News services have been revolutionised by being presented in database format. People are most often notified of interesting events by their news agent, via a personal jinni. It is then possible to learn about the event by watching live footage, selecting one of many commentary programmes with a panel of experts, accessing interviews with the protagonists and historical databases giving the background to the event, or watching a traditional news channel which merges all of the above. The elements of this service are interlinked, so, for example, while presenters are discussing a new trade deal between two transnats other parts of the wall will show maps of the areas concerned and graphs of economic details, which will be dynamically updated to match the contents of the newscast.

Entertainment Programming

Television has been largely subsumed into the database system. As new shows are produced they are added to subscription databases run by the media corporations. This enables the viewer to select programming more closely tailored to their interests, and access classic shows at will.

A recent fashion is the creation of programmes by expert systems extrapolating from existing ones. In this way, for instance, people can create whatever they wish to see, whether or not the programmes are being produced by human crews. These extrapolated shows often seem artificial and quirky, which, it seems, has added to their cult status.

The future of Ad Astra

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