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Billionaire Uses Laser to Thwart Paparazzi

The Times Online is reporting that the world's biggest and most expensive private yacht is now mounted with lasers. The ship's owner, billionaire Russian oligarchRoman Abramovich, installed the laser shield to protect his privacy from the paparazzi gnats circling his every move. While the imagery could conjure scenes from Star Wars or some other sci-fi movie, his anti-paparazzi defense won't sear holes through flesh and bone... at least, not yet.

Unlike the laser cannons now in use by the government, these infrared lasers simply block any digital camera lenses nearby. After detecting the electronic light sensors of the camera, the laser system fires off a focused beam of light at the camera that in turn disrupts the device's ability to record a digital image. If security guards patrolling on the boat discover a nearby snoop, they can activate the lasers manually and zap any suspicious camera.

Want to feel a twinge of envy (or annoyance, depending on your view)? This yacht is the forth in 42-yer-old Abramovich's fleet. Like some kind of Imperial Star Destroyer, the vessel is highly armored, prepared for piracy on the high seas according to the Times, consisting of a hull and windows capable of withstanding a missile attack. That's right, it can withstand a missile attack. Additionally, there's a mini-submarine stored in the belly, prepped and ready for emergencies. Currently it's parked in a German shipyard, however once it leaves, the yacht will head to France where it will be fitted with a missile defense system.

So we have to ask: why bother with the wimpy lasers when the boat will be equipped with missiles? Might as well just blow those nosy paparazzi out of the water and do the world some good. Then again, we wouldn't have anything to look at while standing in line at the grocery store.

  • LORD_ORION
    You cant shoot missiles at them while in national waters. ;)

    On the open seas I am also betting (in a nerd fantasy sort of way) that the lasers can be set to "lethal"... one day.
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    Funny article. Let's just hope he doesn't want to start World War III.
    Reply
  • ArgleBargle
    "This yacht is the forth in 42-yer-old Abramovich's fleet." - What is this, pirate-speak?
    Reply
  • burnley14
    Wow, what a waste of money. Although I don't blame him for wanting to maintain his privacy.
    Reply
  • brendano257
    Things you do when you have tooooo much money......Well he brings up a point of how annoying they could get.
    Reply
  • joebob2000
    "Want to feel a twinge of envy (or annoyance, depending on your view)? This yacht is the forth in 42-yer-old Abramovich's fleet. "

    I am envious of the days when proofreading mattered...

    forth != fourth
    Reply
  • warmon6
    Well that will keep them way. although i still like the missle idea. :lol:
    Reply
  • joebob2000
    "Currently it's parked in a German shipyard, however once it leaves, the yacht will head to France where it will be fitted with a missile defense system."

    Oh, and "Missile defense system" != "missiles"...

    Think: a puff of smoke, flares, and bits of foil (laser guidance, heat seeking, and radar countermeasures).
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    After detecting the electronic light sensors of the camera, the laser system fires off a focused beam of light at the camera that in turn disrupts the device's ability to record a digital image
    Meaning the focusing assist light? I don't see how someone can detect the metering sensor or the CMOS sensor itself from afar. Even than, on a bright day, focusing assist light is auto disabled.
    Reply
  • cah027
    Now that is privacy! on the open sea and not even a telephoto lens can see him. That would b nice! Wild parties out in the open !
    Reply