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Questions tagged [computers]

For questions regarding a device that can be programmed to carry out a set of certain set of tasks without external intervention.

4
votes
3answers
240 views

Could a technologically advanced civilization be possible without digital computers?

I've noted an interesting trend in Netflix, specially on Sci-Fi and hero series. The worlds often have these aesthetic characteristics: Computers are rare, very big or non existing Phones, but ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Would system virtualization technology play a role in future space colonization and can we observe its roots today? [closed]

If I asked the same question for operating systems, I'd say I am quite confident that some descendants of Linux could be there for a very long time. Today, while Linux is used in embedded IoT devices,...
7
votes
1answer
209 views

What is a realistic computational limit for a handtool-made mechanic computer?

This question here brought up interesting points on what kind of distribution we could expect for the increase in computational power of mechanical computers in a world relying solely on such non-...
23
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8answers
5k views

Would Moore's Law apply to mechanical computers?

We know through the works of Babbage, Lovelace, et al. that mechanical computers (computers operating through gears, cogs, etc., and powered by steam or some other arbitrary non-electric power source) ...
6
votes
3answers
392 views

How must computers/telecommunication deviate from reality for a retrofuturistic setting?

. I love the aesthetics of retrofuturistic settingsand I aim to build my own. A mixture of a fantastical, Thundercats(2011),Outlaw Star x Star*Drive. How yesterday saw tomorrow is quite fascinating ...
4
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4answers
150 views

Can any kind of public-key encryption hold up against a logically omniscient oracle?

"Logical omniscience" can be defined for these purposes as a form of hypercomputation in which all Turing-computable functions can be computed in constant time. Practically speaking, this means that ...
11
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7answers
4k views

What size EMP device would be necessary to wipe all data in a Google-sized server farm, without major physical damage?

I'm not sure if it's even feasible, but I have a server farm in my book, of a size that puts it on par with Google's. I want to wipe out all the data stored on the hard drives, without destroying the ...
34
votes
24answers
11k views

What is the most reasonable way for non-binary computers to have become standard?

Let us assume planet Earth, with a history similar to ours. Except, the result of the computer revolution is not a computer system based on binary (i.e. 0 and 1), but some other system. This system ...
0
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1answer
162 views

how could a computer in the first dimension perform multiplication? [closed]

If it is possible for a computer in the first dimension to perform a second dimensional operation in the same way a computer in the second dimension can perform a third dimensional operation, then ...
34
votes
7answers
9k views

How many years could notebook computers and phones be stored in a closed bunker/vault and still operational when found?

The idea is for some people in a post-apocalyptic future to find these bunkers/vaults and be able to turn on the computers and charge the cellphones. How many years could the equipment last if they ...
118
votes
15answers
10k views

Why would characters spend time answering imaginary questions to fictional hypotheticals?

I'm developing a simulation where characters, "users", are interacting over a virtual communication network. "Users" have the option to engage in any activity they want at any time, as long as the ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

Would room phones work in a hotel during a blackout? [closed]

I'm writing a story about people being stuck in a large hotel. One character wants to call a loved one, but I'm trying to think of a reason that they can't. My initial thought was that the front desk ...
0
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2answers
126 views

Any new technologies that are ready to be discovered? [closed]

As an electronics engineer, (sort of), I understand how transistor gates (AND, OR, NAND, NOR, XOR, etc.) are combined to create all of our digital devices. The first computers were created in the mid-...
18
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17answers
1k views

What is the Maximum Possible Destruction from One Keystroke? [closed]

You have unlimited access to all of the world's information. Source code, books, electronic information, monuments with text on them, tattoos with text, you name it. If it has information encoded has ...
4
votes
10answers
3k views

Write once perpetual storage, is such a thing possible?

Is it possible, with modern, or easily foreseeable technology, to build a compact digital data storage device that cannot be erased without removing the data store? The storage in question to be used ...
6
votes
6answers
451 views

How in a post nuclear apocalypse setting could a group of survivors set up a “Internet” or “Internet-like” service?

In a world set many years (At least a generation or two) after a near extinction level nuclear event, how could a recovering population set up a internet or internet like service? Key points I'm ...
-3
votes
3answers
188 views

If an Artificial Intelligence system with the same number of neurons and synapses as the human brain was built, would it be smarter than a human? [closed]

Brain waves work at most 50 operations per second, and the fastest synapse fire rate is not very different from this speed(up to 100 times per second). However, today computers operate in billions of ...
2
votes
6answers
234 views

How would a society ban artificial intelligence without banning computers? [closed]

One way to avoid a 'robot apocalypse' would be to just outright ban artificial intelligence. But what if they wanted to keep some computers around, just for practical reasons? What kind of limitations ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

How can I make a Venusian computer?

In my story, the humans of Earth have finally made the trek to Venus, and have discovered a previously unknown life form on Venus. On closer inspection of the mucus creatures, they seem to have the ...
10
votes
13answers
2k views

What are possible reasons to use Cathode-Ray Displays by tech-advanced civilizations

I have a sci-fi world that is very technologically advanced (at the stage of "sub-singularity" where they have already invented AIs posing danger to humans, but not achieving singularity, so it's not ...
58
votes
39answers
10k views

Dangerous pending task in world managing A.I

I've had this idea for a short novel, at the intersection of the One thousand and one nights and the Multivac (& co) short stories from Asimov. The idea is that there's some kind of super AI that ...
1
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6answers
259 views

Why would a society with FTL space travel not have access to advanced microchip fabrication?

Question Given an advanced civilization which has the technology to exceed light speed, what plausible explanation could there be for said civilization for being unable to fabricate microchips with ...
5
votes
3answers
213 views

SF: Brain-computer interface based on fungal hyphal sheaths: does this sound stupid?

Premise: bio-tech golden age where "wetware" is the new IT meta, organic AI that can interface with our standard computing technology. In this context, I'm imagining a future technology that would ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

How much further could vacuum tubes have been improved given commercial interest?

Vacuum tubes were a mainstay of digital computer technology until around the 1960s, where transistors (and later integrated circuits) replaced them for most applications. In real life history, one of ...
52
votes
10answers
11k views

Does my shipboard computer slow down as I approach light speed?

This question about time dilation got me thinking. The speed of an electron through copper is a whole heckofa lot slower than the speed of light, but if I understand the limits of relativity ...
8
votes
16answers
4k views

Handwave Computer

In many alternate technological settings (steam/electro/diesel punks) there are powerful energy sources that allowed technology boom (like whale oil in Dishonored game series). However handwaving ...
-3
votes
2answers
98 views

Could we teach an AI to code better than people? [closed]

Neural Networks are often used to divise efficent ways of accomplishing tasks. We switched to higher levels of code because the additional levels of abstraction meant it was easier for people do code, ...
3
votes
7answers
347 views

How do you make cyberwar lethal?

Imagine a world somewhat like today’s. Two servers, halfway across the world from each other, decide to declare war on each other. How would one server attempt to kill the personnel in the other ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

quantum computers able to see the future [closed]

when quantum computers become able to calculate quantum calculations, would that equal a psychic? Because wouldn't it be able to calculate possible future events at such a % it would become a true ...
-2
votes
1answer
195 views

How would computer monitors work if we could sense the frequency of light?

Human's abilities to perceive light is quite limited. Essentially, we have three type of light sensors that each give a linear signal, and if two different light sources give the same signals they ...
4
votes
0answers
204 views

FTL by exploiting the frame rate of reality [closed]

I'm considering a possible method of FTL travel for my science fiction universe. I stumbled upon this Quora post which supported a concept that I had. Does it make sense to liken the inverse of ...
5
votes
3answers
570 views

What is the feasibility of building a computer with small animals? [closed]

Obviously I'm not looking for practicality, but more curious if it would work. If mice(or something else small) classically conditioned to press a button when they saw a certain light or heard a ...
-4
votes
1answer
116 views

Escaping a computer [closed]

If we were all part of a very advanced simulation system, where none of us actually existed, but where just sentient computer programs, how could we gain control over the main computer, or is this ...
-5
votes
2answers
169 views

Is there a possibility for electricity to go through a computer screen? [closed]

The picture below shows the main idea to my question. That is manipulated electricity makes an attempt to go through a monitor screen. The AI must have sent something tiny enough, like electrons or ...
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

Quantum Computer Sizes [closed]

Is there a (minimum) size limit for a quantum computer? I know that current computers can only go so small due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, but would this affect quantum computers?
5
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5answers
307 views

Computers without semi-conductor technology

So I've been thinking up a (alt-history)setting that aims to be a classic space opera, with the caveat that it will be completely hard science, with the only handwaving being what technologies do or ...
68
votes
24answers
18k views

In a world with very advanced computer science, how would people be taught sufficient programming skills?

In this world, a few hundred years have gone by since the invention of the first computer and the field of CS has been developed to the point were people are hardly aware hardware exists. Most people ...
59
votes
37answers
16k views

Why would technology dictate graphical interfaces to be rare on spaceships?

This question differs from that question in that the other question is asking about a change in history while this question is looking for a change in the future. In a near future setting I am ...
3
votes
3answers
247 views

How can I enforce the use of CRT monitors?

For reference: I am thinking of a story where travel between worlds exists, but people have to "start over" on each world. So they can't just take their current computers to a new world. The monitors ...
-1
votes
2answers
107 views

What's a possible reason why someone might need to teach another person how to program? [closed]

In schools teachers teach because it's their job. Parents teach their children things because they want the best for their offspring. What would be a good reason why one person/friend may want (or ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

How can a man forced to fix a computer send a warning that he is being held hostage while being closely watched by a non-programmer [closed]

My character is a Master's student in computer science. He stumbled upon a sort of mini-terrorist cell trying to cause trouble and is now being held hostage by them. They are trying to run a virus ...
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votes
6answers
183 views

What would happen if an Ever learning Hacking A.I were to hack an Ever learning Security A.I? [closed]

It's the 2040s and the rebels have decided to hack into the evil 1984 big brother government's Identity system. So Since the process of using human hacker's would be way too tedious to combat the ...
-3
votes
1answer
120 views

What material would a future civilisation's computer chips be made from? [closed]

Is it plausible or even conceivable that some material would offer superior properties for usage in semiconductors or microprocessors? Could silicon chips ever be replaced by chips made by other ...
-3
votes
1answer
73 views

What is a nanocomputer processing node? [closed]

I came across this future science term and I need to know what it is and what it does. Here's a link to it in the book I found. https://books.google.com/books?id=luCFTmzpZIkC&pg=PA205&lpg=...
-1
votes
1answer
111 views

Could this algorithm be inaccurate or cause ethical problems? [closed]

Say a company in my future world has an algorithm that can evaluate and hire job candidates? Would this potentially cause problems like bias or hire people unfairly? Could it also be unreliable?
4
votes
9answers
1k views

What fields of computer science would change in a world with mechanical computers?

In this world, after Babbage designed his analytical engine, research lead to developpement of mechanical computers based on Babbage's model but with tinier and tinier metal pieces (going on the ...
2
votes
4answers
234 views

In a VR-MMORPG, how might the game's publishers be able to maintain life-like NPCs?

Taking something like the anime Log Horizon as an example, where NPCs (non-player characters) are essentially humans, but in a game (let's wave our hands and say that the tech is available for making ...
-1
votes
5answers
153 views

What would happen if humans can no longer make standard / high performance computer processors? [closed]

I am wondering what would happen if humans could no longer manufacture high-end computer processors. I am thinking about still being able to create processors similar to those used in space crafts, ...
-3
votes
4answers
395 views

Our brain is a very powerful signal processor, what's stopping us from creating computers to emulate [closed]

Our brain is a very powerful signal processor. It takes input (memories, senses, ...) and produces output (actions, thoughts, any decision). It only soaks in data and creates patterns to make decision ...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

Technology that steals memories

There is a device in my story that »steals« memories from a person (I had some sort of transmitter in mind, but this can easily be modified, as long as it uses powerful long-range signals to achieve ...