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> Unwired Questions, Now with Merge-y Goodness
Muspellsheimr
post Jun 22 2008, 04:42 AM
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Post questions regarding unclear effects from Unwired here, to keep it all in one place. Hopefully a dev will drop in soon to give us some clarifications. I will be posting additional questions of my own as they arise.

To begin, the Swap echo - does it's effects apply to the total threading penalty, or to each threaded form separately?
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LabRat
post Jun 22 2008, 06:27 AM
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To Total, otherwise it would be too powerful, IMHO
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knasser
post Jun 22 2008, 04:19 PM
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I had a couple of questions based on my initial reading, and I imagine other people will have questions soon too, so I thought I might as well start the party with the traditional Questions thread that always appears. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Two things immediately interested me and I quickly dug them out - what constitutes a node and how do agents / IC move around.

Dealing with the first one:

In the core book, it is said that nodes can represent networks. I've made extensive use of this principle in handling an office full of terminals, a pack of patrolling drones, etc as a single node. This does not appear to be possible anymore under the definitions given on page 55. The implication now is that each physical device is a node of some kind. Is this correct and the "network as a node" idea is gone? That seems like a big step back to me as it gets away from the distributed, location-independent model that fits with the way real world computing seems to be heading.

Dealing with the second one:

QUOTE (Unwired @ pg. 110)
node Movement and accounts
For an agent to operate independently of its
controlling persona, it must be loaded into a node
the persona has access to. The agent logs into an ac-
count like any Matrix user (either using passcodes or
exploits) and has whatever privileges that account
applies. The agent’s software is actually running on
this node (not on the persona’s node any more), and
so counts towards the node’s processor limit (p. 48).
Likewise, any other programs the agent is carrying
in its payload must also be running, and so also
count towards the processor limit.
Like any Matrix user, the agent can access multiple
nodes at once. Other nodes must be accessed with pass-
codes or hacked, per normal rules. The agent remains
loaded on only one node, however—though it interacts
with other nodes, it does not need to be copied and
loaded on them. (In fact, legal unmodified agents are
incapable of copying themselves in this manner.
The agent may move to another node, which
constitutes loading itself onto the new node and
unloading itself and logging off from the old one.
Rather than moving, an agent with the Replicate
autosoft and without copy protection may copy itself
onto another node it has accessed, spawning a new
version of the agent (note that sprites, AIs, and e-
ghosts, as “living? digital entities, are incapable of
copying themselves this way). Legal and unmodified
agents are not capable of copying themselves due to
copy protection (moving to another node does not
count as copying because the agent is erased from the
previous node as part of the moving procedure).


That an agent can "access" multiple nodes is a little ambiguous. I am taking the above to mean the following scenarios are true. Is this correct?

An agent is loaded onto Node A and can then travel, just like a hacker's persona that is running on a commlink, from Node A, to Node B to Node C, whilst all the time still running (with consequent affect on Response, etc) on Node A. So an agent can be visible in Node C, engage in cybercombat there, etc, but is running on Node A.

If the above is true for agents, then is there any reason why IC (which I understand to be a form of agent) cannot do the same - running from one Node but travelling through the system without impacting on the response of the nodes that it visits?
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Earlydawn
post Jun 22 2008, 06:01 PM
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I have to load programs before I use them, this I understand. However, are they loaded on my home node, or technically on my persona. If someone wants to crash my program, can they execute it directly against my persona or would they have to head back to my home node? Finally, if I want to "front-load" my arsenal on the node I'm working on, what kind of hacking do I have to do beforehand?
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Dashifen
post Jun 22 2008, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (Earlydawn @ Jun 22 2008, 01:01 PM) *
I have to load programs before I use them, this I understand. However, are they loaded on my home node, or technically on my persona. If someone wants to crash my program, can they execute it directly against my persona or would they have to head back to my home node? Finally, if I want to "front-load" my arsenal on the node I'm working on, what kind of hacking do I have to do beforehand?


Persona don't provide processing power to programs, they're merely the interface to the operating system of a device (p. 51, Unwired). However, you can load programs into any node for which you'd have the appropriate access. Obviously, your home node is perhaps the easiest option here. However, I could see a second 'link being used, slaved to your main 'link, that runs extra programs so that the response of your main 'link isn't negatively impacted.

To crash a program (or an OS, for that matter) you've got to be able to access the node on which that program is being run. This probably requires hacking it in some way, though if you have physical access to the controls of the node or if you've socially engineering your way into controlling it, you may not have to. Once you've accessed a node, a Matrix Perception test can tell you what programs it's running and then a Crash Program/OS action could be performed.

To front-load an arsenal of programs onto a target node, you'd need an account with access rights to run programs on the node, which may not be user level access in all situations. Be aware that, if you're not loading the programs onto a nexus, then the target's matrix attributes might be degraded which could clue people into your impending attack. Also, I personally don't allow willy-nilly copying of programs in my game and if the hacker hasn't already cracked the program he/she wants to off-load, they won't have access to that program if they stop subscribing to the node onto which they off loaded it. Granted, cracking the software is trivial, and it's possible that reading past page 65 (my current progress) in Unwired will convince me otherwise.

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hermit
post Jun 22 2008, 07:46 PM
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Neat idea. Just implant yourself a powerful link, slave it to your main link, and turn wireless off on that link (linking it to the main link via datacable, or having the main link implanted too). Actually, (ab)using commlink customisation, you could just use an implant link for one primary program which it's optimised for (for one bonus dice), and the rest of the space for a beefed-up mook. okay, burns some 1 essence for 5 links catering to a special program, but also gives you a bunch of mooks (which you can outfit to aid you in combat, for instance) and lots of free space to run other stuff on your main link, if you want to.

I recommend your main link having simsense aceleration, an optimisatkion for your favourite program, and custom interface. also, a bulvark link you route your traffic through and keep thoroughly iced also makes a lot of sense.

Yes, that's a bit massive, especially since you can pimp your programs a bit for even more dice now. Well, looks like the TM finally sees some balancingm though i'm sire paragorns and sprite pacts will give them more ways to insane power too.
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Aaron
post Jun 22 2008, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ Jun 22 2008, 10:19 AM) *
In the core book, it is said that nodes can represent networks. I've made extensive use of this principle in handling an office full of terminals, a pack of patrolling drones, etc as a single node. This does not appear to be possible anymore under the definitions given on page 55. The implication now is that each physical device is a node of some kind. Is this correct and the "network as a node" idea is gone? That seems like a big step back to me as it gets away from the distributed, location-independent model that fits with the way real world computing seems to be heading.

I believe you can find the answer to this question under Abstract Matrix Runs, p. 79, Unwired.
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Cthulhudreams
post Jun 23 2008, 01:01 AM
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Wait, I don;t have unwired yet, so this may be total speculation, but agents can still log into a new mode and spawn copies of themselves?

STILL?!?!

Okay it appears there is a new hoop to jump through (I have to have a replicate autosoft and hack the agent), but wtf?!?! I thought they were going to fix agent smith.
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jklst14
post Jun 23 2008, 02:20 AM
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The Unwired solution to Agent Smith is as follows: Each agent has an Access ID embedded in it's code. Every copy of that agent has the exact same Access ID. Only one copy of each Access ID is allowed on a given Node. So if one copy of an Agent is already on a Node, a second copy (with the same Access ID) cannot load onto the Node. This even prevents the copy of the Agent from Hacking it's way onto the Node.

As for changing an Agent's Access ID, it's a programming test and the interval is long (a week, I think).
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Cthulhudreams
post Jun 23 2008, 06:13 AM
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Can I get some more clarification

A) Can they just spoof their access idea?

B) Whats all that stuff about replication and spawning above then?
\
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FrankTrollman
post Jun 23 2008, 06:22 AM
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Even better: post questions to the thread with the same name that has already been started: Here.

And while we're at it, can we get a mod to merge or delete this thread?

-Frank
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Muspellsheimr
post Jun 23 2008, 06:26 AM
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Merging the threads would be apreciated. But for the record, I would like to point out I started this thread nearly 12 hours before Knasser opened his.
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knasser
post Jun 23 2008, 06:49 AM
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QUOTE (jklst14 @ Jun 23 2008, 03:20 AM) *
As for changing an Agent's Access ID, it's a programming test and the interval is long (a week, I think).


Must use the same configuration interface as Open Office... Eight days later: "Oh, there's the setting."

QUOTE (Aaron)
I believe you can find the answer to this question under Abstract Matrix Runs, p. 79, Unwired.


Hmmm. It's not quite an answer. That's a way of abstracting a bunch of nodes when you don't want to have to detail a Matrix run. What I'm on about is that in the core SR4 book it says that a node may represent a network of computers. I've used that to literally mean that an office full of terminals together comprise and act as a single node. Clustering sort of does this, but still makes each component an individual node as well. One of the things I thought was very prescient in the core SR4 rules was the implication that physical location and hardware was now way down in the basement of the Matrix conceptual model and that a node was a much more virtual entity. Now we seem to have back-slid to a node being a specific piece of hardware.
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weblife
post Jun 23 2008, 08:13 AM
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A large Node has to be several devices linked together, otherwise you can only ever have 6 people log onto a major matrix site, that would make no sense.

Well I suppose I should go download it. Hmm.
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hobgoblin
post Jun 23 2008, 08:31 AM
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nexi anyone? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Synner
post Jun 23 2008, 08:40 AM
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QUOTE (knasser @ Jun 23 2008, 07:49 AM) *
Must use the same configuration interface as Open Office... Eight days later: "Oh, there's the setting."

Actually option that didn't make the cut, and some people may find more flexible, is to make the interval from patching software Tests equal to the rating of program being patched in days, rather than a default 1 week.
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Aaron
post Jun 23 2008, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE (knasser @ Jun 23 2008, 12:49 AM) *
Hmmm. It's not quite an answer. That's a way of abstracting a bunch of nodes when you don't want to have to detail a Matrix run. What I'm on about is that in the core SR4 book it says that a node may represent a network of computers. I've used that to literally mean that an office full of terminals together comprise and act as a single node. Clustering sort of does this, but still makes each component an individual node as well. One of the things I thought was very prescient in the core SR4 rules was the implication that physical location and hardware was now way down in the basement of the Matrix conceptual model and that a node was a much more virtual entity. Now we seem to have back-slid to a node being a specific piece of hardware.

I thought the subtext of the side (middle?) bar was that a node is whatever size you want it to be. If you want a node that's an office full of terminals, knock yourself out. I mean, SR4 calls PANs a single node, so it makes sense to apply that logic to other sets of devices, too.
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Dashifen
post Jun 23 2008, 01:18 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jun 23 2008, 12:26 AM) *
Merging the threads would be apreciated. But for the record, I would like to point out I started this thread nearly 12 hours before Knasser opened his.


As requested, the posts have been merged. This sorts the two threads chronologically.
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Dashifen
post Jun 23 2008, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (weblife @ Jun 23 2008, 02:13 AM) *
A large Node has to be several devices linked together, otherwise you can only ever have 6 people log onto a major matrix site, that would make no sense.


This is covered by Nexi. They're specialized nodes that have a process limit (a term introduced in Unwired) greater than their matrix attributes. This limit determines the rate of response degredation, so nexus's node will degrade far slower than a commlink's, for example. In the book, they indicate that nexi are used for a variety of things, e.g., public libraries, corporate networks, etc. Essentially, commlinks : laptops :: nexi : servers.

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weblife
post Jun 23 2008, 01:30 PM
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Well, as soon as you have 2 commlinks then you have a Nexi.

A room full of workstations would not be a Node, it would be a Nexi, or else you could only work, and haltingly, on 6 of them at a time.

I'm sorry, but in my head it pretty much invalidates means the word "Nexi" replaces "Node" in all the circumstances I would have used "Node" previously.

Now Node is not something big, its simply any point from where you can run a set of programs on a single processor.

And Node is not a small word. Node is something important in the network, its where things are gathering and connecting, and now its the smallest network unit there is.

Yea, I'm just being obnoxious, but it sounds weird, dunnit?
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Ryu
post Jun 23 2008, 06:14 PM
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All devices in the room can be slaved to one central device. The network node of the central device is set up with controlling functions for the slaved devices. This device is the only relevant network node, unless the hacker wants to spoof a specific device (requiring matrix perception on the central device to get the controlling ID).
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Dashifen
post Jun 23 2008, 06:50 PM
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A nexus isn't a group of nodes, though. It's a specific piece of hardware, like a commlink, that can create a node. However, unlike a commlink, it has a process limit which is greater than it's System attribute. Only when there are enough programs running on the node of the nexus equal to it's process limit (minimum 10, maximum 50) does its response degrade. Does that help you understand it better?
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hobgoblin
post Jun 23 2008, 07:01 PM
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while not having read the pdf, so i dont know its description of a nexi. i would say that similar to how supercomputers today are built using massive numbers of "desktop" computers, a nexi can be a cluster of "desktop" hardware.
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Dashifen
post Jun 23 2008, 08:06 PM
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Not exactly. A nexus is one piece of hardware, most like a mainframe than a supercomputer. There are rules for clusters, too, but they're primarily to abstract a group of nodes produced by devices like your kitchen appliances -- specifically referred to in Unwired as Peripheral Nodes -- as a single node for convenience and to limit the number of subscriptions you need in order to make dinner, for example.
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WeaverMount
post Jun 23 2008, 11:26 PM
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Ok do I haven't read Unwired yet, but are there now rules that allow for people get around the crazy low subscription limit and play 8 on 8 games of miracle shooter or host a chat room with more than 12 people in it?
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