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Comment Von Neumann machine? (Score 1) 412

In 2001 and sequels, A C Clarke postulated von Neumann-type universal constructor, the first job of which is to make more copies of itself before proceeding to the main task. Given that approach, the main constraints to speed would be the speed of delivery of energy and raw materials. Why would you need even a century?

Comment Re: Whew (Score 1) 176

In the Fifties I believe there were discussions about the usefulness of fusion bomb and reasonable targets. The gist was, a megaton H-bomb would be wasted on a mid-sized city, but back then the really big targets were pretty much all inside the US. Other than Moscow, maybe Leningrad/St Petersburg, the Russian town size was much smaller then. So the Russians stood to gain much with H-bombs, not so much the US. But we made them anyway.

Comment Re:is anyone else tired? (Score 1) 216

Hah. In the future, the neighborhood punks will hack your fridge's camera and post pictures of your half-dressed, disheveled self on FB. Then they'll crank the freezer up to 40 and laugh when your ice cream melts. You won't be able to open the fridge without first providing 5 forms of identification, all of which will be leaked in three days due to bad IoT security.

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