I always was rather impressed with those Quantum drives. I had a Quantum 1.2GB hdd in my computer when we suffered a house fire, and that drive was the only piece of electronics to survive in usable condition. Indeed, it lasted a good 4 or 5 years beyond that.
NASA sure does dream big, considering they can barely even get to LEO these days. Their launch capacity has been diminishing steadily for the past 40 years. Thank goodness it's not entirely up to them anymore.
> Wake me up when every single AI agent is simulated in detail with urges, wants, needs, desires, disgust, hatred, genetics, a simulated lifespan from birth to death....
I did like that part of the Total War series. The lifespan of your family members is a real concern. Train a son up into a terrifyingly competent commander, then he goes dies of old age? Fuck! Definitely a good start, though.
How about a massively multiplayer civ game? Run it at or nearly at realtime, so no tech tree. BUt every city, every army, everyone in any sort of position of power is controlled by a real person, all jockeying for MORE.
It'd be fine, except that all the implementations make it so that it takes centuries to bring a new or damaged city up to speed. Master of Orion 1 did it much better; you can turn a brand new planet into a top-notch research/production node in just a handful of turns. Same thing with military units. It takes so much dedicated effort to make them that the loss of a few is just devastating. In reality, historically, whole new armies could be and were drawn up overnight. Actually, I think Civ4 had some kind of analog to this; you could conscript units instantly at the cost city population. It just had the same problem that maximum population growth was not even remotely appropriate.
Also, recapturing lost cities is always be a matter of grinding through it, when in reality you often just had to beat the army in the field and suddenly the cities in revolt would come begging to be let back into the fold. Point is, revolt was a constant problem, but there were more ways to deal with it than brute force military solutions.
By far the biggest problem were wars of succession, which really can't have much analog in a game where the same person pulls the strings for centuries or millennia of game time.
I've imagined a massively multiplayer game that ran at some small multiple of realtime, and would operate at pretty much every level from individual people to SimCity to Civilization. The players would occupy various positions of power: governors, city mayors, military commanders, warlords, kings and emperors, wealthy merchants, etc. The decision for a city or province to revolt, or for a barbarian tribe to ally with A to attack B, or for a trusted advisor to try to sabotage the leader's rule, etc would thus be made by a real person. And just like in real life, there'd be a lot of players itching to get up into a higher level of power at the expense of whoever is already there. You'd have to be real careful how much you trust your underlings. Since not much time would be passing, it'd be pretty much a historical period piece. No space marines vs musketeers, sadly.
Sure. But what happens if someone else goes there and takes it down?
The flag by itself is meaningless if the US can't contest its removal.
Well, stuff in space _is_ scarce, in the sense that it's not infinite, that is. Sure, there's _a lot_ of non-stellar mass in the solar system, but the parts of it that are easily accessible with current technology is really pretty limited. Luna, Apollo asteroids, and the occasional comet, mostly. And to make things even trickier, what happens when people start living out there permanently? That chunk of rock will be just as much 'their' property as any piece of terra firma.
Start with the simplest way to handle ownership claims and see where that goes: You have to go out and stick a flag on it to even have a shot at such a claim being legit. In person, or will a probe suffice? Define "probe"; don't want anyone spamming the surface of Mars with 1" radio cubes and claiming the entire planet as a result. For that reason, I'm inclined to limit ownership claims solely to putting boots on the ground. You own your unmanned probe and anything in produces using unowned resources (so automated factories are allowed), but the body as a whole is still up for grabs.
Of course, how much can you claim? The entire asteroid/cometplanet? Well that sucks. The EU founds a small colony on Mars just a few weeks ahead of the US and Chinese, so they get the whole pie? I guess you could make it a function of how many people you actually have there, but do they have to be there permanently?
And hey, who's going to enforce all this anyway? Considering the potential riches involved, nobody is going to accept a UN ruling that means that country A gets the piece of rock that country B just spent $10 billion putting a mining facility on because A sent a suicide volunteer on a one-way trip to put them on said rock before B.
I suspect that in the end, the 'border's will be decided in the traditional way. Namely, guys with guns moving them around until they conclude that getting a bigger piece of the pie for themselves would be more trouble than it's worth.
That's just what he _wants_ you to think!
You basically cannot overstate just how indestructible these things are. I visited one in Atlanta and the owner said that just a few months earlier an 18" wide tree had fallen over onto the house. This would have caused tremendous damage to any regular house, but this dome shrugged it off almost entirely, with the stump of a limb poking a 6" hole through the wall. There's that beach dome in Pensacola that survived repeated direct strikes of powerful hurricanes back in '04-'05 that just leveled every surrounding structure. The only damage it took was things like the main stairs washing away, which they were designed to do anyway. There's a story about a guy who bought a piece of land with a monolithic dome barn on it and hired a contractor to demolish it. Took the guy a solid week of whaling on it with a wrecking ball before it came down. There was a cheap knockoff version of a monolithic dome (no rebar) in Oklahoma that took a _direct_ hit by a tornado. Terribly damaged, but the structure is still intact. Lastly of course is the dome in Baghdad that served as a government office building. During the US invasion back in '03, they dropped a 5000 lb bomb on it. The bomb punched through and destroyed everything inside, but the building is still standing.
There was a short story with the same thing, though the name and author escape me. 20 minutes in the future, when police recover the DNA of the criminal from a crime scene, if they couldn't be found by normal means, they'd build a virus targeting that person and release it into the wild (left unspoken was how often they had false positives). It wouldn't kill them, but it would do something highly distinct (like turn their skin blue) and force them to seek medical attention, at which point they were easy to capture. The plot revolved around a kingpin being the first able to evade contracting 'his' virus and the resulting panic and PR fiasco. Turns out he had just quarantined himself in a hermetically sealed chamber.
What confused me when I read it was why the authorities, when they found out what he'd done, didn't just laugh and say "Ok, so he's locked himself into a room from which he can never leave and cannot even have visitors. Sounds like a prison cell to me. And best of all, he's paying for it out of his own pocket. If there's ever a leak in his chamber or if a disgruntled minion 'accidentally' comes into contact with him, we'll get him then. Until then, he can cool his heels in a tighter cage than any we have available. Case closed".
True, but they can also get sick, get scared, run away, people form emotional bonds to them, and if the claims of future BigDogs are true, would have a hard time carrying those sorts of payloads (400 lbs).
It's called Persistence Hunting, and it's awesome. There was a David Attenborough-narrated video of it on youtube that has been taken down, but basically they chase the animal for hours and hours. Being able to run isn't enough, you have to be able to quickly track it as well when it's out of sight. The upshot is that when you finally run it down, it's half dead with exhaustion already, and you can literally walk right up to it, spear in hand, and kill it.
It's also a possible explanation for our relative hairlessness. Sweating apparently works better for cooling on bare skin.
> The Rat became a government rat with a brainwashed woman as his significant other.
Uh... that happened in the very first book. The "earlier" novels were all prequels.
By which I meant internal variables from the subroutine that failed.
You know, there was a case where a cop body slammed a 15-year old girl into the concrete wall of a jail cell, threw her to the ground, and proceeded to punch her in the head a few times (with assistance from another cop, of course) and kick her in the stomach, before dragging her out of the cell by her hair. In the process of beating the shit out of a girl half his size, he accidentally whacked his shin against the metal toilet. He brought her up on charges of assault for his injured leg.
Police officers in the US are declaring that pepper spray is too inhumane to use... on police officers. It's just fine and dandy to use on unarmed people sitting down.
They will stand there and feed you this line of psychopathic bullshit with a straight face and be honestly unable to figure out how they earned the title "largest street gang in America".