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Submission + - Minimum Population to Support Today's Tech Level?

michael_cain writes: "One of the plot elements implicit in much speculative fiction is the size of the population required to support a given level of tech. Generation ships, colonies on new planets, Earth after some sort of semi-collapse. In many cases, small groups maintain a level of tech beyond what we have today: assume self-repairing self-programming super-computer AIs and it doesn't take a whole lot of humans. For today's tech, it couldn't just be eggheads; there would need to be doctors and farmers and police officers and bricklayers and... you get the idea. How big/small a "closed" society would it take to support — and be supported by — today's tech?"

Submission + - Good inexpensive LCD panel for embedded projects? 3

michael_cain writes: "I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects. A good starting point for all of them would be a backlit LCD graphics module with touch screen pre-mounted in a plastic enclosure with enough room behind the display for a custom circuit board. 320-by-240 pixels, 3.5 to 4.5 inch diagonal measure, monochrome is sufficient (but color is always cool), easily driven by an AVR or PIC type microcontroller. And priced at a reasonable point for a hobbyist! Anyone seen anything like this? Anyone else interested in such a widget?"

Submission + - Tablet that can replace my paper notebook?

michael_cain writes: For the last 30 years, I've organized my life in a little black three-ring binder stuffed full of 8.5 x 5.5" paper: calendars, phone numbers, lists of this and that, things I'm supposed to do, etc. I'm thinking that I'd like to replace it with a tablet computer. Most of the stuff in there can no doubt be handled by one app or another. The thing I really don't want to give up is the ability to take fairly voluminous notes at various sorts of meetings, in my crabbed little handwriting and including some complicated math, graphs, sketches, and line-and-box system drawings. Is there anything out there that can handle it all? Anything on the horizon?

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