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Trek Tech That Most Needs To Be Invented Before I Die:

Displaying poll results.
Warp Drive
  8742 votes / 27%
  6812 votes / 21%
  5649 votes / 17%
  5306 votes / 16%
270 votes / 0%
Cloaking Device
  721 votes / 2%
  467 votes / 1%
"Fully Functional" Androids
  3958 votes / 12%
31925 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Trek Tech That Most Needs To Be Invented Before I Die:

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  • With a holodeck, all the others can just be simulated. If you need me, I'll be in holodeck 3.
    • Re:Holodeck (Score:5, Funny)

      by eln (21727) on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:49PM (#34678024) Homepage
      Hell, with a holodeck and a replicator civilization would essentially collapse. If I've got a replicator to take care of sustenance and a holodeck to take care of...other needs, what the hell do I ever need to leave the house for?
      • by toddestan (632714)

        But just think of the pranks you could play with a cloaking device!

      • by mindlab (1966234)
        Don't know if you like science fiction, but you should take a look at 'Snatch Me Another' by Mercurio D. Rivera []
      • by Anrego (830717) *

        You'd need to make money to pay for the energy needed to run the replicator and holodeck, assuming money hasn't been eliminated by this point (which in the star trek universe it has been.. although they never really explain how that works.. the whole "people just work for the good of society" thing hasn't worked too well in the real worlds).

        The assumption would be that industry would migrate away from the jobs that are now irrelevant due to replicator and holodeck technology. Which makes for the interesting

        • Holodeck + telepresence + teleconference. Work from home. Plus, by tweaking the scenario depicted, you can turn you office/factory drudgery into a fantasy. Think "grinding" in WoW or similar, but getting paid.

          (Also, never understood the need for 90% of "away missions" once they had holodecks. Ie, TNG era.)

        • by Cidolfas (1358603)

          From the point of economics, if the cost of creating materials drops to zero (i.e. Replicators can make food, building materials, all other kinds of goods) then economics as we know it - and subsequently business - would cease to exist in a short period of time. Power would probably be an easily solved equation, since the cost of creating exotic materials for solar, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, etc would drop (and research into physics and chemistry would explode due to the removal of synthesis in the s

          • From the point of economics, if the cost of creating materials drops to zero (i.e. Replicators can make food, building materials, all other kinds of goods) then economics as we know it - and subsequently business - would cease to exist in a short period of time.

            Except that the guys with power probably liked things the way they were, and now they have a limitless supply of guns and bullets to use on anyone who tries to build an unauthorized replicator.

      • I had the same argument with Hot Pockets and the Internet as the keys to success. Unfortunately, the replicator breaks down, and the holodeck sometimes tries to kill you.

      • This in contrast to pizza delivery and world of warcraft?

    • by mschuyler (197441)

      I thought we're all on a holodeck already.

    • by tqft (619476)

      Warp Drive - so you can escape the in-laws real fast
      Transporter - so you move the in-laws out of your house
      Replicator - for feeding the in-laws
      Holodeck - so you can escape the in-laws without pissing of your wife to much
      Phaser - in-law + alcohol - "Set to stun"
      Cloaking Device - hide from in-laws
      Synthale - why?
      "Fully Functional" Androids - can they beat up in-laws or can I have a couple of female ones with long red hair?

      Holodeck for me.

      • I can’t believe you missed that opportunity –

        "Fully Functional" Androids - don’t come with in-laws

        Also, “Phaser - in-law + alcohol” sounds like a good recipe for goin’ out back and putting holes in shit just for the heck of it.

  • Is the technology of the warp drive really that different from the transporter? I figured if they invented one of these, the other would soon follow.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      One only kinda breaks several known laws of physics, the other completely breaks them. BIG difference...

    • by LoudMusic (199347)

      One bends space, the other turns matter into energy and then back into matter.

      • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:51PM (#34678646) Homepage Journal

        Put more eloquently; "one bends space around you, the other bends you around space"... No word yet on how the Soviet Russian version will operate, but it perhaps involves creation and use of a 12th dimension: The State.

      • Arbitrarily bending space to suit our wishes, as far as we know, is impossible; the other is (or should be), at least in theory, possible. Although of course there are all sorts of concerns with it... there’s a fuckton of energy bound up in matter, to begin with, and of course the energy being moved couldn’t violate causality (though it could probably be moved across great distances with more ease than a human, not requiring food, water, air, etc. and traveling at the speed of light). Plus you

        • ... or for putting people (convicts?) into long-term hibernation without needing annoying things like refrigeration or life support.

          A bad idea, as has been explored in sci-fi. Prison systems today (especially in the US) are generally broken, but they do tend to be undesirable to potential (and released) criminals. They act as a mild deterrent. (They also act as a crime university, but I digress.) Take that away, and crime (and recidivism) rise.

          And how are you going to determine that someone has "served" a life sentence? Are you going to merely keep them the 200+ years sentenced and then let them loose? That doesn't sound like a go

        • "Arbitrarily bending space to suit our wishes, as far as we know, is impossible"

          What? Space is already curved. We're curving it with each movement we make. We just haven't figured out how to massively curve it, in an energy efficient way. Its engineering, not physics ( unless you want to point out that we have no known way of generating this amount of energy, in which case that is the physics problem).

          Now transportation... That sounds really difficult. With quantum entanglements and probabilistic states of

    • Transporter: Destructively analyze your physical makeup, encode it, transmit and reassemble at remote location. Speed is approximately that of light, although time for disassembly/reassembly creates some overhead. Range is limited by the power of the transmitter.

      Warp Drive: Create a localized bubble of spacetime distortion, and ride the wave it creates, enabling speeds greater than light. It's actually *slower* to beam somewhere than it is to warp.

      The Transporter is most like the Matter Replicator. Ma

    • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Monday December 27, 2010 @04:18PM (#34678880) Homepage Journal
      The difference is, with warp drive you're probably still going to have to get the TSA grope down before you travel with it.
      • Actually the TSA will stop the transporter process while you're still fuzzy, glowing bits and gropes your molecules. You don't want to know what happens before they let you in the Holodeck!
    • If we're talking the Star Trek transporter, then it didn't travel faster than light and had a maximum range of 40,000km. It worked by deconstructing you at a quantum level (a molecular level for the cheap cargo transporters - do not use with humans!), turning that into energy, transmitting it, and reassembling it at the far end. In (very) slightly more realistic physics, it entangled each particle in your body with another at a remote location, then decohered one version leaving the other as an exact dupl

  • How about all the life-extending tech in the sickbay? I for one would like to live to 150, I am sure all those medical tricorders, gene manipulation, teleporter-based surgery, and fancy spraying thingies would come in handy for that.

    • by pyalot (1197273) on Monday December 27, 2010 @05:31PM (#34679488)
      Actually, the med-tech in star-trek is is pretty disappointing.

      See, there you have a people that can disassemble and reassemble a human atom by atom. They can command stupendous amounts of energy, toy with anti-matter as if it was candies, possess nanobots and computers so stupendously powerful that frequently they'll have to fight off incidental self-awareness and to top it of they can also create force-fields wit a superb resolution as well as create new objects out of thin air (and a lot of energy).

      And all they manage is to make you life 150 years tops? really?
      • That always seems pretty strange. In a few episodes, they use the transporter to repair damaged people, but there's somehow no mode that automatically repairs cell damage, reconstructs telomeres, resets enzyme balances, and so on. All of these things are pretty trivial extensions of things that they demonstrate are possible with the transporter, but they somehow aren't used.

        It's a shame, from a storytelling perspective, that they decided to make the transporters work like that, and not by wormholes or si

  • Replicator (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:52PM (#34678066)
    Serious question?

    The replicator would solve all the world's hunger and resource problems.
    • by migla (1099771)

      Just what I was thinking. One serious and seven joke alternatives.

    • Re:Replicator (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IronicToo (514475) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:42PM (#34678556) Homepage
      Actually we have more than enough food to go around right now. We don't have a food shortage problem we have a wealth inequality problem. This is a political/moral problem. A replicator would not change this any more then refrigeration, fertilizer, or tractors solved the hunger problem (despite the huge increases in food production they enabled).
      • by crhylove (205956)

        Not true. A replicator that can replicate itself would fully solve this problem. What's the point of wealth if you have every material good you need?

      • by Kjella (173770)

        At least in Star Trek world, the replicator is a very cheap technology - it's what Picard uses to get his cup of Earl Gray tea and he doesn't even reuse the mug. If replicators dramatically lowered the cost it would make the current aid money stretch much, much further. I'm sure we'd still have rich and poor as people's time would not be infinite, but there's two measures of poverity - in relative terms to everyone else and in absolute terms. If replicators could give you food, clean water, medicines (thoug

    • by raddan (519638) *
      You mean "could solve". Modern agriculture can solve that problem, too. The problem is not whether we can make enough food, the problem is that our socioeconomic system does allow this to happen.
    • Presuming E = MC Squared still holds, we don't have the generating capacity or even the technology to generate enough power to run a replicator. Let alone the power distribution grid to wire it up to the supply it would need.
      • Not true. A true replicator would be self powering. If it can transform matter from one form to another, you could just pour in a cup of water, get out a lump of iron, and have enough power for a lot of other transformations.
    • Serious question? The replicator would solve all the world's hunger and resource problems.

      Yes, but the Holodeck would solve the world's population problems -- and thus free up more food!

  • 'Transporter' is the obvious choice. With those things available we can trade sitting in traffic for standing in line at the corner transporter booth. Plus, they will once again give Superman a handy place to change out of his Clark Kent identity.

  • If I have the holodeck what do I need sex androids for?
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      They meant Android as in the phone operating system. In other words, we will finally have a device that is equally good at storing/accessing information and staying connected to other people. Today every device in existence tips one way or the other and fails at doing both well. In my opinion the future can't get here fast enough!

  • by jayspec462 (609781) on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:57PM (#34678128) Homepage

    I voted for the replicator. End scarcity. That'd be pretty wonderful.

    The idea of a teleporter actually frightens me, though. I can't shake the idea that you're actually destroyed in the teleporter, and when you're recreated at the other end, there's an entirely different "you" created, with all the memories of the final copy. However, the "you" that got into the teleporter ceases to exist. And this terrible death happens to you over and over, with the "new you" and the outside world utterly oblivious.

    It kind of recasts Star Trek into a horrible, inadvertant tragedy. Yes, yes, I know. "It's just a show, I should really just relax."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jayspec462 (609781)

      Holy shit, did I type "teleporter" when I meant to say "transporter?" If you'll excuse me, I'll just toss my geek card into this shredder right over here...

    • by Applekid (993327)

      The idea of a teleporter actually frightens me, though. I can't shake the idea that you're actually destroyed in the teleporter, and when you're recreated at the other end, there's an entirely different "you" created, with all the memories of the final copy. However, the "you" that got into the teleporter ceases to exist. And this terrible death happens to you over and over, with the "new you" and the outside world utterly oblivious.

      I really enjoyed this Outer Limits episode [] that seemed to touch on that very concern.

    • by Spatial (1235392) on Monday December 27, 2010 @07:24PM (#34680576)

      Only if you classify a person as matter. We're made of matter but I think it's more accurate to describe a person as a state or configuration; mutable; destructable; transferrable.

      By the way - it's already happened. How many cells in your body remain from birth, from a decade ago? Most of your body has been destroyed and recreated many times.

      It's fun to think about. Our instincts about identity completely fall apart beyond a certain point. Like the way we think of the world, the way we think of ourselves is merely a model with finite accuracy and relevance.

  • Before I die? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by McGiraf (196030) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:01PM (#34678154) Homepage

    An immortality device, then I can wait for the other devices.

    • What makes you think we're going to let you use our immortality device.

      Think about it.

      It just can't be for everyone.

      Where will the rich people's kids live?

  • More Power Scotty, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spribyl (175893) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:07PM (#34678218)

    How about something to power the list above. You cannot change the laws of physics.

  • oh, that isn't tech?

    Um, ok, then, Warp Drive, cause otherwise humanity is doomed.

  • I would crash so many parties for the free food

  • I am tired of commuting and I have no patience any more! :P

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      I chose transporter for the same thought. Having worked at home for four years, business decisions recently placed me in a new job with a commute to work, just so I can sit in a cubical, typing on a laptop doing the same crap I was doing at home. Thankfully I now get to waste over an hour of my time on a highway that has at least 1 accident a week, burning fuel that keeps getting more expensive while my pay check remains the same amount. To those who worry about the whole "I'm dying in the transporter op

  • by N1tr0u5 (819066) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#34678518)
    Pick the one that CREATES energy... not consumes it. The only logical choice is the warp drive.

    One has to assume that all of these lovely devices consume MASSIVE amounts of energy in order to function, and we as a species are already having problems managing the "scant" resources we have. Make the warp drive, even just one, and we get MUCH further toward the rest of the tech than the other way around.

    Also, reaching other planets and/or system to obtain more resources is possible with this tech.
    • The replicator is the one that creates (usable) energy. A replicator transforms matter from one form to another. A simple replicator would only rearrange atoms (think a nanoscale reprap). An advanced replicator would rearrange nucleons to create new elements, allowing it to take any form of matter as input. If you fed it anything other than iron as the input matter, then some of the transforms would consume energy, some would produce it (for example, creating carbon from hydrogen releases quite a lot of

  • by Coraon (1080675) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:49PM (#34678628)
    cheap effective faster then light travel would really solve a lot of the problems that exist on this planet. By expanding out from this planet rapidly we would take pressure off the environment, and we wouldn't have to live in such tight quarters, the way we look at money and value would change too, all in all it needs to happen soon ( like 20-50 generations or so. Or we could be in serious trouble as a species.
    • Re:warp drive (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WrongMonkey (1027334) on Monday December 27, 2010 @04:04PM (#34678768)
      No transportation technology would be able to take pressure off the environment. There is currently a population of about 7 billion with an annual growth of 1.2%. We would need to send about a quarter million people off the planet every day just to balance population growth. Even if we discovered warp drive tomorrow, its reasonable to assume that it would have at least the same per person costs as conventional spacecraft. After all, you still need all the same life support and you still need to get people into orbit using conventional rockets.
    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      The problem isn't the warp drive (well, it is - but there's an earlier problem). The main problem is getting off the planet to a point where you could fire up the warp drive.

      We don't have the technology to get more than about a dozen people a year into space, so even with warp that would be the numerical limit on our exploration / migration possibilities.

  • Transporter. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday December 27, 2010 @04:23PM (#34678918)

    Why? Because they're effectively immortality-by-copy. If you can store someone's transporter data, you can recreate them even after they die. It's arguably not the same causal person - but it would function exactly the same, making the story of one's life much more enduring than what we call a lifetime now.

    Even if it were not used like that, merely being able to keep a copy of the minds of those who have died would be a complete transformation of the field of history - being able to have the actual perspectives still available for later generations, rather than have each generation editing what is allowed to carry forward. Being able to truly remember the past through the direct thoughts of those who have lived it for generations later would do much to dispel the constant inter-generational idea of dismissing previous generations mistakes as "they just didn't think like we did."

    That said, transporters are also horrific, in the sense of this video:

    John Weldon's "To Be" []

    But if you can start to accept the idea of "dying" and being reborn as part of your daily routine, sort of like we accept brain cells (a little part of our core 'us') dying as part of living, then it can allow you to accomplish much with your new definition of self.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by bar-agent (698856) on Monday December 27, 2010 @05:36PM (#34679540)

    Warp drive for sure. I want us to meet aliens before I die. Plus, with the ability to set up colonies or asteroid mines, ship things back to Earth, and explore stellar phenomena, we solve the eggs-in-one-basket problem and open up new and interesting careers, cuisine, materials, and resources. Not to mention whatever awesome technologies and research we get from aliens.

  • I have an iPhone.

    Oh, you meant the other type of android!

  • Like Data [] from TNG. Not the primitive ones we have now. :)

  • I would have said Androids, but then I got married :-D. Now I just want us to visit other worlds.

  • What I want is a 1kg box on my desk that would be a copy of my brain. I could then take that box and put it into an android body of my choosing. My thinking would be that it would be some sort of super dense FPGA neural net.

    They'd stick my head in an MRI machine capable of scanning 1/2 the width of a neuron and then translate all those connections into a pattern that could be imprinted on the gate array.

    In fact, I'd keep a back up brain in a vault with a 1 way data connection that would keep it synchroniz
  • by rlp (11898) on Monday December 27, 2010 @06:17PM (#34679912)

    I'd be delighted to see commercial fusion power. It's a technology that's been just ten years away for the past thirty years.

  • by Kenshin (43036) <> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:51AM (#34686886) Homepage

    I imagine warp drive wouldn't be that useful without inventing the deflector shield first.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.


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