The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Felstaff » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:53 pm UTC

So, the US Navy is now using Laser Weapons. That's pretty friggin' sweet, despite the threat of toxic emissions. I want to use this thread as a 'futuristic news' repository.

Other futuristic news reports:
Exciting times to be alive. Aside from commenting on the stuff here, I'll be adding any of your futurism news & articles you happen upon.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby zmatt » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:05 pm UTC

For the past 15 years I have heard people saying a cloned mammoth is only x years off. I will believe it when I see it.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby The Reaper » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:For the past 15 years I have heard people saying a cloned mammoth is only x years off. I will believe it when I see it.

You mean this? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/scie ... years.html
It was put on hold for awhile because the cell sample was badly damaged. Its back underway, supposedly, as of this year. ~2016 is your estimated mammoth day, assuming everything works and goes as hoped.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby weasel@xkcd » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:42 pm UTC

Rocketman flies across the Alps in a jetpack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE5T7SLW2OY

We're waging wars with UAVs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle#Armed_attacks
but I've only just discovered how well-developed autonomous drones are (or were ... in 2006)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5198364.stm

Bionic eyes have been approved for sale, restoring vision for the (rich) blind
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_prosthesis#Argus_Retinal_Prosthesis

BrainGate allows us to plug into computers and control them with our thoughts
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/brain.html (It'd be great if someone could find a more recent article about this)

Microwave rayguns developed to suppress riots
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/12/72134

One of my friends has fish genetically-engineered to glow in the dark in a fishbowl next to his bed
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish

Yeah, I'd say we're living in the future

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:So, the US Navy is now using Laser Weapons. That's pretty friggin' sweet, despite the threat of toxic emissions.


It's the older chemical-lasers that had the toxic emissions, this was a solid-state laser weapon that doesn't use the chemical energy-production process. Environmentally friendly(ier) death and destruction.*

*Yes, this is <sarcasm>.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Felstaff » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

weasel@xkcd wrote:Amazing stuff!

Oh gosh, YES. this is officially the Best Thread Ever*. I'll add that to the list in the OP, and we can have a dang-ol' barnstompin' future party, complete with FuturCake and robostrippers.


*okay second best thread ever. Honestly, am I only the person capable of distilling pure textual brilliance around here?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby The Reaper » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

Medical use cameras have gotten a bit smaller....
http://www.izm.fraunhofer.de/EN/news_ev ... treuer.jsp

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby juststrange » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Felstaff wrote:So, the US Navy is now using Laser Weapons. That's pretty friggin' sweet, despite the threat of toxic emissions.


It's the older chemical-lasers that had the toxic emissions, this was a solid-state laser weapon that doesn't use the chemical energy-production process. Environmentally friendly(ier) death and destruction.*

*Yes, this is <sarcasm>.


The other major change is the mobility of a laser capable of killing you. Prior to that, LASER technology was only really good for blinding you, and that falls into the maiming weapons not allowed by the Geneva convention. But now that it'll set your face on fire, its back to a killing weapon and totally cool.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

I'll believe Canadians are colonising space when I see the lumberjack colonies on the moon with names like Sodom.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Garm » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

I've got three video capable phones on my desk at work. Every time I use one I think about how futuristic they are. It's pretty awesome.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby TheValmont » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:35 pm UTC

weasel@xkcd wrote:One of my friends has fish genetically-engineered to glow in the dark in a fishbowl next to his bed
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish

Yeah, I'd say we're living in the future


This. Saw it on The Big Bang Theory and never bothered to look up to see if they actually had them.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Felstaff wrote:So, the US Navy is now using Laser Weapons. That's pretty friggin' sweet, despite the threat of toxic emissions.


It's the older chemical-lasers that had the toxic emissions, this was a solid-state laser weapon that doesn't use the chemical energy-production process. Environmentally friendly(ier) death and destruction.*

*Yes, this is <sarcasm>.


The other major change is the mobility of a laser capable of killing you. Prior to that, LASER technology was only really good for blinding you, and that falls into the maiming weapons not allowed by the Geneva convention. But now that it'll set your face on fire, its back to a killing weapon and totally cool.


To play devil's advocate, ship mounted lasers might reduce deaths in naval warfare. The goal isn't always to kill all the enemy sailors/sink their boat, if they can be disabled the result can be almost as effective. Lasers could do long range engine disabling or even someday deform the barrels of artillery guns. Admittedly, that's a best-case-and-everything-done-nobly scenario, but lasers have more potential for reducing casualties than more effective conventional weapons or railguns.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:55 pm UTC

Remember how it was supposed to be really cool in TNG when you could ask the computer anything and it would know it? We've had that for a few years now.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:04 am UTC

I was impressed that the laser could be fired so steadily. If both you and your target are on rough seas, it'd be pretty hard to aim at their weak points.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby The Reaper » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:40 am UTC


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:35 am UTC

Whoa.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Qaanol » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:17 am UTC

Well, I’m not sure if this counts, and I don’t have a link handy, but I’ve heard (although this might not be reliable) that some people have developed what is essentially a Star Trek-style handheld “comm unit” that lets people hold face-to-face conversations at long distances, and can be used to access certain global information networks as well as to store and retrieve data.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:36 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Well, I’m not sure if this counts, and I don’t have a link handy, but I’ve heard (although this might not be reliable) that some people have developed what is essentially a Star Trek-style handheld “comm unit” that lets people hold face-to-face conversations at long distances, and can be used to access certain global information networks as well as to store and retrieve data.

They also respond to voice commands.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:09 am UTC

zmatt wrote:For the past 15 years I have heard people saying a cloned mammoth is only x years off. I will believe it when I see it.

I will believe it when I taste it.

As for lasers, part of the problem with the toxic emissions is that, at the moment, powerful mobile lasers have to be powered by chemical lasers as straight electric ones aren't quite powerful enough, but they're working on the diodes and pumpheads, as well as powerplants, to be able to make electric lasers viable for these sorts of installations. Once that happens, these sorts of lasers will become much more viable and likely to be used. The technology is really already there for the weapons system, it's just a matter of powering the laser effectively.

@Mag, they already have systems that can shoot down multiple mortar rounds. So it's not that impressive given what computer targeting and tracking systems can do.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Steroid » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:40 am UTC

My favorite "21st century headline:"

Double Amputee Wins Right To Race in the Olympics.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby yawningdog » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:28 am UTC

This is a good place for that Lewis C.K. bit if you haven't seen it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby LtNOWIS » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:46 am UTC

One of the most decadent things I've done in my life was drink a beer, eat a sandwich, watch [url]Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade[/url], and go online, at the same time. While on a transcontinental jet.

Even if I drive back and sleep in my car, I'll have GPS the whole way, and wireless internet at a lot of rest stops and restaurants. And I can call people at any time to let them know my status.

On another note, in 2005 a black president was inconceivable. In 2008, people didn't think the country was ready for it. In 2011, it's old news and we don't even think about it.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby the_bandersnatch » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:03 pm UTC

There've been loads of black presidents, various parts of Africa's had them for years, for example.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Lostdreams » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

Keeping with the previous Star Trek theme, Universal Translators:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.05/tpmap.html
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:40 pm UTC

the_bandersnatch wrote:There've been loads of black presidents, various parts of Africa's had them for years, for example.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and hazard a guess he meant US president. It's just a feeling I have.

The point being, in Hollywood movies, a black US president used to be visual shorthand for "this movie is set in the near future". Thus, we are living in the future. Hollywood of past decades says so.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby the_bandersnatch » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

Oh yeah, I know, I was just being snarky to illustrate the point that not everyone defaults to thinking you're referring to the US all the time. The US != The World.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Garm » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

the_bandersnatch wrote:Oh yeah, I know, I was just being snarky to illustrate the point that not everyone defaults to thinking you're referring to the US all the time. The US != The World.


Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie disagree with you.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Xeio » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

155 GHz. Me want. Damn research prototypes that won't realistically be available for at least a few years (if they end up being viable and all that...).

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:32 pm UTC

Garm wrote:
the_bandersnatch wrote:Oh yeah, I know, I was just being snarky to illustrate the point that not everyone defaults to thinking you're referring to the US all the time. The US != The World.


Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie disagree with you.

And reality. Reality strongly suggests that everybody outside the U.S. is faking their existence. :wink:

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Garm wrote:
the_bandersnatch wrote:Oh yeah, I know, I was just being snarky to illustrate the point that not everyone defaults to thinking you're referring to the US all the time. The US != The World.


Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie disagree with you.

And reality. Reality strongly suggests that everybody outside the U.S. is faking their existence. :wink:

Damn, you've rumbled us.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

How about the portable hand-held devices that let you communicate with virtually anyone, almost instantly, at almost any time?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:How about the portable hand-held devices that let you communicate with virtually anyone, almost instantly, at almost any time?
Qaanol wrote:Well, I’m not sure if this counts, and I don’t have a link handy, but I’ve heard (although this might not be reliable) that some people have developed what is essentially a Star Trek-style handheld “comm unit” that lets people hold face-to-face conversations at long distances, and can be used to access certain global information networks as well as to store and retrieve data.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby torgos » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:13 pm UTC

Robots that vacuum and wash your floors for you.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby The Reaper » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

torgos wrote:Robots that vacuum and wash your floors for you.

Don't forget clean your pool. My brother has one of those.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby the_bandersnatch » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

In girum imus nocte, et consumimur igni

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bentheimmigrant » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I hasten to mention the exoskeleton that allows wheelchair users to walk.

"It will integrate and network you to the universe, and other devices out there."

...
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

Flying robot assassins

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby torgos » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:19 am UTC

My "non-smart" cell phone has better graphics than the computers on the USS enterprise.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:03 am UTC

torgos wrote:My "non-smart" cell phone has better graphics than the computers on the USS enterprise.

TNG or TOS? Because the TNG computers can barely be considered "graphics."

Basically, we've advanced even TNG in everything except the warp drive and the impossible stuff like the transporter and matter replicator and holodeck. Our computers are more advanced, our video chat is about the same, we have access to at least as much information, our comm units are way more awesome, and we've solved Fermat's last theorem, which TNG predicted we wouldn't have.
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