With Canon, You Can

Or indeed, with any camera. In Germany, there is an ongoing discussion about biometric data – how secure it is, how easy it is to be faked etc. The Chaos Computer Club has added a little spice to the discussion by fetching and sharing the fingerprint of our Minister Schäuble, arguing that „by Schäuble’s definition, there is no difference between the personal data of, say, a photograph, and a finger print“. So, the CCC says, all they did was publishing a „finger photo“ of the minister.

The story gets even more interesting as the same CCC openly publishes a way to reproduce fingerprints to fool fingerprint scanners. Like all things the CCC does, they openly share ways to exploit security loopholes for the sole purpose that people lose their naive belief that theere are technologies that are actually „fool proof“ (or misuse proof). If people (and juries) think that fingerprints cannot be faked, any person (including Mr. Schäuble or you) can be arrested and sentenced on the grounds of fingerprints collected as proof.

The CCC way to fake fingerprints is quite easy – collect them from any smooth surface like a drinking glass or a product glass touched in a supermarket, use superfast glue to make them visible, scan them, print them on foil, paste the foil with wood clue, cut the fingerprint and paste it to your finger – and it even fools „pay per fingerprint“ system like the ones from EDEKA (a seven-eleven variant here in Germany).

There is a TV video on Youtube showing how it works – and comments on that Youtube video are already suggesting using the minister’s fingerprints to go shopping (which MAY not be a wise move, considering that those EDEKA shops have camera surveillance, duh ;) ).

Well, that’s it for today’s episode of the brave new world we’re living in, and what dark futures we are drifting to (because: Edeka and the manufacturer of the pay-per-fingerprint systems have already stated that they still feel the system to be safe and that they do not have any plan to change or replace it).

Stay tuned for the next episode, and be sure to check out this article from Great Britain where some criminologists feel they can predict which kid has an above-average chance to become a criminal at a later age, urging the politicians to pass laws that will allow the collecting of DNA samples from five-year-olds. Ooh, the fun of Cyberpunk NOW.

For aspiring German Cyberpunks: Here’s a link to the CCC’s FAQ on „all things dark and cyberpunk“ (like online and cell phone security issues etc.). As the address to the FAQs ends with „lang=de“ I believe there should be a „lang=en“ version as well, but I sure don’t see much of a difference by entering the changed address ;)

Blog | DragonSkin Armor

For your next discussion about modern armor rules in Cyberpunk 2020.

Blog | MP7A1 SMG

The punch of an Assault rifle in SMG format (4.6mm).

Blog | One Huge Rifle

Remember the first GHOST IN THE SHELL movie and that huge rifle Bato used to take outthe crawler in the museum (and the other huge rifle the police used to stop the armored car on the highway)? Here it is:

Blog | Kaufbare Nachtsicht-Drohne gefällig?

Ja, ja, es gibt schon im hier und jetzt fernlenbare Drohnen. Alter Hut, Cyberpunk NOW usw. Aber: Wusstet ihr schon, dass es auch schon fernlenkbare Drohnen mit Nachtsichtgerät für schmales Geld und jeden gibt?

Die Drohne kostet unter 140,– Euro und ist hier erhältlich. Sie liefert Nachtsicht-IR-Bilder, die auf dem mitgelieferten LCD-Headset wiedergegeben werden. Im gleichen Shop sind übrigens auch supergünstig Bewegungsmelder, ein LCD-Headset Paar mit Tastatur-Armband zum cyberpunkigen Übermitteln von Textnachrichten und anderer interessanten „Cyberpunk NOW“ Kram erhältlich.

Blog | Im Fadenkreuz

Generation Z. Ein Cyberpunk NOW Rollenspiel auf d6 Basis. Noch Fragen? :o)

Blog | Are there anymany out there?

Another „get rich wothout any work“ ad. But there is a little bit more to it. And it blends very well into the „Cyberpunk NOW“ theme that is – or will become – the backbone to the upcoming homebrew RPG Generation Z for the d6 system.

You’ll notice the cynical undertone this ad has if you’re familiar with the 1997 book „The Global Trap“ (see English wikipedia here or the larger German article here). In the book there’s a statement (or projection) that in the future (read: now) 20% of the world’s population are more than enough to produce about everything we need. Which poses the problem of what to do with the remaining 80%. The authors expect that the global society will split up in a „20/80“ way in which 20% earn real money in a real, productive way, and 80% get „tittytainment“, a combination of social welfare and entertainment to keep them silent and „content“.

If you stop and take a step back, if you remember that this assumption about the future was made in 1997 and what new ways to entertain and occupy oneself have been developed since then, you just might feel the urge to swallow hard (or throw up, depending on your nature).

If you look at the Internet, the blogs (yeah, including this one), the forums, the communities, the online games, Second Life, World of Warcraft, twitter, whatever, you can’t help but think that all these things eat up your time and energy – time and energy that earlier generations would’ve spent on, oh, fighting against war and oppression maybe (or THE LOSS OF PRIVACY, fer Chrissake!).

Meanwhile, we chat our life away, thinking we are important if we see that our blog has been visited by 100 people, ignoring or banning anyone whose attitude offends us, we complain about anything and everyone, we know of all the problems of the world but choose to ignore (ban) them.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not better than anyone else. Ranting in a blog no one reads doesn’t change the world (nor does ranting in a blog 100,000 people read, as long as every f*cksite gets millions of hits). And really, if you think about it, what can anyone do? Or anymany?

Well, there is ONE thing any one can do: Don’t exploit your „social network“ by stealing their lifetime away. Even IF you could make a fortune selling them online games. Don’t become one of Momo’s Grey Men.

Quotations taken from Momo by Michael Ende:

„Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it. Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart. Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time.“ Lots of things take time, and time was Momo’s only form of wealth.“

„[The men in grey] had an uncanny knack of making themselves so inconspicuous that you either overlooked them or forgot ever seeing them… Since nobody noticed them, nobody stopped to wonder where they had come from, or indeed, were still coming from, for their numbers continue to grow with every passing day.“

„Surely you know how to save time, my dear sir? Work faster, for instance, and stick to the essentials. Spend only fifteen minutes on each customer, instead of the usual half-hour, and avoid time-wasting conversations. Reduce the hour you spend with your mother by half. Better still, put her in a nice, cheap old folks‘ home, where someone else can look after her – that’ll save you a whole hour a day. Get rid of that useless budgerigar. See Miss Daria once every two weeks, if at all… Above all, don‘ squander so much of your precious time on singing, reading, and hobnobbing with your so-called fiends. Incidentally, I’d also advise you to hand a really accurate clock on the wall so you can time your apprentice to the nearest minute.“ 

„The odd thing was that, no matter how much time he saved, he never had any to spare; in some mysterious way, it simply vanished.“

„I’d like some new things,“ the doll squawked suddenly.  „You see?“ said the man in grey. “ She’s actually telling you herself…..If you don’t want to get bored with her, you have to give her things.“ „As long as you go on getting more and more things, you’ll never grow bored. I know what you’re going to say: Sooner or later, Lola will have everything, and then I’ll be bored again. Well, there’s no fear of that. Here we have the perfect boyfriend for Lola… So you see, you can never get bored because the game can go on for ever. There’s always something left to wish for.“ 

„All that matters in life,“ the grey man went on, „is to climb the ladder of success, amount to something, own things. When a person climbs higher than the rest, amounts to more, owns more things, everything else comes automatically: friendship, love, respect, et cetera…“  

Blog | Generation Z Video

I know it’s neither appropriate nor helpful, throwing around snippets and stuff about a homebrew RPG that’s still in the pipeline and a good while to the finish line – BUT as I’m working on the Cyberpunk NOW game Generation Z, I stumble upon a lot of stuff that fits the mood and theme of this game, so I share these impressions with you.

The following is a music video I found on Youtube that catches the mood of GeneZ perfectly, and might be considered the „first official music vid“ of the game. ;)

If Youtube claims (again) that the vid is no longer available, try this link instead. It’s there.

Blog | .50 Sniper Rifle

Scary ROF…

Blog | Paranoid

Sehr geniale Installation/Simulation eines „ganz normalen Pizza-Bestellvorgangs“ bei Cyb3rpunk oder auch bei Shadowrun. Und irgendwann vielleicht bei … uns?