It’s time, isn’t it? A young software engineer is found dead behind the Fremont Troll of a heroin overdose. A Pocket PC lies smashed nearby. The engineer’s backpack contains only two empty cans of Talking Rain, a Starbucks card, a half-eaten Essential Sandwich, and the current issue of The Stranger. Was the victim headed home? The cans are not yet recycled. The engineer’s drug kit consists only of a tourniquet and a hypodermic needle. Was someone else present? There’s nothing to identify who smashed the Pocket PC… but the SmartMedia card is still in it, and decrypting its contents back at the lab reveals some unusual personal contacts, including a former cellular phone executive from the Eastside.
And hey, where is the engineer’s cell phone?
This Crime Scene Investigator thing could be franchised to stations all over the country with fill-in-the-blank scripts for place and character names that match the local geography and culture. Affiliates would film scenes in their own cities and put these together with the same computer graphics used everywhere. It’s like Mad Libs!
[Name of principal CSI to rest of team]:
“It was [military rank][condiment] in the [room in a home] with the [handheld object that can induce death quickly].”
Eventually, of course, even this level of customization will be replaced when actors can be computer-generated or -altered in real-time by the viewer’s television. We’ll be able to configure our entertainment preferences on the television, right down to adding our own names to the show!
Hey, wanna get your message out to millions? Write a virus that takes over characters on the viewers’ televisions! After the hot young star of the moment turns to the viewers and entreats them by name to some sort of action, the virus can check the television/computer for the viewer’s friends and add the viewer’s name to the messages delivered to his/her friends. “Hi, Jay. You don’t want Gary to be the only one of your friends to get in on the action, do you?”