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"Bureaucracies hide their mistakes, because people's careers are tied to those mistakes. Therefore, bureaucracies are a perfect mechanism for perpetuating mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Swiss  
  A small piece of personal gear that combines a great many items in a single device.  

"What's a swiss?" said Barencoin.

"Very old, very valuable. A cylinder about as long as your hand, and it's got all these parts that fold out of it: adapters, data storage, netlinks, ultrasound probe, you name it. And a dinky little display screen that pops up in a frame.

Barencoin simply raised his eyebrows and said nothing. Antiques used casually prompted a little suspicion in the ranks. Everything they carried or wore was disposable, thin film, quick dry, organic tech, recyclable. Unnecessary luxury smacked of old money and wardroom snobbery.

From City of Pearl, by Karen Traviss.
Published by HarperCollins in 2004
Additional resources -

Thanks to MrKlingon for contributing this item.

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  More Ideas and Technology from City of Pearl
  More Ideas and Technology by Karen Traviss
  Tech news articles related to City of Pearl
  Tech news articles related to works by Karen Traviss

Swiss-related news articles:
  - USB Memory 'Swiss'

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