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Home Defense, Geek Style?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the night-vision-goggles-and-low-lights dept.

Technology 2514

Yo Maing writes "So my mom got lives alone, and got her car broken into last night. We have a motion sensor light in the driveway, and the car has an alarm but apparently both of these deterrents were ineffective. Crime has been rising around her neighborhood, and only action the police can take is to file a report. So I ask you, Geeks of Slashdot, what tricks do you guys have to defend yours and your loved ones homes against crimes like this? Not looking for anything that would get someone injured, but more in the area of detection and repulsion. Anyone have a holographic Yeti generator to scare away intruders? :)"

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FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229451)


Re:FP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229556)

Not looking for anything that would get someone injured, but more in the area of detection and repulsion.

I'm sure your mom is repulsive enough. if you are the average pimply-faced Slashdot-asswhore nerd.

Just my 2 EURCENTS for you 9/11-US-fagotts.

Don't be a metrosexual (5, Funny)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229456)

Buy a gun.

Re:Don't be a metrosexual (5, Funny)

Randy Wang (700248) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229474)

Buy a phaser.

Re:Don't be a metrosexual (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229486)

i'll get right on it, dubya

Re:Don't be a metrosexual (1)

Scoria (264473) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229493)

When you're sleeping, those aren't particularly effective. ;-)

Re:Don't be a metrosexual (2, Insightful)

samtihen (798412) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229518)

I own multiple guns, all of which stay locked, and unloaded, until I plan to use them for reasons other than home defense. The reason? "A gun kept in the home is 22 times more likely to kill a family member or a friend than it is to be used against an intruder" - Arthur Kellermann, MD, New England Journal of Medicine, 1998. It is NOT smart to use a gun for home defense.

been debunked (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229586)

dude that had been debunked time and time agien "This myth, stemming from a superficial "study" of firearm accidents in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, represents a comparison of 148 accidental deaths (including suicides) to the deaths of 23 intruders killed by home owners over a 16-year period. 2 Gross errors in this and similar "studies"--with even greater claimed ratios of harm to good--include: the assumption that a gun hasn't been used for protection unless an assailant dies; no distinction is made between handgun and long gun deaths; all accidental firearm fatalities were counted whether the deceased was part of the "family" or not; all accidents were counted whether they occurred in the home or not, while self-defense outside the home was excluded; almost half the self-defense uses of guns in the home were excluded on the grounds that the criminal intruder killed may not have been a total stranger to the home defender; suicides were sometimes counted and some self-defense shootings misclassified. Cleveland's experience with crime and accidents during the study period was atypical of the nation as a whole and of Cleveland since the mid-1970s. Moreover, in a later study, the same researchers noted that roughly 10% of killings by civilians are justifiable homicides. 3 The "guns in the home" myth has been repeated time and again by the media, and anti-gun academics continue to build on it. In 1993, Dr. Arthur Kellermann of Emory University and a number of colleagues presented a study that claimed to show that a home with a gun was much more likely to experience a homicide. 4 However, Dr. Kellermann selected for his study only homes where homicides had taken place--ignoring the millions of homes with firearms where no harm is done--and a control group that was not representative of American households. By only looking at homes where homicides had occurred and failing to control for more pertinent variables, such as prior criminal record or histories of violence, Kellermann et al. skewed the results of this study. Prof. Kleck wrote that with the methodology used by Kellermann, one could prove that since diabetics are much more likely to possess insulin than non-diabetics, possession of insulin is a risk factor for diabetes. Even Dr. Kellermann admitted this in his study: "It is possible that reverse causation accounted for some of the association we observed between gun ownership and homicide." Law Professor Daniel D. Polsby went further, "Indeed the point is stronger than that: 'reverse causation' may account for most of the association between gun ownership and homicide. Kellermann's data simply do not allow one to draw any conclusion." 5 Research conducted by Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi, 6 for a landmark study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, points to the armed citizen as possibly the most effective deterrent to crime in the nation. Wright and Rossi questioned over 1,800 felons serving time in prisons across the nation and found: 81% agreed the "smart criminal" will try to find out if a potential victim is armed. 74% felt that burglars avoided occupied dwellings for fear of being shot. 80% of "handgun predators" had encountered armed citizens. 40% did not commit a specific crime for fear that the victim was armed. 34% of "handgun predators" were scared off or shot at by armed victims. 57% felt that the typical criminal feared being shot by citizens more than he feared being shot by police. Professor Kleck estimates that annually 1,500-2,800 felons are legally killed in "excusable self-defense" or "justifiable" shootings by civilians, and 8,000-16,000 criminals are wounded. This compares to 300-600 justifiable homicides by police. Yet, in most instances, civilians used a firearm to threaten, apprehend, shoot at a criminal, or to fire a warning shot without injuring anyone. Based on his extensive independent survey research, Kleck estimates that each year Americans use guns for protection from criminals more than 2.5 million times annually. 7 U.S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that protective use of a gun lessens the chance that robberies, rapes, and assaults will be successfully completed while also reducing the likelihood of victim injury. Clearly, criminals fear armed citizens. SOURCES 2 Rushforth, et al., "Accidental Firearm Fatalities in a Metropolitan County, " 100 American Journal of Epidemiology 499 (1975). 3 Rushforth, et al., "Violent Death in a Metropolitan County," 297 New England Journal of Medicine 531, 533 (1977). 4 Kellermann, et al., "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home," New England Journal of Medicine 467 (1993). 5 Polsby, "The False Promise of Gun Control," The Atlantic Monthly, March 1994. 6 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986). 7 Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Handgun," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 86 (1995): 150.

Re: shoot someone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229521)

If you shoot someone, make sure the news camera arrive to take video of the body(ies) of the would-be burglers being carted off into a van. Then, run the video on a loop on the side of your house for any other brave souls to partake of when deciding if they will come into your house.

Re:Don't be a metrosexual (4, Informative)

renehollan (138013) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229559)

Well, the questioner didn't want anyone injured, but I concur. I would howver qualify that suggestion with:

Take a firearm safety course.

Take a course to teach you how to handle a firearm effectively.

Know thyself. Under what circumstances will you point a loaded, deadly, weapon at someone? Under what circumstances will you shoot them? When your home is being invaded is not the time to ask such questions.

Have other family members take firearm safety / firearm effectiveness courses.

Select the weapons of choice. I happen to like shotguns: you don't miss, and you'll think twice before you riddle your home with shot. They're safer for the neighbors too. Of course, at close range, rifles offer a cleaner shot, and a greater opportunity to not kill. A handgun? I'm not that good of a shot and I don't like home intruders that close. YMMV.

Get instructions in the use of your selected weapon.

Apply for the necessary permits.


Purchase your weapons.

Practice. I'm serious. You need to "be one" with it and comfortable with how it handles, discharges, kicks, etc.

Good question.. (5, Funny)

panic911 (224370) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229458)

First I would suggest watching Home Alone 1. That kid is pretty damn clever and easily fended off joe pesci and that ugly guy. Next I would buy an outdoor webcam with some motion detection software [] .

Re:Good question.. (5, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229577)

I have just been asked to relay the following letter:

Dear punk,

I am NOT ugly. You sonnofabitch. Your geek ass better have some good home defense, because I am coming over there to KICK YOUR ASS!

Daniel Stern

Move to a better neighborhood (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229459)


Dog (3, Interesting)

flossie (135232) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229462)

If you don't have any pets, consider getting a dog.

Re:Dog (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229500)

I second this, get a dog, maybe two. If she parks her car inside of a fenced area then just have the dogs rome around in the fenced area at night. Or have one in the house and one outside. They are great to have around, tons of fun, and 24/7 security. Just pet them now and then, give them food, and they are happy.

Re:Dog (2, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229509)

A real dog, minimum 50 pounds. Anything smaller isn't a deterrent, it's an annoyance.

Re:Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229574)

Yeah there's nothing potential burglars hate more than a Shih Tzu!

Re:Dog (2, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229579)

It's true. End of discussion. Sure, it's cute to make this an "Ask SlashDot" and all, but we're talking matters or life, death, and property damage. The experts are well-documented on this. It may not be as geek-chic as a webcam or motion-sensing laser cannons, but by all accounts the bad guys bolt when they hear a dog.

Try putting a Scare Crow in our Garage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229464)

Maybe a pitbull!

Great (3, Funny)

mkro (644055) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229465)

Summary of all the "Home Alone" movies in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Great (1)

BW_Nuprin (633386) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229567)

3..2..1..? Isn't there a fourth one too?

Re:Great (2, Funny)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229571)


Face slap


Thwack! Ow! Thunk! Ow! Smash! Owowowowowowoow!

Kevin! We're so glad you're safe.

Ninja Style (4, Funny)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229466)

I wait on the roof dressed in all black with my ninja sword.

That's worked pretty well for a few years.

Re:Ninja Style (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229495)

And then what happened?

Re:Ninja Style (4, Funny)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229522)

So I'm waiting there....yada yada yada....there's blood everywhere.

Re:Ninja Style (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229560)

His mom finally caught him ;-)

Re:Ninja Style (1)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229546)

I would recomend a lightsaber if you were trying to keep them away. After all, what is more frightening than having a huge glowing pole shoot out, from a guys pants area, at you? That would scare me away.

Location, location, location.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229469)

I live on an air force base. No problems. :)

Re:Location, location, location.... (4, Informative)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229510)

umm, ok... military bases have crime rates that are just as high, if not higher, then the surrounding areas...

a quick search shows some of the BEST navy bases, they are fairly high for your average town of that size population.

Navy Times base report []

Re:Location, location, location.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229537)

How do crime rates in Air Force bases compare to civilian communitites? Seems most large communities, even ones with the most elite members of society (ivy league schools) have some crime rates - and I'd think an air force base would have even more, since they're less selective in the people they accept.

If you're American... (4, Funny)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229472)

Guns. Lots of guns.

Re:If you're American... (1)

Randy Wang (700248) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229532)

Phasers. Lots of phasers.

Re:If you're American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229550)

Exactly...I have two friends that live with me...
Smith & Wesson ...and don't forget their two dogs...
Remington and Winchester

Just Video (1)

sgtron (35704) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229473)

Honestly all I have is video, I figure if it's some kids in the neighborhood I recognize I can go after them myself if need be... Unless they take my camera I guess....

Re:Just Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229548)

... and what DOES the guy say in the Just video?

Shotgun traps (4, Funny)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229475)

and land mines in the front yard are effective deterrents, especially if advertised conspicuously.

Geek it up some by controlling the shotgun trap with an old pentium running BSD.

arm yourself, no more worries! (3, Informative)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229476)

Shotguns [] - a good shotgun, all you need for close range theft deterrent!

Flame Thrower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229477)

you could always use Charlie Fourie's Car Flame Thrower []

what i think (2, Interesting)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229478)

i'm sorry to hear that :(

first problem is that you think a motion sensor light will do something. it won't.

secondly, i think a car alarm should do something, why didn't it work? was she not home? could she not hear it? if you tell us, we can find a solution for it.

oh yeah, get one of those steering wheel 'clubs', they help deter criminals (at least from stealing the car)

Re:what i think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229514)

they can cut right through a steering wheel and remove the club, if they want the car, a club will not stop them

Never fails (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229479)

drive a yugo

Re:Never fails (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229547)

UK car thieves seem undeterred, regardless of how shitty a car is.

My friend has had his POS 1.1 litre Metro broken into a few times - simply because its easy to break into, its good for taking and thrashing around city streets for a night before being crashed into a field and burned out.

I wish I could say that I loved this country, but the slack jawed chavvy retards that seem to be an ever expanding part of our society are slowly making it hard to feel proud to be British.

Yes, we all noticed (5, Funny)

Jeffv323 (317436) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229480)

the extra "got" in his first sentence. Now everybody move along now.

Damn dog... (1)

chipster (661352) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229520)

...and here I thought that it was Ebonix

Texas style home defense (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229481)

My cousin in Texas has outdoor motion sensors around his house, hooked up to a PA system than when activated, play a recording of a pump shotgun being cocked. It sounds real as hell, and you can't really tell where the sound is coming from.

Not a holo-yeti... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229484)

How bout a full sized cardboard cut-out of goatse in the front hallway? I'd run....

Re:Not a holo-yeti... (5, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229538)

"How bout a full sized cardboard cut-out of goatse in the front hallway? I'd run...."

Depending on what was "cut-out", it could double as a mail drop too. Even oversized packages could easily fit. *shudder*

Go for the obvious: dog, gun, gun safety course (2, Insightful)

greenmars (685118) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229485)

Use what works, not what you see in the movies.

Don't injure trespassers... (4, Informative)

lothar97 (768215) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229487)

You'll get in a lot of trouble. I'm an IP attorney, but all of us have to learn about trespass & defense of property in law school. This blurb from the Utah Cooperative Wildlife Management Association [] sums up the law on this aspect pretty well.

The duty of care owned by landowner or person in charge to a trespasser is to refrain from willfully, maliciously or recklessly injuring them. In other words, a landowner or person in charge cannot set traps for trespassers. A trap is a hazard that is known to the landowner or person in charge, but concealed to others. If a trespasser is injured by a trap, the landowner is open to liability for the injury, even though the trespasser violated he law by trespassing. The following have been held unlawful traps for which the landowner can be held responsible: (1) setting a spring gun, (2) creating obstacles on a public roadway, (3) installing a cable gate across a private road known to be used by he public. To reduce he liability risks for #3, the road should be posted as private access. If a cable or chain is used o close a road, it should be flagged with brightly colored flags or other materials.

Re:Don't injure trespassers... (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229555)

Correct me if i am wrong:

A motion detector triggered assult weapon would be legal as long as A)you install it after the ban expires and B) you paint the gun bright orange and post a sign explaining that it will shoot anyone who sets off the motion detector.

I know this is probably illegal, but what IS legal?

Re:Don't injure trespassers... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229565)

Don't injure tresspassers... kill them. This sort of law is why the traps you set should be lethal..

Re:Don't injure trespassers... (3, Funny)

ricotest (807136) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229573)

Looks like that kid from Home Alone is liable quite heavil. Is there a rule against a gigantic paint shelf trap?

A little bad typing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229489)

A lot of bad english. Your mom 'got' nothing, she 'had' her car broken into.

Car alarm? Maybe a device that, instead of turning on a light as people approach, starts playing a taped conversation so the perp thinks someone is coming?

Just some thoughts, I live in Canada so we don't have any crime.

Re:A little bad typing (1)

xcham (200708) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229517)

Really? I guess that idiot who stole my dad's mini-van a few years back (in the middle of downtown Toronto) was just playing a practical joke. Perhaps all the kidnappings, murders, drug busts, etc. in this city are similarly comical in nature. Not to mention all the prostitute-killing in BC. That's not crime, that's just taking out the trash!

Crime is everywhere, to varying degrees, so get your head out of the sand.

The Club (1)

Farley Mullet (604326) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229490)

Seriously. I know it's cheezy, but cops I know say that it works at deterring theives.

Kinda... (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229572)

In the sense that a thief will likely move on to a car without the club, yes, it works. However, defeating the club is easy in most cases.

-Hacksaw through the steering wheel: 20 seconds on most steering wheels.
-Spray freon into the locking mechanism, then hammer and screwdriver to shatter it: about 60 seconds.
-Buy a "club buster" on the internet for like $100: Takes about 60 seconds to defeat any of those club-like mechanisms.

And so on... if the thief wants your car, the club ain't going to stop him, and will only slow him down marginally. If the thief is simply looking for any handy car, then the club might help.

Re:The Club (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229588)

The Club is a joke. Steering wheels are made soft on purpose. You can cut the steering wheel and slide The Club off very easily. When it's dark out and no one's around, it's going to draw no more attention than breaking into the car in the first place.

The answer is simplicity itself! (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229492)

Don't own anything worth stealing!

Get a dog (5, Insightful)

rustin_ross (146106) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229494)

Studies have shown a dog with a good bark scares away most would-be attackers. There have also been studies showing dog companionship actually lowers the blood pressure of seniors.

Re:Get a dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229587)

which is fine so long as they don't already have low blood pressure... It's funny, people talk about "hypertension" all the time, but hypotension and low blood volume kills lots of seniors - it's one of the ones that counts as "natural causes" though....

Go minimalist (5, Insightful)

smoyer (108342) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229496)

If you don't have anything of value, then you don't have to worry about someone ripping off your valuables. The things in life that are worthwhile are rarely tangible. If you're living in the crossfire of someone else's greed ... Move!

Re:Go minimalist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229582)

Oh baloney. Our bleeding heart legislators are partly to blame for this because the law values life over property. So in other words, somebody can vandalize your property all they want and you can't stop them with force unless your life is in danger. If you do, it's assault.

We all know there's only one way, get a gun, silence it, don't get caught, lose the gun when your done.

Besides, I think the real reason for these rediculous laws is that crime is good for the economy, think about it.

assuming the thief is also a geek (1)

jon_oner (753207) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229497)

A sign that says "automatic GPS tracking System installed" on the vehicle.
A visible camera (fake, to cut costs).
An exploding permanent dye capsule.
A vicious dog

Re:assuming the thief is also a geek (2, Interesting)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229526)

That fake camera idea is nice.. you can buy one at era.html [] for $10, they're battery operated and have a motion detector so when someone goes by it lights up and moves around

Warning signs... (1)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229499)

While it won't do jack to stop a motivated criminal, one of those signs that "warns" that a home alarm is installed could help. If nothing more, it could make a potential theif decide to try an easier target instead of possibly having to deal with an alarm.

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229501)

Use the Force!

Don't overthink (5, Interesting)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229502)

IMO, this isn't an area where there's going to be some trick that's going to magically solve the problem. The best solutions are the time-honored solutions.

It sounds like you're concerned primarily with property crime, yes? That's actually pretty darn easy to prevent if you think about it logically. Don't leave anything in your car if you park it outside. Keep your garage door closed even during the day so people can't see in. Plant thorney bushes under the windows. Put up a couple of flood lights to take out the shadows in your yard. Keep your yard neat so it's obvious somebody lives there.

In terms of detection, nothing beats a well-trained dog. Train 'em to give a couple of barks whenever someone enters the yard (although just a couple so it doesn't get irritating).

This isn't a complicated problem, but as with a lot of things the best solutions are the obvious solutions.

As always (5, Funny)

yffe (187902) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229503)


Indiscriminate (3, Funny)

Butterwaffle Biff (32117) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229505)

Well, if you don't mind repelling everyone instead of the ill-willed, you might try buying a computer off this guy [] . I'm sure the dead pig odor would keep thieves out of you're mom's car -- it's a deterrent whose effectiveness was recently proven on Mythbusters...

Move out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229506)

Seriously, if you aren't save in your area just move out. Better save than shot.

Not Really High Tech or Geeky (2, Insightful)

HawkPilot (730860) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229507)

Get a Dog. Preferably a big scary looking one. Is it High Tech? Sure, Think of it as bio-tech / Genetic engineering. After all, the domesticated dog is largly a creation of man. (ie.. cultivating certain breeds.) It certaintly isn't new tech though.

She's alone? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229508) mean you don't live at home?

ThinkGeek (2, Interesting)

Ikn (712788) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229511)

I believe ThinkGeek has an interesting motion-sensor device that can auto-dial a phone in the event it detects something...unique approach and potentially very useful.

Re:ThinkGeek (1)

xcham (200708) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229531)

Kind of useless in the event of a home invasion, if they have the foresight to cut the lines going into your phone box.

the classic... (4, Funny)

EngMedic (604629) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229512)

... 10 guage loaded with rock salt seems to do the trick for me.

Repulsion (2, Funny)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229513)


What better place to ask about repulsion than a website where sweaty geeks hang out?

Location, Location, Location (1)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229515)

At least from my experience, the single biggest factor is where you live. If you have a house in a very high-crime area, then you're at risk, no matter how many alarms you have. On the other hand, if you live in a rural or sparsely-popluated suburb with an almost non-existentcrime rate, then you can have no alarms at all yet still be completely secure.
As an added bonus, you can also enjoy the "County's Most Wanted" section of the paper... 3 failures to pay child support and 2 unpaid traffic violations, anyone?

New Slashdot Topic? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229516)

Seriously, first the story about a mushroom shaped cloud over North Korea [] and soon there was an article about bomb shelters [] and now this! Is there going to be a Homeland Security topic created soon? I'd suggest a chicken since the sky is falling.

this week (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229523)

I plan on clipping a printout of the original inspiration, along with the cover of this week's issue of Time Magazine [] and put it up on my door...

It should be enough to scare the crap out of anyone.

She do? (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229524)

So my mom got lives alone

Does she got breathes alone too?

Catch 'em at it (1)

FatServer (812851) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229525)

Linux to the rescue: Setup a cctv system like that provided by coupled with some cheap camera hardware.....if you want to go a little bit further you could always use an X10 unit to trigger a suitable deterent - 120v AC to the chassis of the car? ;-)

Neighborhood Watch (2, Insightful)

usefool (798755) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229527)

Personally, I believe the most effective way to deter theft is the human technology. If your neighborhood is suffering from increased criminal activities, I am sure you're not alone.

So get together and patrol the streets together.

Nowadays thieves ain't that scared of high-tech security devices anymore, they will always find a way to get around them, but it's just that much more difficult to get around 2 or 3 pairs of watchful eyes at night.

Microwave car (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229529)

I once saw a guy in a nearby city, who slapped all of the microwave guts into his car. Think of his car as a large microwave box, to bounce around the signals.

If the car was ever stolen, or driven without the keys, the guy would not only get cancer, but be cooked within a few minutes.

Fair trade to me, although he still had the car, we never got to see it in action.

Electric Fence? (2, Informative)

David Horn (772985) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229533)

If you have metal window grills, consider hooking up an electric fencer to them. (the type to keep animals in fields). It's not harmful and will discourage anyone from trying to get in. DO NOT just connect them up to the mains.

Secondly, always lock your windows and doors, even if you're only going out for a minute or two. Get a decent alarm for the house.

The car - get a steering lock for it. They might be easily removed by a professional, but it takes time and if the theif has a choice between your car and one without, they'll go for the easy option.

Sentry gun (3, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229535)

I just bought a new house. Because it's our first house-house, I can't wait to finally build something I've been thinking of for a while.

A sentry gun.

Ever since playing Half-Life (oh hell, ever since watching Aliens) I've been intrigued by the idea of the sentry gun. With recent advances in electronics, it's easier than ever to build something like this.

Here's the plan, I'll use an electric actuator or pneumatic cylinder to pop it up out of the ground (when a motion sensor that covers the front sidewalk goes off) and unfold (using stepper motors or heavy duty servos controlled by an OOPIC programmable microprocessor) to aim a...


I haven't figured out if it'll be a paintball gun (with human firing only, of course) or just something menacing that LOOKS like a machine gun) that'll use a CMUCam (which automatically tracks motion in one of its modes) to keep it pointed at anything moving in front of it.

I've done other robotics projects before, I really like the idea of all the neighborhood kids staying away from crazy 'old man Hallert' and his scary robo-house.

Re:Sentry gun (5, Informative)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229557)

i think you might want to have a look at this paintball gun [] then...

security comes from community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229536)

Security can not come from a device. A device on its own is like a car alarm going off in a parking lot, everyone ignores it. It has no power.

You can try to fortify yourself with baracades and iron bars. It will only sorta work. You have to leave your fortrous from time to time. Both you and your possessions will then be vulnerable.

Security comes from community. It comes from those around you looking after you. If your community wants you to be safe, then you will have more security than any gizmo will achieve.

Only one defense needed. (1, Troll)

shockwaverider (78582) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229543)

Only one defense needed.


If you still worry then you might as well cancel the insurance and save the money.

Alarm (to notify) Gun (to defend) (1)

teslafreak (684543) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229549)

Well, at least they broke into the car instead of the home. Best defense for home, alarm and 12 gauge. Best defense for your car, alarm and a 12 gauge. I am not joking about this. Likke you said, the police can't really do anything about it. You have no way of knowing if they had intent to harm you, so don't chance it. Get a carry permit. Have your mom do so as well. Train on whatever guns you have. It may save your life someday. (It saved my brothers).

Guns. Lots of guns. (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229554)

Kill one of them, and leave his body on the sidewalk, for the rest to see. Your crime problem will end. Your mom will be safe, because everyone will know about it (oh, she's the one with the crazy son, don't go there). It really works. In fact, Bubba let me keep my own pudding today, and Mitch says I'm all his, so no more gang-bangs (thank God, because my butt is getting pretty sore now). Life is looking up. In fact, maybe I'll even get a bitch of my own someday, instead of being one.

I vote (5, Insightful)

ssclift (97988) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229558)

Recognizing that crime is often (not always, but often) a product of personal desperation I vote for candidates who will do things like:

  • Reduce the gap between rich and poor by progressive taxation and ensuring every working person has a living wage.
  • Reduce the incentive to steal to support drug habits by making programs such as doctor-prescribed methadone (or even heroin) available.
  • Reduce the incentive to commit crime by reducing the factors that force people into desperate poverty, like making medical care universally available.

At first, it may seem that, economically, you are better off keeping more of your dollars in your pocket (especially if you need them to pay the fees for your gated compound or personal home defense equipment). There is another equilibrium, which does mean higher taxes but on the other hand, makes the streets safe and crime less common, which is to reduce the societal risk factors that promote crime. Most wealthy Americans, for whom gated life and home defense is a minor cost, call this "rampant tax and spend looney pinko socialism". Many Europeans call it "responsible government".

Admittedly, shooting the "perp" and/or throwing him in jail does lead to a satisfied feeling that you have avenged, say, your Mum's honour. As many non-white citizens of your country can tell you, and good research has shown, your current system does actually promote, rather than prevent, the crime you wish to stop (cf. recent Cringly article as a starting point).

Want a safer society? Make sure it's one where everyone has a genuine chance, which doesn't oppress you if you're poor/black/unlucky, which is based on sound research and reasoning about policy (not 4000-year old policies promulgated in middle-eastern nomadic herding societies). Keep the police around to keep the hard-core cases under control.

It takes a little longer, and you guys nearly had it in the 60's, but it's worth it.

A dog, even an artificial one,is a great deterrent (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229566)

Most burglars will avoid a house with a dog. You don't even need a large/mean dog. I'm biased, but I think you can't go far wrong with a standard poodle. They're damn smart; easy to train; large enough to be frightening; and make good watchdogs, alerting their owner when anything unusual is going on; they don't shed, don't smell, and are hypoallergenic.
If a dog is out of the question, how about rigging up some electronic barking to the motion sensor light?

Wouldn't be allowed over here ... (1, Funny)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229568)

... but in the USA the answer is simply guns, surely?

For a slashdot specific answer:

Rig up lots of webcams, connect them to a Linux box with some open source motion detection software, and set off the mines in the front lawn and the machine guns when anything is detected.

So maybe you'll kill a few "innocent" people by accident. No problem, the American courts will let you off no trouble, and besides nobody "innocent" would be out walking anyway, would they.

bad odors (1)

slashjames (789070) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229569)

Why not have the alarm wired to trip an aerosol can full of something that smells aweful? I would recommend something (relatively) harmless such as sulfur dioxide (rotten eggs smell). A joke supply shop also would have stuff in the category of "harmless but annoying". Make sure you keep it in this category or else you open yourself to legal liability.

Set up a neighbourhood watch scheme... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229570)

If you're Mom is concerned about property crime, then her neighbors are probably concerned too. Setting up a neighborhood watch scheme could help. The biggest deterrent is making sure that your home is securely locked and the surround area. Most police departments have crime protection officers. That would be the first place to ask for advice.

Cameras (2, Funny)

ozntz (812858) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229575)

I have a major crime problem can anyone give me some sugestions on cameras pref night vision if possable

My preference (4, Insightful)

Venotar (233363) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229578)

Is a Steyr M-40 with nightsights and hyrdroshock rounds. Does dead count as injured?

Geek style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10229580)

Well, since you said "geek style", you could take a look at what the guy over at [] has rigged up. Besides the standard lights on/off at certain times, etc., he's even got two 2 GPS APRS [] equipped cars he's tracking. (All working just great until they steal your computer and ham radio...) ;)

Deter, Detect, Defend (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229583)

1. Get a club or some such for the car, to help prevent the car itself from being stolen. A removable face plate on the car stereo. Don't leave anything of value visible in the car. (Deter)

2. Outdoor video camera tied to the motion sensing light. This way, if something does happen, you have a record. DON'T go for the cheapest camera. It doesn't do any good if you can't recognize anything in the video. (Detect)

3. Defend is harder, since you said you don't want anything that could hurt anyone. A shame, as pain is a very effective deterrent. I'd suggest a nice rottweiler. They are lovable to those they know, but can be very territorial. Measure the distance from the front porch to the car, and affix a chain to the porch that is about 6" short of the car. With some sort of quick release, just in case.

A pump shotgun in case anyone gets nasty ideas and tries to enter the house. They take little skill and are quite effective at short ranges.

This is want I do.... (1)

ilikemonkeys (797193) | more than 10 years ago | (#10229592)

My car was a victim for a long time. I just took everything out of it and never lock the doors. I keep it pretty trashy (which I hate to do) but no one wants to joyride in a trashy car. (coffee cups and dorito bags on the floor) Dog or rabid dingo would be the best bet.
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