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From Silicon.com’s newsletter:
For mortal woundings we need to head over to Texas where a website has been launched which will enable gun-crazed web surfers to hunt animals from the comfort of their own armchair. Making use of a webcam linked to a manoeuvrable rifle, visitors accessing the site from anywhere in the world will be able to take pot-shots at animals on a Texas ranch.
It is quite literally a killer application.
Currently the Live Shot website only offers target practice using the web-linked .22 calibre rifle but soon the ranch owner will be putting deer, antelope and wild pigs in front of the camera. (The Round-Up, knowing how unreliable and prone to delays webcams can be, wonders which animals will be favourite among virtual hunters – the incredibly fleet-footed deer and antelope or the big fat, slow-moving wild pigs/pork-flavoured cannon fodder.)
Lawmakers in the Lone Star State are currently scratching their heads and rubbing their red necks in confusion, not sure what to make of the site.
The site’s creator, John Underwood, said he got the idea when visiting a website where users could take advantage of remote cameras in the wild to take pictures of animals in their natural habitat and download the images.
“We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck…” said Underwood, getting sentimental about the beauty of fauna, resplendent in its natural habitat… “And my friend said, ‘If you just had a gun for that’.”
“Then a little light-bulb went off in my head,” added Underwood.
The Round-Up could easily improve on that sentence simply by swapping some of the words around.
“We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck,” said Underwood. “And my friend said, ‘If you just had a little light-bulb for that.’”
“Then a gun went off in my head,” added Underwood.
But the Round-Up is being unfair, because it turns out Underwood is actually a great campaigner for equal opportunities, as the site “could be popular with disabled hunters” according to one US report, and those “who cannot afford a trip to Texas”.
Aw! Bless! Killing for all, it’s a lovely sentiment. On behalf of all the deer, antelope and particularly the wild pigs out there in Texas, ‘Thank you internet’.
Perhaps Underwood could create a premium-content section of the site where visitors can shoot rare and endangered species such as pandas, gorillas, tigers and red squirrels (for the real keen shot) – perhaps throw in the occasional monkey.
The site does say that if there is a particular animal which visitors have a yearning to shoot they can submit a request.
Underwood is also keen that the carcasses don’t go to waste (what a guy!). An attendant – who will clearly be putting a lot of faith in the refresh rate of the camera – will go out onto the range and retrieve shot animals for the shooters, who could have the heads preserved by a taxidermist (creating much-needed work for the practitioner of a diminishing trade, see – and the Round-Up is sure the head of a wild pig would make a wonderful trophy on any wall).
Virtual-hunters could also have the meat processed and shipped home, or donated to animal orphanages.
And just how do animals become orphans, John? It’s certainly a puzzler.
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