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Sonic 'Lasers' to be Deployed in Hurricane Region 619

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the can-you-hear-me-now? dept.
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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Sonic 'Lasers' to be Deployed in Hurricane Region

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  • obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by coaxeus (911103) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:49PM (#13471297) Homepage
    how about some frickin sharks ?
  • by mfh (56) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:50PM (#13471304) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • 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 shoul

    • by bladernr (683269) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:05PM (#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?

      • 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.
      • by slashmojo (818930) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:17PM (#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]

      • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:22PM (#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.

      • 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 dramat

      • by dfung (68701) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:28PM (#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...
      • by Mike1024 (184871) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:08PM (#13471779)
        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?

        A quick Google News [google.com] reveals this article [chicagotribune.com]: "By Friday, offers had been received from Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates."

        Some of the more interesting offers include:

        Venezuela - "apart from the million dollars in monetary assistance, Venezuela is offering two mobile hospital units, each capable of assisting 150 people, 120 specialists in rescue operations, 10 water purifying plants, 18 electricity generators of 850 KW each, 20 tons of bottled water, and 50 tons of canned food."

        Cuba - "1,100 doctors and 26 tons of medicine and equipment."

        France - "a range of aircraft and two ships, with helicopters and planes capable of airlifting tons of supplies, a disaster unit with 20 soldiers, a civil defense detachment of 35 people and an airborne emergency unit"

        Germany - "medical evacuation planes and airlift field hospitals, water purification systems and portable shelters"

        Of course, one could criticise these offers as oppertunistic publicity-seeking, but then the same could be said of political photo-ops like Bush 'comforting survivors'.

        Oddly enough, I found this quote in the washington post [washingtonpost.com]:

        Bush told ABC-TV: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it."

        Michael
        • Actually most western european countries gave the offers rather quietly (I am from Austria and expected that they will do something, but they do not make a high profile political case out of it, because this is a standard give back situation), because this is what is needed in a situation like that, money does not very much in this case, money is needed in the long term, and probably can be raised from the US themselves, what is needed now, is material, rescue workers, doctors etc....

          And the US should
        • Of course, one could criticise these offers as oppertunistic publicity-seeking

          One could, if one was an ungrateful arsehole. It saddens me to see Americans in forums and Usenet whining about how the rest of the world hates them and why aren't they getting the same help as the tsunami victims, and then turning around and saying things like that. America gets MORE than its fair share of aid after hurricanes, terror attacks and other disasters, probably because the world's media is largely based there. Anyone

      • by ifdef (450739) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:50PM (#13472034)
        "...people are shooting, looting (not food - TV's, etc), causing violence and intimidation"

        What kind of a F!-ed up society do you guys live in, anyway? In most places around the world (not all, admittedly), when a natural disaster hits, or even a power failure, people's natural instincts are to help one another, not steal things from stores, or beat and rape each other.

        Is the USA really in such a state that law and order are maintained only by the presence of police? And if something happens to disrupt the power of the police, that the first things that come to people's minds is to break into the neighborhood shops and take the TV's? Is your country filled with people who are so ready to backstab their neighbors?

        If this is true, it seems like a really, really sick (and scary!) society. You've got far bigger problems than worrying about the DMCA or the Patriot Act. Yes, those things are a danger to any society, but it sure sounds like you are way past the point where changing the laws or changing the administration will help very much. Wow!
        • by bladernr (683269) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:21PM (#13472217)
          Is the USA really in such a state that law and order are maintained only by the presence of police?

          Hardly unique to the US. I'm an American, but living in London. People are mugged and stabbed right in front of others in the UK... no one does anything.

          I know a lady who was with her two small children and was shoved down in a fast food resturant full of customers and employees so some guy could steal her purse. No one lifted a finger.

          Don't think indifference to the pain of others is unique to the US.

          In fact (and this is far off topic), I've been to a couple dozen countries and most US states, and the only place in the world I've seen people defend each other, including strangers, is the central part of the US. Try to push over a lady and mug her in a McD's in Iowa... you'll find, at best, your ass kicked, and, at worst, some customer shooting you. You may think it's harsh, but at least people are looking out for each other.

        • NO has issues with drugs and gangs. They are magnified by the disaster, reduced police, and smaller/sicker/older population left to prey on. ---

          In many places around the world, people are killed/raped without the need for a natural disaster. ---

          If you want to look what the country is full of, look at Texas. In fact, people frequently say Texans are full of it... hehe.

        • by tftp (111690)
          What kind of a F!-ed up society do you guys live in, anyway?

          The best one in the world, obviously.

          people's natural instincts are to help one another, not steal things from stores, or beat and rape each other.

          This is a "dog eat dog" society, with traditions of Wild West obviously fresh in many minds.

          Is the USA really in such a state that law and order are maintained only by the presence of police?

          In many places - yes; in some smaller places, no. Large cities rate very poorly on friendship and mutua

          • Actually I was talking to a friend about this, and he basically said, too many easy weapons, in combination with poverty which leads to high drug abuse (not the drugs are the problem, the poverty is which leads to drugs) and once people are deprived of drugs they go haywaire. I would add to that a self induced high acceptance towards violence, due to a wrong focus, and an overwhelming you can only survive on your own mentality (which is not working in a situation like that)

            It could be true, I mean looti
        • Not sure where you live, UK perhaps?

          Consider that it is mainly the poor neighborhoods inhabited by blacks and Mexicans where law and order are maintained only by the presence of police. Generally speaking, the middle and upper class live outside US cities in comfortable suburbs.

          This is America's dirty little secret, and Mother Nature has washed the whole thing out in the open for the rest of the world to see. Almost 30% of New Orleans residents live below the poverty line. Almost all of them are blac

    • 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,
    • by garcia (6573) *
      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
    • 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?
      • First up, the mayor (Score:5, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:17PM (#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.

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

          I would agree with you here in the sense that blame goes to the cult of extreme selfishness and disdain for everything "common" or "public" which the neo-cons with the help of libertarians have been instilling in the American public for a few decades now. The result are cowering, frightened local government who consult with lawyers for days before declaring mandatory evacuation because they are afraid of "lawsuits by the casino and hotel owners". Then come

    • 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
      • 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 Louisi
  • But will we have those "lasers" on the "moon", too?
  • Trades (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Murmer (96505)
    I wonder what the going exchange rate between high-powered acoustic lasers and, say, MREs and bottled water is at this point.
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:58PM (#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.
  • by Gorobei (127755) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @12:59PM (#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.
    • by CptNerd (455084) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:10PM (#13471407) Homepage
      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.
    • by toupsie (88295) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:26PM (#13471502) Homepage
      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].

      • Flat bottom boats are not going to do the job well.

        One resident was saving peoples life with exactly that, days before any official help even bothered turning up. Journalists even got there to interview him and still there was no help from the authorities.
        Journalists FROM THE UK flew over and were reporting on the disaster days before the bush adminsitration did anything (apart from flying over at 5000 feet in air force 1). People were asking journalists for help!

      • "They did try airdrops and were shot at."

        I content that this is nothing but a false rumor, an urban legend, a lie. Where is your source for this? I've seen this repeated many, many times, but so far not one source has ever been named. I expect none ever will, because it simply didn't happen. The FAA has had no reports of air vehicles being fired upon.

        When all this shit is over, people are going to need a better excuse than that.

    • 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.

      • As a Bush supporter, I have just one thing to say here...

        BULLSHIT.

        Bush deserves every bit of blame he's getting, and probably more. He has done virtually nothing to make a horrible situation better, and aruably has made it worse by not reacting in a timely fashion.

        He also says something stupid seemingly every time he opens his mouth these days.

        Look, I voted for the guy. I felt he was the best available choice. I supported going to war in Iraq. But his second term has frankly, thus far, made me absolutel
        • Bush deserves every bit of blame he's getting, and probably more. He has done virtually nothing to make a horrible situation better, and aruably has made it worse by not reacting in a timely fashion.

          ROTFL. And just what could he have done? Gone down there and piloted a helicopter himself?

          It takes *time* to get relief organized on this scale. It takes *time* to move people and equipment. The President doesn't have some magic wand he can wave and make everything all better - but a lot of people do have

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

      The first forecast that put the likelihood of the eye of the hurricane passing within 65 nautical miles of New Orleans above 50% was issued by NOAA at10 PM CDT Sunday [noaa.gov]. The hurriance made landfall at about 4 AM CDT Monday morning [noaa.gov].

      • by winwar (114053) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:13PM (#13471811)
        "The first forecast that put the likelihood of the eye of the hurricane passing within 65 nautical miles of New Orleans above 50% was issued by NOAA at10 PM CDT Sunday."

        And well before that time, President Bush had signed disaster declarations for the area. FEMA stated it was ready to go. So what's your point again?

        Anyone who was reasonably prudent expected the Hurricane to hit N.O. well before Sunday and cause significant damage. Probably not the current level with certainty but that is never going to happen with significant advanced warning. There was ample warning and expectation that something bad was going to happen.

        Leadership failed at ALL levels. Mobilization of significant resources is not quick or easy. But if you are signing disaster declarations for the area before the storm hits, you had better be mobilizing resources. You can always tell people to go home.

        The people responsible for making these hard decisions failed. At some point they should be fired. Some will have to be voted out. Because I have no confidence that these people are qualified to rebuild the region. And I don't want these people in charge of billions of dollars funds and levels of responsibility that they can't handle.
    • 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?

      Exactly, this is simply fucking ridiculous.

      Step one:
      Get a bunch of school buses. This should be easy as hell. There's probably over two hundred just in my county (although I'm not nearby).

      Step two:
      Put food on the buses and drive the to New Orleans. This should take ONE DAY.

      Step three:
      Drop off the food and put fifty people on each bus.

      Step four:
      Drive t
  • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:02PM (#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.
    • I agree that comparing it to a laser is a little bit far-fetched, but at least get your facts right while you are ranting:

      Can you really call longitudinal waves coherent

      Yes you can. Longitudinal/transverse only decribes the direction of the vibration with respect to the direction in which the wave travels. Coherency depends on the stability of the oscillation, that is over how long a time/distance a wave will interfere with itself.

      Since you can't amplify atoms, you really can't get a sonic laser

      You

    • How about Sonic Phaser instead. That way we could send in Captain Kirk to help.
  • by vialation (885786) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:03PM (#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.
    • 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. B

      • 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.
        • That's total bullshit. If I had no water for 3 days, etc, I would welcome rescuers with open arms, not fire a freakin' gun at them. The people firing the guns DON'T WANT rescuers in there, because they are trying to pillage as much as possible.

          And if you would murder someone to save yourself, you deserve to be shot on sight.

    • The government *is* doing what it can

      Well here is a video [riotvideo.com] of some fine government officials who certainly are doing what they can...

      Tor
  • well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:03PM (#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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • ...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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:05PM (#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? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TummyX (84871)
    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.
  • Wrong emphasis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spCOWam ... minus herbivore> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:09PM (#13471396) Homepage
    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.
  • Sure we're all discusted by what's going on down there, but this irritates me even worse!

    Today I received an email solititing donations from somebody pretending to be the American Red Cross!!
    I can't tell you how discusted I was to see that!
    I would do anything to see this guy punished!! I'm so god damn pissed by this guy I'd get myself in trouble if I knew it was.

    The original message is pasted below.
    Note the fake http://www.redcross.org. cgiin.net /Proccessing.htmlwebsite address

    >>>>

  • This system's sole use has to be crowd control. If you are trying to broadcast information to people a mile away, how loud would the information be to other people only 1/4 mile away?

    They need to be sending fresh water and buses into new orleans, not this kind of useless "technology".
  • by slashflood (697891) <flow AT howflow DOT com> on Saturday September 03, 2005 @01:48PM (#13471640) Homepage Journal
    The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows. - BoingBoing

    Link [bostonherald.com]
  • Lay Blame. (Score:5, Informative)

    by FFFish (7567) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:07PM (#13471771) Homepage
    The Governor [louisiana.gov] flatout stated ...I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilties of the State and the affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance will be necessary."

    The assistance was dismal.

    The citizens of the USA have just witnessed the complete failure of government on all levels, from local to federal. At every stage of this disaster there has not been a single competent person orchestrating the rescue efforts.

    As a result of years of cronyism, privatization, classism, and racism, this has become an unmitigated disaster that one would expect to encounter only in the impoverished third world.

    And here is the kicker: it will happen again and again if the public does not rise up and demand a clean sweep.

    The entire system needs to be overhauled, from the very foundation of democracy -- secure, honest voting -- to the very notion of government's role in ensuring its citizens have access to shelter, food, and safety at all times and in all situations.

    The time to act is now. You should be very angry and you should be demanding accountability and change. Do something before it happens again.
    • Re:Lay Blame. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FFFish (7567)
      To follow-up myself:

      I repeat, blame falls at all levels. The Mayor failed to evacuate his people, despite having 300-odd buses at his disposal, laid useless because they were left in a lowlying area prior to the storm. The Mayor failed to organize volunteer rescue efforts. The Mayor relied far too much on the next-higher-up level of assistance.

      The Governor failed to evacuate her people, despite having the ability to commandeer every bus in the state. She failed to ensure water and food was delivered to
  • by dethl (626353) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:11PM (#13471798)
    Its not enough that you couldn't send relief until 3 to 4 days AFTER the hurricane hit, but you have to send shit to control the crowds when just giving them more relief would control them anyway. Bush is a sick fuck. Help the people, not deafen them. Flame away Bush loyalists. A lot of the country is pissed off as well, and not just us liberals but even your own kind and everyone in-between. Don't tell me not to point fingers. The GOP and Bush are attempting to do damage control for a situation they could have and should have been able to handle very quickly.
  • by tyroneking (258793) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @02:25PM (#13471886)
    ... a desperate president thoughtfully strums a guitar while the deep south burns (because movie presidents are either heroes or bill clinton and the deep south is evil); a valient mayor battles the dodgy paper-shuffling governor (because politics stinks, apart from mayors who always clean up towns - kinda like sheriffs) ... and bruce willis as the heroic maveric loner ex-cop who accidently shot his partner/ex-SEAL who accidently led his men to certain death/ex-navy cook who accidently poisoned his captain/ex-JAG officer with a fighter pilot past who accidently shot-down a Serbian general's evil-eyed son. Can bruce save his cute daughter/sexy but unloving wife/cute but dangerously curious son from the floods, terribly black & poor rioters, rape gangs and insane local army unit commander; lead a rag-tag gang of possibly feckless neighbours to safety AND discover the truth behind the hurricaine (a military experiment gone wrong), the sharks (a military experiment gone wrong) and the burst levys (a corporate / military engineers experiment gone wrong)?
    Or maybe this was just a huge disaster affecting an area the size of the UK, in a country without a welfare state, where the inequalities in society are trumpeted in the media, and commercial interests (i.e. a waterway near New Orleans that should have been filled in years ago) are always put above the common good (DCMA, Patent Law, etc.)
    WAKE UP AMERICA AND SAVE YOUR COUNTRY; MAKE TONY BLAIR YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT
  • by Bob_Robertson (454888) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @03:16PM (#13472193) Homepage
    Why send sonic disrupters into the disaster area? Because that way they can be tested without pissing off too many likely voters.
  • by delire (809063) on Saturday September 03, 2005 @04:48PM (#13472753)

    A National Disaster is clearly an excellent opportunity to trial new R&D in the field; harsh environmental conditions, long uptime, contingencies at a maximum - like a 'warzone' really. It would seem Bush has chosen to test future battle tech on his own people at home rather than random foreigners [tomdispatch.com] or US folk [mediafilter.org] abroad [democracynow.org]. He doesn't miss a beat does he?

    Anyway, I guess these sonic cannons are cheaper than food, shelter and tear-gas or else he surely would have.. nevermind.
  • by serutan (259622) <(moc.nozakeeg) (ta) (guodpoons)> on Sunday September 04, 2005 @12:34AM (#13474686) Homepage
    They probably had plans to test these things somewhere like Iraq, but this situation is even better. Since the feds have fallen down on their job of handling this sort of large-scale problem, they're getting ready to perform the charade of blaming looters and rioters for everything that went wrong, just like they've been blaming terrorists for everything else. Going in waving a big stick is part of that performance, and using it on a few civilians is the perfect "shock and awe" gesture. Bush's zero-tolerance right-wing supporters will be cheering, and ordinary citizens will have one more reason to shy away from any sort of political action that the government might not approve.

    Things like water cannons and riot gear are comprehensible threats to protesters, but when the government starts using spooky technology to bring a whole crowd to its knees, genuine sixties-like political unrest will cease to be possible in this country, no matter how appropriate it might eventually become. That's when America will cease to be a "free" country. Because if people are afraid to use their supposed freedoms then they no longer really have them.

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