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Old 06-25-2018, 01:24 PM   #1851
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Possible inspiration for what players might find in remote corners of (now) empty sandy barren deserts:

Ancient ruins in Arabian Desert
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:46 PM   #1852
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

In tech news: China claims an infantry-weight laser weapon.

Quote:
The 15mm calibre weapon weighs three kilos (6.6lb), about the same as an AK-47, and has a range of 800 metres... it could be used to fire through windows at targets and temporarily disable the kidnappers while other units move in to rescue their captives. It could also be used in covert military operations. The beam is powerful enough to burn through a gas tank and ignite the fuel storage facility in a military airport.
Important caveat: not lethal. Hence, not combat-scale. Instead, this take from Charlie Stross seems right to me:

Quote:
What this laser gun is useless for: actual combat situations against soldiers with conventional weapons.

What this laser gun is probably intended for: inflicting horrific burn injuries and blindness on unarmed demonstrators.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:18 PM   #1853
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Originally Posted by William View Post
In tech news: China claims an infantry-weight laser weapon.
What does "15mm calibre" mean in this context? I found that quote in lots of places, but not one that explained what it meant for a laser. Just that the aperture happens to be 15mm across? Or is it supposed to be an analogy to a conventional rifle, having as much energy in a burst as some 15mm round?
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:28 PM   #1854
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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
What does "15mm calibre" mean in this context? I found that quote in lots of places, but not one that explained what it meant for a laser. Just that the aperture happens to be 15mm across? Or is it supposed to be an analogy to a conventional rifle, having as much energy in a burst as some 15mm round?
Beats me, my sources are the same as yours.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:31 PM   #1855
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Beats me, my sources are the same as yours.
Caliber is the diameter of the bore expressed in inches.

In naval terms it's used in the context of the length of the barrel compared to the diameter of the bore:

A 4/75 caliber gun is a gun with a 4" diameter bore and a barrel 75 calibers (75x4=)300" long.

Technically .45 caliber and .38 caliber (caliber implies inches and thus no need to state) are correct, and 9mm caliber or 12.5mm caliber... or 15mm caliber... are not tho modern usage often ignores the distinction.

ETA: Given difficulties with translation it's chancy to assume that's the case here but they context would seem to support a 15mm aperture.

Quote:
What this laser gun is probably intended for: inflicting horrific burn injuries and blindness on unarmed demonstrators.
Fair bet. Even the M1 Abram's laser rangefinder can be used to blind unprotected persons at over 2000 yards, and it's 40 year old technology. Judas Priest I'm getting old.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 07-02-2018 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:20 AM   #1856
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Here's another article about the claimed Chinese laser rifle. There it actually gives an estimate for the weapon's power output - somewhere between 100 and 500 W.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:41 AM   #1857
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

The Caisson locks sound like a perfect place to stage a fight or a mystery in an alt-history setting (gaslight fantasy, diesel divergence etc.):
It's technologically fancy, it's isolating for a certain amount of time, it can place deadlines if it's damaged and no help is available, and it looks technologically fancy.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:57 AM   #1858
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Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

I've never heard of those. But good grief, they sound risky and claustrophobic as hell.
At least it would be a change from the cliched mansion isolated by a road washed out by the convenient storm.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:02 PM   #1859
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I've never heard of those. But good grief, they sound risky and claustrophobic as hell.
At least it would be a change from the cliched mansion isolated by a road washed out by the convenient storm.
Yep.

"Someone on this barge... is a murderer!"

<cue dramatic music>
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:33 AM   #1860
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And the lights suddenly go out! Dun, dun DUUUUN!
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