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Why Protesters In Cairo Use Laser Pointers

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the gotta-entertain-their-cats dept.

Shark 303

New submitter Ahmed Shaban writes "Why do protesters in Cairo use laser pointers? At the beginning, they were used to light up snipers on rooftops. Later, it just became fashionable to use them, and such things spread very fast among the youth of Cairo, who can find the high power laser pointers for sale on the sidewalks. The article contains amazing photos of a chopper lit up by green laser pointers."

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303 comments

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Whats the laser used in laser wars (0)

Google Fanboys (2974975) | about a year ago | (#44202697)

Why does the lasers in laser war games (laser tag) show in the air but with laser pointers they just show where they hit a hard object? Are they different kinds of lasers?

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (4, Informative)

empty_other (1116615) | about a year ago | (#44202717)

No. Laser tag have fog machines.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202741)

Fog machine.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (4, Informative)

sokoban (142301) | about a year ago | (#44202743)

Atmospheric effects like fog machines and hazers are why you can see them in Laser tag.

You can see the ones in the Egypt videos because they're just really powerful. Far more powerful that what is legally available in the USA without a variance.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (3, Interesting)

scdeimos (632778) | about a year ago | (#44203013)

Agreed. We use 10mW and 20mW green lasers for star pointing in astronomy. They're clearly visible to nearby users but get more than about 10-20ft away and that's no longer the case. Judging by the pictures in TFA the ones the protestors were using were probably in the 150mW+ range.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203131)

Uh, I just bought a 1 watt laser pointer without a variance. I'm fairly sure the Egyptian ones are less powerful judging by the fact that that chopper didn't burst into flames like the things I point my laser at tend to do.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203003)

Laser Tag does not use real lasers, it is just a focused bright LED.

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (3, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203007)

Most laserpointers are 1mW or less, so they don't reflect enough particulates in the air unless it's foggy. The green ones in the video are usually at least 5mW, which is powerful enough to reflect off enough dust in the air to be visible under normal conditions.

It's one of the big errors that scifi movies have with lasers in space combat (the other error being that laser pulses move slow enough to be seen). even with insanely powerful lasers, they'd be practically invisible in space because there's nothing for them to reflect off. Unless, of course, you want to pretend that all laser space battles take place in dust or gas clouds...

Re:Whats the laser used in laser wars (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44203265)

It's one of the big errors that scifi movies have with lasers in space combat (the other error being that laser pulses move slow enough to be seen).

If you had asked me, I would have said that it was lasers makes pew-pew noises in space.

uh uz they're idiots (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202737)

stupid people do stupid things like live in Egypt and blind pilots of vehicles carrying a ton of fuel over their heads

Re:uh uz they're idiots (-1, Troll)

paziek (1329929) | about a year ago | (#44202765)

I doubt this pilot will crash just cause of that. He won't be able to see what's down there, but fly away? Shouldn't be a problem.

Re:uh uz they're idiots (3, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about a year ago | (#44202907)

A single green laser is very disorienting. There are a number of videos on Youtube which shows it. Military provide pilots with goggles which filter out that particular wavelength.

Re:uh uz they're idiots (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203031)

If lasers are being sold for cheap on the street, odds are good that they're producing a wide range of wavelengths. The cheaper the laser, wider the range of wavelengths it emits. It's one of the reasons better lasers come with an IR filter to help reduce accidental blinding of observers.

Re:uh uz they're idiots (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44203049)

If lasers are being sold for cheap on the street, odds are good that they're producing a wide range of wavelengths. The cheaper the laser, wider the range of wavelengths it emits. It's one of the reasons better lasers come with an IR filter to help reduce accidental blinding of observers.

Um, no. Not enough to say so, at least.
What makes a laser a laser is that it is a single wavelength. The light amplification process itself only works on a specific wavelength, and weeds out other light. You have to put extra circuitry into a laser to get it to produce a wider range.

Re:uh uz they're idiots (4, Informative)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about a year ago | (#44203147)

Some laser pointers do put out IR wavelengths as a byproduct of the way they're built. Low-power laser pointers aren't a problem, the IR simply isn't powerful enough to do anything. But with 100mW+ laser being sold to ordinary people, there is a very real IR hazard from cheaply-made badly-filtered (or not filtered at all) laser pointers, especially green laser pointers.

The reason it's so dangerous is that unless you have special dual-wavelength safety glasses, they'll only filter out the visible light, leaving the IR output to wreck havok on your eyes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_pointer#Infrared_hazards_of_DPSS_laser_pointers [wikipedia.org]

Re:uh uz they're idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203167)

So you're saying the militaries of the world don't need to spend billions on anti-air defense systems, they just need to buy some $1.99 laser pointers off ebay and have people aim them at anything that flies overhead? Awesome money savings!!

This Is Considered News?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202755)

Laser pointers have been around for years at concerts and sporting events around the world. The fad has been dying, it's funny that Egyptians are so behind the times and so primitive you see why democracy isn't working there.

Re:This Is Considered News?? (1, Insightful)

silviuc (676999) | about a year ago | (#44202827)

It is not working because they did not actually have democracy there, contrary to what the media (which likes to suck presidential wang) tells you.

Re:This Is Considered News?? (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#44202927)

Technically they did have democracy and got what they voted for, but what they didn't have were safeguards to ensure that a president couldn't just declare himself dictator for life after being elected. And so that's what he tried to do as early as possible. They need to adjust their system, institute checks and balances, constitutional changes requiring national referendums etc.

Re:This Is Considered News?? (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203037)

My understanding is that they didn't really have much of a choice in who to vote for. It was between a known bad guy and a probably bad guy, so they went with the latter due to lack of choices to begin with. Is it really a free and democratic election if you don't have choices?

Re: This Is Considered News?? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203057)

Seems the same in US too..

Re:This Is Considered News?? (5, Insightful)

damienl451 (841528) | about a year ago | (#44203113)

If it were so easy, many South American countries would have become as prosperous and democratic as the US since their constitutions were basically copies of the US Constitution. Yet, somehow, it didn't really work.

You can see the same in many former British colonies. If you read their Constitution, you'll see that they're not much different from what you find in any modern democracy. Bill of rights, checks and balances, constitutional protections for both negative and positive rights. They also inherited the common law tradition and much of their legislation is copy-pasted from UK legislation circa 1960. It's so similar in theory that UK-trained lawyers can usually practice with minimum to nil extra training, as most of the legal education is done from UK textbooks and case books anyway.

Yet, in practice, it's quite different. Sure, you have the same theoretical protections, but they do little good when everyone is free to ignore them. It's nice to tell the courts that they have to be independent and fair, but how do you guarantee that?

"They need to adjust their system, institute checks and balances", etc. is all wishful thinking. It's about as useful as telling a developing country that all they need to do is grow. It's true but pretty useless as far as advice goes. The tricky part is knowing how to move from the equilibrium where the law is widely ignored, where formal checks and balances don't work, where the constitution is not worth the paper it's written on, to a better equilibrium. As far as I can tell, no-one has yet found a magic recipe for that because things are usually the way they are for a reason. It's not like bad institutions just spring up at random: they are usually people who have an interest in maintaining the status quo, and we were able to see times and times again that removing whoever happens to be in power doesn't do much to solve the structural problems and can even lead to worse outcomes (Iraq? Libya?).

In greece (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202759)

In greece they are also used to confuse/temporary blid attacking riot police

Re:In greece (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about a year ago | (#44202955)

you mean like I do with my cat ?

Re:In greece (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202987)

You use your cat to confuse riot police?

Re:In greece (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203051)

Used to; I stopped when the changed something about the composition of their vests and the cat started to fart like crazy after eating a few.

Re:In greece (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203111)

It's Confuse-a-Cat!

Re:In greece (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203043)

Police and cats have much in common
1) They both enjoy stalking weaker prey
2) They both enjoy toying with their prey
3) They both have a love/hate relationship with lasers
4) There's tons of videos on YouTube of them both doing dumb things

No reason to light up snipers these days... (5, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44202761)

With the Egyptian military completely on board with the protesters this time around, I guess the laser pointers dont have much actual purpose anymore.

Its actually quite remarkable what is happening there. More people were protesting than had voted for the president because the president decided that their constitution didnt apply to him, so the military takes down the president in response but remarkably doesnt assume power.

How many countries actually have a military that would do this sort of thing? I'm fairly certain that mine, with a military that runs an agency well known now for violating the constitution, would not.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#44202821)

The military puts the current president under house arrest. Along with the Cabinet, and has warrants out for several hundred other high officials. Then, they (the military) appoint some other guy to be president. The only reason this new guy is there is because the military heads said "OK dude...you're up". He knows very well which side his peta bread is buttered on.

OK, not direct military control, but control by proxy.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (5, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44202867)

Then, they (the military) appoint some other guy to be president.

That 'some other guy' was the head of the Egyptian Constitutional Court, and a deputy chief justice for over 2 decades, not some arbitrary pick.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about a year ago | (#44203161)

Doesn't matter if it was Cleopatra, the puppet and puppet's whole family will be liquidated if orders from the supreme military commander are not followed.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203273)

As compared to Morsi who was puppet of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#44202913)

Oh really, and what would you have done if you were the military and the current president was trying to turn the country into a theocracy, replacing police, judges and school principles with his cronies?

Also, apparently the officials being arrested and the TV stations being closed are because they were encouraging their supporters to be violent.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

Dredd13 (14750) | about a year ago | (#44202979)

I dunno. If someone staged a coup in the US, I'd be 'encouraging people to be violent' against it as well.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (5, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44203059)

I dunno. If someone staged a coup in the US, I'd be 'encouraging people to be violent' against it as well.

What if 50 million people in the US took to the streets in protest of the government?

That is essentially what just happened in Egypt. 17% of the people took to the streets! The largest protest in the history of the world at 14 million people.

Its gotta be extremely bad to get 17% of the people actively protesting, so when you say 'staged a coup' I honestly wonder exactly how ignorant you are of what just happened in Egypt. Only read and watch American news?

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (2, Interesting)

Dredd13 (14750) | about a year ago | (#44203117)

I'm not ignorant to what's happening, but what part of my sentence was factually inaccurate? Did the military not take over the country and appoint a new leader? Is that not the textbook definition of a coup d'etat?

I'm well aware of the various failings of the Morsi administration, but let's be clear: if 17% of the population of the US was protesting the Obama administration, and the Joint Chiefs had suspended the rule of law embodied by the Constitution to appoint John Roberts as President, it would not be "wrong" of the US gov't-in-exile to be like "these folks have usurped lawful authority, fire at will, if you can."

That's not to say that I don't personally think Egypt will be better, post-coup (just as that's not to say that I don't think America might be better after some theoretical post-coup situation), I'm merely stating the fact that it can't come as a surprise to anyone that the supporters of a government, usurped by military power, are calling for violent means to "re-establish the lawful order".

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44203181)

Psst: The US supports this takeover. There's a long history and tradition of supporting dictators against the people, as long as the dictators are nominally friendly towards US policies. If anything, the newspapers here in the US paint a picture of the people rising to overthrow a despot, which isn't what's happening at all.
I fear you might have been hit by American and right-wing propaganda here, and don't even realize it.

Part of the problem over the last year has been that democracies need checks to ensure that the majority doesn't abuse the minority. You can't have two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. Those checks haven't been in place, and the Brotherhood, as a result, has, by intent or omission, been ignoring the voice of a sizeable part of the people. This is a reaction to this. They're not really supporting the military for what they stand for as much as supporting them because they're not the brotherhood. Where to go from here is up in the air, like the laser pointers.

But for them to go there without even more US interference would be nice. The US sorted out its own internal problems, and would do well to think about how they would have liked it if e.g. France and Britain had pitched in during the civil war.
And dear Mother Columbia, stop supporting budding dictators around the world - they tend to turn on you after a while, and it's strange that you haven't spotted the correlation yet. You cannot force people to love you.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (2)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#44203231)

> He knows very well which side his peta bread is buttered on.

Is that a vegetarian snack?

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (2)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#44202853)

The transitions in Egypt have been politically guided by the military, most likely in co-operation with some foreign help - for instance the US, because the US has a lot of interest in Egypt (supporting the past dictatorship too). The group who managed the first revolution and this one perfectly know how to channel the energy of the masses.

Military should ideally be a politically neutral force. That's not true anywhere.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (3, Informative)

zakkie (170306) | about a year ago | (#44202903)

Yeah, the US traditionally champions democracy with the caveat that the people elected had better be who the US wants to see in power, or your democratic process will be summarily and violently overthrown. Egypt is just one more chapter in this book of aggression.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202951)

Isn't it obvious that any real democracy supports the US by definition?

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202983)

Isn't it obvious that Slashdot is swirling down the crapper, and that this place more and more resembles an on-line newspaper forum?

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203063)

Yes and yes - romanticizing the past never goes out of fashion, but Slashdot's glory days really are long behind it.

Really (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203065)

Sooo
This is just more US Hegemonic "agression"?
Didn't the Egyptians have a roll? or is this more infintalizing other contries/populations in favor of demionizing the US.
Take responsibility, stop trying to blame outside influence for everything. Morsi was a homegrown problem and the US didn't install him, Egyptians did.
the US worked with Sadat, Mubarak, Morsi, and it will likely work with the next in line and the one after that.
we didn't force Mubarak to oppress people and run sham elections, we didn't force Morsi to try to assume total control, and we wont be forcing the next gut to do whatever it is he does to cause some future grievence.

the US has plenty of dirt on it's hands but little of it is Egyptian dirt.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202899)

How many countries actually have a military that would do this sort of thing? I'm fairly certain that mine, with a military that runs an agency well known now for violating the constitution, would not.

What you fail to realize is that the US military is ALREADY running the show.
The appearance that civilians are running the show is kept up to placate the
masses. You should join in with them in a chorus of "baaaa !!!"

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203039)

Don't be such a fuckwit.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#44202905)

There are many different protester groups and not all of them like the military.

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44202937)

There are 4 main factions in Egypt, and certainly not all of them are happy with the military... clearly the muslim brotherhood is no longer happy with them. I imagine the minor groups like the Christians are extremely happy now.

I work with a man from Egypt, a Christian with family over there. I asked him what he thought about all this and his eyes lit up, "my family is finally free."

Re:No reason to light up snipers these days... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44203001)

How many countries actually have a military that would do this sort of thing?

I think Turkey has done it a couple of times over the last century.

....doesnt assume power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203129)

Not too smart are you.

aren't they banned (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#44202767)

aren't weapons that blind people banned by the Geneva Convention?

Re:aren't they banned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202829)

Not if it is muslim people holding them. They get a lot of slack.

Re: aren't they banned (1)

f3rret (1776822) | about a year ago | (#44202861)

Well yeah, but these aren't weapons.

Re:aren't they banned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202885)

1. Laser pointers aren't weapons.
2. Only weapons designed to permanently blind people are banned

Re:aren't they banned (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203053)

Laser pointers can cause permanent damage, but it's really damned hard to do at any distance against a moving target. It's akin to banning slingshots with rubber pellets because they could cause permanent blindness against a close range stationary target.

Re:aren't they banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203127)

If they want to blind people and not violate conventions why not link to goatse?

Re:aren't they banned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203185)

But a laser pointer isn't designed to be used as a weapon, therefore it is not covered under the UN Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons [wikipedia.org] . Article I of the Protocol spells this out:

It is prohibited to employ laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision, that is to the naked eye or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices.

Re: aren't they banned (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#44203025)

The Geneva Convention only applies to consenting militaries.

If only... (3)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about a year ago | (#44202771)

Anyone want to invest in a cataract treatment center in Cairo, they're going to need it in a few years...

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203247)

Anyone want to invest in a cataract treatment center in Cairo, they're going to need it in a few years...

They are not the only ones. People have been using these pointers around airports to blind pilots. They probably think it's a fun way to goof off but apparently there have been some close calls and pilots have even suffered eye injury.

Hooliganism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202773)

Simple as that...

Re:Hooliganism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202989)

Dad? Is that you?

The Kopp-Etchells Effect (2)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44202775)

I know the 'copters are being illuminated by hand-held laser pointers but the photographs do look like those produced by Michael Yon http://www.michaelyon-online.com/the-kopp-etchells-effect.htm [michaelyon-online.com] showing the Kopp-Etchells Effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_rotor [wikipedia.org] .

Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202785)

Gee, laser pointers. Stupid Egyptians and their stupid conflict.

So... (0)

koan (80826) | about a year ago | (#44202797)

Buy your lasers now, because this behavior will catch on in the states and soon lasers will be illegal.

With the current batch of losers raping this country I wouldn't be surprised if your pointer gets reclassified as an "assault weapon".

Re:So... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203069)

Most lasers over 5mW are already illegal to import to the US unless you have a specific commercial or industrial purpose. The lasers in the pictures are almost certainly at least 5mW or higher to be that visible in the air.

The real idiots... (5, Insightful)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#44202839)

...are the moronic A/Cs on /. who seem happy to denigrate the Egyptian people for celebrating the peaceful overthrow of a useless leader. The fact that the army has removed these incompetants and are immediately handing power back to the people is un-precedented and incredible. The Egyptian people and army could teach some other nations a thing or two, I think, not to mention some of the ignorant bigots who plague /.

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202871)

Any leader is useless if you ask the right persons. So, what stops them from overthrowing any leaders they see useless, even if they were democratically elected? Isn't this a recipe for disaster? Hey, but you are the intelligent obe and (in your eyes) I am probably one of those ignorant bigots you mentioned. What do I know.

Re:The real idiots... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#44202929)

By all objective measures Morsi's government were useless. The country was falling apart and none of the promises they made pre-election were being acted on. I don't claim to be intelligent, but like to think that my views are based on knowledge and understanding, not some idiotic racial/religious stereotyping.

Re:The real idiots... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203077)

You'll need to be more detailed, because "not keeping promises" is pretty much the definition of a politician and half the people of any given country will say it's "falling apart" under the current government.

Re:The real idiots... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#44203123)

You'll need to be more detailed, because "not keeping promises" is pretty much the definition of a politician and half the people of any given country will say it's "falling apart" under the current government.

Ha, I can't argue with that!
As for details and citations, c'mon, this is slashdot!

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202967)

One right person is not enough. Ten's of thousands of right persons might get you there.

Re:The real idiots... (0)

zakkie (170306) | about a year ago | (#44202919)

You do know that in just a couple of days there are over 30 dead already? Hardly peaceful. Certainly not democratic in any sense.

Re:The real idiots... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44202969)

14 million people protesting, and only 30 died?

its a fucking miracle that only 0.000214% died, and you are acting like 30 is a big number.

Do you even listen to yourself?

Re:The real idiots... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203055)

Glad to hear that you think those 30 people are meaningless and don't matter. Real classy.

Re:The real idiots... (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44203155)

Glad to hear that you think that 30 people out of 14 million dead over the course of 2 days isnt an extraordinarily low death rate. Its like they stopped aging, stopped having heart problems, stopped having car accidents, and their cancers went into remission.

Here is an idea, instead of morning the 30 people that died, rejoin that hundreds that should of died amazingly did not.

Is the fact that fewer people died than actually should have through normal day to day life confusing you? "oh my god.. 30 people died!" -- guess what, 30 people died since I started typing this.

Re:The real idiots... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203085)

And several people died at Woodstock. Damn those murderous hippie bastards.

Odds are a good portion of those deaths were accidental or had other conditions causing them.

Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203101)

You do know that in just a couple of days there are over 30 dead already? Hardly peaceful. Certainly not democratic in any sense.

#0 dead? For what amounts to a revolution in the Middle East.

30 dead.

Hardly "Democratic"? They -the Egyptian people without any outside help (No America World Police fucking things up!) just peacefully - without shooting - overthrew someone who wanted to be a dictator. The military helped - by the way - without shooting.

Do yo remember Libya by any chance?

The Egyptian people are going to do more for Middle Eastern Democracy and freedom with their laser pointers than the US military EVER did with their high tech weapons.

I really hope Obama and our idiot Congress does everything they can to support the Egyptian people.

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203165)

How is a capital filled with millions of people in the streets clamoring for change not democratic?

Re:The real idiots... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44203207)

How is a capital filled with millions of people in the streets clamoring for change not democratic?

When those people, numerous as they are, are still a minority compared to those who elected the government?

Is the vote of someone who doesn't take to the streets worth less than the vote of someone who does? And if so, does that make it more or less of a democracy?

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202945)

Yea you paint a really fluffy picture of what is really going on. Read past your American news and get some more concrete information. This isn't as peaceful as you're making it out to be and not everyone agrees with what's going on.

Re:The real idiots... (5, Informative)

Smivs (1197859) | about a year ago | (#44202995)

Ha, if I relied on American news I wouldn't know a bloody thing! Thankfully I'm a European (of sorts). I never said the current situation was peaceful, or desirable. The coup was peaceful, but subsequently the opposing sides have started skirmishing, which is to be expected, and it does look like the army might be a bit more active than before in intervening. This is clearly not good. I also do have serious reservations about the principle of the army removing democratic governments. While I can't condone this, in this particular case it probably averted a civil war, so was the lesser of two evils. This is not a good situation at all, but that is not what my original post was about. I posted because half the preceding posts were full of ignorance and bigotry and it pissed me off, that's all.

Re:The real idiots... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202965)

You dipshit. It was a fucking non-peaceful (they used guns and shit, and people got killed) military coup which restored Mubarak toadies back to power much to the delight of West and the Arab monarchies. Morsi was terrible, but the Egyptian people elected him. The way to throw out a democratically elected leader is with a recall election, not a god-damn coup.

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203189)

"peaceful overthrow" and army... interesting combination....

Re:The real idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203245)

You're kind of a moron, huh? Since everyone else is raping you over your description of the coup as "peaceful," allow me to touch on another topic: "immediately." Only once the military has actually handed power back to the people by way of popular elections can you honestly give a time-frame on this -- anything else is pure conjecture based upon the promises of demonstrably traitorous and dishonest individuals. Let's talk about "immediately" again in a month or so, shall we?

uhh... isn't the military on their side? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202851)

The military is on their side! It makes no sense for them to do this. Why would you intentionally piss off pilots, possibly temporarily blinding them, in the worst case even causing an accident, when they are on the same side you are?

Re:uhh... isn't the military on their side? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202895)

The military is on their side!...

Aren't these the same people that shoot live bullets in the air to celebrate? Maybe lasers are somewhat less dangerous...

Re:uhh... isn't the military on their side? (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203091)

I was in the dorms at college when Obama was elected for the first time. His supporters rioted and caused a bunch of property damage and ruffed up people.
There's also been cases of sports fans rioting when their team has won.

People do crazy shit to celebrate that just seems counterproductive to an outside observer.

Re:uhh... isn't the military on their side? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203251)

I was in the dorms at college when Obama was elected for the first time. His supporters rioted and caused a bunch of property damage and ruffed up people. There's also been cases of sports fans rioting when their team has won.

Stupid people do crazy shit to celebrate that just seems counterproductive to an outside observer.

FTFY

Neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202873)

Now get a stack of 10,000 of those little laser pointers all hooked to one power source...

Now you have a weapon. Pretty good one too.

*warning, do not look into laser with remaining eye*

Re:Neat... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44203107)

Now get a stack of 10,000 of those little laser pointers all hooked to one power source...

Now you have a weapon. Pretty good one too.

10,000 of pretty much anything would be a formidable weapon. 10,000 people throwing pebbles, for example.
That doesn't make the pebble into a formidable weapon.

That these helicopters continued to fly shows that either the danger of laser pointers have been highly exaggerated, American pilots are wusses, or both.

Re:Neat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203173)

10,000 pointers mounted in the same orientation?

No. thats a formidable weapon. You could take down anything with eyes.

Or at the very least they won't be looking in your direction.

It's horrible they caused that helicopter to crash (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202933)

Oh wait, it didn't crash! With hundreds of pointer directed at it, it didn't crash. I'm wondering, have there been any aircraft crashes attributed to pilot blindness caused by laser pointers reported anywhere in the world? It seems to me that the prohibition has more to do with law enforcement and the military not wanting people identifying where drones are flying overhead since the actual risk to pilots seems to be non-existent.

Re:It's horrible they caused that helicopter to cr (4, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44203115)

If an aircraft is on auto-pilot, there's negligible risk.
If an aircraft is currently under human control while cruising, there's a slight risk.
If an aircraft is under human control while taking off, landing or performing any sort of maneuver, there's a reasonably significant risk.

Have you ever had someone shine a bright flashlight in your face? It's a lot like that. It causes you to jerk away, confuses you, and partially blinds you for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Any of those can be deadly given that the person with the laser probably doesn't know if the aircraft is on autopilot or is preparing to land.

It's one of those laws where, sure, 98% of the time nothing bad will happen if you do it. But that last little bit of a time, something *really* bad could happen. So it's a felony.

because they are idiots (0, Troll)

mapkinase (958129) | about a year ago | (#44202935)

because they are idiots

Amazing photos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203109)

Of idiots blinding aircraft pilots...

The pilot should have bailed out and let the damned thing crash into the crowd.

Re:Amazing photos? (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#44203191)

"The pilot should have bailed out and let the damned thing crash into the crowd."

Pilot bailing out....of a conventional helicopter.

And to think /. was once a techy site.

COT technology vs. modern military (1)

shinehead (603005) | about a year ago | (#44203257)

The article states the lasers were originally used to illuminate/search for snipers. I wonder if IR lasers deployed in this manner would negate the advantages offered by IR night vision devices? Or if several laser diodes of different frequencies integrated into a single unit and and aligned would offer any value in this regard. Or does the design of the NVD's anticipate this happening and have countermeasures?
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