Science Fiction in the News Articles
Related to material in The Shockwave Rider
by John Brunner

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.

Science fiction in the News articles describe real-world events that relate to the ideas and inventions in sf novels and movies. Select a news article:

Mydoom Email Worm (aka Novarg Mimail)
   Virus protection makers are scrambling to keep the Mydoom email worm from spreading quickly over the Internet.

Movie Moguls Put Toe In Delphi Pool
   Movie studio executives have found a new way to predict how well a particular movie will fare. The method was originally proposed by John Brunner in 1976.

EEGLAB: Independent Component Analysis Reads Your Thoughts
   EEGLAB processes continuous and event-related EEG (electroencephalogram) data, allowing researchers to closely correlate specific brain activity with specific cognitive events - reading your individual thoughts.

StreetNet: Brussels Provides Free WiFi At Internet Kiosks
   The Brussels city government established five open-air Internet kiosks that provide wifi-enabled web surfing for all citizens and visitors. The weatherproof kiosks have a touchscreen for those without a laptop or PDA.

Can Computer Tapeworms And Viruses Be Your Friends
   Computer tapeworms and viruses are feared by computer users today. But the creator of the term "computer virus" conceived of them as being helpful (as well as potentially harmful).

Dogs Sniff For Cancer
   Dogs can detect cancer through their sense of smell, according to a study published last weekend in the British medical journal BMJ.

Leaked USAF Report Targets European GPS Satellites
   A leaked report indicates that the US will attack and destroy the European Union's Galileo positioning satellites in time of war, if necessary.

CIA's 'Silent Horizon' Internet War Games
   The CIA has just finished conducting a series of cyberwargames. The intent was to test the ability of government and industry to repond to Internet disruptions, which have grown more damaging over the years.

No Online Voting Yet (How long Did You Wait In Line?)
   '...every veephone on the continent would display, over and over, two propositions'- John Brunner, 1975.

TMSUK Robot Carries Your Bags
   John Brunner referred to an implementation of this idea that sounded like more fun.

Virtual Air Guitar Totally Rocks, Dude
   Awesome virtual air guitar hack lets others hear what you've been playing for years.

Porter 'Robots' For Baggage, If Not People
   Anybody who is working on an automated solution to me carrying my bags through the airport gets an A for effort from me.

Information-Free Zones Future Vacation Spot
   Interesting artistic concept - would you pay to keep from drowning in information and connectivity (at least on vacation)?

Cyberviolence A Growing Web Trend In South Korea
   Rumors and attacks on individuals by groups of Internet users is now a serious problem in South Korea.

Electric Voting From Home Via Internet
   John Brunner wrote about electronic voting in a very revealing way in 1975

Your Scrap Copper Future
   I've seen this science-fictional future before; where's my personal smelter now that I need one?

Russian Robot Suitcase
   The modern science of robotics addresses one of the oldest concerns of man - who carries the luggage?

RoboPorter Carries Your Baggage, Guides You
   Use this handy robot to carry your bags - and it can even guide you to your destination.

Codename 'Reynard' - Hunt Terrorists In Virtual Worlds
   Terrorists are expanding their efforts on the 'net; al Qaeda alone has at least 5,600 websites online.

Electronic Voting Banned In Netherlands
   Someday, Americans will figure out how to conduct uniformly democratic elections.

Live Luggage Ready To Roll
   Nowadays, the airlines will probably charge extra for luggage that can move itself.

Shadow Caddy Robot Is Golfer's Dream Bot
   Very simple design and execution makes this a highly usable bot; see the video, and compare it to four other much more complicated ideas for carrying bags around.

I-9/11 Event Would Bring iPatriot Act
   Interesting argument by Lessig regarding the free Internet that we all use, and how easily our freedom might be lost.

Dog Wan Robot Available For Lease
   Here's a cute little robotic dog ready to lease in Japan; it can even carry a small bag for you.

Vote Flipping Video Shows Poor Electronic Plebiscite
   Video of how a voting machine fails to properly register a voter's choices makes me think that paper ballots might have a future.

Inflatable Church Bouncy Like Heavenly Clouds
   Inflatable churches make a lot of sense, just as they did in the novel I read over thirty years ago.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 Could Shut Down Your Internet
   The Cybersecurity Act may need a way to shut down all or part of the Internet - Brunner, who first introduced the term 'computer tapeworm', is ahead of everyone once again.

Silicon Sunshine - Data Transparency In Government
   Should the government be forced to put every last bit of information it has online, every minute of every day? Lawrence Lessig has comments, and so does John Brunner.

'Webtribution' Fact And Fiction
   Nothing that a good retaliatory worm wouldn't fix.

Cybercrimes Of The Decade
   Cybercrime is larger and more varied, what will the next decade bring?

Tiered Internet: Google/Verizon Deal/No Deal
   Is net neutrality over?

Robotic Wheelchair Autonomously Follows Walking Companion
   This prototype device could make life easier for people who must use wheelchairs to get around.

E-Voting Simple And Verifiable
   Does David Bismark have the best idea for a simple, verifiable and transparent means of electronic voting?

Hey WikiLeaks! Where's My Shockwave Rider App?
   John Brunner had a pretty good idea about this some forty-five years ago.

Egypt Drops Dime, Pulls Plug On Internet
   The government of Egypt made a few phone calls and poof! Its citizens have no Internet access - and we have no access into the country from outside.

Dogs Sniff For Cancer
   Take a whiff, Fido!

Bank Of America ATMs Are Now Truth Machines
   John Brunner gave us the idea for this kind of data transparency.

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
   'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

Does China Have An Internet Kill Switch?
   You never know when you might need one.

Danceroom Spectroscopy Nano Dance
   Make music by interacting with the quantum world.

The Flame - Malware Worthy of John Brunner
   'There were so many worms and counterworms loose in the data-net now, the machines had been instructed to give them low priority.'

The Robotic Shopping Cart Of The Future
   '...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws and follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'- John Brunner, 1975.

Global Crowd Intelligence Needs Your Help
   '... while nobody knows what's going on around here, everybody knows what's going on around here.'- John Brunner, 1975.

US Census Will Be Online In 2020
   'Most would be in English, but some would be in Spanish, some in Amerind languages, some in Chinese...'- John Brunner, 1975.

OK2TALK Like Hearing Aid From Shockwave Rider
   'Demanding no fees, it's affordable where psychotherapy is not.'- John Brunner, 1976.

SciCast Prediction Market Offers Collaborative Forecasting
   'When you consolidate their replies they tend to cluster around the actual figure…'- John Brunner, 1975.

An 'OFF' Switch For The Brain
   'Yes, sir, he's status go.'- John Brunner, 1975.

Greenhouse Plugin Reveals Your Congressman's Money Sources
   'Fuller details may be obtained by punching the code number...'- John Brunner, 1975

The Claustrum - The Brain's On Off Switch?
   'All I have to do is move this switch and he'll recover consciousness...'- John Brunner, 1976.

Blahtherapy - You Vent Anonymously To Strangers
   'It's a service. Imposing no penances, it's kinder than the confessional.'- John Brunner, 1975.

Budgee Robot Carries Your Bags
   'From now until his credit expired the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws...'- John Brunner, 1975.

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
   I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports. Especially the bag-carrying part.

Gene-Edited Muscle Dogs From China
   'Its skull was improbably high-domed and its eyes, deep-set, were disturbingly uncanine.' - John Brunner, 1975.

Robotic Suitcase Follows You
   'The machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws and follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound...'

Walmart Shopping Cart Robots Will Follow You
   '...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws...' - John Brunner, 1975.

Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
   '...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.' - John Brunner, 1975.

You Can't Lose The Travelmate Autonomous Suitcase - It Follows You
   '...follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.' - John Brunner, 1975.

Talkspace Anonymous Therapy App
   'Stonkered or clutched or quite simply going insane, someone reaches for the phone...' - John Brunner, 1975.

Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
   'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...' John Brunner, 1975.

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
   'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

Bot Tweets Venmo Drug Transactions
   An alarming item to find on your twitter feed.

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
   '... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.' - John Brunner, 1975.

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
   'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

FCC Asks For Feedback On Repeal Of Net Neutrality
   '... the machines had been instructed to give them low priority.' - John Brunner, 1975

Updated Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
   'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...' John Brunner, 1975.

Antisatellite (ASAT) Measures And Countermeasures
   '... the type that gets pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit.' - John Brunner, 1975.

Tselina Spacecraft Platform Destroyed In Russian Anti-Satellite Test
   'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...' - John Brunner, 1975.

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
   'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...' - John Brunner, 1975.

AI Worms That Spread
   '...there were so many worms and counterworms loose in the data-net now' - John Brunner, 1975. is devoted to the creative inventions of science fiction authors and movie makers. Look for the Science Fiction Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary of Science Fiction Inventions, the Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions, or see what's New.
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Science Fiction
in the News

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
re: Joe Haldeman

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
re: Otis Adelbert Kline

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
re: Schachner and Zagat

More SF in the News

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