The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Remarkable novel by Brunner; despite its age (it was published in 1975), this is a story that should be read by everyone interested in computer technology and information management. This story demonstrates the danger of a fully indexed society; there will always be some people who have greater access to information than you do, and can therefore take everything you have. It was also the source of the term computer tapeworm; the use of computer worms figures repeatedly in the story. Highly recommended. Select an invention:

Autoporter - personal baggage handler
A device that carries your bag for you at airports.

Coley Group
A musical form that involves dancing in a field of weak microwaves.

Computer Worm (Tapeworm) - first use of the concept
The first description of a set of computer codes that moves from one computer to another on a network as a coherent entity.

Data-Net
An early mention of the idea of a nationwide data network.

Data-Retrieval Mode - data recovery for brains
A system for getting the thoughts and images out of a person's mind; recovering the data from a brain storage device.

Delphi Pool
A large group of people used as a statistical sampling resource; even if the correct answer is not known, responses tend to cluster around the correct answer.

Electronic Voting
Using computer terminals to register votes from citizens.

Government Data Transparency
The idea that all of the information available to the government should be posted online and be easily accessible to everyone.

Hearing Aid - someone to listen
A service that allows people to anonymously talk with another person who only listens.

Inflatable Church
A church using an inflatable projection screen as an altar.

Modded Dog
A canine whose ancestors were genetically modified for higher intelligence; the trait breeds true in offspring.

National Network Surveillance
A system for providing the government with a way to monitor computer network use.

Net Shutdown Worm - computer tapeworm project
A tapeworm designed to shut down a nationwide network in the event of national emergency.

Paid Avoidance Zone - primitive on purpose
An area where the inhabitants agree, for a government-paid fee, to live without sophisticated services.

Personal Smelter - make your own ingot
A device used to reduce metallic objects (like coins, pots, cables) to an ingot with known value.

Retaliatory Tapeworm (Counter-Worm) - take that!
Using computers to deliberately damage another person's reputation and well-being.

Satellite Search and Destroy
Destroying satellites in orbit.

Tiered Internet
The idea that some forms of Internet network traffic should be given priority over others.

 

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