IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Are AutoSofts platform independent?
SirPentor
post May 31 2007, 04:36 PM
Post #1


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 1-December 05
Member No.: 8,031



Pilot programs are platform-specific--they must be written for a particular device. What about AutoSofts?

I can see two arguments along the lines of "realism":
1) If the pilot program is properly designed and implemented, it provides an abstraction layer of the hardware that allows us to write a single ClearSight AutoSoft that will run on any device with a Pilot program.
2) The devices are so different that the AutoSoft programs would have sufficiently different needs that one would need to be written for each device.

I don't see a specific rule about this, and I don't have personally have a good handle on which is better for "balance".

I talked with GM about it and he's going with argument 2 (meaning that you need a different AutoSoft for every device). Naturally that's fine with me but we both wanted more input about it--what do you guys think?

Thanks:)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Moon-Hawk
post May 31 2007, 04:54 PM
Post #2


Genuine Artificial Intelligence
********

Group: Members
Posts: 4,019
Joined: 12-June 03
Member No.: 4,715



QUOTE (SirPentor)
Pilot programs are platform-specific--they must be written for a particular device.

People are going to argue this.

Some autosofts (like targeting) specifically state that they are weapon specific. Therefore, it would be logical to assume that the others are not specific.

That said, autosofts are analgous to skills. If we were dealing with a simple, streamlined system, then autosofts would be distinct by skill. Or at least by specialization. Something that maps 1:1 to some aspect of skills. But alas.

Good luck.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Backgammon
post May 31 2007, 05:10 PM
Post #3


Ain Soph Aur
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 3,477
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Montreal, Canada
Member No.: 600



QUOTE (SirPentor)
Pilot programs are platform-specific--they must be written for a particular device.

Not according to the rules, they're not.

If you want to rule that though, makes sense, so it's up to you.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirPentor
post May 31 2007, 05:19 PM
Post #4


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 1-December 05
Member No.: 8,031



Wow, I was *positive* I had seen that pilot was device-specific but I sure can't find that rule now. Damn crack-smoking.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirPentor
post May 31 2007, 05:22 PM
Post #5


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 20
Joined: 1-December 05
Member No.: 8,031



QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
Some autosofts (like targeting) specifically state that they are weapon specific. Therefore, it would be logical to assume that the others are not specific.

Right, they are clearly weapon-specific, but are they drone-specific? So if I wrote a Targeting (LMG) AutoSoft, would it work on both my Doberman and my Van?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Moon-Hawk
post May 31 2007, 05:34 PM
Post #6


Genuine Artificial Intelligence
********

Group: Members
Posts: 4,019
Joined: 12-June 03
Member No.: 4,715



QUOTE (SirPentor)
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk @ May 31 2007, 11:54 AM)
Some autosofts (like targeting) specifically state that they are weapon specific.  Therefore, it would be logical to assume that the others are not specific.

Right, they are clearly weapon-specific, but are they drone-specific? So if I wrote a Targeting (LMG) AutoSoft, would it work on both my Doberman and my Van?

By the rules, yes, it would work on both the doberman and the van. They are not drone specific.
Although, that raises the question of what does "weapon" mean, for targeting autosofts. Do you write Targeting (LMG) or Targeting (Ingram White Knight)?

I think pilots and autosofts are one of the more commonly house ruled things, a lot of people change them to make "more sense." However you handle it, none of the options will have a very dramatic effect on balance or anything, just make sure everyone's on the same page.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sterling
post May 31 2007, 06:22 PM
Post #7


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 192
Joined: 13-July 06
From: Long Beach Sacrifice Zone
Member No.: 8,885



Yeah, I ran into this over the holiday weekend, when two of my players asked me if they could share programs. I blinked, and then realized there's almost nothing to stop players from making copies of programs.

Thinking about it now, my rule (going forward) is that there's some sort of copy protection, as that makes sense. To crack it, that'd require:

1a) An observation test to analyze the program.

2a) See databomb idea below. Defuse it!

OR

2b) Spoof the copy protection. It's possible that exploit would be a better program, and I invite debate on this topic.

3) Decrypt! It makes sense they'd keep the file encrypted, and since decrypting is all done via commlink and the decrypt program, it's pretty simple.

4) Copy! Computer+edit. You're done! I'd make the roll for them, and note if a glitch (slightly annoying/erratic behavior) or critical glitch (insert evil GM laughter here) is rolled.

Alternatively, and possibly a better idea, is to have all important (your discretion as to which programs qualify, but I'd almost demand the defuse program have one) programs/autosofts equipped with a 'do not make unauthorized copies' databomb. This would really discourage illegal file sharing. Again an observation test to detect the databomb first, then hacking+defuse versus the program's rating x2. I suggest the data bomb be the same rating of the program because clearsight autosofts at level 1 to 2 won't unbalance your game. But if every member of your team is sharing rating 3+ programs and autosofts, then by all means sneak in a rating 6+ databomb. I'd also let the players discover the results of just copying and running an illegal program all on their own. A 2000 nuyen drone frying* over an illegal copy of 'LMG targeting (rating 5)' is a risk you take, chummer. 2500 nuyen for that legal copy doesn't seem so steep now, huh?

And if you're really feeling evil, unless they do a little more work, there's probably the issue of the identical software licenses for each program, so duplicates would be pretty simple to spot. Once an illegal program is detected, feel free to dock them with a fine.

*Okay, at 5 boxes it's not going to really fry the drone, but it won't be crescent fresh either.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Moon-Hawk
post May 31 2007, 06:31 PM
Post #8


Genuine Artificial Intelligence
********

Group: Members
Posts: 4,019
Joined: 12-June 03
Member No.: 4,715



QUOTE (Sterling @ May 31 2007, 01:22 PM)
Thinking about it now, my rule (going forward) is that there's some sort of copy protection, as that makes sense. To crack it, that'd require:

I feel obligated to point out that this isn't a house-rule that covers an obvious gap in the rules, rather this is a house-rule that replaces the very clear rules for Source Code and Piracy found on page 228 of the core book.
Someone reading that post might've accidentally gotten the impression that the rules didn't already cover this.
Carry on. :D

edit: Oh, and just to chime in, for the "gamemaster's discretion" threshold on the Software+Logic Test, I go with 8+2xRating. The result is still between 10 and 20 as they suggest, and I may well deviate from my rule-of-thumb, but it's a good way of covering most cases consistently and fairly.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cheops
post May 31 2007, 08:33 PM
Post #9


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,512
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 392



QUOTE (Sterling)
Alternatively, and possibly a better idea, is to have all important (your discretion as to which programs qualify, but I'd almost demand the defuse program have one) programs/autosofts equipped with a 'do not make unauthorized copies' databomb. This would really discourage illegal file sharing. Again an observation test to detect the databomb first, then hacking+defuse versus the program's rating x2. I suggest the data bomb be the same rating of the program because clearsight autosofts at level 1 to 2 won't unbalance your game. But if every member of your team is sharing rating 3+ programs and autosofts, then by all means sneak in a rating 6+ databomb. I'd also let the players discover the results of just copying and running an illegal program all on their own. A 2000 nuyen drone frying* over an illegal copy of 'LMG targeting (rating 5)' is a risk you take, chummer. 2500 nuyen for that legal copy doesn't seem so steep now, huh?

And if you're really feeling evil, unless they do a little more work, there's probably the issue of the identical software licenses for each program, so duplicates would be pretty simple to spot. Once an illegal program is detected, feel free to dock them with a fine.

*Okay, at 5 boxes it's not going to really fry the drone, but it won't be crescent fresh either.

Everything else you said makes sense except for this. Governments that respect person and property aren't going to allow you to put databombs on commercially available goods because that might cause damage to the person or the property. It's fine as a defensive measure on your secure nodes but not for distribution to the public.

There's also the issue that people could theoretically figure out how your databomb program works and make copies of THAT, in which case you are now potentially distributing restricted programs.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Backgammon
post May 31 2007, 08:39 PM
Post #10


Ain Soph Aur
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 3,477
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Montreal, Canada
Member No.: 600



QUOTE (Cheops)
Governments that respect person and property aren't going to allow you

Hah.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
OneTrikPony
post May 31 2007, 10:16 PM
Post #11


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 500
Joined: 4-September 06
From: Salt Lake UT
Member No.: 9,299



IIRC, back in the old days a databomb used to destroy the file it was attaced to and didn't attack the persona of the hacker who triggered it. I think it should work either way.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dewar
post May 31 2007, 10:45 PM
Post #12


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 36
Joined: 22-May 06
From: Bellevue, WA
Member No.: 8,590



QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
QUOTE (Sterling @ May 31 2007, 01:22 PM)
Thinking about it now, my rule (going forward) is that there's some sort of copy protection, as that makes sense. To crack it, that'd require:

I feel obligated to point out that this isn't a house-rule that covers an obvious gap in the rules, rather this is a house-rule that replaces the very clear rules for Source Code and Piracy found on page 228 of the core book.
Someone reading that post might've accidentally gotten the impression that the rules didn't already cover this.
Carry on. :D

edit: Oh, and just to chime in, for the "gamemaster's discretion" threshold on the Software+Logic Test, I go with 8+2xRating. The result is still between 10 and 20 as they suggest, and I may well deviate from my rule-of-thumb, but it's a good way of covering most cases consistently and fairly.

But with that rule, there isn't much preventing the hacker from breaking the copy protection, only time. There's no real risk of failure or losing the original program. Perhaps a databomb is too extreme, but there should be a way to screw up and lose the program.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sterling
post Jun 1 2007, 07:05 PM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 192
Joined: 13-July 06
From: Long Beach Sacrifice Zone
Member No.: 8,885



QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
I feel obligated to point out that this isn't a house-rule that covers an obvious gap in the rules, rather this is a house-rule that replaces the very clear rules for Source Code and Piracy found on page 228 of the core book.
Someone reading that post might've accidentally gotten the impression that the rules didn't already cover this.
Carry on. :D

Well, now I feel silly. But I do think the whole 'piracy is the rule rather than the exception' doesn't sit well with me due to game balance, lack of drive to innovate due to lost profits, etc. If you bust your hoop to code the next big thing (in terms of software) as a wageslave you don't care if it gets pirated, you're getting paid regardless and piracy (along with marketing, promotion, etc) is a higher-up's headache. But the up-and-coming codemonkeys, the mavericks who want to try new things are going to get really discouraged when they can't make enough money to eat when everyone's pirated the hell out of their nextbigthing™.

As far as the other concerns raised in the thread:

The databomb wouldn't necessarily hurt the hacker in question, my main thought was you could just copy any program you wanted, but when it ran on the intended hardware (your commlink, a drone, whatever) THEN the databomb goes off (Am I a legal copy? What? I'm not a legal copy! Oh no!! Goodbye cruel world!! BAM!!). As for the 'responsibility' of the corp in question.. well, first off how would the characters know it was a databomb? And second, then you have the whole fun scenario where people try to return hardware and the retailer finds out it's a software issue and then points them in the direction of the software company. But the customer can't call them for support; the software was pirated. You can usually tell when this has happened, the people keep trying to claim it's a hardware issue.

But there's really no legal standing (IANAL) for damages when you illegally copied software that then in turn caused the damage. And in 2070 the corporations are above the law so yeah, I can easily see them with an entire division of R&D techs trying to make a bigger and better databomb.

Currently the law (or the EULA, or something) forbids reverse engineering existing programs to get at certain blocks of code; I can't imagine how restrictive they'd be in 2070.

Again, though, these are merely my opinions. I welcome your comments if you disagree. I'm not going to show up at your house next session and demand you do things my way, after all.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 30th May 2024 - 06:35 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.