A Scanner Darkly
A Scanner Darkly is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, published in 1977; the semi-autobiographical story is set in a dystopian Orange County, California, in the then-future of June 1994, includes an extensive portrayal of drug culture and drug use. The novel is one of Dick's best-known works and served as the basis for a 2006 film of the same name, directed by Richard Linklater; the protagonist is Bob Arctor, member of a household of drug users, living a double life as an undercover police agent assigned to spy on Arctor's household. Arctor shields his identity from the police. While posing as a drug user, Arctor becomes addicted to a powerful psychoactive drug. A conflict is Arctor's love for Donna, a drug dealer, through whom he intends to identify high-level dealers of Substance D; when performing his work as an undercover agent, Arctor goes by the name "Fred" and wears a "scramble suit" that conceals his identity from other officers. He is able to sit in a police facility and observe his housemates through "holo-scanners", audio-visual surveillance devices that are placed throughout the house.
Arctor's use of the drug causes the two hemispheres of his brain to function independently or "compete". When Arctor sees himself in the videos saved by the scanners, he does not realize. Through a series of drug and psychological tests, Arctor's superiors at work discover that his addiction has made him incapable of performing his job as a narcotics agent, they do not know his identity because he wears the scramble suit, but when his police supervisor suggests to him that he might be Bob Arctor, he is confused and thinks it cannot be possible. Donna takes Arctor to "New-Path", a rehabilitation clinic, just as Arctor begins to experience the symptoms of Substance D withdrawal, it is revealed that Donna has been a narcotics agent all along, working as part of a police operation to infiltrate New-Path and determine its funding source. Without his knowledge, Arctor has been selected to penetrate the organization; as part of the rehab program, Arctor is renamed "Bruce" and forced to participate in cruel group-dynamic games, intended to break the will of the patients.
The story ends with Bruce working at a New-Path farming commune, where he is suffering from a serious neurocognitive deficit, after withdrawing from Substance D. Although considered by his handlers to be nothing more than a walking shell of a man, "Bruce" manages to spot rows of blue flowers growing hidden among rows of corn and realizes that the blue flowers are Mors ontologica, the source of Substance D; the book ends with Bruce hiding a flower in his shoe to give to his "friends"—undercover police agents posing as recovering addicts at the Los Angeles New-Path facility—on Thanksgiving. A Scanner Darkly is a fictionalized account of real events, based on Dick's experiences in the 1970s drug culture. Dick said in an interview, "Everything in A Scanner Darkly I saw."Between mid-1970 and mid-1972, Dick lived semi-communally with a rotating group of teenage drug users at his home in Marin County, described in a letter as being located at 707 Hacienda Way, Santa Venetia. Dick explained, "y wife Nancy left me in 1970...
I got mixed up with a lot of street people, just to have somebody to fill the house. She left me with a two-bathroom house and nobody living in it but me. So I just filled it with street people and I got mixed up with a lot of people who were into drugs."During this period, the author ceased writing and became dependent upon amphetamines, which he had been using intermittently for many years. "I did take amphetamines for years in order to be able to—I was able to produce 68 final pages of copy a day," Dick said. The character of Donna was inspired by an older teenager who became associated with Dick sometime in 1970; this speech, "The Android and the Human", served as the basis for many of the recurring themes and motifs in the ensuing novel. Another turning point in this timeframe for Dick is the alleged burglary of his home and theft of his papers. After delivering "The Android and the Human", Dick became a participant in X-Kalay, effortlessly convincing program caseworkers that he was nursing a heroin addiction to do so.
Dick's recovery program participation was portrayed in the posthumously released book The Dark Haired Girl. It was at X-Kalay, while doing publicity for the facility, that he devised the notion of rehab centers being used to secretly harvest drugs. In the afterword Dick dedicates the book to those of his friends—he includes himself—who suffered debilitation or death as a result of their drug use. Mirroring the epilogue are the involuntary goodbyes that occur throughout the story—the constant turnover and burn-out of young people that lived with Dick during those years. In the afterword, he states that the novel is about "some people who were punished too much for what they did", that "drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to move out in front of a moving car". A Scanner Darkly was one of the few Dick novels to gestate over a long period of time. By February 1973, in an effor
Antivirus software, or anti-virus software known as anti-malware, is a computer program used to prevent and remove malware. Antivirus software was developed to detect and remove computer viruses, hence the name. However, with the proliferation of other kinds of malware, antivirus software started to provide protection from other computer threats. In particular, modern antivirus software can protect users from: malicious browser helper objects, browser hijackers, keyloggers, rootkits, trojan horses, malicious LSPs, fraudtools and spyware; some products include protection from other computer threats, such as infected and malicious URLs, spam and phishing attacks, online identity, online banking attacks, social engineering techniques, advanced persistent threat and botnet DDoS attacks. Although the roots of the computer virus date back as early as 1949, when the Hungarian scientist John von Neumann published the "Theory of self-reproducing automata", the first known computer virus appeared in 1971 and was dubbed the "Creeper virus".
This computer virus infected Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-10 mainframe computers running the TENEX operating system. The Creeper virus was deleted by a program created by Ray Tomlinson and known as "The Reaper"; some people consider "The Reaper" the first antivirus software written – it may be the case, but it is important to note that the Reaper was a virus itself designed to remove the Creeper virus. The Creeper virus was followed by several other viruses; the first known that appeared "in the wild" was "Elk Cloner", in 1981, which infected Apple II computers. In 1983, the term "computer virus" was coined by Fred Cohen in one of the first published academic papers on computer viruses. Cohen used the term "computer virus" to describe a program that: "affect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way as to include a copy of itself." The first IBM PC compatible "in the wild" computer virus, one of the first real widespread infections, was "Brain" in 1986. From the number of viruses has grown exponentially.
Most of the computer viruses written in the early and mid-1980s were limited to self-reproduction and had no specific damage routine built into the code. That changed when more and more programmers became acquainted with computer virus programming and created viruses that manipulated or destroyed data on infected computers. Before internet connectivity was widespread, computer viruses were spread by infected floppy disks. Antivirus software came into use, but was updated infrequently. During this time, virus checkers had to check executable files and the boot sectors of floppy disks and hard disks. However, as internet usage became common, viruses began to spread online. There are competing claims for the innovator of the first antivirus product; the first publicly documented removal of an "in the wild" computer virus was performed by Bernd Fix in 1987. In 1987, Andreas Lüning and Kai Figge, who founded G Data Software in 1985, released their first antivirus product for the Atari ST platform. In 1987, the Ultimate Virus Killer was released.
This was the de facto industry standard virus killer for the Atari ST and Atari Falcon, the last version of, released in April 2004. In 1987, in the United States, John McAfee founded the McAfee company and, at the end of that year, he released the first version of VirusScan. In 1987, Peter Paško, Rudolf Hrubý, Miroslav Trnka created the first version of NOD antivirus. In 1987, Fred Cohen wrote that there is no algorithm that can detect all possible computer viruses. At the end of 1987, the first two heuristic antivirus utilities were released: Flushot Plus by Ross Greenberg and Anti4us by Erwin Lanting. In his O'Reilly book, Malicious Mobile Code: Virus Protection for Windows, Roger Grimes described Flushot Plus as "the first holistic program to fight malicious mobile code."However, the kind of heuristic used by early AV engines was different from those used today. The first product with a heuristic engine resembling modern ones was F-PROT in 1991. Early heuristic engines were based on dividing the binary in different sections: data section, code section.
Indeed, the initial viruses re-organized the layout of the sections, or overrode the initial portion of section in order to jump to the end of the file where malicious code was located—only going back to resume execution of the original code. This was a specific pattern, not used at the time by any legitimate software, which represented an elegant heuristic to catch suspicious code. Other kinds of more advanced heuristics were added, such as suspicious section names, incorrect header size, regular expressions, partial pattern in-memory matching. In 1988, the growth of antivirus companies continued. In Germany, Tjark Auerbach released the first version of AntiVir. In Bulgaria, Dr. Vesselin Bontchev released his first freeware antivirus program. Frans Veldman released the first version of ThunderByte Antivirus known as TBAV. In Czechoslovakia, Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera started avast! (at th
Scanners Live in Vain
"Scanners Live in Vain" is a science fiction short story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality of Mankind future history. It was published in the magazine Fantasy Book in 1950, it was judged by the Science Fiction Writers of America to be one of the finest short stories prior to 1965 and was included in the anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964. A revised text, based on Linebarger's original manuscript, appears in the 1993 NESFA Press collection The Rediscovery of Man and the 2007 collection When the People Fell; the story was nominated for a Retro-Hugo award in 2001. It has been published in Hebrew, French and Dutch translations; the story is set circa A. D. 6000. Humanity has colonized planets around other stars, but interstellar travel is constrained by the mysterious "First Effect", which causes the "Great Pain of Space" and induces a death wish in humans. Passengers on interstellar voyages are stored in cold sleep, while the crew of the spaceship is composed of Habermans: convicts and other riff-raff who have undergone an operation in which the brain is severed from all sensory input except that from the eyes.
This blocks the Pain of Space but puts them somewhere between human and machine, with zombie-like behavior and disturbed psyches, dependent on constant monitoring and adjustment of their vital functions via implanted dials and regulatory instruments. The Habermans are supervised in space by Scanners; the Scanners live a horribly lonely and difficult life, punctuated by brief intervals of cranching—use of a device that temporarily restores normal neural connectivity. They compensate by maintaining a fanatically elitist confraternity, with secret rituals and body language, absolute loyalty, a demand for autonomy maintained by the threat that "No ships go" if any Scanner is wronged. No Scanner has killed another Scanner; the protagonist of the story is Scanner Martel, set apart by his marriage to a normal woman. At the start of the story he has cranched and is trying to relax at home, but is ordered to an emergency meeting of the confraternity; the leader of the Scanners, informs the meeting that one Adam Stone is about to make public a method to prevent the Pain of Space in normal people, thereby rendering Scanners obsolete.
The Scanners vote to kill Stone, only Martel in his cranched state and his friend Chang can grasp the moral and practical wrongness of this decision. When they are the only two dissenters to the murder vote, Martel tries to reach Stone before the appointed assassin and warn him. In order to enter the city where Stone lives without revealing himself to be a Scanner, Martel breaks off his specially formed fingernail, used by scanners to communicate by writing on a board attached to their chests, symbolic of the status of being a scanner. Martel succeeds in warning Stone, who reveals that he has developed a new surgery that will return Scanners to normal. At this point the assassin arrives, who turns out to be Parizianski. In a high-speed battle, Martel ends up killing Parizianski before lapsing into unconsciousness from the pain of operating in high-speed while cranched; when he awakens, he finds. At the end, Martel learns from his unsuspecting wife that people have been told that Parizianski died because he was so happy upon learning the truth from Stone that he forgot to self-monitor.
This was Linebarger's first published science-fiction story as an adult, the first appearance of the Cordwainer Smith pen name. It was written in 1945, had been rejected by a number of magazines before its acceptance and publication in Fantasy Book in 1950, it was in that obscure magazine that it was noticed by science fiction writer Frederik Pohl who, impressed with the story's powerful imagery and style, subsequently re-published it in 1952 in the more read anthology Beyond the End of Time. Pohl said that "Scanners Live in Vain" "is the chief reason why Fantasy Book is remembered". Robert Silverberg called it "one of the classic stories of science fiction" and noted its "sheer originality of concept" and its "deceptive and eerie simplicity of narrative". John J. Pierce, in his introduction to the anthology The Best of Cordwainer Smith, commented on the strong sense of religion it shares with Smith's other works, likening the Code of the Scanners to the Saying of the Law in H. G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Graham Sleight lauded Smith's depiction of Martel's cranched perspective, calling it "a story about absence", but faulted his portrayal of Martel's wife Luci, whom he describes as "just a plot device". Science fiction scholar Alan C. Elms has suggested that the story reflects Smith's own deep psychological pain, symbolized by the "Great Pain of Space" and the isolation of the
A bar code reader is an electronic device that can read and output printed barcodes to a computer. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating for optical impulses into electrical signals. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry analyzing the bar code's image data provided by the sensor and sending the barcode's content to the scanner's output port. Barcode readers can be differentiated by technologies as follows:- Pen-type readers consist of a light source and photodiode that are placed next to each other in the tip of a pen. To read a bar code, the person holding the pen must move the tip of it across the bars at a uniform speed; the photodiode measures the intensity of the light reflected back from the light source as the tip crosses each bar and space in the printed code. The photodiode generates a waveform, used to measure the widths of the bars and spaces in the bar code. Dark bars in the bar code absorb light and white spaces reflect light so that the voltage waveform generated by the photodiode is a representation of the bar and space pattern in the bar code.
This waveform is decoded by the scanner in a manner similar to the way Morse code dots and dashes are decoded. Laser scanners work the same way as pen type readers except that they use a laser beam as the light source and employ either a reciprocating mirror or a rotating prism to scan the laser beam back and forth across the bar code; as with the pen type reader, a photo-diode is used to measure the intensity of the light reflected back from the bar code. In both pen readers and laser scanners, the light emitted by the reader is varied in brightness with a data pattern and the photo-diode receive circuitry is designed to detect only signals with the same modulated pattern. CCD readers use an array of hundreds of tiny light sensors lined up in a row in the head of the reader; each sensor measures the intensity of the light in front of it. Each individual light sensor in the CCD reader is small and because there are hundreds of sensors lined up in a row, a voltage pattern identical to the pattern in a bar code is generated in the reader by sequentially measuring the voltages across each sensor in the row.
The important difference between a CCD reader and a pen or laser scanner is that the CCD reader is measuring emitted ambient light from the bar code whereas pen or laser scanners are measuring reflected light of a specific frequency originating from the scanner itself. Two-dimensional imaging scanners are a newer type of bar code reader, they use a image processing techniques to decode the bar code. Video camera readers use small video cameras with the same CCD technology as in a CCD bar code reader except that instead of having a single row of sensors, a video camera has hundreds of rows of sensors arranged in a two dimensional array so that they can generate an image. Large field-of-view readers use high resolution industrial cameras to capture multiple bar codes simultaneously. All the bar codes appearing in the photo are decoded or by use of plugins, have been realized options for resolving the given tasks. Omnidirectional scanning uses "series of straight or curved scanning lines of varying directions in the form of a starburst, a Lissajous curve, or other multiangle arrangement are projected at the symbol and one or more of them will be able to cross all of the symbol's bars and spaces, no matter what the orientation.
All of them use a laser. Unlike the simpler single-line laser scanners, they produce a pattern of beams in varying orientations allowing them to read barcodes presented to it at different angles. Most of them use a single rotating polygonal mirror and an arrangement of several fixed mirrors to generate their complex scan patterns. Omnidirectional scanners are most familiar through the horizontal scanners in supermarkets, where packages are slid over a glass or sapphire window. There are a range of different omnidirectional units available which can be used for differing scanning applications, ranging from retail type applications with the barcodes read only a few centimetres away from the scanner to industrial conveyor scanning where the unit can be a couple of metres away or more from the code. Omnidirectional scanners are better at reading poorly printed, wrinkled, or torn barcodes. While cell phone cameras without auto-focus are not ideal for reading some common barcode formats, there are 2D barcodes which are optimized for cell phones, as well as QR Codes codes and Data Matrix codes which can be read and with or without auto-focus.
Cell phone cameras open up a number of applications for consumers. For example, - Movies: DVD/VHS movie catalogs. Music: CD catalogs – play MP3 when scanned. Book catalogs and device. Groceries, nutrition information, making shopping lists when the last of an item is used, etc. Personal Property inventory code scanned into personal finance software. Scanned receipt images can be automatically associated with the appropriate entries; the barcodes can be used to weed out paper copies not required to be retained for tax or asset inventory purposes. If retailers put barcodes on receipts that allowed downloading an electronic copy or encoded the entire receipt in a 2D barcode, consumers could import data into personal finance, property inventory, grocery management software. Receipts scanned on a scanner could be automatically identified and associated with the appropriate entries in finance and property inventory software. Consumer tracki
A scanner is a radio receiver that can automatically tune, or scan, two or more discrete frequencies, stopping when it finds a signal on one of them and continuing to scan other frequencies when the initial transmission ceases. The terms radio scanner or police scanner refer to a communications receiver, intended for monitoring VHF and UHF landmobile radio systems, as opposed to, for instance, a receiver used to monitor international shortwave transmissions. More than not, these scanners can tune to different types of modulation as well. Early scanners were slow and expensive. Today, modern microprocessors have enabled scanners to store thousands of channels and monitor hundreds of channels per second. Recent models can decode APCO-P25 digital transmissions. Both hand held and desktop models are available. Scanners are used to monitor police and emergency medical services. Radio scanning serves an important role in the fields of journalism and crime investigation, as well as a hobby for many people around the world.
Scanners developed from earlier tunable and fixed-frequency radios that received one frequency at a time. Non-broadcast radio systems, such as those used by public safety agencies, do not transmit continuously. With a radio fixed on a single frequency, much time could pass between transmissions, while other frequencies might be active. A scanning radio will sequentially monitor multiple programmed channels, or search between user defined frequency limits; the scanner will stop on an active frequency strong enough to break the radio's squelch setting and resume scanning other frequencies when that activity ceases. Scanners first became popular and available during the heyday of CB radio in the 1970s; the first scanners had between four and ten channels and required the purchase of a separate crystal for each frequency received. A US patent was issued to Peter W. Pflasterer on June 1, 1976. An early 1976 US entry was the Tennelec MCP-1, sold at the January 1976 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.
Many recent models will allow scanning of the specific DCS or CTCSS code used on a specific frequency should it have multiple users. One memory bank can be assigned to air traffic control, another can be for local marine communications, yet another for local police frequencies; these can be switched off depending on the user's preference. Most scanners have a weather radio band, allowing the listener to tune into weather radio broadcasts from a NOAA transmitter; some scanners are equipped with Fire-Tone out. Fire tone out decodes Quick Call type tones and acts as a pager when the correct sequence of tones is detected. Modern scanners allow hundreds or thousands of frequencies to be entered via a keypad and stored in various'memory banks' and can scan at a rapid rate due to modern microprocessors. Active frequencies can be found by searching the internet and frequency reference books or can be discovered through a programmable scanner's search function. An external antenna for a desktop scanner or an extendable antenna for a hand held unit will provide greater performance than the original equipment antennas provided by manufacturers.
Scanners are used by hobbyists, auto race fans, aviation enthusiasts, off-duty emergency services personnel, reporters. Many scanner clubs exist to allow members to share information about frequencies and operations. Most have Internet presence, such as email lists or Web forums, it is legal to possess a scanner in Australia. It is legal to listen to any transmission, not classified as telecommunication. Owning a scanner, able to intercept the frequencies of law enforcement, is illegal and carries a jail sentence from one to five years. Art. 617 bis Civil Penal Code. It is legal to possess and operate a scanner in Japan; the radio law prohibits from disclosing or passing on information received to other persons and using the information to gain personal profit. It is illegal to listen to telephone communication and those transmitted using tapping devices. An amateur radio license is required. In New Zealand, according to the Radiocommunications Act 1989 it is legal to possess and use a scanner at any time to tune to any private voice radio provided that private information is not passed on or disclosed to any other person or party.
In the UK it is not illegal to use a scanner except in particular circumstances. For example, particular transmissions or frequencies should only be listened to with authorization an example of this being UK aviation frequencies, which in many other countries may be publicly listened to but in the UK are restricted; the legality of radio scanners in the United States varies between jurisdictions, although it is a federal crime to monitor cellular phone calls. Five US states restrict the use of a scanner in an automobile. Although scanners capable of following trunked radio systems and demodulating some digital radio systems such as APCO Project 25 are available, decryption-capable scanners would be a violation of United States law and laws of other countries. A law passed by the Congress of the United States, under the pressure from cellular telephone interests, prohibited scanners sold after a certain date from receiving frequencies allocated to the Cellular Radio Service; the law was amended to make it illegal to modify radios to receive those frequencies, to sell radios that could be modified to do so.
This law re
In modern surveying, the general meaning of laser scanning is the controlled deflection of laser beams, visible or invisible. Within the field of 3D object scanning, laser scanning combines controlled steering of laser beams with a laser rangefinder. By taking a distance measurement at every direction the scanner captures the surface shape of objects and landscapes. Construction of a full 3D model involves combining multiple surface models obtained from different viewing angles, or the admixing of other known constraints. Small objects can be placed in a technique akin to photogrammetry; this article focuses on the general meaning, i.e. on the methods and applications of scanned laser beams. Scanned laser beams are used in some 3-D printers, in rapid prototyping, in machines for material processing, in laser engraving machines, in ophthalmological laser systems for the treatment of presbyopia, in confocal microscopy, in laser printers, in laser shows, in Laser TV, in barcode scanners. Most laser scanners use moveable mirrors to steer the laser beam.
The steering of the beam can be one-dimensional, as inside a laser printer, or two-dimensional, as in a laser show system. Additionally, the mirrors can lead to a periodic motion - like the rotating mirror polygons in a barcode scanner or so-called resonant galvanometer scanners - or to a addressable motion, as in servo-controlled galvanometer scanners. One uses the terms raster scanning and vector scanning to distinguish the two situations. To control the scanning motion, scanners need a rotary encoder and control electronics that provide, for a desired angle or phase, the suitable electric current to the motor or galvanometer. A software system controls the scanning motion and, if 3D scanning is implemented the collection of the measured data. In order to position a laser beam in two dimensions, it is possible either to rotate one mirror along two axes - used for slow scanning systems - or to reflect the laser beam onto two spaced mirrors that are mounted on orthogonal axes; each of the two flat or polygonal mirrors is driven by a galvanometer or by an electric motor.
Two-dimensional systems are essential for most applications in material processing, confocal microscopy, medical science. Some applications require positioning the focus of a laser beam in three dimensions; this is achieved by a servo-controlled lens system called a'focus shifter' or'z-shifter'. Many laser scanners further allow changing the laser intensity. In laser projectors for laser TV or laser displays, the three fundamental colors - red and green - are combined in a single beam and reflected together with two mirrors; the most common way to move mirrors is, as mentioned, the use of an electric motor or of a galvanometer. However, piezoelectric actuators or magnetostrictive actuators are alternative options, they offer higher achievable angular speeds, but at the expense of smaller achievable maximum angles. There are microscanners, which are MEMS devices containing a small mirror that has controllable tilt in one or two dimensions; when two Risley prisms are rotated against each other, a beam of light can be scanned at will inside a cone.
Such scanners are used for tracking missiles. When two optical lenses are moved or rotated against each other, a laser beam can be scanned in a way similar to mirror scanners; some special laser scanners use, instead of moving mirrors, acousto-optic deflectors or electro-optic deflectors. These mechanisms allow the highest scanning frequencies possible so far, they are used, in laser TV systems. On the other hand, these systems are much more expensive than mirror scanning systems. Research is going on to achieve scanning of laser beams through phased arrays; this method is used to scan radar beams without moving parts. With the use of Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, it might be possible to realize fast laser scanners in the foreseeable future. 3D object scanning allows enhancing the design process, speeds up and reduces data collection errors, saves time and money, thus makes it an attractive alternative to traditional data collection techniques. 3D scanning is used for mobile mapping, scanning of buildings and building interiors, in archaeology.
Depending on the power of the laser, its influence on a working piece differs: lower power values are used for laser engraving and laser ablation, where material is removed by the laser. With higher powers the material becomes fluid and laser welding can be realized, or if the power is high enough to remove the material then laser cutting can be performed. Modern lasers can cut steel blocks with a thickness of 10 cm and more or ablate a layer of the cornea, only a few micrometers thick; the ability of lasers to harden liquid polymers, together with laser scanners, is used in rapid prototyping, the ability to melt polymers and metals is, with laser scanners, to produce parts by laser sintering or laser melting. The principle, used for all these applications is the same: software that runs on a PC or an embedded system and that controls the complete process is connected with a scanner card; that card converts the received vector data to movement information, sent to the scanhead. This scanhead consists of two mirrors.
The third dimension is - if necessary - realized by a specific optic, able to move the laser's focal point in the depth-direction. Scanning the laser focus in the third spatial dimension is needed for some special applications like the laser scribing of curved surfaces or for in-glass-mark
Scanners is a 1981 Canadian science-fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan. In the film, "scanners" are people with unusual telekinetic powers. ConSec, a purveyor of weaponry and security systems, searches out scanners to use them for its own purposes; the film's plot concerns the attempt by Darryl Revok, a renegade scanner, to wage a war against ConSec. Another scanner, Cameron Vale, is dispatched by ConSec to stop Revok. Private security firm ConSec plans to showcase a powerful new potential weapon: "scanners". However, when ConSec's scanner demonstrates his powers, the volunteer – Daryl Revok – turns out to be a more powerful scanner, who causes the ConSec scanner's head to explode, via hydrostatic shock from biopathically-increased blood pressure; when ConSec officials attempt to take Revok into custody, he escapes. Stung by this embarrassing experience, ConSec security head Braedon Keller advocates shutting down ConSec's scanner research program.
Program head Dr. Paul Ruth disagrees, saying the assassination and escape demonstrate scanning's potential. Ruth attributes the operation to Revok, who has his own underground network of scanners competing with ConSec's program. Ruth argues that ConSec should recruit scanners to their cause to infiltrate and bring down Revok's group. Dr. Ruth brings in scanner Cameron Vale, a homeless social outcast driven mad by his undisciplined power, injects him with ephemerol, which temporarily inhibits his scanning ability and restores his sanity; when Vale's mind is clear, Ruth asks for his help, explaining that Vale is a scanner and Revok is killing all scanners who refuse to join him. Under Ruth's guidance, Vale learns to control his scanning abilities. Unknown to Dr. Ruth, ConSec's security head, works for Revok as a spy. Revok learns of Ruth's infiltration plan, dispatches assassins to follow Vale as he visits an unaffiliated scanner named Benjamin Pierce, who may know Revok's whereabouts. Revok's assassins brutally shoot Pierce to death.
Enraged, Vale uses his telepathic power to kill some of the assassins. As Pierce dies, Vale reads from his mind a name—Kim Obrist. Vale tracks down Obrist, who has formed a telepathic alliance with a group of other scanners in opposition to Revok's group. Vale attends a meeting. Scanning an assassin, Vale learns of a drug company, which he infiltrates, he finds large quantities of ephemerol are being distributed under a computer program called "Ripe", run by Revok himself through ConSec. Vale and Obrist return to ConSec, where Ruth suggests Vale cyberpathically-scan the computer system to learn more about the Ripe program. Meanwhile, Keller kills Dr. Ruth while Vale and Obrist flee the ConSec building. Vale cyberpathically accesses the computer network through a telephone booth and pulls ephemerol shipment information; when Keller discovers this, he orders the computer system shut down. The plan backfires and the computer explodes, killing Keller and leaving Vale and Obrist unharmed, they visit a doctor on the list of ephemerol recipients, where Obrist discovers a pregnant woman's fetus has scanned her.
Vale realizes ephemerol causes fetuses to become scanners when administered to pregnant women. Obrist and Vale are abducted. Revok reveals to Vale ephemerol was developed by Dr. Ruth as a tranquilizer for pregnant women: Ruth learned about the drug's side-effect by providing it to his wife during her pregnancies; because their mother received the highest dose of ephemerol and Vale are the most powerful scanners. By mass-distributing ephemerol to unwitting doctors, who prescribe it to their pregnant patients, Revok plans to create a new generation of scanners to take over the world, which he will control. Revok asks Vale to join him; the two have a final telepathic battle against one another, Revok declaring that he'll'suck you dry' if Vale won't side with him. Instead, while Vale's body is incinerated, his mind takes over Revok's body to save himself. Obrist enters the room to find Vale's charred body on the floor, she hears Vale's voice coming from the corner of the room. In the corner is Revok, with his head scar gone and his eyes replaced with Vale's eyes.
He faces Obrist and announces in Vale's voice, "We've won." William Hope, Christopher Britton, Leon Herbert have uncredited appearances as Bicarbon Amalgamate employees. Neil Affleck has a minor role as a medical student; the film was shot on-location in Montreal and Toronto, Ontario. The lecture scene was filmed at Concordia University, the Charles J. Des Baillets Water Treatment Plant doubled as the'Bicarbon Amalgamate' compound; the "Future Electronique" building in Vaudreuil-Dorion provided the exterior of'ConSec' headquarters. The sequence of Revok hijacking a car and causing another to crash were shot on Rue de la Commune; the metro station was Yorkdale station, with additional scenes filmed in the Yorkville neighborhood. Make-up artist Dick Smith provided prosthetics for the climactic scanner duel and the iconic exploding head effect; the iconic head explosion scene was the product of trial and error settling on a plaster skull and a gelatin exterior packed with "latex scraps, some wax, just bits and bobs and a lot of stringy stuff that