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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Needlecast  
  A tightbeam transmission of your very being.  

In the world of Altered Carbon, it is possible to completely record the unique electrical pattern of your mental self, store it and then download it into a suitable body.

"You can't kill me just by wiping out my cortical stack."

"You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?

Bancroft smiled. "Every 48 hours." He tapped the back of his neck. "Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack over at the PsychaSec installation at Alcatraz."

From Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

The radio and television transmissions we are used to are literally "broadcast" in all directions. It takes a lot of energy to send a usable signal in all directions. If you wanted to send a transmission to a specific distant planet, the most energy efficient way would be to transmit in a single, specific direction - a "needlecast", a very slender beam.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Altered Carbon
  More Ideas and Technology by Richard Morgan
  Tech news articles related to Altered Carbon
  Tech news articles related to works by Richard Morgan

Needlecast-related news articles:
  - Needle Beam Propagates Without Spreading

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