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> Making Decking Realistic in 2050: Criticisms & Input Requested
Xasten
post Apr 1 2016, 08:00 PM
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Long time 2nd edition player & GM here. After a few years hiatus, I'm about to run my D&D group, who have never played shadowrun, through a campaign.

One of the things I always do in my games is give my players a packet before a campaign that explains the setting, house rules, etc. As a GM, I am all about internally consistent settings that make sense within themselves. As much as I love pink mohawk decking, it's not the least bit realistic compared to how computers actually work, so I've written the following in a desperate attempt to shoehorn in justifications for how decking works to make at at least somewhat realistic.

I'm still writing this, so the formatting is off, and yes, I know FastJack may not talk that way, so I haven't fully edited all the flavor from him in. Please tear this apart and tell me why this doesn't work. I want my writing to be as strong as possible when I hand this to my new players. I put this up on the SR subreddit, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to look for more input here.

Thanks!

DECKERS

Electron-Jockeys. Cyber-Commandos. Console-Cowboys. Deckers. In 2050, data is the new currency, and deckers can steal, modify, and create it in spades. A good decker will keep you alive by keeping you out of trouble and in the know.

>>>>[A good decker keeps you informed, a great decker will stay up until 3 in the morning keeping your friends alive with sage advice.]<<<<
—FastJack [02:44:07 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


Decking is wildly different, yet surprisingly similar, to the old school computer hacking of the 20th century. Plus ça change, neh? Most people had envisioned that computers would be mind-bogglingly powerful by this time, and they were right in some ways. But the Crash of ’29 was a huge set back. Moore’s Law finally gave out when silicon chips began pushing close to the theoretical limit for architecture density in the 2020’s, and the loss of physical and intellectual capital from VITAS, the Awakening, and the breakup of the good old U.S. of A. were huge setbacks that took the tech industry a long time to get around. While computers today are a hybrid of silicon and optical systems, they’re still not quite where people had hoped they’d be.

So, what is decking? Well, it’s complicated, but not really. Decking is the art of using a cyberdeck to gain unauthorized access into a system. Easy, so ka? Well then, what is a cyberdeck? A deck is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment that allows the human mind to interface directly with a hostile system and issue commands. But you ask, “What’s so special about the brain, and why do we care when computers are faster and stronger?” Even hear that bulldrek about only using 10% of your brain? Completely untrue. We use the whole damn thing all the time, but there is a small nugget that’s close to reality in there.

In the mid 2020’s someone asked how organic brains work to produce sentience. You see, while computers are stronger and faster than the brain, we still can’t make a truly sentient A.I. no matter how hard we try. So, someone thought that maybe, just maybe, brains are special in ways that silicon couldn’t be. Subsequent testing involving a hell of a lot of smart people revealed that the brain uses a limited, but powerful, form of quantum computing. The cyberdeck disengages certain portions of the brain to free up processing power, and that power is then used to essentially brute force commands into a hostile system to bend it to the decker’s will.

>>>>[Don’t ask about A.I., kids. Just don’t. All you need to know is that no one’s ever proven it’s possible, and those who try often end up ghosted.]<<<<
—FastJack [02:48:97 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


So, how is decking similar to old school hacking? The basic premise of any security system is to have a complicated password that takes too much time and effort to guess.

>>>>[Well, that and not writing the passwords on sticky notes. The biggest vulnerability is still people.]<<<<
—FastJack [02:49:85 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


Back in the day, a well-run system was essentially hack-proof. SysOps would encrypt sensitive data using 256 bit (or higher) encryption and brute forcing the passwords would take billions of years. Pretty secure. The only problem is that these encryption schemes made a critical assumption about mathematics that may not be true. When this vulnerability was discovered, it meant that most, if not all, encryption had secret backdoors that could be unlocked. For a normal computer, this still meant an unreasonable amount of brute force was needed meaning that the target system was still relatively secure. However, when the quantum computational abilities of the mind were thrown in the mix, a well-trained brain could melt most security like butter. Although, some encryption is still really nasty. Many Shadowruns are done simply to get encryption keys as even the most gifted deckers can’t defeat some forms of security.

>>>>[To expand on this for the curious, most encryption relies on the theory that P=!NP. P is all possible “problems” and NP is all possible “easy-to-solve problems.” If P is not equal to NP it means that some encryption is nearly unbeatable as some problems cannot be solved “easily”. Easy, in our case, meaning that you can solve it intelligently with only a few clock cycles of a computer (relatively speaking). If P IS equal to NP it means that all problems that “look” hard actually have an “easy” solution that you just need to find.

To this day P=!NP is still up in the air. Personally, I think that it’s true, but mathematicians have discovered enough vulnerabilities (called side channel hacks) in supposedly unbeatable encryption that it really has made everyone stop and question their assumptions. While P may still not equal NP, these days it’s a hell of a lot closer to equaling NP than it used to be, and that means job opportunities for you.<<<<
—FastJack [02:56:22 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


However, quantum computing isn’t the “be all end all” solution to security. Quantum computing only allows a lot of “possibilities” to be tried simultaneously when defeating encryption. At its heart, it’s still just a bunch of blind guessing. There’s something else that makes decking possible. Something no machine can match: intuition.

Decks repurpose significant portions of the brain while jacked in, and an experienced decker can literally feel their way around the matrix using this sensory input. They can taste paydata and smell hostile IC. They can see the Matrix and hear the tumblers of the electronic locks fall into place. A good decker can literally feel encryption giving away under pressure. This is a poorly understood phenomenon, but an important one none the less. This is one reason why nearly all decks use “reality filters.” A reality filter colors how a decker perceives the matrix and the context in which they process the sensory input. By making the cyberspace environment more familiar to the decker, their brain is more at ease and can more easily focus its intuition. It’s the difference between reading a newspaper in your study versus reading it upside down while skydiving. It’s also why the matrix always has an animated tinge to it and is rarely photorealistic: it keeps the decker from forgetting where he is.

>>>>[A good friend of mine uses hell for the basis of his filter. For him, even opening simple files feels like the flesh is burning off his hands. He’s Catholic.]<<<<
—FastJack [03:00:05 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


Again, it’s not well understood how and why biological minds are so good at otherwise impossible calculations, but one theory is that biological systems are simply of a radically different architecture much like a CPU versus a GPU. Some functions are just more efficient with the right setup.

CYBERDECKS

Much like old school computers back in the early 20th century, the original cyberterminals took up entire buildings. By 2045 incremental breakthroughs regarding optical computers reduced the cyberterminal to the size of a small desk. While it couldn’t be easily transported, it was now something that people could obtain (legitimately, or otherwise) for themselves. However, the most secure systems were kept off the matrix, so most hacks couldn’t be done remotely keeping things somewhat balanced. This all changed in 2049 when the 7th generation cyberdeck was produced. Now the size of a keyboard, the 7th generation deck could be easily transported on site and even offline systems suddenly became vulnerable to shadowrunning deckers.

>>>>[The 7th generation decks are due to hit in quarter 1 of 2050, but if you’re savvy enough you might be able to rustle up one a bit earlier than that…]<<<<
—FastJack [03:01:15 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


Cyberdecks have all the functionality of a standard computer, but most shadowrunners disable unnecessary functions. Aside from the obvious issue of your wireless connection giving your position away, extra functions take away clock cycles, and deckers are notorious for squeezing every bit of performance possible out of their deck. Decks tend to look like slightly oversized keyboards with a few large buttons on the front. The buttons might seem antiquated, but you’ll be happy to have them when you need them. The buttons are mostly analog on/off switches for certain functions within the deck. So, if hostile IC is eating your deck’s circuits alive, you can hit the power button and save the chips without turning your deck off completely. Neat, huh?

The original cyberterminals required massive spools of optical cables, and early deckers needed dozens of datajacks scattered around their skull. It was unsightly to say the least. Improvements have reduced this to a single bundle of optical cables connecting to a jack near the temple of the decker’s skull. Wireless decking is possible, in theory, but “operations” involving hostile systems are so data intensive that wireless connections simply cannot function on a practical level. Obvious transmission issues aside (triangulated positions, lag, data loss, etc.), wireless transmission simply doesn’t have the bandwidth capable for intense decking operations. Hostile IC can sometimes dump a petabyte of data into a decker’s brain, and any “traffic jams” in the bandwidth pipe between the user, the deck, and the system is disastrous for the decker. Fiber optics are the only way to reliably run the Matrix.

>>>>[However, if you’re truly concerned about essence loss and don’t want a data jack, you can use a simsense trode network to deck. However, it will be much slower, and you’ll be booted frequently. On the plus side, you’re immune to Black IC. I have a mage friend that decks using one.]<<<<
—FastJack [03:22:46 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


While hacking and IC programs are data intensive, standard file storage is, for the average user, functionally unlimited. The average deck carries many petabytes of storage for standard programs, so save all the pictures and cat videos you like. However, because higher level decking and IC operations are so computationally and memory intensive, a new metric of storage and processing power had to be coined. Because these advanced operations use quantum and optical computing, the term “megapulse” was created. Megapulses measure both data and computational power.

INTRUSION COUNTERMEASURES (IC)

IC (pronounced “Ice”) is a type of program specially created to prevent hostile deckers from getting where they shouldn’t. IC is different from your normal software; IC is run using optical processors whose architecture mimics biological neural networks. Most programs take a pitifully small amount of processing power to run. Playing videos and building spreadsheets is a pretty simple task in 2050. IC is a different animal. It eats clock cycles like a ravenous beast, and it’ll eat you too if you’re not careful. Thankfully, dedicated IC is expensive and it slows down the host system when active, so it generally stays in passive mode unless its security protocols are triggered.

There’s a lot of different IC out there, but there are three main types: The kind that boots you off the ‘trix, the kind that fries your deck (permanently, sometimes), and the black stuff. Stay away from Black IC; it can induce biofeedback inside a decker’s brain. Strokes and aneurysms are the least of your worries if Black IC gets inside your skull.

>>>>[A lot of people wonder why there aren’t any complete protections against Black IC. Well, it’s like this: decking puts your brain smack in the middle of a conflict with a hostile system. You’re pouring data in and out of the most sensitive parts of your brain. Parts that weren’t design to interface directly with a machine, much less a machine that’s trying to kill you. It’s only natural that something’s bound to get broken if you let a bull through the open door of your china shop.]<<<<
—FastJack [03:32:00 (UTC) January 1, 2050]


There’s also a few varieties that can do interesting things like find your physical location. “How?” you might ask, when you’re hidden behind 23 proxies and a pirate connection? It all comes back to your brain and deck and that revolving door of data. When tracer IC gets inside your deck, or your skull, it literally hijacks your location functions. If you’re dumb enough to not disable your deck’s GPS function, you deserve what hits you. Even so, tracer IC can sometimes cause your deck to ping specific connections and before you know it, your location is “triangulated” (in a sense) and heat is bearing down on your meat bod faster than you can jackout and slink off.

PAYDATA, ENCRYPTION KEYS, & OFFLINE HACKING


As mentioned, a lot of encryption can be defeated in real time by a decker inside a system. However, this is often because a system has to balance security with ease of accessibility for authorized users. It’s the vulnerabilities in these tradeoffs that deckers generally exploit. Sometimes you will come across a file or system whose encryption is so heavy or novel that you just can’t crack it. This is where encryption keys come into play. Some corps don’t even guard sensitive data. They guard the keys to the box its locked in. If you’re ever in a tight spot, don’t toss the file, consider finding the keys to it.

As if standard encryption wasn’t bad enough, some files are stored on active processors who are constantly encoding and recoding the data in a pattern so random and unknowable it would give Heisenberg fits. Even if you manage to download the file, it has to stay in your deck’s active memory, and its constantly shifting nature means that you can’t usefully clone or transfer the file without destroying the active copy. But wait, it gets better. Sometimes these files are equipped with a scrambler so that if you botch your attempt to pick the lock the file is dumped from your active memory and you’ve got nothing.

Ain’t technology grand?
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FriendoftheDork
post Apr 8 2016, 01:24 AM
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Pretty cool writeup - I'm having a campaign in 2040s so getting some early Shadowrun behind the scenes explanations is very nice, I might want to use some of this myself. However, in my game I sort of did the opposite: I embraced the unrealistic. 2050s shadowrun is not only anachronistic, it was also cheesy and unrealistic to begin with, imagined by people who had fairly little idea of how computers and hacking actually work (Gibson). So not only is my game an alternate history where the world took a much different turn in the late 90s, its' also a setting where technology functions so differently from ours, it might as well be magic.

However, as I can see a lot of this is in line with Shadowrun Lore. I have a few issues:

1. I believe cyberterminals came a bit sooner than 2045 / after all they used these in the Echo Mirage team. The first of the 3rd gen cyberdecks was available in 2036, the Fuchi CDT-1000, which is apparently a desktop size machine (SR1 History section). So while 2040s probably had even faster and smaller versions of this, the big leap was from 2036 to 2049 with the 7th gen cyberdeck, which was fully mobile (yet somewhat unwieldy).

2. I like the MP distinction between the old big (Terrabytes today) and the new big (Megapulses). However, the setting and 2nd edition rules have stuff like pictures actually taking space, which is why most computers not even designed for decking has MP rating... also a 1 MP computer would cost only 1 nuyen (which is ridiculous as the hardware should cost much more even with no memory), but also be able to do unlimited normal data handling, as in text, pictures, trideo, and everything except decking, which magically requires insane amounts of data. See the issue? This is why in game storage capacity simply is not so good, and file formats are woefully inefficient compared to RL, perhaps due to security protocols needed to protect them from a second crash virus like the one in 29'

3. Trode nets vs datajacks - while the latter may be much faster, afaik they both interface with your brain, and thus opens up the danger of biofeedback. It doesn't matter if one has skin between it or directly jacked through the skull, it is the fact that it has direct access to your brain (unlike through senses such as vision and hearing). It is ASSIST that is dangerous, and its why BTL junkies don't need a datajack or chipjack to mess up their brains.

4. Triangulation: I don't think they need that for a wired connection, as the Matrix itself should be able to know about each existing access point and trace it like you can trace IP today. Speaking of which, it could use an explanation of how Matrix Adresses works in your game, and how you can be traced without triangulating a radio signal.
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Mantis
post Apr 8 2016, 06:14 AM
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So are you actually going to use the 2nd ed decking rules? Cuz your write up sounds grand but the mechanics of 2nd (and 3rd) ed hacking don't really mesh with that. I'd actually like to see a hacking/decking system done up that does mesh well with the fluff you've written. The pseudo-dungeon crawl that is 2nd/3rd ed hacking isn't it though, at least for me.
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Xasten
post Apr 8 2016, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 8 2016, 01:24 AM) *
1. I believe cyberterminals came a bit sooner than 2045 / after all they used these in the Echo Mirage team. The first of the 3rd gen cyberdecks was available in 2036, the Fuchi CDT-1000, which is apparently a desktop size machine (SR1 History section). So while 2040s probably had even faster and smaller versions of this, the big leap was from 2036 to 2049 with the 7th gen cyberdeck, which was fully mobile (yet somewhat unwieldy).


Yeah, I need to make a few edits. The general premise, for me, is how to justify pink mohawk existing even slightly in 2050. By making cyberterminals unweildy to transport, the 7th generation coming out opens up a lot more possibilities for a runner to get onsite and cause some damage. Here's what I wrote later in the package about how and why gutterpunk runners can go in shooting and come out ahead. The idea is that defenses haven't quite caught up with offensive power (7th gen decks, magic, new armor, etc.)

You might stop and ask why it’s so easy for gutter punks with pink mohawks to rip off the megacorporations and get away with it scot-free. The truth is: it isn’t. But there’s a few things that have tipped the scales in our favor. Society has always been an escalating arms race between criminals and security. One side uses guns, the other buys armor. One uses armor piercing rounds, the other drives a tank. It’s the circle of life. It just so happens that 2050 has swung drastically in favor of the invader. Body armor has had some serious breakthroughs with the invention of flexible ceramic fibers and other technologies. Cyberdecks have eviscerated encryption and other forms of electronic security, and most importantly, magic has allowed invisibility, mind wiping, and other methods of sterilizing crime scenes. It’s hard to catch a crook when no one saw him and the crime scene has no trace of evidence, isn’t it?

QUOTE
2. I like the MP distinction between the old big (Terrabytes today) and the new big (Megapulses). However, the setting and 2nd edition rules have stuff like pictures actually taking space, which is why most computers not even designed for decking has MP rating... also a 1 MP computer would cost only 1 nuyen (which is ridiculous as the hardware should cost much more even with no memory), but also be able to do unlimited normal data handling, as in text, pictures, trideo, and everything except decking, which magically requires insane amounts of data. See the issue? This is why in game storage capacity simply is not so good, and file formats are woefully inefficient compared to RL, perhaps due to security protocols needed to protect them from a second crash virus like the one in 29'


Yeah, there's a few items that don't make sense. That's why I added the bit about "save all the cat videos you like" The way I see it, someone with cybereyes is pretty much always recording with no regard for datastorage. The way I'm justifying things is simply to say that normal programs are efficient and you don't need to worry about storage under typical circumstances. Excel and word take up no space on your deck, functionally. Then when I talk about IC, that stuff balloons up because of how its designed.

QUOTE
3. Trode nets vs datajacks - while the latter may be much faster, afaik they both interface with your brain, and thus opens up the danger of biofeedback. It doesn't matter if one has skin between it or directly jacked through the skull, it is the fact that it has direct access to your brain (unlike through senses such as vision and hearing). It is ASSIST that is dangerous, and its why BTL junkies don't need a datajack or chipjack to mess up their brains.


Good point.

QUOTE
4. Triangulation: I don't think they need that for a wired connection, as the Matrix itself should be able to know about each existing access point and trace it like you can trace IP today. Speaking of which, it could use an explanation of how Matrix Addresses works in your game, and how you can be traced without triangulating a radio signal.


Yeah, I've been looking to clean this part up. I threw triangulation out there just kind of as a layman's reference to say "They'll find you!", but I agree it could use some tweaking.

Thanks for the feedback, I really want to deliver a strong product to my players.

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Xasten
post Apr 8 2016, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (Mantis @ Apr 8 2016, 06:14 AM) *
So are you actually going to use the 2nd ed decking rules? Cuz your write up sounds grand but the mechanics of 2nd (and 3rd) ed hacking don't really mesh with that. I'd actually like to see a hacking/decking system done up that does mesh well with the fluff you've written. The pseudo-dungeon crawl that is 2nd/3rd ed hacking isn't it though, at least for me.


I'm looking at completely redesigning decking to be faster & more exciting for everyone, but the actual mechanics are the very last thing I'm going to tackle, as it's going to be a bitch.
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binarywraith
post Apr 8 2016, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE
In the mid 2020’s someone asked how organic brains work to produce sentience. You see, while computers are stronger and faster than the brain, we still can’t make a truly sentient A.I. no matter how hard we try. So, someone thought that maybe, just maybe, brains are special in ways that silicon couldn’t be. Subsequent testing involving a hell of a lot of smart people revealed that the brain uses a limited, but powerful, form of quantum computing. The cyberdeck disengages certain portions of the brain to free up processing power, and that power is then used to essentially brute force commands into a hostile system to bend it to the decker’s will.


This section doesn't really jive, for me. The point of cyberdecks isn't using some barely explained quantum brain computing to boost the computer's performance, it's making the fastest possible man/machine interface to remove the physical lag required to interface a sentience running on meatware to a system running on silicon. Whereas a 2020's hacker was limited by a terrible I/O chain; needing to visually see data on a terminal, input it from eyes to optical nerves to brain, then output to fingers on a keyboard introduces an astonishing amount of lag when trying to combat something like the Crash virus that operates at the speed of clock cycles. A cyberterminal (and later cyberdeck) eliminates much of that lag by interfacing directly with the brain and cutting out the need for the rest of the physical response times.

The brain, as we've found, is pretty resilient. When connected to an ASIST system that translates data into forms that can be experienced as if it were normal sensory data, the brain can perform computer operations significantly faster than ever before. Cyberdecks use ASIST systems combined with a suite of foundation programs (known as the Persona) to interact with the hallucinatory reality of the Matrix using normal physical actions as metaphors for computer processing operations.


Timing wise, I note, ASIST debuted in 2018, kicking off both the simsense industry and becoming the foundation technology for the cyberterminal user interface. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Xasten
post Apr 8 2016, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Apr 8 2016, 08:31 PM) *
This section doesn't really jive, for me. The point of cyberdecks isn't using some barely explained quantum brain computing to boost the computer's performance, it's making the fastest possible man/machine interface to remove the physical lag required to interface a sentience running on meatware to a system running on silicon. Whereas a 2020's hacker was limited by a terrible I/O chain; needing to visually see data on a terminal, input it from eyes to optical nerves to brain, then output to fingers on a keyboard introduces an astonishing amount of lag when trying to combat something like the Crash virus that operates at the speed of clock cycles. A cyberterminal (and later cyberdeck) eliminates much of that lag by interfacing directly with the brain and cutting out the need for the rest of the physical response times.

The brain, as we've found, is pretty resilient. When connected to an ASIST system that translates data into forms that can be experienced as if it were normal sensory data, the brain can perform computer operations significantly faster than ever before. Cyberdecks use ASIST systems combined with a suite of foundation programs (known as the Persona) to interact with the hallucinatory reality of the Matrix using normal physical actions as metaphors for computer processing operations.


Timing wise, I note, ASIST debuted in 2018, kicking off both the simsense industry and becoming the foundation technology for the cyberterminal user interface. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


I agree that using the quantum buzzword is sloppy. I really didn't want to do it, but I just flat out saw no other way to justify a way to quickly crack modern, much less future, encryption. I guess I still needed some handwave despite my crack at realism.

That said, I think you're right that I need to emphasize the ASIST aspect a bit more in that the decker now works as one WITH the machine not because of the machine.
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binarywraith
post Apr 9 2016, 12:07 AM
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QUOTE (Xasten @ Apr 8 2016, 01:55 PM) *
I agree that using the quantum buzzword is sloppy. I really didn't want to do it, but I just flat out saw no other way to justify a way to quickly crack modern, much less future, encryption. I guess I still needed some handwave despite my crack at realism.

That said, I think you're right that I need to emphasize the ASIST aspect a bit more in that the decker now works as one WITH the machine not because of the machine.


Pretty easy, really. Just assume that the corporate standard in SR's verse is to use good encryption, but not -great- encryption, because loading up a bunch of IC or practicing security by obscurity is easier than having to worry about the ins and outs of keeping data you're doing work on constantly under strong encryption. Not to mention that the programs to -create- strong encryption are valuable tools to reverse engineer it... and nobody actually remembers their passwords when they can just click 'save' and assume the IT department will keep deckers out of their browser settings.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Zednark
post Apr 9 2016, 12:35 AM
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I don't envy your efforts. Unlike 99% of RPG systems, which you can cannibalize from other games, realistic hacking exists in no game, because of the time Steve Jackson Games got raided when they tried.
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KCKitsune
post Apr 9 2016, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE (Xasten @ Apr 8 2016, 03:55 PM) *
I agree that using the quantum buzzword is sloppy. I really didn't want to do it, but I just flat out saw no other way to justify a way to quickly crack modern, much less future, encryption.


Other people might not like it, but to me, it works. I don't think eliminating the second or two it takes to type out your reaction would make a damn bit of difference in the Matrix. Take for instance the computer I'm typing this on right now. It's a quad core i7 running at 2.7 GHz. That is a LOT of instructions per second. and that's a 2015 computer. Think of how much FASTER a 2070 computer is.
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Xasten
post Apr 9 2016, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Apr 9 2016, 10:29 PM) *
Other people might not like it, but to me, it works. I don't think eliminating the second or two it takes to type out your reaction would make a damn bit of difference in the Matrix. Take for instance the computer I'm typing this on right now. It's a quad core i7 running at 2.7 GHz. That is a LOT of instructions per second. and that's a 2015 computer. Think of how much FASTER a 2070 computer is.


Ultimately, I agree. The simple fact of the matter is that true realistic encryption is incredibly mind-bogglingly difficult to break. That's why I saw no other reason to not pull the quantum trigger. Even though it is a buzzword. I think some of the other posters did make a really good point though, I do need to focus more on the melding of man and machine as opposed to machine merely enabling man.
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Mantis
post Apr 10 2016, 05:38 PM
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I was thinking a bit about why SR has such weak encryption. I think it has something to do with the first crash. The original crash virus targeted highly encrypted files first, the stronger the encryption the more likely the virus was to hit and erase them. IC is built on bits of that virus code. Perhaps the weak encryption is done as a self defense against someone using the crash virus again or at least parts of it. If you have IC and deckers in your systems already, the idea of adding a really complex but easily targeted locks doesn't seem necessary, especially if those locks (the encryption) is going to attract more attacks.
Also, while SR computers are faster than our own (or seem to be) they also had a massive tech set back due to the crash. It isn't a straight line of tech improvement from our time to theirs. The crash causes a big dip as the most cutting edge stuff got wiped out. Think of it as there being a sort of tech dark age for a little bit after the crash.
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binarywraith
post Apr 13 2016, 04:27 AM
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QUOTE (Mantis @ Apr 10 2016, 11:38 AM) *
I was thinking a bit about why SR has such weak encryption. I think it has something to do with the first crash. The original crash virus targeted highly encrypted files first, the stronger the encryption the more likely the virus was to hit and erase them. IC is built on bits of that virus code. Perhaps the weak encryption is done as a self defense against someone using the crash virus again or at least parts of it. If you have IC and deckers in your systems already, the idea of adding a really complex but easily targeted locks doesn't seem necessary, especially if those locks (the encryption) is going to attract more attacks.
Also, while SR computers are faster than our own (or seem to be) they also had a massive tech set back due to the crash. It isn't a straight line of tech improvement from our time to theirs. The crash causes a big dip as the most cutting edge stuff got wiped out. Think of it as there being a sort of tech dark age for a little bit after the crash.


Which didn't happen again after the second crash because Reasons and Wireless.

*grumble*
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