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View Poll Results: Most-wanted Tech
Warp dive/hyperdrive/jump gates/whatever 2 20.00%
Tricorders (whir whir whir ) 1 10.00%
Hyposprays (the real kind, not those tanks and hoses) 0 0%
PADDs (we know they can do more than Palmpilots) 0 0%
Transporters (one that works) 2 20.00%
Replicators (tea, Earl Grey, hot) 4 40.00%
Commbadges (chirping optional) 0 0%
Lightsabres (I see your Swartz is as big as mine) 0 0%
Phasers (so we can blink them to death) 1 10.00%
Cybernetic eyes (VISORs can look tacky) 0 0%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2006, 10:58 AM
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Default Most desired Sci-Fi Invention

Okay, we've all watched upteen science fiction universes. They all have their own set of devices, technologies, medicines, etc. that don't exist in the world today. That's why it's called sci-fi.

So this poll and discussion is for these devices. If you could have one of them in a cost-effective, nonpolluting, bug-free (or at least as bug-free as Trek gets ) way, which one?
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:07 AM
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Oh, and before you ask, holodecks aren't on the list because they're just dangerous, and even if they did work, everyone would be like Scott Adams and just lock themselves in and not come out until they died of exhaustion.
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:42 PM
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OK - these are all Star Trek inventions...this wasn't the thread I was sold.

Anyway, the device I most want from sci-fi is a TARDIS. Duh.
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
... bug-free (or at least as bug-free as Trek gets )
And when was that, exactly?
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:59 PM
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Speaking as a chemist, I have to go with a tricorder. Those little gizmos can tell you everything about anything in a matter of seconds. The entire field of analytical chemistry can be made obsolete overnight by one handheld device, and thousands of labtechs will be put out of work.

The most time-consuming part of research after multi-hour reactions is figuring out what exactly is in the goo you made. This often involves very complicated, very expensive instrumentation. Being able to wave a tricorder over the flask and know the concentration of everything in it is a huge time-saver, plus I imagine it would be able to image my nanoparticles in situ, so I wouldn't have to haul them halfway across the city and wash all the protecting ligands off in order to be able to look at them with the electron microscope.

Next up: purification techniques. What I wouldn't give for transporter chromatography: dematerialise a sample, and then rematerialise it with all the various compounds in different beakers.
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:32 PM
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Uh, was that photo link supposed to be relevant? It's just Kirk looking skyward, most likely in the middle of one of his philosophical rants.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
Uh, was that photo link supposed to be relevant? It's just Kirk looking skyward, most likely in the middle of one of his philosophical rants.
There's supposed to be a shot of Kirk in "The Paradise Syndrome" shouting "I AM KIROK!" with a fly perched on his head, but I haven't actually seen it myself. Maybe that's what it was supposed to have been?
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:40 PM
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Whoa, flies can perch?
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by evay View Post
There's supposed to be a shot of Kirk in "The Paradise Syndrome" shouting "I AM KIROK!" with a fly perched on his head, but I haven't actually seen it myself. Maybe that's what it was supposed to have been?
Thought that was Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Actually, no -- the photo was a joke, sorta -- it came from 'Wink of an Eye'. Kirk is seen on the planet Scalos, waving away what he thinks are insects.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:12 AM
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Oh, you were tying into my joke, and I didn't get it. Um, okay...

ijdgaf: Whoa, flies can perch?

Suddenly I thought of a fly perched on a gargoyle in Gotham City wearing the cape and cowl: Batfly!
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:49 AM
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I'd still want Holodecks over anything else. So the characters get minds of their own and revolt against you. That's what makes it all the more fun!
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:15 PM
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I want a replicator. The field of model building as I know it would change forever. Also, we could complete the destruction of the US as an industrial powerhouse and kick the legs out from under China. Sounds like fun!
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:40 PM
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I want a replicator. The field of model building as I know it would change forever. Also, we could complete the destruction of the US as an industrial powerhouse and kick the legs out from under China. Sounds like fun!
Not to mention more mundane things you could do with a replicator like eliminate hunger, poverty, capitalism, copyright law, and the shortage of Wiis.
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:08 PM
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Not to mention more mundane things you could do with a replicator like eliminate hunger, poverty, capitalism, copyright law, and the shortage of Wiis.
Sure, nobody's got a job, but all their needs are met by the box on the wall.

One wonders how they make furniture from such a small box, though. Maybe they do it a piece at a time. Hah! ReplIkeator.
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:40 PM
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:30 AM
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Uh, I don't think it's that easy. Even replicators can't be a hundred percent effective, even if everything they create gets recycled, which it's not. You'll still need an external power source.

I'd never set foot in a Holodeck capable of malfunction. I'd seriously still wait a few years for everyone else to beta test the thing.

Haven't you ever heard of industrial replicators? They're big, but they quickly become less power efficient as the replicated mass increases. I assume this is because greater distances mean more work for the targeting scanners and related equipment.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:43 AM
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Uh, I don't think it's that easy. Even replicators can't be a hundred percent effective, even if everything they create gets recycled, which it's not. You'll still need an external power source.
Yes, I know, and you need a house to put it in. Quit snarking my snark. :P

Seriously, though, every few episodes we discover something that can't be replicated because the plot needs it, but those types of things rarely come up in real life. Since it converts matter into energy, and then converts than energy back into matter according to a pattern, you can use any source of matter as a feedstock: garbage, lawn clippings, dirt, bodies...

It's an effective way of solving the waste problem, especially if you can convert, say, CFCs (made from light, common elements) into things like platinum and palladium (expensive, rare, heavy elements).

I'm science-geeking out again. Occupational hazard. I'm also carefully ignoring the many egregious ways it probably violates various fundamental laws of the universe.
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:59 AM
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Snarking is a well-respected custom of fiving. I have a great theory about how all Trek tropes can be categorized as either personal snarks, equipment snarks, or plot snarks.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 12-04-2006, 03:31 AM
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An actual theory about Fivers? Sounds neat! I wouldn't mind hearing some more detail on this.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:15 AM
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Personal snarks: This encompasses all "cliches" and their associated "anti-cliches" that involve the characters themselves. Data's contractions (and people bringing them up), Janeway's coffee addiction, Chekov's accent, McCoy's Spock bashing, Kirk's pronounciation and skirt-chasing issues, etc. Hence a fivist can amplify and/or explain these traits for humorous effect.

For example, in my fivers I've turned Dax into a "slang-obsessed techno-freak," as I call her. That doesn't mean that I don't like Dax, 'cause I do, it's just that she presents the most easy conduit for jokes that involve slang and Treknology.

Along similar lines, I've pushed O'Brien's work overload (brought to my attention by Phil Farrand) into an out and out burden that the others deliberately put upon him. This also provides convenient opportunities for "easy" punchlines by having him win office pools on the station to give him time off, since as the "oldest" (I think Odo is technically older, but he's still relatively emotionally immature) crewmember he needs vacations and a full night's sleep more than the others, at least in my fivers. He'd also win these pools because after six years on the Enterprise and upteen years on other vessels during the Cardassian War, he's the one that's the most mature in many respects, both professionally and personally.

Equipment snarks: First off, as Derek says, the computer as a character is always funny. Along these lines, the transporter and the holodeck are rife with their own problems and provide ample fodder for jokes, especially in fivers. Similarly, I enjoy the sound effects joke first found in Bob and George, hence the use of Kablazmo and other such sounds. The Trek creators even provide for this kind of material, what with their inconsistent protrayal of the capabilities of the computers, shields, weapons, tricorders, etc.

Plot snarks: The fourth wall (or lack thereof) jokes. As much as we love Trek, there are ample examples of "idiot plots" and people forgetting the technology they have and what it can do. As Bashir says in one of my fivers: "Sounds rather convoluted-oh yeah, this is DS9. Never mind."
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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