Tasers for a magic-sounding non-lethal weapon that would instantly incapacitate an attacker. The ads were vague about how the device worked, but I recall hearing (reading?) somewhere that it was a super-bright flashlight. Perhaps a strobe.

Maybe the difference is that it's effective this time.

Re:isn't this is an old idea? (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702410)

Yeah, the one's I've seen in the past were based on strobing at a specific frequency that made you very disoriented and nauseous. Probably more dangerous for epileptics but they also wore off more quickly. I'd be worried about permanent damage from something that takes 20 minutes to regain your vision.

can I avoid the stun effect... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702372)

...by wearing sun glasses?

This is not new... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702380)

Tom Clancy wrote about this concept in Debt of Honour.

Re:This is not new... (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702402)

Well, this is a patent for a physical machine, so the patent is probably on the mechanism they used to concentrate the light, rather than the idea "shine light in people's eyes to stun them." "Device" patents tend to be a lot more reasonable than software patents.

Re:This is not new... (2)

j_presper_eckert (617907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702414)

Faaaaar from new. It was also a key plot point in the 1981 movie "Looker," starring Albert Finney & Susan Dey.

Clancy? (4, Interesting)

thynk (653762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702388)

Didn't Tom Clancy use this in one of his novels to blind the Japanese pilots like 15 years ago?

Re:Clancy? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702480)

IIRC he got the idea from a military research project the Brits have done back in the late 80's.

Re:Clancy? (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702602)

I believe that was a laser, some of which cause permanent blindness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZM-87 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Clancy? (4, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702736)

In "Debt of Honor", Clark and Chavez blind the pilots of a Japanese AWACS. They also use it several times to incapacitate guards. Their device was a 1kW light flash though, so I suppose this new invention is a bit more efficient.

Hasn't the USPTO heard of "deer in the headlights" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702390)

This is so common it has become common slang. How can it be called unique?

Better than Tasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702392)

I'd rather be blind than die of a heart attack.

Re:Better than Tasers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702406)

I'd rather be blind than have no dick, like you.

Re:Better than Tasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702524)

Sure. But I'd rather suffer the minute chance of death than a high chance of vision loss. And I'm legally blind already.

Re:Better than Tasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702936)

I hope you have someone willing to support you for the rest of your life, then, since you're not going to be doing much to fend for yourself if you're blinded. Not everybody is so lucky.

Does not sound safe (1)

iinlane (948356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702394)

How is it different from looking into a laser?

Re:Does not sound safe (4, Informative)

pehrs (690959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702472)

A laser is very concentrated light, further focused by the eye, which is why it will cause burning damage to the retina.

This is similar to the flash-bang grenade. A very strong difuse source of light will drain your retina of the signal substance it uses to detect light, and it takes the body considerable time to produce new signal substance. Fire a camera flash in your own face and you can experience a mild form of the effect.

Thereby not said anything about the viability of the product. I doubt something that can be stopped with sunglasses will replace tasers any time soon.

Re:Does not sound safe (1)

iinlane (948356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702654)

The diffuse part got me puzzled - the beam is one degree wide and works over 50m distance so it can't be diffuse. The camera flash is way more powerful than 75W but due shortness of the pulse not very energetic. The article did not mention anything about flashing light.

Re:Does not sound safe (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702544)

Coherent light is focused to a particularly small area on the retina, which increases its local intensity by orders of magnitude. This thing is just bright. Both lasers and extremely bright light can permanently damage your eye, but lasers do it with far less power and far more quickly.

Sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702418)

Tom Clancy used one of these in his book Debt of Honour, which came out in the early 1990s. Not sure if it was fictional then and he was just working with the same theory, or if he was basing his light-stun-gun on existed in military circles.

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702616)

In the book, they were just using a generic portable spotlight, rated at a couple million candle power, with a UV filter to prevent permanent damage. Of course that filter was for naught when the people you temporarily blind are pilots on final approach.

Flash blindness (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702420)

The brief pulse of extremely bright light from a nuclear explosion would cause "flash blindness," which sounds like the same thing.

That's why everyone was always putting on goggles in the old newsreels about nukes.

Re:Flash blindness (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702600)

That's why everyone was always putting on goggles in the old newsreels about nukes.

I thought it was to prevent permanent damage due to the ultraviolet light, much like staring at an electric arc welder?

Re:Flash blindness (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702652)

Probably a little different. The reason everyone put on goggles in the old newsreels was that the UV from the explosion would blind you. The visible light probably wouldn't do you much good either, but the UV was the real killer.

Be it microwaves, stun lights, tasers or bullets.. (1)

dogganos (901230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702432)

... you won't be stopping the revolution when it happens...

Re:Be it microwaves, stun lights, tasers or bullet (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702772)

Any modern military can easily trample any insurrection if the gloves are allowed to come off. Just look at Libya before the west started air strikes or Iran any time in the past decade when they've had large protests.

The Libyan rebels would have been dead in a trench by now if not for NATO airstrikes.

Am I missing something? (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702458)

The summary and article seem to be implying this is more clever than it is.

overloading the neural networks connected to the retina with a brief flash of high-intensity light. 'It's the inverse of blindness

No, I think it's just blindness, albeit temporary. You're not really "overloading the neural networks", you're just flashing a bright light in someone's eyes. Unless you're doing something very clever with that flash of light that makes it more effective than just a normal bright light...

The device consists of a 75-watt lamp, combined with optics that collect and focus the visible light into a targeted beam which can be aimed like a flashlight

Okay, nothing particularly clever there. He's invented a "really bright flashlight". No surprises that it can be aimed like one!

Recovery time ranges from 'seconds to 20 minutes,'

So, it's... unreliable?

Look, I'm no fan of tasers, but at least they do their job pretty effectively. You can't move after being hit by one. This thing doesn't stop you madly swinging your arms about until your eyesight comes back, which I think will be a pretty common response.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702476)

Look, I'm no fan of tasers, but at least they do their job pretty effectively. You can't move after being hit by one.

Rodney King managed to.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702552)

I think they watched too many sci-fi movies, you know the one with the clones who got their memories uploaded through the eyes ...

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702574)

This thing doesn't stop you madly swinging your arms about until your eyesight comes back, which I think will be a pretty common response.

Infantryman, OK. tank driver or attack heli pilot, not so good. Civilian driver, not good.

I wonder if its been patented? Rednecks have been shooting deer at night from the back of pickup trucks by pointing a floodlight at the deer, which makes it freeze, since... I donno probably about one night after the floodlight and/or pickup truck was invented. Probably the part he is patenting is doing this process while NOT drinking beer and NOT listening to country music.

Don't daze me bro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702484)

/topic

great news for soccer! (1)

L4z4ru5 (1705054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702488)

that's gonna do great in blinding goalkeepers on a penalty!!

I'm selling a counter measure (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702510)

I'm selling specially constructed eye protection devices to make your optical nerve, also known as sun glasses for a reasonable price.

Re:I'm selling a counter measure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702630)

Wear reflective eye glasses so you can "overload the neurons" of your attacker.

Re:I'm selling a counter measure (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702982)

If sunglasses aren't enough, then use the kind of lenses used in auto-darkening welding helmets. They can change in about 1/12000 second.

Or how about a combination of mirror lenses with auto-darkening ones?

L.O.O.K.E.R (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702526)

They used one of these in a movie:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/

Set phasers to blind! (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702540)

At least we aren't microwaving skin now...

In protest of people whining about tasers (4, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702542)

In protest about people whining about tasers, I propose we take tasers, batons and bean bags away from the police. Also since cops don't wear running shoes, and they're given guns, the guns should be used instead of chasing. So any one resisting or trying to run away, you will be shot and you will be killed.

If force needs to be used, make sure its as lethal as possible.

Re:In protest of people whining about tasers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702806)

In protest about people whining about tasers, I propose we take tasers, batons and bean bags away from the police. Also since cops don't wear running shoes, and they're given guns, the guns should be used instead of chasing. So any one resisting or trying to run away, you will be shot and you will be killed.

If force needs to be used, make sure its as lethal as possible.

But that's the point. A cop is probably going to think twice about shooting to kill grandma. Tasering [courthousenews.com] her [kdvr.com] ? Well, it's not lethal so it's okay, right?

Re:In protest of people whining about tasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703048)

Well, one can argue that when the degree of force is lowered, then the number of situations where force is applied is increased. i.e, some guy is mouthing off to you, you're probably not going to pull out your gun and shoot him, but if you have a taser available you might be attempted to taser him.

Comparisons (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702548)

Man, that is exactly the metric I needed to make that comparison useful to me, an airplane landing light -_-...

Epileptics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702550)

I wonder what this sort of thing will do to people prone to epileptic seizures?

I can just imagine someone saying, "I had $500,000 worth of brain surgery and was cured for 10 years, but this device caused a breakthrough seizure and now I have to do it all over again!"

real sex religious 'training' paralyzes for life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702560)

stunning. gadgets optional. painful. generational lay teachers emerging everywhere.

previous math discardead; 1+1 extrapolated (Score:mynutswon; no such thing
as one too many here)

deepends on how you interpret it. georgia stone freemason 'math'; the
variables & totals are objective oriented; oranges: 1+1= not enough,
somebody's gotta die. people; 1+1=2, until you get to .5 billion, then
1+1=2 too many, or, unless, & this is what always happens, they breed
uncontrolled, naturally (like monkeys), then, 1+1=could easily result in
millions of non-approved, hoardsplitting spawn. see the dilemma? can
'math', or man'kind' stand even one more League of Smelly Infants being
born?

Like a stun/flash grenade? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702578)

The British SAS and various other counter-terrorist/hostage rescuers and other Secret Squirrels have been using these for years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stun_grenade [wikipedia.org] . When storming some nasty hornet's nest, toss in a couple of these in first. A device that causes permanent blindness is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

But this thingy has a longer range, so that you do not have to be in throwing range. But I am afraid that these devices will fall into the wrong hands . . . like the lasers that creeps aim at airplanes.

Meh, this is nothing. (1)

docilespelunker (1883198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702680)

Meh, this is nothing. A mere 75W! You should see a 200kA lightning strike from 5m away. Roughly 20MW of actual light output. These guys do it every day - www.culham.com

GoodHum-o-Ray (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702684)

Why go after the eyeballs?

Now a ray that gives a person an ice cream headache for 20 minutes, that would be a real crime-fighter's weapon.

Nothing new (1)

freakingme (1244996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702774)

The whole idea isn't new at all. I'ts been used for ages by US SWAT teams. They call it: a flash granate. Putting it in an electronic device may be new, the idea behind it certainly isn't.

One degree beam width? (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35702788)

From TFA,

The adjustable beam is typically one degree wide

So for this to be effective, you have to aim fairly precisely at someone's eyeball. Presuming they aren't cooperating by standing stock-still with their eyes open and looking at you, the chances of managing a "hit" before they do whatever it is you would prefer they didn't must be quite small.

Although the article doesn't say: the assumption is that this would be a hand-held weapon, much like a taser or revolver, so the operator would need even more luck at hitting their intended target than with (say) a vehicle mounted or sandbagged device. Also, those configurations wouldn't have the flexibility to "control" multiple people in a fast developing situation.

If this ever gets into development, I think I'd invest in a pair of laser-protection goggles and a large mirror if i ever felt tempted to put myself in a location with somehting like this would be used against me.

Re:One degree beam width? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703038)

use napalm instead - if spread is thin you get 'similar' i.e. non-lethal results.

Demolished man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702844)

Tenser said the tensor. Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702896)

..Bank robbers defeat high-tech non-lethal police weaponry by "keeping one eye closed."

New torture devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35702904)

Nice. New torture devices. What will they come up with next?

Misread the title (1)

JoelDB (2033044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703004)

I misread the title as "SunRay Incapacitates with a Flash of Light" and I began to understand my problems with Sun thin clients.

What? No MIB Prior Art? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35703022)

I am surprised and shocked that there are no comments here about the neuralizer from Men In Black.

light induced seizure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35703034)

I wonder to what extent the symptoms of the taser resemble a seizure. Some types of seizures can be induced by rapidly flashing lights.

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