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Watch a laptop destroyed by semi-automatic portable railgun

Commentary: Human ingenuity knows no bounds.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Poor laptop.

NSA_Listbot/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Somewhere, in some garage, the next great technological breakthrough is being created.

And somewhere, in some unknown space, people are creating new ways to destroy laptops and melons.

Please welcome, then, a piece of weaponry touted as the first semi-automatic portable railgun. Because you know you've always wanted one.

Railguns use electromagnetic force rather than, say, gunpowder, to propel projectiles at their targets. The US Navy has been developing its own for some time.

A man who goes by the handle NSA_Listbot, however, has presented his own railgun on on YouTube. He describes his creation, the SR-1, as "a field augmented circular bore plasma armature railgun capable of firing 6x19mm conductive armatures as well as Teflon-plasma armatures."

I'm not sure what weight begins to define portability. In this case, the SR-1 weighs 30 lbs and looks a touch cumbersome for battlefield use. 

Still, it clearly wins a battle with a laptop, which stands there meekly as the SR-1 blasts its screen.

It's unclear why you'd do this to your laptop, unless it had, perhaps, crashed once too often for your taste.

Some, though, will surely be excited by the semi-automatic nature of this flaming firearm. NSA_Listbot claims it can shoot off one round every 15 seconds at 70 percent power and 1 round every 30 seconds when it's switched to full power.

And it wasn't just tested in the comfort of a home.

Here it is being put through its paces and targeting a laptop (again) and a cantaloupe as its enemies.

What is it that these weapon-makers have against melons?

Melons are round and sweet. Yet they always seem to be the object of such uncontrolled violence.

Not too long ago, a man fired a gun squirting molten metal at a watermelon.

Attempts to contact NSA_Listbot were unsuccessful. Many, however, will surely imagine ways in which they could use such a tool.

Obviously, I should point out the natural suggestion not to try this -- or anything like it -- at home. 

Instead, perhaps you should consider joining the Navy, where you could experience advanced versions.