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January 4, 2010

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January 4, 2010

Alpha: for most of the 22nd and 23rd centuries, there were two distinct communications networks: the legitimate, stable, and carefully maintained one which was accessable only to those with the proper codes (or, at some points, the proper genetic modifications); and the ad hoc network of pirate boosters and carrier boxes that was used by the rest of society. The shadow network had no security save the sheer volume of information being moved around and its maddeningly vague structure; for example, messages passed through it keyed not off access numbers or codes, as in the legitimate networks, but off a set of searchable phrases -- a person or organization's 'alphabet'.

These days the alpha networks, as they came to be called, are quite legitimate themselves, though they tend to be used more for informal or social communications. In Kieselburg -- particularly Lowtown -- they are used for almost all communications; the large networks are poorly maintained and, ironically, it is the diffuse and essentially inefficient alpha networks that are seen as the more reliable.

(Other references helpful for that second panel: the Green Curfew, the Leagua.)


Late comic, because I spent the weekend wrestling with Quickbooks. The day job decided to switch bookkeeping systems. This is one of those things where they say 'volunteers step forward' and everyone sensible takes a step back. Curse my poor reflexes....

Better news! Elaine Corvidae, who many of you may recognize from the comments section and my occasional enthusiastic recommendations of her books, has started up her own webcomic, Riven Sol I am super excited about this; I had a chance to look through a bit of the work she'd done on it at HeroesCon, and believe me, we're all in for a treat. Head over there and check out what she's got so far; I doubt you'll be sorry.