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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old November 14 2013, 03:29 PM   #211
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Technological Stagnation

"Negative. I am a Meat Popsicle."
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Old November 15 2013, 12:29 AM   #212
GalaxyX
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Re: Technological Stagnation

B.J. wrote: View Post
What you call optimistic, I call realistic or even a bit pessimistic.
I guess I meant optimistic compared to recent films in Post Apocalyptic settings, like Book of Eli and The Road.
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Old November 16 2013, 06:16 PM   #213
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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GalaxyX wrote: View Post
I'd be happy with Phasers.

Flying Cars and Technology to make the blind see would both be kick ass second choices.
Do a google search, while hand lasers are out of the question in the next few decades, the tech is proliferating around the world. Germany, Russia, CHina, US all have battlefield lasers in heavy development.

http://singularityhub.com/2013/01/07...over-1km-away/

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Actually, battlefield lasers are very difficult and clumsy to use by most first-world militaries, primarily because the most efficient use of those lasers -- using optical energy to burn or injure enemy troops at a distance -- is illegal under the geneva conventions. Primarily this is because a laser that will cause injury to a human being is, by definition, powerful enough to permanently blind/disable that human. Because a reflection from the laser spot can have the exact same effect, this means a battlefield laser can cause severe vision damage to anyone who just happens to be looking in the wrong direction when it's fired. So firing lasers in an urban area are going to cause an assload of collateral damage to any civilians who aren't wearing military-grade eye protection.

Militaries therefore have certain inherent limitations to how and when those weapons can be used; they are only intended to attack vehicles or missiles far from civilian areas, and cannot be used in a strictly anti-personnel mode unless they are set to only cause TEMPORARY blindness and/or disorientation.

It would be trivially easy to manufacture a laser weapon that burns out your target's retinas; that kind of thing could fit on the bottom rail of a standard assault rifle. The problem is that even DEVELOPING such a weapon constitutes a minor war crime.
Well as the link demostrates, the Germans are using laser at a distance to destroy aerial vehicles. Other examples abound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EouQh3MQwQ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXIaPocHRAE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9W0tQUaxyU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDzzd52RGqQ

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45465025/

http://www.technewsdaily.com/18008-l...ts-drones.html
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Old December 5 2013, 03:30 PM   #214
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Re: Technological Stagnation

publiusr wrote: View Post
Machines image, people see
This is a distinction without a difference. If the sensors and software are competent enough, it can surely accomplish the same predictive performance.
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Old December 5 2013, 03:48 PM   #215
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Irishman wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
Machines image, people see
This is a distinction without a difference. If the sensors and software are competent enough, it can surely accomplish the same predictive performance.
Yes and no. Yes, because there's no fundamental reason this shouldn't be true. No, because software isn't anywhere near that advanced yet.

Visual algorithms are getting pretty good at accomplishing specific tasks, such as navigation, 3D reconstruction, tracking, object identification, etc. The problem is doing all of those things in a unified way on the same scene, fast enough to be useful, *and* figuring out what to make of new things that are unlike anything that's been trained for recognition.
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Old December 5 2013, 03:57 PM   #216
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
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That's not "central control," that's still a car (computer) making decisions based on the information available. The kind of central control being discussed is one in which every vehicle's speed and movement is regulated by an outside source. That just doesn't make much sense because it doesn't offer any significant advantages to contemporary driving parameters.
But lets say in morning traffic we have 5,000 people all going to around the same area about the same time. In theory using a centralized routing system some of the cars would take route X whereas another gorup of the cars would take route Y to maximize road efficiency and reduce travel times.

Some type of centralized coordination would have to occur to make this happen?
Humans are notoriously poor at centrally planning those kinds of systems. Computer science tells us that a self-organizing network of independent agents (that is, individual cars that are aware of their surroundings and even traffic data but not under central control) will often solve routing problems far more efficiently than a central system could.

The Internet provides plenty of real-world relevance here. Routing is decentralized and yet quite efficient and effective.
The internet kind of argues against your point that humans can't do centralization. There are only 13 DNS root servers in the world (called the backbone of the internet)! We don't think about them most of the time because (they're not sexy) and they usually just work. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6182159AATAMFI This is a centralized-yet-redundant system. I think you're visualizing "centralized" as a single server somewhere with no backups, when in reality, noone would build it that way.
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Old December 5 2013, 04:28 PM   #217
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Re: Technological Stagnation

While there are only 13 authoritative DNS servers, the reason they work is that DNS records can be extensively cached and you usually don't have to go all the way back to the root servers for that information.

It's also worth noting that routing, as it currently exists, only works well on hierarchical network structures. Packets go up the hierarchy as far as they need to in order to find a route, then they start back down again. This is the reason default routes are so important. "I may not know what to do with this packet, but there is one and only one guy I can send it to who I'm certain knows more than me," is how they work. Fully decentralized routing, in which there can be an arbitrarily large number of routes between any two nodes, is not a fully solved problem at this time.
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Old December 5 2013, 05:47 PM   #218
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Irishman wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post

But lets say in morning traffic we have 5,000 people all going to around the same area about the same time. In theory using a centralized routing system some of the cars would take route X whereas another gorup of the cars would take route Y to maximize road efficiency and reduce travel times.

Some type of centralized coordination would have to occur to make this happen?
Humans are notoriously poor at centrally planning those kinds of systems. Computer science tells us that a self-organizing network of independent agents (that is, individual cars that are aware of their surroundings and even traffic data but not under central control) will often solve routing problems far more efficiently than a central system could.

The Internet provides plenty of real-world relevance here. Routing is decentralized and yet quite efficient and effective.
The internet kind of argues against your point that humans can't do centralization. There are only 13 DNS root servers in the world (called the backbone of the internet)! We don't think about them most of the time because (they're not sexy) and they usually just work. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6182159AATAMFI This is a centralized-yet-redundant system. I think you're visualizing "centralized" as a single server somewhere with no backups, when in reality, noone would build it that way.
"Centralized" means there is one system or a small set of systems considered authoritative for a given resource. As Lindley said, DNS only works as well as it does because, despite the very small number of root servers, we all "trust" plenty of servers that aren't the root ones. We don't all do DNS lookups on VeriSign's servers, we use our ISP, or Google, or even a DNS server we run ourselves (which is, again, pulling from another server up the chain, likely not a root server.)

This approach does have weaknesses, in that a malicious party can inject bad DNS info into the tree, or simple mistakes made at the root level can propagate out quickly and "break" the Internet for everyone. Again, this implicit chain of trust lets the whole system work, but it's also highly vulnerable. It's why DNSSec was developed, which still doesn't have wide penetration.

When talking about high-speed rolling death machines, if you're going to rely on outside data sources that can affect the vehicle's operation, the chain of trust needs to be rock solid and secure.

Instead of going for that, to me it makes much more sense to make the car only accountable for itself, and not under the control of an outside system. The car has to behave as if every other vehicle may do something unexpected and dangerous at any moment, and be prepared to react accordingly. A system in which a central authority tells the car, "don't worry, you can drive within a couple inches of the car in front of you, because we'll make sure it never brakes suddenly," is pretty much begging to be exploited.
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