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"Pain ray" to be tested on inmates

08/26/10 06:00 AM

A new non-lethal device is coming to an LA County jail. The LA County Sheriff’s Department is calling it an Assault Intervention Device, but it’s more commonly known as a “pain ray,” and was originally developed by the military for use in Afghanistan. The device uses microwave technology to heat up moisture just below the skin, creating a sensation akin to a burn. But the pain is supposed to go away within seconds of moving out of the beam’s ray. The LA County Sheriff’s Department plans to start testing it in a dormitory at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, Calif., as a means to break up inmate brawls in common areas. We speak with Commander Robert Osborne, head of the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Technology Exploration Program, about why he sees the pain ray as a better and safer alternative to traditional methods of breaking up prison fights. And we talk with Brookings Institution senior fellow Peter W. Singer about why the US military developed the pain ray and then decided not to use it after all.

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Filed Under: military prisons weapons law enforcement

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Future Tense becomes Marketplace Tech Report

09/17/10 06:12 PM

Hi everyone. John Moe here. Starting Monday, September 20th, Future Tense will be going by the name Marketplace Tech Report.

Producer Larissa Anderson and I have been working closely with the folks at Marketplace ever since we took over Future Tense in May. It’s worked out great. We’ve helped them, they’ve helped us, and together we’ll find more stories you’ll want to hear. Basically, we loved Marketplace so much we married them. And kind of took their name too. Is it creepy to compare two radio shows to a married couple? Sorry about that.

As part of the Marketplace portfolio of programs (along with Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report, and Marketplace Money), Marketplace Tech Report will keep bringing you stories that explain news and trends and technology and what it all means to you. We’ll be moving to a new simpler URL:, which will go live over the weekend. We’ll be bringing our entire archive of past shows and blog posts with us but in the meantime, we’re leaving up so you can access the show archives from there as well.

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