Once upon a time: the HSV Non-Lethal Tetanizing Beam Weapon

General Questions:

  • What is the device called?
    • We have referred to it as either the “Non-Lethal Tetanizing Beam Weapon” or the “Anti-Personnel Beam Weapon,” The manufacturers are expected to assign their own brand names.

  • How does it work?
    • It immobilizes people and animals at a distance by tetanizing their skeletal muscles with a weak electrical current.

  • What is tetanization?
    • Tetanization is the stimulation of muscles at a rate high enough to keep them contracted. (Muscles normally relax between the neural or electrical pulses that cause them to contract.)

  • How long does it take to immobilize someone?
    • The effect occurs within a few milliseconds.

  • Is the size and strength of the affected person or animal important?
    • Physical size and strength are not factors except that a very large animal would probably have to be targeted with more than one beam. Being strong does not prevent or reduce the tetanizing effect.

  • Can a tetanized person give that effect to someone else?
    • Tetanization itself cannot be transmitted to other people. However, if each of the beams were touching different people who were in contact with each other, the electrical current could be conducted between them.

  • Wouldn’t it be difficult to move a tetanized person?
    • The effect lasts only a few seconds after the current stops, so the problem of moving an immobile person isn’t likely to occur.

  • Can this weapon work under water?
    • No. The electrical current would be dissipated by the water.

  • Would a person fall when he is tetanized?
    • He would fall only if he were out of balance, because he would have no control over his leg muscles. He would very probably not fall if he were in balance because his leg muscles would be rigid rather than limp.

  • Have you built a prototype?
    • The prototype is being developed for us by a laser manufacturer.

  • How big is it?
    • The prototype is about the size of a carry-on suitcase. In a few years the commercial units should be no larger than a flashlight.

  • Why can’t you make these things as small as a laser pointer?
    • We would if there were any commercially available lasers that emitted at least 50 watts of continuous far-ultraviolet radiation. Such a laser would be small enough, but none have been manufactured.

  • I collect rare weapons. May I buy one of yours?
    • There are no finished units available now and will not be for about two years. Then you should ask one of our licensed manufacturers rather than us, as we are exclusively a research corporation. Even then you could not purchase a functional weapon because they will be sold only to law enforcement and military organizations. However, in a few years you should be able to buy a design model.

  • Why just “immobilize” criminals and terrorists when bullets are cheap?
    • We want law enforcement officers and soldiers to have more options. Not all suspects are dangerous criminals or terrorists.

  • Will these weapons, however non-lethal, affect cardiac pacemakers?
    • We don’t think so, because cardiac pacemakers are well insulated. In addition, the manufacturers are required to perform extensive testing in this regard.

  • What if I wrapped myself in aluminum foil or something like that, would I be immune to being tetanized?
    • First, you would have to be very sure that you didn’t leave any skin uncovered, because the human body is as electrically conductive as a sack of salty water. The current would spread from an uncovered wrist, ankle, or neck to a very wide area. Second, you wouldn’t be protected from the bullets that would likely follow a police officer’s failure to stop you by a more harmless means.

  • Is tetanizing painful?
    • There is no pain whatsoever. In fact, when the rate of electrical pulses is properly adjusted, it is impossible to feel the tetanizing effect.

  • Can you make it painful?
    • Although it is not our intent to inflict pain, if the current were increased and the optimal pulse repetition rate were lowered to 2 or 3 pulses per second, the affected person would feel painful shocks.

  • Suppose a police officer held the beams on someone’s eyes for a long time. Would it hurt?
    • Aside from the fact that conducting the current through a person’s face would not immobilize him, prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet beams would be irritating. For more details please click on the paper “Ocular Safety“.

  • Could you make these weapons lethal?
    • We have no intention of doing so. They were created to save lives, not to take them. Perhaps one of the end-users would do this, but it would be without our knowledge or approval.

  • Would it be dangerous to point it at a storm cloud?
    • As would be true with any good conductor, it would be extremely dangerous to point this device toward a storm cloud.

  • Can I get a job making this ray gun?
    • If you apply to one of the manufacturing companies and are accepted by it.

  • May I participate in this project?
    • That depends upon what you mean by “participate.” If you mean to participate as a target subject, we will not be performing such experiments. If you mean to participate by investing, as a “C” corporation under California law we may not solicit investors. If you mean something else and would like further clarification, you may contact us at

  • From what I read in your patent, the current is not much different from what I get by combing my hair. So why does it “tetanize” anyone?
    • 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.

  • Do the beams have to touch bare skin?
    • It isn’t necessary for the beams to touch the subject’s skin. Because of its high potential the current easily penetrates clothing.

  • Do the beams have to contact particular areas of the body?
    • No, because the current spreads throughout a very large area.

  • Is your stock sold OTC (Over The Counter)?
    • HSV Technologies is incorporated under the laws of the State of California as a “C” corporation. As such, we may accept unsolicited investments, but not solicit them. If you wish further information please send an e-mail inquiry to:

  • Could these weapons be used by criminals and terrorists?
    • These weapons could be used unlawfully, but there are several reasons why such use would be limited. First, the manufacturers will sell them only to law enforcement and military agencies. Second, they would have to be greatly modified to make them lethal. Third, the beams cannot penetrate metal like bullets. Fourth, they are considerably more expensive than firearms. Fifth, almost any lethal purpose for which they might be used could be accomplished as well by rifles or pistols. Sixth, their unlawful use would doubtless be severely prosecuted.

  • Could the beams of the Vehicle Disabling Weapon harm the passengers?
    • Not at all. Less than one percent of the ultraviolet radiation and none of the electrical current can penetrate window glass. Moreover, the beams are emitted for less than a millisecond, which is too brief to injure anyone they contact.


Technical Questions:



  • How far can you project the tetanizing effect?
    • With an ultraviolet wavelength of 193 nanometers, the maximum effective range is about 100 meters. The effective range increases to two kilometers when a wavelength of 248 nanometers and a more intense beam are used.

  • Why are only the skeletal muscles tetanized?
    • 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.

  • How do you get the electrical current to the target?
    • The electrical current is conducted through two channels of ionized air between the device and the target. The channels are created by two laser beams having a wavelength in the far-ultraviolet region, such as of 193 or 248 nanometers.

  • Why use two beams?
    • We use two beams because there would otherwise be no return path for the electrical current. One beam creates a conductive channel of ionized air to the target and the second beam ionizes another channel through which the current returns. In this way, the target becomes a part of the electrical circuit.

  • Are the beams visible?
    • Although the ultraviolet radiation itself cannot be seen, the beams are obvious. This is because oxygen molecules fluoresce green when they de-ionize. Moreover, an even brighter coaxial beam of visible light commonly will be used to designate the target.

  • Why doesn’t the current in the ionized channels jump to ground before it reaches the target?
    • The current cannot flow to ground because it is surrounded by a strong insulating material, air. Un-ionized air is an excellent electrical insulator (dielectric), as its breakdown potential is about 38,000 volts per centimeter. Also, the recombination time between the liberated electrons and their parent oxygen ions is measured in microseconds. Therefore, the electrons are able to travel only a few nanometers outside the ultraviolet beam before being absorbed, thus preventing the formation of any conductive paths to ground.

  • Your patent says that the current is only a few milliamps, so why does the voltage have to be so high?
    • There are two reasons for the very high potential (voltage). The first is to help ionize the air channels, and the second is to insure that the current penetrates the clothing of the target person.

  • How does photoionization make air electrically conductive?
    • Photoionization is the process by which particles or wave-packets of electromagnetic energy called photons, in this case ultraviolet photons, bombard and dislodge electrons from the molecules of oxygen they strike. The electrons are then free to move as a current whenever they are subjected to an electrical potential. (A flow of electrons is an electrical current.)

  • Why do you ionize the oxygen in air instead of the more common nitrogen?
    • Nitrogen is four times more common in air than oxygen, but is difficult to photoionize. Oxygen is easily ionized by photon bombardment, especially by far-ultraviolet radiation. For example, at a wavelength of 193 nanometers (nm) only two simultaneous photons are needed to dislodge an electron from a molecule of molecular oxygen (O2). By using 193 nm ultraviolet radiation we are able to create a channel of ionized, and therefore electrically conductive, air up to 100 meters (yards) long. For more details, please click on
      US Patent #5,675,103

  • Infrared lasers have been available for more than thirty years, so why not use them?
    • We would never use infrared lasers. It would be extremely dangerous to create the ionized air channels with them. This is because at least six simultaneous infrared photons are required to dislodge a single electron from an oxygen molecule. Infrared beams of such intensity would easily burn the skin and destroy the sight of any person or animal they struck.

  • How is the anti-vehicle weapon different from the tetanizing weapon?
    • The vehicle disabling weapon (VDW) differs from the tetanizing weapon in several ways. First, it uses only a single 500 microsecond pulse of high-frequency current to destroy the electronic controls of the target vehicle. It is able to do this because the integrated circuits in the controls are easily damaged by such currents. Second, the wavelength of the laser radiation emitted by the VDW is 248 rather than 193 nanometers (nm). Third, the range is approximately two kilometers. This range is achieved because the longer wavelength radiation is less rapidly absorbed. (At 248 nm, three simultaneous photons are needed to dislodge one electron from molecular oxygen. Therefore, a higher intensity must be emitted to create the same ionization density over the two-kilometer distance.) Fourth, it is larger and heavier because it may be carried in a vehicle rather than by hand. For more details, please click on Vehicle Disabling Weapon by HSV Technologies, Inc. (Adobe Acrobat required)

  • Does altitude affect the ionized channels?
    • The lower air density at higher altitudes increases the efficiency of the ionization process. To the point where the oxygen is too tenuous to be an adequate source of electrons, the liberated electrons have a longer mean free path in less dense air.

  • Could this technique be used to make a laser lightning rod?
    • Several types of laser lightning rods have already been designed. For further information, you may read on the internet the papers of Jean-Claude Diels and Bruno La Fontaine, among others.

  • Are the beams affected by atmospheric conditions?
    • Even the strongest wind is not a problem because the recombination time between the liberated electrons and their parent O2 ions is extremely rapid, on the order of microseconds (depending on the energy imparted to them). Therefore, the electrons are able to travel only a few nanometers outside the ultraviolet beam before being absorbed. The ionized channels thus remain straight and steady no matter how powerful the wind. On the other hand, heavy rain and fog are a major problem because the electron attachment rate to water vapor is quite high. However, it may be possible to overcome that difficulty by using a coaxial beam of infrared radiation to heat the supersaturated air.

First we control the Iphone camaras, then we control the Eyes

Appleville – In the twilight of capitalism appleism is set to be the new ism to rule the world. In these troubled times no one seems to head the wise words of Benjamin Franklin:  ”Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain coolness will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Full article

IBM one step closer the “The Technological Singularity”

Armonk, N.Y. – IBM announced a new step in processing technology, as they revealed their Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project which is about experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition.

In a sharp departure from traditional concepts in designing and building computers, IBM’s first neurosynaptic computing chips recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in biological systems, such as the brain, through advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry. Its first two prototype chips have already been fabricated and are currently undergoing testing.

The goal of SyNAPSE  is to create a system that not only analyzes complex information from multiple sensory modalities at once, but also dynamically rewires itself as it interacts with its environment – all while rivaling the brain’s compact size and low power usage. The IBM team has already successfully completed Phases 0 and 1

They also announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investing $21 million in phase 2 of this project. For science, ofcourse, not to build some ultra-smart weapon out of it, because that would be stupid.


IBM’s SyNAPSE project leader Dharmendra Modha  states: “This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century. Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture. These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government.”

Unlike OCP’s RoboCop project, these chips contain no biological elements. While this bodes well for using these chips in elevators, without making them too murderous, the technology does borrow a lot from the structure of organic brains and use digital silicon circuits inspired by neurobiology to make up what is referred to as a “neurosynaptic core” with integrated memory (replicated synapses), computation (replicated neurons) and communication (replicated axons.)

RoboCop is just so 1987…

The two prototypes where fabricated in 45 nm SOI-CMOS and contain 256 neurons. One core contains 262,144 programmable synapses and the other contains 65,536 learning synapses. The IBM team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.

For Phase 2 of SyNAPSE, IBM has assembled a world-class multi-dimensional team of researchers and collaborators to achieve these ambitious goals. The team includes Columbia University; Cornell University; University of California, Merced; and University of Wisconsin, Madison. While this is a large team, none of it’s members seem to have seen any movie about artificial intelligences destroying humanity, even while the list of these movies is nearly endless. Also, one of the more prominent killer AIs, HAL9000 got it’s name by taking each letter from IBM and replacing it with the one before it in the alphabet.

Read more about the project here.

Read about the Technological Signularity here.

Meet Astronaut A3, the milk robot


This summer I went on a long cycling trip through Holland with my friends. We brought our tents so we could camp wherever to have the ultimate sense of freedom. We stayed on many different camp sites. From family camp sites to camp sites usually only older people spend their summers, enjoying their retirement. Inevitably we also stayed at a farmer’s camp site.

We totally didn’t mind that; it’s way cheaper and a good way to avoid mini playback shows, bingo and people trying to sing to the horrible tunes of Marco Borsato during late night karaoke. For me it was a good opportunity to see farm life from close by. As a vegetarian I’ve heard the most horrific stories for years. High time to find out and see for myself! So after we set up our tents I couldn’t wait to do some investigation.

The Dairy Farm

From the smell of it we were obviously on a farm where they kept cows. It’s easy to see the difference between a milk cow and a ‘meat cow’ (milk cows have much bigger udders and meat cows are usually bigger in shape and look more muscled) and after one look at the cows that were lazily grazing in the field nearby, we could tell we were on a dairy farm. The cows in the field looked at least happy enough…

After a while we came to a huge barn and to our delight the door was wide open and we could enter it without anybody stopping us. Inside there were at least thirty cows. Most of them with their heads stuck between iron bars eating from food that was spread around on the wooden floor. They looked pretty relaxed and didn’t look disturbed by our unexpected visit. They seemed to be mainly focused on eating the food from the floor. When tired of eating, the cows could pull their heads back out of the bars and lay down, or walk around a bit. Although the barn was quite crowded with cows, they all seemed to have enough space to move around a bit. There was a lot of room between the wooden planks on the floors enabling cow shit to fall through. We assumed the farmer collected it every once and a while to add it to the huge smelly pile we saw outside.

Astronaut A3

As soon as we entered the barn, we could hear these bleeping sounds and I wondered where these sounds came from. A big red machine like object in the middle of the barn caught my attention. It had Astronaut A3 printed on the side in big black letters. That name immediately triggered my imagination. “Astronaut!” “Why would there be something called Astronaut on a farm??” While I was walking towards the Astronaut for further investigation, a cow entered the machine through what looked like one of these one way iron gates. They actually reminded me of the ones you have to go through when you take the tube in Paris.

The cow disappeared into the machine. When I came close by, I could see the cow standing behind a gate patiently waiting..for what? Suddenly the bleeps became louder and a big mechanic arm came out of the astronaut, halting underneath the cow’s udders. A little round brush came out, which started to turn around the udders, brushing all the dirt (if any) off. A few moments later the brush disappeared again and this time four tubes came out. By then it had started to dawn to me that I was actually looking at a robot about to milk the cow! In the dark we could see red lasers detecting where the udders were exactly positioned. Then after a few tries, the tubes connected to them. A loud pumping sound started to come out of the Astronaut and we could see the milk being pumped out with great force. The cow just stood there. Not making a sound, or a move. Just patiently waiting for the machine to be done.


I didn’t really know what to think yet. This peaceful little farm was in fact a milk factory. Sure, it did look peaceful enough, but when I imagined how I would feel if it was me to be milked like that, my mind filled with scenes from several sf stories I’ve read. I shivered and asked my friend why they would voluntarily step into a cabin like that. He replied that cows want to be milked when it’s time, because the weight gets really heavy in the end.

When the machine was done, a gate on the other side opened so the cow could walk through. On her way out the cow had to go through a portal of brushes, like in a car wash, cleaning her back and sides. As soon as one cow left the cabin of the Astronaut, another cow took her place. We found out later through a news article that was pinned to the wall, that this farm was one of the first farms in the area to have the robot installed. The machine can milk about seventy cows three times a day and also automatically detects illness. The farmer doesn’t have to get up early any more, as the cows decide themselves when they feel like being milked. And they love being milked, because after that job is done, the cows gain access to the food they like so much. The cows were actually standing in line to go into the machine so they could join their other fellow cows, who were already enjoying the yummy food. So much for voluntarily milking!

Sleepless night

That night I slept uneasy and woke up in the middle of the night screaming. I had an awful dream about being kept with thousands of other humans on a huge farms ran by aliens. They had us all connected to these terrible sucking machines with long tubes sucking out our life essence. While hearing the bleeping sounds of Astronaut A3 in the distance, it took me a long time before I fell asleep again…


See the robot in action:

Fantasy Island, for Libertarians


After getting media attention with his project to get college students to switch their studies for the founding of their own company, PayPal founder Peter Thiel has now found another way to burn money for his ideals.

Man-made Libertarian nations are to rise up from the ocean surface and provide a haven for those who are sick ‘n tired of government interfering with almost every aspect of their lives. Thiel supports the project with $1.25 million.

Source: yahoo

War Without Humans Modern Blood Rites Revisited

An analysis on some of our favorite subjects: Drones, cyborgs and war.
Barbara Ehrenreich elaborates on the intimate connection between warfare and welfare in the U.S, the War as business – switch being made from governmental liability to corporate liability by commissioning external companies and outsourcing non battle related affairs, replacement of soldiers by robots undermining the “passions of war”.

Ends up in a maybe too optimistic note but still a good read.
See full article on Alternet:

How Machines Take Over The War

China’s government excited over David Cameron’s censorship proposal

Beijing – China is in fact extatic over censorship deal for the Peoples Republic of Britain that David Cameron suggested in response to the London riots. David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week’s riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.

The prime minister said the government will review whether it is possible to stop suspected rioters spreading online messages, in his opening statement during a Commons debate on Thursday on the widespread civil disorder, which is music to China’s ears.

Before, Camoron was bitching about human rights in China during talks with the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, on a trade mission to Beijing last year. Now he suggests taking away the voice of his own people by blocking social media.

The Xinhua State News Agency spoke of ”a u-turn ” in the policy of ”the former defender of absolute internet freedom.”

They further respond:

In a speech delivered in Kuwait in February, the British prime minister, however, argued that freedom of expression should be respected “in Tahrir Square as much as Trafalgar Square​.” Learning a hard lesson from bitter experience, the British government eventually recognized that a balance needs to be struck between freedom and the monitoring of social media tools.

We may wonder why western leaders, on the one hand, tend to indiscriminately accuse other nations of monitoring, but on the other take for granted their steps to monitor and control the Internet.

They are not interested in learning what content those nations are monitoring, let alone their varied national conditions or their different development stages.

Laying undue emphasis on Internet freedom, the western leaders become prejudiced against those “other than us,” stand ready to put them in the dock and attempt to stir up their internal conflicts.

Proponents of free speech names Cameron’s new plans “Hadrians Firewall,” comparing it to the “Great Firewall of China.”

And They Call Me Bulletproof

The Netherlands – Move along, spiderman! Having spider-based superpowers may be closer than you might think. You might not get spidersense, or the ability to climb on any surface – yet. Still, the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands might give you the power to shrug off bullets using a spider-based transgenic human skin.

“2.6g 329m/s” is the name of this project, the performance standard for bulletproof vests. The Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands is working on a way to implant transgenic human skin with cast-iron spiders’ web. The project expressly asks the question if this technological innovation is socially desirable.

Spidersilk thread is relatively much stronger than steel and can even be made by a living being. Woven it would be capable to resist the impact of a bullet, much like a bee on the spider’s web. If human skin would be able to produce this thread, would we be protected from bullets?

Art meets science in this transhuman experiment. Is this a desirable step in the development of the human race or will it just encourage people to get better guns and up the ante in the arms race humanity has been involved in since the dawn of time? Will we see a future of unstoppable super soldiers? With this project Jalila Essaïdi wants to show that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept. How far are people willing to go?

Read more about this project here and here. I didn’t find a form to sign up for virtual invulnerability, but now the cat is out of the bag, it’s only a matter of time.

The Last Astronaut?

The Solar System – With the end of the Space Shuttle program, things looked rather grimm for space exploration. With the cold war far behind us, the urge to fake do moonlandings has greatly diminished. The optimism of the 60′s and 70′s seem to have been replaced by complacency,while investments in manned space flight seemed to have dried up allmost completely.

The new of the death of the space age seems to have been greatly exaggerated, however. Last friday NASA revealed they still intend to sail the Final Frontier and seek out new life and new civilisations and hopefully court some green-skinned women that live beyond low-earth orbit, and generally promote imperial peace and order in the Great Beyond. There will be flag-planting involved, most likely.

“America is opening a bold new chapter in human space exploration,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “By combining the resources of Space Operations and Exploration Systems, and creating the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, we are recommitting ourselves to American leadership in space for years to come.”

The Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate, which combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates, will focus on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

Plans involve the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle as well as the development of a new rocket: the Space Launch System among other things. While these plans seem ambitious, NASA didn’t divulge any plans to probe Uranus and mine gasses from it in the immediate future.

Read the NASA HEO announcement here.

Coffeeshop cracks down on communism

Jonathan Stark had a dream. When becoming the new Iron Man seemed infeasable, he instead opted to do a social experiment involving free coffee. Starbucks took the opportunity to TANSTAAFL the living daylights out of this idea and serve him a nice warm cup of STFU.

Jonathan Stark is a programmer and writer and has been experimenting with “social sharing of physical goods using digital currency on mobile phones.” His latest experiment, named Jonathans Card allowed people to download his loyalty card to use at American Starbucks coffeeshops to get some free coffee. The idea should have worked because you could also donate money towards the card. Kind of like “Each pay for coffee according to his ability, to each drink coffee according to his need.” Some people may recognize this idea as a ‘Caffe Pagato‘ as was a custom in Italy, the birthing ground of fascism.

Jonathans card quickly went viral and created an entire community. The card even has it’s own twitter account with minute by minute updates on how much money is on it. It went back and forth from hundreds of dollars to zero more than once. Ultimately though, Starbucks got wind of it and decided to put an end to it.

On Jonathans website he relays a message from the Coffee Mogul stating:

The time has come for this wonderful experiment to make a transformation. Starbucks has informed me that they will be shutting off the card at 10pm ET tonight (Friday, August 12, 2011).

Jonathan doesn’t give up though, and thinks this is the beginning of a new movement: “In the last 5 days or so, we’ve received hundreds of stories of people doing small things to brighten a stranger’s day: Paying for the next car at the drive through. Sharing a pick me up with someone who has had a rough time. Charging up a phone card and sharing it with strangers at the airport. The list goes on, and on, and on…”

There have been some nice conspiracy theories behind the communist coffee. Some claim this was an elaborate viral campaign by Starbucks. Stark denies this. There is also the question of the Starbucks Rewards, which have skyrocketted for Starks’ card.