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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Stanley Tucheetos posted:

Holodecks have a terrible safety record. I'm almost positive every season has at least 1 failure that traps people inside while simultaneously disabling all safety measures.

Starfleet really needs to redesign its ship reactors. How many time on TNG has there been a need to do some fail-safe procedure like eject a warp core and it fails?

Contrast to the Cardassian-designed DS9. I think the main reactor threatens to explode twice, once specifically thanks to a self-destruct sequence.

I always questioned the Empire's need for Lizard-based cavalry on Tattoine. I've no idea how the Imperial stormtrooper thing works, but imagine finding out you've drawn the "indigenous cavalry" detail,

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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



GD_American posted:

Is "light infantry" a tech? Because Starship Troopers. Just a bunch of easily punctured flesh dudes grabastically charging giant scything deathbugs and dying in droves. Sure would be neat if, oh, say, they were to create a powered suit of armor for these soldiers, maybe they should hire a sci-fi author or something

This is something where media is really different from reality. In games at least, Light Infantry are dudes that exist to be cannon fodder, to die in droves while you research something worthwhile. In the real world, "light" and "heavy" refers to the logistics tail, mostly. Light Infantry are infantry that specialize in being infantry that don't require much in the way of supplies to do their job. In contrast, mechanicalized infantry are the dudes who roll with armor. The infantry themselves likely don't require much more in the way of supplies, but now the unit they are in drive APCs that need lots of fuel, ammo, maintenance etc.

Actually, if they got gundam/power suits, I guess the term "mechanicalized infantry" is still valid

I don't know much about Gundam, it seems like they need as much work as a combat airplane at least

professor metis posted:

the octagonal paper in BSG. or maybe more specifically, whatever printers they used to print the octagonal paper.

If we let ourselves off of the leash to criticize what was apparently a writing decision, it's *incredibly* stupid the humans can't detect Cylons. If Cylons were closer to human I can sorta get it, but the series makes it really clear that Cylons who look human are nothing like actual humans. At one point, I remember a Cylon taking a live data cable and then shoving it in her arm to communicate with a computer. At another point, we learn even a Cylon's blood is completely different from a human - it has greater packing efficiency or some poo poo, like it's a benzene ring instead of an ethanol molecule, which is why Cylon strength and endurance are heightened. A simple blood test would have clocked 'em

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



General Battuta posted:

It was the invisible hand of the free market answering a demand. Beyond any criticism.

As far as a metaphor for a dangerous technology goes, I think the plasmids were brilliant. I mean, imagine if there was a technology that could make you actually accomplish all the impossible ideals of magazines, all you need is cash, oh, and it's addictive and the more you do it the more insane you become. I mean, socitey would burn itself down like that

GD_American posted:

Speaking of lovely pieces of garbage tech, what's the closest sci-fi analogue to the M2 Bradley

It turns out the M2 is less lovely than its rep. It's a good vehicle for what it is, though aluminum construction isn't ideal for the forever war IEDs.

If it exists, though, I'm sure the Empire uses it. They really like their giant weapons, but the cost seems to be all the mass-produced stuff is worse than what scrappy rebels can procure. Actually, since we're on the Empire for a sec: bridges. Maybe don't have the bridge of your 20 km long super-star-destroyer just sticking out where an accident can take you out? CICs have been around for awhile

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



GD_American posted:

40 years of development, as well as rewriting the definition of "what it is" helped get it there. It's no longer the boat anchor on that legendary 60 Minutes segment, but it's still a pretty legendary failure in acquisitions.

It could be that between modern procurement disasters and WW2 era procurement disasters have just changed what counts to me as a legendary failure

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ghost Leviathan posted:

The treatment of holoprograms is interesting, since in a lot of ways they seemingly accidentally predicted a lot of things about video games (which of course is the best analogue for them)

Bizarrely if you've seen the first TOS Pilot, then you've seen a plot where a species of hyper-intelligent aliens destroy their civilization because everybody gets addicted to World of Warcraft

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ghost Leviathan posted:

Remember when Dukat called Kira at 3am to tell her he banged her mom

If we're talking about DS9 and garbage tech - do those Cardassian emergency contingency system recordings count? On the one hand, they are just a dumb program that when triggered might very well do something catastrophic, like kill everyone on the station. On the other hand, Dukat must have spent hours alone, in his office, recording, getting angry...

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Barudak posted:

I liked the episode of Ghost in the Shell: Hegelian Cops Unit with the anti-implant terrorist group basically being completely correct about their issues with the implants and how the government uses non implant status among refugees to exploit them and how that wasn't even the main theme of the episode, just a thing everyone involved kind just accepts.

The new series of Stand Alone Complex on Netflix is fuckin trash, btw.

Lol I thought it was good after the first episode with Section 9 doing a pacifist run

(Miss Yoko Kanno, tho, miss her lots)

Also I'm intrigued by "Hegelian Cops Unit", I always saw Section 9 as some sort of living embodiment of the philosopher-king: a bunch of people with crazy amounts of power but it works out OK because they are completely honest and upright dedicated servants of the state

McSpanky posted:

This will absolutely become the shittiest piece of garbage tech in reality the very moment someone figures out how to interface computer hardware with brain tissue without killing the patient (biologically that is, the disease vector of the physical interface is the biggest unsolved problem).

And like other posters said, IoT is the biggest proof of concept. Can't wait for Internet of Brains

Maybe this is all Ghost in the Shell, but that recent series especially it seemed like every episode was a demonstration of why "HOLY poo poo GUYS IT'S A BAD IDEA TO WIRE YOUR BRAIN INTO THE INTERNET"

People can't distinguish between the real and the virtual and are killed in cyber attacks

An AI monster is reading the software in your brain and anticipating your every move

Oh and of course having your mind overwritten making you a living botnet

In previous stand alone series, they actually made a big deal about Section 9 members having different levels of augmentation, with like four members having only a harmless com-link. You kinda need that to explain why Boomer and Ishikarwa are even on the team; they are the tech dudes with little to no tech to hack, and are always using those awkward-rear end VR consoles. Now people are having to scream at each other "holy poo poo turn off your cyberbrain" which strikes me as a kind of microsoft in the late 90s solution to a very very bad problem

I had to laugh at Batou in the last episode: damnit Batou, you had one job: make sure nothing weird happened to Togusa

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



galagazombie posted:

. My favorite was "Cetacean Ops" where they were supposed to have a tank full of dolphins who navigated the ship. Because living in the ocean means they understand 3-Dimensional navigation better you see.

They referenced that in the first Lower Decks episode

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Would super-soldiers be garbage tech?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



RBA Starblade posted:

Putting legs on your tank is basically the epitome of lovely garbage tech

Especially if that tank is in space

Indeed. I totally get why mechs are a thing (as a kind of superhero analog) but hell, RL tanks need to operate supported by infantry or it goes badly for them. It's why armored formations are half tanks and half APCs.

Now mechs that transform into space F-14s on the other hand-----

SlothfulCobra posted:

There is a lot of fictional science justification for how most of the things in Mobile Suit Gundam work, with a lot of stuff about Minovsky particles.

I've seen only a little Gundam, (I watched about half of Iron blooded orphans but noped out when I thought things were just getting dumb) but I do appreciate how efforts are made to justify why war is done this way. I figured fighting mechs were natural growths from space suits advancing into exo suit like armatures.

ThisIsJohnWayne posted:

This reminds me that the modern Deus Ex's are about this and that's why they are more interesting than the old ones

You and I are in some ways very different

Also re: super soldiers, it occurs to me a theme you see in Phillip K Dick and Gene Wolfe novels is the dangers of making people distant from the rest of humanity. In that novel I was recapping earlier this year, fame, power, and the wealth that comes with it isolates the main characters from the mass of humanity, and warps them in various unwholesome ways. It's only when one character has identity wiped (in a ludicrous way) that he actually becomes sorta decent.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



So I picked up Starcraft 2 for the first time. I like it, it seems well done, an actual sequel to the original.

I have a dumb garbage tech observation, though. If you know the game one of the characters is Tychus the space marine, who's a convict sealed into space marine armor, which is like a tiny mech in that it's man-shaped but power-actuated. You see a lot of this guy in his suit. And it is making my brain itch. Maybe it's just the Warhammer-style shoulder-pads, but I swear the dude would have to have his arms permanently thrust out sideways , his forearms dangling down to make the proportions of that suit work.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



PS> Shittiest piece of garbage tech: a full face helmet that projects an image

Simulation syndrome would first make you motion sick with the virtual image, then you'd get motion sick just walking around not wearing it

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ghost Leviathan posted:

Probably because they're ripped right from 40k Space Marines, which are already their own subgenre of mock art for how hosed up their proportions must be. But at least they've been subject to intense physical modification from puberty onwards and are sometimes shown or at least described out of armour as being freakish walking fridges. And they're literally designed to basically be never outside their armour except for maintenance and cleaning.

Oh, good, I was worried it was just me.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



muscles like this! posted:

Speaking of Macross, the inbetween transformation form seems pretty pointless. Its a jet with arms and legs, the worst of both worlds. Also I don't remember anyone ever actually using it that much.

My memory is that it was used like a high-mobility ground form, dashing about on a cushion of air.

Like when Max is sneaking about the Zentradi ship, knocking out guards and stealing their uniforms

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



RBA Starblade posted:

I'd respect that design more if the human was also carrying a rifle

I'm pretty sure in the Ghost in the Shell standalone complex series we see military assault mechs with giant weapon arms but also two human sized arms for holding regular rifles

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



GD_American posted:

I've only ever seen the anime, but the entire theme was very much "why the gently caress do the police have tanks"

Sounds like it was ahead of its time

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Are Marvel comics style "the most powerful object in the universe" garbage technology or a plot trope?

Like the Cosmic Cube. Once completed, you touch it and it grants your fondest wish, like the Triforce?!? Huh, never put that together before

Only the ultimate plot macguffin carries with it that from the time you start construction to its completion, you are now enemies with everyone in the universe

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



General Battuta posted:

I actually like a couple of the effects shots in that movie

Space bulldozer?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



McSpanky posted:

All those convoluted explanations for sending Mafia hit targets back in time for Looper are really funny because all you need is the most basic one ever: dumping the body. A time machine would be the ultimate evidence disposal device.

20 seconds before impact, Central America, 65 million years ago

So I've been playing X-com Enemy Within, and in that X-com they do mechs. And these mechs are arguably not garbage tech.

The way they do it is step one, make a cyborg near Adam Jensen's level, IE a dude with artifical arms and legs. (This is definitely a little weird; since X-com's method is to choose healthy soldiers, then chop off their arms and legs. I'm thinking that most other places they just take horrifically wounded people.) Then, when it is Mech Time, the person unattached the normal replacement limbs, and then is inserted like a USB key into the mech suit. This means that the usual power armor problems are minimized, since I guess it just remaps your limbs into ogre-sized appendages.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Polaron posted:

I won my first XCOM 1 campaign.

For the record I didn't realize that satellites were how you kept the money rolling in, so my economy stalled

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Trapick posted:

I haven't watched much, but I saw one where this girl got smallpox (from buried treasure or something), except it ended up not being smallpox, but anyway they had a big lockdown and the CDC was called in and poo poo, which makes sense, that's fine. But then House ends up in the room with the girl to do something and then he's like "oh no I've been exposed to smallpox" and is clearly upset/scared, but he's definitely of an age where he would have been vaccinated. So what the poo poo was up with that? Apparently even vaccination *after* exposure is really effective, so he could have just got a booster and almost certainly have been fine. So why was House so worried?

Was it made before whenever the Bush II produced the new Smallpox vaccine?

Or possibly, it was TV

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Tulip posted:

The EU explanation for Star Wars FTL was that the FTL system physically doesn't operate when you get too close to large gravity wells, which leads to the Empire making a specialized ship that creates big artificial gravity in order to prevent opposing forces from using FTL to escape. Which is fair enough because just chucking an empty X-wing at many times the speed of light into a planet would be an incredibly potent WMD and I can get why you wouldn't want to have the war system be "anybody who has can replace x-wings somewhat regularly effectively has the death star." So that's why at least the propulsion systems themselves aren't superweapons.

As a veteran of old Star Trek threads, I can tell you that FTL travel and normal space need to be exclusive. Past 80% the speed of light, the amount of energy needed to propel a given object faster climbs exponentially, so that at light speed, the amount of energy needed to drive any mass is infinite. (I think this is why only pure energy can move at the speed of light in normal space; no mass.) The even weirder implication of this is if the Sisko threw a baseball at light speed, the baseball would have infinite energy potential, and I'm not exactly sure what happened when a baseball hits an asteroid with infinite energy, but it is not good. So any FTL tech can't be used kinetically. The gravity restriction makes sense, then, because FTL is passing through low-mass objects and stopping well before high mass ones.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



THE BAR posted:

Saying things are based on energy is so meaningless. It would be like saying something's based on weight or height; it's just a property of something.

Not sure what else to call it, though!

Yes but disagree

If you had something with a mass of 10 kg sitting on the edge of a 6 m high bookcase, then it will have X potential kinetic energy as it falls. Sisko's baseball is similar, except the potential is infinite.

I must id myself as somebody who watches PBS's Space Time on youtube until I get too confused and start shouting at dogs "wait, we *know* extra dimensions can be detected via energy loss?", but the basic point stands.

wdarkk posted:

This just makes the connection even stronger, since the early war IJN pilot corps was the result of an insanely demanding and strict pilot training program that enabled them to get the most out of their extremely maneuverable deathtraps.

Then they ran out of those guys.

Then the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" happened.



One place the symmetry breaks down is that the Japanese were training tiny amounts of pilots. You'd figure with the whole space empire thing they'd have tons upon tons of pilots in training, so the flimsiness of the TIE is compensated by numbers. The Imperial Japanese were different in that they had a very specific idea and doctrine as to how they could achieve victory, which meant they overwhelmingly favored designs with very long range. Of course, if you subtract weight and add fuel that makes airplanes that explode easily.

poo poo, now that I'm thinking about it, WW2 American fighters were generally engineered to be tough and durable, IE like American carrier planes, so maybe the whole analogy isn't so wild

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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



This is low hanging fruit as it is from the Alien series, but:

In Alien Isolation, the space station Servestapol has a central intelligence mainframe called Apollo, which runs a fair bit of the station. It also has a small army of cheap androids, called Working Joes which it controls. The Working Joes are about as smart and as articulate as a roomba. But here's the garbage tech part: Apollo locks its communications chamber off from everyone, and then the *only way* to communicate with it is via a Working Joe, which has to insert itself into a CAT scanner like device.

Of course, once you are in the comm chamber, Apollo speaks via text.

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