Appendix A – oCar & oL In 2030, out of nowhere Orchard created its Oak division and began producing the oCar in secret. When they had five million units built up, they held a press conference that set the automotive industry on its ear. How they kept it a secret when so many employees were involved goes to the devotion Orchard employees feel for their company.
oCars were rental only. Many were on daily schedules. But even when you made a request without notice, if you ever waited more than five minutes for one, your ride was free. A complex computer system kept track of trends and moved the oCars around in anticipation of need. There were few free rides. No one could afford a regular car let alone the insurance fees when compared to even a daily oCar rental. Very few people wanted anything else once they rode in one. And trying to sell a used regular car — well, there was just no point. All five million oCars went into use immediately and they caught on like everything else Orchard.
They were only built in two- and four-passenger configurations. To accommodate more, Oak rigged it so they could be chained together. Since most everyone was using VR anyway, you could experience the inside and your interaction with your traveling companions any way you wanted, whether they were facing you, turned away or even in another vehicle. Beyond that, you could choose to "be" somewhere else completely, not even in a vehicle. Airlines accommodated them in a special section underneath the main plane, but there was a large fleet of smaller transports built to hold only the oCars. Nobody ever got restless because VR convinced them they were standing, sitting, jumping, whatever, and nano in their brains made those virtual activites feel real. Even with the availability of air travel for the oCars, most people favored the oL (Orchard's Elevated oCar system). Because there was never a wait, they were often faster than airlines and they were never grounded by weather.
Because of VR, people didn't need to transport their "corporeal entity" as often as they once had. In 2020, there were roughly fifty million registered vehicles in the U.S. That number dropped a few million each year thereafter as more people went to work and meetings via VR. Within three years of the introduction of the oCar, nearly forty million vehicle owners declined to renew their registrations, letting the banks repossess their old-fashioned cars. It might have been a tragedy for the economy had Orchard not already owned a large percentage of the banks. Orchard's cultural models had anticipated the mass repossession, and they helped bail out the remaining banks so it never reached a crisis. If nothing else, Orchard was all about service and stability. And yet, they were obviously about much more than that. Certainly innovation comes to mind.
The oCars were so safe that within a year there was a proposal before oGov to have them declared mandatory. It was voted in by a wild majority of the citizenry. Anyone who wanted to use an older vehicle could do so, but there was a five-year phase out period. After that, the fees made anything but the oCar prohibitively expensive to all but the wealthiest. And of course the other vehicles couldn't ride the oLs or many other main streets.
Aside from creating an addictively brilliant vehicle, Orchard had already been setting up the infrastructure for the charging stations and the oL. The stations weren't a big deal because hot pads had already being added across the country for use with other electric vehicles. Building the thousands of miles of the oL in just one year was a little trickier. The company used existing interstate freeway routes so they didn't have to work out contracts with landowners. Then they seeded the route with self-replicating nano bots and had the oL build itself.
People purged of nano didn't have the same protection against vehicles. The computer-controlled oCar system was tied in with WPTD (World People Tracking Database often called Whipped) and knew where everyone was and could avoid them in accident situations. The purged were only tracked by Skeets, but it was possible for a purgee to disappear from the grid for short periods of time leaving them vulnerable. Nevertheless, the oCars sensed organic life forms, and there had been few accidents of any kind since the system went into use.
Automobile fatalities in the U.S. had held steady at about 40,000 against a growing population for nearly fifty years. That meant an increase in safety per miles driven. But over those years there were still nearly two million lives squandered along with the hardship and heartache for the families affected by those deaths. And that didn't even mention the many more people injured in ways from mildly disabling to — well, too horrible to imagine. Within three years of the introduction of the oCar, the number of deaths plummeted to a few hundred annually, mostly caused by drivers of older vehicles or animals like deer leaping onto the non-oL roadways. There had never been an accident in any of the oLs. Since all oCars were on the same computer system, when a leading oCar experienced an obstruction — a child, rock or deer in the road — the speed of all the oCars on that route was adjusted together to accommodate.
Regarding cargo space; anything you couldn't carry with you could often be fabbed at your destination. And there were oCar vehicles built specially for transferring larger items.
Appendix B - Fabricator The success of the oCar was completely dependent on the fab (fabricators). Once you steped out at your destination, the oCar drove off to find its next fare. You couldn't leave anything in the back seat. Whatever you needed to take with you could be recreated with a fab unit. But wait. What if you were traveling, left an object at home and recreated it with a fab at your destination? Now you have two, right? Yes, that would be correct if you paid for a second. But if you removed the original from the world and had it "sent" to your destination, then you only had the one object. And of course the manufactures made the option of recreating an object much less expensive than transporting one. All this assumes you wouldn't be satisfied with a virtual version of the object. It's the same as the transporters in Star Trek. Except in the time this story takes place, transporters don't work reliably on humans--just yet. Yes, that was right around the corner..
Appendix C – Sci-Fi Fiction I needed Charlie to get across the country fast and I didn't want to use a jet. Besides, I needed him to get going now, not after two hours of being frisked. Geronimo Felipe, an engineer friend of mine, who also happens to be a Sci-Fi fan, said a Sci-Fi writer's job is to dream without limits, then leave it up to the engineers to figure out how to build it. Let's not forget that it wasn't all that long ago some scientists and engineers told the Wright Brothers anything heavier than air would never fly. Good thing the boys didn't listen to the "experts." So have some fun reading it for now, and we'll let the engineers report back to me in twenty-five years.
Appendix D – Molecular Engine When I started to think about a better way to provide energy than burning coal and oil, of course I thought of fusion. But it's almost here, so there's nothing very imaginative about using that. Wouldn't it be more fun to have an nanobot engine that extracts energy from matter and delivers power on demand, like a battery does? I don't know if my idea will turn out to be another perpetual motion device. My intuition tells me it will take more energy to run the nano bots than you'll get out of the engine. But there's still something attractive about the idea — same as with alchemy. And it looks as if alchemy is headed our way. See Wil McCarthy's article Ultimate Alchemy that appeared in the October 2001 issues of Wired Magazine.
Appendix E — Orange Computer and Orchard International Need more edits here. Orange Computer Systems emerged in the late '10s and quickly overshadowed all other computer companies by producing visionary products and providing support like no other company before it. Their motto was Service First, which went completely against a hundred years of Profits First corporate mentality. Ironically, by ignoring profits, it moved them not only to the front of the pack, it made them virtually (and Virtually) the only player.
Orange Computer Orange began as a computer and software company in the 1980s, but also became known as a gadget company, by providing devices with highly intuitive (and some would say addictive) interfaces. Foremost in their corporate culture was service above and beyond. Soon they eclipsed all other providers. There were cries of foul and antitrust suits, but those all came from competitors who couldn't measure up to the quality and service that Orange provided, not from any vicious competitive business policies. Their benevolence won out and they continued to grow.
Orange was run by a succession of charismatic leaders that were not only brilliant technology visionaries, but part Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela in their social views.
Their products were named with the lower case o in front of them, for example oEyes.
Orchard Orange saw opportunities to extend their corporate model into other areas. In fact, it happened as a result of the urgings of their customers who where unhappy with other products and services they received. But Orange was hesitant to dilute their efforts in gadgets and software. So they organized an oversight company with the same business/humanitarian model and called it The Orchard, of which Orange became a subsidiary. As they created new areas of service, they gave them names of trees, which inhabited The Orchard. They continued the process of putting a lower case o in front of their product names and also some agencies.
One of their most significant innovations occurred when they were invited to take over the government of the United States during the time of turmoil following the legislative beheadings of 2022. The military seized control of the government, put out a request for proposal, and The Orchard submitted the only solution that made sense—run the government by computer.
Orange had spawned a super corporation (The Orchard) with a unique POV that encompassed a compulsion about control, brilliant visionary products, predicting culture changes, superior customer service and unique marketing. They build the company with employees who loved their work so much that managers needed to make them go home at night, sleep and take vacations, otherwise they'd burn themselves out. The Orchard had changed the culture, and now, even in government, all departments became innovative service providers instead of power accumulators. Charlie wanted to do that for Corridor CyberDynamics. N-hanced, Inc. is a subsidiary of CCD.
Appendix F — oGER Orchard moved into genetics and created their Genetic Engineering and Reconstruction (oGER) Birch division choosing the name to honor the tree that provided aspirin to Native Americans. First products corrected major defects using nano technology that repaired errant genes. The next time the cell divided, it used the new information, making the correction.
Once the mechanism was perfected, they were able to reverse aging, provide perfect memory and genius to the masses at unbelievably reasonable prices. With moderate changes to brain chemicals, nano scientists were able to nearly eliminate psychological disorders, reducing inappropriate levels of guilt, anger, depression, fear, cruelty, greed. But some people chose not to have those removed, thinking one or more gave them an edge over the more peaceful converts. Finally it moved to the level of physical reconstruction at the entertainment level. Most people used the low end products to improve their looks resulting in a more homogenized population. Some made frequent changes, and others made bizarre splicing selections using genes from other animals.
All this had an incredible impact on the medical and pharmaceutical community, changed the economy dramatically, and crushed insurance companies. These changes transferred fortunes overnight. Hospitals shut down, doctors found themselves out of work, and nano technologists — particularly those at The Orchard — became the heroes. Renegade programmers and kids introduced cheap knock-offs, some of them dangerous.
Appendix G — oTouch About the virtual displays: We've all seen the photo library and virtual keyboard on the iPhone iPad and many other devices. I believe we'll do away with the device completely and have an alternative that can be anywhere in the air. The problem I have with the current machines is I don't get tactile feedback. I seem to need a real keyboard, and even then my fingers will drift off the home keys often enough to be irritating. And I hate the hovering technique. I need to rest my hands. I even invented a very geeky device that holds a BlueTooth keyboard off my chest at about waist height so I can type standing up while pressing against my thighs. But once we can get feedback from the virtual world through something I call oTouch (haptics provided by nano) in this story, there will be no need for any obvious physical device whatsoever.
You might ask, 'what's the likelihood of that?' There are already devices like that, sort of. Doctors can operate on patients long distance using tools that give them pressure feedback. Ah, but they still hold onto a device. Gamers can get haptic steering wheels and joysticks that let them feel the bounce and jitter of their games. But they still have to hold a device. There are even gloves that provide squeeze and push back. Once we have nano technology that can directly stimulate nerves in the brain, the process I imagine will be available. And it will happen. You'll be able to feel things you can see in the virtual world.
Eventually, most of us will chose to live completely without the inefficient and accident-prone body we're stuck in now. When I try to describe this to people, most of them think of a robot like R2-D2 from Star Wars. But that's not how I picture it. I mean who wants all stiff and jerking and waddling? No way! The only reason people will chose to transfer themselves into something else is if their original body is so damaged they have no choice, or, assuming they're healthy, if they can live an even more exciting and pleasurable (N-hanced) life than they already do.
Even then, a VR keyboard is terribly inefficient. Natural speech is better, assuming your voice doesn't get burned out. And, or course, direct thought with editing assistance is best. I'm only imagining what I want right now. I want to put my hands anywhere in the air and type away, and I want the keyboard to follow them at any angle and elevation I choose. A gesture should be able to deactivate or dismiss it. And I want to be able to feel the real world as I do that, not be hindered by wearing haptic gloves I have to put on and take off. I'm not the only one imagining this. I'll guarantee you there are engineers working on these concepts right now. So it's only a matter of time.
Appendix H — Adaptive Audionics In Chapter 11, Charlie used Adaptive Audionics to remove the reverberations from the lobby of the CCD building. I came up with the idea after hearing astronomer Andrea Ghez talk about how she used Adaptive Optics along with interferometric techniques to clear up fuzzy images of the universe. In this story I had students from a Michigan State University engineering class use Charlie's idea and coat the walls and ceiling with a thin film of nano sensor-speakers that sent out sound waves with the reverse polarity of any sound they received. It's a completely different approach from standard sound absorption. To people who walked into the CCD lobby, it sounded like a small room with carpet on all the walls. Charlie got a patent for the process, a slightly different version of which was also used as a plug-in for audio software to remove noise and echo from live recordings.
In fact, my original idea was to clean up recordings and make the sound in large auditoriums more acceptable. I have attended concerts where the echo was louder than the amplified performer and it was impossible to understand the lyrics or their announcements between songs. (Think how bad it sounds when you hear announcements in an airport.) But it seems to me once nano reaches that level of sophistication, there will be ways to improve sound absorption and eliminate the echo, not to mention we'll likely have the audio piped directly to our brains and avoid the big sound systems and their echoes altogether. But I still think a similar method could be used to improve audio recorded in environments with too much echo. (See Zynaptiq's Unveil: De-Reverberation and Signal Focusing.) Sound systems can use echo "fingerprints" in specific places throughout a hall and have the speakers in those locations play back an out of phase version of the program material to eliminate the echo noise effectively—at least until we have direct-to-ear technology.
Appendix I — The Mechanics of an oMe2 Ever want to be in two places at once? That's what an oMe2 allows you to do. A computer generates an intellictual facsimile of you. Their separate experiences are then summarized and merged at the end of the split or during "down" time of the primary. Since computers make faster, more logical decisions, many people rely on them heavily. Nevertheless, in very important decisions, the primary will be the one to appear in VR, because it is assumed they will make the more human decision, although there is no proof they do. It is a superstition that Orchard had been trying to dispel but seems very persistent.
Appendix J — oGov oGov is a giant computer. It replaced the US government in 2022 after the military took control of the government when starving mobs burned down the congress building and beheaded over a hundred congressmen and other government leaders and lobbyists across the country. The citizenry blew up because the leaders filed for national bankruptcy with plans to sell parts of the country to foreign investors and pocket the profits. The Pentagon sent out an RFP (Request for Proposal) to replace the government, and The Orchard proposed a government run by computer. With no logical competing proposals Orchard won the contract.
Once oGov was in place, anybody could submit suggestions for laws at any time. They spoke to an Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer, which helped them work through their idea. Then the idea was tested in a virtual economy to see if it had any substance. If it made things better virtually, it became law. For the first time in history everyone felt as if they had a say. It was truly a government of the people, for the people and by the computer. It more often came up with better ideas by itself, by creating random mutations and testing them — millions a day. Some yielded unexpected results.
oGov issued oCredits, which proved to be extremely stable and made the oUS currency once again the world standard, taking it back from the Chinese Yuan. oCs had no physical coins or bills but instead transferred from person to person or company wirelessly, bypassing companies who used to make a percentage of transfers.
Because oGER brought most people's math skills up to a level where they could handle their own affairs, the banks in their desperation to survive had become even more vicious. oGov created an entirely new banking system, without the predatory practices which had gotten so bad it was better to risk losing your fingers to a mob loan shark. Overnight the old banking system withered and died, and there were parades and wrecking ball parties as the old buildings—symbols of despair and hatred—were demolished.
Two Virtual people can interact with all their senses and their Real counterparts can experience those senses.
Virtual people can substitute sensations that their Real counterparts do not transmit. For example, a Real person can project a fragrance to be picked up by the receiving Real person or their Virtual representative. It is still up to the recipient whether they want to experience that transmission.
A Virtual person can choose to present a completely different appearance and speak with a different voice.
A Real person can switch off their VR setting and see the Real person behind the Virtual person being presented to them, but only if both Real persons are in the same location.
A Real person can choose the level of interaction and limit the range of those interactions. (Parents can impose limits on their children's ability to poke and slap each other virtually.) One popular setting allows the user to feel limited touch on the arms but nowhere else on their bodies, and they cannot have their vision blocked or hear loud virtual sounds like shouting.
A wide array of interaction presets is available and those can then be customized.
The way a Real person experiences a Virtual person is through the nano computers in the synapses of thier brain. The Real person is always in complete control of their experience and can filter or augment it any way they choose. For example, a Real person can choose to view and hear a Virtual person, but filter out touch.
A Real person can choose to feel touch from a Virtual person and limit it so as not to feel pain.
A Real person can choose to feel pain from a Virtual person. The pain they feel is an illusion relayed from their Virtual counterpart.
Senses of smell and taste can be relayed, blocked or filtered in any way.
A Real person can have different settings for different Virtual people they interact with.
It is impossible for a Virtual person to cause violence to a Real person who does not want it. Even if a Real person wants violence performed against them, the limits are those imposed by the physics of networking nano. Networking nano can act in concert to form a wound, for example in a virtual sword fight. Nano in the muscles can be made to flex some muscles while extending others in order to give the illusion of being knocked over by the Virtual person. The experience of pressure is still created in the brain in concert with networked nano on the skin and throughout the body. A Real person who chooses to have violence against them cannot claim it was done against their will.
In order to comply with user wishes, cams pick up the Real world and impose all the Virtual projections onto it. (This is referred to as Augmented Reality.) The selections a Virtual person projects are networked wirelessly to those in the same room or those across the Net. These projections are picked up and become part of the recordings. Because one person may choose to view someone else in a way other than what they project, different cams may display (and record) different realities.
When Real people choose to communicate via a Private Channel, to avoid having their lips read or voices heard by people with their VR off, they can project either a static image of their face or an animated mouth that transmits gibberish. Cams record and relay the static image or the gibberish to participants in VR.
Every individual using internal nano computers is assigned an IP address. Each nano computer (NC) is also assigned an address. The Network Nano Protocol (NNP) is the method by which nano computers communicate with each other, and the number used to identify each of them is the NNP address. The NNP address is a combination of the master individual IP address and the NNP address with a slash (/) between them. An address might look like this:
Both Real and Virtual peoples' IP addresses are embedded in all data transmissons. It is illegal to change, obfuscate or turn off that number. This law was instituted because people can alter their appearance with oGER. The only people who are not required to have an IP are the purged. Identification of the purged is not an issue since they don't have access to oGER and are easily identified by appearance. Once an NC leaves its host it is deactivated. But it maintains its NNP address and can be used to confirm that an individual has been at a location. There have been attempts to frame people when some of their NCs were collected and placed at the location of a crime, but none have proven successful.
An oMe2 is a Virtual software version of a person's Real counterpart. It is usually not under the immediate control of the Real person they represent, although the owner can be updated in real time. Whereas a Virtual person is a projection of the Real person and under their control in real time, an oMe2 is usually temporarily separate from the Real person. An oMe2 is a legal representative and usually called up to allow the Real person to be in two places at the same time. At reintegration, the Real person may digest everything that happened to the oMe2 or choose to get a summary. Depending on the detail selected, reintegration can be time consuming. Even if the Real person chooses a summary, the entire vid of the oMe2's experiences are saved, transcribed and searchable. With the instant learning of N-hanced, the Real person never needs a summary. Their oMe2's experiences are completely integrated with absolute clarity. They actually have the experience of having been in two places at one time.
There is an encrypted message on the audio track that accompanies the video collected from the testers. A digital waveform is made up of a series of points or samples that represent the analog waveform. It's similar to the pixels that make up a digital photo. With a photo, the pixels are really just tiny dots, but they're small enough so that when you look at them, they make up a picture unless you magnify the pixels. The same applies to audio. You don't hear the audio samples as individual blips. Instead, you hear them as a continuous sound.
Look at this waveform.
Each one of the samples can be represented by two numbers; the Y or vertical coordinate is Loudness. That shows up by how high above or below the line it is. The X or horizontal coordinate is Time. That shows up by how far along that line the samples is from left to right. That first sample Charlie's PAs circled is at 200, 175. (See the gray image below labeled "The error.") When you take the average of the Loudness coordinates of the samples before and after the circled sample, it says the sample between them should be at 199 not 200. That means it's wrong or distorted. But of course a single sample on a waveform going by at 44,100 samples per second is inaudible.
For every frame of vid, there are 1,470 audio samples. But there was only one sample error during any one frame of vid. Half the time there weren't any at all. But whenever there was an error, it was off by a single numeral on the Loudness scale. It was almost always in a different place on the Time coordinate. And it was always at the low end — below 256.
Sometimes a key travels with the code. Anton ran the files through his analysis tools and told the programs to look for sequences of numbers that match those erroneous coordinates. And it found a match.
The numbers that define the colors of the pixels in the first frame of the dream vid turned out to be the key. The CCD vid used the RGB color mode. RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue, the three primary colors. Mixing various amounts of the three colors on a scale from 0-256 makes up the color of each pixel.
RGB color mixer
For example, one color of orange might be described as Red: 255, Green: 147, and Blue: 51.
Why wouldn't the program just watch for every audio point that was not the correct average of the ones around it? Why does it need the key at all?
Color breakdown from the first video frame
What's happening is the number representing the reds in the first 88 pixels of first frame tell where to look in audio of each frame. When a dream starts, if a distortion appears in the audio position accompanying the second frame, as the video arrives at the server, the switch gets turned on. It's the same command every time. But the string of zeros and ones will always be in the same order, even though they won't be in the same place. So it really only needs to look for a distortion in the number two position to know that the code has been triggered. Even then, that only opens the door for an outsider to act. (Note: In the book, Antons says he could have done it better with only a single bit. He would have planted a code that only required a distortion in position two. It would have been nearly impossible to detect since it wouldn't have build up a pattern. It would have simply looked like an acceptible error.)
"That would work, but analyzing all the audio for averaging errors would use up a lot of processor time. It would have to compare every single audio bit to the ones what come before and after, and it would show up like a virus. This way it just watches the first frame of any dream vid coming in to see if the bit in the matching position on the audio Time line indicated by the Red is wrong and then it knows it needs to look for a message. If the bit averages correctly, then ignore the data that follows.
"That explains the ones, but what about the zeros?"
"Ah, that's the clever part. Any bit that's correct gets read as a zero. That's information that doesn't look like information at all. That means you only need to watch for the ones. It's like somebody sends you a text doc with every other word missing, but you already know the words ahead of time. It doesn't mean anything to anybody else who looks at the message, but you know exactly what it means. And it also requires averaging the previous and following bits to provide all the information. In other words, looking at the one bit by itself isn't enough to break the code, even if you have the key and know to look in each position. You have to know you're supposed to average.
"So in the first frame of the vid, starting with the second pixel, the number for Red matches the position of the error dot on the timeline for the second frame. Same with the number for the Red in the fourth pixel and the error dot on the fourth frame. Then it skips the next frame but continues on after that with errors and no errors until there weren't any more errors at all. That got me to thinking that maybe there was info in the frames with no error. I thought maybe the code could be binary; zeros and ones—the number system computers use. In that case, a frame with an error would be a one and a frame without an error would be a zero. When I strung all those together I got this:
"When I decoded that string into English, it read 'User Abort ON.' You ask me, that's no coincidence. That's the rogue code."
Appendix M — Interface Space More commonly known as IS (pronounced "ice") or IS cube. It's the 3D, gesture-responsive area that replaced keyboard and mouse. The default shape is a two-foot cube. It displays 3D objects like players on a chessboard and can be expanded to life-size for full immersion VR and further to examine objects at the atomic level. The resolution is limited to how they were scanned. That means if there is no information from the backside of an object, your computers may fill it in based on standard knowledge about that object, but there will be an indication that it is speculation data (often in the form of a wire frame). You can touch objects and they will feel Real, again based on any actual information about the object or person. You may also be able to examine the insides of an object. If what's in your IS is happening in Real time, you can interact with it within the limits of VR permissions of the object or person.
AI – Artificial Intelligence – intelligent machines
Carriers – people who had been purged of nano and have been repopulated with bacteria.
Claytronics – also programmable matter - computerized nano particles that can be assembled into just about anything.
comm – communication of any type including audio, video or VR.
CRS - Continuously Reorganizing Super-architecture, a computer programming that imitates the human mind.
Cryptography versus Steganography - the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity. The difference between steganography and cryptography is in steganography the messages appear to be other things than code, such as an image or other text. Cryptography is plainly a coded message, calling attention to itself.
Cyclotron – Michigan State University's particle accelerator before the FRIB. The laboratory for rare isotope research and nuclear science education.
Easter egg – a short piece of code inserted into a program that lays hidden until an undocumented action occurs. Usually they list the programmers or run a short cartoon. Usually benign.
EB – External Brain, a function of N-hanced that lets users store huge amounts of data in the cloud.
EHR – Echo History Reconstruction – a device used to recreate the path taken by a person or a thing using lingering echoes.
Elevated oCar - Similar to elevated trains in some larger cities, it followed the Interstate highway system. Individual oCars traveled at speeds of a thousand miles per hour in the vacuum tubes.
Epigenetics - The study of changes in gene expression caused by means other than the underlying DNA.
External Brain (EB) - a function of N-hanced that lets users store huge amounts of data in the cloud.
Fab or Fabber – Fabricator or the products made from a fabricator.
FasSnap – replacement for zippers, buttons, hooks. Works with a gesture.
Flick – 1) A gesture used to dismiss a screen or a VR Interface Space. 2) An obscenity used to replace "fuck," but more often as a derogatory to dismiss a person from VR. [orig: teenagers used it dismiss their parents in VR.]
FRIB – Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.
Grant, Cary – popular English/American actor known for his debonair behavior and "dashing good looks."
IGotYour6 – Like eyes in the back of your head, it's part of the basic T package that tracks danger to the user's far sides and back. It's intelligent and doesn't bother the user until it senses a problem.
Interface Space or IS – [ice or IS cube] The 3-D area that replaced keyboard, mouse and touchpads and operates with gestures. Objects in the space can be manipulated and the whole space can be rotated and resized until it becomes VR, or it can be used for examining objects at the microscopic levels.
IP – Internet Protocol. The addresses assigned to computers connected to wired or wireless networks. The addresses are similar to the addresses on houses. It lets one machine connect to another so that when one machine makes a request for information, the other machine knows where to send the data. All humans with embedded nano technology (which is most of them) have an IP address.
IR – infrared
IS – See Interface Space.
Luddite – One of a group of people against various advancements in technology. There is already much information about them on the Internet.
mod - modification
Molecular engine - patented in 2027, it was invented by William Watt, a direct descendent of James Watt, who developed the improved version of Newcomen's steam engine. Unlike combustion, the ME uses nano technology to cleanly release energy stored in matter.
Movers – people who were still active, moving around in the Real world. (See Sitters.)
Net – the common name for the Internet.
Oak – The oCar subsidiary of Orchard.
oC – Orchard Credit (oC), which took the place of the US dollar in 2023 making oUS currency the world standard once again. Half the world adopted the oC as their own.
oCar – also car. For details of the history see Appendix A.
oChair – An intelligent chair made of carbon nano tube fibers that supports the user and continues to change shape based on feedback from the user's muscles.
oClean – Nano particles whose job it is to convert targeted matter such as dirt and grease on specific surfaces into harmless gasses.
oCloth – Clothing that can change color, shape, texture and insulation properties. It is embedded with nano particles that provide pressure and movement when directed remotely and is used extensively in Virtual Reality interaction.
oCMAD - oCar Master Assignment Database.
oCode – Orchard's app (nano computer applications) store
oCredits – Orchard's money that replaced the US greenback currency in 2022 and once again the world standard. Also referred to as oCs and sometimes pronounced ahk and ahks (like ox).
oCuffs – an experimental nano program in testing stages by law enforcement to disable persons by slowing down all their movements.
oDiet – eat anything you want and the Ts only processes what you need. If you're eating too much junk food, and you don't get all the nutrients you need, the Ts will convert the molecules and fill in the gaps.
oEars – A thin film of nano T computers coat the hair cells in the cochlea. Sounds come into the physical ear from the world. Those sounds are intercepted by the Ts and projected back into the auditory system relayed to the hairs. Other data is added and some subtracted based on individual preferences. For example, you can add music. And you can subtract sounds of other people, selecting to hear only the voices you choose.
oEyes – A thin film of T computers that line the retina, which are essential for participation in VR. Images come in from the world. Those images are intercepted and transferred by the T to the optic nerve. Other data is added or subtracted based on individual preferences. For example, you can add a clock and make people's names show when you look at them. And you can subtract areas of very bright light. Sunglasses dim everything. Why not have only the bright spots removed?
oGER – [oh-ger] Genetic Engineering and Repair – a process invented by Orchard, giving people the ability to inexpensively reverse aging, change their appearance, remove all genetic diseases and improve intelligence and memory.
oGov – Orchard subsidiary that replaced the corrupt U.S. legislature with a computer program that answers directly to the people.
oL – Orchard's Elevated oCar. Similar to elevated trains in some larger cities, it followed the Interstate highway system. Individual oCars traveled at speeds of a thousand miles per hour in the vacuum tubes.
oMe2 – An Artificial Intelligence (AI) VR copy of a person who acts like the original and is indistinguishable from the original even to the detail of touch to anybody participating in VR. It can operate as his legal representative and make decisions on his behalf, effectively allowing the owner to be in two places at once. During reintegration, all the oMe2's experiences are returned to the owner as if he had Really been to that meeting.
oSmell – See oEars and oEyes. People can block the smell of things they find disgusting and/or substitute ones they find more pleasant. They are also warned if there were a dangerous smell like something burning so they can protect themselves from the fumes.
oShoe - A material worn on the feet. Both strong and flexible, it could be made any color or even transparent. It also adjusts support continuously as needed based on feedback from the body.
Orange – The computer company from which Orchard sprang to become its parent company.
Orchard – The umbrella corporation whose various subsidiaries manufacture the products that begin with the lowercase letter "o." Also in charge of oGov, the oUS government and economy computer.
oTaste – See oEars and oEyes for the mechanism. If you haven't heard of Miracle Fruit, look it up on the Net. People can choose to block the taste of things they find disgusting and/or substitute a flavor they find more pleasant.
oTat – T computer tattoos which can either be static or dynamic or a combination of the two. They're Real, not VR, although there's no reason people couldn't project VR tats.
oTouch - T computers that stimulate various receptors throughout the body in order to give the illusion of changes in pressure, temperature and movement. They are a major component of Virtual Reality.
PA – Personal Assistant – the computer that takes care of routine details of people's lives.
PC – A Private Channel allows two or more people to have a private conversation with other people in the vicinity.
PM - Programmable Matter or Claytronics - computerized nano particles that can be assembled into just about anything.
Programmable Matter – also Claytronics - computerized nano particles that can be assembled into just about anything.
Real – What is not Virtual Reality
Real Stamp - Since Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics are so ubiquitous, there is a need to verify that some events are Real and not faked in any way. Orchard has a department with technologists who verify Real events. Not unlike how banks verify signatures as authentic.
Realie – a person who rejects nano technology and Virtual Reality.
Skeet – Skeeter Camera or Skeet Cam, named for being the size of a mosquito.
Sitters – people who never leave their homes. By 2035 that includes nearly one third of the population. They stay active using VR. They're in good health because of nano tech. (See Movers.)
Steganography versus cryptography - the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity. The difference between steganography and cryptography is in steganography the messages appear to be other things than code, such as an image or other text. Cryptography is plainly a coded message, calling attention to itself.
'Stein – (or Stein) short of Einstein. Replaced geek and nerd in the culture. It reflects more positively on the people with special talents.
Stewart, Jimmy – popular American actor in the mid-twentieth century. Played George Bailey in the Christmas classic It's A Wonderful Life. Especially known for his warmth and sincerity.
stush - onomatopoeia for the broadband hissing sound TVs used to make when they were on a channel where there was nothing being broadcast. Also known as white noise. It was introduced by Charlie at a developer's conference to refer to a programming bug. He said, "There was some stush in the system." It was picked up by some Orchard developers and quickly spread throughout popular culture. Can be used as a noun or a verb. Also substitutes for glitch, wrong, fucked, (as in "I've been stushed.") lie (as in "Don't stush to me."), shit and bullshit (as in "That's a bunch of stush."), noise or out of whack (as in "That guy's stushy.")
T – sixty-four gigabyte nano-sized protein computers ('teins) constructed by DNA using human body material rather than silicone and metal. They network with each other to make a powerful super-computer, coordinate VR and interface with the Net.
Tomasini, Eric - (2001 – ) Theoretical Physicist prodigy who in 2018 discovered a new field of mathematics that promised to explain the odd behavior of matter at the quantum level. But it was so complex, it could not be proven – until N-hanced.
Orchard – The umbrella corporation whose various subsidiaries manufacturer the products that begin with the lowercase letter "o." Also in charge of oGov, the oUS government and economy computer.
Uglies – a small subculture who revolted against the general drift toward homogenized good looks by intentionally choosing to be unattractive.
vid – (also V) video, movie or recording
vid/phone – device that provides VR to purged individuals or those who have their T computers disabled, such as some prisoners.
VAM - video/audio mask or VAM
video/audio mask - VAM
VR – Virtual Reality – VR-ing would be someone who appears remotely via VR.
WPTD – World People Tracking Database. People call it Whipped. It uses people's T nano tags and IP addresses to provide VR name tags, keep everybody linked up, make calls for oCars and handle personal banking among other services to individuals, corporations and governments. Some of those services can be in conflict with each other as when the rights of the individual may affect the rights of the whole.
Jonathan is author of
seven editions of his Learn
book, a regular contributor to FileMaker Pro Advisor
magazine and a member of the FileMaker Solutions
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