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

  life media history art_imitates_life military rpg shadowrun cyberpunk

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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North Korea: A Polite Rant

  north_korea military missiles rant nuclear_testing war life

If you've been following the news for the past couple of weeks you've no doubt seen lots of hand wringing about North Korea's missile tests. To summarize, they've popped off a couple of missiles that seem to have intercontinental capability, i.e., they could, in theory travel from North Korea to the vicinity of the United States or Canada and deliver their payload. The missiles in question keep landing in the ocean, which strongly suggests deliberate targeting to prove launch and control capability as well as making it more difficult for other countries to get hold of the hardware for …

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My obligatory "Cyberpunk is passe'" post.

  ai corporation cyberpunk future implants internet life military politics society space surveillance technology vr war

In the past couple of weeks it's become something of a fad to post about the genre of cyberpunk becoming somewhat passe'. We now live in the twenty-first century, where much of the fiction that my generation grew up reading was ostensibly set. We don't have flying cars or jetpacks. We don't really have food pills, either, but the nutrient and protein shakes that you can buy in the cold case of just about every convenience store these days (or the frankly awful tasting energy drinks that are popular with the younger set) aren't that far off. We do have …

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Aftershocks from the Afghan War Diary release.

  afghanistan fallout information leaks military news politics rhetoric wikileaks

If you haven't been paying attention to the news for a week or so, Wikileaks dropped a major bomb last week by releasing approximately 75,000 classified mission reports from the ongoing yet formally undeclared war in Afghanistan. The staff of Wikileaks has made it known that there is so much data there that anyone and everyone out there with programming skills should at least consider downloading the archived documents and writing software to analyze their contents to find patterns in the information. However, nothing ever happens in a vacuum and blowback is being felt across the Net, and I …

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Biodegradable surgical implants and surreptitious DNA archival.

  archival bioengineering biotech children database dna implants military mitochondria mtdna surgery united_states wtf

After badly breaking a load-bearing part of your body it's not uncommon for an orthopedic surgeon to install a couple of after-market bits of hardware to hold the bones together while they knit. This usually takes the form of a couple of titanium alloy screws, though plates, rods, and tubes are not unknown. The downside of using something made out of metal to put things back together is that the screw holes left behind after the implants are removed require additional time to heal. Plus, the holes further compromise the structural integrity of the bone until they fill in. In …

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

  80s action adaptation add cartoons comics loose military movie nanotechnology sci_fi

When I discovered that Spyglass Pictures was bringing G.I. Joe to the big screen a while ago I was nonplussed until I discovered that Christopher Eccleston, who happens to be one of my favorite actors, was playing the arms dealer Destro, or James McCullen the fourteenth, head of MARS.

Chris, Chris, Chris.. what were you thinking?

I want to like this movie, I really do. It’s just that there are so many things about it that piss me off in one way or another. When I go to see a science fiction movie, I implicitly agree to suspend …

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Gary McKinnon to be extradited to the US.

  computers cracking dod extradition mckinnon military networks oops ufos

Just a few days ago it was made official – eccentric systems cracker Gary McKinnon, known as the UFO Hacker by the news media has lost his final appeal and will be extradited to the United States to stand trial. If convicted, McKinnon is looking at 70 years in federal prison for compromising 97 computer networks operated by the US Department of Defense in his quest to prove that UFOs exist. Federal prosecutors claim that McKinnon’s actions may have interfered with their response to the events of 9/11, though there is little to no evidence supporting their claim …

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What hath the fabulists wrought?

  advances communications computer_crime cracking data future information malware media military networks predictions prosthetics science_fiction technology

It’s long been said that science fiction predicts, or at least inspires some of the things which we take for granted every day. While the exact origins of the genre could be debated until the cows come home (and they most certainly are in some circles), it was some time during the 17th century c.e. during the Age of Reason in which people really began to write stories in which the advances of the time were their inspiration. Great voyages by sailing ship and fanciful aircraft were taken to regions of the globe which had only been seen …

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Peter W. Singer at HacDC.

  combat explosives hacdc ied iraq military moblog_fail peter_singer presentation robotics

Forget moblogging. It’s too much hassle to be workable because it never works, and it wrecks my formatting.

 <p>I just got back from <a href="http://hacdc.org/">HacDC</a>, where tonight Peter Singer, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594201986?ie=UTF8&tag=antarcticasta-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1594201986">Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=antarcticasta-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1594201986" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin …
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Is a cold net.war going on between the US and China?

  rant big_picture china cracking government infosec middle_east military networks osint paranoia power propaganda snake_oil systems united_states

Every once in a while a news article about attempts to crack US military and government systems coming out of China or the Middle East hits the 'wires; rumors of groups of systems crackers belonging to the Air Force/United Nations/Department of Homeland Security/Microsoft/the Illuminati regularly make their rounds at hacker conventions. Military data nets are increasingly becoming targets of crackers from abroad, safe from prosecution and extradition because it's so difficult to start legal proceedings against someone you don't even know, let alone can grab by the scruff of the neck (police dramas and MLATs to …

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