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Cheapie Theatre
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Short Stories, Reviews, Random Web Goodies, All in irregular bite-sized form.
Short Stories, Reviews, Random Web Goodies, All in irregular bite-sized form.

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Oh and for the record. I want there to be a provision in copyright that clearly states if a rightsholder cannot be contacted within a year's time for pre ninteen sixties works they automatically enter american public domain if they were first published here.

There you go. Orphaned Works problem solved. Thank you. I am a genius. Worship me.
People still Pirate Things; This is Why
People still Pirate Things; This is Why
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Well, since I got a rejection letter about this, figured I'd post it on a blog.
Fiction: A Summer Night
Fiction: A Summer Night
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It turns out we got trolled hard and in the most epic way possible. The worst part of it is not that it was a hoax (a part of me honestly feels it might not have been.) The worst part is how easy it is to believe our government is capable of such things. Here. The United States of America. Supposed land of freedom opportunity where you can say what you want without having to worry about some spook showing up at your door at three in the morning with a black bag and the only mention of you going away is a bit in the paper about arrests due to whatever new terror law and hailing the local police for 'swift decisive action.'

Worse; The denials from Google, Facebook, and all fed into those fears. It's incredibly easy, as my stepdad has proven to me time and time again, to pick apart the language of a statement to find ways of saying what you hope the other person will hear while at the same time not outright denying what's gone on. Case in point: Google said they had no direct knowledge and hadn't allowed any sort of back doors into their servers. There's a thousand and one ways that could be true but the NSA still be given access, especially when you factor in Google Fiber.

It scares me that there's still this very calm and reasonable argument that could be made it's real even after proofs otherwise. The Washington Post requires access to get it's stories. It could have gotten a call saying if they don't make the whole thing look like a sham their access will be removed. All the stories and statements could be part of 'Oh Crap we got found out. Make it look like the entire internet got trolled.'

Given the American Government's track record for the past thirteen or so years it's entirely plausible that this is happening. Nevermind the Verizon scandal and the giant datacenter the NSA is building in Utah. All that just feeds into these fears we have because it makes anything that comes next, like oh say the government tapping giant tech companies on the shoulder and telling them to install these widgets and it's for national security so shut up or go to gitmo, seem not just plausible but logical.

Why though? Why all the fear if it is ingrained in the core document that trumps every law on the books do we fear? Because corruption. Because we've seen those rights get eroded in the name of security. Because we're afraid, deep down, that our nation is just as hypocritical and jackbooted as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all the other tinpot dictatorships we either already do or should be raging against.

So what do we do?

Same thing we would do if this were real. Go about your business. If it's real they (you know Those Guys. Them.) could be scanning theoretically enough of the internet to not matter where you turn to for service. Because of this threat, real or imagined, we see just how vulnerable and much an illusion our privacy is with the current infrastructure. We need something better. Something distributed so you don't have a huge bottleneck going through any one point or country so that the whole thing can be read. We need the old protocols, the ones made way back in the 80's like with TCP/IP and 70's with email, thrown out and replaced with ones that gear towards the threats of the modern web (Spammers, Governments, Terrorists, and identity theft.) This needs to be made a priority.

Explicit on the book laws, preferably constitutional amendments that reinforce the ones already there about privacy and freedom of expression, to keep this kind of stuff from happening. The trouble is for that to have any effect whatsoever the Patriot Act and other rights-removing 'emergency laws in response to terrorist threats' need to be repealed. We elected Obama on the idea he would do these things. He even had enough people in congress to make that happen at one point yet didn't. 

I don't care about Right. Left. Progressive, Conservative  It's not My Side vs.Your Side. We are One Nation. We need to stop fighting eachother long enough to start actually fixing our problems. No I don't care who comes up with the good idea. I just want it to happen.
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So it's finally stopped being tinfoil hat the government watches you do family unfriendly things. Whatcha gonna do?

Nothing for the most part. Don't give them the satisfaction. Yes they can and are likely compiling lots of data points to represent your habits, possibly going so far as to make live transcriptions of your skype, aim, google voice, and other forms of communicating. But for now do nothing different.

Except this is exactly why having the world's internet traffic go through the US border is... well... Stupid.

Google/Microsoft/Whoever does not need to give direct access to their servers. They just have to plug in a widget the NSA told them to plug into the switches or routers or any of another dozen bits of hardware that'll just sniff along.

So what do you do? There is, for the time being, nothing I see you CAN do different because of how the internet is built. Go find a different Email service and bump your gmail down to a sign-up/spam box but this prism stuff? That's just what we know thanks to leaks. Used to be very nutty conspiracy theory territory but yea. They're data-mining the internet. 

Until you abandon the infrastructure that allows this to happen you aren't going to escape. Nobody will want to abandon the global internet so a modern spin on the BBS of yesteryear isn't liable to fly. Ditto for Fidonet which is just BBS's talking to eachother to get messages around. The limits of WiFi mean you won't get much out of Pirateboxes even with the added meshnet feature (limit of like sixty or so nodes until it collapses under it's own weight.)

There are distributed systems that are full on anonymous that use people's boxes as storage for chunks of the network. However it uses the Internet as a transport layer and this sudden spike of highly encrypted traffic is going to generate interest if you ever get turned into a person where they open the file on you and start going over the data points.

For now do nothing outside of get everything you've got off internet based 'cloud' applications if you can and switch to a different email provider. Yes it's badwrong that it's happening but my parents are, until something can realistically be done, going about this as if nothing has changed. It isn't a 'head in the sand' approach since they know but like many non-technical people there's really nothing they can do until people who know what they're doing dig down in the bits and bang out something both robust enough to be attractive while at the same time secure enough to avoid this kind of fluff all in a package non-techie people can sit and use. Tall order.

I trust my parents. They aren't always right, but they aren't idiots and they know their limitations. Keep calm and carry on.

However also keep an eye out in case this escalates into something more. Donate to the EFF, switch away from Chrome. Write Congress, Google, and all. Keep in mind it's very likely the companies in the slideshow are being violated just like the rest of us since failure to comply is a bad thing... and the only other idea I have in mind is the NSA either having employees hired on these places, or strong-arming specific persons.

Wait. That's actually a lot to do. My bad.

I do not trust google to not be involved. However I do trust most everyone working there to be pretty well outraged by all the going s on. However i do find it interesting the slides state Google's involvement right when Chrome came out. I do believe a full code audit, not just of chromium but of all the code is in order.
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Disclaimer: I did not write this. It was found on Reddit in a discussion started by someone going 'Well this isn't actually so bad. We don't have anything to hide or worth snooping through.' What follows is one user's rebuttle to that notion we should lay down. I merely share for the sake of allowing others to see.

I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US. People here talking about curfews aren't realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn't about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It's about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching. A few points:
1) the purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.

Lets say you are a college student and you get in with some people who want to stop farming practices that hurt animals. So you make a plan and go to protest these practices. You get there, and wow, the protest is huge. You never expected this, you were just goofing off. Well now everyone who was there is suspect. Even though you technically had the right to protest, you're now considered a dangerous person.

With this tech in place, the government doesn't have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend. Or they can email you a note saying that they can prove your dad is cheating on his taxes. Or they can threaten to get your dad fired. All you have to do, the email says, is help them catch your friends in the group. You have to report back every week, or you dad might lose his job. So you do. You turn in your friends and even though they try to keep meetings off grid, you're reporting on them to protect your dad.

2) Let's say number one goes on. The country is a weird place now. Really weird. Pretty soon, a movement springs up like occupy, except its bigger this time. People are really serious, and they are saying they want a government without this power. I guess people are realizing that it is a serious deal. You see on the news that tear gas was fired. Your friend calls you, frantic. They're shooting people. Oh my god. you never signed up for this. You say, fuck it. My dad might lose his job but I won't be responsible for anyone dying. That's going too far. You refuse to report anymore. You just stop going to meetings. You stay at home, and try not to watch the news. Three days later, police come to your door and arrest you. They confiscate your computer and phones, and they beat you up a bit. No one can help you so they all just sit quietly. They know if they say anything they're next. This happened in the country I live in. It is not a joke.

3) Its hard to say how long you were in there. What you saw was horrible. Most of the time, you only heard screams. People begging to be killed. Noises you've never heard before. You, you were lucky. You got kicked every day when they threw your moldy food at you, but no one shocked you. No one used sexual violence on you, at least that you remember. There were some times they gave you pills, and you can't say for sure what happened then. To be honest, sometimes the pills were the best part of your day, because at least then you didn't feel anything. You have scars on you from the way you were treated. You learn in prison that torture is now common. But everyone who uploads videos or pictures of this torture is labeled a leaker. Its considered a threat to national security. Pretty soon, a cut you got on your leg is looking really bad. You think it's infected. There were no doctors in prison, and it was so overcrowded, who knows what got in the cut. You go to the doctor, but he refuses to see you. He knows if he does the government can see the records that he treated you. Even you calling his office prompts a visit from the local police.

You decide to go home and see your parents. Maybe they can help. This leg is getting really bad. You get to their house. They aren't home. You can't reach them no matter how hard you try. A neighbor pulls you aside, and he quickly tells you they were arrested three weeks ago and haven't been seen since. You vaguely remember mentioning to them on the phone you were going to that protest. Even your little brother isn't there.

4) Is this even really happening? You look at the news. Sports scores. Celebrity news. It's like nothing is wrong. What the hell is going on? A stranger smirks at you reading the paper. You lose it. You shout at him "fuck you dude what are you laughing at can't you see I've got a fucking wound on my leg?"

"Sorry," he says. "I just didn't know anyone read the news anymore." There haven't been any real journalists for months. They're all in jail.

Everyone walking around is scared. They can't talk to anyone else because they don't know who is reporting for the government. Hell, at one time YOU were reporting for the government. Maybe they just want their kid to get through school. Maybe they want to keep their job. Maybe they're sick and want to be able to visit the doctor. It's always a simple reason. Good people always do bad things for simple reasons.

You want to protest. You want your family back. You need help for your leg. This is way beyond anything you ever wanted. It started because you just wanted to see fair treatment in farms. Now you're basically considered a terrorist, and everyone around you might be reporting on you. You definitely can't use a phone or email. You can't get a job. You can't even trust people face to face anymore. On every corner, there are people with guns. They are as scared as you are. They just don't want to lose their jobs. They don't want to be labeled as traitors.

This all happened in the country where I live.

You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.

Maybe Obama won't do it. Maybe the next guy won't, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn't about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it's about your daughter or your son. We just don't know yet. But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?

You know for me, the reason I'm upset is that I grew up in school saying the pledge of allegiance. I was taught that the United States meant "liberty and justice for all." You get older, you learn that in this country we define that phrase based on the constitution. That's what tells us what liberty is and what justice is. Well, the government just violated that ideal. So if they aren't standing for liberty and justice anymore, what are they standing for? Safety?

Ask yourself a question. In the story I told above, does anyone sound safe?

I didn't make anything up. These things happened to people I know. We used to think it couldn't happen in America. But guess what? It's starting to happen.

I actually get really upset when people say "I don't have anything to hide. Let them read everything." People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.
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Let me get this straight. The NSA can snoop into Google, Facebook, and Microsoft (who just had the whole creepy always on xbox camera in your house fluff up,) and I'm supposed to feel safe?

Nevermind my email doesn't really get used all that much. My search history though. Yea. Scroogled comes to mind (thanks for that great story Cory. Hope it doesn't go that far.) It's like having your grandparents sitting over your shoulder watching everything you do. Except in this case when they do decide to mind what you're doing you can get all sorts of lovely parting gifts.

It's like some silly tinfoil hat thing that only crazy people are supposed to spout. I mean for the love of peat and pity this reads like some sort of crappy hollywood movie. Worse, the hollywood version would've given us a better powerpoint presentation.

What's unsettling isn't that it's just google that got targeted. Effectively everything I use online is covered under this (Microsoft services like Skype, Hotmail, etc. AIM. And then google's services (Youtube, Gmail, Blogger (Hint: It's what you're on right now.) Granted my blog is pretty much open anyway. Ditto for Youtube and Google+ but my email? My Google Drive? C'mon that's private stuff guys.

For now I guess there isn't much I can do because this prism thing has probably been going for years now and we're only just now catching wind of this (though what's paltalk?) In the meantime I do have to wonder if I'm on any sort of watch lists. It seems the data transparency only goes one way; government goons can see everything and we average schmucks get to see nothing.

Ever since Google gave me a laptop I'd been a very enthusiastic drinker of the goggle flavored koolaid. Now though? Time for reevaluation. Been using Chrome, chromeOS, Google+.... Fek man Granted I know i'm not important enough to warrant more than just another data point but still. This is stuff that's supposed to happen in Iran or China. Not here in America.

See this is why the Cloud will fall through  If you can't Guarantee the data is secure, and that is impossible with a big giant NSA sanctioned back door, then your bank records, corporate email, presentations  All of that is theoretically up for grabs. Granted it's one of those 'I doubt it would ever happen' things, but I'd always shoved aside talk of government back doors in the internet as being silly nonsense. After all it's just too gonzo to believe it's real. Right?  Meh. Time to start letter writing. As in actual snailmail letters.

Here's the address:
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

telephone: +1 650 253 0000
fax: +1 650 253 0001

Just a few thoughts. I never thought after email started getting more central to getting and keeping in touch I'd have to worry about properly formatted letters, but due to all those 'now write the people we went a field trip to go see a thank you letter' sessions is again proving useful. To my middle and highschool english teachers, thanks.

Now on a closing thought. Whoever leaked this? Thank you. You made the public aware of what's going on in a manner that's impossible to dismiss at risk to yourself and probably people you know as well as your future. You are a hero. You are the sort of person that should have a memorial put up in Washington for, set on a pedastle so we'll see the sort of person that we should look at and go 'that guy? He did good.' If your'ea woman don't be offended Just as awesome.

Now. I have letters to write to Google, My Congress Critters, and my ISP. Actually  Idon't know if my ISP is involved but they're the last mile. So I figure include them too.
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Let's be fair here. The graphic thing to the left: That's bad juju. Makes me, even if i had the money, not want to buy one of microsoft's new toys. Sony comes in says they won't require an internet connection and suddenly they're the solid gold white knight. Yet they haven't come down cleanly against the 'can't sell used stuff' DRM.

Why not?

Because the Publishers are the ones pushing for it. They've been screaming for years at how used game sales are hurting them (nevermind gaming has been one of the least hurt industries during the recession.) To be absolutely fair look at all the restrictions and apply them just to downloadable content. Steam's had that sort of thing going on for Years, though they'd smartened up and allowed you to only need to connect once a month after they saw people not liking that they had to connect to the internet just to play Hal-Life's single player campaign. Granted that still leaves people out in the cold if their internet is knocked out for over a month, but if that's the case there's more pressing issues at hand (or you're military which yea... Problem.)

The trouble is these sorts of restrictions also apply to physical discs, where it's traditionally been 'once you bought it you can do whatever you like.'

The kinect needing to stay on full time? Yea No. That one's all Microsoft's fault. 

Required Internet Connection
Camera that can't be turned off

Oh Crap. Microsoft just created the monitor/TV things from 1984. Yea no. I'm sticking with PC gaming kkthnxbie. 

Seriously though  I've posted a lot of stuff about System Shock 2. Fourteen year old game. Still runs, albeit with some patching up to work on modern systems (to be fair it'd run without needing patching, it'd just be all quirky.) For that matter i could load Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstien3d, or if I really wanted to get oldschool and somehow had working disks from the 80's, load up dosbox and commander keen, the original test drive, Duke Nukem (the 2d one. Yes Duke started out in 2d) and buzz right along. Think about that for a minute. Modern 2013 PC could, with only a little help, still play games from the dawn of the home computer era.

Can Microsoft gurentee that five or six years down the road whenever the next XBOX comes out we won't suddenly see the servers go down and 'Oh hey that's a nice console you've got there. It'd be a shame if it were to suddenly stop working. Fortunately for you we have very reasonable trade-in rates for our new xbox.'

Look I'm not a 'PC Master Race' guy. but at this point I'd say stick with PC, load it up with Ubuntu (or whatever flavor of linux you want,) load Wine, Buy things from GoG or Steam (they have a linux client, but it requires minimum Ubuntu 12.04 to work. Sorry Debian. Sadly also most of the games in the steam library are not linux compatible, that might change in the future but for now WINE and the windows client is sortof the way to go.) I'd recommend going with windows 8 and either of the above options but at this point I don't like 8's interface and I don't like the idea of 'well I'm going to go with my computer! Microsoft's not getting my money!' Then whoever it is proceeding to boot into windows. Seems a bit hypocritical since Microsoft would still be getting some sort of reward.

Then again watch Microsoft have a 'revelation' a couple weeks before launch. Make big announcements. Put it in the commercials. All that they can afford since they're Microsoft. 'We listened. Xbox One is the console YOU helped developed because we're taking all that garbage you said you hated and getting rid of it' ...Except for one tiiiny little thing. We'll be so happy that the worst of the stuff got removed we won't mind a few concessions. 'It's only fair right? They came to meet us in the middle.' Except look at consoles prior to this upcoming generation. No limited number of installs. Online is only needed for... well multi-player aspects. 

Sorry but I'm sortof drawing a line in the sand guys. Not interested in the game you're offering.

I'm gonna be over here playing Organ Trail (which also has a linux client... and there's a free flash version that acts as a demo for the full game.) Fun Times!
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I love it when regulation works. Love it when a Big company that regular people have no hope of winning against is called out for being selfish pigs with enough money to use as a weapon to silence competition. That is what government is supposed to do, act as a moderating force so that capitolism doesn't end up being a completely soul-less operation that ultimately ends with One Corporation under Law.

Example: Google being investigated for how it runs ads possibly leaving no room for competitors  As much as I like Google, I see this as fair. They haven't been charged with anything, but given their size and power as well as place in the market the fact they're under investigation is actually a positive thing so long as it's motivated by the want to keep the market open rather than attempting to bully with threats of long battles against an entity that literally prints it's own money.

What's Not So Good is when these watchers are telling corporations 'screw the constitution give us what we want' such as the case when a judge ordered Google to comply with the FBI's requests for going through user's information without a warrant.

Let that sink in for a moment. In our post-9/11 world where the government handed police and other investigation agencies all manner of potentially-civil-rights-stomping-on privileged to catch 'dem dirty brown people terruss's' yet even that isn't enough here. The FBI wants to be able to read your email, go through your Google drive, and whatever else they like without even the minimum oversight required by current law much less the constitution itself.

I learned we broke away from the British for something similar. People going into your homes and raffling through your things without anyone able to stop them. This is the same thing. Granted it's not busting through your front door and shoving you around but it might as well be. Think of all the stuff you have in Google docs; all the papers, bank statements, things you tucked away as an off-site backup, and add to that every conservation in gmail along with the attached files.

The FBI wants to look at all that. Doesn't matter why. Doesn't matter, to me, if it'll even lead to arrests or stop bombings. You never seem to see an agency or government take on 'emergency powers' and then give it up once the emergency is passed. Look at Obama. Democrat president elected after eight years of Bush. He had enough seats in congress that the Patriot Act could've gotten repealed. Nope! Instead we now get Drone Strikes and US Citizens declared enemy combatants.

'But we'll be safer! You'll change your tune if this gets overturned and the FBI could've stopped a busload of kids from being used as a bomb.'

You know how Google, Microsoft, Apple, and all are pushing for The Cloud? Yea no. I'd rather have data on a drive I can personally tuck away and know nobody's looking at. Now? The FBI or whoever else can claim 'terrorism!' and go snooping through anything you've got if this line of 'well they don't need a warrant since they're only going after bad people' line of thinking persists. Congress is bought and paid for. They serve corporate interests in stead of the american public's. All it takes so someone wanting to make a fast buck and oh hey easy bake identity theft. All your personal information, bank statements, and everything else is put on sale by the FBI after you've been discarded from whatever automated search they've got going.

Then you get investigated again because your social security number, or bank account, or whatever is in connection with some sort of illegal badness. Even if they side with you on the matter that's still years of hassle and bills taken out of your life to sort through.

'But if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.'

You might not think you have anything to hide but nobody cares what you think. You don't get to decide if what you're doing is wrong. Maybe your 'nothing to hide' really is little of nothing but the government thinks it's probable cause to lock you up, or fine you, or whatever. Maybe you caught someone's temper who's got friends that can lever the fact they can do anything they want in the name of national security to put you on a no-fly list. You don't have to worry about people who want to use laws to actually do the right thing. Instead you have to worry about the ones that want to abuse the law for their own gain, and those people exist everywhere in all levels of government.
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I am a Fan of engine heart. I've done several writeups of the original 2010 PDF, the Lghts and Power booklette, and the scenario booklettes that got created because of the kickstarter. Now the revised core rules are available for download and I have to say Viral Games did awesome here.

'Wait a minute', someone might go on saying, 'there was a big huge kickstarter for this not too long ago to put copies onto store shelves. Why is Viral allowing people to just download the game all willy nilly?' Wouldn't that undermine any sort of sellability of the hard copies? Yes and No. Yes it could in theory hurt sales since 'Haha I have the rulebook already why should I pay some ruddy little shop for a paperback of the same?' However people pirate these sorts of things constantly. SciFi and RPG books are some of the most heavily copied/pirated print material around this side of college textbooks.

Viral's solution is elegant in it's simplicity: Slap a Creative Commons license on the thing. There you go. No more piracy! No, really I"m not joking. It's put under a Creative Commons Attribute/Non-commercial license. There's a watermark on the table of contents and everything.

But won't that hurt sales?

See also 'people will download these things anyway.' I'm sure Viral's mindset goes something like this: 'I am a writer of an obscure Thing and i want to raise awareness of this so that I can gather a larger fanbase. The best way to do this would be to let people who already like my work to distribute it to their friends, friends of friends, random people on the internet, and so on. These people can then buy print copies once I get everything sorted out.' It's worked for Cory Doctorow and a bunch of other far less known authors. So Why Not?

Right then that out of the way. What's changed between 2010 and now?

First off there's new artwork scattered throughout ranging from new cover and beginning of chapter prettiness to helpful images for each Feature/Defect, size guide help (Soda can at the smallest to refrigerator at the largest,) along with other bits and pieces scattered around to make things visually interesting. Yet even with all the new artwork it's still easy to get around. It's not overly fancy or busy which is great because what I liked about the 2010 PDF was how easy it was to navigate.

The Rules are the same. If you've still got the 2010 PDF and don't want to switch over no worries! There is only one feature that's changed between then and now and that was to make it a 'you have it or don't' instead of having to buy levels. All the rewrites that are scattered through the book make things easier to understand. You get a good feel of what each thing does and, in the case of things thta cause damage (either intentionally or not) you get a nice clear label in the picture itself.

Rewrites arent' confined to the Features/Defects section either. All through the book you get either rewritten text to better explain how each mechanic works (IE Repair taking an hour between check,) and in several cases (such as the 'playing the game' chapter) the text has been specifically arranged and highlighted so you know which sections are different from the rest and can home in on those chunks quickly. Ease of readability is important so you're not stuck flipping through the book and can instead focus on the game itself.

There's all sorts of 'minor but nice to have' sections detailing common things you'll have to roll dice for, expanded explanations on how to write AI's, Source Material you can draw from for feel and style of play.

Keep in mind this is not intended to be a very combat heavy game. You aren't playing warbots (for the most part anyway.) Lots of details like upgrading or what to roll in novel/new situations are left up to the Programmer (GM.) This can be good and bad; Good because this is more about exploring and experiencing new situations as a now sort of-sentient squeegee bot riding on a subway maintenance bot accompanying a robotic detective rather than war machines duking it out in the wastelands of post-human Earth.

It's a free download and as soon as I get a link on where to order print copies from for those not blessed with a game shop that's ordered a stack I'll post that here too. In the meantime it's Free. I'ts Quirky. the podcasts of games I've listened in on sound hilariously fun. Definitely worth a spin if you like Sci-Fi Robots, and aren't afraid that your game might get silly. Then again it doesn't have to be silly. It can be a soul crushing exploration of a doomed civilization of machines trying badly to soldier on in the face of crumbling infrastructure while each of their preprogrammed objectives make each feel like an obsessive compulsive possibly mentally broken individual that will as soon harm the bots around them as help.

The time of the humans has passed.
All that you were built for is no more.

But you and your kind endure.
Some robots continue with their routines, 
improvising as best as they can.

Others have found new directives.
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Why you ask? It's not like I'm anywhere near the first playing through Ponterbee. However I wanted to show that Yes the Steam version will run mods and fan missions just fine now. On top of that you can launch the steam version of SS2 without having to launch steam. So there's that going for it. Yay.

Unrelated I suppose but there's work being done on more fan missions, which is great since it's been three months since this got out of legal limbo and seven months since the newdark patch that ended up making game and editor far more stable.
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