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Handhelds Sci-Fi Idle

Turn Your iPad Into a Star Trek PADD 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the assimilate-this! dept.
A new app from CBS interactive can help you figure out the trouble with tribbles once and for all. Star Trek PADD for iPad includes all the official data on ships, aliens, technologies, an episode guide, and uses a Starfleet-like interface. Live long and prosper.
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Turn Your iPad Into a Star Trek PADD

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  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by wsxyz (543068) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:48PM (#36725428)
    Awesome. Now I can conclusively prove that I have no life!
  • Still not a PADD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lanteran (1883836)
    PADDs are proper computers- they can run arbitrary code.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      I dunno. Did you ever actually see that?

      Although I've always thought of these things as terminals anyways. They're like dumb terminals or Sun workstations connecting to some other much bigger centralized machine (like the ship's main computer).

      Although iPads aren't quite proper terminals either.

    • [[Citation needed]]

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday July 11, 2011 @04:06PM (#36725742)

      PADDs are proper computers- they can run arbitrary code.

      You sure about that? I thought the acronym stood for Personal Access Display Device.

      I was under the impression that they were used almost exclusively to display information... Maybe some basic data-entry capabilities. Something along the lines of a modern-day ereader.

      • by kuzb (724081)

        Congratulations, you have locked down your "no life" status.

      • by Kethinov (636034) on Monday July 11, 2011 @04:51PM (#36726378) Homepage Journal

        Jake Sisko wrote novels with PADDs on DS9.

        I'm with the GP on this one. I'm sure the creative intent was that PADDs on Star Trek were programmable, rootable, and so on. Otherwise known as real computers.

        Why? Because it was Star Trek, not 1984. I doubt the Federation exerted Orwellian control over its citizens' portable computers like Apple does today in the real world.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          Are you kidding? Star Trek was very Orwellian, other than it just stared the people that got the benefits of the oppressed rather than the people that were oppressed.

          • You have no idea what Star Trek is about, do you? There's a scene from TNG: Time's Arrow, Part 2 [st-minutiae.com] that directly addresses your point. Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) is briefly brought to the future for complicated reasons. He and Troi have the following conversation:

            CLEMENS: Oh? I'm not so impressed with this future... huge starships... weapons that can no doubt destroy entire cities... military conquest as a way of life.

            She looks sidelong at him.

            TROI: Is that what you see here?

            CLEMENS: Oh, I know what you say... this is a vessel of exploration... your mission is to, discover new worlds...

            The Turbolift arrives. A strange alien EXITS. Clemens reacts, stares after him. They ENTER the Turbolift.

            TROI: Deck thirty-six.

            CLEMENS: That's what the Spanish said... and the Dutch, and the Portuguese. It's what all conquerors say... (beat) I'm sure it's what you told that blue skinned fellow I just saw... before you brought him here to serve you.

            TROI: He's one of thousands of species we've encountered. We live in a peaceful Federation with many of them... the people you see are here by choice.

            Clemens ponders this for a moment.

            CLEMENS: So there are a privileged few... who serve on these ships, living in luxury, wanting for nothing. But what about everyone else? What about the poor? You ignore them...

            TROI: Poverty was eliminated a long time ago. And a lot of things disappeared with it: hopelessness... despair... cruelty... war...

            He regards her solemnly. He's beginning to realize that his dark view is misplaced.

            CLEMENS: I come from a time when men achieve wealth and power by standing on the backs of the poor... when prejudice and intolerance are commonplace... when power is an end unto itself... (beat) And you're telling me... that isn't how it is anymore?

            TROI: That's right.

            CLEMENS: (with a sigh) Maybe it is worth giving up cigars for, after all...

            Troi smiles... the Turbolift door opens and they EXIT.

            There's an episode of Voyager, Author, Author [memory-alpha.org] that does explore issues of the oppressed living in the Federation, but the oppressed are holograms and are obviously a stand-in for an arbitrary oppressed minority. They had to use holograms because it wou

            • by WarlockD (623872)

              Not to sound too nerdy but I never understood Author, Author. I mean seriously, all holograms or AI's "almosts" become slaves? Everything they taught us about the federation is about how they care about the rights of individuals and all of a sudden they have a hologram mining camp? They are using a full matrix of technologys so the holograms have the RIGHT to mine rocks in FUCKING MINING CAMP? Even when the episode was written I cannot imagine at ANY point where you use labor like that rather than indu

              • Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch to think that the Federation would essentially thoughtlessly enslave a population, even (especially) if it's a non-standard population. It's very unclear why hologram labor is helpful, though there are several mines throughout the series that use humanoid labor (the one in Star Trek VI; the one the Duras sisters used with that one alien who got shafted). To be fair, TNG used essentially the same plot point in The Measure of a Man, where Data's rights were questioned. One late D
            • by ArsonSmith (13997)

              So, two people that have been drinking their respective brands of koolaid having a conversation is then total reality within the imagined universe?

              • Uh, what? Kool-Aid is a brand, not a generic type of drink. "respective brands of koolaid" doesn't make sense. Punch is a type of drink that you might have been going for. Even then, what?

                My best interpretation of the mangled garbage I'm replying to is that you don't believe a single example conversation is enough to establish that the stars of the Star Trek shows didn't live on the backs of the oppressed. You're right, but as I mentioned, "By contrast, Troi's view of the Federation/humanity in the future i

                • by ArsonSmith (13997)

                  yea, in fact just started over from the beginning. Last night watch TOS ep2 where Kirk takes a security force to a researcher that just wanted to be left alone. Instead he ended up dead along with his alien companion and a few pre-redshirts. (ie they weren't actually wearing red shirts)

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        I distinctly remember an episode where Wesley used a PADD to control a mini-tractor-beam / forcefield projector that he created. And wasn't there an episode where someone used a PADD to control the whole ship?

        No citations, sorry, but I know for a fact that they did a lot more with them than just "something along the lines of a modern-day ereader".

        • Wesley with tractor beam was The Naked Now [memory-alpha.org] (which was a dreadful episode and firmly established hatred for Wesley). I can't think of any episodes where the whole ship was controlled via a PADD. My knowledge of TNG episodes is pretty encyclopedic, so there probably isn't one. There is an episode where Picard pilots a shuttle which in turn pilots the Enterprise, but he uses the usual shuttle controls, and at one point his commands are relayed by voice and entered into one of the consoles on the bridge.
          • by c6gunner (950153)

            You're right - I was remembering something else [arstechnica.com]:

            "But PADDs were much more powerful than electronic note pads. "We realized that with the networking capabilities we had postulated for the ship, and given the [hypothetical] flexibility of the software, you should be able to fly the ship from the PADD," Okuda said."

            Also, the Star Trek TNG Technical manual [google.ca] talks about the same thing.

        • I'm pretty sure that the PADDs were more prop than solidly-defined devices - meaning, they did whatever the script required of a handheld informational device for that scene. Which, from a futuristic standpoint, is probably what a "real" PADD would be - as much or as little as you need it to be. For data. As opposed to the tri-corder, which was apparently for sensing.

          Similarly, I remember seeing somewhere that the script for the engineering persons had sections that read something like "insert mildly plau
      • PADDs have been used on-screen to open doors, take inventory, sign contracts, read text, watch video with audio, display diagrams, activate site-to-site transports, compose a novel, and download information wirelessly from other computers. It's not clear to me that they could run arbitrary code, though it certainly fits. Mostly they're used for data entry and retrieval, and they also make a convenient place to put buttons that do plot-related things. See the Memory Alpha article [memory-alpha.org] for more.
      • by Lanteran (1883836)
        I actually came up with an example besides the one in TNG of Wesley controlling the tractor beam. Enterprise I think was hardly cannon, but it provides a superior example: Arik Soong was imprisoned by the earth government due to theft of augments from a space station. He was given a PADD to continue his work in genetics- he managed to write a program that opened his cell door, or something of that nature, allowing him to attempt escape.
    • PADDs are proper computers- they can run arbitrary code.

      No episode of Star Trek has ever demonstrated a rooted PADD. Funnily enough, no episode of Star Trek has ever demonstrated a PADD infected with malware.

      • by Kethinov (636034)

        No episode of Star Trek ever demonstrated PADDs lacking that capability either and we have no good reason to assume that the Federation would impose such a limitation like Apple does with the iPad.

        Apple locks down iPads because they have a profit motive for doing so. The Federation had no such profit motive to do so on Star Trek, so it is reasonable to assume that PADDs were not locked down in this fashion and were, as the GP implied, programmable, rootable, etc.

        • No episode of Star Trek ever demonstrated PADDs lacking that capability either and we have no good reason to assume that the Federation would impose such a limitation like Apple does with the iPad.

          That depends on what their security policies are, duddn't it.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I always just assumed that they were terminals that tied into the main computer.

          Although they could have the same bash shell, X terminal, touch terminal network transparency that Unix machines had back in the days those shows aired.

          Sometimes I would sneak onto a professor's personal Sun box when all of the Sun machines in the computing labs were overloaded.

          When storage is pervasively networked, it doesn't necessarily matter what's what or what's where.

          • I always just assumed that they were terminals that tied into the main computer.

            There's an episode where a time traveler claiming to be from the future stole a bunch of their stuff, a tricorder included. When the door opened the ship's computer disabled everything he had taken.

            Apparently they still have DRM in the future. ;)

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I always figured they were X terminals too, but given the stuff that has been done with them without the computer (and they move from installation to installation if you like) they must be more like a ChromeOS device if not even more general-purpose in intent.

      • by lennier (44736)

        Funnily enough, no episode of Star Trek has ever demonstrated a PADD infected with malware.

        And yet, the holodeck gets rooted every second week. I guess it's running a different OS.

        ("MoriartyOS (tm), the only Starfleet military-grade holographic cinematic entertainment system developed with the sole purpose of granting artificial sentience to period Victorian villains! With a MoriartyOS console installed in your flagship, you'll be either the envy or pity of every other advanced race in the galaxy as holographic characters periodically run rogue and attempt to subvert your warp engineering systems

      • by Lanteran (1883836)
        Posted it twice- there was an enterprise episode (either "The Augments" or "Cold Station 12") where Arik Soong wrote a program on his PADD to open the doors in his prison cell, has to be the best example, main other being the one in TNG:The Naked Now
    • PADDs are proper computers- they can run arbitrary code.

      The iPad is a computer that can run arbitrary code.

      Anyone can develop for it. Were you out in space a hundred light-years away, you could re-purpose one if you saw fit.

      Where the analogy really comes in though is with the nearly all touch screen display. You'll note the real PADD had no buttons whatsoever, yet those decrying the iPad as being like the PADD claim that devices with more physically hardcoded elements are more like the ultimately flexible

      • by Kethinov (636034)

        The issue isn't whether or not the iPad is a real computer, but on whether or not its users are allowed to have total control over it.

        Semantically speaking, you're right that the iPad is a real computer. But given the restrictions Apple imposes on its uses, it might as well not be.

        Nobody on Star Trek ever had to jailbreak their PADDs. Likewise, nobody in real life should have to jailbreak their iOS devices.

        • The issue isn't whether or not the iPad is a real computer, but on whether or not its users are allowed to have total control over it.

          That wouldn't be the stupidest statement I've ever heard.

          But we are on Slashdot. You should know better.

          Any device that you physically possess, you have total control over. No matter how it might ship.

          But given the restrictions Apple imposes on its uses, it might as well not be.

          Bullshit. For most people, it is the PADD. It is a world of freedom from the tyranny of normal

          • by Kethinov (636034)

            Your answer to my complaint about Apple's restrictions on iOS was, and I quote, that it is instead "a world of freedom from the tyranny of normal computers and how they constantly cause problems for non-technical users."

            That reply isn't an argument, it's propaganda. You should get a job doing marketing for Apple. That was terrific.

            As for your whole "you can just jailbreak it" schtick, I've got a better solution: Apple can just stop shipping a device that needs to be jailbroken in the first place. What a con

            • Seriously. Why can't Apple exist in your universe? Do you ever *ever* hear Apple fans saying that Android shouldn't be available for those who want the ability to easily tinker on their devices?

              The world is big enough for lots of different types of devices. Apple has chosen the appliance model because that appeals to a large block of customers--but not all of them. That's okay--there are other companies.

              • by Kethinov (636034)

                That's a false dichotomy. Apple can deliver the same terrific experience they do today without the lockdown. All they have to do is provide some obscure process for voluntarily unlocking the device and then everyone's happy.

                • Pay $100/year or jailbreak.

                  You want something less obscure? Then how do you prevent non-technical people from doing it?

                  • by Kethinov (636034)

                    Pay $100 for root on my own device? Screw that. As for jailbreaking, it's obscure to the point of useless, given that it stops OS updates from working and each update has to be re-hacked.

                    What if in the next version of Mac OS X Apple enacted the same policy? "Pay us $100/year for root or jailbreak your Mac." Would you consider that acceptable too?

        • Nobody on Star Trek ever had to jailbreak their PADDs.

          So I guess "Access Denied" or "Access beyond this point is restricted" or "You are not authorized to access this facility" are not cannon? What about the instances of characters hacking around security protocols and lockouts? Do you not recall the hacking of the deflector disk Magnetic locks on Star Trek: First Contact?

          LCARS was more locked down than most modern computer operating systems with multiple levels of permission.

          • by Kethinov (636034)

            That analogy sucks. Jailbreaking your iPad doesn't suddenly give you root on every external server you walk by with it.

            • That analogy sucks. Jailbreaking your iPad doesn't suddenly give you root on every external server you walk by with it.

              The point that you don't seem to be getting is that all access terminals in the trek universe were basically dumb terminals including the padd devices once you tried to go beyond basic data entry and data consumption functions.

              • by Kethinov (636034)

                [citation needed]

                • [citation needed]

                  PADD stands for Personal Access Display Device.

                  http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/PADD [memory-alpha.org]

                  Consisting of a large touchscreen display and minimalistic manual interface or control panel (generally only one or two buttons), the typical PADD is used for a variety of functions including logging manifests, compiling duty rosters or diagnostic reports, entering personal data, and/or accessing library computer systems.

                  You can do similar things with an iPad.

                  LCARS

                  http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/LCARS [memory-alpha.org]

                  In the 24th century, graphica

                  • by Kethinov (636034)

                    None of that supports your conclusion that the device would be just as locked down as the iPad.

                    Apple does it for a profit motive. Unless the Federation was secretly overrun by the Ferengi, I doubt the Federation shared Apple's motive for tablet lockdown. Thus they wouldn't do it.

      • by Lanteran (1883836)
        It can run arbitrary code if you fork over protection money to apple, or if you jailbreak, which is becoming harder and harder to do with each release. If you don't do either of those things, then no, the iPad cannot run arbitrary code.
    • PADDs are proper computers- they can run arbitrary code.

      You meant to say "PADDs are proper computers- they can run fictional code", I presume?

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:50PM (#36725488) Homepage

    Can I just yell out the word "computer!" and then tell it how to advance the plot of this week's storyline?

    • We're getting there, already actually. Google is pretty close to the kind of semantic information retrieval seen, and watson is a good demonstartion of more direct question/answer functionality. And speech recognition is nearly dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The com badges were the best. Somehow they could see into the future and connect the user to the other person before they actually said their name. Whenever Riker says "Riker to Picard" Picard responds instantly, having somehow heard what Riker said at the same time as he said it.

      • My assumption there (or RetCon) was that it recorded the hail, then after it was spoken, sent it like a .wav file to the other comm badge. From the other comm badge's PoV, it was seamless. There would just be a few seconds delay on the first reply on the first one.

  • Hey, neat, a little bit of star trek memorabilia, sounds great! And it has actual information about the shows? Very interested.

    The app costs $4.99, and is available now in the App Store.

    Never mind. For something that sounds like little more than a wikipedia page with some decorations, "very interested" translates into "will download if it's free."

    • Re:Seems expensive (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Announcer (816755) on Monday July 11, 2011 @03:57PM (#36725576) Homepage

      Five bucks = expensive? Dude, I'm out of work, and if I had an iPad (HA! If I could AFFORD one!) I would have already downloaded this app. Five lousy bucks is NOT "expensive". The iPad? Yeah, *THAT* is expensive.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Back in the days of proprietary applications that were displaced by (mostly) free web applications, you would be spending something like $20 or $50 for something like this.

        • by vlm (69642)

          Back in the days of proprietary applications that were displaced by (mostly) free web applications, you would be spending something like $20 or $50 for something like this.

          More likely it would be downloaded for "free". But for $5 I would actually pay for it rather than download it. Its closer to what its worth.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            Your loose morals really aren't the issue here.

            That kind of software managed to thrive at those prices despite your unwillingness to pay anything.

            $20 or $50 is really so much when you consider what dead tree references go for.

      • Five bucks = expensive?

        For something that sounds like little more than a wikipedia page with some decorations.

      • by Kethinov (636034)

        Five lousy bucks is NOT "expensive".

        Calling people cheap: one of the most frequently modded-up ad hominems on slashdot.

  • Let's get it right... we are NOT "Trekkies", we are TREKKERS!

    Trekkies are the kids with the Spock ears and Geordi visors.

    TREKKERS are more "normal"! We love Star Trek, yes, but we ALSO have a life. ;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mikael_j (106439)

      I've always seen "Trekkie" used as a sort of catch-all for Star Trek fans while "Trekker" was a term I only heard people who took Star Trek way too seriously use about themselves.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I've always seen "Trekkie" used as a sort of catch-all for Star Trek fans while "Trekker" was a term I only heard people who took Star Trek way too seriously use about themselves.

        Or the union of those terms: Loser

    • If you have to put THAT much effort ... You're a Trekkie. Sorry.

    • by ph0rk (118461)

      Let's get it right... we are NOT "Trekkies", we are TREKKERS!

      Trekkies are the kids with the Spock ears and Geordi visors.

      TREKKERS are more "normal"! We love Star Trek, yes, but we ALSO have a life. ;)

      If the nomenclature bothers you that much, I am not sure I can grant the bolded claim.

    • by RJHelms (1554807) on Monday July 11, 2011 @04:19PM (#36725948)

      Trekkers are more normal? I have never, ever heard the term used like that.

      The real usage goes like this: Trekkies are hopeless Star Trek nerds. Trekkers are Star Trek nerds who are so hopeless, they're even hopeless nerds when it comes to discussing the terminology used to describe hopeless Star Trek nerds.

    • by pluther (647209)
      Other way around.

      Back in Ye Olden Days (like, when we were all getting all excited about the prospect of Star Trek coming back.. as a movie!) both terms were in use:

      Trekkie: Fan of the series. Including those who really enjoyed the show and talking about it with their friends, those who liked dressing up and going to conventions, and those who wrote erotic fan fiction and passed around the xeroxed stapled copies.

      Trekkers, by contrast, were those who actually worked on the show: the actors, writers, pr

    • I may have to turn in geek card/or get seriously wooshed but:

      Trekkie is a (hardcore?) fan of Star Trek
      Trekker is someone who goes for hill/mountain walks.

      Also, I somehow doubt there is anyone who is a member of both sets.

  • by joebok (457904) on Monday July 11, 2011 @04:03PM (#36725664) Homepage Journal

    How much did these guys pay to have their ad appear as a slashdot story? I guess the future is here - the line between ad and content is gone! Or was it already and I just didn't notice until now?

    • Do you have any evidence that Business Insider ran this story as an advertisement for CBS Interactive's app? Maybe it's an innocent story. I enjoyed it, though I'm a big fan of Star Trek.
  • 1. Live long.
    2. ???
    3. Prosper!

  • Lol... I did the same thing with my Nook Color http://chingchongpingpong.com/2011/05/26/star-trek-padd/ [chingchongpingpong.com]
    • Dude. Stop spamming your blog. That is not the same. This an an "app" whereas that is a "theme" and that was done on the iPhone before the colour Nook even existed. Obviously the iPhone was not the first either but you need to stop posting links to your blog here.

  • without tossing my iPad.

    The interface with the apps, specifically with viewing active apps and the like, is the worst part of it. I sure hope we don't end up with years of this, similar to how the might blue Apple is the only thing allowed at the top of my OS X desktop

  • Copyright infringements?

  • http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/star-trek-episode-guides [macintoshgarden.org] Star Trek Episode Guide HyperCard stacks by David Landis with lots of information about episodes, movies and characters of Star Trek TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager.

    And a LCARS interface (in black and white, but with color pictures)

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