43 votes

Does "2001 A Space Odyssey" involve faster than light communication?

No cheating. They are not interacting just receiving messages. Edit 1 Another recorded message. Birthday greetings for Frank. (And thanks to the youtube uploaders.) ...
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31 votes

How is breaking news reported in the Harry Potter universe?

Rumors. Word of mouth. 'Tokens from your friends and admirers,' said Dumbledore, beaming. 'What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally, ...
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26 votes

How is breaking news reported in the Harry Potter universe?

Breaking news in the HP universe is reported in the "Evening Prophet", a special edition of the wizarding newspaper that is hastily printed and released when there's late, breaking news. Per the ...
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  • 609k
26 votes

What is the communications range of a standard Starfleet combadge?

Approximately 40,000 km (ground-to-ship) Communications functions are carried out by tricorder through the subspace transceiver assembly (STA). Voice and data are uplink/downlinked along standard ...
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  • 609k
21 votes
Accepted

How do non-officers communicate on board Federation ships?

In TNG "The Neutral Zone" we learn that civilians can use a comm panel. In that episode the crew finds a satellite drifting in space. On board are cryogenic frozen humans from the 20th ...
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  • 7,854
20 votes
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How come so many species in Star Trek universe have compatible communications technologies?

I guess when you build a warp-capable ship, with the intent to meet other species, you will have some scientist, linguists and whatnot figuring out how to encode a video in a way, most people will ...
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  • 7,854
18 votes

What is the point of the hand signals in "Close Encounters"?

I'm an adult who just saw this for the first time. (I must be from Mars.) As a Kodaly trained musician, this musical part of the film felt both personal and expressive. It made me happy to see Kodaly ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Sirius remind Harry about the mirror when he used Umbridge's fireplace?

We can't really know why Sirius did not ask Harry why he was not using the mirror, but I can think of a few ideas: First, Sirius did not know that Harry had broken into Umbridge's office to contact ...
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  • 111k
17 votes
Accepted

Do Starfleet communicators require a server?

No If we look at the few times in various series when everyone was far removed from compatible technology, we find that they can work just fine without. Off the top of my head, in TNG episode Time's ...
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  • 2,795
16 votes

How do non-officers communicate on board Federation ships?

I don't think you can deduce from that one conversation that Star Fleet's enlisted personnel don't have comm badges. Indeed we know that they do, since Chief O'Brien is not an officer but has a comm ...
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  • 60.1k
15 votes
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Science fiction short story about a Schwarzchild radius growing

This sounds a lot like "The Event Horizon", by Ian Watson. It's a novelette, most easily found in the novelette collection The Very Slow Time Machine. The story is about a space ship that travels to ...
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  • 102k
13 votes

Is there an official way to refer to communicating by putting your head in the fire?

A specific term for it is never mentioned. In the books, there is never a specific name given to using Floo Powder to communicate by transporting just the head through the fire over the Floo Network. ...
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  • 104k
12 votes

Why don't they use short wave radios in The Walking Dead?

Nothing stops them from doing so. Should they be fortunate enough to come across one in working condition and also have the means to power it, a shortwave would be a decent addition to their equipment....
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11 votes

How come so many species in Star Trek universe have compatible communications technologies?

I believe this is an in-universe result of a natural trend of technology to converge towards universal interoperability and dynamic reconfiguration. Early spacecraft (such as Apollo and Soyuz) -- and ...
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  • 22.1k
11 votes

How is breaking news reported in the Harry Potter universe?

Some good answers so far, but you've missed the most instantaneous news service the wizards have: The Wizarding Wireless Network Wizards have a radio network which is mentioned a few times in the ...
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  • 5,488
11 votes
Accepted

How would the act of networking Galactica's computers allow the introduction of a computer virus?

The short answer to the question is 'it does not'. However in your question you're postulating that there is no virus already in Galactica's computers. This is not known, and there are hints that it ...
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  • 316
11 votes

Who uses combadges other than Starfleet and Bajoran Militia?

The Klingons used a couple of different combadge styles. This kind seen several times in TNG. And this from the film Generations. Interestingly, the website Roddenberry.com (seller of 'officially ...
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  • 609k
10 votes
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Out-of-universe, how are Star Trek combadges attached?

Out of universe, they were attached using velcro or pins, or sometimes magnetically in scenes where they were donned or doffed. Here is a discussion of the issue: It's never stated in 'canon' how it ...
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  • 131k
10 votes
Accepted

Alien communication via a Chess Knight piece

Might be "The Exploration of Space" (1972) from the collection The Knights of the Limits by Barrington J. Bayley. Summary here: The first person narrator, under opium-induced haze, is ...
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  • 50k
10 votes
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Communcations and the MDV in "The Martian"

To quote from the first chapter: The MDV is basically a big can with some light thrusters and parachutes attached. Its sole purpose is to get six humans from Mars orbit to the surface without ...
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  • 186k
9 votes
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Are communications jammers common in the Star Wars universe?

The technology is extremely common in the Expanded Universe. Jamming technology is used, not just by the Rebels and Imperials but also by smugglers, in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy. Han Solo and ...
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9 votes

Story about extraterrestrial slug trying to communicate

After a lot of fiddly Googling, the title "Flan" is correct, by Mary Caraker; it appeared in Jack and Jill magazine, vol. 42, issue 4 (April, 1980). The only two mentions I found online were in two ...
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  • 191
9 votes
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Why don’t they switch to text communication when there’s a bad connection?

People don't switch to text communication because they prefer video, even when the video is of low quality. We know that text communication is possible, because the bridge receives messages without ...
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  • 4,592
8 votes

How come so many species in Star Trek universe have compatible communications technologies?

I'd argue that the entire premise of the question is flawed. In-universe, we see a considerable number of episodes about the Enterprise having issues communicating with alien species, either due to ...
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  • 609k
7 votes

Story about extraterrestrial slug trying to communicate

Good afternoon! I am a teacher who first encountered this short story as part of a literature class at the University of Minnesota around 2000/2001. I continue to use it with my 6th and 7th graders. I ...
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  • 121
7 votes
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First reference to a wireless communication technology in Science Fiction?

In his 1962 "Profiles of the Future" Arthur C. Clarke postulated that "Any Sufficienly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." The Star Trek episode "Catspaw" used this concept to good ...
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  • 23.9k
6 votes

How is breaking news reported in the Harry Potter universe?

DVK and Richard have covered this question nicely, but I have one addition: Protean Charms. This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but Dumbledore's Army used enchanted coins -- which ...
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6 votes

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

Shipboard As you surmise, when aboard ship, the commbadge offloads all the routing to the ship's main computer: During voice operations, the normal procedure involves a crew member stating his or ...
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