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$10k Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At Planes Goes Nationwide

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the video-your-friends-for-fun-and-profit dept.

Shark 264

coondoggie writes: "The FBI today said it was making national a pilot program it tried out in 12 locations earlier this year that offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. According to the FBI, the pilot locations have seen a 19% decrease in the number of reported laser-to-aircraft incidents. Those locations included: Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia."

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Profit! (5, Funny)

Darth Muffin (781947) | about 6 months ago | (#47166125)

1) Aim laser pointer at my own plane, parked in a hangar. 2) Turn myself in for "intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft" 3) Profit!

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166141)

ah but you have to be arrested for the payout to happen. and you cannot profit from your own crime

Re:Profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166173)

and you get two years in club fed

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166357)

A secure room and meals with free clothing and exercise club access.

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166555)

A secure room and meals with free clothing and exercise club access.

Don't forget a brand new "husband".

Re:Profit! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166623)

Hah! Man, I'm so glad we live in a society where rape is funny! Good stuff!

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166837)

Hah! Man, I'm so glad we live in a society where rape is funny! Good stuff!

It is very interesting how very American this is, the fascination with prison rape. It seems an odd combination of America's blood thirsty revenge-oriented attitudes towards criminal punishment (you have capital punishment for crying, together with Sharia law countries, China, and, well mostly that) combined with a very schizophrenic double standard attitude towards sexuality and good old fashion moral.

Re:Profit! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47166925)

Even for minors? How about a group of 12 year olds. They pair off, and one shines a laser at a plane and the other calls it in. Are you going to send the 12 year old to prison for 2 years?

Re:Profit! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#47166691)

What is the suspect has multiple personalities?

Re:Profit! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166191)

1) Aim laser pointer at my own plane, parked in a hangar.
2) Turn myself in for "intentionally aiming a laser at an aircraft"
3) Profit!

4) Serve up to 5 years in prison and pay a fire of up to $250,000
5) Be unemployable with a prison record.

Brilliant plan there, sport. Go for it.

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166231)

If you have a friend with a prison record it (who is thus employable therefore broke anyway) it might be a good deal. He goes to prison, gets 3 hots and a cot, and when he gets out you split the reward. Prison really sucks, but for some people getting out can suck worse.

Re:Profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166365)

If you have a friend with a prison record it (who is thus employable therefore broke anyway) it might be a good deal. He goes to prison, gets 3 hots and a cot, and when he gets out you split the reward. Prison really sucks, but for some people getting out can suck worse.

You left out the bit about daily gay gang rapes but perhaps if you are good at sucking they'll go easy on you.

Re:Profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166737)

> You left out the bit about daily gay gang rapes but perhaps if you are good at sucking they'll go easy on you.

No, I covered that in the part about "for some people getting out can suck worse."
I am fully aware that in the USA, more men are raped than women because of the prison system. But that doesn't mean all men in prison are raped.

Re:Profit! (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#47166831)

and the part of getting a doctor the covers stuff the ER does not.

Re:Profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166367)

That sounds like conspiracy to commit fraud. I don't think you'll like what happens to you when your felon 'friend' rats you out.

That is not how you go to prison. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 6 months ago | (#47166553)

There are well documented ways to go to jail for hot meals and the cot. Throw a brick through the store window, or eat in an expensive restaurant without money to pay for the meal, or steal an umbrella or pretend to be publicly intoxicated, or harass a woman, or as a measure of last resort, loiter.

What the world is coming to now a days, lasers and aircraft.

Re:That is not how you go to prison. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166749)

None of those net you $5K though.

Re:Profit! (3, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about 6 months ago | (#47166221)

Pay homeless people $100 to point lasers at airplanes while recording them.

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166271)

Most homeless people know better than to commit Federal crimes. If they want 3 hots in local jail, they tend to disturb the peace. I'm sure the street has its own advice on what crimes are good for people that want into the system, and which ones aren't. Most of them don't want into a system of any kind though. Many refuse shelter because shelters (which aren't even prisons) are bad. Prison is worse.

So yeah, whatever...

Re:Profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166413)

The FBI would charge those who do that with, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act(RICO act)...

Re:Profit! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47166521)

Unless, of course, it were FBI informants committing the crime...

Re:Profit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166655)

Or bankers.

What if you point a friken shark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166135)

What's the reward then?

Re:What if you point a friken shark? (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#47166215)

One Hundred BILLION dollars!

We fart in the general direction of plones. (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 6 months ago | (#47166151)

Torbulinse!

Free room and board for two years for 10k (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166153)

not a bad deal, especially when you receive the money up front

Coondoggie clickbait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166155)

I see Michael Cooney at Network World (coondoggie) is submitting his own blog posts again.

Off the Flight Path... (1)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 6 months ago | (#47166177)

Planes get lost, re-routed etc ALL the time. Think a nightclub with laser advertising, plane flies overhead, or helicopter. Can they be punished?

Re:Off the Flight Path... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166253)

Depends,

Do they point them at the plane on purpose?

Re:Off the Flight Path... (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 6 months ago | (#47166285)

[...]offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.

Re:Off the Flight Path... (1)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 6 months ago | (#47166825)

[...]offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.

That is precisely my point. The fact of aiming a laser can't be enough - so it comes down to intentions. Those of the person accused - and their accuser.

Re:Off the Flight Path... (4, Interesting)

heypete (60671) | about 6 months ago | (#47166481)

Planes get lost, re-routed etc ALL the time.

Think a nightclub with laser advertising, plane flies overhead, or helicopter.

Can they be punished?

Major astronomical telescopes often use lasers for their adaptive optics systems. They coordinate with relevant authorities to insure they don't zap sensitive optics on satellites and post "plane spotters" outside so they can shut down the laser if a plane comes too close to the beam.

Of course, those lasers tend to be considerably more powerful (>5W) than handheld laser pointers (~5mW), so it might not be directly comparable, but I'd hope that any organization that is shooting lasers into the sky would have someone keeping an eye out for aircraft.

Re:Off the Flight Path... (1)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 6 months ago | (#47166977)

Definitely! Good point.

Re:Off the Flight Path... (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47166489)

Laser advertising needs special permissions and is either focused at a billboard, wall, etc, or if aimed at the sky under permanent direct control of an expert and only permissible with similar restrictions as fireworks. Your question is stupid.

I see what you did there (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166185)

"The FBI today said it was making national a pilot program it tried out in 12 locations earlier this year that offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.

[test; ignore] (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166189)

[Please ignore my this test comment.]

huh (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47166219)

You'd think they'd have just put polarized glass in the cockpit by now if it were that big of a deal. Oh wait... that's right, it's not that big of a deal.

Why do we continue to allow things like this to get blown so far out of proportion that we end up sending 16yr olds to prison for something that never really had a chance to do harm to anyone in the first place? A landing aircraft is moving faster than freeway traffic at it's slowest. Without computer control and actuators there is no way a person could, by hand, hold a laser on a cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. If a pilot is unable to land a plane after a flash of light that brief, we'd better start making lightening illegal because it's a hell of a lot brighter, and more common than a laser strike.

Re:huh (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166295)

Fear mongering does not need to be rational, this is citizen training so that they hear and see how rewarding it can be to turn in people for cash.

If I had mod points you would have mod points! (0)

TheRealSteveDallas (2505582) | about 6 months ago | (#47166913)

Fear mongering does not need to be rational, this is citizen training so that they hear and see how rewarding it can be to turn in people for cash.

+1

Re:huh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166303)

Polarized glass will do nothing. The issue with the laser is that, by time it reaches the plane, it's spread a fair amount. When it hits the glass of the cockpit, which has various minuscule scratches and dirt and whatnot, it gets lit up like a Christmas tree. Polarized glass will suffer the same fate. It's the dirt and imperfections that blind the pilot.

Re:huh (5, Insightful)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 6 months ago | (#47166429)

QFT, last year I sat in the cockpit during an evening landing in Egypt (Sharm-el-sheik) and where I had previously dismissed the whole pointing lasers thing, that landing quickly brought me around. Granted, pilots generally land on the instruments anyway, but looking out the windows was certainly not an option anymore because of the effect the laser pointers had on the canopy.

One of the things I had always wondered (and asked the pilots) was 'Who would do such a thing? What do they gain from it?' until we were walking around in the (touristic) city centre at night. Tons of shops that sold massively overpowered laser pointers and more importantly: lots of small kids waving those things around.

Re:huh (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47166705)

Because in Egypt the military was using aircraft and snipers to shoot protesters. So it's common there now to "lase" aircraft to point them out to other people so they know to take cover.

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeat... [bbci.co.uk]
http://static2.businessinsider... [businessinsider.com]
http://s3files.core77.com/blog... [core77.com]
http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/... [s-nbcnews.com]

Notice there are hundreds of lasers on these things... yet there's a a surprising lack of blind pilots or aircraft crashing into crowds.

Yes, it's technically possible this could hard the pilot. But practically? Not very likely. These pilots circled the crowds for hours every night for months with hundreds of lasers trained on them the entire time without incident.

Re:huh (1)

VoiceOfDoom (875772) | about 6 months ago | (#47166991)

Don't lase me, bro!

Re:huh (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#47166919)

I feel sorry for these kids prematurely losing their vision at such a young age. It's just a matter of time.

Re:huh (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47166663)

Polarized glass will do nothing. The issue with the laser is that, by time it reaches the plane, it's spread a fair amount. When it hits the glass of the cockpit, which has various minuscule scratches and dirt and whatnot, it gets lit up like a Christmas tree. Polarized glass will suffer the same fate. It's the dirt and imperfections that blind the pilot.

Ok, wheres your studies to prove this?

Remember, we're talking about sending stupid per-pubesent teenagers to prison. I'm not saying they shouldn't get in trouble. I'm saying $10,000 rewards are insanely excessive. And if polarizing the glass wont work, something equally as silly likely would. This isn't a hard problem to engineer your way out of. Trying to pass laws that make being young and stupid illegal haven't worked very well in the past.

Re:huh (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#47166811)

10,000 is a good number becasue it will raise awareness; which is what causes the real decline. People, many posting on slashdot, are really clueless about the impact a laser can have on a flight deck, and on pilots. So you need to get there attention some how.

and here.

http://www.pangolin.com/faa/la... [pangolin.com]

You should look into this great tool called 'Google'

Re:huh (4, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#47166833)

Ok, wheres your studies to prove this?

You need a study to know that laser pointers are non-polarized and that shining a bright, non-polarized light through a polarizing filter doesn't stop the light from passing through? And even if the filter is 100% efficient, which none of them are, you only cut 1/2 the light that passes, and none of the light that lights up the crazing or other imperfections in the windows.

Remember, we're talking about sending stupid per-pubesent teenagers to prison.

No, we're talking about a $10,000 reward for information about people committing a crime.

I'm not saying they shouldn't get in trouble. I'm saying $10,000 rewards are insanely excessive.

Do you not know the difference between a fine, which is punishment for the criminal, and a reward, which isn't?

Trying to pass laws that make being young and stupid illegal haven't worked very well in the past.

Too late. It is already against the law to point a laser pointer at an aircraft. The law says nothing about "young and stupid people who point laser pointers", it covers old and smart people too. And if you think that pointing a laser pointer at an airplane will make it "fall out of the sky", you're wrong.

Re:huh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166743)

My question is when will they do the same offering for rf torture. We all know there are rf signal generators to make people tuich and induce cancer. To me that is essentially attempted murder at each case. Wait we live in the new regime than until masses of people die then it really does not matter until its your turn.

Re:huh (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 6 months ago | (#47166945)

When it hits the glass of the cockpit, which has various minuscule scratches and dirt and whatnot, it gets lit up like a Christmas tree

no it doesn't and i say that being someone that's shined lasers through glass many times. and i can guarantee a plane's cockpit window is much cleaner than the windows i'm talking about.

if the glass is clean you'd see basically nothing. if it was dirty, you might see a bit of color. that's it.

Re:huh (2, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#47167027)

no it doesn't and i say that being someone that's shined lasers through glass many times.

Many cockpit windows are not glass, they are plexiglass. Glass is very heavy. Plexiglass tends to pick up lots of micro-scratches from improper, and even proper, cleaning, and it crazes over time from stress and sunlight. Even properly cleaned plexiglass cockpit windows suffer from glare and light splatter, and after a short bit of time during a flight they can have a lot of insect dirt on them, too.

and i can guarantee a plane's cockpit window is much cleaner than the windows i'm talking about.

I don't know how you can guarantee any such thing unless you are personally cleaning every one of them prior to each flight, and I can guarantee that you aren't doing that.

Re: huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166307)

This is utterly retarded. A quick flash can bounce into an eye and do serious damage. Even with a short exposure time. It can disorientate somebody at the worst possible time. There are hundreds of people on airliners.

Re: huh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166359)

Prove it. Can you name one instance where an aircraft was brought down by someone shining a laser pointer at it? I wanna read an actual NTSB report that says pilot blindness caused by an ordinary retail store bought laser pointer located on the ground resulted in a subsequent crash. There's no such thing.

Re: huh (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 6 months ago | (#47166509)

Planes can land on instruments only. It's a much more complex and difficult operation, but it's becoming more and more common during the evenings because of the green lasers pointing at cockpits.

So while you have massively increased risk, it hasn't materialized into a crash yet as far as we know because safety precautions in aviation are massive. But poking those precautions "because they haven't crashed yet!" is about as good of an idea as jumping in front of cars because "it hasn't hit me yet". Eventually someone will not hit brakes on time.

Re: huh (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47166567)

Pilots are complaining of near accidents. Some had to set down helicopters (air ambulances carrying patients in critical condition, no less), others had to do blind instrument landings without manual safety intervention possibilities and go-arounds with little notice. As nobody wants to spook the public, unless something crashes and people die and it is absolutely certain that a laser was the cause, things are being hushed up.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166343)

Why are you blowing this out of proportion?

It is much easier to avoid pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft than it is to, say, avoid paying a frivolous parking ticket. Frivolous parking tickets are intentionally written, to the detriment of innocent people, every day. How often do you find a need to point a laser pointer at an aircraft?

Re:huh (5, Informative)

Drago3711 (1415041) | about 6 months ago | (#47166371)

You'd think they'd have just put polarized glass in the cockpit by now if it were that big of a deal. Oh wait... that's right, it's not that big of a deal.

If it were as simple as polarized glass they might actually go that route. Unfortunately for everyone, it is much more complicated than that. [wikipedia.org] You need specific lenses to protect from specific wavelengths (of which there are many).

[...] hold a laser on a cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. If a pilot is unable to land a plane after a flash of light that brief, we'd better start making lightening illegal because it's a hell of a lot brighter [...]

With high powered lasers (that are surprisingly easy to come by) [wickedlasers.com] a fraction of a second is all it takes to cause serious and often permanent eye injury. [wikipedia.org]

Re:huh (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 6 months ago | (#47166403)

Polarized for which orientation?

Re:huh (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#47166483)

How about you learn how electromagnetic waves propagate before spreading bullshit?

How will a polarizer magically prevent pilots from being blinded by a high-power laser?

Re:huh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166505)

and what about the rotary winged aircraft (helicopters) where normally it would be incredibly hard to polarize such complex glass surfaces. Those aircraft also fly closer to the ground meaning that the flash of light is much more intense. they also are not normally moving at speed and hovering making it easier to aim said light at the cockpit and longer flashes of laser light can blind or ruin a pilots career.

Way to jump to conclusions. every think why New York City was a pilot location? if you read the fbi site it even mentions helicopters..

also consider that up there there isnt as much ambient light as down here. so when even a momentary flash of intense light down here may not cause such huge a problem, up in the air where the pilots pupils are fully dialiated it can be even worse.

do some research on the issue before you jump to conclusions.. or better yet go fly an aircraft (fixed or rotary wing)

Re:huh (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#47166533)

You have no clue. While a 5mW legal laser pointer is not that much of a deal, you can get far larger ones online. And they can blind pilots longer, or permanently. The analogy to lightening also cannot hold water, because that does not come without warning (remember that planes always have good weather reports...). And then there is an indirect kill possibility. In some places cretins shining lasers at air ambulances are a problem. If the pilot has to do an emergency landing while transporting a patient in critical condition, the added time can kill the patient. Also don't forgot that occasionally planes have problems and all the pilot's skill is needed to bring them down safely. A laser pointer can then make all the difference.

And if you think changing cockpit windows design is easy, then you have not heard anything about the problems that are being encountered with them.

Or to put it simple: the $10k is to catch idiots like you.

Re:huh (-1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47166627)

ok, and how many people do you know that have been permanently blinded by a laser? Any? Can you find ANY evidence that it's ever happened? I can't even find anything on a lab experiment gone wrong or military laser accident. Nothing. The only thing I can find are articles from pilots complaining, and they have an understandable axe to grind.

There are plenty of things that are potentially harmful. I'm sure pointing a laser at an aircraft is potentially harmful to the pilots, the plane and the passengers. But what's the practical chance of that happening? Given the nearly complete lack of evidence, I'd say it's about damn near 0.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166685)

helicopters are aircraft too. you hurt their feelings by only talking about fixed wing aircraft.

Re:huh (3)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 6 months ago | (#47166797)

So we have to wait until the average slashdotter knows people who have been blinded by lasers in order to do anything about it? I don't know anybody who was seriously injured because somebody threw a tennis ball at them out of a fast-moving vehicle without realising that their throw speed plus the speed of the car made for a fairly high velocity. This is still illegal and dangerous and reportable. I don't think there's a 10000 dollar reward for it, and I don't know how common it is compared to aircraft lasering, but I do support taking measures against it because I know it happens a nontrivial amount of time (the extent of the measures can be debated). These things aren't just potentially harmful, they're aggressively and unnecessarily harmful. We're not talking about making it illegal to blow bubblegum bubbles because it might pop and then a little bit might splash into the mouth of somebody else with a deadly bubblegum allergy. We're talking about pointing lasers at aircraft generally for reasons of dickishness.

Re:huh (5, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#47166969)

ok, and how many people do you know that have been permanently blinded by a laser? Any?

Yes. And your implication that it is ok to temporarily blind someone who relies on "see and avoid" to keep from running into other traffic is just pathetic.

How about this? [go.com] It took all of five seconds to find using Google.

I can't even find anything on a lab experiment gone wrong or military laser accident. Nothing.

Why yes, of course, every lab accident makes the 11 o'clock news so you can find out about it.

The only thing I can find are articles from pilots complaining, and they have an understandable axe to grind.

Yeah, I supposed it's a surprise that people who are the targets of attempts to blind them, even temporarily, might have "an axe to grind" with those people.

But what's the practical chance of that happening?

It's documented fact. The chance of a documented fact happening is not "damn near 0".

You're worried about people going to prison for trying to blind a pilot of an aircraft carrying upwards of 200 passengers? Here's the simple way to avoid it: DON'T SHINE A LASER POINTER AT AN AIRPLANE. Problem solved.

OT: what the hell is wrong with /. today? It keeps telling me I'm not logged in and it ignores the "ads disabled" flag completely? Five different views of the same discussion in five tries at reading it.

Re:huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166719)

Since laser light isn't polarized maybe they should put two layers of orthogonally polarized glass.

Re:huh (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#47166761)

Completely blind the flight crew during lift off or landing isn't a 'big deal'? heicopterpilots that have there eyes damaged is no big deal?

Please, please try to understand why polarized glass would not solve this problem.

"cockpit window for more than a tenth of a second. "
which is all you need to lose focus and be distracted as is, can see the instruments. sure, it's may only be for 4 or 5 seconds, but by then you have hit the ground.

Re:huh (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#47166879)

Why do we continue to allow things like this to get blown so far out of proportion that we end up sending 16yr olds to prison for something that never really had a chance to do harm to anyone in the first place?

So essentially blinding someone who is supposed to be in control of a vehicle which weighs several thousand pounds, carrying potentially hundreds of people and gallon upon gallon of highly explosive fuel does no harm? What a strange, twisted world you must live in where you think it's acceptable to potentially cause a catastrophic accident.

The next time you're out walking, I'll just flash one of these laser pointers at you because obviously they don't do any harm. If I happen to hit you in the eye and you lose your sight, oh well, no biggee.

Profit! (4, Funny)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 6 months ago | (#47166245)

1) Find someone who doesn't mind going to jail that much (e.g. a homeless guy, someone with a terminal illness, etc).
2) Offer to pay him $8K for pointing a laser pointer at a plane and going to jail.
3) Profit!

You could probably find a more erratic person willing to take less than $8K of the 10K, but I would imagine you'd want to deal with a fairly rational person who doesn't feel resentment towards you (i.e. for getting ripped off). The goal of this plan is to rip off the government and the tax payer, not the fall guy.

What the government should do, is offer $20K for turning in the orchestrator of a laser pointer arrest reward scheme.

Re:Profit! (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 6 months ago | (#47166461)

I expect they could get you under RICO

Re:Profit! (2)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 6 months ago | (#47166795)

I expect there are many laws that someone who was caught implementing this plan could be convicted under. A crucial part of the plan was not getting caught.

That is FBI, ATF and DEA model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166755)

They always find weak minded individuals who could be influenced easily. The promised payout is not necessarily monetary. The real beneficiary is a three letter agency that not only can justify it's existence, but also get internal promotions, more money and more resources. Most importantly you could call somebody as a domestic terrorist.

Current laser reward scheme is just unnecessary publicity.

Does a laser pointer have any noticeable effect? (2)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#47166257)

I can't imagine it would have any real affect or we'd read about planes falling out of the sky left and right all over the world.

Re:Does a laser pointer have any noticeable effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166435)

Are you familiar with wicked lasers?

Re:Does a laser pointer have any noticeable effect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166449)

its not just about fixed wing aircraft. this is a huge deal for helicopters.. including the ones used by the police force. It doesnt cause them to fall out of the sky but it can ruin a pilots career.

Re:Does a laser pointer have any noticeable effect (1, Insightful)

RandCraw (1047302) | about 6 months ago | (#47166745)

Yep. Precisely how many planes has any laser brought down so far? Have lasers become a standard military weapon yet? If so I'd expect to see Al Caida and the Taliban routinely using laser pointers to crash US aircraft. But oddly enough, we don't...

Let's get real. Is a laser pointer a mile away going to disable both of a pilots eyes? AND both of a copilot's eyes? And how long were you blinded when a supermarket checkout scanner laser last caught your eye? Did you crash your shopping cart? Did you call in the FBI?

This mountain is such a molehill. It makes me wonder why the FBI is overselling this schtick so hard. It's easier than working for a living, I guess.

5 milliwatts vs 10 kilowatts perhaps? (1)

Reibisch (1261448) | about 6 months ago | (#47166999)

NT

Re:Does a laser pointer have any noticeable effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47167033)

Yep. Precisely how many planes has any laser brought down so far? Have lasers become a standard military weapon yet? If so I'd expect to see Al Caida and the Taliban routinely using laser pointers to crash US aircraft. But oddly enough, we don't...

Let's get real. Is a laser pointer a mile away going to disable both of a pilots eyes? AND both of a copilot's eyes? And how long were you blinded when a supermarket checkout scanner laser last caught your eye? Did you crash your shopping cart? Did you call in the FBI?

Yes, really, let's get real. Do you really think every person able to fly the plane has to get blinded on both eyes before it gets dangerous, and is it really ok as long as pilots only loose their sight on one eye? It's all about safety margin, and the lasers eats up a lot of it.

The reward needs to be this high because catching these terrorists is very difficult. The current level of penalty and the reward is the only way to do it as long as the risk of getting caught is as low as it is, and people are as ignorant about the dangers as you.

Pointing lasers at UFOs is still cool... (2)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 6 months ago | (#47166267)

right? Right?

How about laser pointing SAM missiles? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166289)

US army got plenty of those.

$10,000 for handing in amateur astronomers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166351)

$10,000 for handing in amateur astronomers

I can't wait.

Re:$10,000 for handing in amateur astronomers (1)

Shag (3737) | about 6 months ago | (#47166679)

Any "amateur astronomer" who tries to do their laser-assisted star tour somewhere as light-polluted as the surroundings of a typical airport needs clue.

Right - I've just read the headline (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#47166369)

Right - I've just read the headline. I'm going out with my laser pointer, and since I live under a flight path 10k$ here we come!

Re:Right - I've just read the headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166463)

2 years without Chrisq's racist rants, sounds like heaven.

Re:Right - I've just read the headline (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#47166609)

2 years without Chrisq's racist rants, sounds like heaven.

Its lucky that you weren't around during WWII. You would have been insisting that complaining about Hitler and the Nazis was racist and "anti German"

They'll never pay... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166393)

I used to believe in police rewards...until I tried to claim one.

Pigs lie.

This is getting so old. (2)

anolisporcatus (969211) | about 6 months ago | (#47166487)

Why do the decision makers in this country have an insatiable urge to ruin everything for everyone by making needles, useless, delusion, meaningless legislation that makes our culture, our lives, our freedoms the governments issue, make normal every day illegal? It is so ludicrous, like one person stated, why do we have such a strange system in which 16 year olds, young, respectable people with futures going to jail for YEARS for stupid frivolous crap, this overly litigated country we live in now is becoming a nightmare, I read recently over FORTY-THOUSAND laws were passed last year alone, do you know what any of them are? I don't.

Re:This is getting so old. (4, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | about 6 months ago | (#47166747)

Its a knee jerk overreaction to people being so freagin retarded in this country. If you don't have laws, enforced laws, with teeth, people do whatever to the full extent of what is allowed, with no common sense whatsoever.

Now, everywhere in the world has that issue, but just not to the full extent the US has it (as far as the "first world" goes). I've lived in multiple countries for a number of years, and now I'm in the US, and its just shocking. People smoking while leaning on a no-smoking sign. People screaming on top of their lungs in the street at 3 in the morning. People letting their dog bark for hours while cheering it on. Lines while waiting at a busy bus stop? Hell no! If there's no risk of jail time, not only someone will do it, but a LOT of people will do it.

And people pointing laser pointers at anything and everything.

Its such a ridiculous society that doesn't give a flying duck about their neighbor. EVER. So you end up in a world where everything has to be fucking spelled out with someone in uniform wacking them behind the head all the time like little babies, or they won't apply the slightest bit of common sense.

Re:This is getting so old. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#47166855)

You need to read a better source. 40,000 laws is pure grade balognium
And blinding a flight crew is not frivolous.

Re:This is getting so old. (1)

anolisporcatus (969211) | about 6 months ago | (#47166943)

I'll have to research accidents and fatalities proven without a doubt to be linked to laser pointers when i get off work.. Thanks for the advice.

noobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166501)

Just call the cops on anyone you know who owns one. It's not like "their word" will be much protection. You can even shine the laser yourself, just time it when they're home.

My point about an allegation-based law system made, anyone that actually shines lasers at cockpits is a fucking idiot and more juvenile than any "manchild" who still reads fairy tales.

-AC.Falos

Shouldn't they have announced the pilot locations? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 6 months ago | (#47166579)

I live in the Chicago area and have never heard about this pilot program for rewards. How could an un-announced program have any effect at all?

Re:Shouldn't they have announced the pilot locatio (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#47166907)

You didn't hear it ,therefore it didn't happen?
I guess no trees make noise when you aren't around.

simplier fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166649)

Stop flying and polluting the atmosphere with jet exhaust. There's also the noise around airports, planes always flying overhead, mostly needless fuel consumption. I won't get into the big brother issues.
    I know, how about just driving and actually seeing the country you live in and just maybe, MAYBE, slowing life down a little?
There's always the train, ship, or bus as well that doesn't pollute everyone else's view of the sky.

celle

P.S. Of course, now that I've stated the non-starter, how about just banning open-ended laser applications or open-ended lasers or even requiring termination for laser beam applications like many other em.spectra technologies.

Drones will be active soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166653)

Laws that benefit the use of surveillance drones should be expected before they become commonly used. A cover story for the public should keep them calm while military and police drones are placed in the sky.

Laser pointers are not so harmful for airplanes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166709)

I was developing Ronja OSHW FSO [twibright.com] and contemplating using a laser pointer.

I called an authority asking if hitting a pilot's eye would be a problem.

They said absolutely no problem. The pointer has a small aperture causing divergence by diffraction. So after a few kms, the light spot would be diluted.

They said the biggest reason is the pilots have to be used to random intense lights on the horizon. City's windows cause pretty intense sunlight reflections.

Of course different thing is if you use high powered laser pointers as some sold on the internet or other kind of laser with precision optic of large apeture.

Other factors (they didn't mention): atmospheric jitter, speed of airplane. Pilots eye at 200 km/h spends 1.8 msec in a 10 cm beam.

I think this is scare mongering unless they go after higer powered lasers which I think should be illegal in public for eye safety reason anyway.

My latest OSHW project [twibright.com]

A first-hand perspective for the doubters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166867)

I'm an airline pilot who has been lased three times, and I'm probably one of the only pilots in the country to have also earned a degree as a laser technician. With these credentials I was chosen to represent my airline at the ALPA Laser Illumination Conference in 2011. http://laserconference.alpa.or... [alpa.org] The threat is real. It's easy to dismiss it as a "what are the odds" type of event, but the truth is that it happens far too frequently. People can buy these 1+ watt diode lasers very easily online and do with them what they will, and they frequently choose to point them at airplanes. What does it look like in the cockpit? Pretty much like an intense green strobe effect. And the worst thing is that once the light is seen the first time it's human instinct to look out the window to try and find the cause of the flash. Then the second blast hits as the pilot is looking directly at it. Depending on altitude and beam divergence, there's a real possibility of permanent eye damage. The lower to the ground, the more likely the damage. At night a pilot's vision is kept adapted to the ambient light in the cockpit, so their pupils are dilated to allow more light in. This also increases likelihood of damage. Flash blindness can last for many minutes, and it's a very bad thing to have your pilots flash blinded. It is a real issue, and having personally experienced it, I can say it's a problem.

Actual Crashes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47167049)

Quick internet search and wiki page on the subject and I can't find a single aircraft incident caused by lasers, even a few coordinated attacks that did nothing.

I Never Liked Him (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 6 months ago | (#47167051)

Damn, everyone and his brother should accuse their worse enemy. $10,000 is $10,000. Oh wait, no one is actually going to prosecuted and this is all just a mind fuck? Say it isn't so.

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