Cory co-blogs at BoingBoing.net, which we proudly link to as "a directory of wonderful things"; I hit it at least once a day, if not twice or even three times. And yesterday he had an excerpt from a great story by Paul Di Filippo called And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon, which is available on-line for you to read, and which I suggest you go read right now. Right here. And here's an excerpt, to get you excited:
Blebs had been around for about twenty years now, almost as long as I had been alive. Their roots could be traced back to several decisions made by manufacturers—decisions which, separately, were completely intelligent, foresighted, and well conceived, but which, synergistically, had caused unintended consequences—and to one insidious hack.
The first decision had been to implant silicon RFID chips into every appliance and product and consumable sold. These first chips, small as a flake of pepper, were simple transceivers that merely aided inventory tracking and retail sales by announcing to any suitable device the product's specs and location. But when new generations of chips using adaptive circuitry had gotten cheaper and more plentiful, industry had decided to install them in place of the simpler tags.
At that point millions of common, everyday objects—your toothbrush, your coffee maker, your shoes, the box of cereal on your shelf—began to exhibit massive processing power and interobject communication. Your wristwatch could monitor your sweat and tell your refrigerator to brew up some electrolyte-replenishing drink. Your bedsheets could inform the clothes-washer of the right settings to get them the cleanest. (The circuitry of the newest chips was built out of undamageable and pliable buckytubes.) So far, so good. Life was made easier for everyone.
Then came the Volition Bug.