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  1. - Top - End - #811
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    That's confirmed by today's strip, I think. I wonder what the brood mother has against hive minds, though? Kaff clearly realises that something's up there or he wouldn't be protesting that it wasn't his decision to deploy them.
    Not something against hive-minds. Something against hypernet nodes that aren't under her control. Alternatively, Kaff just realized that he has a com-system in place that might actually be useful. I wonder how hardened the Ot-Skadek hypernet nodes are.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    I thought the Oafans were all giant balloons that contained the bugs inside them. The bugs weren't supposed to be independent creatures.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by runeghost View Post
    He met a bunch of super-powerful, paranoid, uploaded sentiences. And now, after talking with them for a little bit, he's flying off across the galaxy to do what they want. I'm sure his ability to question his personality and free will was edited out of him too.
    Are we still talking about Allstar boy, or about Tagon doing the bidding of the Oafan hivemind? #powerfullsentienceseverywhereevenwithoutcountingp etey
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by guttering flame View Post
    I thought the Oafans were all giant balloons that contained the bugs inside them. The bugs weren't supposed to be independent creatures.
    The bugs are a separate entity from the oafans. The hivemind during the Dom Atlantis stuff was perfectly able to act independently, to my knowledge it was mainly using the ambassador as a means of discrete conveyance. If they were meant to be together, both oafans should have had some, not just the one.
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  5. - Top - End - #815
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by NEO|Phyte View Post
    The bugs are a separate entity from the oafans. The hivemind during the Dom Atlantis stuff was perfectly able to act independently, to my knowledge it was mainly using the ambassador as a means of discrete conveyance.
    In point of fact, didn't the bugs actively kill the ambassador in order to come out and take part in the action themselves?

  6. - Top - End - #816
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    In point of fact, didn't the bugs actively kill the ambassador in order to come out and take part in the action themselves?
    They came out, but the ambassador was reinflated later iirc.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    In point of fact, didn't the bugs actively kill the ambassador in order to come out and take part in the action themselves?
    IIRC, the ambassador voluntarily deflated because she (?) was a giant easy target, a big balloon full of hydrogen (to be a bit crude about it)... and because it would allow the swarm out to engage the enemy.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  8. - Top - End - #818
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    IIRC, the ambassador voluntarily deflated because she (?) was a giant easy target, a big balloon full of hydrogen (to be a bit crude about it)... and because it would allow the swarm out to engage the enemy.
    I was thinking of the other one, who actually berated the one who "committed suicide". Shortly afterward, the bugs unzipped his gasbag and came flying out:

    http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2015-01-09

  9. - Top - End - #819
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    I thought the second gasbag also did suicide. Re-reading ... ahh, three minds, one "shared body". And the bugs are a hive-mind that wants to remember having been the other two people that gave up their life for the survival of the rest.

    ===

    As far as I can tell, Tagon's issue is that a hypernode has been deployed in a way that it is at risk of these data hijakcers. We already got notice that hacking attempts were made. Now there's another accessible attack surface.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I was thinking of the other one, who actually berated the one who "committed suicide". Shortly afterward, the bugs unzipped his gasbag and came flying out:

    http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2015-01-09
    I read that as probably being a collective decision of all three minds. I discount the complaint about the ambassador committing suicide because I think it was mainly a joke. Admittedly, Bunni was worried about the hive-mind overriding the other two minds of the Meld-Minister, so we probably can't rule that possibility out.

    Getting the terminology right, the first one to deflate was the Ambassador. The second one to deflate was the Meld-Minister.

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    As far as I can tell, Tagon's issue is that a hypernode has been deployed in a way that it is at risk of these data hijakcers. We already got notice that hacking attempts were made. Now there's another accessible attack surface.
    Monday's update seems to indicate that they were worried about the warrior nodes being hacked somehow, then the hypertnet would be used to get at the hive mind.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2017-08-13 at 09:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    God damn it. Bad joke.

    So... is he hacked and made to play it off as a joke?
    Or just a bad joke?

    We should shut him down in anycase.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xMachina View Post
    God damn it. Bad joke.

    So... is he hacked and made to play it off as a joke?
    Or just a bad joke?

    We should shut him down in anycase.
    timingwise it's a joke. if the rest get super paranoid about this the poor fella will learn: Never make jokes!

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    For those who have forgotten:

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  14. - Top - End - #824
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    50/50 that they're not compromised at all, but were about to offer a solution to the problems at hand.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xMachina View Post
    God damn it. Bad joke.

    So... is he hacked and made to play it off as a joke?
    Or just a bad joke?

    We should shut him down in anycase.
    I'm pretty sure he got hacked. I shudder at the possibility of a race of nightmare creatures like that being suddenly weaponized against our protagonists. I'd like to revisit my earlier assessment of 'make friends or glass from orbit'. I think 'make friends' just went out the window post-hacking.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    [rant]I hope they weren't hacked because I dislike the trope of everything being easily hackable for superhacker XY/some super AI/ advanced species annoying. (Well not worse than someone noticing a hacking attempt and battling them in real time, if your hacking is noticed while it is ongoing it doesn't result in a valiant struggle between two computer pros the one controlling the system can simply block your address block or even all incoming connections for a while that might get in the way of other things but hacking is simply rarely real time pvp.) Hacking some system over a communication network to actually take control of a system isn't something you do with superior computational powers (though if it is high enough to read their encrypted communications (read ridiculously more powerful than the defender thinks anyone has) that helps but still doesn't hand you the system) you need to find a design error in the code which is exploaitable via messages to the recipient (and one capable of subsuming the system doesn't have to exist). If you don't know the other system and they don't run something with known bugs or something like that finding such a weakness has to go via systematic try and error and the rate isn't unlimited since the other side has to process it and answer and if you really bombard them that might actually do alert the recipient. [/rant]

  17. - Top - End - #827
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrinar View Post
    [rant]I hope they weren't hacked because I dislike the trope of everything being easily hackable for superhacker XY/some super AI/ advanced species annoying. (Well not worse than someone noticing a hacking attempt and battling them in real time, if your hacking is noticed while it is ongoing it doesn't result in a valiant struggle between two computer pros the one controlling the system can simply block your address block or even all incoming connections for a while that might get in the way of other things but hacking is simply rarely real time pvp.) Hacking some system over a communication network to actually take control of a system isn't something you do with superior computational powers (though if it is high enough to read their encrypted communications (read ridiculously more powerful than the defender thinks anyone has) that helps but still doesn't hand you the system) you need to find a design error in the code which is exploaitable via messages to the recipient (and one capable of subsuming the system doesn't have to exist). If you don't know the other system and they don't run something with known bugs or something like that finding such a weakness has to go via systematic try and error and the rate isn't unlimited since the other side has to process it and answer and if you really bombard them that might actually do alert the recipient. [/rant]

    I think "easily hackable people" opens an infinite can with all the worms in it. Redhack was a very specific thing exploiting a very specific and now-patched vulnerability.

    The fact that the Urtheep crews could be "bodyjacked", and we still haven't seen exactly how it was done, and the flashback shown to Putzho implies that people can be just uploaded in a ZOT against their will, makes for some high octane paranoia fuel.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I think "easily hackable people" opens an infinite can with all the worms in it. Redhack was a very specific thing exploiting a very specific and now-patched vulnerability.

    The fact that the Urtheep crews could be "bodyjacked", and we still haven't seen exactly how it was done, and the flashback shown to Putzho implies that people can be just uploaded in a ZOT against their will, makes for some high octane paranoia fuel.
    And possibly explains the people who decided to genocide everyone the All-star had contacted. Though they have been dead for many long eons, so it isn't like we can ask their opinion.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Wednesday's update

    The hive's comms are jammed, too, so it's becoming less likely that they've been hacked. Basically, if the Toughs can defeat the combat drones, that probably means they don't need to.

    Meanwhile, the Toughs would be extremely vulnerable to fire from the PETs if they actually had been attacking with weapons.

    So what was the bear trap that Enesby and Kevyn warned Cindy and the bosun about? It's been brought up a couple of times now and seems important, but the plot always switches away from it.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2017-08-15 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    I think the bear trap is the mystery of the All-Star, or as they know it, Stellar Enclosure 4118-6. Ensbee was of the opinion from the very start that continuing to pursue the contract once they learned what it was would be hazardous to the extreme.
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    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    We still don't know if the Toughs actually have any justification for attacking their own guys, of course--the jamming of their hypernode links would separate them from the main hive, but wouldn't necessarily suborn them in any way.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Hmm, I think the Ot are hacked. They wouldn't be fighting Schlock etc, if they weren't.

    Wonder if the hack is like a virus?
    No need to maintain connectivity.

    Now, the question is.... Is the Ot homeworld infected? Do we have a world full of hacked monsters somewhere?

    EDIT:
    The jamming looks like enemy action. Because it tried to prevent the ship from informing Tagon.
    Last edited by 2xMachina; 2017-08-16 at 05:39 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #833
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xMachina View Post
    Hmm, I think the Ot are hacked. They wouldn't be fighting Schlock etc, if they weren't.
    Are they fighting him, or just defending themselves from his attack? Impossible to tell right now, I'd say.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    I think the bear trap is the mystery of the All-Star, or as they know it, Stellar Enclosure 4118-6. Ensbee was of the opinion from the very start that continuing to pursue the contract once they learned what it was would be hazardous to the extreme.
    Enesby used the term "strategy", which made it sound fairly specific to me. I agree Ennesby thought Object 4118-6 was trying to destroy them all, but I also think he thought he knew how it intended to go about doing that. I'm wondering what he said about that.

    Assuming the bugs aren't hacked and Kaff learns to trust them, I wonder if the warrior nodes and engineer nodes can still talk to each other and pass messages back and forth between Cynthetic Certainty and Kaff.

    While double-checking the spelling of Ennesby's name, I discovered that a new version of the Ovalkwiki is being created. The main pages still links to the old version.

    Old: http://schlockmercenary.wikispaces.com/Welcome
    New: https://www.ovalkwiki.com/index.php/Main_Page
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2017-08-16 at 09:34 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #835
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    My read on the situation is that the warrior drones are hacked (note the blue tech lines around their eyes in the current strip, decidedly not there in previous ones), and the jamming is either the engineer forms on the ship engaging in jamming to cut off Kaff, or Cindy engaging in it to isolate the hacked nodes before they can hit the rest of the hive. Or both.

    :edit: and regarding the bear trap, I suspect it is the hivemind hack we seem to be experiencing, considering that the first thing we see the Bosun doing after seeing the report is asking Phil if he could be used as a hack vector on the main hive.
    Last edited by NEO|Phyte; 2017-08-16 at 06:29 PM.
    Man this thing was full of outdated stuff.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Thursday's update:

    Well, they seem to be fighting to the death, so now I hope the warrior nodes are hacked.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEO|Phyte View Post
    :edit: and regarding the bear trap, I suspect it is the hivemind hack we seem to be experiencing, considering that the first thing we see the Bosun doing after seeing the report is asking Phil if he could be used as a hack vector on the main hive.
    Maybe, but in the update between those two, we see Kaff realizing the vulnerability existed. Kaff might have contacted the Bosun first. But you might be right.

    If Cindy could jam the hypernet node, it probably would have been safer to have her jam it before the bosun said anything to the engineer node.
    Last edited by eschmenk; 2017-08-16 at 08:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    They're flirting, aren't they? Tagon has finally met his soulmate.
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Gez View Post
    They're flirting, aren't they? Tagon has finally met his soulmate.
    This is pre-talks for the new and improved Schlock Incorporated.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    The soldier nodes showed up with at least a couple of the small flying hive-mind bugs. For example, there are a couple of them in the last panel here. What happened to them? Could they be hacked? Are they delivering intelligence to the enemy? Or are the being destroyed in the middle panel here? Tailor and the Daggermother are both destroying black things which might have been the bugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gez View Post
    They're flirting, aren't they? Tagon has finally met his soulmate.
    Karl probably still wants grandchildren.

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VII: A T.A.D. Too Much Dialogue These Days

    I'm not sure that the bugs are big enough to be independently sentient when separated from the hive mind, are they? We've certainly never seen one operate apart from its fellows.

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