(A Javascript-enabled browser is required to email me.)
Tasty logo, award


This is the TBTF Log, the place where I report important breaking news in the most timely way possible.

About this Web log.
Link using this permanent URL.
Previous weeks' logs table of contents.


10:13:42 AM
  • Real-life Phaser under development. TBTF Irregular Anton Sherwood points us to HSV Technologies of San Diego, which is about two years from fielding a patented Phaser-like stun weapon. The device uses ultraviolet laser beams to ionize two parallel paths through the air, then sends a small electrical current through the resulting circuit. The company claims that this current causes "tetanization" in the major skeletal muscles -- that is, a person or animal struck by such a beam experiences several seconds of complete, painless immobilization. HSV's FAQ says:

    The very weak current we use is able to hold the major skeletal muscles contracted because it closely replicates the nerve impulses that control those muscles. That is, the combination of the pulse wave form, the pulse repetition rate, and the amperage is exactly designed to mimic the neural pulses nature uses to activate those muscles. Only the voltage is greater so that the current will penetrate clothing and skin.
    The skeletal muscles are held immobile because they are composed of striated or "stringy" muscle tissue. Striated muscle tissue is easily stimulated by electrical currents. On the other hand, heart muscle is affected only by significantly more powerful currents. Thus, this difference in sensitivity is a natural safety factor.

    HSV notes that the prototype Phaser is about the size of a carry-on suitcase. The company is also working on a larger varient that would be capable of frying a vehicle's electrical circuitry from two kilometers away.

About this Web log

email address

Subscribe Unsubscribe

This venue presents more timely and less "cooked" TBTF news coverage. You'll read here things that came through my desktop machine mere minutes before.

You can receive a collected week's worth of TBTF Log items by email every Sunday evening; simply fill out the form.

Do you value this service?

Be a TBTF Benefactor
The email and Web editions of Tasty Bits from the Technology Front represent my best effort to present engaging, cogent news and analysis on what matters to the life of the Net. The TBTF newsletter will continue as before. Here is the current issue.


Powered by Blogger

Copyright 1995-2002 by Keith Dawson. Commercial use prohibited. May be excerpted, mailed, posted, or linked for non-commercial purposes.