Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 In the Suki series I introduced devices that I called "gogs", which were eyeglasses that served as the user's communication and computing devices.  A virtual image floated in front of the user and they interacted with it by "touching the air" in front of them, manipulating a virtual input device.  They also had earbuds for audio.  People would walk about jabbering, flailing their fingers in the air looking like dementia victims as they communicated, worked, and entertained themselves. Something like this, but in the 2030s:
(Oakleys)
When my character developer decided to work on a fanfiction story, she transferred this technology into contact lenses.  No doubt that will be reality long before the time-frame where the stories take place.

The 9to5Google.Com story follows:
We detailed the first information about the Google [x] Glasses project in December.
They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear.  However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface.  There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.  Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below:
In addition, we have heard that this device is not an “Android peripheral” as the NYT stated.  According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the “Google Goggles”  could use a phone’s Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.
The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google’s location services.  A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google’s information.
Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS.  They also likely run a version of Android.
Since then, we have learned much more regarding Google’s glasses…
Our tipster has now seen a prototype and said it looks something like Oakley Thumps (below). These glasses, we heard, have a front-facing camera used to gather information and could aid in augmented reality apps. It will also take pictures. The spied prototype has a flash —perhaps for help at night, or maybe it is just a way to take better photos. The camera is extremely small and likely only a few megapixels.
The heads up display (HUD) is only for one eye and on the side. It is not transparent nor does it have dual 3D configurations, as previously speculated.
One really cool bit: The navigation system currently used is a head tilting-to scroll and click. We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.
(As an aside, I built a head mouse as a Masters Thesis project a few years back that used head tilts to navigate and control menus. I am ready to collect royalties!)
I/O on the glasses will also include voice input and output, and we are told the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone. As a guess, we would speculate something like 1GHz ARM A8, 256MB RAM and 8GB of storage?  In any case, it will also function as a smartphone.
Perhaps most interesting is that Google is currently deciding on how it wants to release these glasses, even though the product is still a very long way from being finished. It is currently a secret with only a few geeky types knowing about it, and Google is apparently unsure if it will have mass-market appeal. Therefore, the company is considering making this a pilot program, somewhat like the Cr-48 Chromebooks last year.
Yes, Google might actually release this product as beta-pilot program to people outside of Google—and soon.
FYI Motorola’s got something cool in this area brewing as well (thanks commenter!).


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Private Park Parts from Reason

Private Park Parts

Central Park
The Central Park Conservancy, a private charity formed by philanthropists and activists in 1980 to address deplorable conditions in the park, has been an unbelievable success.
Once a park in disrepair with lawns that were more aptly referred to as dustbowls, Central Park has resumed its rightful place as a major attraction in New York City—thanks primarily to the $430 million in private money that has poured into the park over the last three decades, supplementing (and dwarfing) $120 million in government funds.

In the Suki series, the parks of the future are private, clean and safe.  Most of the locations are in the Crystal City section of Arlington County, Virginia, USA, where the nicest parks are private today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy with the success of "Controlling Sarah", will start a "mainstream" version.

I am still amazed and delighted with the immediate success of Controlling Sarah (not work safe), already #2 for the month of December 2010 (not work safe) at the BDSM Library.  Over 10,000 readers in five days!  For those not familiar with that site, some very good writers post free stories there.  The stories are always free and we writers get no payment, we just share our work.

On the not-free side of the world, I am planning on reworking the same story as something a little more mainstream.  More like an action/adventure romance based on the same story listed above.  If you are shy about graphic descriptions of sex and brutality then the book will be the better choice.  If you want your hot sex and paddling laid out in words, then the free one is for you.

The places that publish my commercial work do not allow graphic depictions of sex, so that is a limitation too.  I might try a commercial version of Controlling Sarah, at least 40,000 words, if one of the adult content sites wants to distribute.

Right now, I have part 11 (3,000 words) off to my new volunteer editor and it will be submitted to BDSM Library as an update to the original.  Sarah and Suki decided to sit out the rest of this project, so it is just me and Aubrey for this go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Books Replenished at Park Sundries

Full set of all Suki series paperbacks again for sale at Park Sundries, Maynine, INC, Crystal Park III, 2231 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia, 22202.  Located in the same courtyard as Chipotle.  They currently carry one copy each of Suki I, Suki II: Sunshine Returns, Suki III: Never Let Us End, Suki IV: Finally A Vacation (War With Iran) and Suki V: The Collection (first four novels in one volume).  Also, one copy of Suki With A Twist: Part One (An Alternate Future).


Thank you for the sales!  Note: The email addresses in all of the books are read by me and others on the team.  Feel free to write.



Books on display, in order listed above, at Park Sundries
Sign on Crystal Drive marking the entrance to the courtyard by Park Sundries, Chipotle, and Quiznos store #1777.

New Cover for "Controlling Sarah"

Fiona almost has the new cover ready for Controlling Sarah, my latest collaboration with Suki and Sarah.  Will post it here first when complete.  The parts 1 - 10 went live at BDSMlibrary.com on 6 Dec. 2010 and has a few hundred reads with one review now.  That sight is not safe for work, so I suggest you click with caution Controlling SarahSuki II: Sunshine Returns is a free read there too, but same cautions apply.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Private Parks in Crystal City

Update: John Stossel on How the Private Sector Can Save Public Parks
touches on similar issues in this post.  Stossel is always a good read.  Here is some video on the topic:
YouTube link.

In the libertarian world of 2030s Virginia in general and Crystal City in specific, private parks are the norm.  They are open to the public 24/7, clean and safe. Public parks are where one goes to have trouble find them. Below are some of the privately owned parks as they look in the 2010s.
In the early part of the 21st century, free movies are shown in this private park (always open to the public). The tradition continues into the future and Suki enjoys classic movies here in the 2030s. This park is on the 1900 block of Ball Street, Arlington, VA, 22202.

Bocci Park in 2030s Crystal City, 23rd & Crystal Drive South, Arlington, VA, 22202.

A better view of the boccie green near Jung and Suki's offices.
A park that Suki enjoys in the first Suki series. She walks past this park between her apartment and work at her mother's office. Her favorite park in the neighborhood and Suki hopes to have her wedding ceremony here some day.
2200 Block of Crystal Drive, next to Chipotle on Crystal Drive where Suki and Jung initiate their plot to get John to pay attention to Suki.
The park is privately owned by the same firm that owns the surrounding buildings. Much cleaner and safer than any of the public parks that remain in the area.
Another view of the park on the 2200 Block, Crystal Drive South, Arlington, VA, 22202.
12th Street Park:
In the 2030s, this is the only private park in Crystal City that is not considered safe. The developer on the south side tries to keep it guarded, but the developer on the north side continues to make it accessible, rather than providing recreation space on the north end.
Outdoor sales of what was considered contraband and vice in earlier decades is rampant, but just a lure for thieves.

In Suki I, this is the park where Suki relaxes and sips coffee before her Archery competition.
View is from the north end of the park.
In Suki I, this is the park where Suki relaxes and sips coffee before her Archery competition.
View is from the south end of the park.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Æon Flux (Aeon Flux) The Movie Worldbuilding Similarities to Mine and Possible Cartoon Influences

I thoroughly enjoyed Aeon Flux, the movie.  I, furthermore, enjoyed the cartoon the few times I got to catch it on MTV.  The strong female character is a favorite of mine, and I liked the way Charlize Theron brought that to the Aeon character.  15 November 2010 was the first time I saw the movie.

This whole stream of thought came from chapter 3/14 in the movie, that we find out in the director's commentary with Charlize, in the BluRay extras, that it was an ohmage to the character from the cartoons.  The outfit Aeon is wearing in bed at home has a similar theme to the outfit I tried to describe for Suki in Suki With A Twist: Part One (sample preview), in the first two chapters when she is on a date with the chief partner of a law firm.  The halter style of the outfit is what I was going for, except the one I described fastens behind the neck, crosses over her breasts, then down to her hips to fan out covering her backside and draping around the upper thighs in front.  When I saw the scene below, I thought "Suki's party outfit!"  Almost.
Via Connect.in.Com
Suki's outfit and wig are made of electrochromic polymers, i.e., synthetics that change color when varying voltages are applied, so they morph colors in a manner coordinated by the wearer.  Other than Aeon and Suki being strong female characters with great bodies sexy wardrobes and deadly with any weapon, there is not much similarity between them.  Aeon uses gymnastic moves constantly.  Suki is perfectly capable of some of that, I wrote her as very fit and limber, but I never have her doing much like that outside of the bedroom.

In the movie world that was built for Aeon Flux, it is much more on the organic side.  It is also 400 years in the future and my work is only twenty years out.  My future is a combination of electromechanical and organic.  In the first series, some of Suki's work is in robotics theory for industry, and she has a PhD from MIT in that field.  She is constantly modifying things, carving, makes her own bows and arrows, improving the cleaning robots at her fiance's condo, etc.

The segment in the BluRay extras of Aeon Flux when the screen writers spoke of their world without "burning trash cans" or "burlap", that struck me as identical to what I was thinking about the future I write.  Neither their work nor mine is Blade Runner at all.  Neither is a dark, gray world.  The sun shines brightly, brightly. The plants are full and green, flowers bloom, bright colors abound, etcetera.  In both, nothing is perfect.  In the Suki series, the threats are against the couple's relationship.

When the cartoon clips were shown, the memory flood was of how sexual the cartoons were.   There had to be some influence from that on what I wrote.   Nothing specific that I can point to.  As I recall from when the shorts were on MTV, Peter Chung had frequent sexual slavery scenes, or maybe I am misinterpreting them.  I have some of that in Suki II: Sunshine Returns (that site not work safe, but it is a free eBook), but it is not a main theme in either series.  In Sarah and Suki's fan fiction stories, they play up sexual slavery to the hilt.

Æon Flux is one of those works that I enjoyed on its own, as well as it making me feel good about my work.  I cannot help but think that the cartoons influenced my work in a good way, although I cannot recall exactly where or how.  A review of Suki II: Sunshine Returns, at BDSMlibrary.com (link is to review, site is not work safe), by JimmyJump said the way my prose alternates between dead-on serious and adolescent is probably from an Anime influence.  Perhaps this is it, but he never responded to my inquiry.

Interesting heavy wooden furniture on Crystal Drive

This interesting bit of woodwork caught my eye around the 2400 block of Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA, 22202.
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/43759013
My first thought was "wow, heavy wood furniture!"  In a moment I was thinking it could be adapted as a play apparatus in Suki's apartment, for those play sessions with an early American theme.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Vanishing Payphones of Crystal City

I suppose this ties into both Suki series, since I never mention a payphone in either.  In the draft for the second Suki With A Twist story I mention landline phones in a hotels.  I recall people my age complaining about disappearing payphones a few years ago, but have not heard much about it lately.  For the geomapped versions of these pictures in higher resolution, click the link below each one.

All of the locations are in the Crystal City Underground.  The maps show the approximate position of the camera's corresponding "above ground" location.
These may be the only payphones left in the Crysral City Underground.
This was a surprise. The phones were next to that bench.
This was a huge surprise.  People used the payphones that were here all of the time.
The payphones that were here have been gone for quite a while.
On the north end, the food court is gone along with the phones.
The wood paneled wall is where the payphones were here.
There is one more location I need to shoot, by the old food court.  The last two images above are from the north end.  There are two remaining payphones closer to the METRO, behind the security desk at the public restrooms across from Dunkin' Donuts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Suki Series Books now at Park Sundries, Crystal City, Crystal Park III

Suki Series Books now at Park Sundries, Crystal City, Crystal Park III (link to cross post)

I am proud to announce my latest sales partner: Park Sundries, Maynine, INC, Crystal Park III, 2231 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia, 22202.  Located in the same courtyard as Chipotle.  They currently carry one copy each of Suki I, Suki II: Sunshine Returns, Suki III: Never Let Us End, Suki IV: Finally A Vacation (War With Iran) and Suki V: The Collection (first four novels in one volume).  Also, one copy of Suki With A Twist: Part One (An Alternate Future).
Sign on Crystal Drive marking the entrance to the courtyard by Park Sundries, Chipotle, and Quiznos store #1777.


View Larger Map

Books on display, in order listed above, at Park Sundries

Park Sundries is center left in this frame, behind the black car.

Entrance to 2231 Crystal Drive (Crystal Park III). Park Sundries is in the left in frame.
This is as near to "ground zero" as one can get in the novels, making it a very special location to me.  Suki and her mother's offices are one block south, on the 2300 block of Crystal Drive.

In Suki With A Twist: Part One, the spa Suki attends is nearby, she and her friends dine at the Steak House on the 11th floor of this entrance.  Her apartment is several blocks to the north, on the same side of the street.  In Suki I, she walks past this location from her mother's office on the way to the METRO station and she walks past it several other times, including a few times with John the morning after their first date.

Much of Suki III: Never Let Us End, occurs near here too.

Many thanks to all who frequent Park Sundries and those who purchase my books there.

Cross posting to Suki Project.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Hyperinflation

In the 2030s environment set for both Suki book series, there is mention of "the hyperinflation" from earlier years.  Inflation is under control, but prices may seem higher to the reader compared with today.  I didn't want to change the form of currency, I stuck with the history that I am used to where prices go up and so do salaries (actual inflation) with a nod or two at price appreciation.  Manufactured goods continue to be cheaper and cheaper in adjusted dollars, etc.  In Suki I, Patricia tries to tip a pizza deliveryman $100 and she uses the same amount to bribe a cab driver into letting Suki smoke in the car.  Table dances at exotic dance clubs are $1000, but all of the items for a new gourmet kitchen are less expensive than a high-end refrigerator today.

No, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is not an ally of mine trying to make my books come true.  His latest move of printing $600 Billion, to buy bonds and flood the economy with money, is a made-to-order act to guarantee high inflation for the next several years.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Got Suki? You Know You Want this T-Shirt

Cross-posted from another blog of mine:

Not affiliated with me or Suki at all. This t-shirt ties in great to both series and I don't mind giving them a plug on the blog.

Site-Athletics:
"T-Shirt Mens Black ' Got Suki? '
T-Shirt Mens Black ' Got Suki? ' Female Names
This Suki T-Shirt has undergone extensive quality control before reaching you. We have over 10 years experience in selling shirts on the internet. The shirts are created by us and are even customizable! Just contact our great customer service for any inquiries.

*100% heavyweight cotton
*Authentic silk-screen
*Relaxed fit
*Non-fading colors
*T-Shirt with lasting Suki design"
I will sweeten the pot and help out a fellow business person at the same time.  If you send me a picture of you wearing a "Got Suki?" t-shirt (pictured above) I will autograph any of my paperbacks that are in your collection and I will pay the return postage!  Also, any contributor I can find named on the book will autograph it too.  I see three of them every week, so you are guaranteed three autographs.  OK, one of them is a translator, so he is only named on two books but I am sure he will be cool about it.  Just shoot me an email JohnTagliaferro [you know what goes here] Gmail [and the rest].

ORDER SUKI SERIES eBOOKS AND PAPERBACKS
   
Now $2.99 on Nook

Monday, September 27, 2010

A News Story About the Iranian Nuclear Program hit by Malware Relates to the Suki Series

Recent story and comments at SukiProject.Blogspot.Com.
In the news today is a story (at the link above) about a worm/malware attack affecting various industries in several countries, including Iran. Not many details yet and the idea is a familiar one: Shut down an infrastructure by disabling the automated systems that control it.

What I did in the book was guess a little bit at the future, using my almost five decades of life experience with evolving technology, as to what the Iranians might have in the 2030s. Since I do not have a clue now, nor at the time of the outlining and writing, what the Iranians have, I took a stab at what might be around in general twenty years from now and had the Iranians ripping-off systems that are slightly dated.

I started with a view of US forces in the Continental US (CONUS) and gave my male lead some credit for the systems being used by US/Israeli Allied forces. Autonomous aircraft and trucks were a big thing, makes for a good visual for the mind.  There needed to be a supply scheduling system tying all that together, so I made one up and to illustrate it, I had a US Marine with a small staff monitoring the Eglin Air Force Base deployment operations.

One thing I was trying to avoid was having the couple involved in brutal, horrible, violent encounters like were in the books that preceded Suki IV.  The "drama" for this book was their work with the government and John's son being in the war zone.  By this time, John's son and Suki's best friend are a couple too. That was enough emotional tension for me.

John's muscle-car building and aviation program management skills come in handy, since he is one of the "geeks" assigned to defeat Iranian cargo aircraft and he gets to help out with the rolling stock.  However, one thing I did differently than what has been described in the current story about Iran, the Allies are actively targeting specific functions within Iranian machines.

Not to be left out, I gave Suki a breakthrough. She discovers the "Allah Hack" to bypass the biometric locks on all of the Iranian equipment.
Suki IV: Finally A Vacation (War With Iran) on sale in Paperback and only $2.99 on Kindle.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Washington, DC in the Suki Series

Interesting picture forwarded by one of my military fact-checkers. A stripped bicycle, vicinity 12th & N, NW:
I was passing I & 7th and met this nice young lady distributing Street Sense "Where the poor and homeless earn and give their two cents." It began in 2003 and it is certainly and contains some interesting stories. If you see these folks, give a donation and take a look at their paper.
Zoom in on the green sign on the corner. This is where all that Stimulus Money went!
All this only generally relates to the 2030s environment of the Suki series.  Some feedback I have gotten about how I depict DC is that nobody there has any manners in the 2030s.  I am here to tell you, they are generally short on manners now and I don't see it changing for the better in the future.  In Suki I some of the overly regulated nature is mentioned. It may be mentioned in the first three books in that series.  I may have give the impression that DC and MD are impoverished, which was not my thought at all. What I was trying to bring out is if people live in a nanny state it does not matter what their income, they have a a tendency to behave badly when not under the watch of the authorities and sometimes right in front of the police.

Monday, September 20, 2010

License Plates and Parking in the Future

In Suki With A Twist: Part One, I describe a concept for parking garage traffic control. A quite simple system, actually. John is returning one of Suki's cars, a vintage Jaguar, as soon as he enters the underground parking garage he is guided by arrows that illuminate in the floor and on the posts of the garage. Suki's car has a reserved parking space and the system reads the radio-frequency tag (RF Tag) in the license plate of the car.  The tag still has a visible number and does not appear any different than a 2010 Virginia license plate.

John uses a different system for his vehicles. The paints he uses on his vintage muscle cars are infused with nano-tags that report corrosion, ruptures in the paint system, leaks, etc.

Today I got a little video of a 2010 parking ticket and the current technology behind that. The video is pretty bad (my fault for being a bad camera operator), but you may be able to see the handheld device the Arlington County Parking Officer uses to record information and issue the ticket to a silver Mercedes convertible, VA tag XJL-2173:
Part One


The driver arrives and is none too happy, for something he must have known was wrong when he parked there.



There are several competing views on the government charging for parking on the street. In my opinion, that street was already paid for and people in the area pay for its maintenance through various other taxes. This is especially true in Arlington County, VA, where the streets are paid for through fuel taxes and an annual vehicle tax. One problem that arises with free street parking is employees of the local businesses take those spots before patrons can get park there ans spend money.  A counter to that is, the neighborhood has plenty of underground parking, at reasonable rates during the week, free on weekends and evenings.  For my books, I think I will stick with plenty of "free" parking in the area.

In Suki I, John parks one of his muscle cars across the street from Suki's apartment over night.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vintage Crystal in Crystal City

A new event in the 2000s and '10s, Vintage Crystal continues into the 2030s of Suki and John's world.
The Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) is turning up the heat with the return of the flavor-filled fourth annual Vintage Crystal. The spice is back with more wines, food, music and dancing. Building on last year’s Latin-themed success, Crystal City will once again be serving up tasty tapas, tempting tequila, and a ton of fun.
This is what I call a Libertarian neighborhood party. Everything is on private property and the local businesses provide all of the entertainment.  If I mention this in any of the Suki series books, the security will be privately contracted and professional in the 2030s, rather than the arrangement Arlington County is involved in as pictured.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Protests and Demonstrations on Suki's Street in Crystal City


From the original Suki Site:
Activist groups protest in Arlington, Virginia, frequently, against the “new plantation system”. In Virginia, the police cannot use “voyeur cam” evidence, nor government security cam evidence, as the only evidence against people for traffic violations. An officer must be present to issue a ticket. This results in a “misunderstanding” with drivers from DC and Maryland having the impression that they can do anything if a police officer is not present.
Northern Virginia and Manhattan have the highest concentration of voyeur cams in the USA and their images can be used in civil suits. When DC and MD drivers injure people or, in most cases, damage very expensive vehicles of their victims, they are held liable in VA courts. They frequently do not have enough insurance coverage to cover the damage and lose their homes. Then the protestors come in and disrupt traffic for hours or days because of the “plantation boss” who just “won” a house in DC, to pay for their ongoing medical treatment, of course.

Above is part of the 2030s setting for both Suki series novels. The budding Arlington County 'libertopia' is surrounded by jurisdictions full of people who are used to government handouts and not used to individual responsibility.  When working through how the concept was going to be presented in the books I only mentioned a demonstration in front of Suki's apartment and the couple spends time in John's neighborhood of Rosslyn instead.


Below, some pictures from my friend, Kourtney "Coach" Young and his video record of Crystal City Under Siege, 12 March 2009:
In this case, from 2009, the ANSWER crowd has some beef with KBR. Video is available on YouTube, mostly uploaded 22 March 2009, if you are interested in more of what these demonstrators had to say.

See Suki's neighborhood on the map of Suki's World:

View Suki's World in Suki I; Suki II: Sunshine Returns; Suki III; Suki IV; Suki V and Suki: Fan Fiction in a larger map