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Archive for the ‘english post’ Category

Free (Post-)Cyberpunk Book online

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Cover of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother NovelCory Doctorow has put his new book, “Little Brother” online. He’s so good I had to add him to my list of Cyberpunk writers (see sidebar).

It’s a

young adult novel about hacker kids who use technology to reclaim the Bill of Rights from the DHS after a terrorist attack on San Francisco.

Also to be found on the website:

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 15th, 2008 at 8:05 am

Cyberpunk Search Engine

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You may have noticed that the search option for this site changed. I fist added Lijit-Search, which allows you to search not only my site, but also other sites I added. It was not received well, so I deleted it.

So now I changed to a Google Custom Search, which allows us (i.e., you too) to add more cyberpunk related websites to its database. It’s home page can be found here, with instructions if you want to use it on your website/blog.

Check it out, if you like – searching for “cyberleg” for example, does not feature this blog on the first place, but not at all. Instead you find the official errata on R. Talsorians Site first, then some of Christian Conkle’s stuff. Nothing else, esp. no non-cyberpunk related material. No shadowrun cyberleg here, promise!

I hope you like it.

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 14th, 2008 at 8:21 am

Rockerboys: The True Cyberpunk Spirit

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Rockerboys haven’t had much coverage on this blog so far. So you might not be surprised by the news that the Nine Inch Nails released their new album (“The Slip”) under the Creative Commons “attribution noncommercial share-alike” license. A note on the NIN site says:

“We encourage you to remix it, share it with your friends, post it on your blog, play it on your podcast, give it to strangers, etc.”

Thank you guys. That’s very clever, and makes me feel much better downloading the album.

Sure, I’m was never dumb enough to pay for DRM-Music. Microsoft just proved that you have to be brain-damaged to do so by removing support for the aptly named Playsforsure – now it won’t play as soon as you change to a new computer/mp3-player. They never supported Linux, anyway.

But Get Out Clause, a band I never heard of before, puts the NIN-guys to shame. Get Out Clause is from Manchester, UK. The UK has adoped a senseless but ambitious programme to videotape every second of the life of every single person living there. Yes senseless: They claim to do so to fight terrorism or crime, but just had to admit that it didn’t work. Guess whats the new plan: Right, more cameras. Anyway, GOC just performed in front of one of those cameras and then asked for the tape and then stitched the results together for their music video. That’s cyberpunk. Esp. the punk part! Rock on, guys!

[youtube 98u1HuqS7Nk]

Malte vom Spreeblick hat das ganze auf deutsch noch viel besser formuliert als ich das je könnte. Ich hoffe, dass er nicht böse ist, wenn ich seinen ganzen Post zitiere:

In England geschieht nichts unbeobachtet. Das ganze Land hat eine dermaßen hohe Überwachungskameradichte (die unter Sicherheitsaspekten nichts bringt und deshalb erhöht werden soll), dass – so erzählt man sich in Berlin – Wolfgang Schäuble nachts von Laterne zu Laterne fährt und Polaroidkameras installiert, wobei er “God save the Queen” singt und lauwarmes Bier trinkt. The Get out Clause, eine Band aus Manchester, die keinen Plattenvertrag hat, machte sich nun die vielen Kameras zunutze (nicht die Polaroids von Schäuble, die echten) und hat sich erst aufzeichnen lassen, dann die Aufnahmen unter Berufung auf den Freedom of Information Act zurück gefordert, bearbeitet und ein Video daraus produziert.

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 11th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

If the RIAA kicked our doors in right now…

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…and rounded us all up, what would we call ourselves?

asks Chris Minotaur. A really great article on what happend to cyberpunk – i.e. is it dead allready? And yes, I choose “I want my brain haxxorred right now!”

Actually the article is so good that Bruce Sterling (Islands in the Net, Schismatrix) blogged about it. I guess you better start reading. The text is not only really clever, but also a fantastic read.

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 6th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Copy Protection in Cyberpunk 2020

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by Amy Luther

“Anti-IC and Anti-Personnel programs cannot be Backup-copied; they have special copy-protection routines that erase the chip in the copy process. This makes sure you come back to your friendly local fixer for a new copy of Hellhound when yours crashes. You can make a copy using your Programming Skill against a Task Difficulty of 28.”
(from the Cyberpunk 2020 Rulebook)

In our games, we assume that the copy-protection routine referred to in the CP2020 rulebook prevents copies from being made. When you roll versus a difficulty 28 to make a copy, you are effectively cracking this section of the program. From then on, the program is cracked, and you may make a copy of it.

Copying Made Easy

Ditto

(Anti-IC, STR 6, MU 4, GM’s decision as to cost and availability)

Ditto deactivates the copy protection routine of a target Anti-IC or Anti-Personnel program. It is run against the target program and an opposed roll is made: Ditto’s STR + 1d10 versus the target program’s STR + 1d10. If Ditto wins, the string which prevents copying in the target program is stripped, and it may be copied freely with the COPY function on the Menu. This may affect its stability; on a 1 or 2 on a d6 roll, the target fries itself, and no copy can be made. The copies which result are cracked copies and are somewhat corrupted. Whenever run, they will crash and de-rez on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6. ICON – If run in the net, Ditto breaks up the IC into a million glowing bits, then reforms it. If the program crashes, the bits simply spin away into the net without reforming.

Other Avenues

Programs bought from legitimate sources (i.e., not your local fixer) may come with codes, allowing the corporate buyer to make backup copies, or even fully-enabled copies which can be run anywhere. This option would naturally be very expensive and might explain why Anti-Personnel programs cost so much.

Other options are a licensing/registration process, in which a purchaser (probably a corporation) pays a fee upon purchasing the program which guarantees a set number of copies of a given program from the manufacturer. This fee could be renewed annually, or simply paid whenever one of the corp’s copies gets zapped by an intruding netrunner.

This opens up another avenue for netrunning. Runners could raid programming houses for anti-personnel codes for sale or distribution, or could steal the corporate’s license, then get free copies from the house while the corporation foots the bill.

We’re also working on black IC companies… after all, somebody’s got to have a license to program and sell this stuff, right?

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 5th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Cyberpunk Art 7: Death from above

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Keith Thompson: Helicopter
(click for larger image)

Picture taken from Keith Thompsons (Link) wonderful art page. It has 2 40mm and one 60mm gun.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 29th, 2008 at 8:08 am

Cyb3rpunk | Style Trends 2035+

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streetstyle.jpg

Hello and welcome to this month’s edition of streetstyle – the attitude guide that yo can’t afford to miss. We here at global style watch the trends. And ask the street: What’s hot? What’s not?

Digittoos – Artificial-looking body alterations are out. Leave those to the sad sods who still rant on about the glorious days when they were “Cyberpunks” in the 2020ies. Today’s look is all about self-evolution. About making a statement of progress right in Darwin’s wrinkled face. At first, I was a little surprised when I discovered that even “old” technologies like Philips’ Electronic Tattoos are now all the rage in the clubs. But like it is often the case with “revamped” tech, it’s not the tech that counts, it’s the style. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 28th, 2008 at 2:36 am

Cyberpunk today: Netrunners

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Netrunning is allready a business. Big business. Reuters reports that in a trial Christopher Tarnovsky, a hacker, received quite a few handfulls of dollar to hack a rival satellite tv system. The victim claims that the software was to be used to diminish the gain of the victim by selling or distributing a pirated copy of the smartcard. The attacker, News Corp, claims it was only “reverse-engineering” to “look how it works”.

News Corp is a massive corp, owning tv stations like FOX, newspapers, movie studios and book publishers.

I used exactly this setup in a game back in the ’90s. Now I’m feeling both prophetic and old.

But reality -unlike our game- doesn’t stop where it gets ridiculous (taken from the same article):

Tarnovsky said[:] “Someone is trying to set me up.”

DISH attorney Chad Hagan asked, “This is all a big conspiracy?”

“Yes,” Tarnovsky answered. He conceded that he constructed a device called “the stinger” that could communicate with any smart card in the world.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 25th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Sex sells

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…even Cyberpunk blogs. I can hardly imagine any reason to post this teaser for the GI Joe movie I ripped of io9. Except she looks cool.

Scarlett G. I. Joe

About time for this blog to take the “Style over Substance” part of Cyberpunk seriously, anyway.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 22nd, 2008 at 4:29 pm

The evil guys – how to paint them black in a greyscale world

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Villians are difficult do create and play for an Cyberpunk 2020 GM. In D&D, a evil aura is all you need for the groups paladin to cry “I shall smite this evil” and a fight will occur. Which will be Level-appropriate. And be won by the group after having expended the precalculated amount of spells, magic item charges and hitpoints. Boring.

So how do you give your PCs a villian they will remember? When I was young, you could identify them rather easily. They wore a tie. This is no longer an option – I have to wear a tie at work myself. But then, I’m probably a villian, too. Only less well payed. And no, we don’t get any cool guns or explosives. Not even super-powers.

Where was I? Ah, right. Yax, over at dungeonmastering.com, wrote an D&D related article on how to greate a love-to-hate villain. Some stuff (also taken from the comments) might be useful for cyberpunk, too. In the comments I found

Make the villain an ally, until story arcs climax, then betrayal then return in reacuring arcs. Annoying, frustrating, and appealing. Plus, get one of the players intimatly connected, like a relative, or childhood friend or lover. thats a hard thing to kill.

Okay, that’s basic for us. What else is there? Lot of stuff that might be innovative for D&D, but not new for cyberpunk. A selection of the best ideas:

The love-to-hate-them villains should:

  1. Speak slowly. Very slowly. Or have any other annoying vocal habit.
  2. Be good. That villain is lawful and good, but stupid or manipulated so that he doesn’t realize he’s causing harm. It’s hard to deal with someone who well-meaning, but they’re still annoying.
  3. Have the villain send a thug to beat the tar out of one of the PCs – not permanently damage them but beat them into unconsciousness (if they can). Of course the villain has an alibi but everyone KNOWS it was his/her order.
  4. Have the villain steal a prized magic item from one of the PCs and then wear/use it publicly, much to the adoration and amusement of the commonors in town.

I would love to collect your tips on how to create the most memorable and well-hated villians for cyberpunk 2020 in the comments. Yes, comments in german are willkommen.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 19th, 2008 at 8:46 am