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"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Screamer  
  An acoustic weapon.  

Before exiting myself I threw a screamer out onto the sidewalk and quickly pushed the stopples into my ears.

The screamer sounded off and everyone began to leave quickly. You have to leave quickly when you hear one of these things. They send out a mixed brew of devilish sounds at the decibel level of a major earthquake. Some are audible, sounds like a magnified fingernail on a blackboard, while others are supersonic and produce sensations of panic and imminent death. Harmless and highly effective. The street was otherwise empty when I walked out to the car that was just pulling up to the curb. My head was throbbing with the supersonics that got past the plugs and I was more than happy to slip through the open door and relax while Angelina gunned the machine down the street.

From The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Pyramid in 1970
Additional resources -

Compare to the Garbage-Can Banger from Philip K. Dick's 1965 novel The Zap Gun.

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