Archive for software

Konia Phone

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2012 by javedbabar

It was a surprisingly peaceful morning and TJ was snoozing. This was the advantage of being twenty percent android – your meatware could sleep while your software remained alert. No one could accuse you of sleeping on the job. Sure you were resting, but at the same time you were ready for anything.

An unfamiliar girl approached the reception desk. She wasn’t one of the Lucerne Valley Hotel’s guests; her face would have rung a bell. With no introduction, she said, “Have you bought any phones today? Any Konia phones in pink covers?”

TJ shook his head, but she continued, “Mine was stolen from my handbag last night during a pub crawl. I’m going around all the hotel bars to see if bar staff saw anything, and hotel shops to ask receptionists if anyone’s been trying to sell one.”

TJ knew that Konia phones were very good. Handsets cost a thousand dollars each.

These Turkish phones had patented features allowing you to communicate more fully than you could with normal phones. Their WHIRL technology utilized full spectrum analysis; as well as relaying voice and physical features, it picked up non- audible frequencies and electrostatic charges, giving a more complete communication experience.

All hotels ran small courtesy shops to buy and sell their guests’ unwanted items. There were a few phones in the Lucerne Valley Hotel shop –– but nothing over a hundred dollars. If there had been a Konia phone there, he would have bought it himself.

TJ said, “What’s your name please? Marie? Okay, if the phone was stolen around here, they won’t sell it locally. They’ll send it elsewhere. Most likely they’ll package it with other stolen phones and send them to provinces with comms restrictions, where they’ll sell for double the normal price. It’s very unlikely that your phone is still in town.”

Marie was disappointed. She went away but returned in the afternoon, and then at night, saying, “I came just in case. I can’t sit at home with no phone, alone.”

Poor girl, thought TJ, I wonder if it was taken at the Lucerne Valley Hotel. He scanned last night’s CCTV. He saw Marie and her friends come and go from the hotel bar, with nothing seeming abnormal. But he also saw his colleague Juno behaving strangely, fiddling with something as she exited the changing rooms.

The next day she had a new Konia phone with pink cover. He said, “Nice phone, Juno, where did you get it?”

She said, “Never you mind,” but later admitted that she’d bought it off a girl who needed $100 to pay for drinks last night. It had already been unlocked and jailbroken, and the girl had downloaded its WHIRL software through her head plug. It was the software that had real value, rather than the phone, which was in truth much the same as others.

Juno kept the phone for a week but then “lost” it for insurance purposes, and to avoid being sued by the manufacturer for intellectual property theft. That was the problem with being part android. They could get inside your head and see what you’re up to.



Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby had joined the Devils’ Den audience to escape the chattering salesmen at the New Ideas Show, but now he was really enjoying it. The ideas so far had been pretty wacky, but the amateur entrepreneurs presenting them had been passionate and unapologetic about their proposals. Maybe that’s what makes a good business person, thought Bobby.

The third person presenting wore a strange wig. At least it appeared to be a wig. It could be a really bad hairdo, or a case of double bluff where a baldy wears a hairpiece so bad that people say, “that could never be a wig!” Anyway, it was brown and spiky, like a seventies rock star.

It was amazing that host Collette Vapinski, who was famous for being famous, didn’t make fun of the wig. This was probably because of its unknown status. You could see that she was tempted, but resisted and instead said, “Please introduce yourself and explain your idea.”

“Hello panel! Hello audience! My name is Desmond. I’m here to talk about plugs. I know what you’re thinking – plugs, what’s there to talk about? How mundane.”

Low-tech pioneer Amisha Jordan rolled her eyes, expecting another electrical gadget. Digital activist Juno Osh leaned forward. Arch-capitalist Arthur Choo kept a straight face.

Desmond continued, “Plugs let you connect any object to any power source. Isn’t it amazing that a tiny power point lets you connect to infinite universal energy?” The audience didn’t think so. “And now we have SCARTs for audio-visual devices, USBs in computers, and Ethernet for networking, a different kind of power, plus all manner of alternative energies – solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, just to name a few. You know…”

“So what?” said Amisha. “What’s your point?”

He wasn’t daunted, and continued. “Aren’t electric cars amazing? They’re better in every way. They run quietly, with no emissions, and recharge for pennies. They are the greenest transport available.”

“Don’t push your greenwash, pal. We’ve had bicycles since the…”

Juno Osh interrupted her. “I suppose you came here on a bike from the City, did you? All one hundred and sixty kilometres this morning?” Amisha was embarrassed and stopped talking.

These interruptions made Desmond forget his script. He stood there for a while, looking stupid, then removed his wig and turned around. There was a metal socket in the back of his head, into which he plugged a cable leading to a projector.

A slideshow began on screen, showing his ideas for the next stage of Artificial Intelligence – full hardware-software-meatware integration. It was pretty technical. The audience and panel watched open-mouthed. Bobby thought, now that’s a real innovation.

After a few slides, however, something went wrong. The screen flashed goofy pictures, images of depression drugs, interracial pornography, and End Time prophecies. People gasped and laughed. Desmond became upset and unplugged immediately.

“I think it needs a bit more work,” said Amisha, and sat back, smiling.


Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , on February 24, 2012 by javedbabar

BBC is a global brand, thought Ram, so this BBC10X must be a good product. His friend Amir always gave him good stuff. But printing was misaligned on one side of the box, which was itself a poor fit for the contents. He’d heard that private corporations were putting heavy pressure on BBC funding. They said that state-funded broadcasters had an unfair advantage and stifled healthy competition. Was cheaper packaging the BBC’s way of saving money?

Installation was straightforward – you just plugged it into your computer. The instructions recommended using your laptop rather than your smartphone, whose screen was too small. If you used the latter then expect reduced results. For a big brain you needed a big screen. A plasma TV or screen projector was even better.

The software self-loaded and started immediately. A dark graphic of a human brain began sparking red in various locations. These red sections lifted up and were brought together at the front of the brain. Their combined total area was much smaller than expected. A graphic appeared saying “1%”, and then, “Only 1% of your brain is used at any moment!”

Is that all, thought Ram?

The sparking expanded and came together again; its combined area once more smaller than expected. A graphic said, “10%”, and then, “Only 10% of your brain is ever used!”

That’s it, thought Ram?

Then the whole brain sparked like a coal that had become a firework. A graphic appeared saying, “100%”, and then, “With BBC10X you can access 100% of your brainpower!” There was a disclaimer saying, “BBC10X can only multiply your brainpower 10X. 100% target is conditional on user having 10% current usage. For 5% usage, maximum brainpower will be 50%.”

A gallery of “Successful Users,” showed portraits of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Sir Isaac Newton, Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Lao Tzu. Then another disclaimer saying, “These geniuses all used advanced brain training methods of their time. BBC10X is the modern equivalent, but has only been available since 2010.”

Ram noticed that the “Successful Users” were scientific or spiritual geniuses; people whose notions had changed the world. Is that how they did it – by using 100% of their brainpower?

Three selection screens required completion. The first was a choice between “Religion” and “Science”. Ram thought about this for a while. Both were paths to knowledge of a sort – science to testable, provable knowledge, and religion to knowledge inherent in faith. Both sources were trustworthy if you believed what they had to offer was worthwhile. Ram was drawn towards mystical experience over rational experimentation. He chose “Religion”.

A quote appeared saying, “Credo ut Intelligam: I believe in order to understand.”

The second screen was a choice between “Introvert” and “Extravert”. This was a tough one, for Ram liked to spend much time alone, but also enjoyed laughing and joking at social gatherings. He was by nature a friendly fellow, but if he didn’t have quiet time alone, he felt his life was one of pointless activity, never alone with deep thoughts. He liked being both but had to choose, so clicked “Introvert”.

A quote appeared saying, “Solitude is essential to man.”

The third screen was a choice between “Reason” and “Passion”. This was probably about being a philosopher versus a poet. He’d never liked philosophy – endless navel-gazing – so he chose “Passion”.

A quote appeared saying “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

It was time to begin the process. The exercises were simple initially – just matching words and numbers. They got faster and harder, and moved onto colours, shapes, and sounds, which became faster and harder, and began to include smells and tastes. Ram was immersed fully in the process. He didn’t stop to think how he was performing smell and taste tasks through the keyboard with his fingers. There followed purely mental tasks. Objects appeared and disappeared on screen; he was somehow receiving and sending thoughts. All of his senses were united. He was aware of a medical condition called Synaesthesia, where people “smelt” sounds, and “tasted” colours – but that was mixing pairs of senses, not all of them combined. Ram felt that he knew everything, all at once, without need to either ask or wonder. His brain had expanded to its full human potential – which included the instincts of many lower animals: our ancestors; and the intuition of higher beings: our descendents. Once you had reached this plane there was no returning to the realm of ordinary mortals.

However there was one final choice for him to make within his soul, now with full awareness. Having witnessed the unlimited possibility of the universe, did he wish to become its Supreme Enjoyer; an eternal hedonist in a world of light? Or having also acknowledged the ultimate pointlessness of existence, did he wish to declare himself a nihilist in a world of darkness, and become an Extinguished Soul?

There was really no rush though. He had eternity to choose.

Brain Box China, makers of BBC10X, were unhappy with their new product launch. It was their highest performance gadget ever, and they thought that it would sell really well. But not one customer had recommended it to their friends, or become a repeat buyer. Trying to pass themselves off as the real BBC clearly hadn’t worked. They’d better sell off their remaining units and develop something else.