165

A logical and acceptable in-universe explanation of why Harry, Hermione and the Order of the Phoenix don’t use Muggle technology, specifically guns and knives, is that they never attempt to kill, but only to incapacitate or capture Death Eaters. Refer to that restaurant scene in Deathly Hallows. The lowest common denominator of the HP series has been love. ...


134

I've read The Machine Stops a few times, and I don't think it's quite similar enough to the internet. There, the humans live within a giant machine. But the internet is a network of machines. For something a little closer, I think, I'd go with Murray Leinster's "A Logic Named Joe." from March 1946. You can find it for free from the Baen Free Library. In A ...


125

There's no on-screen canon explanation given. However, the Star Trek: The Next Generation - Technical Manual states The main viewer display matrix includes omni-holographic display elements and is thus capable of displaying three-dimensional information.


115

The video clip shows what is referred to as "war-dialing" a term which was in fact coined from the name of this movie. The "hacking" implied here is that the phone number for the victim computer's modem is not publicly known, but by scanning a range of numbers, dialing one by one, a "secret" modem can still be located. Guessing username and password is the ...


109

I think you’re misinterpreting the Prime Directive. (It’s not actually written down in any official Star Trek work, so any discussion of it is necessarily going to be a bit vague.) The Prime Directive is, in part, intended to prevent Starfleet from visiting less-advanced civilisations and dicking around with their development, whether for fun, profit, or ...


85

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Year of Hell,” there is a scene where the viewscreen is offline due to heavy damage to the ship. What's interesting in this is that it is not simply black, like a monitor nowadays when offline, but it has a structure that looks exactly like the wall of Voyager's holodeck. So I guess it achieves the fancy 3D effect by ...


83

I'm not aware of canon answer, but an in-universe common sense answer makes perfect sense. Have you EVER tried to network modem-equipped laptop with a Ethernet-equipped server with an Apple product that has some proprietary network connection (Appletalk protocol)? How about a droid with Token Ring and another one with X.25? How about something more modern ...


77

I think the answer is a lot simpler than the philosophical answers I've seen so far. So I am going to take a shot at a logical answer. For a moment, as you read this, imagine Spock is giving you this answer :-) Once a civilization has attained warp speed travel, they can hardly be prevented from initiating first contact of their own accord. It would ...


67

While looking up some information about this I stumbled across this... It's not entirely canon but it gives a good theory about why it is that wizards and witches might not use modern items. From "When Magic Meets Muggle Technology" at Harry Potter Lexicon Magic in the Harry Potter world is a power that wizards and witches are able to harness and ...


63

Firstly, Nostromo was constructed in 2101, only 12 years after Prometheus. Secondly, not all types of vehicles have the same level of UI polish. Generally, military and industrial vehicles/systems tend to look a bit dated compared to the latest consumer vehicles/products. Here's a cutting edge F-35 cockpit: Here's the Eurofighter, which is about ten years ...


61

How about Prometheus, a Celestial being who came to Earth and transformed humanity by introducing fire? Stories of Prometheus in written form are known from 2800 years ago, and there must be older undocumented versions. The best known is the trilogy by Aeschylus, of which only "Prometheus Bound" survives (date uncertain bur prior to 430 BCE).


57

On the One Hand: Often self-destruct is not a feature of the ship, but is more of an option inherent in the power / propulsion system. If you turn off all the safeties and let the warp core / nuclear reactor / unobtainium go out of control, it will overload and blow up the ship. You could, in theory, allow a reactor meltdown to happen on a nuclear powered ...


55

One of the earliest examples of something similar, and one often hailed as the earliest mention of many modern concepts, is E. M. Forster's The Machine Stops from 1909. The story envisions a post-apocalyptic world where the surface has been made uninhabitable and people reside in tiny cells inside a huge underground complex overseen by The Machine. The ...


54

On careful examination, the Droideka's gun turrets appear to extend outside of the defensive shield. When they fire, they either do so with the muzzle precisely aligned with the front of the shield or simply with the gun sticking right outside. The recoil obviously brings the blaster arm back inside the shield, presumably this also prevents their opponents ...


52

Out of Universe Yep. Those are indeed barcode scanners. They were apparently purchased by Paramount Pictures from a company called BarcodesInc. Image courtesy of www.Barcodesinc.com


51

Film Canon In the film adaptation, Hogwarts has an enormous Clock Tower in the centre of the main courtyard. It seems to chime on the hour and half-hour throughout the day Book canon They have clocks on the walls The following week dragged by. Wednesday night found Hermione and Harry sitting alone in the common room, long after everyone else had ...


49

The flux capacitor is powered by Mr. Fusion. You can see it on the back of the DeLorean in the following photograph. We can assume Doc put some appropriate items into it (such as food and other materials like at the end of Back to the Future or beginning of Back to the Future Part II) and they then just need to get the DeLorean up to 88MPH which is done ...


49

From the Star Wars: Visual Dictionary and Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary. The "on button" is the big shiny thing on the handle.


47

Kirk: Er, well, sir, volatile is all relative. Maybe our data was off.. Pike: Or maybe it didn't erupt because Mister Spock detonated a cold fusion device inside it right after a civilisation that's barely invented the wheel happened to see a starship rising out of their ocean. That is pretty much how you describe it, is it not? (Star Trek Into Darkness) ...


46

(I think I've read all the answers and most of the comments, yet... Sorry if I'm duplicating anyone.) Let's consider the question and its implications historically. Guns have been around for ages. However, magic and wizards have been around for way longer (remember, Hogwarts was founded around the 9-10th century.) It is quite logical and safe to assume ...


45

I'm not sure if it's close enough to qualify, but Jules Verne's "Paris in the 20th Century" (1863) describes electrically-powered mechanical calculators which can send messages to each other. Mark Twain's short story "From the 'London Times' of 1904" (1898) describes a worldwide network of "telelectroscopes" by which "the ...


41

Historically, scuttling ships has been fairly common. Warships are expensive and valuable assets, if you have one of your ships destroyed then you have just lost one, if it is captured not only do you lose it but your enemy has gained use of it so you are now effectively two ships down. In 1942 the French Navy scuttled most of their fleet at Toulon to ...


39

The section inside the ring is a particularly weak point in an otherwise nearly-impenetrable shield. “Do it!” Krennic roared, and Ramda and his men scurried to act. When the orders had been given, Krennic lowered his voice but still heard himself quivering with fury. “Is there any way,” he asked, “that the rebel fleet can break through the shield? Think ...


38

I think a good first upper bound would be 1889: Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It doesn't work in the end, but as noted in the Wikipedia entry Hank, who had an image of that time that had been colored over the years by romantic myths, takes on the task of analyzing the problems and sharing his knowledge from 1300 years in the ...


36

If a character in the Star Wars universe says laser, you can safely assume they don't actually mean lasers. However, there is one Expanded Universe reference that explicitly refers to the weaponizing of lasers. Does it count? Maybe. In the EU novel Junior Jedi Knights: Vader's Fortress R2-D2 uses a mirror to reflect lasers. They explicitly made a point that ...


35

I corrected one posting in a comment "You basically had to dial the number for your ISP." is of course wrong - direct dialin predated ISPs. A bit of lengthy personal history below about the credibility of this kind of attack for the times. I was a VAX/VMS sysadmin for a mining company from about 1986 to 1989 and I had one direct dialin line which was a ...


34

Seems like Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven beat Clarke by a couple of years with "The Mote in God's Eye" from 1974. In that book, people are constantly using pocket computers. They contain large amounts of personal data, have calendars, can connect with other computers to call up even more information and are used to send messages to other people. Usage ...


34

The suit, or at least the Mark IV suit, does have waste management systems which is then filtered and can be used to drink. In the Iron Man 2 party scene we see Tony pee in the suit and later comment to Pepper about it. Tony: [To crowd] You know, the question I get asked most often is, “Tony, how do you go to the bathroom in the suit?” [pauses] Just like ...


33

Given that the primary purpose of Star Fleet is peaceful exploration and all that good stuff, I'd be willing to bet that the primary reason they don't wear any sort of armor is that it goes against that particular mission statement (e.g., "Hey dude... if you're here to talk peace, why are you wearing that big ol' suit of armor?"). Klingons are a battle-...


33

I think you may be confusing Star Trek for Doctor Who. The phrase "reverse the polarity of the Neutron flow" is something of a catchphrase of the Third Doctor... To the best of my knowledge, a whole lot of things get their polarities reversed in Star Trek (including shields, magnetic constrictors, magnetic probes, etc) but ...


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