Randal Snyder, Copyright 1998
In resent years the United States has
developed the first paperless currency system. This new age of electronic
funds created the need for faster transfers of data and in this case
money. With this need the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was
forced to implement the newest and most controversial changes to the
Telecommunications Guidelines. The new changes allowed microwave
frequencies to be used in all communications systems including computers,
modems, and telephones. Other changes released technology to experiment
with human implants for communications purposes. Because of these changes
the US has the fastest digital communications transfer system in the
world. The most dramatic and wide felt changes happened outside every home
in America. The "old" technology electric phone lines were
replaced with the more energy efficient fiber-optic cables. This fifteen
year project cost tax payers billions.
The electronics market
boomed as manufacturers were unleashed to explore new technologies.
Computers have changed the most in the last few years. As computers
reached the high-end frequencies silicon and copper were no longer capable
of keeping up with the demand. As a result fiber-optic transistors were
developed. Capable of much higher frequencies than copper fiber-optic
computers started a new race for faster and better. The new FO computers
had virtually no ceiling on their performance.
As the fiber-optic renaissance drove
on, human to computer interfaces changed also. The 3D technology of new
displays allowed new dimensions to the old two-dimensional environment.
Through the use of the floating mouse, a glove with motion sensors, people
were able to climb walls of data or float through their mainframes.
Finally after years of development a lightweight virtual reality helmet
was released. This threw a new twist on how man met the machine. The bulky
monitors were replaced with this new lightweight portable device. Soon
cordless models were released and people found new freedom in computing.
As the processing power of home PCs
increased the toys of the net surfer became more extravagant. Full body
harnesses with sensors and mild electrical pulses allowed net runners a
chance to feel their virtual environment. So new forms of entertainment
Telephones had become obsolete as the
audio/visual experience had become the norm. Those who have not upgraded
to the videophone are often considered back woods, or worthy of distrust.
The speed of computers allowed
graphics of unparalleled clarity and detail. Net runners found hours of
their time lost in worlds on the net. By this time, net meetings were held
in simulated environments and persona files were created to identify the
individual. The personas were developed first by gaming companies for use
in interactive games. The once text based conversations replaced with
customized personas and voice synthesis. These customizable software
packages granted the power to appear in any conceivable form and created a
specialized view of the Internet.
In this new age of research designers
produced an implant to interface directly from the computer to the human
brain. The original design was used in 2002 to aid pilots in target
acquisition and cockpit controls. This predecessor of the "Smart
Link" allowed the pilot to access targeting information through
mental thought. Heavy training and implant surgery did not outweigh the
impressive results for government approval. In effect, the government
footed the bill for what would end up becoming a failed project. The
commercial field though, would prove a better prospect.
In March of 2005, the first
"Thought Link" was released to the public. Its high cost and
required surgery made it slow to catch on. Certain government agencies as
well as major corporations invested into these high-ticket items, though
on a wide scale the Thought Link was a failure.
In recent years, the link has gone
though several developmental phases. Most changes focused on the strategic
placement of the link's neural probes. Marketing changes have been
cosmetic at best, as human experimentation is “technically” illegal.
Neural mapping and other, so-called, safe research has been done, and has
unveiled vast amounts of information about the human brain.
The applications available to the Smart
Link by MotorolaÔ,
have made this the best selling link on the market. The only real danger
of the link is the electrical signals sent to and from the brain. The
brain interprets the signals in the same manner as it does normal nervous
system pulses. Some believe the signals and implanted circuitry can cause
severe brain damage, should there be a power surge.
Any Smart Link sold after 2008
is capable of interfacing with any Fuzzy Logic device. These devices use
sometimes-irrational strategies to come up with a solution. This process
allows the user to make unusual requests without hanging up the computer
or equipment. These devices make the best logical choice for the
information given, most often with positive results.
The Fuzz Box is a mini-computer that
is designed to interface between fuzzy logic, standard logic, and
multi-state logic devices (Smart Link to any other electronic device).
This box comes standard with thirty standard interface cables and
connections on a 360-bit platform. By running a start up BIT (built in
test) the box determines how to convert the data. The result is a slower,
but effective method of transferring data through otherwise incompatible
equipment. Any computer with Smart Link ports may act as a Fuzz Box via
the modem port. Special attachments must be made for direct computer
When linked to the
virtual world the runner can phase in and out of the real world, but only
with extreme effort. The virtual reality signals are stronger then natural
ones and so the net runner must concentrate to focus on reality. When
plugged into persona software packages every thought or reaction transfers
from man to the virtual world. It is nearly impossible for the linked
person to control both the real body and his virtual one and so he reacts
like a sleepwalker, twitching and having muscle spasms, and often talking
aloud. These are the most common symptom of live wire communications
problems (LoWComP, users that suffer from these symptoms are labeled as
“low competency”). More training can solve most of these problems.
Because few of the smart link users
are fully trained special chairs and harnesses have been constructed to
help prevent the user from injuring himself. The best benefit of the link
is that there are no other pieces of equipment to lug around. Access time
is always at a prime and is the main reason people claim for getting the
link. Some believe that true feeling is possible through the link, which
has spurred controversy over adult sites, though few of the design
engineers have supported this notion. Negative sensations are filtered and
reduced to a minimum to prevent unpleasant sensations.
Through the link, the net runner
experiences whatever happens to his persona. Because of this, old massacre
games have been revived. The software market has boomed for improved
virtual environments. These games are being dubbed “the most dangerous
games on Earth” for promoting violence and addictive psychotic behavior.
related deaths have occurred over the past years, all unsolved. Critics of
the Smart Link believe it shorted out and burned the user's synapses.
Manufacturers claimed no fault as they noted altered circuitry on most of
the victims. The only questionable death was in the case of a
seventeen-year-old student who had hacked into government-restricted
databases. The official cause of death was heart attack, though the case
no longer exists on any public records beyond press files.