Technology impacts with reality when ‘legless’ passenger is ‘ejected’ from driverless Edinburgh bus.

Sunday November twenty four 2069
In the early hours of Saturday morning, a series of unintended incidents occurred in Edinburgh City Centre when two technologies interacted with each other and failed to recognise reality. It all happened because the ‘Hologuard’ security technology deployed on a driverless bus interacted with evolving human behaviour.  
At  around 1.30am, a twenty nine year old man was somehow propelled from the driverless bus which then collided with a traffic island before continuing into the side of an autonomous tram. Fortunately the man only suffered minor abrasions.
A fellow passenger said, “We were all a wee bit fou and merry, but we got fearty when a numpty highlender suddenly appeared and started a stramash wi us at the back o the bus. He hod a claymere an all that and shouted for us to sit down and shut up or “I’ll gi ye freedem”. I would recognise him anywhere”. Others confirmed that, in the “stramash” that followed, their friend, Wee Tam, rushed the highlander shouting “I’ll see you pal” before the highlander shoved Tam off the bus. After that, things became very confused. Other passengers confirmed that Wee Tam was “steamin and legless” as he accidently stumbled toward the emergency door and pulled the handle to steady himself. It was then he managed to propel himself out onto the cobbled street. The driverless bus immediately applied its automatic emergency brakes and the bus skidded on the wet cobbles. These had been laid recently by the council to recreate authentic 19th century street scenes. The bus then collided with a traffic island before coming to a halt imbedded in the side of a driverless FART tram that was derailed as a result. The police confirmed that reports were received around 1.30am of a man in highland dress running amok on a bus and responded within four minutes to be met by chaos. A police officer at the scene indicated that the man in highland dress was nowhere to be seen and had not been picked up by nearby cameras or drone patrols.  

Too much technology.
The Forth Area Rapid Transit (FART) system had only last week introduced realistic hologram guards (called Hologuards) on buses and trams at night.  A FART representative confirmed that there had been a rise in incidents of rowdy and drunken behaviour on their system in the run up to Christmas last year. This year they were determined to put a stop to it. She said that “some people think they can misbehave and upset other passengers simply because there is no driver”.  She confirmed that the first driverless buses in the Former UK States were rolled out in Edinburgh as far back as 2021. They have been in use for many years with very few problems. It seems that the upsurge in incidents of groups of drunken partygoers, wearing outlandish disguises to evade recognition by on-board cameras, is a more recent phenomenon. Those on the bus might have mistaken the would-be ‘guard’ for another party-goer.

New uses for VHS technologies.
The hologram technology introduced to the FART system last week was invented 20 years ago by scientists at Dunedin University in Edinburgh. Called the ultra-compression Virtual Hologram System (VHS), it was originally intended to be used to transmit live lectures to students.  But wider uses for the highly adaptable technology have emerged since.  The police in Edinburgh have used hologram images of officers, beamed from their drones regularly on patrol in the city, to deter trouble makers for the last five years.  As for the 'Hologuards' used in the FART system from last week, the transmissions are controlled by an operative back at a control centre. A police spokesperson told us, “In 2018 before the incident, we put cardboard cut-out officers on street corners but they were always stolen. We have come a long way and now we can observe and deploy realistic officers that reassure the public they are safe at night”.   
FART spokesperson, Drew Shortstraw, issued a statement earlier this morning:  “Clearly the interaction of the autonomous bus technology with our Hologuard has had unintended consequences. I would like to reassure the public that lessons have been learned. Our publicity about the new Hologuard system did not reach everyone and we apologise to those passengers frightened by the fearsome highlander that confronted them suddenly last night. Our intention was to bring order to the back of the bus but it obviously got out of hand. The operative controlling the system on the night will be retrained in customer relations and we will not be using a ‘highlander guard’ armed with a claymore in future”

Additional note: Timeline 2069 has learned that 263 claims by ‘passengers’ on the bus for whiplash injury have been made in the last 24 hours. The official capacity of the bus is 42 passengers.

By our technology correspondent: Ronnie Geeklan-Jones

Currency manipulation revealed in 2029 papers released under the 40 year rule.

Sunday November seventeen 2069

The eagerly awaited release of government papers under the forty year rule revealed shocking facts about the turmoil of the 2020s. 

As expected, they describe in detail the extent of the chaotic government in the period ten years after the ‘incident’.  Many papers, related to the incident itself, were listed then as ‘never to be disclosed’ and remain so to this day. However, the papers released this week after forty years are the first to shed some light on the effects that the incident had on the future of the world economy.

The demise of world currencies.

The big surprise is the extent to which the money markets were being manipulated in the immediate post ‘incident’ era.  An inquiry in 2027, led by veteran QC, Harry Eastwood Snr (father of current government advisor and ‘enforcer’ Professor Sir Harry Eastwood) was supressed by the minority SCUM (Socialist Conservative United Momentum) government working alongside other minority parties and several independent MPs. The inquiry was set up by the SCUM  minority government to analyse ‘The Causes of World Currency Volatility’. There were many rumours at the time that the practice of political manipulation of the currency exchange rates had already been well established as a money generator for greedy investors in the period leading up to the ‘incident’ in 2019. However, the Eastwood remit was limited to post ‘incident’ causes only. The role of Prime Minister was rotated every two months during that time and it is confusing as to who was leading at the time of the review’s completion and immediate suppression. 

Now forty years later we see that several MPs from the newly formed Former UK States Isolation (FUKSI) Party were deliberately playing the money markets and manipulating the exchange rates. The suspicion at the time was that many other independent MPs were working in secret with the FUKSI Party and doing the same. Then FUKSIP was only a ‘young’ party just formed by Norman Larage who was in his 20s. His main collaborators, Boris Bonking and Ronnie Robinson, had graduated with Larage in History and Politics from the newly formed University of Middle England in the immediate post ‘incident’ period. They avowed to completely isolate the UK from its neighbours and sought, alongside many other independent MPs, to undermine attempts to form a new Confederation of Western European States. However, at the time their erratic and wildly swinging policies were difficult for people to comprehend or explain.

In hindsight all is now clearer. The Eastwood report revealed that the volatile currency exchange rates in the 2020s were closely following the FUKSIP political threats. A large consortium of investors in the UK worked alongside FUKSIP to create uncertainly and sweep up the resulting low priced currencies, notably the UK£.  They then entered into fresh agreements with the SCUM party regarding an alliance with other Western European States and sold on the resulting higher value currency. This cycle was repeated at least six times in the political pandemonium after the ‘incident’.
In his introduction to the review, Harry Eastwood QC reflected the mood at the time when giving evidence at a parliamentary inquiry held in secret, "I have strong feelings about financial control. If there's finance around, I want to be controlling it."

The Bitcoin revolution.
A rise in the use of Bitcoins as a means to pay for online purchases was inevitable in the light of widening disparities in the various world currencies. These mainly affected the US Dollar, the Euro and the UK£. The Bitcoin operation automatically fixed its value in the market by aligning itself to the mean of all world currencies from 2030 onwards and became the most stable and reliable.  It was also less prone to manipulation on the markets. When national currencies were finally abolished in 2032 by the World Bank, the Bitcoin exchange rate for the UK£ was strangely very favourable as FUKSIP engineered yet another crisis.

The forty year rule and FUKSIP.
When  Norman Larage and his so called ‘rabid acolytes’ gained power ten years ago, one of their first moves was to extend the existing 30 year rule to 40 years. In their last year in power in 2068 they were again seeking to extend this further to at least 60 years. Instead, it seems that their sorry history has been revealed this week.

Norman Larage was on holiday on his luxury yacht in Barbados and was not available for comment today. Neither were any members of the former government who also appeared to be on holiday at various sunnier locations. Prime Minister Margaret May, however, praised the brave and hard work of the late Harry Eastwood at a time of "turmoil and intimidation". She said that, “Like him I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph”.

By our political analyst Rupert C Kane.

Hologram Lecture Scandal Revealed.

Sunday November ten 2069

This week saw the release of the Eastwood inquiry report on the ‘Use and Misuse of Holograms in Education’. Professor Sir Harry Eastwood, who is no stranger to government inquiries and is known for his uncompromising stance on difficult issues, said that he was always called upon by the government to sort out the most difficult problems’. “It’s a question of methods. Everybody wants results, but nobody wants to do what they have to do to get them done”. True to form he has produced a hard hitting report.

A 'black hole' of deceit.

Suspicions that fake hologram lectures have swamped education in colleges and universities in the Former UK States have now been confirmed. This seems to be a worldwide problem and the activities of the Alliance of Independent Providers (AIPs) are coming under most scrutiny. They manage over 6000 institutions world-wide and with more than 300 in England alone they are the leading provider. However, it now seems that they rely to a large extent on sharing broadcasts of hologram lectures by leading scientists and academics across their institutions. There had been rumours circulating for years that some of these ‘live’ lectures might have been recorded and even tampered with. Although popular, students began to question the content and reliability of the information they were receiving. These suspicions came to a head earlier this year when students at the AIP University of Middle England lodged complaints about one lecture. Many could not understand the logic being used when attending a ‘live’ hologram broadcast from an elderly professor on the origins of black holes in space. In a dubious ‘German’ accent he declared that he was over 190 years old and was reappraising his earlier theories regarding the relationship between mass and energy. He explained that M=EC2 and that was how a large mass could be generated in ‘black holes’ using minimal energy input and why they failed to emit light. Eastwood has confirmed that this was one of many similar incidences. It turns out that variations of the same lecture had been  broadcast ‘live’ regularly for over two years across many providers. We sought a response from Virginia Fox, The CEO of the University of Middle England and she indicated she had no knowledge of this specific practice. However, she did say that we should embrace these valuable experiences since “Life is not a series of holograms symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.” She then laughed and flounced off no doubt savouring the 'valuable' experience.

How had things gone so wrong?

The first hologram lectures were tested as far back as 2018 in London before the ‘incident’. They were hailed as a great success in opening up wider access to everyone who wished to be educated. The later invention of the ultra-compression Virtual Hologram System (VHS) at Dunedin University in Edinburgh made the previously cumbersome system more useable across the sector. This enabled hologram lectures and speeches to be broadcast easily across the existing ultra-interweb broadband. The fatal flaw in the system lay in the ease with which broadcasts could be altered. A high definition data profile of the lecturer is sent as a binary package prior to a live transmission. The streaming data for the transmission only has to make limited changes to movement of the image and sound during the broadcast. This latter feature made it possible to update transmissions easily over time and to reuse earlier recordings that could be adapted to pose as contemporary ‘live’ transmissions.

Student activists uncover the truth.

A student activist group called the ‘Holocrap Warriors’ has worked secretly underground for several years with their lecturers to subvert the educational system that they saw as corrupt. They used the convenient VHS technology to illustrate what can and does happen. The result was a series of spoof hologram lecture recordings emerging from their group. The shock was that most of them were readily embraced by the sector and went unnoticed. Despite lectures that radically rewrote history, it seems that students were accepting the altered ‘facts’. Lectures on the various ‘causes’ of the ‘incident’, and how it related to the third term of the Trump presidency earlier in the century, became popular despite their dubious content and provenance. However, the Holocrap Warriors had more success with science lectures that eventually became so outrageous that they could not be ignored since they were based upon false logic and not subjective interpretation.

Impersonating students revealed.

Surprisingly, the Eastwood inquiry has uncovered another practice that was unexpected. A second incident emerged during the last academic year that further raised suspicions. The University of Middle England has held a contract with the government for three years to supply degree level education for selected students that have the right qualifications but failed to find a place in one of the Russell Provider Group Universities. This arose because of a strict cap on numbers funded through government. As a result, observers from the regulatory body, the Office for Learner Provision (OfLP), attended some lectures at the university. One observer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the inquiry that, “the visit was going very well and I had been treated to a fine lunch with the best French wine and brandy”. However, he noticed something odd later that afternoon at a lecture for over 100 students. A student at the back resembled one that he had met the week before in London. The observer noted, “He was very distinctive with his red tartan cap and bright red hair and I would have recognised him anywhere”. When he greeted the student, the hologram image flickered and disappeared. It turned out that all of the ‘students’ were hologram generated images. The inquiry uncovered that the vast campus had only 23 students on site that day and several thousand of those ‘enrolled’ were not identifiable as having attended any course. The observer had been the subject of an elaborate illusion throughout his visit and he had simply witnessed a lecture by a hologram lecturer to a room full of hologram students.

The OfLP is now conducting a separate co-investigation with the police to determine if any fraud has been committed. If this is the case it will surely become the main ‘Front Page’ news in the next few days.

By our crime correspondent Hildebrand 'Lemmon' Johnson

Budget 2069: Austerity+ is finally over.

Sunday November Three 2069

Chancellor Gracie Milton-Friedlass delivered her first budget speech this week as she outlined a massive injection of cash into the economy. To loud cheers that rang around the new Parliament House, she proudly announced that “after more than sixty years of hardship I can now say with confidence that austerity+ is finally over”. She added “After years of a failed austerity government under Norman Larage and his rabid isolationist acolytes, Social Security and the National Health Service are finally safe in our care. Everyone can look forward to a future of being secured (sic?) by a progressive SCAM Government”.

A warm welcome

The 2069 offering is the first time since the formation of the Former UK States that a budget has been coordinated across all of the FUK States at the same time. It heralds a new era of escalating investment that will be delivered across the FUKS. Scotland Finance Minister, Adam ‘Citizen’ Smithy, hailed it as a triumph of "friendship and understanding". The Wales Finance Minister, Vincent Jones, agreed that there “should be cooperation for years to come with this ambitious SCAM government”. We contacted Carsonia (formally Northern Ireland) First Minister, Edward G Robinson at his Key Largo Mansion near Belfast Lough but he declined to comment. Since forming the NIHIL government in May, it seems we cannot yet find a finance minister to contact. A spokesrobot from the Carsonia Finance Office said “we find the proposals interesting” but declined to comment any further. It might be that there is disappointment that the proposals for a bridge between Scotland and Carsonia have been shelved. As expected, there was also a warm response from Dublin and the General Secretary of the Western European Confederate States (WECS), Dr Dara O’Brain who said “our genuine hope is that this FUKS budget will align our neighbours more fully with the WECS economic boom and the Hibernian tiger

Education, Education, Education and even more Education.

Central to the budget is the plan for compulsory education from two years to sixty years for everyone. Rumours and ‘leaks’ about a reduction in funding for universities turned out to be unfounded. The ambitious comprehensive plans will include universities and will be financed through a National Access Number payment. Universities will no longer be referred to as ‘providers’. Everyone will have a National Access Number or NAN and will contribute to the fund whenever they are in paid employment. Employers were however shocked to find that they are expected to pay into the national education investment fund through a 10% charge in addition to the 32% National Insurance costs. The CEO of the Union of British Industry, Sir Richard Head, said “whilst we may benefit from improved education for all, and we all wish to support NAN, this may be a bit too much

A home for everyone promised.

Other radical developments were also warmly received. An expansive affordable house building scheme will start as soon as possible in 2070. Called the ‘Social Housing Infrastructure Tenant Expansion’ (SHITE) scheme, it will release over four million homes for affordable rent in the next six years. Gracie Milton-Friedlass announced that “We promise that we will house every family in need of a home in SHITE housing across every local authority in the FUKS”. Much of this development will be carried out by refurbishing the thousands of derelict student accommodation blocks that were abandoned in every city after the ‘incident’ of 2019.

High Speed Rail is now a reality.

The budget also outlined how the abandoned HS1 project would finally be completed. Construction of the original HS1 line ceased just north of Watford junction after the ’incident’ nearly fifty years ago and it has been overgrown and in ruins ever since. Now it will be completed with a new midland terminus in the ‘Technical Hub’ City of Coventry. This will be close to the massive Midland Air Hub in Brinklow that will get a fourth runway by 2080. Autonomous cars/driverless cars (AC/DCs) and a rapid transit Maglev Area District (MAD) rail system will link this to the centre of Birmingham and other focal points in the region. A low resistance rapid vacuum-rail system called ‘Vacu-Us’ will be rolled out to replace the ageing ‘Tube’ in London. Similarly, there are plans being developed to extend the MAD transit system with HS2, HS3, HS4, HS5, HS6, HS7 and HS8. These will interconnect with super hubs in Manchester, Liverpool. Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The Chancellor deployed some levity with the slogan, “Now we can all quickly go MAD across the FUKS”. However, there will be disappointment in some quarters as this will not include Belfast in the short-term. The long-planned bridge between Scotland and Carsonia will not go ahead. Instead, under intense diplomatic pressure from the WECS Secretariat, the construction of a jointly funded tunnel between Holyhead and Dublin, to be linked to a future HS9 in Wales and cross-border HS10 to Belfast, will be explored as a better option.

Only Joking (?)

The bad jokes, that have become a tradition in budgets, continued with the announcement that the public toilet service would be overhauled. “This is not a bog standard solution but a world leading high tech development that I am sure you will all be relieved to hear” was met with groans. Instead of traditional fixed-location toilets there will be investment in ‘Autonomous Toiletmobiles’ or ATMs. These are planned to serve those ‘caught short’ and will arrive in as little as four minutes in most major cities. The hope is that they will eliminate so called ‘alfresco’ urinary habits for good. However, there will be no loophole for those hoping that ATMs might serve as a low cost taxi service. Hopping in and asking a friend to call for a nearby ATM will not work. Only SOS calls will be allowed from occupied ATMs. Other calls from inside will cause the ATM to return directly to its home disposal depot to evacuate its contents.

By our financial correspondent Gordon Gekko Jr

Origins of the Rees-Mogg Registry and world standardisation of units

Timeline Sunday July 27 2070 A little known fact about the ‘incident’ of 2019 emerged in recent days that should serve as a warning for...