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625 comments

Hmm. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681091)

But, can you use it to make popcorn?

Re:Hmm. (5, Funny)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681105)

You mean, "will it fit on a frickin' shark?"

Re:Hmm. (4, Funny)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681121)

You misunderstand. C-130H is the designation for the new, genetically engineered, giant sharks.

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681627)

And it comes with a 500 mile power cord to keep it connected with the wall socket.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Monkeys!!! (831558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681137)

If its anything like this [storg.net] then yes you can but you would get into a lot of trouble.

Re:Hmm. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681191)

Hate to disappoint you but an Aegis cruiser doesn't use a 'sweeping' radar. It uses the far more advanced AN/SPY-1 system. Rather than looking like a mesh antenna, it looks hexagonal pads. There's no way even a complete idiot could confuse them so the story is entirely made up.

Re:Hmm. (2, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681349)

Darn, someone beat me to a Real Genius reference. One of the best geek movies, up there with Sneakers.

Re:Hmm. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681393)

No, but you can use it to torture whole villages full of 'insurgents', or anyone else who is stopping us getting our hands on their oil....

I didn't think our world image could get worse. I was wrong...

Re:Hmm. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681455)

Boo-hoo, Nancy-boy.

Re:Hmm. (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681563)

Think of it as a recoilless cannon. At 12000 lbs you could probably mount a lot of firepower on the plane instead.

Re:Hmm. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681589)

More like, it becomes possible to destroy a missile launcher even when the Hamassholes have hidden them among their own civilians.

-jcr

"Supporting missions ... in urban environments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681097)

Whoa, that's bright!

You'd think... (1)

RufusFish (253008) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681099)

... they'd go after Wal*Marts first. Or Target Frys.

Re:You'd think... (4, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681189)

"You'd think... they'd go after Wal*Marts first. Or Target Frys."

I think you have that backwards... they'd fry targets first.

Re:You'd think... (5, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681347)

As they say, mechanical engineers build weapons, civil engineers build targets...

Sharks with fricken' lasers (0)

SKPhoton (683703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681101)

I'll bet that in the original design, they painted it up as a shark and they mounted the fricken' laser on its fricken' head.

So, How do you attach it to the shark? (1, Redundant)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681103)

Dr. Evil: You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?
Number Two: Sea Bass.
Dr. Evil: [pause] Right.
Number Two: They're mutated sea bass.
Dr. Evil: Are they ill tempered?
Number Two: Absolutely.
Dr. Evil: Oh well, that's a start.
Mandatory: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118655/ [imdb.com]

Re:So, How do you attach it to the shark? (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681147)

People really do get the reference of sharks with laser beams without all the quotage AND the link.

Cool but... (3, Insightful)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681107)

I wonder what the peaceful applications of this could be? It bothers me that so much money is spent on military technology having so many other issues that could be addressed. I'm guessing that soldering might be one good use, with a scaled down model but can't think of much else at the moment. On the other hand if they are going to research more ways to destroy stuff I'd like to see a true laser hand pistol...

Oh, I almost forgot the meme: Sharks!

Re:Cool but... (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681201)

It bothers me that so much money is spent on military technology having so many other issues that could be addressed.

This is why my sole criterion for voting in the next election is: who will cut the military budget the most?

You can buy a *lot* with $500 billion a year, or even 20% of $500 billion a year. Tax cuts, medical research, a massive shift away from fossil fuels ($100 billion buys a *lot* of nuclear plants), education, improved infrastructure, Third World aid, whatever. We can have the debate about *which* useful thing to do with the money, but, for fuck's sake, do *something* useful with it other than piss it down the hole of the Pentagon.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681263)

Hah! As if the US of A powers that be (and I don't mean just the administration - they're merely the current puppets) actually want that.

Mind, I don't disagree with your point... I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

Re:Cool but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681441)

Actually, I'm pretty sure you're just another fucking idiot. Maybe the day we live in a world where a gun is a liability instead of an asset, we'll stop building them.

Re:Cool but... (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681451)

Well, that's just dandy if you're an American. But if you lived in Taiwan, South Korea or Israel, or Japan then America having the ability to shoot down ICBMs might come in handy.

Because at the moment all those countries are menaced by a neighbour who is kept in check largely by the US. And all those neighbours either have or are very close to having ICBMs. And some of them are maybe crazy enough to threaten the US with those ICBMS or their neighbours. Now if the US can shoot them down there's much less incentive for them to do that. So missile defense is actually a geopolitical stabiliser.

Come to think of it, even if you're in America it's far better that America is far ahead of any conceivable rival, because that deters them from a sprint to parity and then a Pearl Harbour style attack on the US or even engaging in brinksmanship and messing it up so that they end up swapping ICBMs with the US. Which would be far more expensive than current US defense policy, even ignoring the fact that millions of innocent people would die, many of them Americans.

Most of these regimes seem to engage in brinksmanship with the US all the time. It seems likely that they view ICBMs as a tool to strengthen their hand, rather than just a defense to hunker down behind. And most of them have little or no understanding of US politics, so it's quite likely that they would miscalculate and get into a war with the US even if it were to make concessions to them. Arguably starting to make concessions to appease them would simply embolden then and make them start to demand things which the US cannot concede.

So if I were you I'd vote to keep spending on defense. Come to think of it, the good old US military industrial complex will probably managed to get the dollars somehow regardless of how you vote.

Re:Cool but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681519)

You are either insane or retarded - it's that sort of attitude that got the world in the giant mess we are in today.

To clarify: according to what you said, there is no way back and we will have to militarize more and more and more. If that's the world you want to live in then I feel _serious_ pity for you.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681565)

Or rather... If that's the world you want your kids to grow up in...

Do you tell them these things as well so the fear and hatred is passed on to the next generation?

Re:Cool but... (4, Interesting)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681585)

you're conflating is and ought. He is just being pragmatic. You are just burying your head in the sand and hoping for a magical land of pixies where the US can dismantle it's weapons and send the world flowers and everyone will suddenly get along just fine. Who wouldn't want that? I know i would. Trouble is, it ain't gonna happen like that. So in the mean time the least bloody solution is for the americans to keep (albeit hamfistedly) casting a shadow over all the upstart dictatorships. That's the difference between is and ought.

Re:Cool but... (0, Troll)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681225)

Yeah. Remote soldering. From 30,000 feet. Soldering your ass to a hole in the ground. The hole they burn into the ground while "soldering" your ass.

Oh, right. PEACEFUL applications... Maybe as someone previously suggested, popping corn. Remotely. From 30,000 feet... popping corn straight up your...

Oh yeah, right. Peaceful applications. I can't think of any.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681369)

It takes more energy to create (machines, art, tools, PEACE, etc.) than to destroy. Some view this as an unwinnable situation, and hopefully there's others who view it as a challenge.

All I know for sure is that peace will never exist if we never think it can. I.e., by thinking along the lines of "wars are inevitable."

That said, slash the military budget, use the extra cash to at least attempt to teach those in the world that are exploited by destructive whackjobs how to use at least a little bit of reasoning to not settle problems with violence. Then maybe there'd be less war.

Don't like it? Come up with a better solution. I triple dog dare you.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681461)

Would soldering Saddam's ass to the ground instead of invading Iraq count as a peaceful application?

Re:Cool but... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681605)

In the best possible scenario, Saddam would have been shot by another Iraqi as soon as he deserved it, but it didn't work out that way.

-jcr

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681363)

I have a thought.

If we stopped wanting to destroy stuff, then everyone else would also stop wanting to destroy stuff.

This strikes me as a logical connection.

Little damage (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681109)

And by 'little collateral damage', they mean only the little 'eyeball bits' of people within a couple of hundred yards who happen to be looking at the target when it is hit (unless DoD have promised to only target unshiny bad guys).

Re:Little damage (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681497)

unless DoD have promised to only target unshiny bad guys

Their next planned innovation is a giant orbital beadblaster capable of applying matte texturing to any surface from 30000ft.

Re:Little damage (4, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681623)

How many people are liable to be staring at, say, a SAM site, in the middle of the night? For that matter, how many times will this have to be used before everyone knows not too? Not to mention that it would be fairly simple and cheap to airdrop safety glasses designed to filter on the laser's wavelength.

At least laser-rebound is nice enough to be benign when you are out of sight. Shrapnel will take a parabolic arc which hops over any intermediary buildings to pop you on the head.

Not to mention that rules for angle of incidence/reflection mean that a laser shot straight down on a tall structure is unlikely to cause problems for anyone else.

Anyway, say this takes fifteen years to become standard technology; by then, repairing retinas may be easy as pie, but money says that being blast-incinerary radius of a bomb will still be fairly lethal.

Targetting (4, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681115)

Little or no collateral damage? Depends on the accuracy really.

Re:Targetting (5, Insightful)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681159)

Little or no collateral damage? Depends on the accuracy really.
I reckon that GE, Boeing, or whoever happens to be marketing these less-than lethal weapons goes light on accuracy and draws attention more to the style associated with having such items. You know, like in marketing, but concerning less-than lethal weapons.

Remember, it ain't the laser that kills you, its the sudden stop as you hit the dirt beneath what was once the building you were standing on.

Global warming (-1, Troll)

hernyo (770695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681125)

It seems that the plane carrying the laser has to be always in air, ready for a shoot. This means that a huge C130 burning one zillion gallons of kerosene every minute flies at the Iraqi border, one near the Iran border, one near the Russian border... right? This means a lot of pollution, lot of carbon dioxide, lot of global warming.

Fuck war.

An easier option. (5, Funny)

supersnail (106701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681127)

If they relly want to destroy thing on hte ground why dont they enclose some high explosives in a steel container with a fuse set to go off when it hits an object. They could then drop this from the plane.

just an idea.

Re:An easier option. (4, Funny)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681175)

Alright, what do you prefer: a sniper taking out some bastard holding a gun to your presidents head, or throwing in a ton of explosives in a container (more known as a "bomb") and wiping out the entire administration?

Hey, if it's Bush we're talking about, I'm all for the second solution.

Re:An easier option. (2, Funny)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681211)

I think Congress should grow a spine and, if Bush continues to insist on staying in Iraq and vetoing stem-cell research funding and such, Congress should just cut funding for the Secret Service and let nature take its course.

Cheney could be dealt with very easily -- just sneak up behind him and say "Boo!"

Re:An easier option. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681403)

Why the fuck don't you just annex the damn thing, you invaded, you won, now you get your spoils of war.

Re:An easier option. (1)

mu22le (766735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681591)

You should have posted as AC. Your complimentary forget-your-civil-liberties free tour offered by the USSS will begin shortly, just STFU and do shat the men in black tell you.

Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681129)

Without reading the article, this sure as hell sounds like every sadists "ant and magnifying glass" dream come true.

I 3 Real genius (5, Interesting)

Hellbuny (444564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681133)

Laslo: I figure you've increased the power output to six megawatts?
Chris: Yeah, about that.
Laslo: Well what would you use that for?
Ick: Making Swiss cheese?
Mitch: The applications are unlimited.
Laslo: No. With the fuel you've come up with the beam would last for what...15 seconds. Well what good is that?
Chris: Oh Laslo. That doesn't matter. I respect you but I graduated.
Mitch: Yeah, let the engineers figure out a use for it. That's not our concern.
Laslo: Maybe somebody already has a use for it. One for which it is specifically designed.
Jordan: You mean Dr. Hathaway had something in mind all along?
Laslo: Look at the facts! Very high powered, portable, limited firing power, unlimited range. (Chris stops smiling.) All's you'd need is a tracking system, and a large spinning mirror and you could vaporize a human target from space.
(Mitch glances at Chris.)
Chris: This is not good.

Kent (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681143)

"Kent. This is God. Stop playing with yourself."

Sorry, but the summary reminded me of the movie "Real Genius."

Urban operations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681151)

Urban operations, eh? Sounds scary. Shows you the military's REAL target is the civilian population.

This will be useless... (3, Funny)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681155)

...unless we can bring down their shields. All forces target the shield generators!

Alright (4, Funny)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681161)

We are one step closer to having an X wing
A C-130H might not have the sleek looks but it's a step in the right direction.

My next question is ....what does it sound like...movies always told us that laser will make cool sounds when fired. I vote it makes that 'Ptsui!' sound.

I LOVE it (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681185)

Oh, sweet Jesus God, a death ray from the skies! It just doesn't get any better than that!

Flash Gordon: "Ming, you'll never get away with this!"

Christmas (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681193)

Is it too late to order one in time for Christmas? I just looked on Newegg, but I didn't see this item. This would make a great stocking stuffer.

Don't fry me bro (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681203)

- Laser to fry targets

  - Non-lethal version

  - Less than lethal version given to cops.

  - "Don't fry me bro!" song, world mega-hit.

  - Cops get white plastic armors to reflect criminal's lasers.

  - Stormtroopers raid the rebel ship...

Questions (3, Interesting)

mach1980 (1114097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681213)

1) How do they solve the problem with Bremsstrahlung?

2) Anyone got the rated power of that laser-beast? I guess they put 2-4kWh into that 5 second burst which leaves it at 1.4 - 2.8 MW. Which is a helluva lot more than the previous 20kW reported http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1221397

Re:Questions (2, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681411)

1) How do they solve the problem with Bremsstrahlung?

What problem ?

Bremsstrahlung occurrs when electrons are decelerated. Does this laser use some kind of electron accelerator ?

Next lab over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681233)

I think I worked next door to this when it was the chemical iodine laser. Way back in the days. They made us leave our lab with the nmr/esr; tests were of the "you don't want to be in the building" variety. Ha. What they didn't know what we were doing....

Passive Defence (3, Interesting)

gringer (252588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681237)

I presume a splash of of highly reflective metal (or metallic heat-resistant plastic) will work wonders for defence against these things.

Re:Passive Defence (5, Informative)

jettoblack (683831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681357)

No mirror reflects 100% of what hits it. Even if it only absorbs 0.1% of the beam, with this much energy the mirror will quickly deform or burn and its reflectivity will drop.

Re:Passive Defence (5, Informative)

Arabani (1127547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681415)

Furthermore, the output beam is infrared, which your average mirror or shiny metal isn't going to reflect. The other problem with shiny surfaces: how do you keep them shiny for long periods of time?

Re:Passive Defence (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681535)

Furthermore, the output beam is infrared, which your average mirror or shiny metal isn't going to reflect.
er don't build your plane out of normal materials? a few hundred million$$ can buy a lot of strange materials that could do the job.

The other problem with shiny surfaces: how do you keep them shiny for long periods of time?
coat the infared reflective material in something that is relatively inert and relatively transparent to infared light. maybe a set of countermeasures a lot like party confetti only made of material that strongly disperses infared light.

Re:Passive Defence (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681413)

How easy do you think it is to keep a mirror clean on a battlefield?

OK, now how easy do you think it is to keep a precision optics grade mirror at clean-room standards on a battlefield? Because I'm pretty sure that's what it takes to stop a potent laser -- if you're mirror is absorbing more than perhaps 0.1% of the incoming light, it will get hot and melt rather quickly, which makes it absorb a lot more light...

Re:Passive Defence (1)

Ailicec (755495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681561)

Still, if you reflect only 90% of incoming energy, then the opponent has to multiply their output by 10X to assure a kill (if X power would fry a normal target, now you need 10X to fry a reflective target). So now, you have to build all your zappers 10X bigger, just in case.

I'm thinking not (3, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681419)

Leave a white shirt out in the sun all day, and you know what you get? A hot white shirt. It's the same story on arrow versus armor that it has been for more than a thousand years: given equal technology, the arrow wins. (And the US Air Force is categorically not planning to "fight fair" when it comes to comparing technology bases. Hello, Mr. Third World Tinpot Dictator. Do your Revolutionary Guards have access to MIT's materials engineering department? No? Oh, what a pity... because their physics department works for us.)

When in doubt, the arrow scales more-or-less linearly (bump up the juice on the laser, problem solved), the armor ceases to scale very rapidly (try adding another 9 to the string of 99.999% reflectivity index).

I'd be much more worried, for the first few iterations of the system, of it being compromised by less-than-ideal environmental conditions (smoke, dust, smog, haze, clouds, intervening terrain in an urban situation, etc) than by enemy preparations. Besides, if the enemy has decided to put on his Armor of Laser Resistance +1, you can always just go back to Plan A and drop a really big bomb on his head.

Re:Passive Defence (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681587)

I presume a splash of of highly reflective metal (or metallic heat-resistant plastic) will work wonders for defence against these things.
There are some problems with that plan:
  • You'd need to know where the beam was coming from in order to avoid accidentally hitting nearby allies with reflected beams.
  • It might not protect you for long, depending on the power and frequency of the laser and the condition of the mirror.
  • A nice reflective mirror could well make you highly visible.

I wish I could share your enthusiasm. (1)

Hangly Man (994587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681265)

Call me paranoid and mod me down if you like, but I can't help being suspicious that every cool new weapon will be used on us sooner or later. Can't outrun or dodge a laser, no sir.

Re:I wish I could share your enthusiasm. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681303)

You can outrun or dodge a bullet? You oughta set up a circus act. You could be a thousandaire.

Re:I wish I could share your enthusiasm. (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681337)

Chris Isaak has the answer [blogspot.com]. (I have no idea whose blog this is, just showed up in GIS and I didn't want to hotlink her image)

Delivery vehicles (5, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681295)

In other news, the Chinese Government is working on ground based lasers that can shoot down C130s.

One of the most interesting things for future military historians will be how the US, and to a lesser extent the UK, have believed in the effecitveness of action at a distance warfare. "Bomber" Harris in WW2 tried to destroy Nazi Germany by air bombing of cities. Didn't work, half bankrupted the British economy, while the Army and Navy were screaming for convoy escorts and air support. Germany still had to be fought over to end the war. (Meanwhile Hitler spent a fortune on V-weapons whose total effect for the entire war was less than two large RAF night raids.) The lessons had been learnt so well that in Vietnam the US spent a fortune bombing the jungle - then in Cambodia. There was a brief success in the first Gulf War where the fleeing Iraqis obligingly went down the same road and got bombed and shelled to pieces in a local action, so in GW2 Iraq was bombed back to the stone age, which brought the Iraqi war to an abrupt halt (not).

So the US Government continues its development of bigger and better spears, still fantasising that one day they will develop the big one that will stop anyone, anywhere, from upsetting them. And forgetting that, no matter what firepower you put on a mobile weapons platform, it is still vulnerable to fixed weapons, and usually to small mobile weapons that cost relatively little to make and deploy.

It's worth remembering that one of the most asymmetric military actions of WW2 was a French resistance girl who visited a German tank base on her bicycle, wandered around putting grease loaded with carborundum into track bearings, and disabled a battalion, riding off home again for lunch.

Re:Delivery vehicles (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681383)

>There was a brief success in the first Gulf War where the fleeing Iraqis obligingly went down the same road and got bombed and shelled to pieces in a local action,

Note this well. The US's most significant "victory" in GWI was bombing the shit out of a RETREATING army.

Re:Delivery vehicles (1)

wirefarm (18470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681385)

It's worth remembering that one of the most asymmetric military actions of WW2 was a French resistance girl who visited a German tank base on her bicycle, wandered around putting grease loaded with carborundum into track bearings, and disabled a battalion, riding off home again for lunch.

Have you got a reference for that? It sounds like a fascinating story.

Sorry,I can't find it again (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681549)

I was told this story by a guy I worked with years ago who had been in liaison with the Resistance, and I also heard it when working on tank research in the early 1980s. The background is that in the events around D-Day they were anxious to try and stop German armor getting to the beaches. This was a ridiculously simple idea that worked. Subsequently I have seen it referred to in a book about the Normandy landings, but I can't quote chapter and verse. Google hasn't helped. I guess they haven't indexed _everything_ yet.

It's possible, of course, that it's a myth, but the fact is that it would work. Seizing a track bearing will throw a track.

Re:Sorry,I can't find it again (2, Interesting)

gnalre (323830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681625)

Right method, wrong story.

The sabotage was in fact organised by the SOE(Special Operation Executive) and an an agent called Anthony Brookes(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Brooks). He organized the replacement of a carborundum mixture in the axles of railways flat cars which were to be used to transport a panzer division to Normandy, so bringing the entire railway network to a halt.

Not as romantic as a french girl on a bike, but just as effective

Re:Delivery vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21681521)

... so in GW2 Iraq was bombed back to the stone age, which brought the Iraqi war to an abrupt halt (not).

The Invasion of Iraq was over very, very quickly. You're mistaking the post-war occupation for the war.

It's worth remembering that one of the most asymmetric military actions of WW2 was a French resistance girl who visited a German tank base on her bicycle, wandered around putting grease loaded with carborundum into track bearings, and disabled a battalion, riding off home again for lunch.

I ask, as did the other poster, got a reference? Google doesn't really turn up anything except a reference to your posting here. There is a reference to using carborundum in the grease for train axles but none to tanks being sabotaged in such a manner that I can find.

Re:Delivery vehicles (5, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681555)

"Bomber" Harris in WW2 tried to destroy Nazi Germany by air bombing of cities.
Actually, in his autobiography, Albert Speer said of a raid on Hamburg that destroyed most of Germany's ball bearing factories "if they had kept bombing for another two days, the war would have been over". The problem with Harris is that he was trying to destroy german civillian morale which is both morally wrong and non workable. If the Allies had been targetting choke points in the German war economy it could have caused a very quick collapse. Ball bearings are a special case. The factories take a long time but are very easy to destroy because they apparently used flammable oil baths. And armoured vehicles need regular spare parts that need ball bearings. All of this information was available to the Allies, it's almost common sense.

Personally I would have threatened to bomb Swedish ball bearing factories too, if they continued to sell to the Nazis.

And it's very noticable that bombing gradually crippled the german war economy despite the targetting being wrong. When you read about the development of V2s for example, it's quite clear that the German economy at the end of the war was chronically short of everything, mainly because of bombed out factories and railways. Same with all of the Nazi weapons work near the end of the war.

Lasered to death (3, Insightful)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681311)

Isn't being lasered to death pretty much being burnt alive?

How is this weapon even legal?

Re:Lasered to death (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681421)

.... war....

Wtf is supposed to be legal about it, you think dumping napalm on the iraq soldiers made them happy?

Huge guns and now a laser (2)

KillzoneNET (958068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681327)

Oh man, now if they put this on an AC-130 [wikipedia.org], it'd seriously make anyone regret having made the decision to be anywhere on the battlefield. It'd make Dr. Evil tear a bit.

Yeah right. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681343)

damage or disable targets with little to no collateral damage,

... except for dozens of permanently blinded civilians. But that's so much better than dead, right? /sarcasm


Lasers of that power aren't harmless. Even the reflected light can still fry your retina.

Re:Yeah right. (1)

Jeepster77 (1106973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681457)

I have to disagree...reflections from the 245mW laser made from a DVD burner will fry your retina...reflections from this thing will vaporize your head!!

Re:Yeah right. (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681493)

Are you saying that being blind is worse than death?

Re:Yeah right. (1)

GarrettK18 (1200827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681595)

I'd much rather be blind. Oh wait, I am ... now, as far as retina frying goes, one prosthetic eye and a nonfunctioning real eye still leave a lot to damage. Ps. I've had a laser pointer shined at my "real" eye, and I couldn't see it.

How do you keep the frickin' sharks alive? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681503)

They wouldn't have much room to keep moving in the C130. Baby sharks?

The Pig Farmer (4, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681505)

This reminds me of a story I heard when I was a student at Caltech. A Tech Physics grad got a job with a defense firm where he was assigned to design a kill verification system. The way it was supposed to work was by using a spectrometer to detect the carbon emission lines from vaporized human flesh.

When he realized what he was doing, he quit his job to become a pig farmer.

About time... (1)

ikono (1180291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681513)

I remember reading about these in concept in a Popular Science back in 1997... I thought that this would be some more vaporware, like the Titanic 2 they were talking about.

Where did all the star wars nerds go? (3, Insightful)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681543)

73 comments and NO mention of the death star?!?

No collateral damage? Umm .. (3, Insightful)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21681583)

The statement that there will be little or no collateral damage seems to originate from an unproven premise that they can aim the thing properly in the first place.

It flies. It flies slowly (it's not a fighter plane). It flies nearby (range is up to 20km, and let's hope the adversaries don't have any smoke grenades handy). Yet aim is 100% accurate?

"No collateral damage" - from the club with the two dog film (Barney and Blair)..
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