A nasty road and sidewalk hazard that develops in the late fall or early spring in the cooler parts of the world. Rain falls on cold asphalt and freezes where it hits, somewhat slowly so that no air bubbles are trapped in the ice.

This ice is extremely slick, yet almost invisible. During the day, it appears on the road as a darker patch of concrete. During the night, it does not reflect your headlights, hence the name black ice. Slipping on a patch while walking is an easy way to get a concussion, or worse.

Black ice, in William Gibson's Neuromancer universe, refers to a grade of ice (from intrusion countermeasures electronics) which does physical neurological harm to the user who crosses it. It is illegal because it can easily kill a user. However, the targets which black ice would typically defend would be so esoteric and private that anyone who would happen to come about the wrong side of a program of this nature would most certainly deserve what he or she would get. Black ice would typically defend military grade targets such as weapons systems and artificial intelligences. Some console cowboys have managed to garner a reputation for themselves by being flatlined by black ice and living to tell the tale.

See also: white ice, Dixie Flatline, ice, cyberspace
Black Ice is a brilliant Firewall/Security program for Windows. It is by far the best non-professional firewall I have ever seen. Since you can purchase it for around US$40, as opposed to US$200 + for a professional firewall, Black Ice becomes both economic and effective. This program does have shortfalls, a dedicated hacker could bypass it, but such hackers would not be attacking random home users. Businesses may find a professional firewall a must, however the average home user need look no further than Black Ice. It blocks all suspicious activities, whether they be incoming or internally executed. It will popup with a box warning you of a potentially dangerous action, and give you the choice of terminating the action or continuing with it. It also traces IP Adresseses and will auto-block them when they attack. It also has varying degrees of protection: Trusting, Cautious, Nervous and Paranoid. All in all, a great program for a great price. Need a firewall, this is the program for you.

Note: This program is compatible with Windows XP (after an upgrade to version 3.5), even though it warns you of incompatability.

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