Standard of the Man: News

Roger Burton West
20 April 2007

Table of Contents

1. January 2100

1.1. Kogitant Debunks "Rogue Seed"

Salzburg/Teralogos; Jan 1 2100

A spokesman for Kogitant GmbH today categorically denied the presence of a "rogue seed" in the artificial intelligences produced by the company. "Our AI kernels are inspected by the duly constituted authorities before they are put into production. While inevitably there have been undesirable developments, the record shows that the products of Kogitant are if anything less prone to go rogue than those of other major manufacturers. To suggest that we would make them deliberately prone to this is an accusation of criminal behaviour, and our legal department is treating it as libel. Recent rumours are simply not borne out by the facts."

1.2. New Season of Bytes Greenlighted

New Delhi/Marwari Digital; Jan 4 2100

Bytes will return to InVid in early 2100 with thirteen new episodes, according to a press release from Marwari Digital issued today. The announcement came as part of the network's upfront presentation.

"The heroic threesome is still out to save the worlds, but this time they get to have a personal life too," said Heliodora/43xJ, who plays the reformed emergent infomorph Conway. "We were all very positive about embellishing the human sides of Conway, Yulia and Govinder. We're also going fully multi-path, which is why we're only making a few episodes; you should be able to run through each one two or three times before you've seen everything we're laying down."

"The most important thing about taking a show into a third series is to keep the appeal fresh," says co-producer Jaspreet Kaur Chana. "The regular Bytes viewers won't be disappointed. There's still plenty of fast-paced action and excitement." The plots are still somewhat futuristic. The third episode is about a "fusion killer" weapon with the ability to stop Helium-3 power plants, the fourth episode is about a rogue LAI generator, and at some point we will see the return of the Thin Orator weblife/memeplex that can infect humans and infomorphs alike. The main cast is the same, as is the production team.

The two previous seasons of Bytes are available in the usual media.

1.3. Horus I Recovery Plan Falters

(Original by Kenneth Peters at

Washington/Teralogos; Jan 4 2100

Citing budgetary concerns, the United States Astrographical Survey (USAGS) failed to come to an agreement with NASA regarding the salvage of the historic Horus I spacecraft.

The Horus I mission was launched by NASA in 2024 with a joint U.S.-Russian crew to establish a permanent base on Mars. After an unusual series of software and hardware failures two astronauts and one cosmonaut were killed in 2025 when a lander crashed into an already occupied landing bay. The 34 survivors were transferred to Earth, but the Horus I itself continued past Earth into deep space. The failure of the mission delayed U.S. and Russian development of Mars and gave China the time to establish its dominant position on the Red Planet.

"We are sensitive to the historical significance of the Horus I mission, but our resources do not support an operation to salvage the craft," USAGS Inner System Director Chuck Capretta told the joint commission. "If our budgetary situation were to improve we would be more then happy to assist NASA in this endeavor."

NASA Director Dr. Jill Alaimo declined to comment, but according to anonymous sources NASA is considering alternate plans. Since losing jurisdiction over manned space exploration to the rival USAGS agency in 2057, NASA has lacked a deep-space salvage capability. The possibility remains that they may contract out the recovery operation to private parties, perhaps to Gypsy Angel freehaulers.

Critics of NASA were skeptical of the plans. "The U.S. government and NASA have had plenty of opportunity to recover the craft over the decades," said Dr. Emil Brontes, head of the Citizen Aerospace Advocacy watchdog group. "NASA have been playing a shell game ever since the Senate inquiry in 2027," he continued. "If NASA had their way they would let the hulk rot in deep space, it's an ugly reminder of their past failures."

According to historian and former USAGS astronaut Paul Santiago, the 2027 inquiry failed to get to the bottom of the Horus I issue. "There were many unusual circumstances surrounding the accident and NASA overreacted to prevent as much information regarding the incident from leaking," said Santiago, whose recently-released InVid The Horus Meme Machine (Marwari Digital, 2100) looks at the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the disaster. "Personnel were given gag orders and the mission data that were released to the public had a number of puzzling gaps and omissions. We can only hope that the remains of the vessel are recovered with appropriate care and these mysteries are finally laid to rest."

1.4. Nakaunicina accountant resigns

Auremond Orbital/Teralogos; Jan 7 2100

Vassily Ho, accountant for the reclusive Nikolai Nakaunicina, has resigned from his post aboard the Auremond Orbital Hotel to spend more time with his family. Malika Daukeyeva, manager of the hotel, commented: "It is always a sadness to lose a loyal employee".

1.5. 290 passengers rescued by daring Vacuum Cleaners

Columbia Station/Teralogos; Jan 7 2100

The Mars Interplanetary PSV Meilung was due to dock here this morning; instead, she suffered a total power failure which would have left her spinning out into interplanetary space. Thanks to a Vacuum Cleaner ship, the Toy Box, Meilung was recovered safely with no crew or passenger casualties.

Captain Sam Evans of the Toy Box crew said "It's all in a day's work".

The Chinese government is reserving comment, but investigations are thought to be in progress.

1.6. "2100 Martial Olympiad" begins

Shibetsu/Marwari Digital; Jan 9 2100

The Battletech Reenactment Society today commenced its third Martial Olympiad, held as always in the deserts of Mars. Khalid ibn Malik of the Old Syrtis Fusiliers, widely tipped as this year's champion team, suffered an early setback when his Warhammer was immobilised by drifting sand, though he still scored several 'Mech and vehicle kills before being knocked out.

Recordings will be available through Marwari Digital.

1.7. Chattarang Space University archives recovered

Chattarang Space University/ThaiNET; Jan 23 2100

Dr Sunthorn Nittaya of Chattarang Space University announced today that a previously-unknown copy of the University's archives, dating from before the Pacific War, has been recovered from a long-duration free-floating experiment. "We welcome this opportunity to reconnect with the heritage of the university", she said, "and we will of course be making these data available to all registered students and fee-paying external accessors."

1.8. Chattarang Space University in abuse accusations

Hanoi/TSAWeb; Jan 23 2100

The ghost of Dr Prathavong Tak-Sin, of the Hanoi University of Science and formerly Chancellor of Chattarang Space University before its "accidental" destruction during the Pacific War and his consequent upload, has accused the current University administration of illegally detaining a shadow of himself, recovered with the Space University archives. "While I may disagree with the new administration's hoarding of information from what was after all a TSA facility during my tenure, I cannot claim it is illegal," he commented. "However, the shadow I made in 2083 is legally my own property under both TSA and PRA law, and to keep it secretly and away from its rightful owner is clearly abuse."

Dr Prathavong's owner, the Hanoi University of Science, is supporting the ghost's claim and calling for full disclosure of all recovered data. No statement has been received from the administration of Chattarang.

1.9. Rogue AIs destroyed by AKV

Tokyo/Teralogos; Jan 24 2100

The AKV Zanshin of the Japanese Space Self-Defence Force was today involved in the destruction of a number of rogue AIs, which were illicitly copied onto an experimental satellite and threatened to infect systems elsewhere.

Of note is that Zanshin employed X-ray laser munitions, thus keeping the problem of new debris to a manageable level.