2020.ev

Well, Happy New Year, everyone.  It's now 2020.ev, we're into the third decade of the twenty-first century.

I'm not sure what we're supposed to do now.  Hell, I'm not even sure of what to do with myself this afternoon.  I guess grab whatever downtime we can get before going back to work/school/whatever.

There have been quite a few people joking about bringing back the roaring 20's, with all sorts of memetic payloads (some silly, some not).  Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the the Invisibles' take on the 1920's make something of a comeback, but what do I …

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Mondo 2000 is back.

If you've been around for a while you may remember a certain magazine called Mondo 2000 from the 90's.  It was a time when using the prefix cyber- wasn't done in irony and computers were still weird and edgy and nobody actually knew what the hell they were doing.  Psychedelic explorers like Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna were still alive (though Leary died in '96 and McKenna four years later), raves required you to go on quests to find map points so you could get your wristband to get in, and we all knew - we just knew - that the Net …

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Real life seems like Shadowrun - so why can't I throw fragging fireballs?!

From time to time I sit down with my gaming buddies, and we both lament and observe how well reading and playing cyberpunk games has prepared us for life in the twenty-first century. I don't think that many people expected real life to track quite so closely with many a cyberpunk world penned by the masters, from William Gibson to Neal Stephenson to Bruce Sterling. Strangely enough, many of the lifestyle strategies depicted in these stories have helped keep our own lives (and those of our families) stable and, for the most part nice to live as human history has …

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Google has decided to censor parts of my site in the European Union.

One of my bots just received the following message from Google, verified in Google Webmaster Tools:


Notice of removal from Google Search
April 3, 2015

Hello,

Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, we are no longer able to show one or more pages from your site in our search results in response to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.

These pages have not been blocked entirely from our search results, and will continue to appear for queries other …

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The world's first rigger, patching around the spinal cord, and a 3d printed violin.

In the tabletop RPG Shadowrun there is a character template that players either love or hate: The Rigger, characters who jack directly into vehicles or drones to pilot them as if they were their own bodies. As they are described, a rigger feels the engine of a vehicle as if it was their own pulse and respiration, sensors in a plane's aerodynamic surfaces replace the proprioceptive senses of their limbs, and sensor systems take the place of the senses of sight, sound, hearting, and taste. For all intents and purposes the rigger is the vehicle, android (let me tell you …

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Robotic martial artists, security guards, and androids.

Quite possibly the holy grail of robotics is the anthroform robot, a robot which is bipedal in configuration, just like a human or other great ape. As it turns out, it's very tricky to build such a robot without it being too heavy or having power requirements that are unreasonable in the extreme (which only exacerbates the former problem). The first real success in this field was Honda's ASIMO in the year 2000.ev, which most recently uses a lithium-ion power cell that permits one hour of continuous runtime for the robot. ASIMO is also, if you've ever seen a …

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Our cyberpunk dystopia is shaping up nicely.

I find it increasingly difficult these days to shake the feeling that the cyberpunk dystopia our world is becoming is shaping up to be more and more like Shadowrun. Ever since 2012 (which turned out to be a slightly less tumultous year than Terrence McKenna had always preached) things have become more and more surreal and disturbing (in a David Cronenberg and not a David Lynch kind of way). The Snowden/NSA scandal continues to bring truly frightening information to light, and the first thing that comes to mind is that ECHO MIRAGE exists as a real thing which is …

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