Feeds

DHS working on pocket puke-ray

'Light-sabre' to battle alien hordes

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US Department of Homeland Security is working on a torch-like "light-sabre" weapon, designed to leave aliens (illegal ones, that is) stumbling and puking helplessly.

S&T Snapshots, an inhouse journal of the DHS Science and Technology arm, reports that the S&T Directorate's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) office has a contract with Intelligent Optical Systems, a small Californian company. Bob Lieberman and Vladimir Rubtsov, leading lights of Intelligent Optical, are developing the regurge-rapier tech for DHS.

"There are often confrontations at border crossings with suspected illegal aliens or drug runners," Lieberman told S&T Snapshots. "You don't want to hurt or kill them, just take them into custody. With this," he said - apparently with a smile, no doubt a rather sinister one. "They don't need to know English to comply."

The plan is that riot-boffins from Pennsylvania State University's Institute of Nonlethal Defense Technology, will try the vomit-dazzle beam out on volunteers this autumn. Hopefully they'll do it on a tiled floor, or put down some plastic sheet or something.

"There's one wavelength that gets everybody," chortled Lieberman, worryingly. "Vlad calls it the evil color."

Good old Vlad. What a card.

S&T Snapshots fed-scribes write that: "The light could be used to make a bad guy turn away or shut his eyes, giving authorities enough time to tackle the suspect and apply the cuffs... "

Provided the lawmen didn't slip in the pools of vomit, anyway - or wander into any, erm, projectiles. It's no picnic in the DHS, clearly.

At the moment the sick-sabre module is a bit on the tubby side, at four inches thick and over a foot long. Lieberman and Rubtsov hope to get it down to Mag-lite torch/truncheon* dimensions soon - though there is also talk of a "wide-angle" bazooka-sized device, capable of "immobilising a mob".

This latter option sounds almost too awful to contemplate: hundreds of hapless would-be migrants floundering in a self-generated chunky lake. This type of heavy chunder-cannon ordnance is also under investigation by the US armed forces, as it happens. They want to mount it on a flying robot, naturally.

Still, fearful as the disco hurl-gun may be, its effects could be marginally less unpleasant than being clubbed, shot, or electrified into submission. And it could be relatively easy to circumvent, too.

If, as S&T Snapshots suggests, the chunder-cutlass "could be in the hands of thousands of policemen, border agents, and National Guardsmen" by 2010, we might see big uptake of mirrorshades among the huddled masses. ®

*You didn't think plods carried those things just to light stuff up, did you?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.