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Crime Sci-Fi Idle Technology

Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes 391

cylonlover writes "Yes, there are real-life superheroes. And no, we're not just referring to firefighters, paramedics, and other heroic people whom we're used to seeing come to the rescue of others. We're talking about costume-wearing, identity-concealing, cool-name-having people who fight crime, pollution, or other evils in their own communities, on their own time, and at their own risk. Many of them actually patrol the city streets, ready to intervene if they see trouble brewing – and being ready includes having the right tools. Given that none of these people have Bruce Wayne's budget, Gizmag takes a look at some of the real-world gadgets they use as they go about their crime-fighting duties."

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Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

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  • by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @04:41PM (#34178756)

    When I went to click on the link, in my mind was a curious tension of expectations. Would it be like Jay and Silent Bob in "Mallrats"? Like the various teenagers in "Kickass"? Like the moderately-capable guys in hockey pads in "The Dark Knight"? Or something entirely different altogether, some wonderful and amazing surprise of how people can leverage technology and creativity as force multipliers to do good?

    However, after reading this and looking at the gear, all that comes to mind is..."What a bunch of douchebags. Ugh."

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @04:58PM (#34178956)

    Well, aren't you being a bit of a drama queen if you get that scared when someone breaks into your house. I mean, odds are they're just there to steal a few things and will leave you unharmed [dailymail.co.uk], right?

    Just kidding. If someone breaks into my house and I have the chance, I'll shoot them multiple times center of mass. I'm risking allowing something like that to happen to my family if I don't, and I can't take that risk. By the act of breaking into my house, he's assuming the risk - I won't. Sure, I'll feel like shit if it was some drunk teenager out out trying to steel some money, but I can't take the risk.

    Thank God you can generally shoot someone if they break into your house and not have to deal with criminal proceedings, though it's still undesirable because the "ma baby din't do nothin'" family will sue your ass.

  • sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by callmebill (1917294) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:07PM (#34179064)
    To me, these all look like indications of sad, empty, delusional lives.
  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:31PM (#34179378)

    If they're breaking into an occupied private residence, it's pretty reasonable to assume they're a helluva lot more than a mere "trespasser." Trespassing is what I do when I go explore abandoned industrial buildings. It's not breaking into some family's home at 2 a.m. Best case scenario, that is a "thief." Much worst case scenarios include "kidnapper," "rapist," and "murderer." And I'm not particularly inclined to give the guy who's breaking into my house the benefit of the doubt.

  • Re:Feel safe now? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:32PM (#34179400)

    More guns in the hands of law abiding people will just turn the law abiding citizens into criminals because owning a gun makes you instinctively want to use it on another human being for no reason whatsoever.

    Yes, that's why me, my father, my grandfather, 2 of my great uncles, my uncle, my college roommate, many of my friends, and countless other classmates have all shot at people. No, most of those who legally own guns treat them as what they are: objects that easily kill if mishandled or abused. RESPONSIBLE gun ownership is perfectly safe. However, people like you like to lump all of us with the McVeighs or Harris and Klebolds. I am not going to even pull on someone unless they break into my house or threaten me with a weapon of their own. And if you do threaten me, or my family, you better have the balls and know-how to use your weapon. Because I assure you I do with mine.

  • Trespassing... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sean.peters (568334) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:42PM (#34179544) Homepage
    ... not the same thing as breaking and entering. Breaking and entering is a more serious crime, and a reasonable person would probably rightly fear for their life if someone broke into their house while they were in it. And in that situation, is it realistic to be able to wait for the police to show up? I don't think so.
  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:00PM (#34179826) Homepage

    I often see this postulated, but as someone who has served in the military, in a combat zone, and has a couple of black belts, I've never seen concealed firearms as being particularly effective defense against muggings. Typically speaking, if you're being mugged, the bad guy has his gun out, trained on you. He's also nervous as fuck (since muggers tend to be the lowest level of street criminal). In the time it takes to draw, aim, and fire a pistol you'll be dead. As someone who has taught self defense, and spent more than his fair share time in self defense classes, the most common advice given to people regarding muggings is "give them your money". Something on the order of 95% or 98% of muggers (it's been a while since I taught this stuff) just want the money and they leave. The chances that you've encountered one of the other 5% are much smaller than the chances that you'll survive an attempt to defend yourself against an armed opponent.

    Now for home defense there's a completely different case. Typically in that situation you have time to get your gun out and put yourself on at least equal footing with the intruder. There's *some* argument for the use of firearms in home defense situations, but in personal defense situations typically by the time you realize you need the gun it's too late.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:00PM (#34179828) Homepage Journal
    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
  • Re:Which heroes? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jrroche (1937546) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:12PM (#34180002)

    Why do people insist on referring to firefighters, paramedics or policemen as heroes? They signed up for a job and get paid to do it. Simple as that, no heroism there. They don't rescue or help people out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it because that's their job.

    No one forced them to take that job, either. A paycheck doesn't negate the risk to your life when you rush into a burning building to save someone else's life, or get shot at trying to apprehend a criminal.

  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:15PM (#34180038) Homepage

    "And I'm a real-life Supervillian... I troll around the Starbucks with my laptop running the Firesheep add-on to jack people's facebook sessions and post lewd links to their status!

    Well then you suck as a super-villain, because you are actually performing a public service [lamebook.com], and get no monetary reward for your efforts.

  • Re:Oh common.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argmanah (616458) * <argmanah@yahooGAUSS.com minus math_god> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:04PM (#34180708)

    and we believe his life is valuable enough that you shouldn't be entitled to take it because he tried to steal your computer. "Life is sacred" works both ways.

    We don't have time to interview the criminal to find out what his true intentions are. If there is one place where a man should have the right to feel absolutely secure, it should in their own home. No, "life is sacred" does not work both ways. The lives of law abiding people is sacred. The lives of people who agreed to abide by the rules of a civilized society is sacred. The life of those who have broken that trust by breaking into someone's home violating that person's right to remain secure in that home (not merely trespassing on their property) is not sacred.

    The castle doctrine that is found in most states in the U.S. guarantees that right to its citizens. The law is there because we are more concerned about the right to life of the law abiding person in their own home, and will not second guess the exact circumstances of a person who defends themselves at home. It is utterly ridiculous for a person to have to prove that there was not a viable escape route, that, in a moment of duress within their own home, they had to have 20/20 hindsight about the circumstance that they were in. How is the person supposed to know that jumping out the window would be safe, that there wasn't some accomplice who went to the backdoor? A person who is awoken at 3AM from a person breaking a window and entering his home has no idea what kind of danger he is in. Regardless of how much he trusts the police, he can't change the fact that the average response time of an officer to a Code 3 situation is around 8 minutes. The fact is that there is never a sure way to know whether retreat is the better option. And given that a person isn't omniscient, we have decided in most of the U.S. that the law is going to remove this ridiculous need for proof from the person trying to defend his life in his own home.

    Does this mean that it's a smart idea for a person to run through the house guns blazing if someone breaks into his home? No, of course not. Most experts will tell you that the best course of action is to gather your family, hole up in the bedroom, call the police, and be ready to shoot only if the person breaking into the house attempts to break into that sanctuary. But, because there are an infinite number of circumstances that may arise that takes that option off the table, it is not the government's place to second guess the judgment of the law abiding citizen over that of a criminal.

    If it is permissible to kill someone in self defense if they have a gun pointed at you an are ready and willing to shoot, the practical line at which lethal force becomes permissible MUST be at a point before it is too late for the person defending themselves to succeed at doing so. If your line for when it's ok to shoot a person is after they've shot at you, then that line is worthless.

  • by jazzkat (901547) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:26PM (#34180938)

    Ruke,

    You're not incredulous at all. Let me start by suggesting that you read the links I provided above - those were all cases where civilians who were armed were able to protect their lives with their firearms. The most recent research by the FBI indicates that there are many, many more incidents - as many as hundreds per day - where the mere display of a firearm by an "intended victim" makes a criminal change his mind very quickly. A taser does not have the same "scare factor" as a firearm.

    I can't speak in generalizations about concealed carry permit holders, but I can talk about those whom I know. When you get a license to carry a lethal weapon, your attitude and manner changes. You look to avoid dangerous situations. You don't let stuff bother you so much any more. But most importantly, you become FAR more aware of your surroundings. The posters in this threadlet who indicated that a firearm won't help you much in a mugging are correct to a certain extent - someone who surprises you by jumping out and demanding money at gunpoint is a bad situation. But you tend to watch people a lot more, on the street, to ascertain if they are a threat or not... you look for people hiding, etc. So those surprises are probably less likely to happen to you.

    You could make a conscious effort to have the same kinds of mannerisms without carrying a firearm - and that's a great way to conduct yourself even if you don't want the responsibility of having a deadly weapon on you.

  • Re:Trespassing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sabriel (134364) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:37PM (#34182298)

    The answers are no and maybe. Breaking and entering is not a capital offence, but if you're breaking into someone's house, then you bloody well better understand that the "fight or flight" fear reflex is not predictable and that you are invading another animal's lair, possibly occupied, possibly one where young are reared.

    All the "laws" of civilisation - the ones you're breaking yourself if you're a burglar - mean nothing if you make the mistake of tripping an otherwise peaceful person's natural instinct to defend their territory and/or loved ones. Any law that doesn't take this into account is itself unjust and inhumane.

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:32PM (#34182618) Journal

    How do you know they are not there to do bodily harm?

    How do you know they are? Unless you can prove, without a doubt, that you are acting in self-defence because there is actual, imminent and certain life-threatening events, you should not be firing a gun at someone with the intent to kill.

    I'm sorry but you're living with the fairies here. The cold brutal practical truth is that by the time someone has proven without a doubt that there is imminent and certain life-threating intent, you are dead. Someone breaking into your house has demonstrated a willingness to break the law and risk prison time. What's a few more years for taking a life? They don't think they'll get caught anyway. And your life isn't as precious to thema s theirs seems to be to you.

    If someone breaks into my home and threatens my family, I'll defend them with any means at my disposal. If I find an opportunity to incapacitate them non-lethally without increasing the rise, sure I'll use it. But I won't be waiting for my family to be raped or killed so I can feel justified using force.

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