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Message no. 1
From: zebulingod@*******.net (Zebulin)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 12:38:47 -0700
Our Technomancer wanted to know how he could hack into someone's PAN and
turn off their Smartlink (or what have you). From what I figured, he'd have
to do this:

Extended Test (1 Combat Turn) to locate the PAN of the user.
Extended Test (1 Combat Turn) to decrypt the signals from the user.
Simple Action to sniff the data (now unencrypted) to find the Smartlink.
Simple Action to command the smartlink to turn off.

So, approximately 2 full Combat Turns (6 seconds) plus another full
Initiative Pass (possibly another 3 seconds) to turn off a Smartlink.

Is that right? Did I miss something? Could a Hacker cause the Smartlink to
take dice away from the shooter's pool, instead? (So, instead of giving a
+2, give it a -2 because it's subtly moving the targeting point away.)

Zebulin

AIM: zebulingod
ICQ: 21932827
WEB: http://www.zebulin.com/
MSN: zebulingod
YIM: zebulingod
SRGC: SR1 SR2++ SR3+++ h+ b+++ !B UB IE+
RN+ STK++ W- dk+ ri++ m-(d++) gm++ M- P++
Message no. 2
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 06:47:15 +1000
On 10/3/05, Zebulin <zebulingod@*******.net> wrote:
> Our Technomancer wanted to know how he could hack into someone's PAN and
> turn off their Smartlink (or what have you). From what I figured, he'd have
> to do this:
>
> Extended Test (1 Combat Turn) to locate the PAN of the user.

This is an extended test using Electronic Warfare + the Scan program
(4, 1 combat turn), and assumes that the target has his commlink in
hidden mode (which he will, unless he's an idiot).

Assuming your hacker has Electronic Warfare at 5, and Scan at 6, he
will net on average 3.6 successes, meaning one or two complex actions
depending on his luck

> Extended Test (1 Combat Turn) to decrypt the signals from the user.

This is an extended test using the hackers encrypt program + his
commlinks response (assuming 6 on both of these). The threshold is
twice his targets encrypt rating, with a an interval of 1 combat turn.
Now the rules state that encryption is everywhere, yet doesn't
actually state whether commlinks etc come with built in encryption, or
whether you have to buy the program yourself and run it. However you
work it, lets assume he's got an encryption rating of 4. This means
that you have a threshold of 8. This will mean on average, two
complex actions to decrypt

An alternative thought on this, is that the "default encryption" is
accounted for in the breaking in test. If you use this line of
thought, then the decrypt test won't happen at all, unless the target
is running an encrpyt program they have specifically purchased. This
is the approach that "feels right" to me, but will of course lead to
every single runner purchasing an encrypt program :)

> Simple Action to sniff the data (now unencrypted) to find the Smartlink.

Nope, he know needs to break in. This is a Hacking + Exploit extended
test with a threshold of 1 initiative pass, and a threshold equal to
the firewall. Now, assuming Exploit 6 and Hacking of 5 and the target
has a Firewall of 4, he's got 11 dice, meaning 1 or 2 turns to break
in on average. At this point, the targets commlink gets an Analyze +
Firewall test against your hackers stealth rating. Assuming the
target isn't a hacker running analyze, the commlink rolls 4 dice to
try and get 6 (the hackers assumed stealth program rating) hits.
Should it somehow pull off this miracle, it triggers an alert,
otherwise your hacker is in.

The problem is, he's in with personal account access (assuming the
target even has personal account level access). It's probably not
enough to actually do anything, and certainly not enough to commandeer
the targets cyberware. For that, you will certainly need admin
access, and that adds +6 to the threshold to get in. So now, your
hacker is rolling 11 dice vs a threshold of 10. That's 3 complex
actions worth of hacking. It's also 3 chances for the commlink to
stack up success and trigger an alert. Admittedly, only rolling 4
dice each turn, even with 3 turns of rolling still generally won't get
the 6 total hits needed to get past the hackers stealth program, but
it is possible.

> Simple Action to command the smartlink to turn off.

Nope, this is a complex action, using the Control Device Matrix
action. Depending on the GM, you may or may not have to make a roll
to pull this off, but I think it's safe to assume that turning off the
smartlink will not require a roll. Bear in mind though, that turning
it back on will probably only be a free action for the target

> So, approximately 2 full Combat Turns (6 seconds) plus another full
> Initiative Pass (possibly another 3 seconds) to turn off a Smartlink.

No, we're looking at 1 or 2 complex actions to get find the PAN.

Possibly 2 complex actions to decrypt

3 complex actions to hack himself admin access

1 complex action to turn off the smartlink. So maybe 8 complex
actions, meaning that someone with 3 initiative passes (ie a wired
hacker, or a hot simming hacker) will take 3 combat turns to achieve
this.

> Is that right? Did I miss something? Could a Hacker cause the Smartlink to
> take dice away from the shooter's pool, instead? (So, instead of giving a
> +2, give it a -2 because it's subtly moving the targeting point away.)

Using the control device action, the hacker can command the smartlink
to do anything the smartlinks owner could command it to dosuch as
"Turn off. Turn on. Report status" etc.

You could also use the Edit command to play with the signal from the
smartlink. Assuming it was subtle, the GM could probably let the
hacker get away with a dice penalty, at least until the target turns
off or starts ignoring his smartlink. Each Edit action will only last
one combat turn though, so you will need to keep doing this, unless
you have previously used a control device action on the smartlink

Some alternative techniques include disabling the targets spam filters
and/or hitting them with a load of spam. Perhaps putting their
commlink on active mode? Unsubscribing devices? Disabling the
targets simlink? Turning off their cybereyes if they have them would
certainly be effective, even if they can be turned on again with a
free action. It would certainly be distracting.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 3
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Sun, 02 Oct 2005 16:59:31 -0400
At 03:38 PM 10/2/2005, you wrote:
>Our Technomancer wanted to know how he could hack into someone's PAN and
>turn off their Smartlink (or what have you). From what I figured, he'd have
>to do this:

I'd have to go with absolutely not. Not only does it make a sml a
hindrance and useless, but it adds a ridiculous level of complexity
to a combat scenario. I'd never allow it.
Message no. 4
From: ClassifiedTSBBR@*****.net.nz (Classified TS/BBR)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 21:14:13 +1300
----- Original Message -----
From: "NightLife" <Nightlife@*****.rr.com>
To: "Shadowrun Discussion" <shadowrn@*****.dumpshock.com>
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4


> At 03:38 PM 10/2/2005, you wrote:
>>Our Technomancer wanted to know how he could hack into someone's PAN and
>>turn off their Smartlink (or what have you). From what I figured, he'd
>>have
>>to do this:
>
> I'd have to go with absolutely not. Not only does it make a sml a
> hindrance and useless, but it adds a ridiculous level of complexity to a
> combat scenario. I'd never allow it.

Well then you'd better disallow the entire wireless world. because that's
exactly the sort of thing technomancers are for. :-(
Message no. 5
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 05:17:21 -0700 (PDT)
> > I'd have to go with absolutely not. Not only does it make a sml a
> > hindrance and useless, but it adds a ridiculous level of
> > complexity to a combat scenario. I'd never allow it.

> Well then you'd better disallow the entire wireless world. because
> that's exactly the sort of thing technomancers are for. :-(

I am going to get drawn in these SR4 debates one way or another, I
can tell already. So:

Why would the smartlink be vulnerable to hacking?! It is a
closed-loop, wired system. If the smartlink is vulnerable to
hacking, then riggers would have been doing it ever since Rigger 2
was released. You think wireless communications warfare is a facet
of SR4 only?

Sorry, but technomancers sound like a stupid invention. Why why why
does the matrix suddenly have to be treated like an Astral analogue?
Can my team's hacker allocate dice to "wireless defense" to protect
his friends from having hostile programs "grounded" through his PAN?!

Drek, wait until the debates start on cyber-FAB... little
nano-bacterial hybrids that can cling to the electromagnetic
disturbance caused by a passing hacker in the system. Ooooo... I
want a Rating 5 weapon foci... EMP-dagger. Wheeeee....

Among other things, SR4 tech seems to have been designed by people
with a very poor understanding of wireless networking. But, if
hackers can sieze control of, or shutdown, a sammie's chrome... then
"geek the mage!" just became a secondary cry to "geek the Geek!"...


======Korishinzo
--Frag... someone relieved themself in my cyber-Wheaties...

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Message no. 6
From: sp@*****.gr (Stefanos Patelis)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 16:03:06 +0300
Ice Heart wrote:

> [SNIPS]
>
>Among other things, SR4 tech seems to have been designed by people
>with a very poor understanding of wireless networking. But, if
>hackers can sieze control of, or shutdown, a sammie's chrome... then
>"geek the mage!" just became a secondary cry to "geek the
Geek!"...
>
>

Yes but what exactly IS wrong with that? We always moaned for some more
"in-game" usage for decker (or in this case decker-like )
characters...Why complain now? Let alone that if the rules descriptions
given before are correct (I haven't checked) you are looking at around 3
combat turns to turn something off that the guy ownning it can spend a
free action to turn back on? So although straight forward solutions are
out ("Turn the sammie's Smartlink off") more ingenuitive (sp?) ways can
be found. ("Get the sammie to shoot his companion mage", "Get the sniper
to shoot early and ruin the meet..." etc..)
I can't see how this ruins the SR4 concept. I kinda see it as adding
some extra stuff to it...


--
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ΣÏέÏαΜοÏ

EWORX S.A.
22 Rodou Street - Maroussi 15122 - Greece
tel: +30 210 61 48 380, +30 210 61 48 360
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mailto:sp@*****.gr -- http://www.eworx.gr
Message no. 7
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 23:16:39 +1000
On 10/3/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
>
> Why would the smartlink be vulnerable to hacking?! It is a
> closed-loop, wired system.

No it's not, it's a wireless device that link through a wireless
"router" in the form of your commlink. Even if you lose the wireless
aspect of it, and use a skinlink variety, it is still using your
commlink as a hub for your PAN, and thus still hackable.

> If the smartlink is vulnerable to
> hacking, then riggers would have been doing it ever since Rigger 2
> was released. You think wireless communications warfare is a facet
> of SR4 only?

No,. but the sheer widespread nature of it is new to SR4. Previously,
about the only wireless device most runners would have carried was
their phone. Now however, everything is wired, and the things that
aren't wired, are generally networked to something that is. Sure, a
runner could avoid all of this by completely turning off his commlink,
and using old school SR3 type cyberware, and that would make him
immune to hacking, but it would come at the cost of sticking out like
a sore thumb in certain areas, and would cut off many of the tactical
advantages available to a team of runners that are sharing information
across their own personal networks. If you've got a runner that
thinks those costs are worth it, then more luck to him, he can be
wireless and hacker free.

> Sorry, but technomancers sound like a stupid invention. Why why why
> does the matrix suddenly have to be treated like an Astral analogue?

That's only in the rules. It's not seen that way "in game". And the
rules do it, because consistency is more streamlined.

> Can my team's hacker allocate dice to "wireless defense" to protect
> his friends from having hostile programs "grounded" through his PAN?!

No, but your teams hacker can certainly install some IC on your
commlink for you to stop other hackers getting in so easily. The
example I gave above was for a "typical" runner with a low level
commlink and no protection. If you have a hacker on your team, it's
fairly safe to assume he'll have loaded his team mates up with enough
basic utilities to make the example I listed above a lot harder to
manage.

Even the addition of a simple Analyze program on the commlink in my
previous email would mean that an active is likely to be triggered,
and that will let the commlinks owner know what is going on, and maybe
even launch internal IC. And that makes it a /lot/ of effort and time
for the hacker to disable a bit of cyberware midfight. The fight is
almost certainly over by the time he's in a position to actually be of
any use

> Drek, wait until the debates start on cyber-FAB... little
> nano-bacterial hybrids that can cling to the electromagnetic
> disturbance caused by a passing hacker in the system. Ooooo... I
> want a Rating 5 weapon foci... EMP-dagger. Wheeeee....

As I said, the astral space comparison is a rules only comparison.
The PCs and NPCs of the world don't necesarily view it that way.

And house ruling out technomancers is probably one of the simplest
house rules you could ever use. It would instantly get rid of the
"magic feel" you don't like without any real problems

> Among other things, SR4 tech seems to have been designed by people
> with a very poor understanding of wireless networking.

No, it's made by people who were trying to get a way of letting
hackers/deckers get involved in a shadowrun without 'causing everyone
else to go and take a break for an hour or two :)

> But, if
> hackers can sieze control of, or shutdown, a sammie's chrome... then
> "geek the mage!" just became a secondary cry to "geek the
Geek!"...

Seriously, the amount of time it would take a hacker to pull this off
in combat will make him a second rate threat after the mages throwing
area affect spells.

Heck, it takes 3 full combat at 3 initiative passes a turn to hack a
typical runners commlink, and even then, the end result is causing to
allow the hacker to annoy and distract his victim, and unless the
victim is equipped with a commlink controlled kink bomb, they won't
actually be able to do any real harm to the target.

And to even get it done in 3 turns requires the hacker to have Wired
reflexes and be operating in AR mode, or it requires them to be hot
simming it in VR, in which case they aren't dodging any bullets or
grenades that come their way

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 8
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 06:35:35 -0700 (PDT)
> Yes but what exactly IS wrong with that? We always moaned for some
> more "in-game" usage for decker (or in this case decker-like )
> characters...Why complain now?

Errr... I have never complained about anything of sort. :)
Deckers were always the gods of the Shadowrun world, outside of
combat. And since combat gets no more than 50% emphasis in my games,
usually less, deckers more than dominate the game without being able
to hack cyberware.
Granted, I tend to encourage my deckers to grab some boosted reflexes
and some pistols skill at some point, and get out of their secure
bunker.
Just acting as the team's telecom broker and legwork pointman makes
deckers invaluable and gives them the lion share of pre-meet, pre-run
operations. Start looking into the fake ID generation rules in
Sprawl Survival Guide, or read up on forging vehicle/weapon/etc
permits. Pretty soon, your decker is your team's go-to guy and all
around workhorse.
Kind of in keeping with the genre. Technomancers, OTOH, should have
stayed in Bab5, and the hell out of SR.

> I can't see how this ruins the SR4 concept. I kinda see it as
> adding some extra stuff to it...

Extra... yes. I'd go further to say "illogical", "imbalancing" and
"ridiculous". Illogical because it wasn't needed to make the
archetype playable... if it isn't broken, why fix it? Imbalancing
because you shake player's trust in the system... the NPCs can frag
with my simlink and make me experience whatever they want? Deus ex
Machina for sure. If I am making a nice street sam, I am not
thinking in terms of how many actions something takes. I am
thinking, 'they can do WHAT to my ware?!' Ridiculous because it does
not in any way jive with common sense networking, wireless or
otherwise. No possible way cyberware manufacturers are going to turn
out cyber that any goon with the right util can turn against the
user.

I think someone else already said it on the list... why --WHY-- would
the world scrap a fairly functional 30 year old network in favor of a
system as insecure as SR4's AR? Because of a world wide system
crash? Sure. I know if my entire network crashed at work, first
thing off I'd be rebuilding it so my grandmother's fragging pacemaker
interfaced with it. Why not? It only... crashed! People would be
putting LESS online, not more, after a global crash. Everything that
had to go online would have redundancies and offline backups.
Systems that didn't need the matrix (or AR) would be closed loops to
avoid potential infection or compromise.

======Korishinzo
--*sigh*


>
> --
> ΠαÏέληÏ
ΣÏέÏαΜοÏ
>
> EWORX S.A.
> 22 Rodou Street - Maroussi 15122 - Greece
> tel: +30 210 61 48 380, +30 210 61 48 360
> mob: +30 6978853066 - fax +30 210 6148381
> mailto:sp@*****.gr -- http://www.eworx.gr
>
>




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Message no. 9
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 23:52:53 +1000
On 10/3/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
> Deckers were always the gods of the Shadowrun world, outside of
> combat. And since combat gets no more than 50% emphasis in my games,
> usually less, deckers more than dominate the game without being able
> to hack cyberware.
> Granted, I tend to encourage my deckers to grab some boosted reflexes
> and some pistols skill at some point, and get out of their secure
> bunker.

Your experience with deckers does not equal most other groups
experiences. Some people don't have a problem with the decker tying
up the game when he does his thing, because it's his chance to shine.
Others hate the fact that it can spoil and interupt to flow of the
game. Most people tend towards the latter opinion, which is why they
have changed it this edition

> Extra... yes. I'd go further to say "illogical", "imbalancing"
and
> "ridiculous". Illogical because it wasn't needed to make the
> archetype playable... if it isn't broken, why fix it?

Most people would say it was broken. Of course no opinion is going to
be universal, and it may have worked well for you, but most groups
restorted to using an NPC decker because it caused less hassle to game
flow

> Imbalancing
> because you shake player's trust in the system... the NPCs can frag
> with my simlink and make me experience whatever they want? Deus ex
> Machina for sure. If I am making a nice street sam, I am not
> thinking in terms of how many actions something takes. I am
> thinking, 'they can do WHAT to my ware?!'

At the moment, YOU are thinking about what they can do to your ware
because of your unfamiliarity with a new system. A street sam who
has been living on the streets with wireless hackers running around
would know that he isn't going to get hacked before he can pull his
gun and put a few rounds in to the hacker. Sure, he won't know it
down to the specific amount of seconds, but he will know that a mage
can drop 3 fireballs before he has to worry about the hacker :)

> Ridiculous because it does
> not in any way jive with common sense networking, wireless or
> otherwise. No possible way cyberware manufacturers are going to turn
> out cyber that any goon with the right util can turn against the
> user.

In the same way that no router manufacturer would sell a wireless
router that lets anyone with the right set up cruise the streets,
access private data and surf the web using someone elses network? It
can be done now, so it's safe to assume it can be done in the future.
Remember, taking over someones cyberware requires hacking their
commlink using software that has a street cost of 4,000 to 6,000
nuyen. Most people are not going to be in a situation where that is a
possiblity they are doing to have to face, and for them, the
convenience of a wireless interface will more than compensate for a
theoretical threat from a hacker that doesn't know or care that Joe
Wageslave exists.

> I think someone else already said it on the list... why --WHY-- would
> the world scrap a fairly functional 30 year old network in favor of a
> system as insecure as SR4's AR? Because of a world wide system
> crash?

It's no more or less secure than the old system.

> Sure. I know if my entire network crashed at work, first
> thing off I'd be rebuilding it so my grandmother's fragging pacemaker
> interfaced with it. Why not? It only... crashed! People would be
> putting LESS online, not more, after a global crash.

People yes, corps no. And what the corps want, the corps get.

> Everything that
> had to go online would have redundancies and offline backups.
> Systems that didn't need the matrix (or AR) would be closed loops to
> avoid potential infection or compromise.

None of this has changed. There are still networks that can't be
accessed wirelessly, there are still networks that are hidden behind
other networks, there are still offline backups, there are still sites
that require physical access to penetrate.

But there are plenty of systems that don't need this level of paranoia as well

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 10
From: snicker@*********.net (Snicker)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 09:05:29 -0500
At 08:35 AM 10/3/2005, you wrote:

> > I can't see how this ruins the SR4 concept. I kinda see it as
> > adding some extra stuff to it...

I usually start my players in '50, so it's not an issue, however, it makes
it MUCH easier for me to integrate my other favourite "add-on" (I may have
mentioned before): Cybergeneration. Previously, I avoided making Wizards
for PCs because they'd be crippled in the fairly dull SR atmosphere. Now,
the technomancer rules can be adapted to make even those sorts of
characters viable. I like to set the game in Bug City, shortly after the
bomb, giving multiple scary reasons for the new kids on the block. So far,
my players have enjoyed it as an alternative to the regular sessions,
especially when certain people can't make it.

As far as SR4, the only thing I worry about is the brevity of
combat. Previously, the combats were rather lengthy, true, but they were
also cinematic (at least the way I ran them they were). I think of it akin
to the Matrix: hundreds of bullets, lots of dodging, and opportunities for
everyone to shine. Now the combats are so short, I don't imagine melee
combatants will even get a chance to close the distance before the combat
is over. I worry about this, because for some of my players, the combat IS
the game. If combat doesn't take up as much of the game as the (to them)
"boring" roleplaying and adventuring, they consider it a slow
night. Granted, I could throw more combats in, but that leads to
interrupting my floor more frequently, which can really detract from the
storytelling that most of my players are there for.

So... Who wants to run a quick sim of a typical 4-person (three grunts and
a mage) newly created party against a 6-man corp sec team for me? (I don't
have my book yet).

;)

Snicker
Message no. 11
From: arclight@*********.de (Arclight)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 16:27:00 +0200
At 15:52 03.10.2005, Ray Macey wrote:

>On 10/3/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
> > Deckers were always the gods of the Shadowrun world, outside of
> > combat. And since combat gets no more than 50% emphasis in my games,
> > usually less, deckers more than dominate the game without being able
> > to hack cyberware.
> > Granted, I tend to encourage my deckers to grab some boosted reflexes
> > and some pistols skill at some point, and get out of their secure
> > bunker.
>
>Your experience with deckers does not equal most other groups
>experiences. Some people don't have a problem with the decker tying
>up the game when he does his thing, because it's his chance to shine.
>Others hate the fact that it can spoil and interupt to flow of the
>game. Most people tend towards the latter opinion, which is why they
>have changed it this edition

True. But was it because of a fiber-based architecture or because of
complex rules?

<snip>

>At the moment, YOU are thinking about what they can do to your ware
>because of your unfamiliarity with a new system. A street sam who
>has been living on the streets with wireless hackers running around
>would know that he isn't going to get hacked before he can pull his
>gun and put a few rounds in to the hacker. Sure, he won't know it
>down to the specific amount of seconds, but he will know that a mage
>can drop 3 fireballs before he has to worry about the hacker :)

But, given a successful attack, the 'mancer can disable the sammies 'ware
before the attack occures. Try identify an attacker while walking through a
crowd of wageslaves, all looking the same.

<snip>

>In the same way that no router manufacturer would sell a wireless
>router that lets anyone with the right set up cruise the streets,
>access private data and surf the web using someone elses network? It
>can be done now, so it's safe to assume it can be done in the future.

Yeah, but that is a user problem. Running a VPN connection over a WLAN with
a good router setup is pretty secure. And any important data would be
behind a firewall in a wired network.

RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your
internet connection or could access your computer and stored personal
files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a whole
other ball game...


--
Arclight

Quitters never win, winners never quit,
but those who never quit and never win are idiots
Message no. 12
From: sp@*****.gr (Stefanos Patelis)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 17:47:56 +0300
Arclight wrote:

> At 15:52 03.10.2005, Ray Macey wrote:
>
>> On 10/3/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
>> > Deckers were always the gods of the Shadowrun world, outside of
>> > combat. And since combat gets no more than 50% emphasis in my games,
>> > usually less, deckers more than dominate the game without being able
>> > to hack cyberware.
>> > Granted, I tend to encourage my deckers to grab some boosted reflexes
>> > and some pistols skill at some point, and get out of their secure
>> > bunker.
>>
>> Your experience with deckers does not equal most other groups
>> experiences. Some people don't have a problem with the decker tying
>> up the game when he does his thing, because it's his chance to shine.
>> Others hate the fact that it can spoil and interupt to flow of the
>> game. Most people tend towards the latter opinion, which is why they
>> have changed it this edition
>
>
> True. But was it because of a fiber-based architecture or because of
> complex rules?
>
Neither in fact. It was because Decker characters "did their thang" in a
completely different environment than the rest of the players. Mages
might get a chance or two where they would -astraly- have to do a
sidequest but they could easily be involved in action scenes as well.
Deckers who had no combat orientation (75% percent of any starting
decker who wants to be good at his job) were a liability in combat,in
inflitration and other action scenes of stories. On the other hand when
Deckers started braving the Matrix most players would go grab something
to eat, order pizza and generally hang around while the Decker player
ran the MAtrix with the GM... In a tabletop game that usually spoils
somewhat the fan of the game as it splits the group...

I mean even in your examples I cannot see how a tabletop group of
players with one GM could really have fun when one player dominated the
game by his actions while others just hang around waitting for him to
get through his job (be it hack a PLTG, make some illegal copies, ids
and what have you)...

Wether you followed the rules and ran the Decker rans properly or you
minimised Decker rans to a few rolls to get results someone would be
left unhappy in most of your games...I frankly don't see it otherwise
and neither do most people's posts in SR related forums/lists do AFAIK...



> <snip>
>
>> At the moment, YOU are thinking about what they can do to your ware
>> because of your unfamiliarity with a new system. A street sam who
>> has been living on the streets with wireless hackers running around
>> would know that he isn't going to get hacked before he can pull his
>> gun and put a few rounds in to the hacker. Sure, he won't know it
>> down to the specific amount of seconds, but he will know that a mage
>> can drop 3 fireballs before he has to worry about the hacker :)
>
>
> But, given a successful attack, the 'mancer can disable the sammies
> 'ware before the attack occures. Try identify an attacker while
> walking through a crowd of wageslaves, all looking the same.
>
You are giving a very specific scenario where advantage would indeed go
to the hacker...It is like saying that it is unfair that a sniper would
have an advantage over his target who unkowingly walks the street...And
does it really disable the harsware or simply turn it off? I frankly
don't know that part of the rules so I will leave it here...Cause if it
is only a free action for the sammie to turn it back on then my previous
statement holds...it is pointless besides very unique situations to do
so. In which situations the ingenuity and innovation of the mancer
should be rewarded by giving him that advanatage...

> <snip>
>
>> In the same way that no router manufacturer would sell a wireless
>> router that lets anyone with the right set up cruise the streets,
>> access private data and surf the web using someone elses network? It
>> can be done now, so it's safe to assume it can be done in the future.
>
>
> Yeah, but that is a user problem. Running a VPN connection over a WLAN
> with a good router setup is pretty secure. And any important data
> would be behind a firewall in a wired network.
>
> RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your
> internet connection or could access your computer and stored personal
> files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a
> whole other ball game...
>
>
All the more that you SHOULD NOT be lazy and be protected...Which means,
as others have pointed out, that most sammies would have got proper
security or warnings or scanners for such an attack...otherwise they are
begging for it...


--
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Message no. 13
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 01:25:59 +1000
On 10/4/05, Arclight <arclight@*********.de> wrote:
>
> True. But was it because of a fiber-based architecture or because of
> complex rules?

A bit of both. The rule system required the decker hack in to the
system, and then move around in the system every time he wanted to do
something. It required him to fight IC that other team members
couldn't be involved in. The reason it required that, is because
decking a system had to be a real job with complexity and dice rolls
or otherwise it was boring

Imagine if the current rule set was used with a wired system. The
decker would sit at home, deck in, make a roll or two, and he'd be in
the system. From then on, he wouldn't be at any physical risk,
because he's offsite, and he wouldn't risk tripping IC etc. Once he'd
made his rolls, it would be effectively all over for him. This is in
effect, how most groups used NPC deckers. The GM would break it down
to a few rolls and leave it at that.

But if you take rule set where hacking and controlling a system can be
done in few roles, and once you're in, you're basically set, then how
do you make it interesting? You do it by providing lots of systems
for the hacker to interact with. So now drones, equipment, security
networks etc are all viable targets for the hacker, and allow him to
get some enjoyment and ongoing interaction out of a run. It makes it
possible for the group leader to say "Hackmaester, I need a copy of
the schematics for this device, and I need them now" and Hackmaester
can go off and get the schematics in the very same combat timeframe
that the rest of the group is holding off the security guards.

> But, given a successful attack, the 'mancer can disable the sammies 'ware
> before the attack occures. Try identify an attacker while walking through a
> crowd of wageslaves, all looking the same.

Sure, but a sniper can do the same thing if you're unprepared. So can
an invisible mage. If you have the drop on your target, you have a
tactical advantage. That's how it works, hacker, same, mage or adept.

> Yeah, but that is a user problem. Running a VPN connection over a WLAN with
> a good router setup is pretty secure. And any important data would be
> behind a firewall in a wired network.

In the same way that a decent commlink will be running Encrypt,
Analyze and have a decent Firewall. A good setup makes it next to
impossible for a hacker to get in to your system unnanounced, at least
in a timeframe that will be useful, and will follow up with IC that
can keep the hacker too busy to bother with your 'ware.

> RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your
> internet connection or could access your computer and stored personal
> files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a whole
> other ball game...

Not really. It's not like he can make them blow up in your head or
anything. He can only do things that you can do with them, and that
means that if you want to disable the ability to turn your cybereyes
off, then the hacker can't do it either. Or he could edit the data
that your cybereyes are receiving to give you some nasty penalties,
but that's no worse than a mage throwing confusion at you. The only
difference is, the mage has the ability to throw it at your entire
team at once, and do it in a single complex action.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 14
From: u.alberton@*****.com (Bira)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 13:02:48 -0300
> So maybe 8 complex
> actions, meaning that someone with 3 initiative passes (ie a wired
> hacker, or a hot simming hacker) will take 3 combat turns to achieve
> this.

If the time interval for the extended test is 1 combat turn (rather
than 1 complex action), wouldn't each roll take a full turn regardless
of how many passes you have? In this case, the hacking attempt would
take something like 8 turns. It would also mean wired reflexes don't
help hacking...


--
Bira
http://compexplicita.blogspot.com
http://sinfoniaferida.blogspot.com
Message no. 15
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 02:12:35 +1000
>
> If the time interval for the extended test is 1 combat turn (rather
> than 1 complex action), wouldn't each roll take a full turn regardless
> of how many passes you have? In this case, the hacking attempt would
> take something like 8 turns. It would also mean wired reflexes don't
> help hacking...

Good catch. The interval for the hacking entry test is actually one
initiative pass, and I assumed this was the case elsewhere as well,
but it's not. The Electronic Warfare actions tend to have an interval
of 1 combat turn, so interval for decrypting is 1 combat turn as you
point out, which means that that step alone will generally take 2
combat turns, and the roll to detect the hidden PAN will also take 1
or two combat turns.

That alone makes a good encryption program worth its weight in gold,
and makes any commlink running encrypt 6 virtually impregnable in a
combat useful timeframe

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 16
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 17:29:27 +0000
Stefanos wrote:
> >
> You are giving a very specific scenario where advantage would indeed go
> to the hacker...It is like saying that it is unfair that a sniper would
> have an advantage over his target who unkowingly walks the street...And
> does it really disable the harsware or simply turn it off? I frankly
> don't know that part of the rules so I will leave it here...Cause if it
> is only a free action for the sammie to turn it back on then my previous
> statement holds...it is pointless besides very unique situations to do
> so. In which situations the ingenuity and innovation of the mancer
> should be rewarded by giving him that advanatage...
>

Actually, in theory, you could crash the Smartlink instead of just turning it off, thereby
forcing a reboot, which takes (sytem)x Combat Turns to come back online.

Zebulin
Message no. 17
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 03:41:04 +1000
On 10/4/05, zebulingod@*******.net <zebulingod@*******.net> wrote:
>
> Actually, in theory, you could crash the Smartlink instead of just turning it off,
thereby forcing a reboot, which takes (sytem)x Combat Turns to come back online.

The reason I didn't suggest that is because you're looking at a
threshold of 6, which probably means two actions, and the second you
try it, you set off an active alert. It's certainly a viable option
though :)


--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 18
From: gwarren@*******.rr.com (Griff M. Warren II)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:42:18 -0400
RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your

>>internet connection or could access your computer and stored personal
>>files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a whole
>>other ball game...
>>
>>
>
>Not really. It's not like he can make them blow up in your head or
>anything.
>

Why can't he? If someone has the kind of contrtol over the device that
would allow a redirection of electrical inpulses that could alter the
visual display or even regulate power in the device why isn't he able to
create a feedback in the device that could damage the sammie's brain
perhaps even causing an aneurysm and so immediate death?

Griff Warren
Message no. 19
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:44:54 -0400
>>I'd have to go with absolutely not. Not only does it make a sml a
>>hindrance and useless, but it adds a ridiculous level of complexity
>>to a combat scenario. I'd never allow it.
>
>Well then you'd better disallow the entire wireless world. because
>that's exactly the sort of thing technomancers are for. :-(

First and foremost the link is a closed system. The link hand
receives a signal through either a datajack or a dedicated sml pad in
the hand. Its not wireless. Never has been and if the someone was
dumb enough to do that then well that could be a whole tirade right
there. Technomancers(TMs) are not magicians no matter how much people
would like them to be. They cannot use a device that isn't hooked up
to the matrix. So no matter how much they stare at that blender its
not going to turn on unless they go over and flip the switch. TMs are
quite honestly one of the most muchkinous thing I've ever seen. Its a
knock off of an old Dark Conspiracy idea the Computer Empath.
Message no. 20
From: Paul.Grosse@***********.com (Paul Grosse)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 12:51:42 -0500
> >
> > RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your
> > internet connection or could access your computer and
> stored personal
> > files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a
> > whole other ball game...
> >
> >
> > --
> > Arclight
> >
>
> Hmm, interesting, hacking a corp sec or somebody else to get
> visual's of the inside of the building. And possibly easier
> than hacking the security camera's :)
>
> Paul G.

Sorry, ment this for the entire list :)

Paul G.
Message no. 21
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 12:58:17 -0500
> No it's not, it's a wireless device that link through a wireless
> "router" in the form of your commlink. Even if you lose the wireless
> aspect of it, and use a skinlink variety, it is still using your
> commlink as a hub for your PAN, and thus still hackable.
>

Ok, here's the catch, the fact that it's wireless now is a new SR4 thing,
and as a few people have pointed out, anyone that had the cyber before 2065
doesn't have the wireless stuff, they've got good old fashioned SL1 or SL2,
that's wired....not wireless, not routed through a commlink, which isn't
tied to a commlink (which I think is quite stupid personally)


>> If the smartlink is vulnerable to
>> hacking, then riggers would have been doing it ever since Rigger 2
>> was released. You think wireless communications warfare is a facet
>> of SR4 only?
>
> No,. but the sheer widespread nature of it is new to SR4. Previously,
> about the only wireless device most runners would have carried was
> their phone. Now however, everything is wired, and the things that
> aren't wired, are generally networked to something that is. Sure, a
> runner could avoid all of this by completely turning off his commlink,
> and using old school SR3 type cyberware, and that would make him
> immune to hacking, but it would come at the cost of sticking out like
> a sore thumb in certain areas, and would cut off many of the tactical
> advantages available to a team of runners that are sharing information
> across their own personal networks. If you've got a runner that
> thinks those costs are worth it, then more luck to him, he can be
> wireless and hacker free.

How about someone that doesn't use the commlink at all? Uses an old style
radio? Paramilitary type teams or special ops teams would have at most one
person that's setup to have that whole network thing going for them, a grunt
doesn't need it, it's just a distraction, and there's no reason whatsoever
for a mage to blow essence for it.

Derek
Message no. 22
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 04:07:10 +1000
On 10/4/05, Griff M. Warren II <gwarren@*******.rr.com> wrote:
>
> Why can't he? If someone has the kind of contrtol over the device that
> would allow a redirection of electrical inpulses that could alter the
> visual display or even regulate power in the device why isn't he able to
> create a feedback in the device that could damage the sammie's brain
> perhaps even causing an aneurysm and so immediate death?

Because he's not controlling electronic impulses in the device
directly. He's merely altering some 1's and 0's to edit the data the
thing displays, or to turn make it carry out a pre-configured action
such as "turn off". There is no "blow up" action, and there is no way
to make it blow up by changing the signal it displays.

Of course, the GM could rule that maybe you can burn out a cybereye by
forcing it to display a repeating pattern or something, but that's
longterm, and still doesn't make it blow up, it just makes it stop
working

On 10/4/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:

> First and foremost the link is a closed system. The link hand
> receives a signal through either a datajack or a dedicated sml pad in
> the hand. Its not wireless. Never has been and if the someone was
> dumb enough to do that then well that could be a whole tirade right
> there.

Start your tirade then, because that's exactly how the smartlink works
in SR4. It's designed that way so that you can shoot the gun when you
aren't even holding it. So you can disable it when you aren't holding
it, whilst still letting a friend use it if they pick it up. It's
designed that way so that you can access a camera feed from the gun
whilst it's not physcially in your possession.

Of course, you can have a skinlink smartlink instead of a wireless
one, but even so, it's still networked and part of your personal area
network, and is still vulnerable through your commlink, which is the
hub of your PAN and /is/ wireless.

And sure, you could use an oldschool SR3 style smartlink, and it would
probably be immune to hacking in this manner, but it's also not as
versatile. And given the sheer difficulty/time required to hack and
abuse a smartlink in combat, I'm not sure that the loss of
functionality would be worth the extra protection.


> Technomancers(TMs) are not magicians no matter how much people
> would like them to be. They cannot use a device that isn't hooked up
> to the matrix. So no matter how much they stare at that blender its
> not going to turn on unless they go over and flip the switch.

You really need to read SR4 :)

Your blender is almost certainly wireless, like nearly every other
single bit of technology in the setting, which means they can stare
and it and make it turn on. And again, you could remove the wireless
compenent from your blender and require it to be switched on manually,
protecting it from random technomancers passing by, but it's at a cost
to your daily convenience. Sure not much of a cost just for one
blender, but it's quite a bit of a cost if you are trying to survive
using only wired devices in a world where everything is wireless.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 23
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:09:52 -0500
> I think someone else already said it on the list... why --WHY-- would
> the world scrap a fairly functional 30 year old network in favor of a
> system as insecure as SR4's AR? Because of a world wide system
> crash? Sure. I know if my entire network crashed at work, first
> thing off I'd be rebuilding it so my grandmother's fragging pacemaker
> interfaced with it. Why not? It only... crashed! People would be
> putting LESS online, not more, after a global crash. Everything that
> had to go online would have redundancies and offline backups.
> Systems that didn't need the matrix (or AR) would be closed loops to
> avoid potential infection or compromise.


If they didn't say it I'll back you up on it, I've been working with
computers in businesses and even with the army, when a full computer system
fails, especially when it's a massive system (i.e. Worldwide) you don't find
ways to make the new one MORE integrated, you find ways to make the new one
more failsafe and THEN you integrate things.....a transition of that grade,
you shouldn't see things becoming massively integrated like that to the new
"wireless matrix" until somewhere in the neighborhood of 2075-2080 if a full
scale computer network crashed out in 2065, no rational government is going
to throw themselves happily onto something that hasn't been tested and
proven for 5 years at least, and then you've got patent wars, bidding wars,
and everything else because as we've seen in todays tech, he who builds it
best ends up on top, even if they're slower to start.
Case in point being Intel vs. AMD, with it starting off that Intel had the
lead, then for the longest time, it being a matter of personal preference,
then AMD quit worrying about speed and flexed their muscle and got
processors to perform more efficiently without increasing clock speed, and
started to pull ahead of Intel, now, they beat Intel to the desktop 64 bit
processor, and as such, are the industry standard that Intel is having to
build to match how it addresses everything with their 64 bit line, and, to
point a side thought out, as much as it pains me to say it, the Athlon64 is
probably a fair shot ahead of the Apple G5 chip too because it doesn't have
nearly as big of a performance hit when you drop down to non-64bit optimized
software.

To steer the rant back onto topic, do I like SR4, very much so, do I like
the wireless matrix, sure, it's not improbable, do I like that everything is
integrated? Not at all, it's too much too fast, and for the timeline to
remain somewhat realistic, it's something that should have been in process
for quite a while, and as such, would have been wiped by Crash 2.0 as well
as the regular matrix.
Message no. 24
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 11:10:55 -0700 (PDT)
> >Well then you'd better disallow the entire wireless world. because
> >that's exactly the sort of thing technomancers are for. :-(

> First and foremost the link is a closed system. The link hand
> receives a signal through either a datajack or a dedicated sml pad
> in the hand. Its not wireless. Never has been and if the someone
> was dumb enough to do that then well that could be a whole tirade
> right there. Technomancers(TMs) are not magicians no matter how
much
> people would like them to be. They cannot use a device that isn't
> hooked up to the matrix. So no matter how much they stare at that
> blender its not going to turn on unless they go over and flip the
> switch. TMs are quite honestly one of the most muchkinous thing
> I've ever seen. Its a knock off of an old Dark Conspiracy idea the
> Computer Empath.

Thank you for saying this all better than I was. :)

Smartlink - wireless? Wired reflexes - wireless? No no no.

If the signal does not have a reason to leave the body, why take it
off the wires? Are you going to try and tell me that signal latency
is lower on radio frequencies than along hardwired interfaces through
the body? There is not a single good reason to hook a smartlink to a
commlink.

And adding encryption to a closed system like a smartlink is stupid.
It adds unecessary complexity to the information being processed by
the system, slowing things down. Don't even mention encryption on a
wired reflex system!

SR4 takes place in what? 2070? So the average runner has never
experienced a system crash. And grew up on hardwired chrome. No
POSSIBLE way everyone just up and embraces a less secure system whole
heartedly. Except maybe in a la-la-land where things happen in a
vaccum utterly divorced from reasonable cause and effect.

Bottom line: the matrix is being treated like magic... not in terms
of game mechanics alone, but in terms of execution. Loads and loads
of trog-drek people.

======Korishinzo
--Watching the launch of the Titani... I mean SR4...



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Message no. 25
From: maxnoel_fr@*****.fr (Max Noel)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 20:14:38 +0200
On 3 Oct 2005, at 19:58, Derek Hyde wrote:

> Ok, here's the catch, the fact that it's wireless now is a new SR4
> thing,
> and as a few people have pointed out, anyone that had the cyber
> before 2065
> doesn't have the wireless stuff, they've got good old fashioned SL1
> or SL2,
> that's wired....not wireless, not routed through a commlink, which
> isn't
> tied to a commlink (which I think is quite stupid personally)

Yup. And conveniently, the rules/stats for those old-fashioned
implants aren't present in the SR4 core rulebook -- though I guess
most of them'll be in the cyberware supplement (and probably
bullshitted to be less effective than their wi-fi counterparts).
There still is a way to get a wired smartlink. That's what I'm
doing: remove wireless functionality from all your cyberware (it's
free, you just have to point it out to your GM -- see my earlier
rant) and use either a datajack or skin-link (if you do that, don't
forget to also specify your commlink *can't* interface with it).

>>> If the smartlink is vulnerable to
>>> hacking, then riggers would have been doing it ever since Rigger 2
>>> was released. You think wireless communications warfare is a facet
>>> of SR4 only?
>>>
>>
>> No,. but the sheer widespread nature of it is new to SR4.

So is the ease with which cracking it is possible. In SR3,
electronic warfare was a potent tool, but it was also a bitch to use.

> How about someone that doesn't use the commlink at all? Uses an old
> style
> radio? Paramilitary type teams or special ops teams would have at
> most one
> person that's setup to have that whole network thing going for
> them, a grunt
> doesn't need it, it's just a distraction, and there's no reason
> whatsoever
> for a mage to blow essence for it.

One of the reasons why this wi-fi spree doesn't make sense is
that armies (either national or corporate) are probably big driving
forces behind the reconstruction of the Matrix. And there's no way in
hell an army is using a system whose security is so laughably low.

-- Wild_Cat





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Message no. 26
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:16:58 +0000
Derek wrote:
>
> To steer the rant back onto topic, do I like SR4, very much so, do I like
> the wireless matrix, sure, it's not improbable, do I like that everything is
> integrated? Not at all, it's too much too fast, and for the timeline to
> remain somewhat realistic, it's something that should have been in process
> for quite a while, and as such, would have been wiped by Crash 2.0 as well
> as the regular matrix.
>
>

Actually, the Wireless Matrix Initiative (WMI) WAS being worked on before Crash 2.0. I
believe it was discussed in one of the Matrix books and a foreshadowing of things to come.

Zebulin
Message no. 27
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 11:22:04 -0700 (PDT)
> Your blender is almost certainly wireless, like nearly every other
> single bit of technology in the setting, which means they can stare
> and it and make it turn on. And again, you could remove the
> wireless compenent from your blender and require it to be switched
> on manually, protecting it from random technomancers passing by,
> but it's at a cost to your daily convenience. Sure not much of a
> cost just for one blender, but it's quite a bit of a cost if you
> are trying to survive using only wired devices in a world where
> everything is wireless.

Someone missed the class on bandwidth and how it is NOT unlimited.
Especially radio signal bandwidth. Remember the little scandal that
quietly rocked a few car companies a short time back because their
keyless entry systems functioned a very narrow set of frequencies?
So people were opening each other's cars. How about garage door
openers, and the problems with too few freqencies. Your blender is
wireless? First of all, why? But that is irrelevant... do you
honestly believe gun manufacturers want a weapon being fired by
someone not holding it? Even if they did, what law enforcement
agency wouldn't climb ALL OVER such an idea?

======Korishinzo
--setting my PAN on stun

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Message no. 28
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:22:31 -0500
Before I go on, let me remind the debate that a technomancer is the new
version of the Otaku, not your average Decker/Hacker.

>
> But, given a successful attack, the 'mancer can disable the sammies 'ware
> before the attack occures. Try identify an attacker while walking through a
> crowd of wageslaves, all looking the same.

I agree fully here...and I think that's what Kori was trying to illustrate.

>> In the same way that no router manufacturer would sell a wireless
>> router that lets anyone with the right set up cruise the streets,
>> access private data and surf the web using someone elses network? It
>> can be done now, so it's safe to assume it can be done in the future.

Corps don't want things any more unsecure than the average home user,
infact, they want it implicitly more secure because they've got more
sensitive data inside their networks. They're not going to throw something
into effect just because they need a network.

>
> Yeah, but that is a user problem. Running a VPN connection over a WLAN with
> a good router setup is pretty secure. And any important data would be
> behind a firewall in a wired network.
>
> RL, if you are too lazy to secure you WLAN, somebody might use your
> internet connection or could access your computer and stored personal
> files. Compared to someone getting access to your frigging eyes - a whole
> other ball game...

Figure something like "MAC Address Filtering" enabled on the
commlink/pan/gear that affiliates with each other.

Router checks non-broadcasted hardware ID, matches, allows interface,
doesn't match, no interface.

MAC Address spoofing is possible, but, if you figure that you're trying to
crack a 25-50 character hexidecimal code (assuming if it went that route
they'd expand the length of the mac address to allow for many more addresses
to be created), it's not fast, and you're not going to do it just for the
hell of it, not to mention it's not like a password, you can't just check
digit by digit, you've got to check the entire thing.

Everything I've read says that with a top end computer, if you had a mac
address cracking utility designed to work with a wireless router, it's going
to take you *hours* to crack it, not just minutes or seconds, I honestly
can't see it getting that much faster.
Message no. 29
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:29:17 -0500
> Actually, the Wireless Matrix Initiative (WMI) WAS being worked on before
> Crash 2.0. I believe it was discussed in one of the Matrix books and a
> foreshadowing of things to come.
>
> Zebulin


Yep, which furthers my point, if crash 2.0 lost all this information
globally, WMI was lost too, which means they designed and implemented it in
+/- 4 years

Not likely to be adopted by any government or corp as their main source of
information backbone until it's fully tested
Message no. 30
From: maxnoel_fr@*****.fr (Max Noel)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 20:31:38 +0200
On 3 Oct 2005, at 20:22, Ice Heart wrote:

> Someone missed the class on bandwidth and how it is NOT unlimited.
> Especially radio signal bandwidth.

...and according to SR4 p. 219, it pretty much is.

-- Wild_Cat





___________________________________________________________________________
Appel audio GRATUIT partout dans le monde avec le nouveau Yahoo! Messenger
Téléchargez cette version sur http://fr.messenger.yahoo.com
Message no. 31
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:32:15 +0000
Max Noel wrote:
>
> Yup. And conveniently, the rules/stats for those old-fashioned
> implants aren't present in the SR4 core rulebook -- though I guess
> most of them'll be in the cyberware supplement (and probably
> bullshitted to be less effective than their wi-fi counterparts).
> There still is a way to get a wired smartlink. That's what I'm
> doing: remove wireless functionality from all your cyberware (it's
> free, you just have to point it out to your GM -- see my earlier
> rant) and use either a datajack or skin-link (if you do that, don't
> forget to also specify your commlink *can't* interface with it).
>

I would allow my players to choose wired/wireless however they like, and wouldn't nerf the
wired at all. It's going to be personal preference, and as I previously mentioned, there
are benefits to having things wireless.

Sticking your head in the sand because of a slight possibility of someone hacking you
isn't worth (IMO) waving away all those benefits without some sort of consideration.

Zebulin
Message no. 32
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 11:33:26 -0700 (PDT)
--- Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:

> Before I go on, let me remind the debate that a technomancer is the
> new version of the Otaku, not your average Decker/Hacker.

Otaku were a stupid idea long before SR4, and I don't think I am the
only one who left them wholly in the realm of Shadowrun urban
legend... or matrix legend, as the case may be.

======Korishinzo
--Deckers Opining Plausible Explanations - join today!






__________________________________
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
http://mail.yahoo.com
Message no. 33
From: arclight@*********.de (Arclight)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 20:34:41 +0200
At 20:22 03.10.2005, Ice Heart wrote:

<snip>

>Someone missed the class on bandwidth and how it is NOT unlimited.
>Especially radio signal bandwidth. Remember the little scandal that
>quietly rocked a few car companies a short time back because their
>keyless entry systems functioned a very narrow set of frequencies?

You can just assign unique IDs. Like a MAC adress for your computers NIC...
as long as bandwidth is big enough, you could put all devices into one
frequenzy in a shared-media type protocol.


--
Arclight

Quitters never win, winners never quit,
but those who never quit and never win are idiots
Message no. 34
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 04:36:56 +1000
On 10/4/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
>
> Someone missed the class on bandwidth and how it is NOT unlimited.
> Especially radio signal bandwidth.

I'm just quoting the book. The book says that bandwidth in the modern
day is virtually unlimited, and fast enough so that any kind of
download completes the turn it was initiated. I'm not trying to argue
the physics side of it, as I don't pretend to know enough to do so.

On 10/4/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:

> If the signal does not have a reason to leave the body, why take it
> off the wires? Are you going to try and tell me that signal latency
> is lower on radio frequencies than along hardwired interfaces through
> the body? There is not a single good reason to hook a smartlink to a
> commlink.

Essence is the reason. It becomes completely non invasive under SR4
rules. No essence cost at all. As I've said before though, if you
want to use the old SR3 cyberware, go for it. But it's less versatile
and more invasive. Maybe that's worth it for you, and if it is,
that's that.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 35
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:37:54 +0000
Kori wrote:
>
> Someone missed the class on bandwidth and how it is NOT unlimited.
> Especially radio signal bandwidth. Remember the little scandal that
> quietly rocked a few car companies a short time back because their
> keyless entry systems functioned a very narrow set of frequencies?
> So people were opening each other's cars. How about garage door
> openers, and the problems with too few freqencies. Your blender is
> wireless? First of all, why? But that is irrelevant... do you
> honestly believe gun manufacturers want a weapon being fired by
> someone not holding it? Even if they did, what law enforcement
> agency wouldn't climb ALL OVER such an idea?
>

Key FOBs are also very short range. I imagine, most wireless items in SR would be so, too.
IIRC, the signal for any item which doesn't specifically have a signal rating is 0, and
that the range for signal 0 is quite small (3m), which limits their impact on
"Universal Bandwidth" and so I doubt the FCC analogue is going to be too upset
about it.

Zebulin
Message no. 36
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:40:02 -0500
>> Before I go on, let me remind the debate that a technomancer is the
>> new version of the Otaku, not your average Decker/Hacker.
>
> Otaku were a stupid idea long before SR4, and I don't think I am the
> only one who left them wholly in the realm of Shadowrun urban
> legend... or matrix legend, as the case may be.

Yes, yes I know, I was merely pointing out that we're combining two thoughts
into one, we're complaining about the abilities of Technomancers, who are
Otaku, but what we're complaining about can be done by any
decker/hacker/schmuck with a computer, software, and is willing to default
to his enormously large attribute....
Message no. 37
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:41:27 +0000
Kori wrote:
>
> Otaku were a stupid idea long before SR4, and I don't think I am the
> only one who left them wholly in the realm of Shadowrun urban
> legend... or matrix legend, as the case may be.
>

Your loss. I kind of liked the cute little socially inept children, myself. [
Zebulin
Message no. 38
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 04:45:33 +1000
On 10/4/05, Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:
>
> Yes, yes I know, I was merely pointing out that we're combining two thoughts
> into one, we're complaining about the abilities of Technomancers, who are
> Otaku, but what we're complaining about can be done by any
> decker/hacker/schmuck with a computer, software, and is willing to default
> to his enormously large attribute....

Specifically, every example I've pointed out in this thread has been
from a hackers point of view. Technomancers do much the same thing,
they just achieve it differently. Their rolling the same dice against
the same numbers though

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 39
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 13:45:34 -0500
> You can just assign unique IDs. Like a MAC adress for your computers NIC...
> as long as bandwidth is big enough, you could put all devices into one
> frequenzy in a shared-media type protocol.

Yes, and then replacement parts become a manufacturer item only because
they've got to make an exact replacement with the same hardware ID as what
the original had.

case in point, BMW/VW keys, have to be ordered directly from the factory in
Germany cause it's got to be encoded with the exact ID for the receiver in
the car, and is insanely expensive ($375 for a key for a beetle as opposed
to $0.75 to go to walmart and make a copy for my non-transponder keyed
vehicle)
Message no. 40
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 15:15:17 -0400
On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 05:17:21AM -0700, Ice Heart wrote:
> Why would the smartlink be vulnerable to hacking?! It is a
> closed-loop, wired system.

Becasue in SR4 it's specifically stated that it's NOT a closed loop
wired system? No more pad in the hand. Just the gun, and the eye
receiver, which doesn't even have to be cyber.

["Is this smart" is a different question, one I'll only be willing to
answer after more time playing]

> was released. You think wireless communications warfare is a facet
> of SR4 only?

Pretty much, given the wacked concepts SR3 had :)

> Sorry, but technomancers sound like a stupid invention. Why why why
> does the matrix suddenly have to be treated like an Astral analogue?

Some consistency? I only wish the mechanics were simpler.

> Can my team's hacker allocate dice to "wireless defense" to protect
> his friends from having hostile programs "grounded" through his PAN?!

You scoff...I wish they did.

> Among other things, SR4 tech seems to have been designed by people
> with a very poor understanding of wireless networking. But, if
> hackers can sieze control of, or shutdown, a sammie's chrome... then
> "geek the mage!" just became a secondary cry to "geek the Geek!"

Which sounds appropriate to a cyberpunk game. SR has always had weak
tech..."decking" in any form, under any of the rules systems, allows
things that modern computer security setups would prevent. I just shrug
and say "the point of the Matrix is that the will can manipulate code in
ways that we button-punchers can't understand".

Otherwise explain to me how plugging your brain makes guessing a
password any easier :)

--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
US2003011110
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 41
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 19:16:08 +0000
Brett wrote:
>
>> Can my team's hacker allocate dice to "wireless defense" to protect
>> his friends from having hostile programs "grounded" through his PAN?!
>>
> You scoff...I wish they did.
>

You know, that's actually not a bad idea, assuming the hacker can ride shotgun. Rig up a
sort of "GAN" or Group Area Network, and give the Hacker admin access to all
devices in the GAN, and allow him to watch over the whole thing, and then give people
"Counter-Hacking Dice" to resist hacking attempts, just like a mage can do for
his buddies.

I like it.

Zebulin
Message no. 42
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 05:22:06 +1000
On 10/4/05, zebulingod@*******.net <zebulingod@*******.net> wrote:

> You know, that's actually not a bad idea, assuming the hacker can ride shotgun. Rig
up a
> sort of "GAN" or Group Area Network, and give the Hacker admin access to
all devices in
> the GAN, and allow him to watch over the whole thing, and then give people
> Counter-Hacking Dice" to resist hacking attempts, just like a mage can do for
his
> buddies.

Oh the damage that could be done with a mage using control thoughts on
that hacker :)

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 43
From: zebulingod@*******.net (zebulingod@*******.net)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 19:24:05 +0000
Ray wrote:
> On 10/4/05, zebulingod@*******.net <zebulingod@*******.net> wrote:
>
> > You know, that's actually not a bad idea, assuming the hacker can ride
> shotgun. Rig up a
> > sort of "GAN" or Group Area Network, and give the Hacker admin access
to all
> devices in
> > the GAN, and allow him to watch over the whole thing, and then give people
> > Counter-Hacking Dice" to resist hacking attempts, just like a mage can do
for
> his
> > buddies.
>
> Oh the damage that could be done with a mage using control thoughts on
> that hacker :)
>

Uh oh! If that's the case, maybe we should disallow it right away!

*g*

Zebulin
Message no. 44
From: arclight@*********.de (Arclight)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 21:29:58 +0200
At 21:16 03.10.2005, zebulingod@*******.net wrote:

>You know, that's actually not a bad idea, assuming the hacker can ride
>shotgun. Rig up a sort of "GAN" or Group Area Network, and give the Hacker
>admin access to all devices in the GAN, and allow him to watch over the
>whole thing, and then give people "Counter-Hacking Dice" to resist hacking
>attempts, just like a mage can do for his buddies.
>
>I like it.

You mean like a workgroup? ^^


--
Arclight

Quitters never win, winners never quit,
but those who never quit and never win are idiots
Message no. 45
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 12:47:05 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
From: Brett Sanger <swiftone@********.org>
> Which sounds appropriate to a cyberpunk game. SR has always had weak
> tech..."decking" in any form, under any of the rules systems, allows
> things that modern computer security setups would prevent. I just shrug
> and say "the point of the Matrix is that the will can manipulate code in
> ways that we button-punchers can't understand".

-- In some respects Shadowrun is just now catching up to CP2020 in the utility of
netrunners/deckers/computer geeks in helping the group out in near real-time. Some people
think this wireless stuff is just completely new or something. Crack open your copies of
CP2020 (pp. 139-140 in particular) and note that netrunners have a LOCATE REMOTE and
CONTROL REMOTE ability built right in, and it's wireless. CP2020 dates back to 1990.
-- And yes, CP2020 had an even more retarded model of computer security then anything
Shadowrun ever implemented.
Message no. 46
From: gwarren@*******.rr.com (Griff M. Warren II)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 17:54:20 -0400
>>Why can't he? If someone has the kind of contrtol over the device that
>>would allow a redirection of electrical inpulses that could alter the
>>visual display or even regulate power in the device why isn't he able to
>>create a feedback in the device that could damage the sammie's brain
>>perhaps even causing an aneurysm and so immediate death?
>>
>>
>
>Because he's not controlling electronic impulses in the device
>directly. He's merely altering some 1's and 0's to edit the data the
>thing displays, or to turn make it carry out a pre-configured action
>such as "turn off". There is no "blow up" action, and there is no
way
>to make it blow up by changing the signal it displays.
>
>

But isn't that the enitre function of "black ice", over-riding controls
to produce an unexpected and uncontrolled bust of electrical feedback in
a target device? Why should or would that be limited to cyberdeecks in
this wireless matrix? It seems to me anything that is exposed is
potentially a target.

Griff Warren
Message no. 47
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 08:02:27 +1000
On 10/4/05, Griff M. Warren II <gwarren@*******.rr.com> wrote:
> But isn't that the enitre function of "black ice", over-riding controls
> to produce an unexpected and uncontrolled bust of electrical feedback in
> a target device? Why should or would that be limited to cyberdeecks in
> this wireless matrix? It seems to me anything that is exposed is
> potentially a target.

Black IC can only kill people that are already using hot sim to
deliberately push the simsense feed to BTL like levels beyond normal
human limits. It doesn't take much tweaking of such a feed to kill
someone. If they are using a plain old cold sim, then black IC only
does stun damage. It also requires someone to be using a trode rig or
datajack letting the signal go straight to their brain

I doubt someone has their cyberware DNI tweaked to BTL like levels,
and even then given that cyberware doesn't require a simlink to use,
I imagine that the communication back and forth between the body and
cyber is using pre-existing nerves etc. There is no direct brain
access with which to unload the damaging effects of Black IC

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 48
From: u.alberton@*****.com (Bira)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 19:40:32 -0300
On 10/3/05, Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:
>
> > You can just assign unique IDs. Like a MAC adress for your computers NIC...
> > as long as bandwidth is big enough, you could put all devices into one
> > frequenzy in a shared-media type protocol.
>
> Yes, and then replacement parts become a manufacturer item only because
> they've got to make an exact replacement with the same hardware ID as what
> the original had.

If they work like MAC addresses (which are more of a "routing aid"
than a security measure), then any device can associate itself to a
given network and eventually become known by all other nodes. Security
and authentication are handled by higher-level protocols. Then, if
your wireless Matrix link breaks down, all you have to do is waltz
over to the computer shop next door and have a new one installed. It
has a different unique ID, but that's okay, because it will talk to
other doodads just like before.

You _can_ control access to a network by restricting which MAC
addresses can connect to it, but it's not much of a security measure.



--
Bira
http://compexplicita.blogspot.com
http://sinfoniaferida.blogspot.com
Message no. 49
From: loneeagle@********.co.uk (Lone Eagle)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 21:33:50 +0100
At 02:35 PM 10/3/2005, Korishinzo wrote:
>Extra... yes. I'd go further to say "illogical", "imbalancing"
and
>"ridiculous". Illogical because it wasn't needed to make the
>archetype playable... if it isn't broken, why fix it? Imbalancing
>because you shake player's trust in the system... the NPCs can frag
>with my simlink and make me experience whatever they want? Deus ex
>Machina for sure. If I am making a nice street sam, I am not
>thinking in terms of how many actions something takes. I am
>thinking, 'they can do WHAT to my ware?!' Ridiculous because it does
>not in any way jive with common sense networking, wireless or
>otherwise. No possible way cyberware manufacturers are going to turn
>out cyber that any goon with the right util can turn against the
>user.

More importantly, what corporation is going to support the idea?
Our IT guys are constantly requesting our Laptop users to connect to
the company network to keep their security software up to date,
imagine if the recalcitrant execs were constantly accessible by
hackers - and not just that but that everything the execs know can be accessed.
They may be seduced by the "new idea" but closed loop systems, where
the exec has at least to be captured before he can be forced to give
up all he knows, will quickly step back in.


--
Lone Eagle
"Hold up lads, I got an idea."

www.wyrmtalk.co.uk - Please be patient, this site is under construction

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m- w s+(+++) GM+++(-) A GS+(-) h++ LA+++ CG--- F c+
Message no. 50
From: gwarren@*******.rr.com (Griff M. Warren II)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 18:47:42 -0400
>>But isn't that the enitre function of "black ice", over-riding controls
>>to produce an unexpected and uncontrolled bust of electrical feedback in
>>a target device? Why should or would that be limited to cyberdeecks in
>>this wireless matrix? It seems to me anything that is exposed is
>>potentially a target.
>>
>>
>
>Black IC can only kill people that are already using hot sim to
>deliberately push the simsense feed to BTL like levels beyond normal
>human limits. It doesn't take much tweaking of such a feed to kill
>someone. If they are using a plain old cold sim, then black IC only
>does stun damage. It also requires someone to be using a trode rig or
>datajack letting the signal go straight to their brain
>
>I doubt someone has their cyberware DNI tweaked to BTL like levels,
>and even then given that cyberware doesn't require a simlink to use,
>I imagine that the communication back and forth between the body and
>cyber is using pre-existing nerves etc. There is no direct brain
>access with which to unload the damaging effects of Black IC
>
>
>

That's just it, any cyberware connected to your nervous system is a
direct neural interface and even someone running an SR3 cold assist
could suffer from dump shock. By that score if any cyberware that was
feeding information to the brain through the nervous system was
disrupted or altered it would produce the same effect. Cyberdecks
protected users by buffers built into the decks themselves. In some of
the fiction for pre '50's history that was why those first deckers that
fought the crash virus died: they had no buffer. At least that was the
way I remember it.

Griff Warren
Message no. 51
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 08:57:08 +1000
On 10/4/05, Lone Eagle <loneeagle@********.co.uk> wrote:
> At 02:35 PM 10/3/2005, Korishinzo wrote:
> More importantly, what corporation is going to support the idea?
> Our IT guys are constantly requesting our Laptop users to connect to
> the company network to keep their security software up to date,

This problem is very neatly resolved by a wireless connection set up
to automatically update the programs when the user brings the hardware
onsite or connects to it via the matrix. The same window to keep
security up to date is the window that a hacker can break in through
:)

On 10/4/05, Griff M. Warren II <gwarren@*******.rr.com> wrote:
> That's just it, any cyberware connected to your nervous system is a
> direct neural interface and even someone running an SR3 cold assist
> could suffer from dump shock. By that score if any cyberware that was
> feeding information to the brain through the nervous system was
> disrupted or altered it would produce the same effect.

My thoughts on this though resolve around the simlink. Cyberware uses
your nervous system to interface with your brain, with the physical
change from cyber to meat happening at the very point the cyberware is
connected.

A simlink however directly accesses your brain. If you are receiving
visuals down a sim feed, it doesn't go through your regular optic
nerves, but instead is fed directly in to your brain by the simlink.
And it's that that makes the difference

Of course I have no rule or fluff to back up this viewpoint, it's just
my own internal understanding of how it works.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 52
From: lists@*******.com (Wordman)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 19:28:25 -0400
On Oct 3, 2005, at 11:25 AM, Ray Macey wrote:

> The reason it required that, is because
> decking a system had to be a real job with complexity and dice rolls
> or otherwise it was boring

The die rolls were what made it boring.

The problem with deckers was _not_ that they had to go off and do
their own thing. The problem was that when they did so, it was
_incredibly_ boring to watch. Players going off to do things on their
own happens all the time. The reason other players usually can
tolerate this is that there is a story being told that they can see.
With deckers, though, it was basically just listening to a bunch of
stats and die rolls, with perhaps a tiny bit of narration. And,
because of the die heavy nature of it, a decker doing their own thing
went on about five times longer than someone else doing their own thing.

The solution to this is to make deckers use more narrative and far
less mechanics. Evidently not the approach taken in SR4, I gather.
Message no. 53
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 19:36:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Wordman <lists@*******.com>
The solution to this is to make deckers use more narrative and far
less mechanics. Evidently not the approach taken in SR4, I gather.

-- It's pretty well integrated into the main system now. They may have gone a bit
overboard with the justification (new matrix crash shows how crap the security was, so
lets use an even less secure one!), but there's less die rolling, and more stuff the
decker can do thats immediately useful other then be a coma victim back at the hideout.
Message no. 54
From: mc23@**********.com (MC23)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 20:02:34 -0400
I see this after I preorder the damn book on Amazon. 4th is now
looking worse than I thought. Having something my new gaming group
could handle (I'll admit they are the type to be up for 1-3rd edition)
but this doesn't help.
This whole concept of hacking a smartlink is Insane. WHY? Let's say
FanPro was trying to create some Ghost in the Shell real time hacking.
Fine, those people (cast) were linked to the outside world. And they
did have defenses against such things. And it sure as hell wasn't
something any "technomancer" off the street could do (or at least
attempt). Godlike would be the way to describe it. And Ghost in the
Shell was a hell of a lot more thought out than what 4th seems to be
giving us. Except that cybernetics were still to prevalent in the
general populace in GitS. Government, Military, and Big Business
circles definitely, but not everyone.

On Oct 3, 2005, at 9:35 AM, Ice Heart wrote:

> I think someone else already said it on the list... why --WHY-- would
> the world scrap a fairly functional 30 year old network in favor of a
> system as insecure as SR4's AR? Because of a world wide system
> crash? Sure. I know if my entire network crashed at work, first
> thing off I'd be rebuilding it so my grandmother's fragging pacemaker
> interfaced with it. Why not? It only... crashed! People would be
> putting LESS online, not more, after a global crash. Everything that
> had to go online would have redundancies and offline backups.
> Systems that didn't need the matrix (or AR) would be closed loops to
> avoid potential infection or compromise.
>
> ======> Korishinzo
> --*sigh*
>


I agree with you, this new edition is doing nothing for the suspending
of my disbelief. I never believed the everything is connected to the
Matrix since first edition. There will always be closed secure systems
with the most valuable information in it. Shadowrunners existed to get
the deckers into those facilities so they could hack the physical
systems.
And while "technomancers" might only be a small percentage or the
world's population there is enough of them that businesses would have
to protect against them. Even if that meant using slower older
technology since the newer ones don't offer enough protection. And
besides the fact that I'm a skeptic that a wireless system could be
faster (or even as fast) than a physical one I will never believe that
it can be as secure. Reduce your exposure (any exposure for that
matter), you reduce your risk.
As to how somebody can have their smartlink or cybereyes hacked if
they are not active (even passively) with
this new magical wireless Matrix. Well, you can't explain it.

And for my final thought, Cyberpunk is still about jacking in.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Ancient cultures believed that names held great power,
personal names more so and they were guarded very closely.
To protect themselves, they answered to another name,
because if another discovered their real name,
it could be used against them.
History repeats itself.
Welcome to the Digital Age.
I am MC23
Message no. 55
From: tjlanza@************.com (Timothy J. Lanza)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 20:07:54 -0400
At 08:02 PM 10/3/2005, MC23 wrote:
[Snip!]
>defenses against such things. And it sure as hell wasn't something any
>"technomancer" off the street could do (or at least attempt). Godlike
>would be the way to describe it. And Ghost in the Shell was a hell of a
>lot more thought out than what 4th seems to be giving us. Except that
>cybernetics were still to prevalent in the general populace in GitS.
>Government, Military, and Big Business circles definitely, but not everyone.

[Snip!]

> And while "technomancers" might only be a small percentage or the
> world's population there is enough of them that businesses would have to
> protect against them. Even if that meant using slower older technology since

Techomancer:Otaku::Hacker:Decker

Anything developed to protect against hackers (who are far more common)
will protect against technomancers too.

--
Timothy J. Lanza
"When we can't dream any longer, we die." - Emma Goldman
Message no. 56
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 10:11:34 +1000
On 10/4/05, MC23 <mc23@**********.com> wrote:
> This whole concept of hacking a smartlink is Insane. WHY? Let's say
> FanPro was trying to create some Ghost in the Shell real time hacking.
> Fine, those people (cast) were linked to the outside world. And they
> did have defenses against such things. And it sure as hell wasn't
> something any "technomancer" off the street could do (or at least
> attempt).

Look at it this way, this entire thread has been a discussion of the
theoretical possiblity of hacking cyberware. If you've been watching
though, it's fairly clear that it's very rarely going to be of any use
in a combat given the time it takes to achieve anything, and the
protection that most runners will have against hacking.

It's virtually purely theoretical, because no one will ever do it.

> I agree with you, this new edition is doing nothing for the suspending
> of my disbelief. I never believed the everything is connected to the
> Matrix since first edition. There will always be closed secure systems
> with the most valuable information in it. Shadowrunners existed to get
> the deckers into those facilities so they could hack the physical
> systems.

This hasn't changed. It's not a case of any and every computer
network in existence is connected to the Matrix. It's just a case of
most of the little electronic devices being attached to it, and
attached wirelessly. That is the big change in the current system.
The big secure corporate systems still use all of the protections that
they used to. Layered security, hardwired connections, lack of matrix
connectivity, timed access etc.

> As to how somebody can have their smartlink or cybereyes hacked if
> they are not active (even passively) with
> this new magical wireless Matrix. Well, you can't explain it.

You can't explain it because it can't be done. If they aren't
connected, then there is nothing that can be done. If they are using
oldschool cyberware with no wireless connectivity, or if they've
simply removed the connectivity from their current version cyberware,
it can't be hacked or accessed remotely.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 57
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 21:02:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: "MC23" <mc23@**********.com>

>And Ghost in the
> Shell was a hell of a lot more thought out than what 4th seems to be
> giving us. Except that cybernetics were still to prevalent in the
> general populace in GitS. Government, Military, and Big Business
> circles definitely, but not everyone.

-- In GitS you could effectively hack someone's "soul" and turn them into your
personal plaything - erasing their memories, altering their personalities, remote
controlling them like a drone, etc. SR4 doesn't go that far.

>>People would be
>> putting LESS online, not more, after a global crash. Everything that
>> had to go online would have redundancies and offline backups.
>> Systems that didn't need the matrix (or AR) would be closed loops to
>> avoid potential infection or compromise.

-- People do seem to be placing less *important* things on the public nets in SR4. The
wireless web seems to be where they are shovelling all the things that made the old Matrix
such a mess. I think the authors took a bit too many liberties with the concept of
ubiqituous computing though (cyberware, constantly active radiotags, etc) ...
-- The fallout from the second Crash seems ludicrously underplayed really. The Matrix gets
attacked with huge Plot Destruction Magitech and people in SR4 don't even seem to give it
a second thought.

-- LTGs and RTGs appear to be gone from normal use though, which is interesting. However,
SR4 doesn't deal with globe-spanning computer crime this time :(

> I agree with you, this new edition is doing nothing for the suspending
> of my disbelief. I never believed the everything is connected to the
> Matrix since first edition. There will always be closed secure systems
> with the most valuable information in it. Shadowrunners existed to get
> the deckers into those facilities so they could hack the physical
> systems.

-- This hasn't changed. If anything, the new rules make such systems even more difficult
to break into.

> And while "technomancers" might only be a small percentage or the
> world's population there is enough of them that businesses would have
> to protect against them. Even if that meant using slower older
> technology since the newer ones don't offer enough protection. And
> besides the fact that I'm a skeptic that a wireless system could be
> faster (or even as fast) than a physical one I will never believe that
> it can be as secure. Reduce your exposure (any exposure for that
> matter), you reduce your risk.

-- Absolutely won't argue with you there. However, you have to admit that SR1-3 computer
security paradigms were a bit ridiculous and convoluted.
-- I can't really defend technomancers (they are patently an excuse to show off the
unified mechanics) but overall I think the new rules actually present a more *hostile*
environment to super deckers and allow a much more realistic cross-section of the
Shadowrun world to participate.

> As to how somebody can have their smartlink or cybereyes hacked if
> they are not active (even passively) with
> this new magical wireless Matrix. Well, you can't explain it.

-- Because you can't hack them if they're not connected. The rules point that out in
several points. There's precious little that the new wireless web changes about the basics
of shadowrunning, except allowing software agents to replace deckers for a lot of things,
and being a lot more interactive in actual play.
-- Noone says you can't just use commlinks for communication and nothing else, just like
in SR1-3.
Message no. 58
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 23:06:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Timothy J. Lanza" <tjlanza@************.com>
> Anything developed to protect against hackers (who are far more common)
> will protect against technomancers too.

-- At some point people will get the idea of creating technomancer totems, technoadepts,
or other such wierdness that will make normal deckers completely obsolete (if they're not
already).
-- The new rules allow you to play a mage with some terminology changes and he's a decker.
Cool. Didn't mean it was a good idea to make them a central character type.
Message no. 59
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:02:07 -0400
>No it's not, it's a wireless device that link through a wireless
>"router" in the form of your commlink. Even if you lose the wireless
>aspect of it, and use a skinlink variety, it is still using your
>commlink as a hub for your PAN, and thus still hackable.


Actually the entry says nothing about being wireless, using a
commlink, a PAN etc. It still reads like a closed system

>No,. but the sheer widespread nature of it is new to SR4. Previously,
>about the only wireless device most runners would have carried was
>their phone. Now however, everything is wired, and the things that
>aren't wired, are generally networked to something that is. Sure, a
>runner could avoid all of this by completely turning off his commlink,
>and using old school SR3 type cyberware, and that would make him
>immune to hacking, but it would come at the cost of sticking out like
>a sore thumb in certain areas, and would cut off many of the tactical
>advantages available to a team of runners that are sharing information
>across their own personal networks. If you've got a runner that
>thinks those costs are worth it, then more luck to him, he can be
>wireless and hacker free.


Congratulations, all games will now not include Samurai, Riggers,
Hackers and any pc dependant on tech. They game will not only have
magicians, phys ads and technomancers. PC types that can't be hacked
as every group will now lay in wait until they get every tech pc
turned off. No having every bit of cyber hooked into the matrix a
quite honestly a stupid idea.


>That's only in the rules. It's not seen that way "in game". And the
>rules do it, because consistency is more streamlined.

It however very much acts this way. SR4 quite honestly feels more
like a D20 game that anything else. That and several other reasons
makes me want to stick to SR3.

>Even the addition of a simple Analyze program on the commlink in my
>previous email would mean that an active is likely to be triggered,
>and that will let the commlinks owner know what is going on, and maybe
>even launch internal IC. And that makes it a /lot/ of effort and time
>for the hacker to disable a bit of cyberware midfight. The fight is
>almost certainly over by the time he's in a position to actually be of
>any use

Actually if this is allowed teams will just sit and wait until the
npc's cyberware is eliminated. Only after that will they move in, not
a second before and vice-versa.

>And house ruling out technomancers is probably one of the simplest
>house rules you could ever use. It would instantly get rid of the
>"magic feel" you don't like without any real problems
> No, it's made by people who were trying to get a way of letting
>hackers/deckers get involved in a shadowrun without 'causing everyone
>else to go and take a break for an hour or two :)


No it been made to "appeal to a broader audience", meaning that its
brought down to the lowest common denominator. May as well start
calling it Anime-run. A two hour break for a deck run, 20 minutes is
all it really took after VR2.0. People take longer than that getting
a sandwich.
Message no. 60
From: tjlanza@************.com (Timothy J. Lanza)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:11:30 -0400
At 11:06 PM 10/3/2005, Tzeentch wrote:
>From: "Timothy J. Lanza" <tjlanza@************.com>
> > Anything developed to protect against hackers (who are far more common)
> > will protect against technomancers too.
>
>-- At some point people will get the idea of creating technomancer totems,
>technoadepts, or other such wierdness that will make normal deckers
>completely obsolete (if they're not already).
>-- The new rules allow you to play a mage with some terminology changes
>and he's a decker. Cool. Didn't mean it was a good idea to make them a
>central character type.

A technomancer is an evolution of the otaku, not a mage... you're being an
ignorant reactionary, and are henceforth on my blacklist. Bye bye.

--
Timothy J. Lanza
"When we can't dream any longer, we die." - Emma Goldman
Message no. 61
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 00:27:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Timothy J. Lanza" <tjlanza@************.com>
> A technomancer is an evolution of the otaku, not a mage... you're being an
> ignorant reactionary, and are henceforth on my blacklist. Bye bye.

-- The current technomages use the exact same rules as mages, with only a few terms
changed (and as the first errata showed, they forgot to do a find and replace on all of
them).
-- Not losing any sleep over the blacklist though, heh.

-- The list sure seems a LOT more hostile these days.
Message no. 62
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:45:37 -0400
>Because he's not controlling electronic impulses in the device
>directly. He's merely altering some 1's and 0's to edit the data the
>thing displays, or to turn make it carry out a pre-configured action
>such as "turn off". There is no "blow up" action, and there is no
way
>to make it blow up by changing the signal it displays.
>
>Of course, the GM could rule that maybe you can burn out a cybereye by
>forcing it to display a repeating pattern or something, but that's
>longterm, and still doesn't make it blow up, it just makes it stop
>working

Oh good tm(s) now using some sort of electro-telepathy to turn off a
cybereye by looking at it.

>On 10/4/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
>Start your tirade then, because that's exactly how the smartlink works
>in SR4. It's designed that way so that you can shoot the gun when you
>aren't even holding it. So you can disable it when you aren't holding
>it, whilst still letting a friend use it if they pick it up. It's
>designed that way so that you can access a camera feed from the gun
>whilst it's not physcially in your possession.

You asked for it. It states neither on pg 311 nor pg 323 in SR4 that
the sml is a wireless device hooked into the matrix. You may want it
to be so. It is still a closed system. If you can point out a pg
number that contradicts those two pages please do so. I cannot find
anything in Commlink on pg 210 & 211 that makes it so.

>Of course, you can have a skinlink smartlink instead of a wireless
>one, but even so, it's still networked and part of your personal area
>network, and is still vulnerable through your commlink, which is the
>hub of your PAN and /is/ wireless.
>
>And sure, you could use an oldschool SR3 style smartlink, and it would
>probably be immune to hacking in this manner, but it's also not as
>versatile. And given the sheer difficulty/time required to hack and
>abuse a smartlink in combat, I'm not sure that the loss of
>functionality would be worth the extra protection.
>

Versatile, what do you need your sml to do, turn on your food
processor. Its weapon mod not a cellphone. Like I said if hacking
every bit of cyber was allowed that is all that would going on. Gangs
would be sitting in the streets waiting for the chrome cops to show
up and do exactly that. Time nor difficulty would stop this. It would
be an ecm/eccm war every day.

>You really need to read SR4 :)

Been going through it and gagging all the way.

>Your blender is almost certainly wireless, like nearly every other
>single bit of technology in the setting, which means they can stare
>and it and make it turn on. And again, you could remove the wireless
>compenent from your blender and require it to be switched on manually,
>protecting it from random technomancers passing by, but it's at a cost
>to your daily convenience. Sure not much of a cost just for one
>blender, but it's quite a bit of a cost if you are trying to survive
>using only wired devices in a world where everything is wireless.

Daily convenience? What are you talking about its a blender, put food
in it make a puree. Hook it up to the matrix for what? Unless
everybody has drone in the home to take food from the fridge to the
blender. There isn't any point in hooking it up to the matrix.
Protecting it from tms is exactly what you would have to do it. If
everything was a hooked in as you're trying to point out, that is
exactly what the tms would do, all day, every day. There wouldn't be
a matrix because it would have to be shut down just to prevent it.
Message no. 63
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:48:17 -0400
>Figure something like "MAC Address Filtering" enabled on the
>commlink/pan/gear that affiliates with each other.
>
>Router checks non-broadcasted hardware ID, matches, allows interface,
>doesn't match, no interface.
>
>MAC Address spoofing is possible, but, if you figure that you're trying to
>crack a 25-50 character hexidecimal code (assuming if it went that route
>they'd expand the length of the mac address to allow for many more addresses
>to be created), it's not fast, and you're not going to do it just for the
>hell of it, not to mention it's not like a password, you can't just check
>digit by digit, you've got to check the entire thing.
>
>Everything I've read says that with a top end computer, if you had a mac
>address cracking utility designed to work with a wireless router, it's going
>to take you *hours* to crack it, not just minutes or seconds, I honestly
>can't see it getting that much faster.

Finally some sanity on the subject.
Message no. 64
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:51:07 -0400
At 02:33 PM 10/3/2005, you wrote:
>--- Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:
>
> > Before I go on, let me remind the debate that a technomancer is the
> > new version of the Otaku, not your average Decker/Hacker.
>
>Otaku were a stupid idea long before SR4, and I don't think I am the
>only one who left them wholly in the realm of Shadowrun urban
>legend... or matrix legend, as the case may be.

No you aren't never liked them nor the paper thin excuse that gave
for getting rid of program carriers. They caused cancer.
Message no. 65
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2005 23:53:40 -0500
> -- At some point people will get the idea of creating technomancer totems,
> technoadepts, or other such wierdness that will make normal deckers completely
> obsolete (if they're not already).
> -- The new rules allow you to play a mage with some terminology changes and
> he's a decker. Cool. Didn't mean it was a good idea to make them a central
> character type.

I already made one of these "totems" it's a "videogame shaman" ;) they
carry
around their game console of choice, be it Playstation 13, X-Box51, or
Nintendo Vgbrick, and their totemic spirit manifests depending on what game
is currently plugged into their totem console ;)
Message no. 66
From: bandwidthoracle@*******.net (bandwidthoracle)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 22:55:56 -0600
On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:51 PM, NightLife wrote:

> At 02:33 PM 10/3/2005, you wrote:
>
>> --- Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:
>>
>> > Before I go on, let me remind the debate that a technomancer is the
>> > new version of the Otaku, not your average Decker/Hacker.
>>
>> Otaku were a stupid idea long before SR4, and I don't think I am the
>> only one who left them wholly in the realm of Shadowrun urban
>> legend... or matrix legend, as the case may be.
>>
>
> No you aren't never liked them nor the paper thin excuse that gave
> for getting rid of program carriers. They caused cancer.


I liked them, personally, the give SR that Count Zero or Lain feel,
which fits in pretty well with the setting(IMO).
To each his own.
If I may ask, why are they worse than any other element of shadowrun?From
ClassifiedTSBBR@*****.net.nz Tue Oct 4 06:17:48 2005
From: ClassifiedTSBBR@*****.net.nz (Classified TS/BBR)
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 18:17:48 +1300
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
References: <43412C0A.4010203@*****.gr>
<20051003133535.2102.qmail@********.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
<edcc3f0a0510030652x7342e68dl6ea42cb473b9a132@****.gmail.com>
<6.0.3.0.0.20051003161209.01ac4e70@****.artfiles.de>
<edcc3f0a0510030825v4a1bb04cp234898b11fe9f482@****.gmail.com>
<43416D7A.2040403@*******.rr.com>
<edcc3f0a0510031107r4dd10203iea78fe9d95464eac@****.gmail.com>
<6.2.3.4.2.20051004001838.01d3f790@**********>
Message-ID: <003f01c5c8a3$014dd670$0201a8c0@***>

----- Original Message -----
From: "NightLife" <Nightlife@*****.rr.com>
To: "Shadowrun Discussion" <shadowrn@*****.dumpshock.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 5:45 PM
Subject: Re: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
<snip>
> You asked for it. It states neither on pg 311 nor pg 323 in SR4 that the
> sml is a wireless device hooked into the matrix. You may want it to be so.
> It is still a closed system. If you can point out a pg number that
> contradicts those two pages please do so. I cannot find anything in
> Commlink on pg 210 & 211 that makes it so.
>

Try reading "Wireless Connectivity", you know _the entire right hand side of
pg 304!!!!!
Message no. 67
From: tzeentch666@*********.net (Tzeentch)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 01:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Derek Hyde" <derek@***************.com>
> I already made one of these "totems" it's a "videogame shaman" ;)
they carry
> around their game console of choice, be it Playstation 13, X-Box51, or
> Nintendo Vgbrick, and their totemic spirit manifests depending on what game
> is currently plugged into their totem console ;)

-- You can also play with the Attribute spread of the technomages to fit different
"traditions" -- using Logic for Firewall, Willpower for Biofeedback Filter, that
sort of thing.
-- Mentor Sprites from the Resonance and "Toxic" Dissonance maybe? :)
Message no. 68
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 01:25:09 -0400
>>No you aren't never liked them nor the paper thin excuse that gave
>>for getting rid of program carriers. They caused cancer.
>
>
>I liked them, personally, the give SR that Count Zero or Lain feel,
>which fits in pretty well with the setting(IMO).
>To each his own.
>If I may ask, why are they worse than any other element of shadowrun?

Because mechanically it functions like magic. It makes
deckers/hackers obsolete. Removing one of the biggest foundations of
the game. IF the hacking of cyber would be allowed that too would
remove whole parts of the game. Why play a samurai when you have to
worry about being hacked. The only solution would be to either play a
physad or a organic samurai with nothing more than bioware and very
limited cyber.
Message no. 69
From: matthew.compton@*****.com (Matt)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 22:39:07 -0700
On 10/3/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
> >>No you aren't never liked them nor the paper thin excuse that gave
> >>for getting rid of program carriers. They caused cancer.
> >
> >
> >I liked them, personally, the give SR that Count Zero or Lain feel,
> >which fits in pretty well with the setting(IMO).
> >To each his own.
> >If I may ask, why are they worse than any other element of shadowrun?
>
> Because mechanically it functions like magic. It makes
> deckers/hackers obsolete. Removing one of the biggest foundations of
> the game. IF the hacking of cyber would be allowed that too would
> remove whole parts of the game. Why play a samurai when you have to
> worry about being hacked. The only solution would be to either play a
> physad or a organic samurai with nothing more than bioware and very
> limited cyber.

I can certainly understand the fear that you might have your smartlink
or cyber eye hacked, but I don't believe that it will be in an issue
in the game, not during combat anyway. The hacker would be vulnerable
the entire time they are trying to be a nuisance to the street sam.
While he's trying to hack the street sam, the street sam's hacker
buddy is hacking him. In the mean time, the sam isn't worried about it
since he's shooting/stabbing people and is probably moving in on the
location of the enemy hacker. After all, wireless doesn't mean
unlimited range.

And that assumes that the sammie is using wireless enabled cyber.
Runners are a paranoid lot, most of them will probably go the
hardwired way on critical gear so as to avoid the hassle. Or they will
have shelled out the extra money for the Analyze and Firewall
protections. Of course it's late for me and I could just be rambling.


--
Mankind cannot bear very much reality.
Message no. 70
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 02:23:44 -0400
>Try reading "Wireless Connectivity", you know _the entire right hand side of
>pg 304!!!!!

Looking at it, fighting the gag reflex again. Keep on coming back the
part of the paragraph that states " if it might be useful or
convenient to the user" It is not useful nor convenient to hook up a
sml or most cyber to the matrix, its stupid and dangerous. No one in
their right mind would do this. A sml does not need hooked into
anything other than your gun, thats it. There is no reason to route a
sml though the commlink hence the logic about it being a closed
system. The part about sensor tags notifying matrix in case of theft,
is any runner going to have that on their equipment for more than 30
seconds after it hits their hot little hands. I'm going to have to go
with absolutely not. Any corp with some sense is not going to hook
their cyber to the matrix for the very same reason. They would not
want their operatives having even the smallest chance of being
hacked. Turn it off, turn it all off, just in case someone want to
program your display link with advertisements.
Message no. 71
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 02:29:31 -0400
>I can certainly understand the fear that you might have your smartlink
>or cyber eye hacked, but I don't believe that it will be in an issue
>in the game, not during combat anyway. The hacker would be vulnerable
>the entire time they are trying to be a nuisance to the street sam.
>While he's trying to hack the street sam, the street sam's hacker
>buddy is hacking him. In the mean time, the sam isn't worried about it
>since he's shooting/stabbing people and is probably moving in on the
>location of the enemy hacker. After all, wireless doesn't mean
>unlimited range.
>
>And that assumes that the sammie is using wireless enabled cyber.
>Runners are a paranoid lot, most of them will probably go the
>hardwired way on critical gear so as to avoid the hassle. Or they will
>have shelled out the extra money for the Analyze and Firewall
>protections. Of course it's late for me and I could just be rambling.

You're probably right on that. However the possibility hacking cyber
means if allowed combat won't happen until one teams hacker has
successfully neutralized the tech pcs the other. Thats the only way I
can see that being played out if it were to be allowed. Range
wouldn't mean much as it would just be a matter of jumping from one
wireless dumpster to another in the alley until the hacker gets to
one that is in range.
Message no. 72
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 18:55:25 +1000
On 10/4/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
> >No it's not, it's a wireless device that link through a wireless
> >"router" in the form of your commlink. Even if you lose the wireless
> >aspect of it, and use a skinlink variety, it is still using your
> >commlink as a hub for your PAN, and thus still hackable.
>
> Actually the entry says nothing about being wireless, using a
> commlink, a PAN etc. It still reads like a closed system

What I meant was that if you have every device in your PAN using a
skinlink, you can still be hacked wirelessly because your commlink is
still by nature a wireless device. Of course, you can turn off the
wireless side of things, and then have a completely independent skin
link based PAN that isn't hackable, but then you can't link and
transfer information and data with your other team mates.

>
> Congratulations, all games will now not include Samurai, Riggers,
> Hackers and any pc dependant on tech. They game will not only have
> magicians, phys ads and technomancers. PC types that can't be hacked
> as every group will now lay in wait until they get every tech pc
> turned off. No having every bit of cyber hooked into the matrix a
> quite honestly a stupid idea.

I have no idea what you mean here. By default everyone will carry
equipment that makes them hackable. Exactly what the effects of being
hacked are depends on the equipment, and in all cases, if the runner
decides being hacked is too big a risk, he has the option to turn off
the wireless devices and avoid being hacked. It comes with a cost to
versatility, but it brings extra safety. Every runner will need to
make that choice for themself

> Actually if this is allowed teams will just sit and wait until the
> npc's cyberware is eliminated. Only after that will they move in, not
> a second before and vice-versa.

No, because a good setup won't allow the hacker in without raising an
alarm. And once the alarm is raised, it's a free action to disable
wireless on your commlink, kicking the hacker out of your system.
That sort of pre-emptive hack can work, but it can also raise the
alarm before you want it raised

> No it been made to "appeal to a broader audience", meaning that its
> brought down to the lowest common denominator. May as well start
> calling it Anime-run. A two hour break for a deck run, 20 minutes is
> all it really took after VR2.0. People take longer than that getting
> a sandwich.

In all my years playing Shadowrun, I've never, not once, seen a decker
get in to a system and achieve their goals in 20 minutes. And even if
I had, I'm not sure I'd be happy with it anyway, because 20 minutes is
a long time to wait when you're in the middle of a firefight and need
the decker to unlock a door for you. YMMV, but for most people, I
think the above is a fairly accurate description of how they felt
about deckers and decking.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 73
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 19:13:21 +1000
On 10/4/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
> You asked for it. It states neither on pg 311 nor pg 323 in SR4 that
> the sml is a wireless device hooked into the matrix. You may want it
> to be so. It is still a closed system. If you can point out a pg
> number that contradicts those two pages please do so. I cannot find
> anything in Commlink on pg 210 & 211 that makes it so.

Page 312.

"The smartgun system can also be accessed via wireless link"

> Versatile, what do you need your sml to do, turn on your food
> processor. Its weapon mod not a cellphone.

It communicates with the gun allowing you to view through it's camera
system, fire it without holding it or disable it without holding it.
All fairly versatile things

> Like I said if hacking
> every bit of cyber was allowed that is all that would going on. Gangs
> would be sitting in the streets waiting for the chrome cops to show
> up and do exactly that. Time nor difficulty would stop this. It would
> be an ecm/eccm war every day.

Please stop being reactionary and have a look at the example I listed
above. If a gang tried that, they would be mowed down by the cops
long before the cyberware was disabled. And of course, the cops would
be carrying commlinks with IC, tough firewalls and be covered by their
own hacker, making it next to impossible for the gang to achieve even
if it had time on its side

> >You really need to read SR4 :)
>
> Been going through it and gagging all the way.

This is fairly apparent by reactions your displaying. You can disagree
with the feel of the new system and the feel of the new setting,
that's your right. But you seem to be taking every example in this
thread, blowing it up in to something that is so much more than it is,
and then reacting as if said exageration is an every day event.

Hacking cyberware is not easy, it takes time, it can be stopped easily
by someone who detects the hacker, it puts the hacker at physical risk
if they go in to hot or cold sim mode, and generally does not give an
effect comparable to a street sam shooting his gun or a mage throwing
a spell. If you don't like the idea of cyberware being hacked /at
all/ that's great, it's your opinion and we can stop arguing about it.
But if you are going to keep aruing about it, please do so in a way
that at least partially recognises how it will actually work in game

> Daily convenience? What are you talking about its a blender, put food
> in it make a puree. Hook it up to the matrix for what? Unless
> everybody has drone in the home to take food from the fridge to the
> blender. There isn't any point in hooking it up to the matrix.

Off the top of my head, it would allow firmware upgrades, it would
allow remote diagnoses if it breaks, it would allow you to download
new recipes etc. Absolutely none of it being even close to essential,
but all of it being at least a little more convenient than the old way

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 74
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 19:18:33 +1000
On 10/4/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
> You're probably right on that. However the possibility hacking cyber
> means if allowed combat won't happen until one teams hacker has
> successfully neutralized the tech pcs the other. Thats the only way I
> can see that being played out if it were to be allowed. Range
> wouldn't mean much as it would just be a matter of jumping from one
> wireless dumpster to another in the alley until the hacker gets to
> one that is in range.

They can't do this. If they attempt to crash your cyberware, it sets
off an alert, and lets people know they are being hacked, and they can
only hack one bit of cyber at a time. So by the time they have
disabled a single device on one of the opposite team, the entire team
knows they are there, and that device will be back online before the
hacker can finish crashing the next device

Or of course, they could simply turn it off, rather than crash it, but
then the runner can turn it back on again with a free action.

Hacking cyberware is a tactical consideration that may very rarely
produce a benefit worth the risk. It's not capable of the gross
damage dealing and problem causing you attribute it

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 75
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:21:05 +0200
According to Tzeentch, on 3-10-05 21:47 the word on the street was...

> -- And yes, CP2020 had an even more retarded model of computer
> security then anything Shadowrun ever implemented.

What? You're saying modern computer systems don't resemble crossword
puzzles?!

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 76
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:25:01 +0200
According to Bira, on 4-10-05 00:40 the word on the street was...

> You _can_ control access to a network by restricting which MAC
> addresses can connect to it, but it's not much of a security measure.

As evidenced by, for example, my router's option of replacing the MAC
address it says it has by the one of a connected device, or by a value I
can enter myself.

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 77
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:32:05 +0200
According to Wordman, on 4-10-05 01:28 the word on the street was...

> The die rolls were what made it boring.

Agreed 100%.

> With deckers,
> though, it was basically just listening to a bunch of stats and die
> rolls, with perhaps a tiny bit of narration.

All attempts I've ever made to actually roleplay out the decker's
experience usually began well, but as soon as the dice rolls really
started being made, narration and description soon got lost in the rules.

> The solution to this is to make deckers use more narrative and far less
> mechanics. Evidently not the approach taken in SR4, I gather.

SR4 does put the decker closer to the other players, which also helps.
If the others can see the decker at work disabling camera systems and
door locks, for example, they'll probably tolerate it a bit better than
when the decker is doing something completely separate from the group at
another time entirely.

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 78
From: reynardsurface@*****.com (Pace)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 04:57:00 -0500
On 10/4/05, Ray Macey <raymacey@*****.com> wrote:
>
>
> Hacking cyberware is a tactical consideration that may very rarely
> produce a benefit worth the risk. It's not capable of the gross
> damage dealing and problem causing you attribute it
>

See, I was thinking the same thing. Even if you manage to disable said
smartlink... it's a loss of 2 dice. You could impose a vision mod and
achieve the same effect. Personally, I like the interconnected nature of the
technology, from what I've seen, and discussing the realism of a ruleset
outlined a scant few pages from the rules for summoning personifications of
nature to do your dirty work seems like folly.

It's a bidding system, just like the TN modifier shuffle of SR3. The
aggressor is attempting to lower the defenders capacity for response. The
defender is attempting to mitigate the aggressor's impact on said capacity.
This is not an unknown dynamic in the world of game design.

If it's a choice between a hacker boning my smartlink in SR4 over the course
of several turns and costing me two dice, or a guy with venomed hand razors
hitting me with 3 soak rolls and a cumulative +10 or more modifier with one
complex action in SR3, I know which i'll pick.
Message no. 79
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 06:18:49 -0700 (PDT)
> The die rolls were what made it boring.

I concur. Far too much dice rolling, far too little storytelling.
This always struck me as a problem of a networking/hacking system
written by people who barely understood the concepts trying to
abstract them for an audience who had even less understanding of
them. My group(s) found long ago that in general, the person playing
the decker had an above average understanding of the concepts at
work. And I am a system admin...
So our decking has actually ended up being something everyone enjoys
watching/listening to.

> The problem with deckers was _not_ that they had to go off and do
> their own thing. The problem was that when they did so, it was
> _incredibly_ boring to watch. Players going off to do things on
> their own happens all the time. The reason other players usually
can
> tolerate this is that there is a story being told that they can
> see.

Characters running off on their own is the bane of virtually every
game/system I have ever run/played. You get the inevitable selfish
gamers who want to monopolize the GM's time and energy in any group.
There are a few of GM tricks that can curtail this tendency. One:
multi-task a bit with note passing. Two: hop focus... turn your
attention to a new character/group of characters every so often, like
at least every 10 minutes (at the longest). Three: punish characters
who make a habit of it or drag it out. This last one must be used
deftly and with an eye firmly fixed on fairness. But, let's face it,
SR is a dangerous place to be running solo. Bring this home. Runner
by himself taking the scenic route to go grocery shopping is bound to
run into some street toughs with more macho than sense. And while
runners eat gangers for snacks... four or five gangers can make rough
odds on one runner.

I once told my players they had some downtime of a few months since
the group was splitting up for a while. I told them to come to the
next session prepared. They needed a list of goals, and were going
to get a half an hour of one on one time with me to go over them. A
player comes to me the next session with nothing written down, and
says they are flying to Germany to visit their parents. Okay. Money
spent... VAV permit acquired... flight taken... now what?
Player: "I check into a motel."
Duh. You've used 5 minutes of your half-hour. This game is about
the team, so this downtime needs to be compressed.
Player: "But I want to haggle for the room price, I just raised
negotiations."
Sigh. Haggle accomplished. Room upgraded for same price. Now what?
Player: "Can we skip to the next morning."
Growl.
Player: "Cool, so for breakfast I order..."
Yea... that character never made it back from Germany. Last I knew
he was running around Berlin hiding from eco-terrorists that thought
he was his brother. Doesn't matter, because the point of the game is
for the whole group to play. Don't let the decker monopolize your GM
time any more than you'd let a loner sammie or an
'astral-quest-a-day' mage do so.

> With deckers, though, it was basically just listening to a bunch of
> stats and die rolls, with perhaps a tiny bit of narration. And,
> because of the die heavy nature of it, a decker doing their own
> thing went on about five times longer than someone else doing their
> own thing.

A bit of understanding of the system being abstracted in the rules,
and some effort on my part to get the players out of the dice and
into the scene fixed this.

> The solution to this is to make deckers use more narrative and far
> less mechanics. Evidently not the approach taken in SR4, I gather.

Yea. The same solution has to be applied to things like electronic
warfare or inter-vehicle combat when riggers flex their skills.

======Korishinzo
--it's the oldest debate in the book... role-playing versus roll-playing



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Message no. 80
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 06:54:59 -0700 (PDT)
> > That's only in the rules. It's not seen that way "in game". And
> > the rules do it, because consistency is more streamlined.

> It however very much acts this way. SR4 quite honestly feels more
> like a D20 game that anything else. That and several other reasons
> makes me want to stick to SR3.

We already had this discussion thread. The "feel" of the game and
the dice mechanics of the game are fairly inextricably linked. Which
leads me to believe that we will not ever see any sort of agreement
on the SR4 verus SR1-3. Those of us who liked the older editions and
made them work for us probably are not going to like SR4, quite
simply because ~~It Is Not Shadowrun Anymore~~. Same game title,
completely different game! Those who embrace SR4 probably did not
have much success making SR1-3 work for them and their group.
Different game, same title. And FWIW, SR4 is mechanically much like
Vampire: The Masquerade (1st Edition). The edition was abandoned
quickly in favor of its 2nd Edition. Why? Because the 6-sided die,
fixed TN system was too simplistic to provide a gradual probability
curve. So they moved to 10-sided dice. Narrow probability curve...
overly simple... hmmm... all the things we criticized about SR4
mechanics before we ever saw the book.

> No it been made to "appeal to a broader audience", meaning that its
> brought down to the lowest common denominator. May as well start
> calling it Anime-run. A two hour break for a deck run, 20 minutes
> is all it really took after VR2.0. People take longer than that
> getting a sandwich.

Yep. Trying to make paper & pencil RPGs palatable to the vidiot
masses. Has not worked too well to date, but why not eviscerate a
fantastic and unique game like Shadowrun and see what shakes out in
terms of new consumers? My projection... it won't work. Table top
gamers play table top games. Video gamers play video games.
Miniature gamers play miniature games. War gamers play wargames.
LARPers play in traffic... hopefully. We don't bring paintball guns
to the gaming table, nor do we bring dice to the paintball field. If
WizKids and FanPro ~really~ want the console RPG fans to buy their
product, they need to take something serious to the table with
Microsoft. Anyone who seriously ~can't~ pick up the basic SR3 rules
in an hour or so, especially with an experienced player sitting there
helping them, probably needs a bib to avoid drooling on their
clothing. And anyone who ~won't~ pick up the rules --which is really
what we are talking about when we talk about how "hard" the rules are
to grasp-- should go play something else.

SR4 is a reinvention of something that really only needed tweaking.
And it is a bastardization of the genre/setting/game concept.
Apologies to anyone offended by that judgement, especially those on
the list whose hard work directly contributed to the edition, but
that is the NICEST thing I can say to sum up my feelings about it.

======Korishinzo
--yet another good game ruined by reduction to the lowest common denominator



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Message no. 81
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 06:58:55 -0700 (PDT)
> If everything was a hooked in as you're trying to point out, that
is
> exactly what the tms would do, all day, every day. There wouldn't
> be a matrix because it would have to be shut down just to prevent
it.

"Hey guys, why won't Blaze talk to me today? He's not even
responding!"

"Oh, don't worry about it. He's just getting hit with a DoS attack.
Should be talking again tomorrow."

=======Korishinzo
--fragging spam in my smartgun target queue




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Message no. 82
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 10:57:02 -0400
On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 01:25:09AM -0400, NightLife wrote:
> Because mechanically it functions like magic. It makes
> deckers/hackers obsolete.

You think?

"Hey, I can do the same thing this hacker can do, but instead of
dropping a few grand on gear, I'm going to spend all my karma"

By my count, that makes hackers pretty competitive. They get to do
runs, and spend the money on improving their hacking, while karma can
attend to other abilities. Technomancers get the cool cars, but can't
really be a good technomancer AND anything else.

I can see people playing both happily. That doesn't sound like anything
is obsolete.

--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
US2003011110
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 83
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 10:59:33 -0400
On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 12:48:17AM -0400, NightLife wrote:
> Finally some sanity on the subject.

Nope. Attempting to apply ANY kind of real-world logic in this area is
doomed to failure.

As I said, no one has ever explained how plugging in your brain makes it
any easier to guess a password. SR tech has no connection to real-world
tech, and you're better off not even creating vague parallels, because
you'll just be disappointed.

Just suspend the disbelief and move on.
--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 84
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 11:07:35 -0400
On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 01:29:17PM -0500, Derek Hyde wrote:
> Yep, which furthers my point, if crash 2.0 lost all this information
> globally, WMI was lost too,

Crash 2.0 didn't wipe the world clean...it corrupted data in various
locations. I'm sure lots of people lost a dys/weeks/months work. The
unlucky places has backups corrupted as well, but as the virus followed
datapath density, it woudl not have hit all or even most backups.

I understand that not everyone is going to like the new edition, but it
seems like some people are on a QUEST to be vitriolic on every point
they can possibly find.

--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 85
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 08:36:07 -0700 (PDT)
> I understand that not everyone is going to like the new edition,
> but it seems like some people are on a QUEST to be vitriolic on
every
> point they can possibly find.

Yes. You are correct about that. And there is a very good reason
for our umbrage and subsequent venom regarding the new edition. No
one asked us how we felt about our beloved game getting scrapped in
favor of an entirely new game set in the same universe. Leaving us
no recourse but to evince our dislike and frustration only after the
fact.

Consider this. You have a favorite sci-fi series. You watch movies,
read novels, and play games all set in the author's lovingly crafted
universe. Then someone comes along and fundamentally reworks the
universe.

"The Force? Yea, that is caused by high micro-bacteria count in your
bloodstream. It's suddenly not metaphysical AT ALL."

"Jacking in and running the 'Trix with your warez and skilz while
your chummer melds brain to weapon via an induction pad in her hand
and guards your back... nah... it's all wireless and there is
ulimited bandwidth and hacking works just like magic. Watch me
wiggle my finger and cast Heal Icon."

Yes, I know I am using an example that isn't textbook accurate. But,
hopefull I am successfully illustrating how fragging ridiculous this
new edition of Shadowrun feels to someone who has played it since its
inception. Read it, played it, run it, loved it... and it is GONE.
The newest edition bears only a superficial resenblance to my game.
Yes, MY game. I've invested hours of imagination and creative effort
into Shadowrun. Not to mention hard earned money.

Now, some utterly purile version of the rules and game setting, based
more on anime than on cyberpunk themes, supplants my favorite past
time. No more will I be able to buy rule books set in my favorite
game. My game isn't supported. The OS of my game world is obsolete
and none of my programs (sourcebooks) run in the new OS. So I
complain bitterly. Does that impact anyone's right or ability to buy
into the new game? No. But it is my right to pour venom on the new
game. Especially when the name of this list is ShadowRN. A list for
addressing questions about Shadowrun, especially with regards to
possible items that are broken and need a house rule or errata that I
can't find.

That nicely sums up my feelings about SR4. It is all broken. Needs
a lot of house rules and errata to make it be Shadowrun. The
timeline is bunk. The mechanics are watered down and excessively
simplistic. The genre is anime-esque and a bit too far from
scientific or economic plausibility for my personal suspension of
disbelief. Yep... an serious round of patching is needed. I know,
we'll call it SR3 (with house rules harkening further back to 1 and
2). Holy drek! I think it is a rollback!

I am not saying anything I would not have said sooner if anyone had
bothered to let the die-hard fanbase know they had decided to scrap
Shadowrun in favor of BluetoothRun.

======Korishinzo
--Vitriolic?! You have NO idea...



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Message no. 86
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 12:31:18 -0400
On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 08:36:07AM -0700, Ice Heart wrote:
> Consider this. You have a favorite sci-fi series. You watch movies,
> read novels, and play games all set in the author's lovingly crafted
> universe. Then someone comes along and fundamentally reworks the
> universe.

Good example. But I don't waste my time trashing the new films (really,
they handle that themselves :)) Instead, I pull a Highlander 2.

> hopefull I am successfully illustrating how fragging ridiculous this
> new edition of Shadowrun feels to someone who has played it since its
> inception. Read it, played it, run it, loved it... and it is GONE.

I've been there since the start myself, and I don't agree. The universe
has changed. It's changed every time a new developer took over.
Mulvihill(sp) didn't share Dowd's vision, and Boyle doesn't share
Mulvihill's. Heck, every supplement had a slightly different vision.
This is nothing new.

If you aren't going to enjoy SR4, that's fine, but what is the point of
all these posts? Do you want to find people that DO like it, and
convince them NOT to have fun?

If you haven't any point other than to express that you're unhappy: we
get it. Sorry you feel that way. If you're missing any books in your
SR 1-3 collection, let me know. (actually, my SR 1 books were traded
away some time ago, so I can only help with 2-3. I have several
Universal Brotherhoods and Harlequins though)

But there are some of us that look forward to SR4. I enjoy the fact
that a skill of 2 now has some use, but a skill 5 is clearly better. I
like that combat isn't a battle of 11 dice to hit, desperately trying to
get lucky enough to overcome the 11 ballistic armor that someone managed
to get. I like that transferring files between characters is now as
easy as it is in 2005. I like that cyber is cheaper and less
complicated, so character creation is a bit faster. I like that
modifiers to TN are gone, so that the phys ad with Kinesics, Friendly
Face, and Good Looking and knows it no longer smites everyone around
him/her. I like that the 450 nuyen survival knife doesn't have a 500
nuyen trauma patch in its handle. I like that there is no longer a
secure jacket that is both better and cheaper than the armor jacket. I
like that if someone holds a grenade and pulls the pin, they can
actually die. I like that mages are no longer a no-drain guarantee for
everything but the big guns or bad luck. I'm glad that radio detonator
no longer costs 25 times as much as a pager.

There are things I don't like. That's inevitable. There are things
that I'm pretty certain they'll screw up in future supplements. If they
screw up badly enough, I can take my money elsewhere. I'll be sure to
let them know what I, as a customer think. But posting at vast length
here about how every single thing is stupid would accomplish nothing
beyond making me unpopular.

> into the new game? No. But it is my right to pour venom on the new
> game. Especially when the name of this list is ShadowRN. A list for
> addressing questions about Shadowrun, especially with regards to
> possible items that are broken and need a house rule or errata that I
> can't find.

Your questions are unclear. All I've seen are complaints. I certainly
don't speak in an official capacity for the list, but I GET that you
don't like it. Did you have any questions?

--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 87
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 19:07:21 +0200
According to Ice Heart, on 4-10-05 15:18 the word on the street was...

> My group(s) found long ago that in general, the person playing
> the decker had an above average understanding of the concepts at
> work. And I am a system admin...

It's been my experience that it was generally best to discourage players
who have a decent amount of RL computer knowledge from playing deckers.
This because they inevitably tried to apply that real-world to decking,
which (I doubt I need to tell anyone here) simply didn't work.

> One: multi-task a bit with note passing.

Not something I'd use, but it apparently works for you.

> Two: hop focus... turn your
> attention to a new character/group of characters every so often, like
> at least every 10 minutes (at the longest).

Definitely. And don't be afraid to do this in the middle of one player's
actions if you feel they're taking up too much time -- just don't do it
in the middle of a dice roll or something :)

> A bit of understanding of the system being abstracted in the rules,
> and some effort on my part to get the players out of the dice and
> into the scene fixed this.

TBH, I don't really see how you could do decking without making lots of
dice rolls -- unless you want to fudge things all over the place, in
which case the decker is getting shafted for buying all that expensive
decking gear that isn't being used properly.

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 88
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 19:09:08 +0200
According to Ice Heart, on 4-10-05 15:58 the word on the street was...

> "Hey guys, why won't Blaze talk to me today?

Because she's trying to make tea.

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 89
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 19:11:11 +0200
According to Brett Sanger, on 4-10-05 17:07 the word on the street was...

> I understand that not everyone is going to like the new edition, but it
> seems like some people are on a QUEST to be vitriolic on every point
> they can possibly find.

And amazingly, many of those people appear to be the same ones who
complained before the game had even been released.

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 90
From: mal2@**.com (Jerry Hill)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 17:11:21 -0000 (GMT)
On Tue, October 4, 2005 3:36 pm, Ice Heart said:
> Yes. You are correct about that. And there is a very good reason
> for our umbrage and subsequent venom regarding the new edition.

So, should we be looking for a new list to discuss SR4? When a simple
rules question produces a 4 day long, 100 post flame fest, I certainly
don't feel like discussing SR4 here.

--
Jerry
Message no. 91
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 10:16:38 -0700 (PDT)
> So, should we be looking for a new list to discuss SR4? When a
> simple rules question produces a 4 day long, 100 post flame fest, I
> certainly don't feel like discussing SR4 here.

Okay. Discuss away. And when the last SR3 or pre- relevant question
is answered...

Doesn't matter.

Done. Good point. I'm just bitching pointlessly that my titanic hit
the iceberg of market pressure.

<lurk>

======Kori




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Message no. 92
From: adamj@*********.com (Adam Jury)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 11:29:11 -0600
On 4-Oct-05, at 11:09 AM, Gurth wrote:

> According to Ice Heart, on 4-10-05 15:58 the word on the street was...
>
>> "Hey guys, why won't Blaze talk to me today?
>
> Because she's trying to make tea.

Thank goodness I wasn't the only one.

Adam

--
Adam Jury
Editor, The Shadowrun Supplemental :: http://tss.dumpshock.com
Message no. 93
From: maxnoel_fr@*****.fr (Max Noel)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 19:39:52 +0200
On 4 Oct 2005, at 15:54, Ice Heart wrote:

> And FWIW, SR4 is mechanically much like
> Vampire: The Masquerade (1st Edition). The edition was abandoned
> quickly in favor of its 2nd Edition. Why? Because the 6-sided die,
> fixed TN system was too simplistic to provide a gradual probability
> curve. So they moved to 10-sided dice. Narrow probability curve...
> overly simple... hmmm... all the things we criticized about SR4
> mechanics before we ever saw the book.

Actually, if Shadowrun is a complete ripoff of something, it is
of the new World of Darkness, which does use that exact same
mechanic, albeit with d10's. It's overly simplistic, scales like shit
because it's linear (basically, depending on how the system is
calibrated, "difficult" tasks are either trivial for specialized
characters, or flat-out impossible for non-overoptimized characters
-- see d20 for examples of this) and requires a special anti-auto-
fail protection.
It works in WoD because of the following things:
- WoD game mechanics are very light. The emphasis is more on
storytelling than on dice rolling.
- Scaling problems are not because the high end of the spectrum
represents vampires, werewolves et al. Beings that are *supposed* to
be massively overpowered compared to human PCs.
Shadowrun is one of the heaviest games around, and it features
player characters that can be (and often are) "extreme" straight out
of chargen (trolls, miscellaneous augmented dudes...). This core
mechanic can't work well with a game like Shadowrun. During the last
6 or so months, it never did with my group.


As I said a few posts ago, however, this is a feature, not a
bug: they did it so that probabilities (read: average number of hits)
can be estimated in *any* situation without using those horribly
complicated mathematical operations, "multiplication" and "division".
Added to what they did to the setting (which reeks of omg-lol-
one-one-one-ness), I'm starting to realize that maybe 22-year-old
French male software engineers (read: me) aren't part of Shadowrun's
new target audience. And I can't even begin to describe how bad this
feels.

-- Wild_Cat
(can't help if I'd prefer Shadowrun to feel more like Sneakers than
The Net)





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Message no. 94
From: swiftone@********.org (Brett Sanger)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 13:59:51 -0400
On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 07:39:52PM +0200, Max Noel wrote:
>
> On 4 Oct 2005, at 15:54, Ice Heart wrote:
>
> >And FWIW, SR4 is mechanically much like
> >Vampire: The Masquerade (1st Edition). The edition was abandoned
> Actually, if Shadowrun is a complete ripoff of something, it is
> of the new World of Darkness, which does use that exact same
> mechanic, albeit with d10's. It's overly simplistic, scales like shit

This is a comparison that gets me worked up: It is the same mechanic as
World of Darkness, except that SR actually does it in a consistant
fashion (so far):

If it's opposed, you both test and determine net successes.
If it's unopposed, apply a threshold.
If it's an opposed test with an absolute effect, also apply a threshold.
Bonuses add dice, penalties subtract dice.
It's always two of your stats vs two of theirs in an opposed test. (In
the case of magic one of those might be zero, but still)

World of Darkness is NOT clean like that:

Most tests are unopposed. Intimidation, for example
Thresholds are rare. There appears to be no real logic as to when to
use an opposed test.

When you get into the tack-on-systems, such as Vampire, it gets worse:

* Sometimes you take one of their stats as a penalty.
* Sometimes you use one of their stats as a threshold.
* Sometimes you oppose two stats
* Sometimes you oppose one stat

> calibrated, "difficult" tasks are either trivial for specialized
> characters, or flat-out impossible for non-overoptimized characters

That part doesn't bother me...There are lots of tasks that are trivial
for me and challenging for others, and (more often) next-to-impossible
for me and trivial for others.

As opposed to SR3, where as soon as TN hit 6, it was pretty much a crap
shoot regardless of dice. As number of successes determined results,
jsut getting that one 6 didn't do much, and the people with 11 dice
didn't fare that much better than those with 2.

> It works in WoD because of the following things:

I'm of the opinion that it doesn't really work, myself, but that's
because I despise unclean mechanics. SR4 has been quite a pleasant
surprise to me, and has made me even more critical of White Wolf's
products.

> player characters that can be (and often are) "extreme" straight out
> of chargen (trolls, miscellaneous augmented dudes...). This core
> mechanic can't work well with a game like Shadowrun. During the last
> 6 or so months, it never did with my group.

*shrug* My games so far have been fine. I've been enjoying the fact
that characters in the middle of the "none-to-maxed" scale can actually
do things. In SR3 characters rarely bothered to take any kind of
opposed skill at less than 4, and attributes were below 3 or above 4.

> (can't help if I'd prefer Shadowrun to feel more like Sneakers than
> The Net)

Can't complain about a vision like that!

--
SwiftOne / Brett Sanger
swiftone@********.org
Message no. 95
From: The_Sarge@***.de (MatthÀus_Cebulla)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 20:05:21 +0200
> Added to what they did to the setting (which reeks of omg-lol-
> one-one-one-ness), I'm starting to realize that maybe 22-year-old
> French male software engineers (read: me) aren't part of Shadowrun's
> new target audience. And I can't even begin to describe how bad this
> feels.

Well, 22-year-old history students (read: me) are certainly part of the
new target audience (I started with SR2, btw).

SR4 did, what SR3 wasn't able to: It was fun for the players. And they
were a mage, a technomancer and a sammie. No one felt buggered by the
other. They had to work together and they really liked the feel of the
new world (which, in my games, is definetly grittier than SR3 ever was
for me).

This all reminds me of the craptacular bitching and moaning around WW
when they ditched oWoD. But, hey, they even totally MUREDERED support
for the older games. Here, SR3 will still be supported further.

And if you tossed out so much money on the game already, you don't need
the new edition. Don't buy it. Find a new game or buy some good mood
music. But please stop flinging toxic waste on people who like the
games (even if it's through viciously attacking the game and it's ideas)...

Feels like kindergarten... *shakes head*

> -- Wild_Cat
> (can't help if I'd prefer Shadowrun to feel more like Sneakers than
> The Net)

Matthäus
--
For me it feels like The Usual Suspects with more dirt, blood and slightly
more gunfights.
Message no. 96
From: l-hansen@*****.tele.dk (Lars Wagner Hansen)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 21:20:12 +0200
From: "Ice Heart" <korishinzo@*****.com>
>
> We already had this discussion thread. The "feel" of the game and
> the dice mechanics of the game are fairly inextricably linked. Which
> leads me to believe that we will not ever see any sort of agreement
> on the SR4 verus SR1-3. Those of us who liked the older editions and
> made them work for us probably are not going to like SR4, quite
> simply because ~~It Is Not Shadowrun Anymore~~. Same game title,
> completely different game! Those who embrace SR4 probably did not
> have much success making SR1-3 work for them and their group.

Wrong. I bought Shadowrun in December 89, played it extensively during SR1
and SR2. Didn't play a lot during SR3, even though I thought the rules was
nearly right. I loved the game, both as a player and as a GM.

At first I didn't like the idea about new rules, but after having read
through the first 300 pages, I can say that I'm looking forwards to playing
SR again, using the best ever rules.

Now grow up at stop whining.

> SR4 is a reinvention of something that really only needed tweaking.
> And it is a bastardization of the genre/setting/game concept.

SR has a lways been a bastardization of genre/setting/game concept, nothing
new there.

Lars
Message no. 97
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 12:46:59 -0700 (PDT)
> Wrong. I bought Shadowrun in December 89, played it extensively
> during SR1
> and SR2. Didn't play a lot during SR3, even though I thought the
> rules was
> nearly right. I loved the game, both as a player and as a GM.
>
> At first I didn't like the idea about new rules, but after having
> read
> through the first 300 pages, I can say that I'm looking forwards to
> playing
> SR again, using the best ever rules.
>
> Now grow up at stop whining.

Well then I stand corrected... welcome back to shadowrun. Have fun.

You know, as "vitriolic" as I have been about the new edition, I have
managed to avoid telling anyone who likes it to "grow up".

At least I think so... oh well.

======Korishinzo
--insert whatever flame pisses you off most <here>


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Message no. 98
From: keith@***********.com (Keith Johnson)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 14:33:54 -0700
>>it seems like some people are on a QUEST to
>>be vitriolic on every point they can possibly
>>find.
>
> Yes. You are correct about that.

<snip>

Ice Heart is a lot nicer about it than I feel
like being. I almost threw up as I looked at
the rules in my local store. I was literally
sick to my stomach... for all the same reasons
that Ice Heart points out. The reason that
there's a knot in my stomach is that I feel
driven to violence against the folks who did
this to my game.

They gutted it intentionally.

I'm not allowed to vent that violence
against those responsible. That's why I'm
sick over it.

SR4 is not Shadowrun... There's no fix

SR4 delenda est.

-k
Message no. 99
From: tevel@******.com (Tevel Drinkwater)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 19:11:03 -0700
From: Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:

>
>
>
>>It however very much acts this way. SR4 quite honestly feels more
>>like a D20 game that anything else. That and several other reasons
>>makes me want to stick to SR3.
>>
>>
I've actually enjoyed the d20 games that I've got around to trying.
It's a very straightforward system, very clean. Johnathan Tweet, the
main designer of 3rd edition co-designed one of my all-time favourite
games, Ars Magica (incredible magic system still, after all these
years). The other designer of Ars Magica was Mark Rein-Hagen of Vampire
fame. All excellent games.

>We already had this discussion thread. The "feel" of the game and
>the dice mechanics of the game are fairly inextricably linked. Which
>leads me to believe that we will not ever see any sort of agreement
>on the SR4 verus SR1-3. Those of us who liked the older editions and
>made them work for us probably are not going to like SR4, quite
>simply because ~~It Is Not Shadowrun Anymore~~. Same game title,
>completely different game! Those who embrace SR4 probably did not
>have much success making SR1-3 work for them and their group.
>
>
Hmm, I guess I'm guilty of apostasy, turning away from the one true
Shadowrun ;-)

>Different game, same title. And FWIW, SR4 is mechanically much like
>Vampire: The Masquerade (1st Edition). The edition was abandoned
>quickly in favor of its 2nd Edition. Why? Because the 6-sided die,
>fixed TN system was too simplistic to provide a gradual probability
>
>
Off topic, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't an edition of Vampire: the
Masquerade released before the edition from 1991 that I'm holding in my
hand right now. It uses d10s, variable target numbers, with number off
successes determining degree of success. At the time, I think we
thought of it as Shadowrun but with more expensive dice (and no
cyberware, and more goth, and no cyberpunk, actually I guess it was a
completely different game, but the dice rolling was similar).

>--yet another good game ruined by reduction to the lowest common denominator
>
>
-Tev

The lowest common denominator.
Message no. 100
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 23:57:32 -0400
At 01:11 PM 10/4/2005, you wrote:
>According to Brett Sanger, on 4-10-05 17:07 the word on the street was...
>
>>I understand that not everyone is going to like the new edition, but it
>>seems like some people are on a QUEST to be vitriolic on every point
>>they can possibly find.
>
>And amazingly, many of those people appear to be the same ones who
>complained before the game had even been released.

It because I'm looking at the tip of the proverbial dagger which is
firmly embedded in my back sticking out from between my ribs. I have
every right to dislike the feel and mechanics of this editon, which
has removed just about everything that made SR one of my favorite games.
Message no. 101
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 00:26:17 -0400
>They can't do this. If they attempt to crash your cyberware, it sets
>off an alert, and lets people know they are being hacked, and they can
>only hack one bit of cyber at a time. So by the time they have
>disabled a single device on one of the opposite team, the entire team
>knows they are there, and that device will be back online before the
>hacker can finish crashing the next device
>
>Or of course, they could simply turn it off, rather than crash it, but
>then the runner can turn it back on again with a free action.
>
>Hacking cyberware is a tactical consideration that may very rarely
>produce a benefit worth the risk. It's not capable of the gross
>damage dealing and problem causing you attribute it

Having been pointed to the correct page about the wireless thing,
hell apparently my underwear can be hacked. The very fact that idea
of hacking cyberware being allowed has really made one thing very
clear and this is the last thing I'm going to say about it. I'll be
sticking with SR3. I don't need any of my ware broadcasting my
position, what kind of toothpaste I use or how many cheetos I have
left in my bag. The current owners have SR have become like GW,
making everything previous released useless.
Message no. 102
From: zebulingod@*****.com (zebulingod)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 21:35:22 -0700
NightLife wrote:
#
#Having been pointed to the correct page about the wireless
#thing, hell apparently my underwear can be hacked. The very
#fact that idea of hacking cyberware being allowed has really
#made one thing very clear and this is the last thing I'm going
#to say about it. I'll be sticking with SR3. I don't need any
#of my ware broadcasting my position, what kind of toothpaste I
#use or how many cheetos I have left in my bag. The current
#owners have SR have become like GW, making everything previous
#released useless.
#

Fair enough. You do understand that RFID technology is currently being used,
and it's theorised it could be used just like Shadowrun has postulated,
within a couple years, right? So, while Shadowrun has gone overboard with
it, it's something that could conceivably happen. \: That's not something
I'm happy about.

Zebulin
-Wondering if people will stop playing Life 1.0 and go back to a version
without the widespread RFID/wireless world we live in today.
Message no. 103
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 21:53:55 -0700 (PDT)
> I've actually enjoyed the d20 games that I've got around to trying.
> It's a very straightforward system, very clean. Johnathan Tweet,
> the main designer of 3rd edition co-designed one of my all-time
> favourite games, Ars Magica (incredible magic system still, after
> all these years). The other designer of Ars Magica was Mark
> Rein-Hagen of Vampire fame. All excellent games.

I am a long-time player and storyguide of AM. I love the third
edition of the game. What I have seen of the first two editions
(owned by Lion Rampant, same design team as early WW, led by Mark RH)
suggests they were rough and hard to play. I currently run an AM
PBeM under 3rd Ed. rules, own all the 3rd Ed books, and love the
game. HATE what Atlas Games did to it in their 4th Ed. Hmmm... why
is it I seem to come up hating fourths? Going to go with the
Japanese on this one... 4 is shi is white is death... the numbers
don't lie, stay away from 4. :)

> Off topic, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't an edition of Vampire:
> the Masquerade released before the edition from 1991 that I'm
> holding in my hand right now. It uses d10s, variable target
> numbers, with number off successes determining degree of success.

Nope. What you are talking about is 2nd Edition. Trust me. I'm
old... -ish.

> -Tev
>
> The lowest common denominator.

No you are not. Plugged you into four diferent equations involving
fraction and got nowhere... oh, drek, there is that ever-deadly 4.
Never mind...

======Korishinzo
--can't seem to just lurk, dammit

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Message no. 104
From: pb3209@****.utah.edu (Jamison Cooper-Leavitt)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 23:23:31 -0600
Ice Heart wrote:

>>I understand that not everyone is going to like the new edition,
>>but it seems like some people are on a QUEST to be vitriolic on
>>
>>
>every
>
>
>>point they can possibly find.
>>
>>
>
>Yes. You are correct about that. And there is a very good reason
>for our umbrage and subsequent venom regarding the new edition. No
>one asked us how we felt about our beloved game getting scrapped in
>favor of an entirely new game set in the same universe. Leaving us
>no recourse but to evince our dislike and frustration only after the
>fact.
>
>
I want to say that Ice Heart, and others, including myself, have a right
to bitch about the new version and tell the world and any possible new
fans/consumers about what we don't like about the new game. This is
free market and we can tell other would be buyers that we don't like the
new product and we like the older product much better. We are all long
time customers of the Shadowrun product(s) and we have a right to flex
our market force just like FanPro had a right to flex their own market
force and produce SR4. In other words we are a group of consumers and
we have a right to announce our dislike of the current product.

>Consider this. You have a favorite sci-fi series. You watch movies,
>read novels, and play games all set in the author's lovingly crafted
>universe. Then someone comes along and fundamentally reworks the
>universe.
>
>"The Force? Yea, that is caused by high micro-bacteria count in your
>bloodstream. It's suddenly not metaphysical AT ALL."
>
>"Jacking in and running the 'Trix with your warez and skilz while
>your chummer melds brain to weapon via an induction pad in her hand
>and guards your back... nah... it's all wireless and there is
>ulimited bandwidth and hacking works just like magic. Watch me
>wiggle my finger and cast Heal Icon."
>
>Yes, I know I am using an example that isn't textbook accurate. But,
>hopefull I am successfully illustrating how fragging ridiculous this
>new edition of Shadowrun feels to someone who has played it since its
>inception. Read it, played it, run it, loved it... and it is GONE.
>The newest edition bears only a superficial resenblance to my game.
>Yes, MY game. I've invested hours of imagination and creative effort
>into Shadowrun. Not to mention hard earned money.
>
>Now, some utterly purile version of the rules and game setting, based
>more on anime than on cyberpunk themes, supplants my favorite past
>time. No more will I be able to buy rule books set in my favorite
>game. My game isn't supported. The OS of my game world is obsolete
>and none of my programs (sourcebooks) run in the new OS. So I
>complain bitterly. Does that impact anyone's right or ability to buy
>into the new game? No. But it is my right to pour venom on the new
>game. Especially when the name of this list is ShadowRN. A list for
>addressing questions about Shadowrun, especially with regards to
>possible items that are broken and need a house rule or errata that I
>can't find.
>
>That nicely sums up my feelings about SR4. It is all broken. Needs
>a lot of house rules and errata to make it be Shadowrun. The
>timeline is bunk. The mechanics are watered down and excessively
>simplistic. The genre is anime-esque and a bit too far from
>scientific or economic plausibility for my personal suspension of
>disbelief. Yep... an serious round of patching is needed. I know,
>we'll call it SR3 (with house rules harkening further back to 1 and
>2). Holy drek! I think it is a rollback!
>
>I am not saying anything I would not have said sooner if anyone had
>bothered to let the die-hard fanbase know they had decided to scrap
>Shadowrun in favor of BluetoothRun.
>
>======>Korishinzo
>--Vitriolic?! You have NO idea...
>
>
>
>__________________________________
>Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
>http://mail.yahoo.com
>
>
>
Message no. 105
From: korishinzo@*****.com (Ice Heart)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 22:32:50 -0700 (PDT)
> -Wondering if people will stop playing Life 1.0 and go back to a
> version without the widespread RFID/wireless world we live in
today.

I have a very unfriendly suggestion:

BACK THE FUCK OFF!

Notice something, people:

Opponents of SR4 (who are generally speaking long-time fans and
supporters by voice and coin of the Shadowrun franchise) criticize
the GAME!

The design concepts, the percieved fuck-ups in what was changed, the
apparent ruin of a game we have LOVED as long as some of you have
been literate. Not the other ~gamers~.

Proponents of SR4 (who are generally speaking guilty of WHINING THEIR
ASSES OFF about plenty of shit other people where quite happy with in
SR<to-date>) criticize the posters. The other ~gamers~.

Get. Off Us. Please. Before we all get first-hand exposure to the
real definitions of hostile and curmudgeon and 'whateverthehellelse'
on this list. "We" are not criticising ANYONE who likes 4th Ed.
Play. Create. Love. Keep SR alive for another generation.

BUT...

Understand that for those of us who have played and loved this game
for more than a decade, this edition is a fucking BETRAYAL. Goodbye
old fans, hello new market share. Period. Noone told us a new game
was coming to supplant our hobbie. Noone asked if we cared. It just
happened. The game design + market pressure pod-frickin-people
slipped in and 100%, whole-cloth supplanted a legacy.
Over-frickin-night no less. A few months ago, SR3 books were coming
on like gangbusters... and now we have a new game. Mark me well... a
NEW GAME. Everything is different. The mechanics, the mood, the
underpinnings of the vicarious experience... NEW. DIFFERENT.

And we do NOT like it.

We like you. You players and fans of the new... well, we did. Until
you told us you shut the fuck up. And go away. And, I quote, "grow
up and quit whining".

How about you back off and let us have our few moments of mourning?
Let us play taps for our game. Our world. The place that we have
spent many an hour of creative musing in the last decade plus.
Dammit, you have the whole future of the game at your disposal and
you have the audacity to bitch that we might just miss the day when
WE had that same privilige?! Bite me where the chrome stops, fanboy!


You don't like our outcry? Then go away. You shut the fuck up. You
"grow up". Because we surely will go away. With all our memory of
the legacy and history, we will leave. All we are doing is bemoaning
the loss of something and attacking it's killer. You are the people
making it personal. I have NOTHING against SR4 players/GMs. Only
against SR4 designers. But I will NOT be told that my legitimate
gripe about being marginalized in the name of making my game more
easily absorbed by who-fucking-ever is not welcome. Not calmly and
not quietly.

I have listened to ENDLESS whining about how "hard" SR<x> was, and
how "complicated" rule <x> was, and how time-consuming procedure <x>
was... and I have nicely offered my ~actual~ solutions to YOUR gripes
about SR of old. As have many others on this list. So now the onus
lies, not on us, but on you, fans of the new. It is YOUR
responsibility to convince US. We came first. The older editions
came first. You do NOT get to tell us to "shove off" with our
concerns and complaints. That is a luxury you have NOT EARNED. You
want to tell me where to stick my gripes about SR4? You first owe me
a few posts where you try really hard and help me understand how SR4
offers ANYTHING better than SR3 or previous.

And, so sorry, but "fuck you, its easier for newbies" is NOT going to
convince me of shit. I learned SR1 just fine on my own with no help
but the rule book. Same goes for SR2 and SR3. I can read and reason
and figure things out. I could do so since elementary school, when
my friends and I taught ourselves to understand the arcane
complexities of our new Dungeons&Dragons boxed sets one by one, color
by color. Any gamer worth my time will damn well do the same. That
includes people on this list, for so long as I stay (and am still
welcome).

I realize that this long ago went past anything I meant to write when
I started. It is late, and a long day at work and the dojo has made
me cranky. So I'll shut up. Suffice it to say (finally, no?) that I
too am sick to death of being told I am wrong simply because my views
are outdated.

======Korishinzo
--Dear totem, please do unspeakable things to the unbeliever's
nether-regions while I sleep off this day.



__________________________________
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
http://mail.yahoo.com
Message no. 106
From: raymacey@*****.com (Ray Macey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 16:12:44 +1000
On 10/5/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
> Understand that for those of us who have played and loved this game
> for more than a decade, this edition is a fucking BETRAYAL. Goodbye
> old fans, hello new market share. Period.

In return, you might consider losing the generalisations. I've been
playing Shadowrun as long as there has been a Shadowrun. I own
stupidly large amounts of books going all the way back to 1st edition,
and I like 4th Ed. So I ask that you in turn understand that whilst
you are entitled to dislike 4th Ed, you're probably not so entitled to
generalise it as a case of "old guard" vs "new guard" because it's not
that simple. The truth is, some people like it, and some people
dislike it, and well, each to their own. We both have a place on this
list, and we both deserve to have our chances to speak without flaming
the hell out of each other.

--
http://cyron.id.au
Message no. 107
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 01:36:26 -0500
>
>> You _can_ control access to a network by restricting which MAC
>> addresses can connect to it, but it's not much of a security measure.

It's what? Have you done much networking? MAC Filtering to only allow
pre-programmed MAC addresses in the router, is one of the most difficult to
get around methods of network security there is. It's far better than
software firewalls or anything else of the sort, because if your MAC address
doesn't match one in the list of acceptable MAC addresses, you simply don't
have access to the network at all.

Here's an example:
Wireless Router is set to broadcast SSID, has a WEP Password, and MAC
Address Filtering to only allow 2 computers whose addresses are already
stored.

You try to connect to it, your wireless card finds the SSID, you tell it to
connect, it asks for the WEP Password, you give it the correct password, it
checks your MAC address, validates, DHCP server on the router assigns you an
IP address, you've got internet or intranet connectivity.

If you fail any of those points before the MAC filter, you'll just get
denied, if you fail the MAC filter, you won't be given an IP address, and
the router simply won't process information to or from your system *at all*

Not even to try to get to the router config so you can fix that you're not
in there.

>
> As evidenced by, for example, my router's option of replacing the MAC
> address it says it has by the one of a connected device, or by a value I
> can enter myself.

Yes, you can do that to make the router appear to be a specific PC, but only
once you're ON the router and within it's network, if a router is setup to
only allow specific MAC addresses to access it, and not to broadcast it's
SSID, you likely will never get into it, unless of course you're just that
hot shit of a hacker, Gurth, I know you got an apple, I could suggest to you
in private where to get ahold of a pair of tools designed to do exactly
that, and then you take a computer other than your apple, setup your router
not to broadcast it's ID, and then setup mac filtering to only allow the
other computer, then start up the two apps on the apple and see how long it
takes you to get into your own network, (testing the theory in this manner
isn't illegal, as, there's nothing illegal about trying to hack your own
personal network). Routers are setup to be able to do that specifically
because there are ISP's that work off of the PC's MAC address for
authentication, and the router won't allow that MAC address to be seen as
it's inside the network. It's the only way that you can use any form of
network setup on such ISP's.


While I'm not saying that MAC filtering is uncrackable or whatnot, I am
saying that it's by far more secure than any other method of keeping people
out of a network when they're not authorized to access it.
Message no. 108
From: gurth@******.nl (Gurth)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 11:28:53 +0200
According to NightLife, on 5-10-05 05:57 the word on the street was...

> It because I'm looking at the tip of the proverbial dagger which is
> firmly embedded in my back sticking out from between my ribs. I have
> every right to dislike the feel and mechanics of this editon, which has
> removed just about everything that made SR one of my favorite games.

Of course, that's your good right. So just keep playing SR3, or earlier
-- nobody is forcing you to play SR4, I would think. In fact, as I've
said before, if my group decides to turn back to Shadowrun in the future
(we play Deadlands ATM) I will seriously suggest using SRII instead of 3
or 4, simply because it's the edition I myself like best (the other
players have either no SR experience at all, don't know the rules very
well, and/or are more interested in the fluff than in the rules). But
that doesn't mean I have to damn SR4 at every opportunity ...

--
Gurth@******.nl - Stone Age: http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours
-> Possibly NAGEE Editor & ShadowRN GridSec * Triangle Virtuoso <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Site: http://plastic.dumpshock.com <-

GC3.12: GAT/! d- s:- !a>? C++(---) UB+ P(+) L++ E W++(--) N o? K w-- O
M+ PS+ PE@ Y PGP- t- 5++ X(+) R+++$ tv+(++) b++@ DI- D G+ e h! !r y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998
Message no. 109
From: pentaj2@********.edu (pentaj2@********.edu)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 08:18:28 -0400
----- Original Message -----
From: Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com>
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2005 1:32 am
Subject: RE: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4

> How about you back off and let us have our few moments of
> mourning?

But you haven't had a few moments, you've had a few *months*. (Or at
least it feels like it.)

I agree with you. You should have your chance to mourn.

But, you do not get to carry it on into obnoxiousness.
Message no. 110
From: scott@**********.com (Scott Harrison)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 08:25:53 -0400
On Oct 5, 2005, at 08:18, pentaj2@********.edu wrote:

>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com>
> Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2005 1:32 am
> Subject: RE: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
>
>> How about you back off and let us have our few moments of
>> mourning?
>
> But you haven't had a few moments, you've had a few *months*. (Or at
> least it feels like it.)
>
> I agree with you. You should have your chance to mourn.
>
> But, you do not get to carry it on into obnoxiousness.

Being rude about it is a different matter. However, most of us have
only had a few weeks to see the rules, digest them, etc. What I find
ridiculous is the lack of availability of the book and all the whining.
I purchased the PDF and am happy enough with it since it allows me to
read and understand the major catastrophe that has occurred. I own all
the SR books but will not purchase SR4.

--
·𐑕𐑒𐑪𐑑
·𐑣𐑺𐑦𐑕𐑩𐑯 Scott
Harrison
Message no. 111
From: u.alberton@*****.com (Bira)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 13:08:18 -0300
On 10/5/05, Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >> You _can_ control access to a network by restricting which MAC
> >> addresses can connect to it, but it's not much of a security measure.
>
> It's what? Have you done much networking? MAC Filtering to only allow
> pre-programmed MAC addresses in the router, is one of the most difficult to
> get around methods of network security there is. It's far better than
> software firewalls or anything else of the sort, because if your MAC address
> doesn't match one in the list of acceptable MAC addresses, you simply don't
> have access to the network at all.
>
> Here's an example:
> Wireless Router is set to broadcast SSID, has a WEP Password, and MAC
> Address Filtering to only allow 2 computers whose addresses are already
> stored.

<...>

If MAC address filtering is the only security measure on the network,
all a trespasser needs to do is grab a legitimate address from an
intercepted packet. When he wants to connect to the network, he
changes the MAC address on his own network card to the one he captured
(which isn't hard to do). No need to mess around with the router.

In your example, the real protection is being provided by cryptography
(WEP), which, IIRC, also encrypts the MAC address. WEP itself isn't
really that hard to crack for someone with the right tools and the
will to do it, so it's best to use something stronger if there's
important data running around the network.

For reference, you can take a look at this:

http://us.mcafee.com/Apps/WSC/en-us/WirelessHelp.htm#_Toc113103757

--
Bira
http://compexplicita.blogspot.com
http://sinfoniaferida.blogspot.com
Message no. 112
From: zebulingod@*****.com (Zebulin M)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 10:08:44 -0700
On 10/4/05, Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
>
> > -Wondering if people will stop playing Life 1.0 and go back to a
> > version without the widespread RFID/wireless world we live in
> today.
>
> I have a very unfriendly suggestion:
>
> BACK THE FUCK OFF!
>
> Notice something, people:
>
> Opponents of SR4 (who are generally speaking long-time fans and
> supporters by voice and coin of the Shadowrun franchise) criticize
> the GAME!
>
>
WHOA THERE, ACTION JACKSON!

My comment was made in jest. I'm sorry if you feel people are attacking you,
really, I am. However, this particular email really had no more place on the
list than any containing an attack.

Jesus H Christ, people. Everyone needs to calm down just a bit and BREATHE.

And, FWIW, I am a long time player of Shadowrun, starting just after SR2
came out. Maybe that doesn't make me "old guard", but I've put just as much
time, effort and MONEY into the game as anyone else. While I agree there are
parts of SR4 I do not like, I don't see that the game has completely fallen
apart and it is no longer Shadowrun.

Some people do, and I don't understand it. As such, I'll leave them be.
Everyone's entitled to their opinions.

Have a nice day.

Remember to breathe.

Zebulin
-Breathe, just breathe...
Message no. 113
From: anders@**********.com (Anders Swenson)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 10:30:51 -0700
On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 00:26:17 -0400
NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>[snip]
>
> Having been pointed to the correct page about the wireless thing, hell
> apparently my underwear can be hacked. The very fact that idea of hacking
> cyberware being allowed has really made one thing very clear and this is
> the last thing I'm going to say about it. I'll be sticking with SR3. I
> don't need any of my ware broadcasting my position, what kind of toothpaste
> I use or how many cheetos I have left in my bag. The current owners have SR
> have become like GW, making everything previous released useless.

But this is so real life, with all our information being stored and organized
by megacorps to be used agaist us in advertizing and worse. What's your
porblem with it being mirrored in game?
--Anders
Message no. 114
From: anders@**********.com (Anders Swenson)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 10:48:53 -0700
On Tue, 4 Oct 2005 22:32:50 -0700 (PDT)
Ice Heart <korishinzo@*****.com> wrote:
> > -Wondering if people will stop playing Life 1.0 and go back to a
> > version without the widespread RFID/wireless world we live in
> today.
>
> I have a very unfriendly suggestion:
>
> BACK THE FUCK OFF!
>
[snip]

well, yes. I for one don't have a ready gaming group, and I'm waiting for the
intro scenario so I can easily teach the game. I hate to have to read through
screenfuls of stuff that's just opinion. I think people who say they don't
like the game ought to have tried to play a session or two first, before
applying anatomy to keyboard.
--Anders
Message no. 115
From: graht1@*****.com (Graht)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 15:34:32 -0600
On 10/5/05, Anders Swenson <anders@**********.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 00:26:17 -0400
> NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
> >[snip]
> >
> > Having been pointed to the correct page about the wireless thing, hell
> > apparently my underwear can be hacked. The very fact that idea of hacking
> > cyberware being allowed has really made one thing very clear and this is
> > the last thing I'm going to say about it. I'll be sticking with SR3. I
> > don't need any of my ware broadcasting my position, what kind of toothpaste
> > I use or how many cheetos I have left in my bag. The current owners have SR
> > have become like GW, making everything previous released useless.
>
> But this is so real life, with all our information being stored and organized
> by megacorps to be used agaist us in advertizing and worse. What's your
> porblem with it being mirrored in game?

Fwiw I reacted the same way (as Nightlife) the first time I playtested
the new matrix rules. But then I was dealing with popups and cookies
on my computer a few days later and realized that the
advertising/datamining/demographic value alone would drive megacorps
to push this type of technology and mainstream it as quickly as
possible.

IMHO it brings megacorporations back to the forefront, which I like.

--
-Graht
Message no. 116
From: mc23@**********.com (MC23)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 18:10:17 -0400
On Oct 5, 2005, at 1:30 PM, Anders Swenson wrote:

> But this is so real life, with all our information being stored and
> organized
> by megacorps to be used agaist us in advertizing and worse. What's your
> porblem with it being mirrored in game?

Because you are playing SHADOWrunners, you shouldn't be seen by the
system. The whole point is not to be seen by the system!
Message no. 117
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 00:30:11 -0400
>But this is so real life, with all our information being stored and organized
>by megacorps to be used agaist us in advertizing and worse. What's your
>porblem with it being mirrored in game?
>--Anders

The idea that rankles me the most is hacking a pc not a mainframe
through his/her cyber. Not the idea that someone records the last
time I bought a bag of cheetos with my credstick. What also bother me
is the idea that my pistol, my pants, my toothbrush and toothpaste
have a wireless computer in it. The whole concept is insane. It
bothers me that some psychic hacker, can hack the wireless computer
in my shoes, my socks, my baseball cap and the bag of male
unmentionables that I just picked up from the drug store. It bothers
me that this same psychic hacker can shut down my characters body,
piece by piece. Unless I make damn sure that every piece of gear I
have is wireless from my jock to my tactical computer. This same
psychic decker doesn't even need a datajack and a cellphone to pull
this off. He/she wiggles their nose and I have to reboot my wired
reflexes, so unless I go to the drug store with my decker pal and/or
have him cook up encryption. Its absurd. It makes having a tech based
pc a lot less desirable. I know the whole hacking process supposed to
be difficult, but really how long did take for someone to munch out
and want to hack somebody's cyber a whole 30 seconds after the
edition hit. Hack a mainframe, hack a drone, hell hack robotic hot
dog vendor for all I care. Turn around and hack a pc, its technorape
to coin a new word. simply because its violation. There's no reason
for all this, where does it end wireless underwear. No one would
stand for it, the logic doesn't fly with me.
Message no. 118
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 00:35:01 -0400
>Fwiw I reacted the same way (as Nightlife) the first time I playtested
>the new matrix rules. But then I was dealing with popups and cookies
>on my computer a few days later and realized that the
>advertising/datamining/demographic value alone would drive megacorps
>to push this type of technology and mainstream it as quickly as
>possible.
>
>IMHO it brings megacorporations back to the forefront, which I like.

It's not the mega's I'm griping about. I expect them to use every
dirty trick in the book, I however do not like the munched out idea
of hacking a pc's body. That in and of itself is my biggest gripe,
that and the insanity of storing music in my bag of cheetos.
Message no. 119
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 02:43:21 -0400
>Not everything is hackable though. The books specifically states that
>it is up to the GM what items will be wireless enabled. So I doubt the
>most basic items would be wireless. Unless maybe they slapped in an
>RFID to track shipping... But then I would be dubious about that. I
>would say small household items would only have RFIDs in the crate
>like today, not in the product itself. But that's just me. I wouldn't
>expect underwear or toothpaste to be wireless. The books makes mention
>of a coat or shirt being so, so that a user could store music in it...
>I see clothes like that being designed today, but I don't think our
>skivvies will be so enabled. :-)

You are correct, a gm may decide what can be hacked and what can't.
However my point originally that of a blender. Its a disposable item.
It doesn't need to give a diagnostic, as the corps just what you to
throw one away and buy another when one breaks. Same logic applies to
a jacket any rfid would be removed after purchase. The example of
underwear and cheetos was to point of the absurd length some people
will take it to. It will happen of that have no doubt. Basically I
see it like this, its a Pandora's box that has been opened and
nothing is going to stop it. I accept that. I can suspend my
disbelief only to a point and SR4 has taken it well past that.
Message no. 120
From: u.alberton@*****.com (Bira)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 08:36:06 -0300
On 10/6/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
> >Fwiw I reacted the same way (as Nightlife) the first time I playtested
> >the new matrix rules. But then I was dealing with popups and cookies
> >on my computer a few days later and realized that the
> >advertising/datamining/demographic value alone would drive megacorps
> >to push this type of technology and mainstream it as quickly as
> >possible.
> >
> >IMHO it brings megacorporations back to the forefront, which I like.
>
> It's not the mega's I'm griping about. I expect them to use every
> dirty trick in the book, I however do not like the munched out idea
> of hacking a pc's body. That in and of itself is my biggest gripe,
> that and the insanity of storing music in my bag of cheetos.

Munched out? Not necessarily. The drawbacks have been pointed out
repeatedly, and even if the hacker manages it, there's not much to do
once he's in. I don't think the bag of cheetos thing came up as a
serious remark, either.

And I could see making cyberware hacking more powerful and building an
entire campaign around it.


--
Bira
http://compexplicita.blogspot.com
http://sinfoniaferida.blogspot.com
Message no. 121
From: u.alberton@*****.com (Bira)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 08:43:37 -0300
On 10/6/05, NightLife <Nightlife@*****.rr.com> wrote:
>
>
> You are correct, a gm may decide what can be hacked and what can't.
> However my point originally that of a blender. Its a disposable item.
> It doesn't need to give a diagnostic, as the corps just what you to
> throw one away and buy another when one breaks. Same logic applies to
> a jacket any rfid would be removed after purchase.

Sure, it's not necessary to have a wireless blender. Do you think the
corps care? It's probably pretty easy for them to make one, giving
them an excuse to sell it for a higher price. It would also be just as
expendable as the plain old version, of course.

As for the jacket... true, a plain old jacket wouldn't need this sort
of tech after you take it out of the store. But I can surely see
someone marketing the "Wireless Wearable 2000, with built-in
commlink/skinlink!!!1eleven!!".

No, your shadowrunners don't have to buy one (it's probably a crappy
piece of gear, with a name like that). But I can surely see it in the
world, as a little bit of extra color, or another way to victimize Joe
Average when the run requires it.


--
Bira
http://compexplicita.blogspot.com
http://sinfoniaferida.blogspot.com
Message no. 122
From: anders@**********.com (Anders Swenson)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 08:46:30 -0700
On Wed, 5 Oct 2005 16:12:44 +1000
Ray Macey <raymacey@*****.com> wrote:
[snip]

> So I ask that you in turn understand that whilst
> you are entitled to dislike 4th Ed, you're probably not so entitled to
> generalise it as a case of "old guard" vs "new guard" because
it's not
> that simple. The truth is, some people like it, and some people
> dislike it, and well, each to their own. We both have a place on this
> list, and we both deserve to have our chances to speak without flaming
> the hell out of each other.
>
Fercrissakes, there are people on the list who prefer fraggin FIRST ED SR.
And we're still friends. If you don't like something, do practical things to
get it changed, don't just make everyone elses life a bit more miserable.
--Anders
Message no. 123
From: Nightlife@*****.rr.com (NightLife)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2005 13:45:51 -0400
>Munched out? Not necessarily. The drawbacks have been pointed out
>repeatedly, and even if the hacker manages it, there's not much to do
>once he's in. I don't think the bag of cheetos thing came up as a
>serious remark, either.
>
>And I could see making cyberware hacking more powerful and building an
>entire campaign around it.

I came up with the cheetos reference I know its silly. I used it as
ridiculous example to show just how far the wireless thing could be
taken. As for munched out, yes I still think thats what it is and it
shouldn't even be there IMO.
Message no. 124
From: zealey@****.net.au (James Zealey)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 12:23:43 +1000
> Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com>
> Wed, 05 Oct 2005 01:36:26 -0500
>
> It's what? Have you done much networking? MAC Filtering to
> only allow pre-programmed MAC addresses in the router, is
> one of the most difficult to get around methods of network
> security there is.
> It's far better than software firewalls or anything else
> of the sort, because if your MAC address doesn't match one
> in the list of acceptable MAC addresses, you simply
> don't have access to the network at all.

I'm worried if you are in control of any wireless networks that have a
need for security. MAC addresses are sent unencrypted. All that would be
needed would be to wait till someone connects and read off the MACs
which succeed. The software involved isn't exactly top-of-the-line either.

It's analogous to getting into a bar by yelling, at the top of your
lungs, today's password. Sure the doorman heard it, but so did everyone
else.

Oh, and I wouldn't use WEP either. With a sufficient volume of data (I
think the last mark was a minute of collection), it's easily broken.
Stick to WPA - for now it's uncracked. The best you can do is a
non-broadcasted SSID with WPA encryption, and preferably some sort of
application-level encryption as well.

It's pretty easy to envision a future where hacking is such a quick
process that you can attempt half-a-dozen different approaches in a
short period of time. When that's possible it's going to be very
difficult to guarantee that any system is totally secure.
Message no. 125
From: derek@***************.com (Derek Hyde)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 21:39:55 -0500
> I'm worried if you are in control of any wireless networks that have a
> need for security. MAC addresses are sent unencrypted. All that would be
> needed would be to wait till someone connects and read off the MACs
> which succeed. The software involved isn't exactly top-of-the-line either.

It's apparently not as easy as you make it out to be, seeing as every DOD
wireless network I've ever had the displeasure of interacting with has been
MAC filtered, and the network also required domain login/password, and while
not the hardest to possibly crack, it's also not *that* easy.

> Oh, and I wouldn't use WEP either. With a sufficient volume of data (I
> think the last mark was a minute of collection), it's easily broken.
> Stick to WPA - for now it's uncracked. The best you can do is a
> non-broadcasted SSID with WPA encryption, and preferably some sort of
> application-level encryption as well.
>
WPA is what I meant, not WEP, regardless, for basic user connectivity, a
non-broadcasting SSID with MAC filtering and Static IP's instead of DHCP, is
a fairly decent setup, especially if you filter further to only allow
specific IP addresses which are assigned to your approved users.
Message no. 126
From: DaTwinkDaddy@*****.com (Da Twink Daddy)
Subject: Hacking a Smartlink in SR4
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 05:30:31 -0500
On Monday 10 October 2005 09:39 pm, Derek Hyde <derek@***************.com>
wrote:
> > I'm worried if you are in control of any wireless networks that have a
> > need for security. MAC addresses are sent unencrypted. All that would
> > be needed would be to wait till someone connects and read off the MACs
> > which succeed. The software involved isn't exactly top-of-the-line
> > either.
>
> It's apparently not as easy as you make it out to be, seeing as every
> DOD wireless network I've ever had the displeasure of interacting with
> has been MAC filtered, and the network also required domain
> login/password, and while not the hardest to possibly crack, it's also
> not *that* easy.

Yes, it is. All ethernet/802.11a/b/g packets include a MAC address in
their header. Unless you are using WEP/WPA they are in plaintext. If you
do use WEP/WPA you have to crack the encryption before you can get find
the plaintext MAC but on fiber/cable/non-encrypted wireless you just have
to listen.

IPSec and SSL/TLS do not encrypt the ethernet header (since ethernet is
"under" the IP (IPSec) / TCP (TLS) / Application (SSL) layers. They will
not prevent someone from stealing your MAC address. Ever heard of ARP
poisoning? That's an attack on the ethernet layer that is also not
bothered by IPSec or SSL/TLS (any attack at the ethernet layer isn't
affected by these "higher" layers).

MAC filtering only keeps out people that don't want to try to get past it,
or simply don't know what it is. In the case of the DOD networks, the
login/password (plus WEP/WPA) are much harder to defeat than MAC address
filtering.

I say this all with one caveat: To get a valid MAC, you have to see one.
If no one authorized is connected/ing to the AP you have to fall back to
just guessing a MAC, which is quite difficult, but probably still easier
than guessing a password, mainly because systems don't have wait times
between two different MAC addresses connecting, but usually do between
trying two password. Why no delay? You MAC address is the only identifer
the AP has for you until a connection is established, so it can't tell the
difference between you trying to connect 400 times in a second or 400
different people trying to connect within a second.

--
Da Twink Daddy
DaTwinkDaddy@*****.com
ICQ: 514984 (Da Twink Daddy) YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy

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