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.

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8
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3answers
2k views

Impact of a modern man with a graphing calculator being dropped into WW2?

A question blatantly inspired by my old question here: What would be the impact of a modern programmer and laptop being dropped into World War II, possibly breaking Enigma? I had so much fun with the ...
10
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6answers
218 views

Technology capable of reading brainwave commands

In sci-fi we have seen computers, high-tech armour and other technologies respond to a character speaking orders out loud- would an interface that reads a person's brainwaves- basically receiving and ...
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1answer
281 views

Can we live forever by uploading our brain information to a computer supplemented by a robot for a body, or no body at all? [duplicate]

If you think about it, we ourselves are only information. So if we could find a reliable way of reading all this information stored within us, especially the information that makes up our brains, we ...
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9answers
3k views

Computer that lasts for centuries?

So, somewhere around one hundred years from now, a terrible - and unexpected - disaster strikes Earth, most of humanity dies off, yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, secret-lab-dwelling scientists had ...
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6answers
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How would a city of AI be built?

Someone has created an AI of human-level intelligence, and within hours this AI has grown in intelligence and power to the point that human life no longer seems so sacred. In an instant, all life on ...
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5answers
706 views

Effects of erasing 90% data on humanity

I am playing with idea of Earth being attacked by aliens. Such attack is aimed on our computers and reason of attack is to show to the Federation of planets that we are still weak to be contacted. ...
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5answers
237 views

In a virtual reality world, as a programmer or designer, how do you make all the details perfect? [closed]

Welcome to the world of Sez, the fantastic virtual reality program available for a premium price! In this world, Sez is very desirable. Sez can make people experience emotions, have memories, and ...
4
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2answers
342 views

How could a computer teach an 18 year-old to function in society

Imagine an advanced A.I. with access to the brain of an 18-year-old. However, this 18-year-old has had no exposure to humanity or the outside world until now, the only information he has received is ...
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16answers
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Could a future computer or supercomputer run a government?

I've looked into the question already and no one really seems to answer it very well. I'll sum up what I've found so far. Some people say that it would not work: "the parameters would always limit ...
2
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3answers
324 views

How could a bad random number generator explain baryon asymmetry?

How can a character explain baryon asymmetry (there is more matter than antimatter) by the universe being a simulation with a slightly imbalanced random number generator being employed at the point ...
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7answers
7k views

Just How Powerful Could a Mechanical Computer Be?

We've all heard about the 1822 Babbage Difference Engine and other mechanical computer ideas of the 19th century. Sadly, Babbage's computer and printer ideas were never implemented in our world†, and ...
8
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3answers
655 views

Building computer hardware on the Moon or Mars

My story setting's group of AIs and brain-uploaded humans wants to colonize space. They have an advantage over us, meat humans, because they don't need conventional life support (air, water, sewage ...
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4answers
728 views

What would a society forbidding cryptography look like?

My world has a very peculiar low forbidding people from ciphering information. The penalty for such a thing is very very high. In this world everything should be seen and understood by anyone. It's a ...
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9answers
866 views

What would a society without cryptography look like?

In this world you have access to computers powerful enough to decipher messages as long as the method used to encrypt it has at least one theoretical weakness (those computers cannot defeat an ...
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9answers
796 views

Can people upload their consciousnesses to computers?

The idea of uploading one's personality and consciousness to a computer is a semi-common science fiction trope. It has been suggested as a way to essential immortality. In a story I'm working on, an ...
3
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3answers
325 views

A Universal Time-Keeping Computer [closed]

According to case 166 of The Codeless Code: It is interesting to note that current physics predicts the heat death of the Universe in no less than 10^100 years, with a subsequent Big Bang arising ...
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14answers
8k views

Ridiculously Fast Supercomputer

Let's say that somehow, Earth suddenly acquired a computer with ridiculous speed. This computer can run a program described in a language of your choice, which can be described by a readme file that ...
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10answers
11k views

How would we compile our code if all our binaries disappeared?

How would we compile our code if all the binaries in the world disappeared and we had only the source code? At first you might think “It’s all okay: I have my Roslyn code here”, but wait! It’s in C#! ...
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6answers
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Is Ternary a option for a tech future?

I have an idea for a story set in the near future, with a character who breaks onto the global scene with a breakthrough advance in technology that makes him billions. My question is whether or not ...
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20answers
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Is there a reason to believe that programming languages are going to converge?

On Earth today, even though most people speak some English, there is seemingly no reason to believe that future generation's main language will be the same in decades/centuries to come (i.e., we'll ...
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6answers
772 views

What planetary conditions would make computer and complex electronics useless, or at least difficult to maintain?

What planetary conditions would have to exist to make computers and other complex electronics useless or at least difficult to maintain? Would ionised atmospheric conditions, constant solar flares, ...
3
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2answers
550 views

Computer resources needed to simulate our universe [closed]

Let's assume that the theory shown in this news is true: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150427101633.htm. What would be the needed resources to simulate all the behaviour that our ...
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5answers
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How To Eat the Moon

An ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence) has come to the conclusion that we humans should be put in a simulation. It has also decided that it would rather not turn the Earth into computronium. ...
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2answers
260 views

Personality Quirks of a Database

I'm currently working on a world where there are people that live in data bases (basically a computer with no internet connection). They link to a human for life and and can record everything the ...
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8answers
2k views

How to Create and Use a Black Hole Computer Drive?

I have been working on a futuristic story where information can be stored and used with a black hole. This is a highly advanced human society that has accomplished interstellar space travel via both ...
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4answers
1k views

P = NP goes public today. How will the world look like in a week?

Some autistic genius mathematician just published a solution to the long-standing problem of P-hard problems being equivalent to NP-hard. The solution just hit Reddit, Slashdot, math.stackexchange.com ...
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4answers
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How would I relay information on a screen to echo-location utilizing sentients?

Since they don't use sight to relay information to their brains, how would information on a computer screen be displayed in a meaningful manner? Would this hinder the advance of my civilization? EDIT:...
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14answers
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What would be the impact of a modern programmer and laptop being dropped into World War II, possibly breaking Enigma?

I've always found the idea of intelligent every-man sent back in time using his knowledge of the future tech to realistically impact the past. The first time something like this came to my mind was ...
14
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7answers
561 views

How to fight the orwellian machines?

We are in a not too distant future. The current trends of computerizing and automating more and more decisions, including military decisions, of more and more surveillance (both state and private ...
3
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1answer
261 views

Internet without space

Suppose mankind never developed spaceflight, which precludes any form of space-based stations or satellites. How could a single global Internet be achievable as we know it today? What technologies ...
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10answers
2k views

What change in the laws of physics would prevent the function of conventional digital circuits without breaking everything else?

Premise Imagine a slightly more advanced modern day world where space flight was starting to commercialize. Imagine that all of a sudden laws changed and the only thing different is that no computer ...
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8answers
9k views

How powerful of a computer do I need to simulate and emulate a human brain?

The title is pretty self-explanatory. How powerful does a computer have to be before it has the hardware capability to simulate and emulate a human mind in real-time? I'm leaving the question of the ...
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5answers
586 views

Social implication of economics based on brain processing power

I'm working on a future cyberpunk setting in which I would like to explore posthumanism as a main theme. Among some of the ideas I have I want to use the very well explored "decking" trope. The idea ...
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8answers
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Building and powering a computer in a bronze age world

A character needs to build a computer out of raw materials in a bronze age. He has a nano scale factory, so manufacturing chips and such from silicon is possible, but I'm not sure of the best way to ...
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2answers
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Perfect logic implementation by computers

Those who have seen the movie, I Robot, will understand my question better. Imagine we're in the future, where a quantum computer (read wikipedia for speeds of QCs) that uses 'perfect logic' controls ...
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1answer
133 views

how does one buffer a direct neural interface and still benefit from real time information flow? [closed]

For various reason it is not "safe' to "go" mind to mind (via headset ,nanotech...or both) with another even if the Tele- Operator has been trained to disarray the various signals the Tele-Operator is ...
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3answers
154 views

Word / phrase for a simulation that is in-sync with the real-world [closed]

If it starts raining in the real world, it will rain in the simulation as well. I've got as far as simultaneous-simulation / synchronous-simulation but is there something better?
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3answers
298 views

Post-singularity and software develpment

In a post-singularity future, is open-source the only feasible model for software development? Or maybe a completely new model? And conversely, would the technological advancements be fast enough to ...
37
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7answers
4k views

How long can an abandoned, semi-sheltered computer remain bootable?

Simply put, what's the expiration date of a computer? The reason I ask is for the sake of a society recovering from some sort of cataclysm and trying to reclaim lost technology. However, I could also ...
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7answers
3k views

What would the world be like if computer software did not have any “undo” feature?

What would the world, and more specifically, productivity on modern computers, be like if Undo (a.k.a. Ctrl-Z) functionality has never been and will never be invented? To clarify: there is no ...
7
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6answers
858 views

The [Great Depression / Dark Ages / Iron Age], but with selfies

Humanity is facing some pretty scary possible futures. Income inequality could lead to a permanent state of poverty for the vast majority of people. Resource depletion, coupled with inadequate ...
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7answers
687 views

Minimum computational power for ad hoc navigating the solar system

Imagine a world (or rather a solar system) where in its history there has been a war with emergent AI's There are very strict laws governing the speed and complexity of computer systems However ...
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7answers
500 views

Would the knowledge of physics on a native aquatic planet be similar to our own?

This question was stimulated by the question How would an aquatic race develop computers?. The answers obviously were based on the aquatic civilization being earth based, but what about a totally ...
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19answers
14k views

How would an aquatic race develop computers?

Following on from this question and assuming the race in question had developed the ability to create tools how would they approach the need for mass calculation. Our early computers were used to ...
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10answers
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Could knowing the state of the universe at time T allow to predict the state T+1?

Quantum physics today tells us that we may not predict outcomes with certainty. We perceive events as random. So is this old philosophical fantasy of an all knowing computer possible? Meaning that ...
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11answers
5k views

Will computers be named differently in the future?

In a few science fiction settings, we can see computers being called differently. A terminal, a holosphere, a pad, anything techno-sounding. But from when computers were invented up until now, they'...
101
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24answers
16k views

If our universe was a simulation, what could a bug look like?

Let's assume, without revoking any of today's science, that the world is a simulation. What would a bug look like? I'm assuming that "the eiffel tower suddenly being bent at 45°" is rather unlikely, ...
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2answers
674 views

Stone Age Circuitry?

As a tangent to How "advanced" can a stone age society get?, is there a way that simple electronics could be created by filling channels cut into rock with some form of conductive material? ...
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6answers
3k views

Could a computer take over an entire planet?

The inspiration for my question comes from The Great C by Philip K Dick. To summarize, the Great C is a computer that has taken over a large portion of the planet. It uses proxy agents to keep ...
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6answers
2k views

How would technological progress occur in a society that outlawed computerized technology?

Most technological progress today seems to be founded on the innovation that is happening in the realm of computers. If a society were to outlaw the use of computers, but the drive for scientific ...