Who is this?

Technology Editor of Times of London until July 2010. Now swimming in the freelance shark pool, with abiding interest in games, gadgets and what it all means. If you're looking for product reviews, head elsewhere. Unless it's a really nice product. This is more of an attempt to sift out what matters from what doesn't. With a bit of gossip thrown in for good measure. I'm also learning to use Blogger as I go along, so please bear with me.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Sci-fi fans rejoice: the Death Ray is here

Fifty years ago, the first demonstration of the laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, fact fans) was greeted with headlines that proclaimed the invention of the "death ray."

Scientists of course tutted a lot, told the journalists that they were exaggerating and trivialising a great invention, then went off and spent the next 50 years working on a death ray.

You might think that a better use of their time might have been irrigating the world's deserts, or developing patent-free medicines to rid the developing world of disease. But hell, where's the fun in that? And where's the profit?

Anyway, I am delighted to announce that the death ray is at last here. According to this BBC report, the new laser gun has already shot down unmanned drones flying at realistic heights and speeds. Ack ack, as they say on Mars.

The BBC story also has a fabulous artist's impression of what the deadly laser might look like in action. It's copyrighted so I won't reproduce it here.

I think the artist may have watched Goldfinger recently, though. The resemblance to the Bond baddie's Fort Knox busting gizmo (above) is remarkable.

Altogether now. "'Do you expect me to talk?' 'No, Mr Bin Laden, I expect you to die!'"

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