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The Matrix and how could it be real?

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LordGrizzle

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« on: <04-16-15/2206:28> »
This is a continuation of an off-topic discussion in this thread:
http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=19234.15

Yyyy-no. The only way your device is kept so safe by Gewgle and Appre is if you get your apps from their app stores. Now if you flip the fuckitall switch and say, yes I would like to run stuff I download from my internet browser just like a regular computer all bets are off. They vet the apps that go to their store before letting it be DLed by the general public, they can't police the internet.

Well yes, but all Google has to do is to take that one option away from you so that you can't execute code that is not vetted by the app store. And as far as I know, iPhones/iPads/iOS without jailbreak does not allow to execute programs from otherwhere at all.
In addition to taking away custom programs I also proposed the following: Corporate controlled internet. This way when you pop open Safari on your iOS-device you connect to the apple-cloud. You can't go to wikipedia or to youtube. You have to go to Apple's equivalents. So Apple, Microsoft and Google would be in a constant war who has the best wikis, the best video services, the best music provider and the best content in general. Websites that are accessible from any browser are gone. If the internet developed this way, it would be kind of how I understand the new Matrix 2.2

Aryeonos

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« Reply #1 on: <04-16-15/2320:17> »
So here's my problem, what you have there is an intranet. Suppose you do this by making it so customers do not have access to any builder code, there is no maintenance mode they can put their devices into that they know of yadda yadda. You have a closed system, which is all well and good for controlling your people, and in an acrology it may appear that way. But then the only creativity you have is from your developers, all the content you have has to be licensed to you, owned on your servers that only you can grant access to through your approved apps. You can't really offload your costs onto anyone, no one can put anything through or develop anything outside your company and it has to be hosted through the company. A closed system where you have to eat most of the costs because there is no incentive to do it yourself, because you can't, even if you have the idea the company is the only one who can produce anything.

I'm probably missing some things, but that doesn't seem economically sound.
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Pixie

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« Reply #2 on: <04-16-15/2340:05> »
Well, not really though.

No offense intended, but this is the second time you've started a response with this type of snark.  It's not appreciated.

In unwired it makes it very clear that piracy is very difficult, with warez nodes constantly having to move as the Grid Overwatch Douchebags Division roots them out. Hell it took a test, and money to get pirate software, that took hacking skills to find. I had to spend the better part of my down time every month either patching or looking for up to date code for my software. It wasn't easy or simple, most shadow nodes had to be well hidden or on the move, or such a tool of the corps that they left it there, shadowsea being one of those tools.

All of which were advanced rules, not core rules.  So once Unwired comes out, I would hope you re-evaluate your position on this.

The amount of infrastructure needed to stop, scan, test, identify and halt malicious code for every single packet transfer is just ridiculous. The whole point of hacking and cracking is that you're tricking the machine, or the human element, or both. What you send out looks innocuous to the machine, and makes it do something within its operating protocol and it goes "Okay, that seems fine, I'll just do that little thing, I'll run a troubleshoot diagnostic on that part or move that actuator or run this computation." Thing is, you're making it do those little things, maybe a thousand times, or in a sequence that makes it do what you want. Spit out a credstick or a bag of gummy bears, turn off some of its censors so that an authorized vendor can restock the product which by your spoofed ID you very much look like to the machine. There was no shortage of clever you had to be to make things happen, and you were still a minority in the population.

And all of those thousands of processes were being done with your commlink in 4th edition.  What I'm saying is that the upgrades to the Matrix have made this whole process even more difficult by removing the capability for commlinks to perform several of these types of processes.  This is the Attack and Sleaze attribute from 5th edition.  These attributes are an aggregate of your device's capacity to perform the types of actions necessary to bypass or otherwise fool a system into performing in a way that is counter to its designer's intent.  The fact that commlinks can no longer do these tasks has led to an overall increase in the capacity for Data Processing and Firewall, allowing the public to get more secure and more powerful commlinks for the same price as before.  This is a marketing strategy that I think no one can deny is effective.

As John Q. Public, when you buy a cell phone, you're not looking to hack with it.  You're looking for something that will handle a lot of data, have a lot of the features you want, and be secure.  That's what the megacorps have done, and in the process they also managed to take the opportunity to hack away from the general public.  It's really quite genius if you think about it from an in-game perspective.  Ignore the rules and mechanics, and think about why the corporations did what they did: security.  They wanted to make their systems more secure and make the public less able to fight back.  It's the same rationale for any country that bans gun sales.  The purpose is to make the public feel like they're safer, and also it prevents the public from fighting back against the corporations and/or governments.  There's a reason the Second Amendment was so important to Constitutionalists: it prevents the government from being able to march and army through your town without your say-so.

The corporations have built on the idea of presenting safety to people at the cost of the freedom of the people.  This is a common recurring theme throughout all dystopias, and Shadowrun is no different.

I could totally accept that corporate security started tightening up, like allot, started instituting more stringent protocols whatever. But even previously, most offices were all wired, wifi blocking paint, and polorized windows. If you wanted anything important you still had to go inside or tap a land line near the premise, you had to physically be there and either you were clever to bluff your way in, sneak in, or take a risk and shoot your way in. Important data on premise was in proprietary format, so you had to be running the same OS as the company working on it (Why you just didn't need their builder program I don't know, but that's the way they wrote it.) to even view the file. Let alone if you want to sell it, you have to move it off as certified data, which erases the original copy, and find someone who can appreciate the value of it and find a buyer.

Except this wasn't the normal experience for most people in 4th edition.  Read through the old decker stuff on this board and on Dumpshock, it's full of people describing hacks that they did from around the world.  Hell, one group hacked the Zurich Orbital Bank from the ground.  Your gameplay experiences are not everyone's gameplay experiences.  Also, there are things in this that you're describing - again - from Unwired.  You can't take four years of content and compare it to one.  It's just not ever going to match up.  When Data Trails is released, I think you'll find some of your old favorites are back in the game.  And at that point, I hope you give it another try.

I understand they want to tighten things up for gameplay or whatever, but the general path they've take has been on the side of hard scifi, not explaining away things as super science. They do explain away fantastical things, but using the logical progression of technology. Like ASIST, which was something of a rarity in 2nd ed is now everywhere, that's given the matrix a 3rd dimension of travel, you can be in it, think it and make it. That's already fantastical, and the corps with their infinite funds use it to no end to out think the general population and make some fantastic things to sell, and some real wiz brutal things to protect their profits. But today, we already have ways of using mental impulses to control things, I'm reminded of an experiment where they had a monkey bound up, hooked to basically a trode net, controling a robotic arm to give it bananas. You can see where that'd go, you can see the influence -both ways really. It's not fantasy, it's science fiction, you take what's loosly probable today and see where you can imagine going with it.

You're comparing the modern world to Shadowrun's technology.  *shakes head* You just can't do that.  As many freelancers have stated over the last several months, it's just not a realistic comparison.  Shadowrun is built on a timeline that diverged from ours back in the 80s.  It's had global catastrophes that we can't even imagine.  The whole of the earth has been restructured and rebuilt so many times that it's just completely impossible to look at today's tech and say "we have that now, why don't we have more in the future?"  The simple answer is "because it's not our future."

Not only that, but think of it from a setting standpoint. You have greezy little gutter urchins scraping to get by out there, toughest one gets to eat. Then you have the little one not too tough by street urchin standards, but he's smart and he's got a 2 bit link he lifted, and he's helping his little friends get by by hacking a vending machine or two, or a maglock to let them get some place secure to sleep for the night, whatever.

All of this goes counter to your earlier point that security in many facilities was too tight to hack.  Now, you have to use your Hardware skill to break into that maglock, and the SINless have to suffer even more.  This is called a dystopia.  It's supposed to be brutal to the poor and downtrodden, and the corps don't want that street urchin to get into their goodies with a "2 bit link."  THAT is the setting.

There are mountains of people struggling to get by and some of them are clever enough to exploit the system, not because they have the budget for some 50'0000 nuyen skateboard but because they're clever. That to me is way more gritty cyberpunk than: The system is so wiz powerful that your machine literally lights on fire, and you spend another 25'000 nuyen fixing it. Yeah, there goes street level play.

I think, but I can't be sure, that we'll see some serious changes to cyberdecks in Data Trails.  When it comes out, we can start to compare apples to apples.

The gibson is so powerful that your machine explodes, and on sight security tries to melt your little decker buddies brains, sure. 7-11's slushy machine is connected to the omnipotent grid and sets your head on fire when you try and get a free slushy, that's just ridiculous.

No one would bother spending the nuyen or resources to protect a slushy machine with a host and IC.  Those are devices that have their own built in Firewall ratings and they exist on the Grid openly.  I think you have not actually read the 5th edition Matrix rules, or at this point you're just making strawman arguments.

Low level machines should have some cheap tricks, measured in nuyen not brilliance, to fend off hackers, be tightened up, not wireless whatever. But steamrollering the whole setting was just another unnecessary thing in 5th ed. Looking at it now, my Commlink from my last character was 28'160 Nuyen, that's hacked programs and all, way out of the reach of most people who don't live and die by it in the shadows. Any way, I'd be happy to debate this at length in another thread about the matrix, but not here - we aren't going to see eye to eye, but I do enjoy a healthy debate and I always learn a thing or 6 in the process.

This will be a healthy debate when you compare the systems on an even playing field.  Without Data Trails, a lot of the content from Unwired simply doesn't exist.  You're comparing a system that has advanced and optional rules vs. a system that's designed to be core and basic.  That's not really a fair comparison.  When you realize that and you just look at the core rules for the Matrix from 4th edition and compare them to the core rules for the Matrix in 5th edition, it's a whole different picture than the one you paint.

In addition to taking away custom programs I also proposed the following: Corporate controlled internet. This way when you pop open Safari on your iOS-device you connect to the apple-cloud. You can't go to wikipedia or to youtube. You have to go to Apple's equivalents. So Apple, Microsoft and Google would be in a constant war who has the best wikis, the best video services, the best music provider and the best content in general. Websites that are accessible from any browser are gone. If the internet developed this way, it would be kind of how I understand the new Matrix 2.2

What you just described were the Browser wars of the early 90s.  When AOL, NetZero, and Mosaic all had their browsers that allowed you to only see the content that they put through their filters.  It was awful.  In the end, the open internet is a better solution for everyone because the providers now only have to worry about their content, and they don't have to police everyone's content.  It's like having one GOD instead of ten.  I think the new Matrix rules reflect that decision to go with one powerful GOD pretty well.  The hosts all have their own content to worry about, which is where the demiGODs come in, but on the Matrix, it's open and it's a unified police system.

Aryeonos

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« Reply #3 on: <04-17-15/0128:56> »
I'm sorry you think the way I talk is snarky, it's fairly common for me at least to start a statement with, "Well no, and here's why." But please take my tone the way I intend it in a healthy debating way not a combative one.

Anyway, my problems are thus, it was iterated earlier in the thread that you can't hack with this machine (Commlink) but you can with this one (Deck), why? They aren't mechanically different, ones bigger and has more processing capability and costs way more. Any special chipsets I could put into my commlink or emulate using the multithousand nuyen processor I put in it.

By your logic because some people were using their link's to hack, now that they can't eveyone's links from here to infinity who were not hacking will run better? Just because technology took a step forward does not mean everyone will take that step all at once, and when they do they're not going to pay 5-10x more for the newest thing, they're going to pay about as much as they did for their current thing when it was new. My new link that runs modern protocol shouldn't need to be a supercomputer, just about where it was by comparison to other devices at their time.

You seem to discount Unwired as basically not cannon because it's an advanced ruleset. That doesn't make sense, we all use it, its rules go over top of the CRB not under it. Of course the CRB doesn't touch on allot of things, it's supposed to be the baseline there's mountains of things going on the time it's released they just didn't have the space to touch on it.

Just because it's a different timeline doesn't mean everything stops making sense, allot of the destinations they arrived at made sense given the alternate timeline. There's a bunch of history or science behind allot of things, some of it's minor handwavium, some of its bad writing, but allot of it makes sense. My problem is this is a mountain of handwavium, it breaks my suspension of disbelief. The whole setting of Shadowrun is, the masses are ignorant and oppressed, and those that live in the shadows find work arounds. They don't use the safe pistol that feeds from a tube magazine and only fires tracking rounds, they use some 50 year old piece of tech that doesn't have RFIDs in it. They don't use devices the way they're intended, the jailbreak the drek out of everything to make it do what they need and want. Stuff made of either hard to come by or otherwise legal innocuous things where the sum of the parts are used to break laws and put you on the UCAS top ten wanted list. Or in my case Interpol's.
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Pixie

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« Reply #4 on: <04-17-15/0228:19> »
Anyway, my problems are thus, it was iterated earlier in the thread that you can't hack with this machine (Commlink) but you can with this one (Deck), why? They aren't mechanically different, ones bigger and has more processing capability and costs way more. Any special chipsets I could put into my commlink or emulate using the multithousand nuyen processor I put in it.

It was stated in the books that the very components and prog ams used in the past are not compatible with the new Matrix.  It's in Storm Front.  So that's a really big reason why.  Additionally, why do you think that your commlink can handle the chips or software that is necessary for Attack and Sleaze actions?  There is nothing in any of the books to support this idea.

By your logic because some people were using their link's to hack, now that they can't eveyone's links from here to infinity who were not hacking will run better? Just because technology took a step forward does not mean everyone will take that step all at once, and when they do they're not going to pay 5-10x more for the newest thing, they're going to pay about as much as they did for their current thing when it was new. My new link that runs modern protocol shouldn't need to be a supercomputer, just about where it was by comparison to other devices at their time.

What?  That's not exactly what I was saying.  What I was saying is that by removing the components and programs that allow a commlink to hack, the processing power of the commlink can be used for Data Processing and Firewall actions.  As far as the upgrade process goes, it's as simple as flashing a user's operating system with the new code.  And to deal with those pesky folks who want to not do the update, the new protocols on the Matrix, what with the grids instead of ad hoc networks, prevent the old commlinks from functioning until they have the necessary upgrade.  It's not hard to picture how someone could do this, really.  In the IT world, we do this all the time.

You seem to discount Unwired as basically not cannon because it's an advanced ruleset. That doesn't make sense, we all use it, its rules go over top of the CRB not under it. Of course the CRB doesn't touch on allot of things, it's supposed to be the baseline there's mountains of things going on the time it's released they just didn't have the space to touch on it.

I have no problem with Unwired.  I have a problem with you comparing a ruleset that includes optional and advanced rules against a basic ruleset.  Unwired went into a LOT of detail on the Matrix.  The core book can hardly afford to devote that much space to one topic, so naturally it's a supplement.  What you're doing is comparing 2 products to 1.  Naturally, the 2 products will be more complete than the 1.  What I'm suggesting is that many of the issues you have with 5th edition matrix stuff will likely be answered in Data Trails.

Just because it's a different timeline doesn't mean everything stops making sense, allot of the destinations they arrived at made sense given the alternate timeline. There's a bunch of history or science behind allot of things, some of it's minor handwavium, some of its bad writing, but allot of it makes sense. My problem is this is a mountain of handwavium, it breaks my suspension of disbelief. The whole setting of Shadowrun is, the masses are ignorant and oppressed, and those that live in the shadows find work arounds. They don't use the safe pistol that feeds from a tube magazine and only fires tracking rounds, they use some 50 year old piece of tech that doesn't have RFIDs in it. They don't use devices the way they're intended, the jailbreak the drek out of everything to make it do what they need and want. Stuff made of either hard to come by or otherwise legal innocuous things where the sum of the parts are used to break laws and put you on the UCAS top ten wanted list. Or in my case Interpol's.

First a little nit: the word is a lot.  Allot is something you do when you are distributing things.

The freelancers have always tried to incorporate today's tech in each edition.  But the fact is that there's a point at which today's tech starts to outpace editions.  Moore's Law is responsible for this anomaly.  It's just a reality of the game.

LordGrizzle

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« Reply #5 on: <04-18-15/2239:17> »
What you just described were the Browser wars of the early 90s.  When AOL, NetZero, and Mosaic all had their browsers that allowed you to only see the content that they put through their filters.  It was awful.  In the end, the open internet is a better solution for everyone because the providers now only have to worry about their content, and they don't have to police everyone's content.  It's like having one GOD instead of ten.  I think the new Matrix rules reflect that decision to go with one powerful GOD pretty well.  The hosts all have their own content to worry about, which is where the demiGODs come in, but on the Matrix, it's open and it's a unified police system.

Well, in my opinion yes and no. The matrix isn't the internet. Not anymore. It was in 4E but it isn't in 5E. Because it's divided up into grids. This way of shaping the matrix is absolutely not open. GOD patrols the grids universally, but that's not the point. The important part is the fact that dividing the matrix up into grids makes it easy to set up "border patrols".

Let's say you are on the Seattle local grid. It's easy to chat with anybody on any grid. Easy. You can also play games that come from around the world, regardless of grid. But, the grid will always favour local companies when it feeds you information, news and advertisements. Whenever you search something, you'll get results from Seattle first and from other local grids later. If there's something the Seattle administration wants to cover up, and it's not on their local grid it's damned easy for them to completely prevent you from getting to that information. Because the grids have clearly defined start and ends it's easy to control what data gets in.

And this gets even worse with global grids. Yes when you are on the NeoNET Global Grid. Of course you get less advertisements. Because you get ONLY advertisements from NeoNET. But do you think you can just run a search and find products Saedar-Krupp makes or Shiawase? I don't think so. You might not be completely blocked but whenever you look for something all the NeoNET products, maybe even those that don't relate to your search directly will be picked and delivered first.

Also, is it really awful to only have access to corporate content for wageslaves? They already have only corporate approved sex, eat corporate food, sing corporate songs, live in corporate housings. Why not only watch corporate porn and listen to corporate made podcasts?

Pixie

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« Reply #6 on: <04-19-15/0147:05> »
What you just described were the Browser wars of the early 90s.  When AOL, NetZero, and Mosaic all had their browsers that allowed you to only see the content that they put through their filters.  It was awful.  In the end, the open internet is a better solution for everyone because the providers now only have to worry about their content, and they don't have to police everyone's content.  It's like having one GOD instead of ten.  I think the new Matrix rules reflect that decision to go with one powerful GOD pretty well.  The hosts all have their own content to worry about, which is where the demiGODs come in, but on the Matrix, it's open and it's a unified police system.

Well, in my opinion yes and no. The matrix isn't the internet. Not anymore. It was in 4E but it isn't in 5E. Because it's divided up into grids. This way of shaping the matrix is absolutely not open. GOD patrols the grids universally, but that's not the point. The important part is the fact that dividing the matrix up into grids makes it easy to set up "border patrols".

Let's say you are on the Seattle local grid. It's easy to chat with anybody on any grid. Easy. You can also play games that come from around the world, regardless of grid. But, the grid will always favour local companies when it feeds you information, news and advertisements. Whenever you search something, you'll get results from Seattle first and from other local grids later. If there's something the Seattle administration wants to cover up, and it's not on their local grid it's damned easy for them to completely prevent you from getting to that information. Because the grids have clearly defined start and ends it's easy to control what data gets in.

And this gets even worse with global grids. Yes when you are on the NeoNET Global Grid. Of course you get less advertisements. Because you get ONLY advertisements from NeoNET. But do you think you can just run a search and find products Saedar-Krupp makes or Shiawase? I don't think so. You might not be completely blocked but whenever you look for something all the NeoNET products, maybe even those that don't relate to your search directly will be picked and delivered first.

Also, is it really awful to only have access to corporate content for wageslaves? They already have only corporate approved sex, eat corporate food, sing corporate songs, live in corporate housings. Why not only watch corporate porn and listen to corporate made podcasts?

That wasn't the point I was trying to make, not exactly anyway.  I have no problem with implementing corporate filters on content to promote their own products.  Especially on the Big 10 grids.  They hint at this in the Matrix chapter actually, pointing out that when on the Ares grid, the Ares host looks even more impressive and beckoning, etc.

Darzil

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« Reply #7 on: <04-26-15/0807:00> »
Latter editions moved away from 1995 and said, well computing has evolved to the point where it's really the software that does all the work these days not the chipset per se, some are faster than others sure or can juggle more programs but they're all roughly on the same page.
Actually in the real world we're moving away from that, towards powerful servers that do processing, and cheap phones that offload to those servers rather than doing it themselves. I see a lot of the 5th edition Matrix as being a move towards distributed processing from that. Instead of handing off to servers, you're handing off to nearby devices that have spare capacity.

Personally I see grids as effectively being traffic prioritisation overlaid on a peer-to-peer networking environment.

Can explain a LOT of the fluff starting from these standpoints, and the tech is pretty much stuff that has been developed but not yet adopted. (Peer-to-peer networking lacks sufficient device density in most places, distributed processing lacks enough applicable algorithms)