We are back on track punks with this week’s installment of LWIC. We got Cyberpunk Jesus Keanu Reeves back in a new film, some sick video games coming our way, current events to make you cringe, and a new biological book to keep you company these cold months.
Cambridge Analytica Pleads Guilty, Faces First of Potential Criminal Convictions
Remember Cambridge Analytica and the little scandal they created after harvesting 100 million Facebook accounts and very possibly getting Trump elected as President? Thanks to a US professor and new EU data laws, the data company (along with its parent company SCL Elections) has finally been found guilty of a crime. Prof. David Carrol, at the Parsons School of Design in New York, filed a formal request to see the data the company had on him and its role his data played in the 2016 election. Under current EU data law a company must give any information it has on someone if requested by that person for any reason.
SCL Elections responded, revealing that the company did indeed information on Carrol which included his political views, personal info, and which hot topics would motivate him to vote. Having such a large amount of info, Carrol asked how they acquired it and whom they shared it with. SCL promptly told him to fuck off by saying, as an American asking a UK company, he had no more rights to his data “than a member of the Taliban sitting in a cave in the remotest corner of Afghanistan.”
The British Information Commission stepped in responding with an equally prompt, ‘No, fuck you’ and issued a compliance order making it illegal for them to not give Carrol his data. SCL, in court, admitted they had broken the law not only with Carrol but by collecting the many terabytes of data on millions of people. The courts will only charge the company $26,000 in fees, but in the meantime authorities have managed to get the passwords needed from Cambridge Analytica to access Carrols data along with millions of other Americans just from this case.
Check out the full story here.
How Cartographers for the U.S Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa
Imagine you’re sitting at home relaxing, when suddenly you begin to get angry calls and threats for wrong doings and thefts you have never committed. You get angry visitors you’ve never met coming to your door demanding you hand over their missing iphone/laptop/cheating spouse. One night armed to the teeth commandos raid your house looking for a kidnapped child, holding your mother at gunpoint. All of this is happening just because of your IP address.
A South African lawyer (who for his privacy is being referred to as ‘John’) and his elderly mother have been suffering all of the above, all due to careless database keeping and location marking. US based company Maxmind, who specialize in locating digital devices in the world by the items IP address, failed to change Johns location within their system (essentially, if you were to lookup an IP address within his city it would pinpoint directly over his house as a vague location of the thing you’re looking for). Plus, after further research, the reporter covering the story found out that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (a part of the Department of Defense) had marked his house as “the capital of a political entity”. Due to bad luck and laziness one mans house had become, according to online coordinates anyway, a hotbed of crime and terrorism.
For the full article, which goes into greater detail of our general misunderstanding of how IP addresses work and the fuckery of corporations and governments, check it out here.
Replicas: In Theaters Today
Finally, we get to see Keanu Reeves retake his rightful place on the cyberpunk throne. After two delays, Jeffrey Nachmanoff‘s cybernetic thriller has just been released as of yesterday. Unfortunately, early reviews are panning the film, but bad reviews have never stopped the fanbase. For those of you who don’t know, the description and the most recent trailer are below:
Neuro-scientist William “Will” Foster is on the verge of successfully transferring human consciousness into a computer when his family is tragically killed in a car crash. Desperate to resurrect them, Will recruits fellow scientist Ed Whittle to help him secretly clone their bodies and create replicas that soon causes him to become a threat towards a government task force.
Weird City. It’s a city in the future, yes it’s weird, and it’s the newest cyberpunk series to come to Youtube Premium.
Set to premiere on February 13th, Weird City is an upcoming American comedy-science fiction-anthology web series from the minds of Key and Peele. According to the synopsis, the middle class has disappeared, and the very first scene (shown in only 1 second) shows a divide in a city between futuristic-rich and dilapidated-poor, made even more obvious with clear “living below and above the line” signs and markers in the trailer. They also introduce multiple futuristic technologies in the rich city, one of which is a device that has made sex obsolete. The show should feature such heavy hitters as Mark Hamill, Michael Cera, Laverne Cox, Steven Yeun, and Rosario Dawson. Check out the newly-released trailer here.
The Coming Storm
Mark Alpert‘s newest sci-fi thriller looks like it’s going to pack a biological punch, featuring police states, lowlives, and genetic engineering. Since the cover description can do a better job at summing up the book than I can, here it is:
New York City, 2023: Rising seas and superstorms have ravaged the land. Food and electricity are scarce. A dangerous Washington regime has terrorized the city, forcing the most vulnerable and defenseless people into the flood-ravaged neighborhoods. The new laws are enforced by an army of genetically enhanced soldiers, designed to be the fiercest and cruelest of killers. Genetic scientist Dr. Jenna Khan knows too much about how these super-soldiers were engineered: by altering the DNA sequence in ways that could change the fabric of humanity.
Escaping arrest and on the run, Jenna joins forces with a genetically enhanced soldier gone rogue and a Brooklyn gang kingpin to resist the government’s plan to manipulate the DNA of all Americans. The race is on to stop the evil experiment before it spreads the genetic changes…and transforms the human species forever.
The Coming Storm has been on shelves since January 8th. You can get it here.
The Eternal Castle Remastered
Indie Developers Leonard Menchiari, Daniele Vicinanzo, and Giulio Perrone have really outdone themselves with their first collaborative effort, The Eternal Castle Remastered. Not actually a remaster at all, this game owes its distinct visual style to cinematic platformers such as cyberpunk classic Flashback, as well as old DOS-era games. The official description is a bit hard to follow, but is as such:
[message:start\]YEAR 2XXX – BEFORE THE FALL OF THE CYBER-NET SOCIETY EXTRA TERRESTRIAL HUMAN COLONIZATION UNITS WERE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT PARALLEL SURVIVAL FACILITIES AROUND THEIR ROOT PLANET IN ORDER TO REESTABLISH A SELF SUFFICIENT ECOSYSTEM IN SPACE THE PROCEDURE WAS DISCONTINUED BY NUMEROUS TERRORIST ATTACKS TO THE MAIN CORE SERVERS AFTER COUNTLESS GLOBAL WARS ALL SYSTEMS GOT SHUT DOWN AND THE PROCEDURE WAS NEVER AGAIN RESUMED POLLUTED WATERS CLIMATE CHANGE RADIOACTIVE WARFARE AND ABSENCE OF RESOURCES CAUSED THE MAJORITY OF THE REMAINING HUMANS TO DECEASE THE LAST COLONIZATION UNITS IN SPACE WERE ABLE TO SURVIVE FOR SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE EXTINGUISHING MOST OF THE REMAINING RESOURCES NEEDED FOR SURVIVAL SCAVENGER UNITS WERE SENT BACK TO EARTH TO GATHER MATERIALS IN ORDER TO RESTORE THE SELF-SUFFICIENT ECOSYSTEM FACILITIES AND CONTINUE THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL COLONIZATION PROCEDURE ONE OF THE UNITS WAS SENT BACK TO EARTH BUT THE UNIT NEVER RETURNED IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE THE LAST TIME I WAS IN TOUCH WITH HER I KNOW SHE IS IN DANGER AND I KNOW SHE NEEDS MY HELP GOING BACK THERE BY MY OWN IS A SUICIDE MISSION BUT I HAVE NO CHOICE LEFT EITHER I GO, OR SHE DIES[\message:end]
Gorgeously expressionistic and neon-soaked, The Eternal Castle looks like a synthwave sensory overload full of unforgiving gameplay and in-depth storytelling wrapped in space opera/cyberpunk tropes. You can get it right now.
New Alien Game Exclusively for Mobile, Much to Fans’ Dismay
On Monday, the Alien franchise’s PR team announced a new entry into the long-lived, much-loved series in honor of its 40th anniversary. Unfortunately, this was not for another sequel in the film series or a follow up to 2014’s Isolation, but a game set for release on iOS and Android that features familiar gameplay.
While Blackout does feature Amanda Ripley, protagonist of Isolation, the description of the game makes it sound as though the story will be non-canon. Due to this and its apparent similarities to Five Nights at Freddy’s, the fans are not pleased, immediately jumping to conclusions as those on the interwebs are prone to do. Fortunately, worries involving the game’s status as a free-to-play microtransaction generator have been quelled by the devs, stating that it will be a single-purchase game. Who knows how the game will turn out though? Sometimes standalone mobile games based on beloved franchises can be great, sometimes, not so much.
Disjunction Announced on Steam
This may be old news to some of you, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t make mention of it. Taking place in 2048 NYC, Ape Tribe Games’ debut, Disjunction, is a top-down stealth-shooter that looks to be in the same blood-drenched vein as Hotline Miami. Set in a decaying world that looks like a cross between Judge Dredd and Deus Ex, the game tells the story of three characters as they unravel a conspiracy in the midst of a society that’s tearing itself apart. Disjunction is set for release sometime in 2019, but you can play the alpha demo now.
Notice a cyberpunk story we missed this week? Let us know down below or on social media.
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