back to article Prof: 'Taser-proof vests put cops in danger'

An Arizona inventor has been granted a patent on his Taser-proof fabric, which he intends to sell to police officers to protect them from villains toting electric stunguns. However, it has been argued that protective garments of this sort will in fact endanger policemen's lives. News of the patent for Greg Schultz's Thor Shield …

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Joke

Not for sale to the public

What about the anarchist octegenarians? Fabric like this could save their life and it's being denied to them!?

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Joke

New Scientist?

I guess that's about the level of science you'd expect from a boffin at Leeds Polytechnic.

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It does seem a bit odd to worry.

How many US criminals expecting to come up against the police are worried about Tasers rather than being shot?

At the moment, apart from maybe the odd bank robber, how many US criminals bother to wear bulletproof vests?

Finally, how many criminals actively preparing for trouble and fighting off the police would fail to be carrying a gun? Do police often use Tasers on suspects who are shooting at them?

Seems a bit of a marginal risk to worry about civilians desirous of being Taser-proof.

I'd assume that the people who are currently the main recipients of taserings (drunks, the drug -addled and small-scale criminals resisting arrest, disturbed people, etc ) wouldn't generally have planned to be getting tasered and dressed accordingly.

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The Head

Firstly if you are firing a taser at a cop armed with a gun I wouldn't describe you as anything other than a moron.

Secondly, it doesn't matter if it's not possible / highly unlikely to hit someone in the head; it's the fact that they will try that increases the risk of serious injury.

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Workaround

So all Taser have to do is modify their spikes so they are insulated on all but the tip?

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Anonymous Coward

why an expert on non-lethal weapons

it has been shown on several occasions that tasers are not non-lethal weapons, they are simply not as lethal as a gun.

this constant push to have them named non-lethal is dangerous as it allows peopel to use them guilt free. If you shoot someone witha gun, you are activly trying to kill them, but shooting them with a taser you are not. so they get used in far more circumstances when it is not necessary.

Although thuis article does seem to suggest that the tin foil jacket would actually be quite effective at stopping a taser, as it is more conductive than skin so should short circuit. How long before faashion designers start using lamé cloth

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Anonymous Coward

stats please

how many plod have been tasered while on duty by average joe sixpack?

not many?

has this guy come up with a solution to a non existant problem per chance?

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Coat

Prior Art

Think Chainmail. Been around for hundreds of years, conducts electricity, considered protective clothing. Hardly an original idea.

Mines the one with the metalized mylar laminated to the inside.

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Coat

So

it's a layer of tinfoil then?

It's the Chainmail one on the peg. Good against tazers, tesla coils and swords.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

Wearing this stuff is not incompatible with believing that Tasers cause no lasting harm. It's a tactical vest, to stop the officer being incapacited and therefore unable to do their job (and possibly putting them further in harms way). It is not a piece of workplace protective gear designed to protect from long term environmental damage.

Arguing that having it puts them in more danger is still laughable though.

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Coat

Just to say.....

Don't tase me (in the head) bro!!!

OK i'm on my way....

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Useful?

I'm not savvy on all the slang, unfortunately, and have no idea what a plod is. In any case, how often do police find themselves chasing down a suspect and tasing while in hot pursuit? In the one court hearing I've observed involving use of a taser, it was ineffective against the woman's clothing anyway and the police ended up applying it to her neck... I wonder when, if ever, this product would even prove useful.

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Linux

Rusty Shackleford says'

See that tinfoil hat should now come with a tinfoil suit to match!

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A sure fire way to get shot

"Tase him Bill!"

*bbzzzzzttt* *flash*

"Gah, he's wearing one of those darn tinfoil vests!"

"Fine, back to good ol' fashioned bullets then"

BANG!

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Iv inveted tinfoil!

So they are going to try to patent tinfoil in clothes. Why not just stick metal fillaments in existing bullet/stab vests that coppers ware ? (perhaps the use ones dont ware em.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Not for sale to the public

Not for sale to the public - well, that's alright then. Because of course there's no way a member of the general public could ever be smart enough to figure out make one of these Taser-proof vests themself, now, is there?

Then again, 60% of Americans believe that the world was zapped into existence by a magic sky pixie, 6000 years ago. So perhaps there isn't.

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Black Helicopters

I wouldn't mind one

Not because of the risk of being tasered but I think a Faraday cage waistcoat would go very well with my tinfoil hat ;-)

Seriously though - good article, neatly shows how someone making assumptions about technology they obviously have no idea about can create a media scare by spouting forth!

I've handled a taser briefly, and I can tell you that no-one who has fired one is ever going to aim for the head, even if they know the target is zap-proof on the chest. Those in the know might just aim for the legs, but even then, there's a much lower chance of a take-down. Does Thor do trousers?

Of course, selling to the military/police only is obviously a joke - most of the people who need protection from tasers are victims of security forces from what I've seen. And in the UK, it's easier to get an illegal hand gun than a taser

I don't need to explain the icon...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Head

In civilised countries we don't give guns to civilians. Especially not the sort of civilian who ends up in the police.

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...because old science iz rubbish

"[water] is a fairly good conductor".

Go on, look it up

... and cancel your subscription to the rag in question.

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So...

To prevent taking their eye out - wear a helmet that's covered with the same material.

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Ash
IT Angle

Damage already done?

They know it's out there and available. They know that it could well be in use.

How about they buy it anyway, just in case. If the guy misses his face and gets it in the chest, no problem. If he does get, by some miracle, the top barb to hit the coppers' face and the other in his chest, at least the space between the probe and the vest might be enough to stop him getting 50kv through the eye socket.

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Joke

Finally...

...a market for tin-foil hats with government subsidies. Zapato Productions Intradimensional will make a mint.

http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

"BEWARE OF COMMERCIAL AFDBS: Since you should trust no one, always construct your AFDB yourself to avoid the risk of subversion and mental enslavement. Sometimes, AFDBs will be sold on places like eBay. Do not purchase these pre-made AFDBs, even if the seller seems trustworthy. They may contain backdoors, pinholes, integrated psychotronic circuitry or other methods that actually promote mind control."

Well, they should know...

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@ it's the fact that they will try that increases the risk of serious injury.

> Secondly, it doesn't matter if it's not possible / highly unlikely to hit someone in the

> head; it's the fact that they will try that increases the risk of serious injury.

Well no. If they aim for the head the chances of missing completely are greatly increased, hence the risk of seriopus injury is reduced. Given an 8 degree divergence the greatest chance of being hit in the head would seem to be if the aiming point is the upper torso... Given a target wearing such a vest the most appropriate aiming point would seem to be the legs.

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Go

Water conducts???

Last time I looked, water was a terrible conductor of electricity. So much so, in fact, that you can use it as an electrical insulator. It's the stuff mixed into the water that gives it it's conductive properties.

If in doubt then try it for yourself: Collect some pure water (say from a dehumidifier) and put in in a cup. Then connect the two contacts from a 9v or higher battery and see what happens - probably nothing. Then add some salt to your pure water and give it a stir. You should quickly see the effects of electrolysis - the water will be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen. Being that water is 2 parts hydrogen to 1 part oxygen, one of those contacts will have twice as many bubbles as the other.

For better effect, connect the battery to two graphite probes instead.

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fascist bastards deserve a good electrical prodding

soooo..... its fine for the cops to kill numerous folks and electrify the shit out of young children, pregnant teenagers, cats stuck in trees and wheelchair bound crippled old folk (all have been done numerous times now) for no other reason than to see who can get the best youtube video, but the moment someone thinks of a way to stand up and say 'hey if i make it ineffective then maybe youll stop being a twat with a license to torture' (geneva convention folks - electricity as a form of illegal torture) the cops all throw their toys outta the pram and start crying and everyone is supposed to feel sad for them?

i have another idea - a jury of 12 civilian peers to judge EVERY police use of a taser. when it is deemed unnecessary the cop gets a taser charge directly to the balls for the same duration/number of times as the person they zapped - i guarantee you theyd only ever use them in the circumstances they were intended for.

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Black Helicopters

shoot 'em in the head?!

What the hell does he think Police marksmanship is up to anyhow, dead-eye dick standards?

Armed Coppers here in the UK are trained to shoot what's called a "stop shot", or "centre body mass" - that's the upper/central chest, to you and me. Shooting at the head - or any other extremity come to that - is the realm of mythical sharpshooters, Wyatt Earp, and probably Calamity Jane.

Get bloody real, prof - if the taser won't stop the thug, a bloody good application of the extendible baton into the nether regions'll probably do the job, and leave less marks too!

Laser, cause it's the closest icon to an electric spark we have here ;)

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Silver badge

Halt in the name of Plod

Workers on high voltage power lines have worn conductive clothing for years. Some of the thread is replaced by wire. The clothing does not look taser proof.

For the person who has not heard of PC Plod: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plod

For everyone else: Police Link Officers for Deaf people

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Paris Hilton

water is not conductive

just for the record, in the article you state our bodies are good conductors because we're mostly made out of water. that's both correct and incorrect. water in itself is actually one of the worst conductors in existence, but the minerals in our bodies that pollute it are actually making it conductive, hence it is not the water in our bodies that make us conductive, it's the minerals.

also, how is this news? you can't tell me nobody thought of running copper/aluminium wires through clothes? hell, I'VE thought of that before and 'm not THAT smart.....

Paris because even she could've invented this.

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Coat

Pointless.

Pointless - the power will take the path of least resistance, and everyone knows that coppers a better conductor than tinfoil....

i'll get my ..*KZZZZZZZTTTT* GAAAAH!

*KZZZT*

*KZZT*

*KZzzzZZZZzzzZZZT*

I'll go quietly....

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IT Angle

stab proof vest

In the UK at least all officers on the street will be wearing a half inch of kevlar. That'll stop the points from the tazer quite effectively and I suspect insulate the wearer from them quite well.

A solution without a problem, at least as far as the police are concerned. You might be able to sell them to small time crims.

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Coat

Hang on a minute!

You guys are just jealous because you didn't think about it. As for thinking about it as chain mail...well it's no wonder you didn't get the idea. I doubt it will be that heavy anyway, unless I am missing the sarcasm...quite possible!

Oh and I agree with you Lewis, it's a tad silly to suggest that now the body is protected they will fire tasers at the hear, surely the legs would be better!?

I've just realised this post is a bit ranty so I'll get my coat and go for a walk.

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Stop

Taser-proof vests = cops in danger

Well, actually, yes. If Tasers don't work on cops any more the emerging hi-tech villains would have to switch back to guns.

If I were a cop I'd rather get stunned by a Taser than be shot by a gun.... Frankly!

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Unhappy

in the head

I recently saw an episode of myth busters, where they were trying to make a water taser. While testing a regular taser, one of the probes hit the dummy in the face. This happened twice, out of three (shown) tries to hit the dummy in the torso.

It looked like it would have sucked to be the dummy.

To avoid face (eye) shots, the police are probably trained to aim for the stomach. But that just makes me think that accidental testicle tasering is fairly common.

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Go

So if you follow standard aiming procedure...

and target the perp's body one of the diverging darts is going to make for an eye and the other for a bollock anyway. Serves 'em right too.

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Boffin

An anti-ballistic projectile?

"And that's with a pistol that shoots in straight lines"

Oops. Back to school with those failing teachers for a bit of mechanics revision.

Unless you've developed a projectile weapon that overcomes the effects of gravity and air resistance, in which case file your patent and start printing money.

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Boffin

Conductivity of water

Pure water is, indeed, not very conductive at ordinary voltages (although the H2O molecule is highly polar, and water will ionise readily if subjected to sufficient electrical pressure).

However, water is also a very good solvent; and the moment anything made of any kind of charged particles is dissolved in it, it becomes conductive.

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New Scientist in sensationalist tosh shocker!

Mind you, makes a change from the usual CLIMATE DOOM stories they usually peddle.... They still have time to crowbar that in though I guess!

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@Useful? (Randy)

If they applied a Taser to someone's neck they can be prosecuted for attempted murder. Any idiot applying current there should be immediately locked up and maybe given a couple of educational taserings a day.

So, body mass is thus "safe", and few will try to aim for the head on account of the risk for permanent damage (probe in the eye, that sort of thing). That leaves the rear end and legs, so I guess metallised trousers will be the next item on offer..

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Boffin

Head-shots: Easier than you think

Let's get something straight, guys: Englishmen should NOT pontificate about what is possible, not possible, easy, or not easy to do with a firearm. You don't have sufficient experience with the tools in question, since not too many of you have ever actually FIRED any.

I'm an American. Over the course of my childhood, I fired just about everything you could imagine, from shotguns to magnum revolvers, to 45 ACPs, to rifles. If your target is within twenty feet, trust me when I say that shooting it between the eyes is NOT HARD AT ALL. You just have to have a little patience, and actually AIM the PISTOL.

Maybe I'm luckier than most. My father was a U.S. Marine pistol trainer in Okinawa in the late fifties, and he trained me "the old way". I was ALSO a U.S. Marine, and I tested rifle expert the whole time I was in (my best score was 242/250 on a range with a 500 yard line, on a somewhat windy afternoon).

If you want to achieve virtually MYTHICAL performance, you can improve your marksmanship with a few exercises. My father used to hold a 2" thick dictionary out at arms length while he watched television at night to build endurance. Also, you can get a more stable shooting position by rotating your elbow upwards so the arm locks, and your elbow doesn't bend when the gun fires (the shoulder absorbs the shock and you maintain your "natural point of aim"). Also, forget all that "Weaver Stance" bullshit; stand sideways with your arm extended straight out from the shoulder; you make a smaller target that way and you're more stable, and it's easier to fire around corners.

My father knew a Colonel (his boss, actually) who could fire one shot to get on target, then turn and talk to you while firing the rest of the magazine -- and still be on target. When he aimed the whole time, at 50 feet he could cover his entire pattern with a half dollar piece. They used to shoot competitively, so they aren't the average, but you should know there ARE people who can do things like that.

Finally, when I lived in the Southwest, I met and went shooting with people who practiced "instinctual shooting" -- a method of shooting which uses our natural ability to point an index finger at a target -- to fire from the hip. They would practice using bottles about twenty feet away; this is about how big a person is at 50 feet (and smaller than your head at 20 feet).

They were excellent shots.

I guess the bottom line is, maybe Englishmen need more practice! Come hang out with us. You buy the beer, we'll buy the ammo, meet us in the cinder pits outside town and we'll teach ya, Grasshopper...

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Alert

Question

Are the police allowed to still use these Tasers on you, if you tell them (truthfully or otherwise) that you have a Pacemaker fitted?

Just a thought.

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Silver badge
Coat

I'm okay....

My tatty old, but extremely heavy, leather bike jacket has a layer of aluminized film as an insulator - an insulator against cold, that is.

It conducts electricity extremely well though...but I'm not going to take the heads off parking meters until the cops tase me as a test...

Mine's the 8.6kilo, aluminium lined, heavily padded one....

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Flame

Sod aiming for the Head...

More fun to get one probe in each leg....ZAP!

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Alert

The end of era Taser technology?

PULL DOWN GUN vs TASER

See http://PullDownGun.narod.ru

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Bronze badge
IT Angle

@Roger Stenning

"Laser, cause it's the closest icon to an electric spark we have here"

Not sure which icon you meant to use, but the one you ended up with is a black helicopter...

As for the Yank that thinks it is easy to hit a head at twenty yards, would you mind telling me how often you get the chance in real life to shoot at a stationery target that is twenty yards away or less?

When I was in the Army we were told that the effective range of the Browning pistol was twenty metres, so if you wanted to do the job properly chuck a grenade: that had a lethal range of thirty-five!

So what's the IT angle - just remembered: already said by a few others, but water is more of a semi-conductor - imagine what would happen if you topped up a car battery with something that was indeed a 'good conductor' ? !

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Joke

@Sir Runcible Spoon

> What about the anarchist octegenarians?

Funnily enough, there are protests over in Ireland over budget cutbacks withdrawing free Medical Card support for over-70's. A lot of people are upset. I heard an interview with one pensioner today who was saying "I don't care if they call us anarchists, this is disgraceful, etc." I suppose my point is that you can't discount the possibility that the government will radicalise even pensioners with badly thought out legislation. Now if we could only get granny riled up over ID cards, Terrerist databases, mobile phone tracking, etc. Maybe too much to ask, but if we could source some conductive yarn they might at least be able to knit us some taser-proof jumpers.

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Boffin

@Christopher Webb

Perhaps a clarification.

*Water* in and of itself isn't a great conductor of electricity. But that all changes when you start putting in *electrolytes*. And as it so happens, the human body's composition happens to contain a noticeable proportion of *salt*--which becomes an electrolyte when dissolved in water.

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Heart

Mothers.

That was my idea! I was going to call it Mithril after the LOTR vesticle thingie. I was thinking more along the lines of copper thread in a fine mesh woven into a cotton garment or whatever. I was also thinking more of protecting the public from those loonies who call themselves the police these days. You'd sell millions of 'em.

I also looked forward to all the youtube videos of some dude saying "Don't taze me bro'" and the police tazing said dude, only for said dude to stand there laughing at 'em. Mind you, then they'd just gun him down where he stood so meh.

I also thought about how you could stand there and say, "Human evolution has taken a step forward, and I'm it - you can taze me if you want but I'm impervious." And then watch the police stare in horror as their electric toy gun did you no harm whatsoever, which of course would give you vital time to kick 'em in the nadgers and scarper.

But of course, these bastards have stolen my idea, typical.

This icon will be my trademark for Mithril but don't ask me why...

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no efi-x?

http://www.efi-x.com

usb device to plug into motherboard, allows an unhacked mac disk to be installed.

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Silver badge

Hi Phil, You obviously know about shooting

But you know fuck all about Englishmen. I have shot all kinds of weapons all my life, and I am English. In the army I could consistently shoot 90-95% in the annual personal weapons test with an SLR a weapon whose sight line is broken every time you clean the damn thing. I can shoot you in the head at twenty five metres with an arrow and I hunt rabbits with a catapult (slingshot to you).

In Vietnam only 1 in twenty shots fired by American riflemen was aimed and the Kiwis and the Aussies consistently had higher kill ratios than the yanks.

We have a repressive paranoid government who doesn't like us to have guns, possibly because they know they do such a shit job but when shooting clubs were popular a lot of British shooters could shoot along with the best in the world. At Bisley our women used to out shoot yanks on a regular basis. In the first world war ALL riflemen in the British army had to acheive a sixty rounds a minute rate of fire with a bolt action( which held ten rounds), and hit a target, do that with a shitty Garand! If you still want to argue try it on with the SAS. If you want to criticise the shooting of our cops go ahead their training is crap, or at least it was when I got to see it in the 80s. But I have lived in the States and seen your cops shooting and their shooting is crap too. not many people in a fire fight are calm enough to shoot well until they are well blooded, a lot of cops aren't. OK rant over and unless the rest of you is as big as your gob don't talk like that in a British pub unless you want a Glasgow kiss!

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Thumb Up

Useful ...

against tasing accidents. So accidental discharge leaves no lasting damage.

Disgusting!

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