Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose.

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8
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1answer
110 views

What is this Star Trek TOS device with the ribbon of small colored squares on top?

I'm fairly sure I've seen this object at least twice in the rec room during series 1, where I assumed it was some kind of futuristic game like the 3D chess or space checkers which also happened to ...
8
votes
3answers
320 views

Why did vibroblades disappear from usage?

It is known in the Knights of the Old Republic series that vibroblades were made from a special material that couldn't be cut by lightsabers. Then, why aren't the clone troopers using any?
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Voice control (speech recognition) of robots in Asimov stories

I remember I read a nice short story by Asimov from the Robot series, where a robot misinterpreted some voice command and did some witty things instead. I think it was Daneel Olivaw. However, that was ...
-2
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0answers
61 views
11
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3answers
485 views

How were Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine physically trapped by a ray shield?

In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine are trapped by a ray shield on the Separatist ship the Invisible Hand: It is specifically called it a "ray shield" by multiple characters: ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Aliens throw Earth's technology back to 19th century levels by stopping all rapid chemical combustion

There was an old science fiction short story were aliens threw Earth's technology back to 19th century levels by stopping all rapid chemical combustion. Steam trains worked and were armored to protect ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

How long does it take to power up/shut down a warp core?

The warp core seems to be an immensely powerful and vital part of a starship. I'm pretty certain that when there have been issues with them, captains have been advised that it takes a significant ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How do people at Hogwarts usually tell the time?

Classes and lessons at Hogwarts are presumably scheduled at fixed times of day. The first class might start, for example at nine in the morning. To be on time for one's lessons, it is therefore ...
0
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0answers
5 views

Another word besides cyborg or android? [migrated]

I'm trying to find the word to describe a type of robot. Here is my assumptions about the terms I have found thus far. Cyborgs are a biologic creature that has had cybernetic implants. Bionics are ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Would a red giant really help power Atlantis' shields in The Last Man

In the Stargate: Atlantis episode, The Last Man, Sheppard is transported 40,000 years into the future. A hologram/computerized version of McKay meets him there with a plan to send Sheppard back to ...
1
vote
0answers
135 views

How does Hank Pym's (Earth-616) Yellowjacket suit allow him to fly?

How does the Yellowjacket suit fly? I remember the books saying that the disks on his shoulders enabled him to fly/hover thru vibration, I think. That always struck me as an unsatisfying answer ...
1
vote
2answers
205 views

AI Logic Bomb ignored or shrugged off

Modern computing is not immune to logic bombs or race conditions or runaway threads. But it does have techniques to minimize the impact of this. A watchdog timer requires that the program or system ...
8
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1answer
181 views

Alien surface transport that walks, not rolls

A magazine connected with (Boy) Scouting, possibly "Boys Life", in the early 1950's ran a short story in which a group of interplanetary explorers on an extraterrestrial planet, which may have been ...
1
vote
3answers
268 views

How do Terminators speak?

It seems obvious that Terminators don't have vocal cords, and their speech is probably generated by some kind of speaker assembly linked to a speech processor. However, every time we see a Terminator ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Are blaster bolts affected by gravity?

In Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) blaster bolts are affected by gravity, like bullets shot by weapons in Battlefield games. Is this right? Are blaster bolts affected by gravity in the same way that ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

How was the messaging system in The Arrows of Time (Orthogonal #3, by Greg Egan) supposed to work?

In particular, why didn't messages being relayed from the future use up bandwidth and prevent new messages from being sent back?
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Need title of 1980 - 1990 techno thriller about remote sensing technology

I read a military techno thriller in the 1980s - 1990s that I would like to identify by title and author. At the time I was heavily into this genre. The book was about an advanced US technology that ...
6
votes
3answers
269 views

Did Science Fiction anticipate a device like a smartphone?

Personally, I never saw the smartphone coming, but maybe science-fiction did. Basically, I'm looking for the first science fiction story (if one exists) where people commonly have a device which can ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

Is there an in universe explanation why a replicator cannot create living organisms?

In the Star Trek Universe the replicator is able to build nearly anything from clothing to a hot meal seemingly out of thin air. Creating artificial life using it and replicating a living being have ...
0
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0answers
33 views

How do Xenosaga's KOS-MOS and her nanomachines work?

In Xenosaga, KOS-MOS is able to basically transform the frame and also function of her body and appendages into different weapons and abilities, even different energy and projectile weapon types, and ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

Why so many SF works includes transparent LCD screens?

"Minority Report" is the first thing, that comes to my mind. But, of course, there are so many other SF examples... as well as many CSI-like-absolutely-no-SF-movies etc. Why? What is the reason for ...
70
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the first reference to an internet of computers in science fiction?

Considering the internet has substantially revolutionized our way of life (you're using it right now in fact) I was wondering whether it was ever envisaged in science fiction. I'm therefore inquiring ...
7
votes
2answers
305 views

What is the first reference to a 3d printer in science fiction?

Considering 3d printing has really only just become a very accessible concept, I was wondering what is the first reference to a 3d printing machine of some description in science-fiction? I would ...
9
votes
2answers
272 views

Essay in a sci-fi anthology; A missile from (circa) 1968 is found in 1940 - When do scientists think it's from?

This was more of an essay in a collection of sci-fi stories (e.g. rather than an actual story) that I read maybe in the late 1960's. The premise was that given the tech that they had in 1940(ish) ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Can Solid Snake See via the Codec?

In Metal Gear Solid, Solid Snake remarks that he didn't expect a designer of world-class technology to be so cute. How could he notice she was cute if the codec directly stimulates the bones of the ...
7
votes
1answer
78 views

Is DNA ever mentioned in Stainless Steel Rat?

The first Stainless Steel Rat book was written in 1961, and there were several others before the discovery of DNA profiling (1985). Since 1985, there were multiple books published in the series. Has ...
2
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2answers
84 views

Citation for essay in Analog about speed of travel

I recall, as a child in the 1970's, reading an essay that I think was in Analog about the speed of technological progress and, in particular, the fastest modes of travel. There was a plot of fastest ...
4
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1answer
42 views

What is the limit of the Farscape communication (“comms”) device?

The Farscape Wiki says: "Comms or communication devices were integrated systems connected to and controlled by Leviathans such as Moya. The devices had a fairly wide range, but a distinct ...
5
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1answer
192 views

Novel about raiding planets with Elizabethan technology

I'm trying to find a novel I read as a mass market paperback. There were planets with some sort of valuable resource but the resource was in areas behind "curtains." All the space age technology ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are there parallel technologies in the Star Trek universe? [duplicate]

Is it ever explained why so many races evolve, technologically speaking, on a nearly parallel course in the Star Trek universe? Obviously their physical and social evolution was far from parallel but ...
2
votes
1answer
251 views

Does the federation have slipstream or transwarp technology in Star Trek: Into Darkness? [duplicate]

I enjoyed the story of into darkness, but some of the events have been nagging at me since I first saw them on screen. I am convinced that the federation has either transwarp or slipstream technology ...
1
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0answers
67 views

Book dealing with modern day Native Americans, a new way to build consensus by leveraging technology, and saving the environment

I read a book in the past year and can't remember what it was titled. It dealt with a father, who was a bit of a captain of industry, and his son, who was blocking a land development his father was ...
1
vote
2answers
430 views

How was it so easy for the Borg to transport aboard the Enterprise in First Contact?

In Star Trek: First Contact the Borg somehow transported themselves aboard the Enterprise when they knew their ship was doomed. Was it ever explained how this could have happened? Why would the ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Mandalorian Armour Protection Level

How durable Is mandalorian/Death Watch armour and can it resist blaster bolts?
4
votes
2answers
185 views

Personal Shielding Technology in Star Wars Universe [Canon and Non-Canon]

Why is personal shielding technology so rare in star wars? It seems only durge and the death watch has them.
18
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2answers
2k views

How do Boba Fett and other Star Wars characters fire weapons without using their hands?

In the Star Wars Universe, how does a bounty hunter (such as Boba Fett) use their gauntlet weapons without touching the buttons to launch it? For instance, they shoot wires/darts etc., but their hands ...
4
votes
3answers
167 views

Technology decreases in fiction [closed]

I find that a very common concept in fantasy fiction is the fact that human (I am using the word to also include humanoids) acchievements are decreasing over time. Usually, some sort of glorious ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Why are inertial compensators only needed for crewed ships?

Honorverse spacecraft move around using a reactionless "impeller drive" based on gravity manipulation. This drive can accelerate craft at thousands or even tens of thousands of thousands of gravities ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Why was it okay to keep the naquadria?

In many episodes, the bad guys (NID) steal technology from other planets ("Chain Reaction", "The Sentinel") and the SGC does everything possible to apologize and give it back. Or SG-1 wants to take ...
3
votes
2answers
323 views

How was Commander Cody's full body being projected on Darth Sidious' office table when there was no camera?

This might come across as foolish question, but how was Commander Cody's full body being projected to Sidious and vice versa when neither of the two had space age film crews or intergalactic iPhones ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How could Harrison beam to Qo'noS?

In Star Trek into Darkness Kahn uses Scotty's formula for transwarp beaming (provided by Spock in the 2009 film) to transport from Earth to Qo'noS. However according to Memory Alpha Qo'noS is 90 light ...
11
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1answer
1k views

In which stargate episode did they discover Naquadah?

I saw in the Stargate:SG1 series that they encounter and use Naquadah related items very often. Humans seems very knowledgeable about it. I would like to know in which episode did they discovered ...
3
votes
0answers
176 views

SF story about a multi-generational colonist ship?

There was some kind of event and the passengers had begun to evolve/devolve and modified the ship's internal communications / public-address system to use musical tones. I know that's not much to go ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Why does Artemis Fowl still use a powerbook?

In the Artemis Fowl series, Artemis uses a PowerBook throughout the series. (A PowerBook is a type of Mac) Yet, when The Last Guardian was published in 2012, PowerBooks were old and antiquated. Why ...
12
votes
2answers
992 views

What is the first reference to 'video calls' in sci-fi?

I was thinking earlier today about the future and how voice-based phones are probably on the way out with the rise of video-calls, which reminded me of the video calls in Back To The Future 2. Then I ...
48
votes
4answers
10k views

How does David Lightman in WarGames manage to hack a computer by dialing a number?

His setup seems to be a telephone connected to a computer. When he dials another computer on the phone, he manages to gain access to it remotely. Is this a realistic situation or just something ...
15
votes
3answers
634 views

What is the earliest reference to a poisoned lipstick in a work of science fiction?

In the Firefly episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds”, Saffron is able to temporarily knock out Mal by getting him to kiss her after treating her lips with some kind of knock-out agent (Inara later gets some of ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

In Continuum (TV show), why doesn't Keira use invisibility more often?

She's in a fight and DOESN'T become invisible???? Why the heck not? Sure, when Carlos is around she might not want to use it -- not least because she doesn't want her own partner to shoot her by ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Do avatar drivers sleep?

In the film Avatar we see Jake sleep in his avatar body and wake up in his human one and vice versa. Does this mean he effectively moves from one body to another and never needs to rest or does he ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Does (weaponized) laser exist in the Star Wars universe?

Light sabers are not made of light, nor have they anything to do with lasers (even if there are people who mistakenly refer to them as "laser swords"). Blaster bolts are also not lasers. They travel ...