The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

Some numbers on government research:

The US NIH spends about 30 billion dollar a year on medically relevant research. The NSF spends another 7 billion on the other forms of non-defense-related research. The DoE spends some 5 billion on research. Nasa spends about 18 billion, all of which counts technically as federal science funding. USDA spends 2 billion on reasearch. Other science and research funding is smaller and distributed over other budgets. Perhaps another few billion, hard to say.

The DoD spends 80 billion a year on R&D, and the DoE spends about 10 billion a year on nuclear weapons (but that's not just research, I guess). So in direct funding alone, defense is probably a small majority of government research (and keep in mind that the government funds a large part of all basic science).

Of course, the government also funds research indirectly, by being the main buyer of certain privately developed products. That's true for medicine (through medicare etc), but of course even more for defense. So direct funding alone perhaps underestimates which fraction of government-funded research is defense-related.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:22 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Woofsie wrote:True, it's just sad that the government is far more likely to fund new technology if it can be used to help kill people.

Well, not always.

Only because SoldierTrain and Project R.O.V.E.R never got out of prototyping. They're still working on the Lightning guns.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:31 pm UTC

I'm taking apart, and learning to put back together, a stereo. There is more processing power in this stereo than there was on the mission that landed on the moon. This stereo plays music encoded using data storage methods capable of holding all of the data from that mission in something infinitely smaller than the data storage devices they used back then.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Angua » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

The entirety of the human genome can be put on one slide. One machine now can sequence 8 genomes a day (using massively parallel dna pyrosequencing which is an awesomely futuristic sounding name in itself) when it took 11 years from the official announcement of the human genome project in 1990 to the first consensus draft being published in 2001. We discovered an oncogene (BRAF) in 2004 found in over 50% of malignant melanomas, and developed a targeted drug, PLX4032, which is now in phase 3 trials and showing good results - so from gene to drug to bedside in 7 years.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby zmatt » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:23 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:Oh gods, who broke the thread?


That would be me.

Oregonaut wrote:I'm taking apart, and learning to put back together, a stereo. There is more processing power in this stereo than there was on the mission that landed on the moon. This stereo plays music encoded using data storage methods capable of holding all of the data from that mission in something infinitely smaller than the data storage devices they used back then.


Not to be a prick, but I am sure it is finitely smaller. Even if we used black holes for data storage it would be finitely smaller. ;)


Here is one, my PC in 1994 (486DX2) was 10,000 times more powerful than the Apollo computer and that 486 is considered archaic. Also, with the core chips, I'm glad Intel brought back the turbo option. I loved the turbo button on my 486.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby TheChewanater » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:The DoD spends 80 billion a year on R&D, and the DoEDepartment of Education spends about 10 billion a year on nuclear weapons (but that's not just research, I guess). So in direct funding alone, defense is probably a small majority of government research (and keep in mind that the government funds a large part of all basic science).

How I read this.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Gotta keep them High Schoolers in line.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby grythyttan » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:Here is one, my PC in 1994 (486DX2) was 10,000 times more powerful than the Apollo computer and that 486 is considered archaic. Also, with the core chips, I'm glad Intel brought back the turbo option. I loved the turbo button on my 486.
Oh turbo buttons! I love those. In an ideal world everything would have a turbo button.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:20 pm UTC

grythyttan wrote:
zmatt wrote:Here is one, my PC in 1994 (486DX2) was 10,000 times more powerful than the Apollo computer and that 486 is considered archaic. Also, with the core chips, I'm glad Intel brought back the turbo option. I loved the turbo button on my 486.
Oh turbo buttons! I love those. In an ideal world everything would have a turbo button.


... Office chairs with Turbo.
Mattresses with Turbo.
Spoons with Turbo.

Turbo on Doors.
Turbo water bottles

Turbo Pants!
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dark567 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

MY 386 and 486 machines with turbo buttons were awesome. Just press it and everything runs faster.Notably the first Wing Commander game which originally aimed at 12 MHz, and didn't have any clock cycle scaling, if you would press the turbo button everything would start running 4 times as fast and I would always crash into something.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:30 pm UTC

Think about the world's fastest human in 1950. Now think about 1980. Now think about how fast humans are now.

That's some serious speed.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Manial » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

Think how much faster we'd be with a turbo button!

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

Isn't that what Usain Bolt used?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

I have always had the strong moral conviction that things without a turbine should not claim to have a turbo.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:05 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I have always had the strong moral conviction that things without a turbine should not claim to have a turbo.


Then in accordance with

grythyttan wrote:Oh turbo buttons! I love those. In an ideal world everything would have a turbo button.


Everything should have a turbine!
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Zamfir wrote:I have always had the strong moral conviction that things without a turbine should not claim to have a turbo.


Then in accordance with

grythyttan wrote:Oh turbo buttons! I love those. In an ideal world everything would have a turbo button.


Everything should have a turbine!

That solution is acceptable. You could for example overvolt a cpu with power generated from it exhaust heat. Or install a second heart in Usain Bolt, powered by the air flow around him, or from his exhaust gases.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:30 pm UTC

You could turn Usain Bolt into a SCRAMJET?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:33 pm UTC

Ramjets don't have turbos. That's the definition of a ramjet.
Last edited by Zamfir on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:You could turn Usain Bolt into a SCRAMJET?

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first Jet Turbine man. Usain Bolt will be that man. Better than he was before. Faster...faster...faster."
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Garm » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:40 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Oregonaut wrote:You could turn Usain Bolt into a SCRAMJET?

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first Jet Turbine man. Usain Bolt will be that man. Better than he was before. Faster...faster...faster."


You're going to overclock Usain Bolt?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:42 pm UTC

I wonder what we could use as a heatsink...
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:44 pm UTC



You're going to overclock Usain Bolt?

Quite the opposite. If he runs faster, his clock runs slower.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:46 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:


You're going to overclock Usain Bolt?

Quite the opposite. If he runs faster, his clock runs slower.


Bada BING!
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:20 am UTC

Oregonaut wrote:You could turn Usain Bolt into a SCRAMJET?


Scramjets and Ramjets lack a turbine, which is why they can't accelerate from 0 mph. You'll want a turbojet.

The first computer I used was a PowerMac G3 with a 300 mhz (presumedly single-core) processor, 32 GB of RAM and 6 gB of disk space. Seeing as I'm only 16, that's probably still better than most of the computers that you all started with, but it's still amazing when you consider that now I have a computer that costs significantly less but has a 2.6ghz quad core processor, 4 gB of RAM and 500 gB of disk space.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:29 am UTC

You mean 4GHZ quad core, 8GB ram and Terrabites of HDD space? ;)
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:19 am UTC

I remember about, oh, seven years ago my friend told me they were working on a terabyte hard drive. I told him I couldn't imagine needing that much space, he looked at me like I was sooo stupid and asserted he could easily fill up a terabyte hard drive with porn. He was right and I am the fool.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:13 am UTC

Am I the only one who stopped caring about (home) computer improvements some years ago? I still got a first-generation dual-core laptop from 2006 or so lying around, and apart from a larger hard drive it's still OK. The only reason to buy computers since then has been to have more of them, and sturdier ones. But not to have faster ones.

The larger hard drives were useful for a while longer. But I can remember how I really had to fuss about which programs to keep installed, instead of just removing half a disk of videos I have already watched and will never watch again.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Woofsie » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:34 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:The only reason to buy computers since then has been to have more of them, and sturdier ones. But not to have faster ones.

Games.
Zamfir wrote:The larger hard drives were useful for a while longer. But I can remember how I really had to fuss about which programs to keep installed, instead of just removing half a disk of videos I have already watched and will never watch again.

Torrentz.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:04 pm UTC

Woofsie wrote:Games.

No doubt that games people will want faster machines. The question is how much that affects the rest of the market, and how much synergy there is between game needs and other needs. You can see the two slowly moving apart, with non-gamers buying low-power, silent, mobile machines and gamers buying either machines that are basically designed around power-hungry graphics cards, or simply migrating to consoles.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Felstaff » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:21 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:The only reason to buy computers since then has been to have more of them, and sturdier ones. But not to have faster ones.

Graphic designers? Modellers? Renderers? Special effects designers? Editors? Filmmakers? Animators? Architects? Roboticists? Engineers? Scientists?

Sometimes people need more than Excel and Windows Media Player for their jobs...
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:41 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
Zamfir wrote:The only reason to buy computers since then has been to have more of them, and sturdier ones. But not to have faster ones.

Graphic designers? Modellers? Renderers? Special effects designers? Editors? Filmmakers? Animators? Architects? Roboticists? Engineers? Scientists?

I tried carefully to formulate that I was talking about my own situation and about home computers. I am sorry if I failed there.

Of course there enough people who can use faster machines without a forseeable limit. At work, I am one of them. Thing is, for the past two decades or so home computers have been a major market for faster yet affordable computing components. That's very important in a business with such high upfront costs and low marginal costs. To a large extent, the much smaller market of high-end users had a benefit from the fact that their needs today would also be the mass-market needs of tomorrow, so they did not have to bear the total investments needed for the stuff they got.

So, as someone whose professional computer needs like to see massive investments in speed, I am worried that my own home needs don't require that anymore, and that this is probably even more true for the majority of users, who do not even run compilers or so at home.

All those Graphic designers? Modellers? Renderers? Special effects designers? Editors? Filmmakers? Animators? Architects? Roboticists? Engineers? Scientists? together do not add up to large fraction of the market. If their needs start to deviate too far from home users, they're going to have to shoulder the investment cost of their specific needs themselves.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby zmatt » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:43 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Zamfir wrote:I have always had the strong moral conviction that things without a turbine should not claim to have a turbo.


Then in accordance with

grythyttan wrote:Oh turbo buttons! I love those. In an ideal world everything would have a turbo button.


Everything should have a turbine!

That solution is acceptable. You could for example overvolt a cpu with power generated from it exhaust heat. Or install a second heart in Usain Bolt, powered by the air flow around him, or from his exhaust gases.


Not all turbines are like exhaust driven compressors though. A jet turbine is a turbine and it does not rely on spent exhaust gas. I think to be a turbine you just have to have a rotating fan that extracts power somehow.

Also, this is the second time I have derailed this thread.


Zamfir wrote: or simply migrating to consoles.


I hope not, pc gaming drives the gaming market in innovation. The console market basically has a change every few years when a new generation comes out, and then they are pretty much stagnant as far as new graphics technology or play modes. 3D, online multiplayer, high def, "real" sound", and any number of other technologies were on PCs first. I think the big exception to this is in controllers. PCs have always used keyboards and mice and as far as i can tell there is no push to change. Consoles on the other hand have been trying to reinvent the wheel since '79. Heck when the PS3 and Xbox 360 came out, they were obsolete despite the fanfare. They can't actually render anything in 1080p without it being up converted and they struggle with simple things like anti aliasing. Consoles will always have a majority of the gaming market due to their accessibility, but the innovation will always come form the more power and more modern PCs.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jules.LT » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:29 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Am I the only one who stopped caring about (home) computer improvements some years ago? I still got a first-generation dual-core laptop from 2006 or so lying around, and apart from a larger hard drive it's still OK.

Zamfir wrote:Thing is, for the past two decades or so home computers have been a major market for faster yet affordable computing components. That's very important in a business with such high upfront costs and low marginal costs. To a large extent, the much smaller market of high-end users had a benefit from the fact that their needs today would also be the mass-market needs of tomorrow, so they did not have to bear the total investments needed for the stuff they got.

That is so true. And I'm not sure it's a bad thing: there are many things that we need more urgently than more computing power. Like green technologies...

zmatt wrote:pc gaming drives the gaming market in innovation. The console market basically has a change every few years when a new generation comes out, and then they are pretty much stagnant as far as new graphics technology or play modes.

But is technological innovation that interesting in gaming?
I see PCs as the main vector for gaming innovation because it's so open and lets indie developpers bring about their wildest conceptual and gameplay innovations (which are usually low-tech).
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:A jet turbine is a turbine and it does not rely on spent exhaust gas.

Now think about that twice. What did you think the "jet" in jet engine was?

I am in doubt about things with turbines that do not run on exhaust gas. Do they deserve a "Turbo" label?

And do you get a "Combo" label if you have a combine? If you're a big farmer, and you have three combines, do you get a "3x Combo" label? How about porcupines?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Hawknc » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:45 pm UTC

I guess if you're being technical, the product of combusted hydrocarbons and oxygen is what makes the turbine in a turbojet spin, yes. Taking the system as a whole, though, the input is fresh air.

I think the point here is that everything should be jet powered, including the Olympics.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:49 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
zmatt wrote:A jet turbine is a turbine and it does not rely on spent exhaust gas.

Now think about that twice. What did you think the "jet" in jet engine was?

I am in doubt about things with turbines that do not run on exhaust gas. Do they deserve a "Turbo" label?

And do you get a "Combo" label if you have a combine? If you're a big farmer, and you have three combines, do you get a "3x Combo" label? How about porcupines?

I used to go around farms and smash combines with a sledgehammer as a hobby. I think the farmer was yelling something at me, but I couldn't hear him clearly over the "C-C-C-C-C-COMBO-BREAKER!"
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

I guess if you're being technical, the product of combusted hydrocarbons and oxygen is what makes the turbine in a turbojet spin, yes. Taking the system as a whole, though, the input is fresh air.

Well, that's true for car turbos too, and for Usain Bolt. Though not for his backside exhaust gases.

In the category 'things you always wanted to know but didn't know you wanted to know': turbot has the same ethymological root as turbo.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:In the category 'things you always wanted to know but didn't know you wanted to know': turbot has the same ethymological root as turbo.

Back to the future (sorry)... We just learned an interesting fact because of the internet. The majority of human knowledge is available to us, and we don't have to do anything but type at a keyboard.

Incredible.
"Comment is free, but facts are sacred" - C.P. Scott

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:03 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:
Zamfir wrote:In the category 'things you always wanted to know but didn't know you wanted to know': turbot has the same ethymological root as turbo.

Back to the future (sorry)... We just learned an interesting fact because of the internet. The majority of human knowledge is available to us, and we don't have to do anything but type at a keyboard.

Incredible.


And so we use it to discuss whether or not Usain Bolt could be considered "turbo" depending on what kind of jet engine we strapped to his back.

Incredible indeed.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:All those Graphic designers? Modellers? Renderers? Special effects designers? Editors? Filmmakers? Animators? Architects? Roboticists? Engineers? Scientists? together do not add up to large fraction of the market. If their needs start to deviate too far from home users, they're going to have to shoulder the investment cost of their specific needs themselves.
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