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Sonic 'Lasers' to be Deployed in Hurricane Region

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the can-you-hear-me-now? dept.

Hardware 619

MacDork writes "Wired News is running an article about high powered acoustic technology to be deployed in the hurricane Katrina disaster recovery. Apparently, the technology will allow authorities to communicate with others up to a mile away along with providing a non-lethal means of crowd control. No word on additional busses and shelters..."

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obligatory (4, Funny)

coaxeus (911103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471297)

how about some frickin sharks ?

Re:obligatory (5, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471362)

Already there. [reuters.co.uk]

"Officials said a 3-foot (0.9-metre) shark had been spotted cruising the flooded streets"

LRAD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471371)

LRAD Deals 2d6 sonic damage, fortitude save for half.

Re:obligatory (-1, Troll)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471455)

No, it's not obligatory, you karma whore. Every time "laser" appears in the content of an article, we don't *have* to make a post about frickin' sharks. Believe it or not, jokes get old.

Although, it never fails to confound me as to why they get modded up.

Re:obligatory (0, Troll)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471515)

Speaking of Sharks... it appears the Bush Whitehouse has just jumped one.

Bus Report (0, Offtopic)

toupsie (88295) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471302)

No word on additional busses and shelters...


Geraldo is reporting there are "buses" at the New Orleans Convention Center.

Re:Bus Report (4, Interesting)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471440)

What gets me is, why weren't the buses rolling in to pick up people and give them rides away from these areas before the hurricane hit. As soon as it was obvious that Katrina was aiming for these areas, why couldn't they have used all these buses [yahoo.com] to to start moving people out.

And why not move in the food and water before the storm hit, and have it already there for those who will need it. I guess foresight and planning ahead no longer applies, even with all the models and predictions concerning hurricane disasters in that area.

Then, too, there will always be some people who will say, "I'm not leaving. I'll just take my chances." Then these same people yell the loudest about not being helped out of the situation they got themselves into. (Note: I am not referring to those too ill or feeble to move, or who just can't for some reason, nor to those who may be too poor to be able to find the means to leave.)

Re:Bus Report (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471474)

short answer:

the people that matter were already out of there.

that's also the reason why more resources are spent on protecting property and chasing "looters" than actually helping people.

Because People Don't Matter (3, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471510)

"In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war."

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,15 18,372455,00.html [spiegel.de]

Re:Bus Report (2, Insightful)

Silentnite (815125) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471524)

Mobilizing a Relief-force for 1 million people+ is a lot harder then we've been led to believe. Especially when the damage was so widespread.

A large percentage of those people down there really had no way to get out but walk, and so chose to stay. Yes we should have tried getting all the busses and such there sooner, but I think in all reality we're doing as much as we can.

Sadly there are cases of people shooting at the relief helicopters and looting in a time like this. With relief on the way some of these people are looting guns leaving the food and shooting at the people there to help.

Then with the news coming out about the forced rape situations down in the Dome, I'm starting to wonder if a small minority of stupid people is ruining the press for this.

Its sad to think, but it may be possible with all this bad publicity, and the cries that we're doing nothing may end up becoming a self-fullfilling prophecy.

What a horrible mess... (3, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471304)

No word on additional busses and shelters...

*sigh*

I am having a hard time with this one. I think the camel's back was broken sometime last week. What person in their right mind would decide that shooting out the eardrums of an already broken people would be of any tactical use at all?

What a clusterfuck NOLA has become. Buncha dimwit politicians can't wrap their heads around the value of human life, the need for expidited aid for refugees (and how not to treat a refugee like a criminal), so they figure it's best to simply treat it as a run-of-the-mill race-riot.

Good luck with that situation, Uncle Sam, you're gonna need all the luck you can get at this point.

With the response thus far, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole south broke into complete chaos. Might not happen this time, but the water is starting to boil, as is the blood of every American, uniformly.

Re:What a horrible mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471312)

as is the blood of every American, uniformly.
br I'm quite content actually.

Re:What a horrible mess... (5, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471403)

as is the blood of every American, uniformly.

br I'm quite content actually.

That is because you are not really American. Yes, you maybe do live in the US of A and have a house and a car or two and speak English and even have an American passport. Still, if your blood is not boiling at this you are not American. As in: you do not subscribe to the American values. That old, "quaint", Constitution of yours goes:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America".

But don't listen to me, a foreigner that I am, Ben Franklin said it better: "We must all hang together, or, assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

And if what is going on in the South is to your "content", separately you will hang, indeed.

Re:What a horrible mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471526)

That is because you are not really American. Yes, you maybe do live in the US of A and have a house and a car or two and speak English and even have an American passport.

Hmm...Well, I live in the "US of A" but do not have a house. It is an ok apartment. Only one car at the moment unless you count the old, nonworking truck I purchased in Texas when I was 17 another car. I do speak English but, alas, no American passport. Possibly because I was born in America as were my parents and the parents quite a few generations before them.

And if what is going on in the South is to your "content", separately you will hang, indeed.

Hang me then. I grew up in that area and quite honestly belive that Katrina was a good thing. We'll be able to weed out the popularity of the gangs (through seperation or execution), reengineer New Orleans to make it a safer harbor to live in, and generate more jobs for low income families to work in. With the destruction brought by Katrina, we may bring a rise of constructive ingenuity. Am I sorry for what happened to those caught in it? No. They had plenty of time to get out. For those who had no ability to get out all I can say is that is their own fault. They've lived in New Orleans for years knowing this day will come and yet they dwelled in gang filled neighborhoods living in poverty waiting for the next check from Uncle Sam. I am not the least bit sympathetic torwards any of them. Thats what they get for living in a damn bowl below sea level.

Re:What a horrible mess... (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471354)

Cost cutting at it's finest. They decided to build levys that only handle a category 3 storm, even though a category 5 storm hit really close (IE: Camile). So, instead of spending the money to upgrade the levys, they decided to spend it on other things....and here we go, look what happens.

I think the delay in the response was because it looked like New Orleans didn't suffer much. Until the levy broke, which I believe was late on Monday night......

I live in Earthquake country. I really think politicans should take note. Don't cost cut construction projects. Levy, bridges, buildings. Doesn't matter. Spend the money, avoid disaster.

Re:What a horrible mess... (5, Informative)

bladernr (683269) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471384)

and how not to treat a refugee like a criminal

Are you serious? Most of my (large) family live in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, and I speak with them as often as possible (sometimes the phone lines are too jammed to get through). You should get some real information.

The police and authorities are not treating people all the same. There is no firing into crowds, and that sort of thing. No doubt the authorities are overwhelmed and need all the outside help they can get, but they are coping as best they can. If people are shooting, looting (not food - TV's, etc), causing violence and intimidation, they are being treated like the common criminals they are. If they are people in distress who need help, everyone is trying to get help to them.

As an aside, anyone trying to score poliltical points in either direction on the back of this disaster should be taken out back for summary execution. Sorry, I'm pretty close to this, and politics has no place until after this is sorted.

A question though: I am living outside the US, so I don't know if any offers of foreign aid have come in. Not just money, but doctors, freshwater, etc. With the level of support sent by the US to disasters around the world (like the Boxing Day Tsunami), I wonder if the rest of the world is trying to help the US now?

Re:What a horrible mess... (2, Informative)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471428)

A question though: I am living outside the US, so I don't know if any offers of foreign aid have come in. Not just money, but doctors, freshwater, etc. With the level of support sent by the US to disasters around the world (like the Boxing Day Tsunami), I wonder if the rest of the world is trying to help the US now?


Canada, and specifically my province of alberta is willing to send staff and write a cheque for aid, however there is no organization directing this aid yet.

Re:What a horrible mess... (5, Informative)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471451)

With the level of support sent by the US to disasters around the world (like the Boxing Day Tsunami), I wonder if the rest of the world is trying to help the US now?

Well I have heard reports of aid being offered by many countries from sri lanka to israel, the uk and others.. some of that will no doubt be largely symbolic but still they were made..

What I haven't heard is if the US has accepted any of those offers or if any of it arrived in the area yet.

"Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Honduras and Sri Lanka are among countries that said they would send aid. A special United Nations task force is ready to help also, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a target of criticism by the U.S., offered $1 million to the Red Cross through Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the country's national oil company. Cuba's President Fidel Castro offered to send 1,100 doctors and 26 tons of medicine to the U.S. Gulf Coast areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported last night."
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&si d=a3BvGso1ZFb4&refer=us [bloomberg.com]

Re:What a horrible mess... (5, Informative)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471480)

A question though: I am living outside the US, so I don't know if any offers of foreign aid have come in. Not just money, but doctors, freshwater, etc. With the level of support sent by the US to disasters around the world (like the Boxing Day Tsunami), I wonder if the rest of the world is trying to help the US now?

Over 40 countries so far. Canada is sending its top notch DART team (experts in urban rescue, the team also comes with a portable water purification plant). Canadian Navy is sending ships with supplies, choppers and what not to assist. There have been massive fund raising operations here, the Governments both Federal and Provincial are chipping in, Air Canada is shuttling people between cities in the South using largest planes in its fleet, etc etc.

Re:What a horrible mess... (2, Insightful)

Whumpsnatz (451594) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471489)

anyone trying to score poliltical points in either direction on the back of this disaster should be taken out back for summary execution.

I guess you'll be starting the shooting any time now. I think your understanding of "political" is flawed. It was politics that led to the destruction of the Mississippi. It was politics that led to the destruction of the wetlands, and the idiotic construction right in the most dangerous areas. It was politics to dig canals right through New Orleans, thus dramatically increasing the risk of broken levees. It's certainly politics to propose the killings of people for saying something with which you disagree.

For people to speak out about incompetence, indifference, and horrible decisions is entirely proper. Politics is life.

Re:What a horrible mess... (4, Informative)

dfung (68701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471519)

CNN carried a press conference with Condoleeza Rice, the US Secretary of State, who commented that there had been many offers of financial aid from foreign nations and that none had been refused.

That was all fine and good, but the next question was from another reporter who asked, "but isn't it true that none of these donations have actually been accepted yet?" Yup, you guessed it, that was correct - the offers are being recorded but not being accepted by the US. Don't ask me why (although seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if that is a process that might take some time).

Another question followed up on a comment from Rice that Sri Lanka, which is poor and still rebuilding from the tsunami, had made a pledge of an undislosed amount. The reporter asked whether this made any sense since this was basically giving back US foreign aid to Sri Lanka.

It's sort of interesting to watch these press conferences as you see they pretty much alternate puffball questions from shills with (often ridiculously accusatory) questions from the other side. Just another sign of the stupidly polarized political environment around here these days. Imagine trying to drive down the street if your only steering mechanism was full-lock left and full-lock right. Grrr...

Re:What a horrible mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471390)


You must have missed the part where these "broken" people were shooting at the helicopters sent to rescue them, stealing big screen tvs, mugging and even killing each other because there's nobody around to stop them.

I don't feel bad for the majority of them. I feel bad for the few here and there who were left behind in hospitals and such, or little kids who suffer at their idiot parents hands. The rest can rot there.

Even worse, this whole situation is enough to turn someone into a racist.

Re:What a horrible mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471422)

You're extremely uninformed. And I'd say there's no need for you to be 'turned into' a racist, since, given your commentary, you appear to be one already.

Honestly, what you said was unspeakably unjust and cruel. I have nothing further to say to you.

Re:What a horrible mess... (2, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471467)

A smaller percentage of New Orleans residents had cars than even New York City - 2/5ths of the city. It was the poorest major city in the United States. How were they supposed to get out - hop in their private jet?

What about the tourists? Flights were suddenly cancelled without warning. All of the taxi drivers fled. Were they supposed to try to walk out in the hurricane?

The "few" in hospitals were actually many thousands. The kids that you mention outnumber adults. Those in retirement homes, those guarding critical facilities (like prisons), etc - how the heck were they supposed to leave without an organized evacuation plan?

Very few people are actually "stealing TVs" and "shooting at the police". There were 200,000 or so people left behind in the city - how many do you think were doing this sort of stuff? 100? 500? Read some reports from the people that are actually on the streets - it's amazing how self sacrificing so many of the people are being, even people that you would often view as "ghetto thugs". People dressed like gang members rounding up the neighborhood to get them into boats, people who look to be in their 70s searching houses, etc. It's a testament to humanity more than anything else.

Back to the looting: I've seen about a hundred pictures of people either looting or carrying looted goods. I've not seen a single "big screen TV". I've seen a lot of food, water, diapers, etc. The worst pictures I've seen were couple bottles of alcohol, and even that was *anything* but representative. If you want a broad range of pictures, check out Yahoo's news picture site - they gather pictures from any online news reports that they can find, so you get the whole spectrum.

Really, more than anything, you sound like you're just looking for an *excuse* to be racist.

Re:What a horrible mess... (2, Interesting)

globalar (669767) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471405)

Not that I don't share some of your opinion, but this article has very little to do with New Orleans. From the article:

"In mid-90's morning heat at Edwards Air Force
Base, HPV Technologies and American Technology demonstrated prototypes of non-lethal sonic devices for a group of military and law enforcement guests, including representatives of the U.K. Home Office.

Representatives of both companies say that within days, they will ship some units of their respective products to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, so authorities can use the tools for crowd control, aid distribution and rescue operations."


So it's a publicity stunt for corporations. They are sending them to Marine MP and hope they will get some free press when one of the thousands of reporters in the area gets the scoop of Marines using some scifi crowd control.

I read nowhere any government official asking or endorsing this specifically for New Orleans. Maybe I missed it. It does mention the LAPD is looking at it and that the Navy already uses similar devices in Iraq. Never having been on the receiving end of crowd control techniques, I can't say this weapon is any better than things like tear gas. I would damn well like to know that before any member of any force uses it on anyone. Especially in an area with martial law.

Of course, if there is a riot and the government does nothing, everyone will watch it on CNN and complain the government is not doing their job. So either the military ship thousands of individuals to handle upset people (vs. rescuing - or we could trail off about Iraq here too) or they use a allegedly non-lethal weapon. I'd prefer to pass judgement after we know all the details of what leaders and people alike are dealing with down there.

Re:What a horrible mess... (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471408)

With the response thus far, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole south broke into complete chaos. Might not happen this time, but the water is starting to boil, as is the blood of every American, uniformly.

The civil war is coming. Natural disasters are getting worse (a possible raise in the level of Hurricanes to 6?) and oil prices are rising.

We have an administration in place that has questionable tactics and a family tradition to uphold. It's becoming more of a royal family than our traditional view of the Presidency.

It's very possible that continuous war, raising inflation, and declining rights combined with natural disasters and oil prices may end up causing civil war.

I'm scared.

Let's start blaming! First up FEMAs Michael Brown (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471415)

So this guy needs to be removed from his job immediately. Clearly he's disappointed that he now has to rescue black people with his statement of "the victims bear responsibility". WTF?!?

Why didn't Bush fire his sorry ass for stating that all these destitute black people, with absolutely no money or places to go, were at fault for not evacuting?

Does he think all these people, on food stamps and welfare, would suddenly magically find the $20 it takes to even buy the Gasoline needed to drive out of the city? And that's assuming they even HAD a car or a place to go!

Does he assume everybody is rich and has a big cozy SUV? And that everybody in America has a magical pile of $20 bills tucked away somewhere in their suburban picket-fenced single-family home lined with Crape Myrtle trees and big black SUVs with "W" stickers ready to evacuate people?

Clearly this suburban redneck had no clue what the real world was like in New Orleans. "Oh why don't you guys all pack up in your minivans and rent a hotel room for at the Marriott for the night, and we'll all get together after this whole thing is over." Yah right, moron.. Instead, he sees large groups of black people, and immediately thinks 'guns'. Shiny sci-fi guns, no less!

BTW, if this disaster is the victim's responsibility, then what exactly is YOUR job? How does 'government helping people' fit in with your capitalist's view of 'poor people deserve what they get'?

First up, the mayor (5, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471452)

"We need buses!" Yes, Mr. Mayor. We need those 200 bright yellow school buses [yimg.com] that you let sit, and are now under water. 200 buses, 50 people per...that's 10,000 people you could have evacuated in one trip.

Sorry, IMHO, any blame here goes from the bottom up.

Re:What a horrible mess... (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471424)

Moreover, I think this whole mess has very painful pointed out the lack of understanding some (emphasis on some) Americans have for different cultures and different socioeconomic situations. Your city floods, you have no car, no money, no food, and there are stores all around you - stores that for all practical purposes won't reopen commercially for weeks - and you're supposed to sit there nicely and wait for the nice aid people to get to you eventually? Or do you deserve no aid at all simply because when the order to evacuate was given, you stayed because you couldn't afford transport out of the area?

It never ceases to amaze me how people underestimate the basic needs of a people in crisis - they don't need to know why the levees failed, or who cut the funding, and they certainly don't need someone telling them about all the warnings and orders to evacuate given in the days before the storm hit. They need food, shelter, a shower, clean clothing, etc. I hate to say it, but it sounds way too familiar - the only saving grace is that we haven't started blaming the lack of aid getting into the area on Louisiana insurgents.

Re:What a horrible mess... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471464)

It never ceases to amaze me how people underestimate the basic needs of a people in crisis - they don't need to know why the levees failed, or who cut the funding, and they certainly don't need someone telling them about all the warnings and orders to evacuate given in the days before the storm hit. They need food, shelter, a shower, clean clothing, etc. I hate to say it, but it sounds way too familiar - the only saving grace is that we haven't started blaming the lack of aid getting into the area on Louisiana insurgents.


There's a bunch of bullshit on both sides. Many of the looters just want food and water that is true. Some of the looters are also murdering and rapign people, the army has been sent in to control these people. The police and military are working with imprefect information and sometimes other factors such as racism ect.. create situation where innocent people are also victimized as being one of the murderers and rapists. So you have a bloody mess with both sides looking like shitheads, one saying "hey, they just need basic nessecities." while the other says "look some of them are murdering people and rapign people we need marshall law". While both are partially true, both are also partially wrong.

Re:What a horrible mess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471456)

And this is the people that claims to bring peace and democracy elsewhere (let you guess where).

I'm very very scared about it.
I was already before anyway.

Re:What a horrible mess... (1)

che.kai-jei (686930) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471472)

i like you, i know you mean nothing by it, but please could we all refrain from referring to the human beings currently exepriencieng great trauma in a human tragedy of mis-financing, ill-will and malicious disregard. these callous containment strategy against the poverty strciken underclass in american society.
these people are displaced AMERICAN CITIZENS. not refugees.
i know techincally the term is correct but implies too much .. since WWII the is term is loaded with immigration implications and diasporas of foreign people in wars.


they kind of become de humanized and alien to the public mind. the media love calling them this. they are merely displaced citizens. your fellow americans.

Although it is too early to say, maybe the one good thing that comes from this is that most decent, white, ordinary americans get to see what the hell is going on in the emptied cities ands towns they fled years ago.

kudos to the massive efforts and will of the ordinary people i see on pbs and npr reports and bbc news.

Shame about your federal overlords, but as is the way of these things, the courage and compassion of the people dwarfs the meagre empty words of the patrician elite.

i posted this not as AC as i would like you to strongly consider what i mean without dismissing it 'in' with the sometimes subtle trolls.

Relying on government (0, Troll)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471478)

Government is good at only a few things. Disaster recovery is not one of them. It would be MUCH, MUCH better if the government got out of the way and let the free market take care of this problem, thankyouverymuch.

This disaster has been caused by excessive reliance on government. Don't blame FEMA. Blame yourself.
-russ

Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471305)

" No word on additional busses and shelters..."

First things first, I guess.

Re:Priorities (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471366)

You have to have some semblance of order to evacuate people. Otherwise there will be choas.

I just can't believe the looting and people SHOOTING at rescuers. That is insane.

Re:Priorities (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471516)

1. Looting doesn't stop evacuation. Evacuation should take precedence.

2. I've heard of only two incidents of relief workers being shot at. One was a helicopter, and one was at a hospital. There has been more going on in the city, but that still doesn't explain why water and food couldn't be got to the superdrome or whatever it's called.

Yeah, but... (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471309)

But will we have those "lasers" on the "moon", too?

Aet your phasers to.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471311)

... talk?.. :P

But will it... (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471313)

But will it go to 11?

Testing ground.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471315)

Wow, looks like they found a great opportunity to test some of the new toys out.

-HmmmT Vzmo

Something called radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471318)

What would be more usefull and most likley more reliable is a radio system which could be deployed quickly.

One simple and effective system would be a deployable phone cell. This acoustic "laser" is a pointless waste of resourses. Better to use a mature tried and tested technology instead of one which probably doesnt even work without line of sight.

Oooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471319)

Dual purpose! They let you communicate reliably and induce blinding pain in bystanders!

Sonic Food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471324)

Instead of a sonic laser perhaps they should bring some food and water.

Is this really what they need? (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471325)

Can you hear me now? GOOD!

I hope this will be helpful somehow although I just can't see it doing much. :-/

This will work great... (1)

sljgh (742290) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471330)

until a crowd goes nuts and in the process of communicating and controlling the crowd someone forgets to throw a switch and blows away their support staff a mile away.

i for one... (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471331)

welcome our new sonic laser remote voice unit overlords

Oh that sounds good. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471335)

No shelters for these people, supplies are too late, the beginnings of what might turn out to be an all-out class/race war in place...but hey, now we can zap those dirty black people from space!

Nice to see that the Bush administration has its priorities straight.

Trades (2, Interesting)

Murmer (96505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471339)

I wonder what the going exchange rate between high-powered acoustic lasers and, say, MREs and bottled water is at this point.

Crowd Control Is Easy (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471343)

M16. Instant crowd control.

Re:Crowd Control Is Easy (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471355)

Fuck the M16, they need a BOOMSTICK!

Re:Crowd Control Is Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471356)

God bless america! *puke*

Re:Crowd Control Is Easy (2, Funny)

ViX44 (893232) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471375)

Why control the crowd? God sent His agent, the angel Katrina, to show us the truth of human nature.

People aren't going to learn to change themselves until they are thoroughly disgusted with what they currently are. This is step one.

Unstoppable. (4, Funny)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471344)

Damn, why didn't I think of that?

Shoot lasers at the hurricane and we can SCARE IT AWAY.. either that or there will be a fierce battle of lasers vs. wind, and we all know lasers are the strongest thing ever.

Fuck. The answer has been here the whole time and we just didn't see it.

Re:Unstoppable. (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471378)

Hey, don't laugh. Heat up the air enough with a big damn IR laser, and who knows what kind of countercurrent you could create? Sure, it might take the entire energy output of the US to do it, or some other really big number, but, hey, we're America! If we can conquer the weather using the power of inefficient light generation then who's to stop us?

sound lasers (1)

RevengeOfPoopJuggler (872968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471345)

sasers

Safety Concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471348)

The presumption with these as a form of crowd control is that the targets will move away when these are directed upon them. That may not always be possible in a mob situation. And we have too many people getting killed by cops getting aggro with "non-lethal" weapons as it is.

Why not just machine gun the refugees? (3, Insightful)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471350)

This is ridiculous. We're the richest nation in the world, and it takes us over 7 days to evacuate 100,000 poor people from a disaster area?

We don't (or didn't) need high-tech toys to control the crowds. Simple, common-sense, things like on-going airdrops of food and water, combined with convoys of buses, and temporary shelters at schools, etc, would have prevented major losses of life in this fiasco.

Sure, news photos of helicopters rescuing people look cool, but helicopters are 100 times as expensive as simple, tried and true tech like small boats.

We had advanced warning (36+ hours) that this was going to happen. Where were FEMA, the NG, Homeland Security, etc?

I'm disgusted and depressed at the bureaucratic mess that allowed this situation to get so out of hand.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471389)

The evacuation situation is bad, but they didn't know 36+ hours in advance that the levees were going to breach. Since NO got missed, the resources were likely diverted to where Katrina hit hardest.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471443)

The evacuation situation is bad, but they didn't know 36+ hours in advance that the levees were going to breach. Since NO got missed, the resources were likely diverted to where Katrina hit hardest.

The levees were not meant to handle a category 4 storm. Why? They should have been meant to handle above a C5. Why? So that this problem wouldn't happen.

If such devistation can occur due to people living twenty feet below sea level and it impacts the rest of the country so much -- the short term high-priced investments need to be made so that $100+ billion in losses along with 25+ billion in insurance losses won't occur.

They've had a long time to think about this. Not just 36+ hours.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1, Troll)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471399)

Well, let's have a look at the situation. The head of FEMA Michael Brown, was fired from his last job after mismanagement in the high, exalted position of commissioner of the Arabian horse association. His only qualification for the role appears to be that his college roommate was a big Bush fundraiser. And of course, the guy at the top, GWB himself, is an AWOL coke-snorting drunk. There's basically nobody in the chain of command qualified to lead in this situation. Probably the highest ranking member who has demonstrated any competence is the Commandant of the Coast Guard.

This is what you get when you "drown the government in the bathtub".

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471404)

this bigger issue remains is why didn't the mayor and governor deal with this before hand? The governor had the power to call out the national guard and enforce the mandatory evacuation. The mayor had the power to put literally hundreds of school busses into action to get people out.

They did neither.

FEMA was there, and the police under the mayor never told them where to send the food. FEMA provides resources, but they are still under the direction of the local authorities. The local authorities are the ones in charge on the ground. Instead of being in charge and leading this situation they were on TV whining that the Republican administration in washington wasn't doing enough. Once again the liberals (both the mayor and governor are democrats) will exploit any tragedy for their own political gain, at the expense of suffering people. Shows how caring they really are most of the time. They only care when its politically helpful, and they don't care when not caring is politically helpful. Just typical of them.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471513)

Because, if they went through all the trouble of evacuating people and it turned out to be nothing, the entire city, state and country would be PISSED.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (4, Insightful)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471407)

And I'm sure the pictures of police and soldiers dragging poor people from their homes and throwing them on buses in the forced evacuation would have gone over so well, especially if the hurricane had missed.

Yeah, the people who didn't want to leave for any reason would have made great photo-ops displaying the cruelty and racism of the Bush Administration, for displacing poor blacks from their homes.

The point is, the current administration can do nothing right, and will always be painted with evil motives, no matter what. Most Americans are sick of hearing it, but until the ClintonII administration takes office, that's all we will hear. That's why I've turned the news off.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1)

tempehop (912329) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471413)

I doubt its the refugees they'll be turning these "weapons" on. Instead, consider that they may be placed on patrol with other officers, so that if they're going down a street and see a man with a shotgun they don't have to shout out and ask if he's just defending his property of if he's going to take a pot shot at them as so many reports have indicated. Just because a weapon is for crowd control doesn't mean there needs to be a crowd.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471420)

Mayor Nagin and the governors are at fault.

Emergency response plans and disaster relief are planned at the local, county, and state level. FEMA bases their response and help on the existing state and local plans, and on the information given to them when they are asked to come in. The feds do not plan evacuations, they plan response techniques and strategies then apply those, they do not release aid until asked for by the local/state authority. Each Governor is responsible for that state's national guard.

People are making claims about what FEMA and the fed. gov. should have done when it is not their responsibility. False claims are also being made about why relief didn't come immediately, as some relief was there prior to this disaster. The levys were being assessed to be repaired immediatly after the storm has passed.

I love how people are also ignoring the fact that response teams were sent to other cities as well, as New Orleans wasn't the only place to need aid.

The reason that helicopters were not used to drop supplies. Available helicopters were being used to transport isolated people much more in need of rescuing than those in a group large enough to help each other.

No, boats are not effective rescuing somone from certain locations, such as unstable buildings, though small boats are being used. Take a look at the logistics of getting busses into the locations you are talking about, you cannot drive a bus thru 20' of water. A convoy of busses would also have to travel some distance (thru other areas also devastated by the hurricane).

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1)

klang (27062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471432)

..just to pour salt in the wound..

from TFA ..but generally range from $10,000 to $75,000 per unit.
Personel for deployment and operation probably not included.

How many small boats or busses would that kind of money pay for?

At this point, people wouldn't need to be told where the busses or boats to save them were situated. Hell, add a small field duster plane with a banner containing an appropriate message.

Richest nation in the world indeed, because this mess is certainly rich!

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471487)

We had advanced warning (36+ hours) that this was going to happen.

Right. So how dumb are you if you just sat around rather than getting the hell out of the city?

Where were FEMA, the NG, Homeland Security, etc?

What, you wanted them to be on-site before the storm and flood ended so that the people and resources for rescue would themselves be destroyed?

Traveling takes time. Putting together volunteers (such as national guardsmen who have real jobs they have to be called away from) takes time. Not to mention, the federal government can't just waltz in and start doing shit in your state. There is a legal structure that they are required to follow before they just start coming in and running things in any given state on a federal level.

Honestly, I don't know what it is people expected. Plus, nobody knew it was going to be this bad ahead of time. I saw "experts" on the news a couple days ahead of time telling news reporters that they were blowing things out of proportion and that the storm would come and go and with little impact.

Anyway, evacuating more than 100,000 people - many of whom were trapped in and surrounded by water and hard to get to - in seven days? Sounds pretty impressive to me. Not to mention, it hasn't been 7 days unless you're counting the time before the storm ended, which is dumb... because nobody's going to send people and resources into the eye of a storm.

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (4, Informative)

toupsie (88295) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471502)

This is ridiculous. We're the richest nation in the world, and it takes us over 7 days to evacuate 100,000 poor people from a disaster area?

You're kidding, right? Have you ever tried to move 100,000 people from a disaster area? These are the sick, the old, the very young, injured and, unfortunately, some are the criminal. It is not easy to move them, especially when large parts of the transportation infrastructure has been destroyed [kwtx.com] . Flat bottom boats are not going to do the job well.

We don't (or didn't) need high-tech toys to control the crowds. Simple, common-sense, things like on-going airdrops of food and water, combined with convoys of buses, and temporary shelters at schools, etc, would have prevented major losses of life in this fiasco.

They did try airdrops and were shot at. The Mayor of New Orleans had over 400 buses at his disposal after he was urged by President Bush to evacuate New Orleans ~48 hours [nola.com] before Katrina hit. He chose to leave those city and school buses in the motor pool. The buses that are in New Orleans had to come from outside the city. The buses that were used delivered the victims to locations without adequate resourses such as the Superdome and Convention Center. It is unfortunate that Nagin ignored his own disaster plan [cityofno.com] .

Re:Why not just machine gun the refugees? (5, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471525)

Bush is getting a WAY bad rap on this whole thing.

You're right -- helicopters are 100 times more expensive, which is why the feds are not usually in charge of disaster recovery. The country is too damn big to have disaster plans for every region, which is why it's the responsibility of local and state governments to have plans. Why the hell didn't the mayor of New Orleans have a plan to get HIS OWN CITIZENS out?? The guy is being a total a-hole blaiming the feds for his own failure, as well as the failure of the governor of Louisiana.

Did you know that it was BUSH who personally called the mayor to order a mandatory evacuation? From this [nola.com] ...

"Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding."

In other words, Bush saved thousand, if not tens of thousands of lives. The deaths can be put squarely on the government of Louisiana and New Orleans.

Not that things couldn't have been done faster -- they could have. But Bush is getting way too much of the blame here. The feds are not designed to move fast, combined with the fact that it was an incredible mess, and it doesn't help when people are shooting at the rescuers.

Well then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471357)

Why didn't we just use this to yell at the storm to go away?

Longitudinal wave lasers? (5, Informative)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471359)

Warning: dopey science rant follows!

Man, I wish people would get this right. Sonic laser doesn't make any sense. Can you really call longitudinal waves coherent? There's more to a laser than just high fluence and the ability to be focused. Sonic waves don't even have a particle nature, really, unless you wanted to count the vibrating atoms. Since you can't amplify atoms, you really can't get a sonic laser. Here, let's look at this:

"... like the sonic equivalent of a laser, or spotlight."

That's from the article. A spotlight and a laser really don't have much in common besides producing lots of light. A spotlight isn't coherent, or even monochromatic. It's just really, really "bright." Photons of laser light all have a fixed phase relationship--coherency, basically. This leads to lots of interesting properties like, oh, the entire science of interferometry. More importantly for the purposes of this discussion, lasers are _really really really_ "bright." I'm using "brightness" as a misnomer for fluence, or power through an area: you can get a much higher fluence from a decent laser by reducing area than from a spotlight by increasing power. I wish people wouldn't abuse the term laser so very much.

At the _very_ least, don't say "laser," because the "L" means light, and we're not talking about light here. Say "saser" or something, even though that's meaningless--stimulated emission of sound waves makes no sense under the traditional definition of stimulated emission, which really only applies to photons.

I realize that perhaps the functionality of the equipment makes the "beam" have laser-like properties, but I'm just irritated that "laser" is one of those fancy new buzzwords that the military and businesses like to toss around so much. They seriously degrade the good name of the device and, by doing so, cheapen science and help contribute to the scientific ignorance of the American population.

Re:Longitudinal wave lasers? (0, Flamebait)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471475)

Ask your mom to buy your underwear a couple sizes larger next time.

May seem unneeded and cruel.... (5, Insightful)

vialation (885786) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471364)

But in all seriousness, take a look at what's going on down there. There is an insane amount of looting and anarchy, stores are being looted, people are hoarding anything they can find. Hell, even reports of horrible crimes such as rape have been going around, because there is no way to control a mob the size of a city...

The government *is* doing what it can, which isn't much really, the city is flooded, and we're trying to fly as many people out as we can, but in the meantime, we need some order, and a nonlethal method of maintaining order seems very appropriate.

Re:May seem unneeded and cruel.... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471414)

because there is no way to control a mob the size of a city...

Yeah there is. Personal responsibility.

Do ANY of you reading this think that you personally would descend into rape, murder, shooting at rescurers, hijacking ambulances, and all the other assorted nastiness that's been going on?
No.

Granted...we are not in that situation, and it's easy to pontificate from an airconditioned living room. But I cannot imagine any possible set of circumstances that would lead you or I down the path to rape someone. Break into a grocery store for food/medicine/clothes? Sure. But all that other crap? Come on.

It's awful hard to rescue someone, if some other asshat is shooting at you.

(Lest you think i'm bashing you...I agree with what you said.)

Re:May seem unneeded and cruel.... (1, Troll)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471523)

Umm.. If I'd had no water for 3 days and another day would likely kill half my family I'm damned sure I *would* murder, hijack an ambulance, etc. Probably shoot at a few helicopters too to see if I could hijack one of those.

It's easy to say you'd stay civilised from your nice comfy chair.

well (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471367)

If the USA could manage disaster recovery at least at the rate of a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY they wouldn't need some fancy 'non-lethal' (yeah right) crowd control.

Re:well (1)

fussili (720463) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471468)

Katrina devastated an area larger than Great Britain. Perhaps you need to be a Brit and hear that statistic to really make sense of it. I don't honestly think the United Kingdom would have dealt much better with such a disaster and as for a 3rd world country it'd be mother nature's genocide.

Harm (1)

Saiyaman (859809) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471369)

"Products from both companies could be used, at high volume, to harm subjects who do not comply with commands." So instead of crowd-control we have gone to torture?

Re: Harm (1)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471471)

So instead of crowd-control we have gone to torture?

Aparently, yes.
From the article (second page): ... the device sends out streams of noise in intervals of about 10 seconds. The specific sonic frequencies chosen affect the inner ear, creating dizziness and nausea in human targets.

typical conversation transmitted on sonic lase (0, Flamebait)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471373)

Bubba: How, Joe Bob, what's happening?

Joe Bob: Aw, there's a buncha Niggers trapped down in the city. We trying keep in penned, and shit, well, you know...

Bubba: Hey, you coming over for beers at the icehouse after house?

Joe Bob: You betcha!

But seriously, folks, that was just a joke. Bubba and Joe Bob aint to blame for the Lake New Orleans tragedy. The people to blame for that are those in power in Washington DC. By failing to tax the wealth and income of the rich in order to rebuild our national infrastructure and emergency services, the political elite in DC murdered them.

In my opinion, Bush, his cabinet, and all the GOP congresspeople and Democratic congresspeople collectively (hereinafter, the "Political Elite") are responsible for the deaths in New Orleans because they failed to properly tax the rich and use that money to protect New Orleans. That was murder.

Therefore, I hereby petition the US Justice Dept to indict all of above aforesaid Political Elite for those New Orleans murders, and try them on capital murder charges in a court of law, in accordance with custom and due process.

Re:typical conversation transmitted on sonic lase (1)

bladernr (683269) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471421)

The people to blame for that are those in power in Washington DC.

Wow. Seriously.

The person to blame for rape is the rapist. Not some politician.

The person to blame for murder is the murder. Not someone in DC.

The person to blame for looting is the looters. The only exception here is the "theft" of food and water from damaged stores in the name of survival. Stealing TVs hardly falls in this category.

Interesting theory you have, but it removes responsibility from criminals. I would love to see it in court: "Your Honour, I know I raped and then killed that 14 year old girl, but am I really to blame, or the guys in power in DC? I submit to you I should be acquitted of this crime - and all the others I stand accused of - 'cause it's really the fault of the politicians."

Makes a load of sense...

who is responsible for 1000s of drownings? (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471476)

The political elite are responsible because they let the plutocrats strip America of its wealth without taxing them aqequately. If they had kept some of america's wealth for our protection and infrastructure, all the 1000s who drowned in New orleans would still be alive. I petition the Justice Dept to indict the politcal elite for murder.

I say indict them for capital murder, try 'em in a court of law, convict 'em, and sentence them.

Re:who is responsible for 1000s of drownings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471497)

The political elite are responsible because they let the plutocrats strip America of its wealth without taxing them aqequately.

So, Cryofan, your position in the message you reply to is that the rapist should get away with raping the 14 year old girl because the wealthy were not taxed adequatly?

Re:typical conversation transmitted on sonic lase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471483)

You know, not every situation has a single cause. In fact, I don't think any situations have a single cause.

Crowd Control? I can do it cheaper and faster. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471374)

Provide Water. Then provide food, and then transportation out of there (or at least a clear path).

By the sound of it, there is just a small group of people who are out of control. The rest are dehydrated.

If I were the cops, I would worry more about the person(s) who is running around starting fires.

Re:Crowd Control? I can do it cheaper and faster. (1)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471482)

I had to look around in this topic to find a response that was mostly correct, so now that I am here, here is my short story on Katrina as it came through central MS. I thought the damn winds would never stop. Every 5 minutes or so, we got a good strong blast, perhaps up to 70 MPH, and then it would die down a while. Trees came down on houses, cars and powerlines every so often where I live.
You could hear the crash when the tree fell. Eventually, my barometer began to go back up, but the winds continued for a few more hours. Worn me out just wondering when I would get hit by a falling tree. I put a new roof on my house (myself) last year, and nailed it down good. It held. No power for several days, now it is back up. I was here when Camille came through in 1969, and this was way worse.

This is all fine and good until... (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471380)

...Paul Atreides tries to use sonic weaponry to take over Arachis.


For those that haven't seen Dune:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/ [imdb.com]

Tragedies (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471383)

They don't want to evacuate the remaining residents of New Orleans until they absolutely have to. That much is clear. It is also clear that there are certain prejudices that still exist against those who are poor and those who are black.

What is surprising is that this is actually news to people. This situation regarding the class divide and the racial divide has been a reality in America for hundreds of years and it takes something like this for people to wake up.

What is happening down in New Orleans right now is a tragedy of the highest order. But lesser tragedies of a similar nature occur in all major cities in the United States every single day. The fact that nobody normally bothers to care about such things and are generally ill-informed about them is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of all.

To me, the people still stuck down in New Orleans represent everybody that America would just as soon forget. Shame on us all. And let us not forget from now on.

Buses? (2, Insightful)

TummyX (84871) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471386)

Tell me why the idiotic democrat mayor of NOAL did not use the city's buses to evacuate his people?

Why are they sitting half submerged in water [junkyardblog.net] ?

Oh yeah, it's all Bush's fault.

Re:Buses? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471463)

maybe because he wasn't in charge of the evacuation? the state should have ordered the use of all public transportation including public busses, school busses, etc. and the federal government should have made amtrak and other train lines halt operations and redirect them to evacuation of the hurricane zone. For that matter, why did the federal government cut funding to the levy system when fema predicted that New Orleans was at top of the list of potential disasters? It seems to me like the mayor is the only one in this situation that is making any sense at all!

Re:Buses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471509)

Now, this is coming from someone who's just been sitting at his desk computer watching the chaos, but with idiots getting appointed head of FEMA and levee funds getting sliced, as well as the aforementioned bus non-use and other local ill-preparation, this seems like a grand multi-level bi-partisan fuckup.

Mayor being democrat is small potatoes here. How I see it now, they all deserve to get fired, including Bush and Brown.

Wrong emphasis (2, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471396)

Why is it that it seems the US is so keen to send in troops: "They have M-16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will," Kathleen Blanco said. [bbc.co.uk] , and test out it's latest anti-civilian weaponry?
It's easy enough for the US to get thousand pound bombs to Iraq, but saving people in its own country seems to take a back seat. Why not use all that money, and technology for good, and help the poor, the elderly, the pregnant, the disabled.

"with providing a non-lethal means of crowd..." (1)

fozzy1015 (264592) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471402)

This is about convincing the public to accept these
tools as ways to control crowds. Shooting
a bunch of protestors isn't acceptable, but finding
a 'non-lethal' means to control a crowd is a
lot more palatable.

The whistles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471433)

Bub' Rub and Lil' Sis: The whistles go... woo woo!

What about radio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471444)

Apparently, the technology will allow authorities to communicate with others up to a mile away...

Um, I don't want to sound like an idiot, but don't radios do this? And aren't they a proven technology that everybody is familiar with? Why aren't we using something that is known to work and that can be operated by anybody?

...along with providing a non-lethal means of crowd control.

Near as I can tell, this is the only thing it does that radios don't, and this is of dubious value.

Representatives of both companies say that within days, they will ship some units of their respective products to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, so authorities can use the tools for crowd control, aid distribution and rescue operations.

Ohhh... I get it now. The companies are doing this for PR. The last thing the authorities need right now is to beta test some experimental stuff on behalf of private companies. Did the authorities ask them for it, or are they shipping them only to sit in a corner untouched, useful only for good publicity?

The way some people are milking this disaster for PR makes me sick. I got an email yesterday from tribe.net pointing out that for every new person you sign up, they'll donate a dollar. Maybe their hearts are in the right places, but it just stinks of a crass attempt at using other peoples misery for your own gain. So I'm dumping tribe.net.

Compassionate Photons (1)

ngr8 (504185) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471448)

Well, the lasers could be used to warm the Soylent Green.

Predicted in literature (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471460)

Somewhat stronger versions exist in Atlas Shrugged and Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Robert Stadler attends and sanctions a demonstration of the government's previously top secret Project X. The project, housed in rural Iowa, is a new weapon that employs sound waves and is capable of mass destruction. Floyd Ferris convinces Stadler that the weapon is a necessary instrument of control at a time when hysteria and rebelliousness grip the American people.

and

Disaster Area, a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones, are generally held to be not only the loudest rock band in the Galaxy, but in fact the loudest noise of any kind at all. Regular concert goers judge that the best sound balance is usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles from the stage, while the musicians themselves play their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stays in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

Local Government (0)

jeweekes (833112) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471469)

This is the local governments (State and NO) fuck up. They were not ready for this, they could not cope with this, and they did not know what to do. New Orleans always knew this would happen, and they did not spend the money to fix the levees first (The fed were ready to do it, but New Orleans did not do the paperwork). It has taken the Fed Government to step up and take control of this, which is why you see the Army there now. Bush went down and looked for himself at the mess, and is getting it fixed. If anyone is to blame for this it is the State, County and City governments, not Bush or the feds, and I hope that people are held accountable for it.

Maybe its racism at its worst (1)

phiberoptik3 (799617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13471485)

I believe nobody cares about new orleans the people are black and they are poor.

I hope Ballmer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13471520)

....doesn't get his hands on one of these... 'Developers, developers, developers....'
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