LL :: Volume 8 :: LR
|It's Us Verses the World Verses|
Two-digit values were up overall, particularly multiples of three and
five; 45 and 75 both set record highs for the day. Larger composites
were left behind as profit-taking sold down the market. Centuries did
well, except for 700, which fell sharply on news of a legal battle
between its trustees and those of 777.
The skyline battle between Logico and CUS has reached -- not new
heights (since their skyscraper-masks were banned by request of the
City Windsurfing Guild) but at least new hues. Logico has set up their
corporate tower with a field application which changes color with the
lighting conditions. Under a sunny blue sky, it's a rich rose; at dawn
and sunset, when other buildings are tinted red, Logico's is soft
blue. At night, faintly pulsing silver runs up the tower, and on
overcast days it seems to glitter gold with reflected nonexistent
CUS, not to be outdone, is projecting real-time images of surrounding buildings and skyline on the surface of their own tower. The graphics are distorted and intercut, leaving the viewer with an odd sense that the CUS skyscraper is a transparent prism, facetted inside and out.
Arnekh Publications has now released three books with speech-pattern
markers. Apostrophes indicate "um", "er", and other such interjaculations;
a dot under a word indicates stress; a streakthrough indicates slurring;
and so on. They offer a free neuroplug module which lets you read the text
without undue distraction; the markers come through as connotation, not
interfering with the habitual reading experience.
Sophir Books is using a similar trick to transfer images. Not high-resolution illustrations, but summaries of facial features, layout of rooms, the overall look of scenery. These are marked with superscript numbers in the text -- like footnote markers, but in a light blue shade, which makes them easy to consciously ignore. Each book comes with its own neuroplugin, which stores the images and releases them on trigger, with a sensation rather like recalling a familiar face or location that you haven't thought of in a few years.
Books with background audio and musical soundtrack are nothing new, but Malatrant is now trying -- once again -- to break dialogue tracks into the adult fiction market. The gimmick this time is to slow down or speed up the synthesized dialogue to match the rate at which the reader turns pages. The page-turn sensors are hooked up to expert logic, which the author has coded to rewrite the dialogue; it can compress several sentences into one, or string out the dialogue with small talk and vaguely relevant asides. (An eye-tracking neuroplugin is recommended, to keep the synchronization even more exact.) The overall effect is not terrible, but it's still fairly clumsy.
|Less than Explicable|
On Thursday of next week, a shrouded person of unknown provenance will
leave six lilies and a bottle of almond wine at the foot of a
telephone box, at the top of the Fourth Avenue. This has been
occurring annually for the past seventeen years. No explanation or
theory has ever been offered.
Five years ago, a reporter placed a note in the phone box which read: "Why? Who died here?" The next day, with the lilies and wine, a note was found which contained only an exasperated roll of the eyes.
|Life of the Mind|
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