"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
In the world of Altered Carbon, it is possible to completely record the unique electrical pattern of your mental self, store it and then download it into a suitable body.
The radio and television transmissions we are used to are literally "broadcast" in all directions. It takes a lot of energy to send a usable signal in all directions. If you wanted to send a transmission to a specific distant planet, the most energy efficient way would be to transmit in a single, specific direction - a "needlecast", a very slender beam.
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'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'
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'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'
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'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'
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