Schneier on Security
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May 2, 2007
Here's a taser disguised as a tampon:
The tampon taser/stun gun is the latest in portable and personal security systems. The beauty of this taser/stun gun, aptly named The Pink Stinger, is its ingenious design and ability to be concealed nicely and unassumingly into any purse for ultimate stealth. The taser's gentle glide zapplicator easily fits in the palm of your hand for incredible comfort and protection and ready for honorable discharge at a moments notice. In addition, its fresh floral scent helps eliminate the smell of fear, not just cover it up.
This product strictly for use in accordance with country or state laws. Need not be female or menstruating to use effectively. Tampon taser/stun gun to be used for security purposes only or in self defense. It is not intended nor recommended for vaginal insertion.
Posted on May 2, 2007 at 4:05 PM
• 39 Comments
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i just borrowed a tampon from my friend's purse....and i woke up here! what happened to me, doc?
Why does this sound like a lawsuit waiting to happen? (Although, hopefully, not a sucessful one.) Yeah, yeah, I know that there's a disclaimer, but there's always a bigger idiot.
> It is not intended nor recommended for vaginal insertion.
"It is not intended nor recommended for vaginal insertion."
That makes my eyes water just thinking about it, and I'm a man.
LMAO @ the disclaimers. =:oD
I'm skeptical. If it is real, why would the darts have absorbant fluff around them? The need for concealment is gone by this time, and the fluff would severely reduce the range of the darts due to air resistance. Also, that comment about the fragrance doesn't look serious.
And the next things to end up on TSA items to not allowed to be wearing or to have on carry-on luggage : tampons and sanitary pads ...
I guess they could make explosive baby diapers too.
Obviously just some psycho's brainchild. Mildly amusing, in it's pathetic, sexist way. Someone doesn't get any on a regular basis without a "point of sale" financial transaction, I'm thinkin'...
"This weapon of mass absorption aims ....."
I'm sure they must have had a lot of fun writing this. Even if we assume this is real and the device really works, anyone know how effective tasers are in untrained hands? Beleive me, hardly.
You might have heard about the "user revolt" at Digg.com when users kept publishing the HD-DVD Processing Key for most movies released so far.
Bruce has said several times that DRM is a losing battle. Companies that want to restrict user actions for their legally purchased content have a very difficult security problem.
Btw, the processing key is 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0.
I might have just broken the law. Some say that this hex number is copyright. Can you even copyright a number or a password? So if my password is "qwerty" do I get a copyright for that? How about my license plate or the number 12?
It seems ridiculous to claim copyright over a 128-bit number.
My big question is, why on *earth* is there a reason to conceal such a thing, unless you explicitly intend to trick someone into thinking you're unarmed? If the goal is to stay out of threatening situations in the first place (which it should be), then you'd want to wear it like a neon sign that says "I'm not a target; I'll fight."
I suppose putting in the vagina would get you a very effective last line of defense in case of rape. Painful for the attacker, just the way it should be.
>>It is not intended nor recommended for vaginal insertion.
What about anal insertion?
Hilarious! It's double-barrelled! The pink tamponicity gives it extra girl cootie power even if the taser fails. ;-)
Maybe next someone will make a tiny tampon-shaped handgun. Flowered and strawberry-scented.
"I guess they could make explosive baby diapers too."
Have you ever changed one? Some don't need to be explosive to be classified as bioweapons!
@Anonymous: nobody's actually claiming that the key is copyrighted - see http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005229.php for more information.
@Bruce: this really sounds fake. I mean... "he taser's gentle glide zapplicator easily fits in the palm of your hand for incredible comfort and protection and ready for honorable discharge at a moments notice. In addition, its fresh floral scent helps eliminate the smell of fear, not just cover it up"? Come on, that CAN'T be real.
So, any bets on how many hours it takes
before Security Guards decide that it is no
longer permissible to carry Tampons onto
airplanes, just in case someone is trying
to smuggle one of these aboard?
It's J-O-K-E, guys.
Being from the UK, the most shocking thing about this is the fact that the page also includes links to Amazon, where you can buy lots of tazer products.
They would be banned in the UK, but I guess things are different in the USA, although it does say they are banned in some states.
I think the original tampon thing is a joke, for reasons mentioned above. But it is probably a good way to drive traffic to their page, so that people buy their products via Amazon.
I agree with quandry. I don't see the point of carrying a disguised weapon. Surely those who believe allowing the carrying of weapons by the general population is a good idea want to deter crime. In which case, don't you want the criminals to know you are carrying?
And, yes, I am sure this is a joke. The only thing against this POV is the statement that this product is not for vaginal insertion. Surely someone writing a joke article would say it was good for that purpose....
@Greg- I don't know if you are joking or not. But I really do think your scenario is possible.
"In which case, don't you want the criminals to know you are carrying?"
If they know you're carrying, and see where it is, they can snatch it from you pretty easily before the possible confrontation.
> If the goal is to stay out of threatening situations in the first place (which it should be), then you'd want to wear it like a neon sign that says "I'm not a target; I'll fight."
You're right about staying out of the situation if possible, but what heppens next is more complicated than signalling that you will fight. Some of the time you want the other guy to think the fight is over before you clobber him and run.
Trust me. There are plenty of REAL weapons that are disguised as tampons, and other "need" items. It avoids questions and creates embarissment making less likely to get a good cheak.
Can you imagine the headlines? Airport security pulls tampons apart looking for weapons, or "Tampons denined to 'sensitive' woman" etc.
Its a classic pitch.
Behold the awesome power of estrogen (or fear thereof)
Regardless of whether or not this particular item is legitimate or a joke; there are 2 reasons you dont want it to be obvious you are "armed". 1) If the prospective perpetrator is aware of it, they may find a way to neutralize it (for example - initiate the attack by knocking you unconscious) and 2) if perpetrators can not tell who is armed, then ALL potential victims are protected by the knowledge that SOME potential victims are armed (as long as there are enough armed people to form a 'critical mass'). Kind of like in nature where nonpoisonous snakes mimic the look of poisonous ones.
There isn't a critical mass, and even if there were, crimes such as rape are not necessarily carried out by those who can perform a level risk analysis. Also, in the stalker scenario, even a concealed/disguised weapon would be known, because the perp has carefully staked out and monitored the target. This completely negates the usefulness of concealment. Furthermore, if I remember my statistics correctly, most rapes are carried out by someone the victim knows -- it's not a random crime, which again increases the likelihood that the perp already knows about the weapon.
Now, in the *mugger* scenario, the perp is going to pick a target that looks like a pushover. Body language and other indicators are how the perp is going to pick the mark out; while we're making analogies, it's like a wolf looking for the sick or injured-looking deer. The trick for the potential marks, then, is to look as not-sick-or-injured as possible ("I'll fight!"). In this case, too, the concealed weapon is much less useful, except in the case where (a) you give off the "I'm a mark!" body language, and (b) you're really a fighter. This leads back to my original comment: such a concealed device is pretty useless unless you're *looking* for trouble.
"Kind of like in nature where nonpoisonous snakes mimic the look of poisonous ones."
In other words they PRETEND TO BE ARMED even when they are not... sort of like carrying a realistic toy gun. This is the opposite of concealed armament
'I agree with quandry. I don't see the point of carrying a disguised weapon. Surely those who believe allowing the carrying of weapons by the general population is a good idea want to deter crime. In which case, don't you want the criminals to know you are carrying?"
maybe it's not the criminals that it is hiding from. Many areas, nightclubs, etc do a cursory cursory security bag check and any obvious weapon will be cause for problems. Bouncers are not too likely to go ripping open tampons to see if they are real.
1)The knowledge of having a weapon can often encourage the "attacker" to escalate the crime or means to carry it out. Ex. He may opt to use a weapon that will trump this one or just simply use more power, depending on victim and/or situation.
This is why it is best and recommended (you can do the research)to give in to simple demands rather than try to fend them off (of course, within reason - not saying openly and gleefully submit everything- and yes there are plenty of times this doesnt apply- but we are talking about,generally small assault or theft, mugging crimes that this obviously is more applicable to). Even experts say that fighting a rape (ie.) sometimes turns-on, thus elevating the attack[er] more ( just for those who want to keep using the rape scenario). The element of surprise is a device that is widely known, understood and still in use everyday.
2)- just because this device is disguised as a semi-related sexual weapon doesnt mean that its intended use is for deterring sexual crimes.
3)-many of the same devices (mp3 players etc etc) come in different packages. Why? Because each is trying to create their own angle and interest for the consumer. This is no different. Using some of the logic the comments have eluded to means that their should only be 1 brand, i type, of everything. Never create, enhance, change a product that already exists to try to find a better market or fill in the gap (no pun intended)? The product, whether real or not still, is just as viable as any other product that is packaged and marketed differently to a different consumer. Simple business strategy 101.
Maybe tampon taser isnt made as a crime "deterrent" necessarily which is what many seem to keep debating over. Deterrent implies that it will STOP the crime altogether before it happens. This also works AFTER the crime has taken place (endless scenarios to illustrate this) which makes the argument of "no point of carrying disguised weapon" mute. Its STILL a weapon, disguised or not, that has total feasibility and functionality in a real world environment.
"Oh , uh, Jennifer? I forgot to tell you that i just borrowed a tampon from your purse. I hope you dont mind...zzzttt.ughhhh.awaaawawaa."
@Just to add
Minor correction: deterrent implies that it will cause someone who would otherwise commit a crime to decide not to commit that crime (i.e., it will *deter* them and *prevent* the crime, as opposed to stopping the crime, which can happen only after the crime has started). A concealed weapon cannot be a deterrent, because someone contemplating the crime would (if the concealment is working) not know about it. So, apart from some minor phrasing, you're absolutely right. I argue that a non-concealed weapon (or imitation) has the additional bonus of being a deterrent. I also argue that prevention is better than cure.
You are also correct in that tasers are weapons, which can be used for self defense. However, the only reason I can see to make a weapon look like a non-weapon is deceit -- e.g., to get through airport security, or into a nightclub, or whatever (as others have pointed out). Thus, my original statement -- that there's no reason for such a thing to exist unless you're intending to trick others into believing you're unarmed -- still holds. I also can't think of any situation where knowingly slipping a weapon past security is legal. At what point have you crossed the line from "self defense" to "weapons smuggling"?
Ideally, we wouldn't have to carry weapons at all. Less ideally, but more realistically, we could all carry weapons anywhere and everywhere. What we presently have is a situation where only Bad Guys are going to have access to weapons, because law-abiding Good Guys will, of course, turn over all their weapons when entering an area where weapons aren't allowed. In some cases, certain folks who are otherwise Good Guys might sneak things past security in a push towards the weapons-everywhere way, but they shouldn't *have* to (and are likely to get in trouble if caught). But I digress... :)
You are making a lot of speculative remarks on why the tampon taser looks like a tampon. You assume it is to deceive. That is only one opinion but doesnt mean it holds true for all. The other guy mentioned the marketing of it. While you get caught up in the trivial matters, the real reason (why its a tampon looking taser) remains only truly known to the person marketing/inventing it. And marketing is the key. One can think of numerous reasons why it should or shouldnt be made to look like something else. Deceit is merely one that you chose to focus on. i can think of other reasons just as a valid and convincing. Perhaps, it is disguised to keep the element of surprise just that, a surprise-a very effective way to protect oneself. Perhaps its disguised as a novelty item. Perhaps its disguised to assimilate and better fit into normal purse contents without drawing too much suspicion from a theif going thru it and deciding to use it against the owner. Perhaps it looks like a tampon so its not easily stolen or strong armed by shouting out "I am a taser gun". Perhaps its disguised to not be like another million other taser/stun guns thus giving it its own marketing strategies. shall i keep going?
I can think of thousands of other products that also,according to you, use deceit. Many have legit purpose and disguise is essential. Like almost anything, the end user determines if it will be used for good or bad. but that doesnt make the product necessarily deceitful or useless. the public determines what is useful and wanted, in their own eyes, for better or worse, by buying it.
Its a unique packaging that, if nothing else, has gained interest and drawn speculation. That is the bottom line. we dont know all the facts about the product, its target consumer, whether it was created out a need or commissioned, etc etc. I can take any product and argue against it with selective points. So speculating what its intent is doesnt make a good argument. It only tells us what your intent may be if you had it. Thinking outside the box is the only way to keep up with criminal activity. This product at least attempts that.
You focus on the ways this can and would be used illegally. That doesnt differentiate it from hardly any weapon then other than disguised which can also easily be done by putting a reg taser in a sock , for ex.. Thats easy to do on everything and a very weak defense for anything.
Re: airport security - you dont think this wouldnt show up in scanners? This would be treated like any other stun taser gun, you dont try to take it somewhere where its gonna cause problems. If youre the type whos does that, then youre also the type who causes problems anyway regardless of havign this. And for the most part, most men wont carry this, which weeds out a lot of problematic people anyway. (lets be honest men)
And i strongly disagree with the statement that not concealing it would be a deterrent. It also can piss off the would be criminal and make him take stronger actions against you, which happens all too much. This is not uncommon if you follow crime and criminals.. especially when its not a lethal weapon and they know it.
"A concealed weapon cannot be a deterrent, because someone contemplating the crime would (if the concealment is working) not know about it"
What? I had to remark. Quandary- you are so far off with that remark. I dont even know where to begin with that bit of garbage. Also you are splitting hairs with your definition of deterrent. If you want to go that route, then when does the actual crime "start". It starts with the intent, but that isnt always easy to prove.
Concealed weapons certainly can be a deterrent. Ask any cop, they carry them all the time (or dont at all) and dont have to show them. I wont get into that though.
I think you are too dead set in your own opinion to listen or change ur mind. its a lost cause. :-)
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