1 W laser pointer hits the market.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby frezik » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Oh fuck yes. I wonder if I can use this to make a DIY laser cutter. I know I need a couple watt laser for cutting metal, but a 1 watt should be able to cut like acrylic and such yes?


For acrylic and glass, I think it's preferred to use far-IR, like a CO2 lasers. Acrylic is opaque at those frequencies, and I believe wood can be cut nice by those, too. It's going to depend on your material and thickness, though.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Dark Avorian » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Scenario:

Guy tries to mug you, you see a gun, you slash across his face with laser pointer, blinding him (unlikely and probably illegal i grant you)
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

To repeat an Eariler Question that I believe has not been answered yet...

Could somebody please explain what a "W" or "Watt" is and why having a 1Watt laser pointer is a bad thing??!!!

Thank you.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Josephine » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:53 pm UTC

A watt is a unit of power. Your average laser pointer to play with your cat is 5 milliwatts. that's hardly dangerous (continuous exposure to the eye won't blind you). With this, it's possible to cause a lot of damage because of its power. And at its current price, it becomes a toy for every schmuck with 200 dollars.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Azrael001 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:54 pm UTC

I went on a wiki crawl during lunch and found some interesting things. Mainly this quote is awesome:
Wikipedia wrote:The energy that is wasted can cause significant disruption to cloud development since the impact wave creates a "tunnelling effect". Engineers from MIT and the U.S. Army are looking into ways that this weapon can be used against weather.
T_man:
Spoiler:
Wikipedia wrote:The watt (pronounced /ˈwɒt/; symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819). The unit measures the rate of energy conversion. It is defined as one joule per second.

One joule is defined as the amount of work done by a force of one newton moving an object through a distance of one metre. Other relationships are:

* The work required to move an electric charge of one coulomb through an electrical potential difference of one volt; or one coulomb volt (C·V). This relationship can be used to define the volt;
* The work required to continuously produce one watt of power for one second; or one watt second (W·s) (compare kilowatt hour). This relationship can be used to define the watt.
23111

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Sockmonkey » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:07 pm UTC

Dark Avorian wrote:Scenario:

Guy tries to mug you, you see a gun, you slash across his face with laser pointer, blinding him (unlikely and probably illegal i grant you)

Well, it's not like he's going to be able to pick you out of a lineup if he tries to press charges...

If some psychotically clever street gang decides to stock up on a few gross of these before they get banned, hooo boy what a freakin' nightmare.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby rath358 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:36 pm UTC

frezik wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Oh fuck yes. I wonder if I can use this to make a DIY laser cutter. I know I need a couple watt laser for cutting metal, but a 1 watt should be able to cut like acrylic and such yes?


For acrylic and glass, I think it's preferred to use far-IR, like a CO2 lasers. Acrylic is opaque at those frequencies, and I believe wood can be cut nice by those, too. It's going to depend on your material and thickness, though.

A 40 watt laser engraver, specially designed to cut acrylic, painstakingly focused, takes a while to cut. A LONG while. You aren't gonna cut anything with this, or if you do, it will take hours and hours.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby The Reaper » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

rath358 wrote:
frezik wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Oh fuck yes. I wonder if I can use this to make a DIY laser cutter. I know I need a couple watt laser for cutting metal, but a 1 watt should be able to cut like acrylic and such yes?


For acrylic and glass, I think it's preferred to use far-IR, like a CO2 lasers. Acrylic is opaque at those frequencies, and I believe wood can be cut nice by those, too. It's going to depend on your material and thickness, though.

A 40 watt laser engraver, specially designed to cut acrylic, painstakingly focused, takes a while to cut. A LONG while. You aren't gonna cut anything with this, or if you do, it will take hours and hours.

Damn. well, maybe I can use it to melt solder or something. :(

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:07 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Damn. well, maybe I can use it to melt soldiers or something. :(
hehehe
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby The Reaper » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Damn. well, maybe I can use it to melt soldiers or something. :(
hehehe

http://www.powerlabs.org/laser.htm

The internet has that covered. I wonder if I should put one in my car, and draw pictures on the cars of people that drive like shit in front of me?

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:What is the relationship with lasers and heat? I can burn skin at inch distance, sure, but can I harm flesh at forty metres/feet? What's the distance/heat ratio?
When it comes to distance, what matters isdivergence, which depends on how the laser is focused.

Eyes are the main problem when it comes to laser damage because your eye focuses incoming light, significantly increasing the irradiance.

The Reaper wrote:I wonder if I should put one in my car, and draw pictures on the cars of people that drive like shit in front of me?
Yeah, it's not like cars are reflective or anything.

This thread is just confirming how bad an idea this is.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby The Reaper » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:01 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
The Reaper wrote:I wonder if I should put one in my car, and draw pictures on the cars of people that drive like shit in front of me?
Yeah, it's not like cars are reflective or anything.

This thread is just confirming how bad an idea this is.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

This laser is currently on the Jason Ellis show. Nice.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Diadem » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

How much is 1 W really, in eye-burning power? Does it cause instant damage to eyes, or does it take prolonged exposure?
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

As has been stated MANY times, a 1W laser is instant, permanent, irrevocable blindness. HTH.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:52 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:How much is 1 W really, in eye-burning power? Does it cause instant damage to eyes, or does it take prolonged exposure?

It's a class 4 laser. That means nearly instantaneous permanent eye damage (within a few milliseconds, which is far too quick for the blink reflex to do anything), and it will also cause burns to skin.

As a bonus, it's blue, which is particularly dangerous.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
Diadem wrote:How much is 1 W really, in eye-burning power? Does it cause instant damage to eyes, or does it take prolonged exposure?

It's a class 4 laser. That means nearly instantaneous permanent eye damage (within a few milliseconds, which is far too quick for the blink reflex to do anything), and it will also cause burns to skin.

As a bonus, it's blue, which is particularly dangerous.


Huh, wiki makes it sound like lasers of that class have to have a key lock on them.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby meatyochre » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:20 am UTC

I want one! I don't know what use I could possibly put it to. Can't use it for the cats. Can't flash it at anybody. I just want it cause... I can. And it's a frickin laser. And it's blue.

But I think the temptation would be too great. I wouldn't be able to resist pointing it at my own eyes eventually.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Steax » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:04 am UTC

So, if I'm understanding correctly, a 1 W laser can:
- Cause (practically) instant blindness if it hits the eyes
- Burn skin (how burnt?) near-instantly (at least faster than the time it takes to get your arm out of the way)
- Cut through materials with extended exposure

And assumptions:
- It takes no time to 'turn on' the laser
- The size is small enough to be used inconspicuously
- There are minimal safety features on the emitter
- Anyone at all can use it

Am I correct?
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Cynical Idealist » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:17 am UTC

Steax wrote:So, if I'm understanding correctly, a 1 W laser can:
- Cause (practically) instant blindness if it hits the eyes
- Burn skin (how burnt?) near-instantly (at least faster than the time it takes to get your arm out of the way)
- Cut through materials with extended exposure

-Yes
-Not near-instantly, but it can cause burns. As 1W is at the low end of the scale, we're probably talking something like a bad sunburn after a few seconds, but that's just a guess.
-Probably not with a 1W visible laser.
And assumptions:
- It takes no time to 'turn on' the laser
- The size is small enough to be used inconspicuously
- There are minimal safety features on the emitter
- Anyone at all can use it

-Unknown, but probably true. There's supposed to be a 5-second delay for safety, but after the delay, it's near-instant.
- Size: 228mm x 35.8mm (9 inches by 1.5 inches). Reasonably concealable, although the beam is visible.
- There is a lock-out cap over the button. As a Class 4 laser, it is supposed to have a key-switch instead of a button, and interlocks on the enclosure (oh, and it's supposed to be in an enclosure)
- True. You're given warnings to read when ordering, and you have to check a box next to each warning. Other than that, anyone with $200 to spare can get one.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:33 am UTC

Dark Avorian wrote:Scenario:

Guy tries to mug you, you see a gun, you slash across his face with laser pointer, blinding him (unlikely and probably illegal i grant you)

And you blind any bystanders up to 5 blocks away.

It is my understanding that this Laser does support some kind of interlock, but it is not designed for a fixed installation (where the interlock would be hooked up to a door switch).

As others have said, this really worries me. Even though it may be "cool" I would not want to buy one. If your are not wearing proper safety equipment when trying it out, you will blind yourself (from reflections). I just hope the dumb people who order these things and blind themselves are bright enough to turn the device off before blinding first responders due to medical emergency (blindness), fire (It can set skin or paper on fire), or police (responding to complaints about the laser).

What really concerns me is how easy it would be for copycats to get similar Lasers from similar projectors. Even if I start wearing Blue-blocking (amber) goggles full-time, I am not safe. Presumably, those projectors have Red and Green Lasers of similar power.

Edit: on another site I saw people confusing the power output of this this with the output of a "1W LED." For the LED, 1W is how much power the device consumes, not how much radiance the thing puts out. I suspect the Laser probably draws at least 5 3.7 watts (by technical specs).

Edit: don't take my word for it:
wicked lasers wrote:Blue light hazard can cause BLINDNESS and not just color perception issues. The power of this laser is no joke, at 1W the Spyder III Pro Arctic is a Class 4 Laser. Do not allow unprotected eye exposure to diffusely scattered light from the beam terminating on a wall, the floor or other flat surface from this laser closer than 3 feet. Accidental eye exposure will definitely result in instant retina tissue damage even within just milliseconds of exposure. Direct eye contact with the beam or reflected will cause instant permanent damage and blindness. Sometimes blindness may take a day or longer for the onset. Unlike instant injury from a bright flash of a red or green laser, this effect is cumulative over 24 hours. It is also possible that such an exposure could cause retinal degeneration and even loss of vision later in life.
- http://www.wickedlasers.com/laser-tech/blue_light_hazard.html

So, by using this against a potential mugger (closer than 3 ft), you will likely blind yourself as well from the reflected light.

Edit: I reported the mere existence of this device to the local police.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Kyrn » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:18 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
Dark Avorian wrote:Scenario:

Rebuttal


Just wanted to also note that unless you're highly trained, trying to reflexively aim a laser pointer at someone's eye is not as easy as one would think. Throwing sand is likely more effective.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Steax » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:12 am UTC

So what is this product supposedly supposed to be for? As far as I know, handheld lasers are only used in scientific experiments (where people know how to handle them) and for.. pointing at stuff, in which case they don't need to be deadly. Are they really marketing this for the pure awesomeness of it?

For some reason, a human's first instinct when they see a beam-like thing get emitted from a hilt is to look straight at the point of the hilt where it's being emitted...
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Minerva » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:18 am UTC

Steax wrote:So, if I'm understanding correctly, a 1 W laser can:
- Cause (practically) instant blindness if it hits the eyes
- Burn skin (how burnt?) near-instantly (at least faster than the time it takes to get your arm out of the way)
- Cut through materials with extended exposure

And assumptions:
- It takes no time to 'turn on' the laser
- The size is small enough to be used inconspicuously
- There are minimal safety features on the emitter
- Anyone at all can use it

Am I correct?


Yep, pretty much.

If the beam actually enters your eye it will destroy your eye practically instantly. Collimated laser damage to the retina can also cause "blind spots" that you might not even notice easily because your brain will try to extrapolate the missing part of the image... until you're dealing with a moving object that your brain can't easily fill in.

With a laser of this power level, even indirect, diffused, reflected or scattered light is a significant eye damage hazard.

I expect that this laser will cause severe burns and set things on fire rather quickly... places like Wicked Lasers market substantially less powerful lasers (~100 mW) already, and point out how cool they are because you can burn things with them.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby portentum » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:25 am UTC

According to this article linked by the Slashdot summary...

Warning: Extremely dangerous is an understatement to the power of 1W of laser power. It will blind permanently and instantly and set fire quickly to skin and other body parts, use with extreme caution and only when using the included eye protection. Customers will be required to completely read and agree to our Class IV Laser Hazard Acknowledgment Form.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:10 am UTC

I have absolutely no use for anything like this. But I want one anyway.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Outchanter » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:15 am UTC

So given that this is effectively a gun that shoots blindness, how many people will lose their eyesight before these things are made illegal or heavily regulated?

What are the legal penalties for blinding someone? How will police identify the culprits? Would ordering a laser online be enough to make you a possible suspect if someone in your area is blinded?

Assuming that these will rapidly be made illegal, how can you best reduce the chance of yourself or those around you being blinded before that happens? The first thing I'd do is not buy one, and warn everyone I associate with not to buy one either...

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:As has been stated MANY times, a 1W laser is instant, permanent, irrevocable blindness. HTH.

Irrevocable for a good few years at least. Any predictions on how long it will take before replacement retinas or eyeballs can be cultivated from stem cells?
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Angua » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:22 am UTC

Outchanter wrote: Any predictions on how long it will take before replacement retinas or eyeballs can be cultivated from stem cells?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/8587202.stm Ok, this is for a specific disease, but it's being done. Maclaren is also using gene therapy and stem cells to treat other forms of blindness (he's also one of my tutors :D )
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:33 am UTC

You can probably charged with assault causing bodily harm. If you blind 20 people at once, that is 20 counts.

I would not count on getting replacement eyeballs in your lifetime. You may get lucky. Prosthetics may get VGA resolution (currently I think they are just too risky for the potential benefit).

I am not sure if a total ban would work: simply ban hand-held class 4 Lasers instead.

The reason a total ban won't work is that copycats can get them from the same source "Wicked Lasers" did: DLP projectors using them as a light source. I was reading some comments suggesting Blu-ray drives have powerful lasers as well (but 1/2 to 1/4 the power of this one).
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Minerva » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

Yeah, but the challenge of getting one of those devices, taking it apart, taking the laser diodes out, wiring them up correctly with an appropriate current regulator and mounting them in a heatsink with an appropriate lens eliminates the stupid people factor, it's a lot different from selling a laser pointer off the shelf, ready to go.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

Kyrn wrote:Just wanted to also note that unless you're highly trained, trying to reflexively aim a laser pointer at someone's eye is not as easy as one would think. Throwing sand is likely more effective.

Not really. With a laser you can adjust your aim and drag it to the target. Just like using tracer rounds to walk your shots, only better.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Texas_Ben » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:22 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:
Kyrn wrote:Just wanted to also note that unless you're highly trained, trying to reflexively aim a laser pointer at someone's eye is not as easy as one would think. Throwing sand is likely more effective.

Not really. With a laser you can adjust your aim and drag it to the target. Just like using tracer rounds to walk your shots, only better.

"walking" the laser isn't terribly useful when getting mugged, where any rapid movements are likely to get you stabbed/shot.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:12 pm UTC

First of all, thank you everyone who answered my question.

Secondly, this thing sounds pretty damn dangerous. If they really have to put it on the market, they could at least make it so you had to get a license to wield one, much like we have with guns.

Of course, with this innovation the days of madmen threatening to fire death-rays upon the UN building will soon be upon us.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Chfan » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. FUCK. I hope they ban these fucking things soon. This is really scary.
Just FYI, the guy isn't avatar isn't me. But he seems pretty cool.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:08 pm UTC

It's too late. Even if they get banned the idea is out there and verified as effective. Terrorists and/or major street gangs can always dig up some antisocial tech guy who can be bought.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Dibley » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:53 pm UTC

These are not deathrays. A gun is more dangerous. We're not so much worried about terrorists (aside from the airplane thing) as we are about stupid people.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby meatyochre » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:13 pm UTC

Dibley wrote:These are not deathrays. A gun is more dangerous. We're not so much worried about terrorists (aside from the airplane thing) as we are about stupid people.

The concern is there's a culture of irresponsibility around lasers in America. And you need a license to carry a gun around. There is no license or background check required to carry this laser which really, is just as dangerous as a gun, if not moreso. Instant blindness and setting fire to skin within seconds, just from pointing it at somebody? Very dangerous.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Xeio » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

meatyochre wrote:
Dibley wrote:These are not deathrays. A gun is more dangerous. We're not so much worried about terrorists (aside from the airplane thing) as we are about stupid people.

The concern is there's a culture of irresponsibility around lasers in America. And you need a license to carry a gun around. There is no license or background check required to carry this laser which really, is just as dangerous as a gun, if not moreso. Instant blindness and setting fire to skin within seconds, just from pointing it at somebody? Very dangerous.

Are you reading what you just wrote? This laser is NOT more dangerous than a gun, not even in the same ballpark (well, maybe the laser is at home and the gun in in the outfield somewhere). Gun > You get shot and die; Laser > Blindness/Mild Burns (which, to be fair, at least a few household chemicals can do if thrown anyway, unless those are also as dangerous as guns).

I would say there is probably more chance of property damage from a laser though.

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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby meatyochre » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
meatyochre wrote:
Dibley wrote:These are not deathrays. A gun is more dangerous. We're not so much worried about terrorists (aside from the airplane thing) as we are about stupid people.

The concern is there's a culture of irresponsibility around lasers in America. And you need a license to carry a gun around. There is no license or background check required to carry this laser which really, is just as dangerous as a gun, if not moreso. Instant blindness and setting fire to skin within seconds, just from pointing it at somebody? Very dangerous.

Are you reading what you just wrote? This laser is NOT more dangerous than a gun, not even in the same ballpark (well, maybe the laser is at home and the gun in in the outfield somewhere). Gun > You get shot and die; Laser > Blindness/Mild Burns (which, to be fair, at least a few household chemicals can do if thrown anyway, unless those are also as dangerous as guns).

I would say there is probably more chance of property damage from a laser though.

The culture of irresponsibility around lasers in America means that an uneducated person would be more likely to cause severe damage or death without intending to. The dangers of guns are known by pretty much everybody. It's less likely to cause catastrophic damage with a gun unintentionally than this laser is likely to cause unintentionally.

If you don't buy this, let's agree to disagree.
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Re: 1 W laser pointer hits the market.

Postby Dibley » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:26 pm UTC

Yes, I agree. So what? I was replying to the post immediately preceding mine, which seemed to think that if a terrorist or gang were to somehow get one, they'd immediately call the UN and try to hold the world hostage, or vaporize Tokyo or something.

Instead, as you pointed out, we're concerned about common stupidity, because while this aren't that dangerous, they're much more dangerous than they look.


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