Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Violation of the TrueNet Security Act, by Taiyo Fuji (translated by Jim Hubbert)

Lightspeed Magazine, July 2015; 9,111 words
Rating: 2, Not recommended

A washed-up programmer in near-future Japan explores old code that she wrote back before the Internet was replaced by TrueNet.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

The technical detail here is amazing. The author clearly has at least some experience with Linux systems, PHP programming,  and with networking. The idea that search-engine software might take over the whole Internet and require a from-scratch replacement is far-fetched but not totally insane.

What hurts this story is all the loose ends. We sort of understand why Minami wants to resurrect her old software--it's something she created in her youth and feels nostalgic about. But Chen's motivations seem insane. The out-of-control software that locked people out of the Internet doesn't seem even remotely intelligent. He's like a guy chipping away at the base of a dam because he thinks the fish on the other side are talking to him. Speaking of that lockout, how is it that anyone is able to use the Internet now at all? And why would anyone still be paying the power bills to keep the old server farms running?

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