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View Poll Results: Do you agree that Star Trek's technologies are within reach of our near future?

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  • Yes

    7 58.33%
  • No

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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    Star Trek our Future?

    In developing Web Applications I often look to the Star Trek series Voyager for ideas. In my oppinion Star Trek has become a legend because of the many technilogical devices it uses in their mission.

    These technologies do not seem out of reach of our near future. That is why I think Star Trek has been a success.

    That being said I would like to offer this poll to see how many others feel the way that I do. And to ask this questions. What technology on the Voyager ship do you feel that the Internet may one day offer.

    I would like for one to answer why the technology that they choose would be a benefit and how do you think it will affect the population of the world.
    Bryan F. Hogan
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I think StarTrek is kinda an iffy issue with computer nerds. You're asking a bunch of insecure people with low to moderate self-esteem to discuss something that got them beat-up in middle school. Maybe that was just me...

    Anyway, yea, I think that the technologies that the StarTrek team come up with are attainable, they were designed to be. In point of fact, that's the way the creator of the series instructed it to be. He even wrote a book about scientific accuracy lovingly referred to as the StarTrek bible by the prop people. Also, any of the technologies featured on StarTrek can patented by an inventor without infringing on trademarks. For instance, someone has already created a tricorder mark 1.

  3. #3
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm voting no...mostly cause IAN voted yes and he's liberal and I'm conservative, and he's insecure with moderate sef esteem, and I'm completely secure and actually arrogant! We have to disagree! In fact I might beat him up for talking about Star Trek!

    LOL...no but really, some technologies might be attainable but artificial gravity can only be created by the massiv spinning of a body of some sort or a REALLY BIG body. Sun - REALLY BIG...Gravity. Earth--same deal.

    The only way to get gravity other than that is with centrifugal force...(i.e. the ride at the fair that spins and sticks you to the walls...)

    A ship floating through space can't do artificial gravity.

    My 2 cents.

    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
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  4. #4
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quite a few things are already here. Air injections instead of needles, communicators...there are others just can't think of them.

    I believe they are and that is why there was always an appeal. It was never too far out of reach. There is always a chance. Some things of course aren't even possible with our current technologies. But the point of sci fi is to dream.

    Show and books like that do give us ideas though.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I dunno, depends on what you mean by technology: just machines, or their society? I don't buy their society (poverty, diseaese, war, any form of currency, all eliminated?) , but I do think some of their machines will be duplicated in the somewhat near future.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist AlexC's Avatar
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    i agree as well

    i don't agree that we could progress to warp 5(or 4 or 6?) in the next 150 years (for anyone watching enterprise) - but 120 years ago, people thought flying was impossible (that comment will get me killed )
    Nearly 7 years old!

  7. #7
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I'm not a trekkie and have frankly found the average Star Trek episode exceedingly boring, but I am interested in a lot of the ideas which Star Trek has come up with, and the way they relate to scientific principles.

    I think the idea of 'beaming someone up' is definitely not attainable within the 'near future', so I had to choose No. However, it is not too far off and when (if) we do teleport people in some way in the future, it would most likely resemble this. Much of the other technology is highly likely and may resemble future technology. There are a holes in our physics models that have yet to be filled. To fill in those holes without completely understanding them would be to close our minds.

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    if the question had of been do you agree that some of star trecks technologies... then i would have said yes. but most of them will never see the light of day, (atleast in my lifetime) so therefore i voted no.

    and im with mmj on the boredom

  9. #9
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say this technology will be on the Internet... most of it has nothing to do with communications, but alot of it will be real one day.

    People have already done transportation. They transported a beam of light 1 inch in a lab.

    Replicators, doable believe it or not. nanotechnology would allow us to make trillions of machines the sizes of molecules that would build an object one atom at a time. People are working on it now.

    Things like the communicators are just a progression of cell phones, no big deal there.

    The medical technology is akin to a hand held MRI or Ultra Sound, again doable... and with nanotechnology machines could be inserted that would repair damages.

    Cyborgs, doable. at Reading University (in the UK I think) a man has a chip in him that allows him to interact with the cybernetics building. It will open doors and turn on lights automatically, locate him, and talk to him. His next project is to put one in his arm to record what signals make his arm do what. The next step in that would be to give people robotic hands that they could control.

    Speaking of electrical signals in our body. The Matrix, doable. Scientists are working now on ways to hook up the brain to a computer for "Downloading" so to speak. The ability to beam knowledge directly into your brain is something that is seriously being pursued.

    The only way to get gravity other than that is with centrifugal force...(i.e. the ride at the fair that spins and sticks you to the walls...)
    That we know of, I wouldn't say its the only way. Just the only way we know of right now.

    H.G. Wells and Jules Verne both wrote about future technologies that have now been invented. I think that the future will look on Gene Roddenbery in much the same way.
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  10. #10
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    One more thing thats doable is the anti-matter engines. I don't know that we'd be able to go that fast, but the engine design is similar to something NASA scientists are working on.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj
    I'm not a trekkie and have frankly found the average Star Trek episode exceedingly boring
    What, Star Trek boring? You K'atmur! Nothing about Star Trek is lame...

    BTW, did anyone see the meteor shower last night?

  12. #12
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by AlexC
    i agree as well

    i don't agree that we could progress to warp 5(or 4 or 6?) in the next 150 years (for anyone watching enterprise) - but 120 years ago, people thought flying was impossible (that comment will get me killed )
    Also humans don't. By ourselves we got to warp 1 I believe. We end up using some largely outdated Vulcan engines to make up the new speed.

    And to be a little utopian in general. I think recism and general human hate would probably for the most part look pretty insignifigant if we ever were ever to acheive that kind of space travel. IMHO

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  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    I would like to thank you all for your posts. More directly I'm speaking of the differant control panels on the ships. Such as the central database of information which is linked to again a central database on earth. With this central database it makes me think more closely about "Web Services".

    With Web Services one can create a "module" of information such as a Voyager Manafest or a Medical Database. Both with information that are linked.

    When I first started reading about Web Services it kind of gave me a wake up call. It also sturs up fear.

    Think about this for a moment. No browsers, no software but one central UI which uses these differant Web Services. Think no cables, think energy.

    If we tap into the energy fields that float around us everyday. (No not physic energy). And create a server which is powered by this. Inturn differant stations pull information from these servers which inturn spit out information through the same energy which makes it all run. And then these stations allow the user to do almost anything.

    Think of a full screen browser window with no browser just the display. This has a central UI which pulls from differant Web Services.

    Other than the harnessing the energy around us to run all of this. I feel this is within reach. Imagine not having work stations but a central command center within your house which has picture frame like screens all touch screen which enables us to pull from a central database. We may not even need to pull from a central database but leave the servers as they are but make one UI for all information no matter what you need to do with it.

    I know this may sound a little off the cuff but I feel it is really neat thing that we can do with internet.

    What do you think. Should one make this possible would you use it? Do you think that it would help you in your work? What are your thoughts?
    Bryan F. Hogan
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  14. #14
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Make it so.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid
    Make it so.
    What makes you want to make it so. Why should one?
    Bryan F. Hogan
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  16. #16
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    To be honest I think anything is within possibility. If someone says it isn't then whats the point of discovery. Things should be left to the imagination because without imagination would the net have gotten this big.

    Everything in fantasy has a basis in reality. If we didn't have dreamers and sci-fi freaks do you think we would have gotten to the moon. I don't think so. Maybe eventually. Even if we can't see t happening why 'couldn't' it. Because we haven't found different aspects of science please are far from perfect.

    I would think everything you mentioned is possible at some point. It will just be a matter of someone 'breaking' through the common though process's.

    eg. Relational databases. Revelutionary in there time but I bet ten years before people who were considering the idea were being told it was useless impossible etc.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    If one was to say create this within 5 years. What would you like for this technology to do for you? How would it benefit you?
    Bryan F. Hogan
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    bryan.hogan@cfm-applications.com

  18. #18
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Things that are achievable by computer advances are do-able. But things that require high energy to understand are remote right now. An example of a thing that requires high energy is looking down to the smallest distance of the Planck-length, which is a small as we theoretically know. When they build supercolliders, what they are doing is chucking protons and suchlike together and watching them break into bits. To break open matter on the Planck-length scale would require a supercollider the size of the solar system - so we are stuck with theory as far things like that are concerned.
    I just finished Stephen Hawking's new book, The Universe In A Nutshell, in case you were wondering. It's nowhere near as impenetrable as the History of Time one, but I could only just about understand the last couple of chapters (hanging on for dear life, more like )
    Hawking talks a bit about Star Trek too, because he was on it playing Poker with Data, Einstein and Newton in the holodeck. What he thinks is more important is genetic advances. At present the human brain's size is limited because it has to emerge through the birth canal - when foetuses can gestate outside the womb, he reckons some guys will genetically engineer larger brains . He also believes genetic alteration upon humanity is inevitable. Pretty amazing stuff - well worth a read.
    But as for the question, I say the computer stuff will happen, but Stephen Hawking told me that a whole heap of that stuff requires more power than we can come up with. So we'd better invent cold fusion, or zero-point energy first.

  19. #19
    Digital Warrior Renegade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sketch
    The only way to get gravity other than that is with centrifugal force...(i.e. the ride at the fair that spins and sticks you to the walls...)

    A ship floating through space can't do artificial gravity.

    My 2 cents.

    Sketch
    Pretty closed minded don't ya think?

    If you told a computer scientist in the 60's, that 25 yrs later that we would have computers small enough to fit in a suitcase, he would prolly look at you and laugh, and say "thats impossible."

    I believe nothing is impossible. Its just a matter of time. Sure, it prolly won't happen for another 200 years, but it will prolly happen.

    I don't think the internet will use anything from ST. The Internet is a communications medium. Tech from ST is way more than just communications.
    --There's my 1.5 cents, now where is my change!?!?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    I'm out, way off topic.
    Bryan F. Hogan
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  21. #21
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    It is a fact that Science Fiction writers create the future.

    Instead of looking at what is attainable lets look at what has been created that mirrors the technology used in these movies and books...

    Automatic Pneumatic Doors are in use everywhere. They even have the "woosh" sound used in the movies.

    Cellphones: we all have them and they work just about anywhere. Some are smaller today than those used in older movies. These are our personal communicators and very much a part of our society today.

    PDA's: Aren't these similar to the tricorders used in the Star Trek universe? They are small and we can program them with anything so if you need to look up information you can. In California, companies are testing these devices with "diffusable radar". These small radar devices were originally designed to detect sub-atomic particles at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory but have proven useful for commercial applications as well. It turns out you can tune the radar to bypass some objects while bouncing still other material. These are being developed into portable spectrometers, medical triage units and more.

    GPS Tracking: With these units not only will you not get lost but you can overlay your position on maps to find your destination. If you broadcast your GPS signal then others can find you (this is how Lojack and Onstar work).

    Virtual Reality/Holograms: These are becoming more and more common. Most often you see them in Amusement Parks as commercial interests. You can see this technology at Knott's Berry Farm and DisneyLand in California. You can see it at several hotels in Las Vegas. It is not impossible to create a fully immersive environment with out glasses or headsets.

    Biological and Crystal storage mediums are being developed for computers around the world.

    The Internet itself is based on ideas from science fiction movies. Instanteous (well almost) access to massive databases and communication from consoles around the world to anyone in the world near a console. Being able to research any topic, read books, and obtain information from this network is often highlighted in these movies. Sound familiar?

    Voice Recognition and Biometric systems become more sophisticated every day and are starting to be used by everyday people in their daily work. Soon they will be more commonplace.

    Over the next 5 years you will see more convergence of functionality so instead of individual devices for telephones, televisions, video players, and computers you will have central consoles that provide all of this for your home. You will see more centrally located servers in the home with access consoles in outlying rooms. You can see this trend today with systems like AOLTV and UltimateTV.

    We have cars that take voice commands, talk to us, give us directions and show movies to our kids in the back seat. These will become more accessible and easier to use in the coming years. Mercedes is even experimenting with cars that drive themselves using GPS Tracking and built-in mapping software.

    Even Artificial Gravity is possible today to an extent that is cheap and easy to use without massive rotating objects. Gravity is a form of magnetism, so we can use that in our work. You don't need massive levels of Mass to do this (via a planet or centrifigul force). Instead you can install a small layer of metal plating in the boots used in ships. By using pressure sensitive actuators and the simple concepts of electromagnetism (which have been around for many years). You can charge that plate based on where the pressure on your foot is. You can see some of this kind of thing used for video game controls. Nintendo released a pad for their systems that will track you running on it. Probably simpler than what is needed for space walking but the concept is the same. You also see this technology at work in pressure sensitive pads used for computer art.

    Is it attainable? Yes as long as people keep coming up with ideas, others will be figuring out how to implement them.
    Wayne Luke
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  22. #22
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bgotty
    I would like to thank you all for your posts. More directly I'm speaking of the differant control panels on the ships. Such as the central database of information which is linked to again a central database on earth. With this central database it makes me think more closely about "Web Services".
    Been done... The biggest neato factor in these movies and shows about the control systems on the ships are two points of access.. Voice and Touch. Keyboards are gone for the most part though writing on touch sensitive pads still exists.

    You can use all these technologies today. There are touch screens in used around the world in kiosks located in malls and shopping centers. Voice recognition is getting better on the commercial market and is viable. Also keep in mind that military development is about 5-7 years ahead of commercial application (used to be 10-15 years).

    People are working on the data exhange concept of the equation. You can think of the portals and search engines of today as the forerunners of these systems.
    Wayne Luke
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