Yeah yeah, we know the Trekkie lines are cheap shots, but anyone dork enough to verbalize a desire for a replicator
with a straight face deserves at least a bit of gentle ribbing. Oddly enough, Darpa's desires for such a device aren't terribly far-fetched. See, those war nerds are looking for a disposable transmitter about the size of a sheet of paper that can be built on the fly. Messages up to 60 alphanumeric characters could be coded onto the "printed" device, and thanks to some stamped-on circuitry could be transmitted via pulses of light. Darpa wants this "replicator" to be prepped in 12 months, and in another 12 be shrunk to the size of a Blackberry, with the transmitters designed to last up to four days. No word on how much time is Darpa is allowing before they get hot meals delivered in such a manner.