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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 08:59 AM
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It's amazing how much of sci-fi is based on either scientific fact or prediction. NASA is actually researching whether or not warp fields are possible. They have taken many cues from the minds of sci-fi writers for ideas. All the stuff in books, movies and TV series may not be real -- YET -- but you never know!


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maisky 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 09:58 AM
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If you look at sci fi books written before 1990, you will see that it is a struggle for sci fi to KEEP UP with scientific advances. An example would be the powered suits in Starship Troupers (the book). That is currently under development and scaleup.


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Annabelle 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 10:06 AM
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peckery 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 10:35 AM
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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 10:42 AM
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Best sci-fi mini-series ever: Taken on the SciFi channel. Dakota Fanning was amazing.
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CeltWolf 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 01:08 PM
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Oh, I'm thoroughly addicted to Sci-Fi. Love it.

Too many people forget about Suspension of Disbelief when they view entertainment. Sure, Warp Drive isn't viable now, but that really means nothing. We couldn't even manage powered flight 105 years ago, and now we've got a fighter that's almost in 'mass' production that's cruising speed is supersonic. Doesn't need afterburners to do it, like all our current ones, it cruises up there. Amazing! Never mind that we've successfully landed mobile craft on other planets... How can Sci-Fi die, when we can have such incredible technological advances in the course of a single century?

I can't wait until they figure out what they need to do to get processors faster and smaller... Far as I know, the current hold up is that the transistors are so small that they're not acting normally, not obeying normal physics... which, I'm told, happens when things get to a small enough scale.
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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 01:33 PM
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Celtwolf, right now they're working on quantum computers. The idea is instead of using transistors as gates they use single molecules. If its charge its negative, the value is 0. If it's positive, its value is 1. And, if I'm not mistaken, quantum mechanics says that a single atom (or is it molecule) can be in 2 states at once. I know I'm not explaining it very well. The main point I'm trying to make is that within 10 to 15 years we will have computers that don't even resemble what we know today.
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maisky 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 01:49 PM
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look at what they do with computers now: cellphones that are more powerfull than the old univac mainframes. The only real limit to the devices now is the I/O hardware: accessing the processor and the screen. Progress is ongoing in making the next step, which is direct neural hookup. No external hardware other than wireless routers needed. Everything is hardwired into our person. Picture sitting in a boooooorrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnggggg meeting, looking interested while actually watching a movie. smile.gif
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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 01:55 PM
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It's closer than u think. Scientists have gotten a monkey to move a bionic arm with its mind. There is a wire implanted somewhere in its brain. Somehow they were able to train the monkey to move the arm. It's not fine movement, but movement nonetheless. The company who's doing the experiments has applied to the FDA for permission to start working with human subjects. Eventually they want to implant a wireless transmitter so wires are unncessary. Cool stuff! Cool implications.
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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 02:01 PM
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Another cool recent technological innovation: a 4 GB hard drive the size of a quarter. Toshiba unveiled this tiny marvel just this month. Imagine. You could have more storage in a wrist watch than you had in a high powered workstation 10 years ago. Amazing. It's this kind of stuff that makes me glad to be working in IT.
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maisky 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE (tsargent62 @ Mar 30 2004, 01:55 PM)
It's closer than u think. Scientists have gotten a monkey to move a bionic arm with its mind. There is a wire implanted somewhere in its brain. Somehow they were able to train the monkey to move the arm. It's not fine movement, but movement nonetheless. The company who's doing the experiments has applied to the FDA for permission to start working with human subjects. Eventually they want to implant a wireless transmitter so wires are unncessary. Cool stuff! Cool implications.

In the transition from a monkey as a subject to humans, perhaps they could use an intermediate subject: a certain sock monkey.........
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tsargent62 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (maisky @ Mar 30 2004, 02:03 PM)
In the transition from a monkey as a subject to humans, perhaps they could use an intermediate subject: a certain sock monkey.........

Think about what you're asking. Could you imagine the 6 Million Dollar Peckery? Chilling.
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maisky 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 02:07 PM
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CeltWolf 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 04:09 PM
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They had a setup where they put the wires (hair-fine) into the monkey's brain and recorded what happened when they gave them joysticks to move teh arm around. Then they took the joystick away.

Makes sense. How often have you first thought about doing an action w/ the keyboard/mouse/JS commands from a game before you do it? I have. Sometimes I've seen a set of stairs and wanted to superjump up it.... of course, can't do that, but the keyboard command went straight through my brain and to my fingers, without really meaning to do so. I can def. see them getting the monkey to want to move the arm w/out the joystick there.

And I'd read about quantum computers, but not recently, and didn't remember what I was trying to remember, specifically, so didn't name it.

And 4Gb HDDs have been small for a while. Look at the iPod Mini. Quarter, though. Impressive. I remember back when 1Ghz processors were six inches in diameter. Saw a pic of it, once. 'Course, might have been a scaled-up prototype. Not certain if they'd do that.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 30-Mar-2004, 06:53 PM
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that toshiba quarter size drive IS what is in the mini ipod! I believe Apple was actually waiting for the official release of the drive to release the ipod. I'm guessing the whole unit is about 1 inch across. the platter is something like .76 inches or something. on Toshiba's site, they have a six sided die sitting next to it to give an indication of the size... Scares me to think.

It still amazes me that you can out a book on a 3.5 inch floppy and carry it with you!
I have my entire CD collection on my 10 GB iPOD, with room left over. This thing's exactly the size of an audio cassette, has games on it, a calendar, and you can not only carry that book that you had on the 3.5 inch floppy, you can read it too on the same device. Want to manage contacts? sure, it can do that too. AND IT'S THE SIZE OF AN AUDIO CASSETTE!!!!!

I'm a tech, and computer technology never ceases to amaze me with what can be done. I've got more technology around me at this desk than existed in most large universities 20 or even 10 years ago. My cell phone has more processing power and better graphics than the PC sitting next to me (a 486DX2/50, my chat station), and my main workstation can generate photo-realistic landscapes in a minute or two. Freaky, I tell you.

Ohh, and then there's the matter of sitting in Kentucky, talking to someone in Fife, about the radio station in Massachusetts that we both are listening to at the moment. And doing so as quickly as if we were both sitting in a room in Boston tuned in to it... Amazing if you ask me, ohh, and the radio station has real time cover art, and song.album/artist info for the current song! Every bit of this would surely have been too unreal for SCI-FI 75 years ago


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