Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"[Science fiction] has become big business, where books are merchandised and promoted and distributed and placed on sale like slabs of bacon or cans of soup."
- Frederik Pohl

Navicloud Custom Debinder  
  A machine that pulls books apart and scans the contents.  

This is one of my favorites from this excellent book. Here's the problem (and it may sound familiar): how can you scan the entire contents of a library?

In this excerpt, Robert walks into a university library, expecting to see the usual stacks.

Tiny flecks of white floated and swirled in the column of light. Snowflakes? But one landed on his hand: a fleck of paper.

And now the ripping buzz of the saw was still louder, and there was also the sound of a giant vacuum cleaner...

Brrrap! A tree shredder!

Ahead of him, everything was empty bookcases, skeletons. Robert went to the end of the aisle and walked toward the noise. The air was a fog of floating paper dust. In the fourth aisle, the space between the bookcases was filled with a pulsing fabric tube. The monster worm was brightly lit from within. At the other end, almost twenty feet away, was the worm's maw - the source of the noise... The raging maw was a "Navicloud custom debinder." The fabric tunnel that stretched out behind it was a "camera tunnel..." The shredded fragments of books and magazines flew down the tunnel like leaves in a tornado, twisting and tumbling. The inside of the fabric was stiched with thousands of tiny cameras. The shreds were being photographed again and again, from every angle and orientation, till finally the torn leaves dropped into a bin just in front of Robert.

Technovelgy from Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge.
Published by Tor in 2006
Additional resources -

Once the entire book was photographed, sophisticated optical character recognition programs went to work, picking out the characters and words on each page. Finally, the machine's AI reconstructed each book and reconstituted every chapter.

Another book "saved" for the 'net.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Rainbows End
  More Ideas and Technology by Vernor Vinge
  Tech news articles related to Rainbows End
  Tech news articles related to works by Vernor Vinge

Navicloud Custom Debinder-related news articles:
  - Anti-Shredder Computer Versus Stasi Secret Police
  - Book-Scanning ScanRobot Neater Than Navicloud Custom Debinder
  - Scanner Could Let You 'Rip' Books

Articles related to Culture
Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
SensorWake Scent-Based Alarm Clock

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.