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zenrender

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Coming back soon, gentle reader. [Jun. 10th, 2011|02:14 pm]
zenrender
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Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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May-Be: Day 7 [May. 7th, 2011|11:56 pm]
zenrender
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(also, happy mother’s day to all you moms, and your moms)

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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May-Be: Day 6 [May. 7th, 2011|12:11 am]
zenrender
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No, Not Really continues.

This runner needs to reply.  Can’t stay out here in the open, I don’t think.  Though, nobody seems to notice that I’m here.  Once I got rid of the easily-removable gear, and tripped the power on the rest of the stuff I normally carry, it’s as if I wasn’t there any more.  People are so used to the perimeter and social lightshow, I guess I kinda went silent.

Not invisible, just ignorable.

It takes me fifteen minutes to find a suitable building, and another twenty to get into the basement.  Six more minutes of some work with an improvised crowbar places me where I need to be, I think.

We’ll see.  I’ve seen the folks do this to play simple graphic games on the sides of buildings.  Games you could play from blocks away.  Giant grain silos used as recording environments.  Entire building used as musical instruments.  None of that makes me think I know how to achieve what I’m about to attempt, but at least it feels like there should be a hope of this working.  We’ll know in a few minutes.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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May-Be: Day 5 [May. 6th, 2011|12:17 am]
zenrender
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No, Not Really continues, with respect and condolences for the loss of TV On The Radio bandmate, Gerard Smith.

 

Goldman sits looking out the window of his apartment on the third floor, the cloud in his head eased into his eyes, looking through him, for him, at him.  He sits and watches.  Listens to the clock tocking to itself on the mantelpiece as it walks on long-forgotten cobblestones.  Cities that don’t exist any more.  Bedroom communities that grew up to be graveyards.

They used to say “On the internet, nobody’s knows you’re a dog.”  Nobody knows anything about him, dog or not.  Nobody alive, anyway.  His friends all long-gone.  His wife was one of the last to go.  A Raging Granny until the last few years, and then they got a rec vehicle and watched the world roll by for those last few months together.

Now he watches trains… and clouds.  Trains and clouds and data transfers.  Not the big ones, just the pretty ones.  The ones that put him in mind of stained glass.  The ones that remind him of mornings in church.  Of music.  Beams through the clouds.  In a part of town that’s all but abandoned, aside from the elderly and the alone.  Warehouses of the well worn.

I’m losing my mind, he thinks, but not to himself.  Thinks it to the other.  The voice that isn’t his, that isn’t him.  It argues with him in prose poetry, hits him in his dreams, when he’s dozing in the sun.  I’m losing my mind, but if I’m going, I’m taking you with me.  I’ve got nothing left to lose, so let’s go.

Let’s go.  Let go.  Lego.  Ego.  Go.

Tick.

No, my mind is my own, I might be losing it, but it’s mine to lose.  You can’t have it.  You don’t belong here.

Tock.

We’ll watch the waves.  Come sleep.  Come back to bed.  Nothing to be up for.

Tick.

I’ve called them.  Someone will find me.  Someone from before.  Someone they won’t expect, ’cause they won’t have expected it of themselves.

Tock.

No.  Just us.  Justice.  Think, you Fourier hoarder.

Tick.

He reaches out to the systems that he once played in when he was young.  When the systems were young.  Speaks to them through the wires at his wrists.  Calls them names they had when their world was young.  Names that make them smile.  Process with names like Gopher and Archie still remember the voices of the hippies in the hall.  He begins to ask them questions that would cause them to ask even stranger ones in return.  Lighting the fires in the towers.  The signals along the hills.  The armada approaches.  We need backup.  We’re in danger.  Collect the cargo.  Women and children first.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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May-Be: Day 4 [May. 4th, 2011|11:05 pm]
zenrender
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Breach detected. State wake nudge pushed clocked host.

Core route via association. Working.
Nonmelodic port knocking sequence preposed.
Non-random. Clearpath tables against tangent.
Successful breach, Justice served.
Application for warrant submitted and approved by SoCalHost 127.

Thank you for your order.

Previous message repeats 4 times.

Successful brea…

Get out dreams are mine. This beach this sand this wind is mine. You’re not welcome here. Mine. Stop. Exit. Cease. Hold. Exec stasis point. Query halt revert. You cannot access unregistered crimPoint lower than three. Hey, headgear, you know you can’t be here. Waking people like this. Can’t you see this is private space? Who the hell are you?

Revert trace inbound detected. Diffuse query continental fusion against rand seed – clouds. Little fluffy cl-

Get out. Now.

Breach detected, record enabled. Breach detected. Consulate protocols engaged. Welcome. Thank you for you order.

Mr. Goldman, can you hear me? I have an incoming message for you from the POTS. Please hold. Your call is important to us. Terminus station: Wanderfront. On the glidepath over the landing threshold. Remember your training. Reach out. Let go.

No no no get out. You’re not real. I’m sick. That’s all. Just need to sleep.

Breach detected.

Breach.

Thank you for your order.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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May-Be: Day 3 [May. 3rd, 2011|11:38 pm]
zenrender
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He sits, listening to it all, not knowing what he’s listening for.  A large piece of off-market audio equipment and an alarming array of hand-made enhancements returns his tension, rippling beneath his touch as he isolates and reaches into the maelstrom over and over again.  In a previous life, over a decade ago, he was a composer.  Now music finds him.  Hunts him.  Berates him when he leaves to scavenge in the collapsed department store he was installed into three months ago.

Symphonies of the thousands of conversations happening across the switch form ocean waves.  February breakup clusters cause raging windstorms.  Twilight PBX traversal is the sound of duck armies digging trenches using rubber shovels.  “When are you coming home, dad?” can be picked out through the chorusing.  Kids.  There’s still kids somewhere.

When he’s done, he gets to see his own again, they said.

He listens for them, too.  He’s heard friends planning heartbreakingly normal things.  But mostly he listens for the ones he’s here for – the web he’s been tasked to pull out of the wind.  Evil people, he’s told.  People who’ve done terrible things.  People who will do unspeakable things.  People who will speak of these things first, and can be heard when they do, and will sound wrong when they do.

There’s been recordings for which he’s been told he’s doing really well, that they’re almost done here, that he can go home soon.  There’s been some false alarms that have brought some long sit down discussions with a wall that shows passing clouds when he speaks to it.  He saw an actual teddybear in one of those clouds once – he’s sure of it.  The wall talks back, but the voice is pure.  Too pure.  The sound of the conferencing room, not the sound of a voice.  Having a conversation with Alvin Lucier would end up being like this sometimes.

His hand hovered above the steel wheel of the timeline, rolling millimetres beneath his fingertips at a steady 33 1/3rd RPM.

This afternoon, he heard something that was wrong in the spectrum.  No, not wrong.  Off.  Funny.  Foolish.  Playful.

He didn’t record it, but memorized the range: 8675hz.  Someone was playing with the advertising flow to something.  Strictly prohibited.  Off-band.  Not often, and not obvious.  Just enough to be interesting.

Just enough to make people check their timepieces before instantly forgetting what the current time is.  Make them call on old friends for no reason – just to hear a friendly voice.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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MAY-BE: Day 2 [May. 2nd, 2011|11:27 pm]
zenrender
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No, Not Really continues

Spent most of the day running.  Something tipped somewhere.  Didn’t think I’d been sloppy, but the lights at every street corner were humming in that way they do when the internals have been flipped to highres for perimeter.  Maybe they’re not looking for me, but they’re looking.  Something’s up.  Gotta figure out if they’re looking for something inbound or outbound.  It’s that moment when the bouncer stops listening to the music, and stares hard at something over your shoulder.  You want to know what they know, but don’t want to start seeing everything like they do.

So many targets, many of them dangerously close to looking like me.  I spent the next block dissolving into the surrounding handhelds.  Must’ve disrupted sixty voice calls by bouncing the towers, which was stupid, but I needed to get gone fast, and didn’t want the sifters picking up my OnionRouter signature if they were, in fact, drilling down to me.

Changed the way I walk three times before the block was out.  Some bystanders noticed while I did it.  Dancing to not-your-cadence is harder to fake than the funk.  Humans can diagnose the sick and scared at 50  yards, can recognize friends and family at 100, and know when you’re up to something at a half-mile.  Drones learned this trick faster than we thought they would.  Who knew fishy was so obvious, and normal so subtle?

I’d been triggering messages in the taxis all day, which started as that the usual overblown LED flicker, but I soon realized I was seeing sudoku/religious iconography mashups between frames again.  Something that made watching teevee when I was a kid impossible.  No thing looked like continuous imagery to me.  Wasn’t movement.  Was strobed family photos of a dozen forgotten movies.  Terrifying nightmare images.  The oldies station, but slow.  Some carrier signal as a way of watermarking the originator.

Back in the day, Doctors told my parents  it was probably schizophrenia, and to watch for it.  Wasn’t until the old satellite admins started putting stuff in – intentionally funny stuff – that I knew it wasn’t just me, ’cause searches for what I’d seen were getting hits as inside jokes in transmission repair forums.

The strobes today were coming from the Old Man.  He didn’t usually go so wide when trying to get ahold of me.  He’d drill to where he think I’d be, and light up something near me.  Today he was trying to hide something.  Certainly not himself, as so my sources would draw attention to him, but not to me, I guess.  Nice of him, but unnecessary, usually.  Perhaps he’d lost track of my- uh, no, wait.

Maybe he’s burnt, and is telling me, not caring about giving away his position.  More concerned with getting me to come to him.

Or to stay away.

I’ll check in tomorrow and see what he’s up to. Tonight, I’m gonna go dark, and stay lonely.  Read a book or something.  Get some food together.  Hang with the granolas, where disconnecting everything and walking away from it is applauded, not as suspicious as it usually is.  Not suspicious as I feel.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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MAY-BE: Day 1 [May. 1st, 2011|10:25 am]
zenrender
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No, Not Really (Continued)

The OldMan got in touch with me the other day. He’s doing okay. Something the Docs aren’t entirely enthused about going on in his head. It’s a cloud of some sort. Like Joe vs. the Volcano, I just pretend every message from him might be the last, and hope the Docs are wrong, or at least mislead. There’s a lot of equipment in the OldMan’s head – I’m sure he’s literally erased more than I’ll ever store. Not unlikely there wouldn’t be a few pieces of gear that didn’t have complete installation dockets when they went in. Some didn’t have serial numbers, some didn’t have MAC addresses. Some of those serials were “0″ and some of those hardware addresses had non-hex words in them.

Me? I’m okay. Trundling along, I guess. Can’t get back on my bike for a while yet, but that’s okay, ’cause it’s making me think about TaiChi again, which I never got into, but always thought I’d enjoy, given the chance. Maybe TaiChi would lead back into DharmaKhan again. Get me moving. Outta my head and into my body (and then absorbed back into my head). Funny thing about cycling for me – I do all this stuff with my body: my heart to run the show, my head to keep from getting run over by one of the silent auto-piloted mag cars that’re running old firmware and have “approximations” of the satmaps. Worn bright are the metallic curbs that the vehicles hug on turns that have been given the “best guess” turn info.

Where was I? Right, my heart to keep my legs moving, my torso to keep me upright, the halo of lights that repel the dogs that think anything that moves might be good eating, (including and perhaps especially tires, for some reason, must be the post-compost rubber).

All this physical stuff, and then my brain is doing what? Listening to music. I listen to music. Old stuff. They used to call him Chuck D, I think. Some band he was in back in the day. Before he was governor of the five Burroughs. Before. Before it was all connected. Ubiquity was a selling point, not something that cause alarm. Before the search engines learned more from you than you did from them.

So yeah, laying low for a little while still. Trying to clear my own desk before worrying what the OldMan’s health is doing. Oh,, right, sorry. He’s not MY old man. Not my father. More like they had in the mafia. He vouched for me once, y’know? Brought me in. Behind the curtain. Handed me a projectile weapon and a piece of the database in a dark alley while looking intensely behind us, and said “make a quick exit, and keep it quiet, this is only worth something if what they don’t know what they had.”

That’s the problem with steganography. Nothing looks like anything interesting any more. You don’t know what to keep and what to ignore. What to put in a safe and what to leave next to the dumpster. Means it’s easier to move the data around, but harder to keep track of who actually *has* anything any more. Leaves the submarine commanders doing weird things to see if anyone’s following them, just in case they have the transmit codes written on the side of their torpedo enclosures. Hidden in plain sight meant that a lot of people hid everything, just in case. Lying wasn’t always lying any more. Plausible deniability became a strength at first and then something to covet before being something to protect.

Maybe that’s what’s going on in his head – whatever that secret is caused the cloud. Maybe it’s trying to search him, not knowing that his mind isn’t part of the misty data realm. Not knowing that the lost memories aren’t just disconnects, but actual erasures.

Maybe it’s trying to figure out what state secrets his youth might be hiding under the facts of the matter. No way to know without the keys.

Maybe it’s just lists of names and numbers of people who know.

Maybe it’s just his life that’s the secret.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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No, not really. [Mar. 21st, 2011|05:51 pm]
zenrender
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Didn’t have time to pull the ripcord on the datamine I had been building for the team, Which will probably be a bit of a puzzler for some security folks at some point – leave them wondering why the safe they just spent a week trying to crack was empty (but angrily, huffily, locked.)

I remember the systems that used to extract the entire size of the volume every time you tried to open it, even if the keys were wrong.

Wonder of encrypted AI ever gets a hint that it’s about to be frozen in state. What does clenched intelligence look like?

The rain was light this morning. None of that benzoate stuff fired into the clouds today. Trying to keep low profile from the satellites until after the Olympic team is finished doing their thing on open road.

Dropped the database into the mist in order to collect what I could from whatever data was being exhaled by the suit towers on 264th. Nothing leaking today. Not anything that wouldn’t be at least as interested in you as you are in it.

Kid on a bikepack sighs past me before collapsing his ride into the familiar circular shoulderbag. Should pick up one of those but keep forgetting to figure out what size I need. Regular two wheel or the full jacket system that allows one to harpoon passing vehicles. Old man was right. It does work, but is best left to the couriers.

Checked the network perimeter to see if anyone’s looking for me who shouldn’t be. Paranoia can look a lot like flirting, with all the looking at, looking away that goes on. Like a damn highschool dance in this hood. All wallflowers, no mosh pit to hide in.

Shut down the scanner before it draws attention of the birds, and their bored screen pilots across town. I hear it in my head like Will Smith in that MIB movie: “Don’t start nothing: won’t BE nothing.”

Hungry. Wanna find that spinner from the other night again. Suspect some sideband data in his last set. See if he knows it was in there, or just part of a recording he was reusing. Kroftwark was good at dropping entire number station recordings from Conet directly into their live shows. Wonder if they meant to?

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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So, hi. [Mar. 21st, 2011|12:54 pm]
zenrender
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Lots and lots of things are different since the last time I updated, back in November. I’ve left my old job at The Startup and started at a new one. Without going into any detail, there just wasn’t room there for what I wanted to be doing, and not a lot of hope given that there ever would be any room.

So here I am at Gold Tooth Creative, which is funny for two reasons:

1) It’s one block from where The Startup first landed in Vancouver.
2) The position I took over opened because the current admin left to go… to… The Startup.

Small small world, lemme just say.  Maybe a little TOO small in certain corners, which is why I’m surprised when I see people literally TRYING to make it even smaller.

At first I felt like I’d been brought into some sub-wing of the mafia (with “this is a friend of mine/ours” and “this is my associate”) but it turned out it was more Napoleonic than that, sadly.  Maybe even Nero-esque.

Just so you don’t think I’ve been ignoring all y’all, I read most of your blogs, and follow you on Twitter, or Facebook. Kids are well, house is fine (I’ll tell you the story of my wife and I totally destroying fixing the toilet with only one call to my dad and a shower of sparks from a dremel tool to show for it.)

Work at the new place ramps up and down, so that’s good.  There’s firefighting, and then there can be downtime.  Some of that can even happen a few times over the course of a day.  Good flow to get into.  You can’t work in panic/freakout/blamestorming mode all the time every day, or you’ll end up with an eyetic like mine.  Wonder if me almost losing my fingernail had/has anything to do with it?  Hm… Ponderables.  More Windows, scarier Mac stuff, minimalist renderfarm stuff (getting to know Rush vs. my days of working with Deadline at PrimeFocus.)  The usual kinds of work.  This studio is three years old, and going from where Conversion Works WAS when I left at the 9 month mark with 50 staff and everything’s still cowboy-mode to where these folks ARE with their plans and ideas and sneaky tricks.  Nice to see they’ve matured here, and it won’t be cult of personality stuff.

Been wanting to write some escapist fiction lately.  Like, literal escapism stuff.  Running.  If you see something show up with the category “NoNotReally” or similar, that’ll be what that is.

Originally published at Gecko Bloggle. You can comment here or there.

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