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Questions tagged [technology]

For questions about the technology and its usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose. Must be related to an on-topic work. Use this tag in conjunction with the tag of the work in question, e.g. [star-wars].

27
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2answers
7k views

Do Iron Man suits sport waste management systems?

Obviously, it is difficult to be an effective superhero if you need to take potty breaks. And Iron Man's suit affords a unique opportunity to fix this problem. Do we have evidence of integrated ...
5
votes
2answers
226 views

Is there a Star Trek episode that completely lacks futuristic technology or non-human traits?

I'm wondering if there's any Star Trek episode which could have been set in any pretty much any other (non-futuristic) setting without modification, even if the appearance of the technology is ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Are wizards able to avoid Muggle detection after the invention of media cloud storage? [duplicate]

We understand from the books that there are multiple parts of the Ministry of Magic and its counterparts devoted to deceiving Muggles, including concocting explanations for Muggle head of states in ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Short story about scientists playing grooves on old pottery like an old vinyl record

Read a long time ago so not recent, maybe in the 1970s or 1980s. It might have been Bradbury, but maybe not. Some kind of researchers (anthropologists? physicists?) figure out how to play the ...
2
votes
2answers
289 views

Do repulsor lift vehicles exert a reaction force on the ground below them? [duplicate]

Let's say I am lying on the ground when my friend runs over me on his speeder bike, does it feel like I've just been run over by a bike or as though a light breeze just passed over me? There doesn't ...
14
votes
1answer
134 views

Aliens, technology, duck hunt: what's the name of the short story?

I have read this short science fiction story in the early 90's and am trying to find the author and the title. I hope someone can help me based on the outline of the plot: Aliens land on Earth and ...
10
votes
1answer
579 views

Norby’s time travel capability?

When did Norby, of the series of the same name by Isaac and Janet Asimov, gain his hyperspace and time travel capabilities? My guess is he gained them when he was first made. I first put this on the ...
100
votes
8answers
13k views

How do Star Trek viewscreens show perceivable depth?

This has bothered me ever since I noticed it; the viewscreen in The Next Generation shows perceivable depth even when viewed from an angle when, I would imagine, such an angle should start to warp the ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

Was the viewscreen in TOS viewed as novel or incremental at the time?

Obviously the original Star Trek presented a number of amazing technologies (even if it wasn't necessarily the genesis of all of them). Today we have amazingly huge high-resolution screens becoming ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Sci-Fi short story: Side with the most advanced technology loses [duplicate]

Looking for an old sci-fi short story where the side with the most advanced technology loses because of unexpected side effects of their high tech. The story is told from the perspective of the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Are R-series astromech units obsolete?

Having watched TFA and TLJ a few times, I noticed that the only non-BB astromech droid we see is R2-D2, and he spends most of both of those movies in low-power mode and looking fairly worn out. Are R-...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Author of 60s/70s sci-fi novel called Sphere, about a clear personal transport device made from Martian technology

Found it in a used book store, don't have it anymore. I'm almost certain the title is Sphere, but it was written about 20-25 years before Crichton's book of the same name. I'm trying to find out the ...
8
votes
1answer
296 views

How do Starfleet comm badges know how to connect between personnel?

How do Starfleet comm badges work as far as connections? One user taps their badge and says “me” to “receiving person”. It’s obviously heard as an inter-comm on the ship, so I can understand how ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

How do shields work in the game I-War?

In this comment, @GrimmTheOpiner claims ...shields are a universal Sci-Fi trope and Star Trek is no more guilty than any/many others! The only "shields" I can bring to mind that were explained ...
19
votes
1answer
390 views

A device that reassures its owner by telling him that he would have died if he had done things differently

I'm looking for a book I read during the last 5 years, I guess, but it could be really old. I read it in French, but it's probably a translation from English (or another language). I thought it was in ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Was Ian McDiarmid’s face modified when playing Sidious in the prequels?

This is a follow-up to: Was it a spoiler that Palpatine was Darth Sidious? In the prequel trilogy, Sidious is supposed to be disfigured by the dark side, even before the fight with Mace Windu, while ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Where do replicator patterns come from? [duplicate]

We take for granted you can get almost anything you want. But, Where do replicator patterns come from? I don't recall any discussion of this. (Possibly the only evidence I can recall is that ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Where did Mrs. Beaver get a sewing machine?

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mrs. Beaver has a sewing machine that she uses in her first appearance (emphasis mine). The first thing that Lucy noticed as she went in was a kind of ...
8
votes
1answer
470 views

Has human child-bearing age been extended in Star Trek?

We know that life expectancy has been radically increased due to significant medical advancement. For example, Dr. McCoy lives to be at least 137 per his depiction in "Encounter at Farpoint". We ...
0
votes
1answer
305 views

Peter F. Hamilton Night's Dawn: Zero-Tau technology

I am in the process of reading the Night's Dawn trilogy by Hamilton. I think we can consider it hard sci-fi, since the explanations provided are quite plausible for all the technical and scientific ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Nature of the Orville Shuttles' cloak

In a few episodes of The Orville, namely "Majority Rule" and "Mad Idolatry", we see that the Orville's shuttle are equipped with a cloaking device of sorts (referred to simply as "cloak" by Orville ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Do multiple warp fields stack?

Warp cores use a huge amount of energy to create a warp field, and then a comparatively lesser amount of energy to maintain it. At warp 1, this is 20 gigajoules and 200 megajoules, respectively. Is it ...
6
votes
1answer
379 views

Why aren't tractor beams used more commonly in the Star Wars universe?

We all remember the classic A New Hope scene where the Millenium Falcon gets caught by a tractor beam and Obi Wan-Kenobi has to switch it off. Considering it's a major plot point of the movie which ...
13
votes
1answer
260 views

How common is Geordi's VISOR technology?

As far as I recall, various people were not familiar with the VISOR when they first encounter Geordi. Yet he was apparently fitted with it when he was five. Is the VISOR extremely rare or unique? ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

In Altered Carbon, is there technology that lets people understand foreign languages?

In Netflix's new TV series, Altered Carbon, based on Richard K. Morgan's novel of the same name, there are several instances where characters will speak foreign languages and other characters will ...
0
votes
1answer
395 views

Why does Batman's grappling hook never miss?

In every incarnation of Batman I've ever seen, whenever he uses his grappling hook, it always hits the target and does whatever he needs it to do, such as saving himself and the person he dove over ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did the Resistance automatically assume the use of this tech in The Last Jedi?

In The Last Jedi: As soon as the FO ships appear, the Resistance immediately come to the (correct) conclusion as to the tech that was used. Why would they assume the use of this tech, that they have ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

How could the First Order see the Resistance ships at the end of The Last Jedi?

I found this particular bit at the end of The Last Jedi pretty confusing. I've only seen the movie twice so my recollection may be off, but as far as I can remember: Were these ships cloaked or not? ...
5
votes
1answer
542 views

Would Harry Potter Wizards use the Internet?

The Internet has a lot to offer that you cannot send by owls, like sub-second latency of messages. Same things for computers and technology in general. Since Harry Potter seems to take place in the ...
8
votes
0answers
85 views

Looking for title of anthology about alien attack and rebuilding then future of Earth

Aliens attack because we are close in technology to them but instead of completely wiping us out they set up some shields around a few small groups so the Earth can rebuild while they advance further ...
2
votes
4answers
657 views

Why do people in the Star Trek universe still use transporters?

There seem to be many malfunctions, people getting duplicated, merged, and what not. Why do people still use the transporters? They don't exactly seem safe or reliable.
4
votes
0answers
543 views

How did Kylo Ren's helmet lock up?

In The Force Awakens, prior to interrogating Rey, Kylo Ren removed his helmet. Before he took it off, a small casing in the front of the mask moved upwards. Was this some kind of a locking mechanism,...
3
votes
4answers
863 views

In-universe explanation for why is the TOS-era Enterprise is more austere than the Discovery?

Since Star Trek: Discovery doesn't take place on the Federation's flagship, like in TOS, roughly 100 years before TOS and in the beginning of a war, it should be logical to assume that the ship's ...
19
votes
1answer
4k views

Why internal lights on space helmets?

I'm currently watching The Expanse series, and I noted a peculiar detail that intrigued me. The helmets of the space suits have three internal lights (one above the visor, two on the sides) that ...
10
votes
2answers
663 views

Where Did Sonic Screwdriver Tech Come From?

Now, I'm not asking about the ones that come from the TARDIS (yes, I do insist on capitalization), the TARDIS obviously makes those for the Doctor. But where did the technology itself come from? I ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between a torpedo and missile?

In Earth-speak, the main difference between a missile and a rocket is that the former is self-guided while the latter is generally unguided. A torpedo is considered to be an underwater missile and ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Any examples of wireless power or inductive power transfer in Star Wars canon?

Is there any example of charging or powering devices using wireless electricity or inductive power transfer in Star Wars? Is everything that receives power still done by plugging in wires?
7
votes
1answer
756 views

What made The O'Neill a better weapon against Replicators?

In S04E01 of "Stargate: SG-1", Carter visits the Asgard homeworld and sees that they're building a new class of ship. The prototype vessel is named "The O'Neill" and Thor states that it is the most ...
4
votes
0answers
274 views

Does Spider-Man ever save his empty web cartridges?

In Spider-Man: Homecoming he discharges his empty web canisters and reloads them. When they pop out he doesn't bother picking them up (litter bug!). I don't know how easy/expensive they are to make, ...
8
votes
1answer
392 views

Do repulsor craft have a height limit?

Repulsor-craft are land-based (usually) vehicles designed to levitate above the surface during operational use. Is there a technical limit to the achievable height? Most seem to hover just slightly ...
4
votes
0answers
127 views

SF novel identification: Cube controls Universal Collective Unconscious

I first read this well written story--I believe it was a separately published short novel, not a short story--probably 15-20 or more years ago. This SF novel had the adult heroine (a scientist or ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Is there any terrain the All-Terrain series can't operate in?

The Galactic Republic and Empire's armoured units are represented by the iconic All Terrain series. Examples include the AT-RT, AT-TE, AT-ST & AT-AT. While officially labelled as All-Terrain, it'...
0
votes
0answers
159 views

The earliest story example of a software engineering workplace immersed into Virtual or Augmented Reality?

Virtual and Augmented Reality are topic of many cyberpunk or similar books, yet I cannot recollect of those authors who approach to describe a VR/AR immersed workplaces in a more or less "hard sci-fi" ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Looking for an old story: humans become informationally dependent on loaf-of-bread sized robot PIM with arms and a single red “eye” [duplicate]

PIMs ride on the humans' shoulders (re Puppet Masters), reading documents for their human and providing digests. One scene has it ripping up a paper report it did not want its human to read. PIMs ...
4
votes
2answers
770 views

Where is this Darth Vader image from?

I saw this image in an answer on another question Where is it from? I am not a highly vested Star Wars fan but I am a person who is very interested in the back stories and physical abilities or ...
80
votes
15answers
18k views

In Star Trek why is warp speed the ultimate litmus test on “galactic acceptance” of a civilisation?

Why is warp speed and first contact seemingly the most important thing in the Star Trek universe for a civilisation to become "enlightened" and then utopic? For example, why couldn't the Prime ...
5
votes
1answer
452 views

Exactly how strong is AT-AT armour?

The only time we actually see an AT-AT in battle in its final form is at the Battle of Hoth. There, the only available firepower comes from turrets and snowspeeders, all of which are too weak to ...
10
votes
1answer
707 views

Have the inhabitants of Middle-earth ever used siege engines?

When Fingolfin faced the Thangorodrim, apparently he didn't really know what to do, other than noticing that it would not fall from the voices of trumpets. Did anyone (other than Morgoth, Sauron, ...
-3
votes
1answer
595 views

Are there signs that the Matrix holds any technological resemblance to out-of-universe computers?

I've read on several occasions here a tendency to assume that the Matrix as a technology is operated much like out-of-universe (ie. "our world") computers: Assuming the Matrix runs in a similar ...
15
votes
2answers
541 views

What exactly are the capabilities and limitations of “scanners” in Star Wars?

The impetus for this question is that as of Rogue One, we have observed three (!) or even four (!!) instances of people or droids evading capture while out in the open in a desert with Imperial ships ...