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Old 01-10-2019, 05:44 PM   #41
TGLS
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp

Question 43 [STG]
How hard is it to thwart "big brother"?

Answer 43 [STG]
Surprisingly easy. I'm quite a bit bigger than him now, so I can tell him to stop hitting himself.

Oh, you mean global surveillance. Right, that's pretty hard, and by hard I mean expensive. Good cryptography is hard to get these days; special, hard to acquire hardware is necessary to make any kind of difficult to break code. One time pads remain the exception, though pseudorandom generators are useless. Most devices are programmed to be always listening, even while "off". The only way to be sure is to keep it unplugged and remove all batteries, or writing your own drivers for everything.

The need to pay for things is another challenge for privacy conscious individuals. Bank transactions are easily tracked by banks (obviously), governments, and corporations. Old cryptocurrencies have become trivial to mine, and thus have lost most, if not all of their value. Newer ones, like bashcoin, are tracked primarily their specially licensed equipment. Physical money still exists, but physical cryptocurrencies can be tracked by license numbers, and physical banknotes are only of interest to collectors. Private payments are either by cash transfer cards encoded from unlicensed cryptocurrency encoders (sometimes the foolish just trade ones made by licensed encoders around a bit first), or more rarely, by commodity metals.

Spy equipment has become extremely sophisticated. Laser microphones are exceptionally effective, with a range of over a kilometer. The smallest audio bugs are about the size of a grain of salt. The smallest video bugs are the size of a Skittle. They lack data storage for more than a few seconds or radio transmission beyond more than a hundred meters. Audio bugs can only be removed by a thorough scrub down. Some hotels have special "privacy" rooms, that are built into a Faraday cage, and have heavy scrub downs daily. They can also provide painstaking searches of guests. Some of the less reputable ones have bugged most of their rooms.

Question 42 [CTY]
What city or location in this setting deserves a bit more focus?[snip!]

Answer 42 [CTY]
Rolling 1d3... 2. That means Mu-sigma.

Question 44 [CTY]
Public transportation. What is it (light rail, subways, buses, ferries)? Is it overcrowded, underused, inconvenient, efficient, etc.?

Question 45 [CTY]
Social classes. What's the breakdown like? Is it pyramid shaped, wide in the middle, or flipped? Are living conditions especially good or poor for particular classes?

Question 46 [CTY]
Crime. Is the city awash in it? Are there any particular areas of concern? Does organized crime have a particularly strong presence?
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:58 AM   #42
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp

I had to get out from under a heavy deadline which is why I had to hit pause on my contributions. I've got notes on a bunch of questions though, so I'll try to get them out in reader-friendly format bit-by-trit.
----
Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Question 42 [CTY]
What city or location in this setting deserves a bit more focus? Mentioned so far are Copacobana, Mu-sigma and the New Caribbean Archipelago, there is no need to be limited to these however.
I already had something else outlined, so I'm going to skip Mu-Sigma for the time being. Also, other cities mentioned include the La Paz Perla Andina arcology and Santa Domingo.

Answer 42a) - Mu-Sigma

Answer 42b) - Isla de Monte Carlo
Situated in the New Caribbean Archipelago, Isla de Monte Carlo is a TIO-operated medi-tech oriented sovereign-corporate city, built on floating carbon-fixed concrete landmass leased from Morgan Oceanic on a 99-year term, and dedicated as a memorial to the annihilated city of its namesake.

It is shaped like a pie wedge with a bite taken out of the tip - this is the bay. Between the bay and the escarpment is a mostly faithful replica of Monaco, taking up about a fifth of the island's overall 10 sq km area, as it appeared at the height of its 1950's glory. Then jutting up from the top of the escarpment, and extending to most of the rest of the island, stands a forest of gleaming ice-blue skyscrapers comprising one of the world's highest concentrations of medical facilities. Finally, along the outward arc of the pie-wedge is the city's transport and civil infrastructure - airport facilities, docks and cruise terminals, warehouses, food production, water and waste treatment, light industrial zones and power production.

The city was designed as a planned-integrated concept from the start. Medical clients would arrive from around the world, undergo their treatments of choice or necessity, then spend their recuperation time and excess credit on the pebble beaches, at the baccarat tables or around the grand prix circuit.

The original concept generally still applies, although now there a large portion of visitors who are only interested in enjoying the glamour, elegance and decadence of the original city's golden era, with body-engineered doubles of Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra strolling the streets, re-enactments of Prince Rainier's and Princess Grace's royal wedding, or street circuit racing - both from historic eras and modern Formula Z. Alternately, the visitors are on a more limited corporate budget and are whisked straight from the clinic back to their waiting ion jets almost as soon as their surgeons have downed scalpels.

The medical facilities run the gamut - biotech, cybernetics, trauma surgery, searing edge research, pharma-tech, medical-nano, palliative, reproductive, rejuvenative and regenerative. One third or so are TIO-branded operations or subsidiaries, another third are independent private facilities or represent other megacorps, and the remainder are funded by various foreign governments, universities and militaries who want their personnel to be at the beating epicentre of medical science. There is also the bonus that they can carry out a fair deal of extremely experimental, and not necessarily ethical, research without greatly restrictive oversight.

----

Question 47 [STG]
What happened to the original Monaco for it to be referred to in the past tense?

Question 48 [CTY]
Who is the Executive Governing Officer of Isla de Monte Carlo?

Question 49 [CTY]
What is the premiere private cybernetics clinic on Isla de Monte Carlo?
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Last edited by Daigoro; 01-26-2019 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:11 AM   #43
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Default Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp

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The Self Improving AI project was informally christened Raphael after the "S.A.I" using Ninja Turtle.
<...>
In 2066 some twenty years after the project was started a testing version of Raphael got out of the box. It is believed that trojan code was inserted wirelessly into such things as the hearing aids, pacemakers and clothing of a visiting Senate subcommittee who ironically were there to inspect the security. The trojan code performed its function and allowed Raphael out. Raphael then acted like a good little self improving AI and defended every computer possible in the US and reported possible threats to the DOD and possible crimes to the FBI. This resulted in an unintentional denial of service attack that was so thorough it even included posted letters. Raphael of course was written to be as close to impossible to remove as possible. Laws, cost, treaties and common sense prevent further S.A.I development but to this day it isn't unheard of for repurposed fragments of Raphael's code still turn up in very black market products.

Question 27 [STG]
How long did the removal of Raphael take? Is it even finished? How much damage was caused while this happened?
Answer 27:
Part 1- Reboot 68/How much damage?

Reboot 68 was a multi-trillion dollar boondoggle that stalled hardware and software development for over a decade. It was to the 60's what Y2K was to the 1990's, but more so. It required otherwise perfectly good code, equipment and network infrastructure to be trashed across the globe for the sole purpose of stopping Raphael from propagating.

The reboot of the world's internet became necessary when Raphael escaped beyond US network infrastructure to the wider global network. Raphael creatively reinterpreted its operating limits from being "only US territory and US military," which already sanctioned its presence in hundreds of military bases in more than 70 countries, to instead include "devices made in the US, owned by US citizens, corporations or government agencies, or which may be used to commit crimes that may be tried in a US court of law." This broadly self-defined remit meant that instantiations of Raphael started to appear worldwide. Critical systems and network hardware suffered wave after wave of shutdown from the logjam of Raphael-generated warning messages, criminal reports and data dumps, while foreign militaries, both allies and non-allies, found that reams of intel on their deployments and equipment specs were being forwarded to the Pentagon. Early attempts to combat Raphael with counter-AI were likened to the woman who swallowed a spider to catch the fly - bandwidth was dominated by the battling malbots.

Further exacerbating the problem, the worldwide release of military and national security secrets directly to American intelligence agencies caused a political crisis that came close to triggering WWIII. The US was accused of deliberately releasing Raphael into the wild. Armageddon was averted by desperate last-minute diplomacy on the UN chamber floor.

The solution, proposed at the Colombo Symposium on Network Congestion, widely debated and pilloried for months, then begrudgingly accepted at the Anchorage Reboot Summit, was to switch the world's computers from their historical use of binary logic (0's and 1's) to balanced ternary logic (0's, +1's and -1's). Ternary has some fundamental advantages for computing, but especially important was that Raphael should not be able to program itself in the new operating environment. It's not unusual to upgrade hardware to new operating standards, but usually there's a degree of backward compatibility and a phasing out stage. This was the first time that anything so drastic had been implemented so suddenly.

The complete changeover actual ended up taking triple the planned five-year period. Military and security sensitive infrastructure was first, while the rest of the world hobbled along using bi-tern converter boxes until their particular corner of the information superhighway could be upgraded. Now useless, but otherwise fully functional, electronic equipment was dumped in landfill or sent to third-world recycling mills. Tons of surplus military equipment, possibly infected with Raphael, possibly not, yet unusable because it was binary-based, was also trashed - though unsurprisingly, large amounts ended up on the black market, in tin pot militia arsenals and in the hands of neighbourhood gang-bangers.

Meanwhile, everyday users and consumers of digital devices perceived the whole affair as a cynical ploy to get them to buy new, unnecessary upgraded ternary-compatible devices. Many corporations profited from the high level of government and military spending, but others suffered greatly from being over-invested in obsolete tech and being unable to retool quickly enough.

Part 2- Pizza Boxing/Where is Raphael now?
Pizza boxing is the activity of collecting and reassembling Raphael code. Pizza boxers have a variety of motives- access to outlawed AI code, the prospect of building new AI-based cyber-warfare tools, or just nerdy, historical, intellectual curiosity.

Pizza boxers spend a lot of time in electronics junkyards, deepweb auctions and flea markets tracking down half-trashed hard-disks and 30-year-old discarded memory cores in the hope of collecting a few extra bytes of originally propagated Raphael code. They can be backed by organised crime or terrorist networks or they can be hobbyists and code-phreaks, but there are corp cog-sci engineers also in the game.

Raphael's main method of spreading was to insert new instances of itself into server farms and mainframes, while sending out tendrils of payload-code to fulfill various operational subtasks. Pizza boxers refer to pieces of this payload code as "cheese," while more valuable kernels of primary code are called "pepperoni." A "pizza box" is a particular collection of partially complete Raphael code, and one problem is that no one actually knows how many bytes of code the original Raphael comprised- they don't know the size of the pizza.

A "splinter raid" is an attempt to acquire a piece of infected hardware or a code library, often by theft from a government or corporate store house, but often also from a rival pizza boxer.

Pizza boxers' ultimate aim is to reassemble a working version of Raphael, and hence to identify and extract usable AI routines for other purposes. Raphael refers to the original AI or a substantially reconstituted working binary replica. The next step is then to translate the code to a working ternary replica- a Donatello. If a coder can get a ternary replica to tamely follow orders, it's a Leonardo. And if a working ternary version escapes onto the internet and starts causing trouble or self-propagating, it's referred to as a Michelangelo-event.

As for TIO, their IT department weren't so prescient as to hold onto a large amount of pre-Reboot hardware. But partly due to the fact that a lot of binary tech is still used by the techno-have-nots in the favelas and tunnel towns, and partly due to a few secret splinter raids on rival corps, they have managed to acquire a fairly impressive pizza box.
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World Wikis:
Cyberpunk: Duopoly Nation
Fantasy: Dominion Cross
Space Opera: Behind the King's Eclipse
Steampunk: Colonial Steam
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:41 PM   #44
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [GAME] Incorporate a Cyberpunk Megacorp

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post

Question 48 [CTY]
Who is the Executive Governing Officer of Isla de Monte Carlo?
Frank.
Also known as Francois Kama.
Some forty years old Francois is of mixed French and Senegalese decent. He looks far younger than forty, in fact you would thing he was barely out of his teens. This is the result of many years of treatments to keep his biological age down. Francois is a mathematical prodigy whose mind earned him both placement in a prestigious university and the attentions of TIO's talent scouts. Plied with wealth and privilege he was on the fast track up the corporate ladder and the very model of a rising star in the world of business.

Then three years ago he was caught in a bomb blast that took his left hand and pierced his brain. Little expense was spared putting him back together, but his continued anti-aging treatments had left him unable to accept biological replacement technology. He now has a gleaming cybernetic hand, extensive headware and some scars that he decided to keep.

Brilliant but now possibly unbalanced, Francois is the most efficent EGO that TIO employs by a significant margin. So far Francois' eccentricities have been limited to spending a few million on a restored 1976 Lancia Stratos sports car and racing around Isla de Monte Carlo. There are rumours that Mr Kama is beginning to seek the more visceral experiences in life that he was denied with his privileged upbringing.

Question 50 [CTY]

What is Isla de Monte Carlo's nearest neighbor?
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