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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

View Poll Results: Transporters, Hovercars, or Both?
Transporters 4 16.67%
Hovercars 1 4.17%
Both 19 79.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 19 2014, 05:59 PM   #16
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Timo wrote: View Post
Worse how? Your circulation would be blocked and/or segmented to pieces, which is what happens in an impact, too. Your organs would be mashed, penetrated by concrete, etc. etc. but again nothing unique there, in any sense that would matter. You'd die, in great pain, but you usually do.
Except with transporters, you don't always die. Sometimes you wind up getting mixed together with your best friend, or turned into children, or accidentally duplicated, or split into a good/evil version of yourself, or accidentally transplanted into an alternate dimension, or materialize inside-out. It's not the INJURIES that are potential hazards, it's the other weird shit that can happen to you in transport that simply cannot happen in a taxi cab.
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Old May 19 2014, 06:17 PM   #17
Merry Christmas
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Sometimes it isn't the destination, it's the journey.

Both modes of transportation would have their place, in addition I've alway assumed that civilian transporter use would be somewhat expensive.

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Old May 19 2014, 09:09 PM   #18
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
The thing is, the goal isn't always to move. Many times, the goal is to move, wait, deliver, wait, pickup wait some more, and then move again.
...Which is an artifact of the vehicle mode of operation.
No, it's a consequence of reality being largely inefficient for tasks that require pre-determined schedules. Like if you're helping your girlfriend move all of her furniture into storage but you can't get the loading done right away because the movers are still on the other side of town eating a pizza: you're waiting.
You are still thinking in antiquated vehicle terms. With teleportation, you can be having that pizza, until the very moment you are needed at spot A or spot B. There's no reason to place the furniture in a mobile storage box and park that in some different spot X.

If you're a police officer staking out a building that may or may not be the hideout for a fugitive: you're waiting.
But not in a vehicle. You don't need one if you have a teleportation machine. With such a machine, your odds of catching the fugitive go through the roof. Or then his chances of escape, if he has access to a transporter, too. The vehicle is outdated and becomes a liability in either scenario.

If your construction company is rebuilding the roof of a house in a job that will take at least twelve hours: the car with all your tools and equipment is waiting.
No. Your tool closet back at the shop is waiting. When you need a hammer, you have it in your hand (or at least on the floor half a meter from you, if you don't trust the precision settings). When you don't, the tools return to the shop.

Except my "intermittent activity" involves transporting two hundred pounds of presentation materials and artifacts back and forth between local school districts, along with hand carts needed to haul all that shit up and down the stairs and the elevators. Do I really need to store all of that crap in my living room and them use the transporters to hand-carry all of that material back and forth between my room and the school district where it needs to go?
Why your living room? You can put it all in your garage, which you no longer need to clog with vehicles.

A "mobile closet" is a fairly idiotic idea, as it's unnecessary "tare hauling" where moving the Ding an sich would be the superior approach. Teleportation not only eliminates all waiting, it also eliminates most movement, as you can have things and people simply here and there without requiring more than a single base of operations (possibly the one where the transporter machinery is, but more probably at an arbitrary location with the machinery centralized elsewhere).

Because I would MUCH rather store it all in one place, a small portable "Sled" of some kind that I could beam from one place to the next, unload when I get there, load it back up when I'm done and then beam the whole kit and caboodle back to my house.
Sounds really odd. Why haul ninety useless tools to a location so that you can apply the ten you actually need? Why not merely beam the ten?

Basically, it isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. Transporters would definitely make transportation more convenient, but they wouldn't replace vehicles in anything less than a millenia.
That doesn't change the nature of my answer: that vehicles are ultimately a liability we would be better off without.

I don't know about "easily" since runabouts are fairly large spacecraft. I also don't know about "military-ruggerized" since they don't seem to be that much tougher than their starship counterparts (which also glitch distressingly often and in very odd ways).
A runabout is hardly bigger than an average bus, yet serves as an efficient hub for a mass transportation system worth ten bus companies if properly applied. And I assume every Starfleet transporter system witnessed is greatly ruggerized over the civilian counterparts, as a commuting system would never have to deal with erratically moving targets, shield activity, ion storms or even distances in excess of ten thousand miles.

This statement doesn't seem to be based on anything at all. It's also logically contradicted by the fact that the Galaxy class starship has an enormous shuttlebay, and the fact that the runabouts you keep mentioning are, in fact, designed to carry cargo.
Yes, yes, we know that the Star Trek society still uses vehicles. That's not relevant to my answer, where things have proceeded to their very logical conclusion and Star Trek looks antiquated. Furthermore, the ability of spacecraft to carry cargo is irrelevant for any argument about teleportation intended to compete with "ground" vehicles such as hovercars.

This statement also is based on nothing, and is mathematically disprovable. Broadly speaking: if you're attempting to search an area nine kilometers wide with a sensor device with a range of 500 square meters, you would have to beam that device to 18 different locations and have it search every one of them. Assuming there are no obstacles that obscure its view from any one location (and there almost always would be) a transporter cycle of five seconds up and five seconds down would mean the search could be conducted in not less than three minutes.

A hovercar with an identical sensor package would be able to match that by flying over the area at fifty meters per second, AND would have the advantage of being able to quickly change positions to avoid obstructions to its field of vision.
...Yet with the price of the vehicle, you can send eighteen sensors and be done in five seconds. And you don't have to wait until your vehicle arrives at the area, which will completely offset calculations like this.

With real teleportation technology, you don't need to send sensors, of course. You can send views, teleporting them to your single sensor in your vacant garage for analysis. Until then, teleporting a "vehicle" might be worth the while, but that's not something I have to wait for before applying my answer, because I'm already there at the conclusion.

This statement is also based on nothing, and is again explicitly contradicted by the fact that storekeepers throughout the Federation are seen using physical stocks of goods and not relying on teleportation (even in places like Deep Space Nine, where said teleportation should be available). In fact, it seems that teleportation itself is incompatible with that business model, as the only distributors who use transporters are fully automated replimats or ship's stores.
Again, Star Trek is irrelevant to the case at hand. And the "statement based on nothing" thing is getting tiresome real fast - it's based on the way things would be, were teleportation actually available. Any logistician would swear on that.

You have a weird definition of efficient. Should telephone operators carry kilowatt- or megawatt-range powerplants and giant antennas with them so that they could be truly independent of a fixed infrastructure and thus "more efficient"?
It WOULD be if the kilowatt-range powerplants were the size of cell phone batteries (which, in the Trek universe, they are). Indeed, the Star Trek universe has shown us spacecraft the size of golf carts capable of traveling interstellar distances; a hovercar could probably circumnavigate the Earth on a power source no bigger than my laptop battery.
That's nonsense. The size of a teleporter per customer is zero in practice. (In theory, it is relative to the number of customers, but still very close to zero.)

Transporters are not competitive with vehicles until they can be scaled down to THAT size; even then, they are still not competitive with MOBILE transporters that can self-teleport along with their contents.
Futher nonsense: there's nothing to be gained from moving a device that eliminates the very concept of movement. A transporter situated at O can handle every contingency and need not be repositioned at A, B or C for any purpose.

Unless, of course, you're someone who uses you vehicle to do useful work, in which case the minibar and parasol are combined with a toolshelf, a gun rack, a bookshelf, a desk, and a bathroom. Transporters may do some things better than vehicles, but transporting your vehicle adds layers of convenience.
Vehicles are an inefficient way to do work, any work. Why have a bulldozer with a blade when you can have just the blade, in form of a teleporter? The components dedicated to movement are unnecessary and indeed detrimental to the completion of the task.

Forget about carrying anything with you. You don't have to, because it's always with you without the completely unnecessary element of "carrying"!

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Old May 20 2014, 12:26 AM   #19
publiusr
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Transporter for a meeting you have to attend in person. Hovercar for joyriding.
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Old May 20 2014, 05:54 PM   #20
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Timo wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
...Which is an artifact of the vehicle mode of operation.
No, it's a consequence of reality being largely inefficient for tasks that require pre-determined schedules. Like if you're helping your girlfriend move all of her furniture into storage but you can't get the loading done right away because the movers are still on the other side of town eating a pizza: you're waiting.
You are still thinking in antiquated vehicle terms.
No, I'm thinking in "Star Trek transporter" terms, which is not the "magic teleporter" concept you have somehow slipped into.

Transporters require a human operator to function, a fixed base station and hardware at a pre-determined location. For all non-emergency use, travel by transporter means going to a transporter pad, giving your destination to the transporter operator and having that transporter operator beam you to your destination. It is not even certain that civilian transporters (or civilian USE of transporters) can beam to random locations outside of their counterpart stations.

But let's concede a little bit of magic here: your movers ARE capable of beaming directly to the work site and not to the transporter station down the street. But instead of getting to the work site on time, they're at Sarpinos finishing a deep dish pizza and they are half an hour late. There is, incidentally, no transporter pad at Sarpinos, so they still have to walk down to Wells and Lake and use the transporter station there to beam to your house.

So you're waiting.

But not in a vehicle. You don't need one if you have a teleportation machine.
If you're sitting in the teleportation machine staking out the house, then the teleportation machine is a vehicle.

If you're sitting in the trasnporter system machine that is somewhere else other than the suspect's house, then you're not doing a stakeout, you're just backing up the person who IS.

The vehicle is outdated and becomes a liability in either scenario.
I'll again remind you this thread is about transporters vs. hovercars, not bicycles vs. Harry Potter. In which case, a suspect equipped with a hovercar would find it remarkably easy to evade a police force equipped only with transporters. If he escapes the initial assault, they have no means to pursue him once he gets to his car, and they cannot even force him OUT of his car once he's in it (unless you get John McClain to beam down on the roof of the hovercar and try to shoot it out with him in flight, but I digress...)

No. Your tool closet back at the shop is waiting.
What makes you think my shop is equipped with a transporter pad?

A "mobile closet" is a fairly idiotic idea, as it's unnecessary "tare hauling" where moving the Ding an sich would be the superior approach.
You have entirely ceased to talk about anything that anyone in this thread would recognize as a "transporter" in the context of Star Trek.

With real teleportation technology...
There's no such thing as "real teleportation technology" because such a thing is logically impossible in the first place.

We're discussing Star Trek transporters, which -- while also impossible -- have certain built-in limitations in the context of their fictional universe. This entire discussion is pretty meaningless without taking those constraints into account; it's like saying "What would you rather have: a car or a magic genie?"

Again, Star Trek is irrelevant to the case at hand
I think you're in the wrong thread, mate.
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Old May 21 2014, 09:51 AM   #21
Timo
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

It is not even certain that civilian transporters (or civilian USE of transporters) can beam to random locations outside of their counterpart stations.
For the record, the original question did not touch upon Star Trek transporters at all - it was a question on personal preference, with all the facts about the Star Trek situation (in which the answer explicitly is "both" and the question need not be asked) already known.

But civilian transporters certainly are mentioned in Star Trek, and not in a context that would involve pad-to-pad operations, either. Sisko beamed directly to the family's living room during his early Academy days, and I can't see Joe Sisko having truck with a "transporter room" inside his living room. Jake in turn mentioned "beaming in the furniture", which would be an excellent time to use the well-established ability of transporter technology to deliver loads to the exact spot where they are needed. And "Realm of Fear" has all this talk about "millions" of daily transports, which would hardly be the case if Starfleet had exclusive rights to the tech.

But let's concede a little bit of magic here: your movers ARE capable of beaming directly to the work site and not to the transporter station down the street. But instead of getting to the work site on time, they're at Sarpinos finishing a deep dish pizza and they are half an hour late. There is, incidentally, no transporter pad at Sarpinos, so they still have to walk down to Wells and Lake and use the transporter station there to beam to your house.

So you're waiting.
What nonsense is this? A "vehicle" wouldn't alter any of that in any way. The furniture and the people involved in the scenario could be delivered where needed, when needed, by a teleporter. The "waiting" (an odd term for life simply going on) would not affect the deliveries or call for a moving storage closet.

If you're sitting in the teleportation machine staking out the house, then the teleportation machine is a vehicle.
No, it's not - it doesn't move, so it's not a vehicle.

But why would you sit inside a teleportation machine? This makes no sense. You choose a spot that allows you the best possible view or concealment, and any vehicle is a massive handicap in that regard (unless vehicles are commonplace, which would be untrue in a society with access to teleportation - and even that conceit would only cover the "concealment" angle while leaving the "view" handicap).

If he escapes the initial assault, they have no means to pursue him once he gets to his car, and they cannot even force him OUT of his car once he's in it
Even in Star Trek, none of the above is remotely true. A suspect fleeing in a hovercar is as good as caught already: he can be beamed out of the car, or the entire car can be beamed to custody. Hell, spacecraft can be captured by transporter easily enough!

What makes you think my shop is equipped with a transporter pad?
So your defense is that you are a luddite?

Of course, you wouldn't have a pad. You would have a bracelet similar to what Tom Paris wears in "Non Sequitur". There could be a pad farm in Sausalito, or in orbit. And the tourists could always go to the Old Town Station to see how it was done a century ago, and enjoy the rustic ride, before taking a more modern site-to-site to lunch.

You have entirely ceased to talk about anything that anyone in this thread would recognize as a "transporter" in the context of Star Trek.
Which means I'm on topic and you are not.

But beaming individual tools or the like is routine in TNG. See for example "Peak Performance"... Doing it site-to-site with a bracelet remote is simply the civilian approach.

There's no such thing as "real teleportation technology" because such a thing is logically impossible in the first place.
It's an expression among others: "real" as in "true to the definition", rather than "existing today and available at Wal-Mart".

Star Trek is logically impossible in the first place, though. So please stop mixing it into this.

We're discussing Star Trek transporters, which -- while also impossible -- have certain built-in limitations in the context of their fictional universe. This entire discussion is pretty meaningless without taking those constraints into account
You certainly aren't doing a good job at that, believing that a hovercar can escape a transporter in the Trek universe...

Indeed, there doesn't seem to be a single Trek (TNG) constraint you would have pointed out so far that would make vehicles or both/and the preferable choice.

Remember:

"Which would you rather have, Transporters, Hovercars, or both?"
I would have transporters. The way they are portrayed in TNG, only without the military encumbrances. And in this thread, I get to choose. Star Trek has already made its choice and thus is excluded from the poll.

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Old May 21 2014, 04:57 PM   #22
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

It's not a part of the OP's question, but what's available to use really comes down to economics. Which is more economical to use? Within Trek, the extensive use of hovercars and shuttles says to me that it's not always economical (or even efficient) to use the transporter. That, plus Sisko's line about transporter credits in "Explorers" suggests that transporter usage is a limited commodity for some reason. Maybe it takes far too much energy compared to a hovercraft or shuttle, maybe it uses up some other unrenewable resource, who knows?
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Old May 22 2014, 07:11 AM   #23
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Larry Niven had something similar to the Transporter. It was basically a telephone booth that could transport you from one place on the planet to the other. He had a story called 'The Alibi Machine'. The idea was that you could be in two places at once and have an alibi and be able to commit the perfect murder.

No, I don't want to commit murder, but I would rather have the Transporter than a hover car, but I see having a hover car before the transporter.
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Old May 22 2014, 06:36 PM   #24
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Timo wrote: View Post
It is not even certain that civilian transporters (or civilian USE of transporters) can beam to random locations outside of their counterpart stations.
For the record, the original question did not touch upon Star Trek transporters at all
The sign on the door says "Trek Tech." I think maybe you're confused.

Sisko beamed directly to the family's living room
Sisko was an academy cadet in the 24th century. That wouldn't be a civilian transporter, nor would it be possible for its 23rd century counterparts.

No, it's not - it doesn't move, so it's not a vehicle.
It does if it teleports ITSELF when it moves from place to place.

But why would you sit inside a teleportation machine?
Because sitting OUTSIDE of it would look suspicious.

Even in Star Trek, none of the above is remotely true. A suspect fleeing in a hovercar is as good as caught already: he can be beamed out of the car, or the entire car can be beamed to custody. Hell, spacecraft can be captured by transporter easily enough!
Starfleet can (sometimes) do that, yes. Not because they have transporters, but because they have advanced technical and combat training and some of the most sophisticated sensor equipment the Federation has ever produced.

And yet, Starfleet still uses shuttlecraft...

It's an expression among others: "real" as in "true to the definition"
The OP mentioned "transporters" not "teleporters."

We're discussing Star Trek transporters, which -- while also impossible -- have certain built-in limitations in the context of their fictional universe. This entire discussion is pretty meaningless without taking those constraints into account
You certainly aren't doing a good job at that, believing that a hovercar can escape a transporter in the Trek universe...
Shuttlecraft manage to evade Starfleet (and everyone else, for that matter) on a surprisingly regular basis. Why would a hovercar not be able to evade a civilian transporter operator who lacks Starfleet training, experience, advanced sensors and specialized equipment?

It's like saying that cars can't escape from the police because of Predator Drones.

Indeed, there doesn't seem to be a single Trek (TNG) constraint you would have pointed out so far that would make vehicles or both/and the preferable choice.
You DO realize that starships are vehicles, right?
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Old May 22 2014, 06:43 PM   #25
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

B.J. wrote: View Post
It's not a part of the OP's question, but what's available to use really comes down to economics. Which is more economical to use? Within Trek, the extensive use of hovercars and shuttles says to me that it's not always economical (or even efficient) to use the transporter. That, plus Sisko's line about transporter credits in "Explorers" suggests that transporter usage is a limited commodity for some reason. Maybe it takes far too much energy compared to a hovercraft or shuttle, maybe it uses up some other unrenewable resource, who knows?
Just as a matter of concept: for a variety of reasons, no new invention ever fully replaces an old one. The biggest reason for that is that the original invention often benefits from the new technology and manages to stay competitive in either case.

You wouldn't abandon vehicular traffic because transporters exist; quite the contrary, vehicle manufacturers would find ways to use transporters to make their businesses much more profitable, either by equipping their vehicles with short-range transporters (as a safety or convenience feature) or making the vehicles transporter-compatible so you can sit in your car and have the whole thing beamed to Pittsburgh where you spend the entire day flying around the skyline inspecting holographic billboards for FCC compliance. Your hovercar would be that much cheaper and more efficient since it doesn't ITSELF need to have enough power to fly to Pittsburgh.
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Old May 23 2014, 01:47 AM   #26
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

That's an interesting idea: transporting your whole vehicle somewhere! That way, you could combine the best of both worlds--like flying a plane and having your rental car there.
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Old May 23 2014, 05:35 AM   #27
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

You need both.

I have seen enough episodes to know that there are a plethora of environmental conditions or technical issues that can prevent the safe use of your transporter.

Yes, there are many issues which can be potentially dangerous in a hovercar, but a hovercar isn't disassembling my molecules, and a hovercar can't transport me inside of a giant rock.
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Old May 23 2014, 08:48 PM   #28
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

varek wrote: View Post
That's an interesting idea: transporting your whole vehicle somewhere! That way, you could combine the best of both worlds--like flying a plane and having your rental car there.
Reinvent the parking lot: instead of garages, you have bulk transporters.

Go to your garage, order a car ("I feel like a Porsche today") and drive it to work. Return the car at the end of the day, make sure you didn't leave anything in it, beam it back to the rental lot. Like zipcars, except you never have to pick em up or drop em off.

Better yet, you can always have your favorite car with you no matter what part of the country you're in. You take a sub-orbital shuttle to China to visit your girlfriend's dad, your car is waiting for you at the port when you get there.
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Old June 26 2014, 08:58 PM   #29
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Re: Transporters Vs. Hovercars

Israel has developed magnetic cars, holding 2 people, that are expected to be operational by the end of next year
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27995437

It's not quite a hovercar, but it is a step forward.
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