Halting State by Charles Stross:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Excellent book goes deep into near-future Scotland in layers; the city and its people, the augmented realities anchored thereon, and the virtual worlds hosted in its infrastructure. The story starts with a theft of virtual goods from a very secure virtual bank and proceeds from there.

This novel does the best job of combining virtual worlds and real life of any sf novel I've ever read; for those of you who got tired of this device in the 1980's, rejoice, because Stross got it totally right. Highly recommended book. Select an invention:

Airboarding
Typing in thin air to input characters into a computer.

Blacknet - antisocial networking
An antisocial networking site.

CopSpace - MySpace for police, and then some
A virtual location for police lifelogs, official communications, paperwork, informational databases and evidence of all kinds.

Driverless Drones - AIs assist
One remote supervisor can drive a half-dozen drones, with some computer assistance.

Lifelog - life record
A life record made constantly.

Overlay Specs
Glasses that provide an additional feature; an overlay that lets you see information and graphics along with the real-world view.

SPOOKS - go on a LARP for a lark
A live-action role playing (LARP) game that lets ordinary people play at being secret agents.

Virtual World Theft - faux thievery
A method of stealing or reassigning ownership to items of value in virtual worlds.

 

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