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Comment A familiar concern to Sci-Fi authors (Score 2) 394

Look at today. How many different electronic book formats are there? Ten years from now, how many e-book readers will read these same formats, and how many new ones will there be? A hundred years from now, you'll have even more formats growing at that same progression rate until either a radical shift in information storage occurs, or the system becomes overloaded. Today, many people devote time and energy to maintaining these formats or helping convert them from older to newer, but the center cannot hold; eventually, information will be lost.

Roger MacBride Allen has an interesting time travel series called The Chronicles of Solace that briefly touches on a similar issue to this; archiving historians struggle to contain the ever-growing wealth of data that humanity generates. Specifically, they attempted to copy and duplicate all written and electronic material in a readable format for use in the Grand Library, but constantly struggle with the task that the 'standard' access method changes rapidly every few years. Not only do they have to create a format for storage that can survive ever-growing changes, but it must also contain built-in equipment that can be reverse-engineered and re-used after a potential interplanetary disaster removes all human knowledge of the technology. Their current solution? Printed books. Billions of them.

Comment Re:Translation: Positive publicity ONLY, please! (Score 2, Insightful) 80

Or, you know, so that they don't get five thousand uber-gamers all testing with the same general hardware range and then end up discovering at release day that anyone not running an i7 over FIOS is unable to play. You know, the other 90% of their target audience. Please tell me that you're not in any way related to QA in anything that you've ever done in your life.

Comment Re:Of John Scalzi (Score 2, Informative) 832

I'm not really sure to what you're referring on the second half of your post. Mention is made repeatedly of the fact that data bursts take time to execute, and that most of the information being relayed back and forth is small; tactical positions, status updates, small personal messages, etc. All of these could be done with a single Ad-Hoc wifi connection in our day and age, with our tech.

The power requirements for the brain pal were handled internally by the device itself. In other words, it had a battery. Perhaps one that could be charged off the body's own internal energy sources? Remember, these bodies were basically designed to be the ultimate combat chassis, and so the fact that the body's own internal electrical field could be used to do something like that...not a big deal.

Finally, in The Last Colony, a huge deal is made of the fact that the enemy *can* intercept electronic transmissions, to the point that not a single colonist on the planet is allowed to have a BrainPal active, even the military personnel, unless they're in a specially shielded bunker. In fact, nobody is allowed to have any form of electronic technology that could so much as broadcast a byte of data, because it could be picked up *across the solar system* by an enemy ship.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin