and image gallery:
In your pocket you have a device that can connect to a wider network of interconnected devices. Some of those contain hundreds of Libraries of information that is freely available to anybody who wants to know. You can ask a question and experts from around the world can answer. These devices, which used to cost millions of dollars, are now affordable to nearly everybody. This magical web connects billions of people across the world instantaneously.
With all of this information available, we can learn to build cars that drive themselves, or personal fusion reactors, or a "simple" website that connects you to people over a wide geographic area, or get news as it happens from around the world.
The last part struck me after talking to my grandfather about how news spread in his era. He was in the printing business for magazines like Sunset and Time. He said that it was nearly unheard of to get iconic pictures from the source to print any faster than a week. A WEEK! Now we can see what is going on around the world AS IT HAPPENS!
Think about it. When was the last time you personally had to buy a compiler? The last one I bought was Visual C++ 6.0. You can get the tools and the knowledge for building a successful business and career for free. That alone boggles my mind! Fifty years ago you needed a college education and a fat stack of cash to work on the very things we do for pleasure now.
I mean right now I am making an argument with somebody I never met from a coffee shop in California. Doing a little homework (aka, clicking his username) shows me a company he founded that lets customers talk directly to businesses. HOW COOL IS THAT?
A whole generation is growing up that will never know the concept of information scarcity. That in and of itself is mindblowing.
And heck, if you showed those quad copter videos to someone from the 60's, they would flip out.
I don't think we have lost that ambition.
The boat basically becomes it's own anchor, anchoring itself in the calm water under the surface.
Think of it this way: The vessel in perfectly calm water will sit at a particular level. Now a wave comes, and briefly the force acting on the ship is "proportional" to the buoyancy volume, ie height of the wave and the area of water that the hull intersects. Nothing can be done about the wave height, but the waterplane area can be reduced, minimising the force. The price you pay for that is a low payload.
Now if the vessel had a natural frequency of bobbing up and down close to the frequency of the waves, a resonance could occur which would amplify the motions. But the natural frequency of such a structure is by design very low, many times lower than the wave frequency, so resonance does not occur.
Other structures which operate on the same principle are semi-submersible drilling/production vessels (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-submersible) and "spar" type oil production platforms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spar_(platform)). The need to support a heavy payload on these structures makes the design quite challenging, as a good compromise must be found between hull cost, payload and low motions.
Interestingly, another type of oil platform, the tension-leg platform, takes the opposite approach of having a very stiff anchoring system and a high natural frequency to achieve the same effect of low vertical motion in heavy seas.
(I am an engineer in the oil and gas industry with many years of deepwater development experience).
They get a lot of money from the Office of Naval Research, and some of the projects are certainly classified. I dont know for sure, but it's quite possible that FLIP was used at some point for studies of acoustics, which were paid for by people fundamentally interested in finding submarines.