Tim O'Reilly wrote a great article titled Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution.
When famed hacker Kevin Mitnick wrote his book on computer security, The Art of Deception (John Wiley & Sons, 2002), the first chapter was autobiographical in nature. It was included in the advance galleys that were sent to reviewers, but when the book itself came out, that chapter was not included.
And, here it is.
A story over at kuro5hin explores some of the potential consequences of direct neural connections and living in virtual reality.
The year 0, Universal Space Calander was the year that humans first visited Pluto, the last planet in the Solar System to be visited by humanity. People had moved into space in large numbers for the plentiful solar energy and raw resources. By then there were many small community space vessels that did nothing but roam around mining asteroids and the occasional comet.
It was already common in those days for astronauts on long voyages to travel in virtual reality couches. Their brain was connected by a direct neural interface to a virtual reality while their bodily functions were handled by machinery, and tubes fed water and food directly to their stomach. Many of them had jobs they could take with them and do entirely in virtual reality when the ship did not need tending. And when the ship needed tending they would not wake up bodily to do it, but rather animate a mech through their VR connections, and do the tasks remotely. With this strategy, much less living space was required and the astronauts were less likely to suffer from claustrophobia. Their virtual reality could be as big and open as they desired.
So, I've only written 747 words so far (my goal for today was 2,000) but I'm pretty happy with where I am. You can read my first chapter and then read a conversation I had that really gave me a great idea of where to go with my story.
My blogging here might suffer as I need to write about 1,667 words a day to make 50,000 by the end of the month but I'll probably cross post a few things from that blog to this one just so it doesn't seem like I've dissapeared.
This paper proposes the first design for a worm which utilizes efficient communication between worm instances for an optimal infection strategy.
That reminds me, I need to finish reading Design for Community: the art of connecting real people in virtual places. I can't really comment on how good it is yet as I only read the first few pages and then totally forgot about it for months until I was writing this here entry and remembered I had it :)
Many people may hold the image of a librarian as a shushing school marm who does little more than stamp and shelve books because that's all they've seen librarians do. Well think again - that's about as inaccurate as believing that Alan Greenspan is nothing more than a glorified bank teller. The job titles may change but the mission of the profession remains the same: organize information and help people find it.
I don't know how to show my respect for librarians other than to just thank every one of them for helping so many ungreatful people hehe.
I've been playing Worlds Apart lately, its an amazing piece of science fiction, as good as reading a novel if not more fun because you are part of the story.