Closed, physically connected networks such as those on starships, in
buildings, or on planets or stations generally use superluminal hubs or
"Sulum hubs". Light traveling
through nanoglass tubes doped with alkali metals travels faster than light in a vacuum. The encoding, decoding, and pass-through routing of signals,
which is the limiting factor in attached communications, are
carried out by high-speed biocomputers.
Biocomputers are manufactured that are specialized in the memorization
and translation of languages. Because of
their biological/neural nature they are able to interpret meanings and
guess at unknown phrases, paraphrase, and decipher complicated twists to
language like emotion, slang, and accents. So far, there has been
little progress in near real-time translation of unknown languages. The
bio-translators require a reasonably extensive introduction to any
given language in order to build effective translation networks.
Data processing is characterized by the integration of billions of key components on a single chip,
all at the microscopic level. Hundreds of
specialized, multi-pipelined bio-silicon hybrid data, video, and communications
processors are integrated on
a single electro-chemically driven chip. Electronics, biology,
chemistry, and photonics merge to drive technologies such as 3D
memory matrices, single atom transistors, and electro-chemical neural
networks. Many low-power devices include resonant power matrices
that generate the power to run the device from the proliferation
of high-frequency signals broadcast on starships and highly
populated planets like those found in the
The universe is big and vast and so, therefore, is the market,
particularly in the highly populated
Prodigal Void sector.
extremely specialized, single-purpose chips practical to mass produce.
Manufacturing lines are hyper-automated and can produce a few
specialized chips at a time,
self-reconfiguring on the fly for the next few without slowing down. The
physical assembly process is the constraint, not the processing and
reconfiguring. The use of nano-assembly is common, particularly among
the Skalds of the Farrago
sector. Growing biocomputers and bio-equipment is still
something of an elusive art, though the
Alliance, also of the
Farrago, are masters of the process, growing the majority of
Quantum computers make use of a single atom to represent several bits
of data. They use the various quantum states of atoms so
each "qubits" of data can represent several states of data,
beyond 1 or 0. Quantum computers allow for high speed processing
and, particularly, mass storage of data.
Communications are a big deal. Space is vast and people and ships
are small, crawling slowly across the face of the galaxy. In their most
direct form, communications are limited to the speed of light. Even
speedy little tachyons, as it turns out, cannot be modulated in any way
to actually carry information superluminally. It is one of the
greatest ironies of space travel that it's
faster to get there than to send a message there.
Most communications are based on either
electromagnetic or tachyon emissions. Electromagnetic broadcasts are
slow but have the advantage of broadcasting three-dimensionally. They
are used in conjunction with the Universal Repeater System to propagate news and network broadcasts. Tachyon Burst messages are used locally or
fired at targets with a predictable location to send directed messages
that are hard to intercept.
The actual tachyons travel faster than the speed of light but the beam
itself cannot be modulated superluminally, so the message is basically received at the speed of light.
Universal Repeater System and the IntelligNet
The Universal Repeater System and the IntelligNet are jointly supported, funded, and
maintained by most major governments and corporations and several independent
organizations within the Prodigal
Void. Broadcast relays are set up near all major worlds, on
major trade lanes, and wherever someone sees it necessary to spend the
resources. The relays constantly broadcast private and public messages
and information and provide massive data storage for corporations,
governments, and individuals. There a variety of proprietary and public
standards in place for the construction and deployment of the relays and
for the broadcast of information. In order to be an official part of the
System, it is basically only necessary that the relays have available
certain information using certain broadcast and storage standards. The relays will slow-update
each other through their normal broadcasts, with biocomputers that
filter and store the information that is gradually assimilated from a
variety of broadcast sources, figuring out what information is most
modern and probably correct. Hopper-ships, both manned
and automated, travel between critical relays specifically for the purpose
of providing current and updated information. In addition, the
communications systems of every major starship automatically broadcast
update information and act as mobile relays unless specifically shut off
by the crew. "Running silent" is considered at best ignorant in
civilized space and is
usually considered a very suspicious activity. The repeaters are turned off only in
dangerous areas and during combat.
The IntelligNet is by the far the largest and most
ambitious network of its kind. Other regional governments maintain
similar, though significantly smaller, networks including the
Makkuth, and the individual factions of the
Skalds. The network
of one faction will generally attempt to collect, decipher, and use
information from the others.
The IntelligNet grew as a result of
public, government, and business support.
InterSOL Trade would pour
money and resources into the IntelligNet to guarantee themselves an
almost exclusive position controlling the now universal cashless,
wireless transaction system.
Nano-Cybernetix would find vast riches in breakthrough
neural implant and control technology and
subsequently provide much of the hardware. A young upstart
Ignatius Solutions would
provide much of the software protocols and a great deal of the hardware.
Every person has a large personal "data
follow", which is a collection of personal data, tastes, and information
used for a variety of purposes. Personal identification, history,
tastes, preferences, and monetary information are all stored securely.
These are accessed in a variety of ways based on personal and local
preferences, with the most common being by swipe card or a personal
transponder which is either carried or integrated with a neuralink.
Essentially, everything that a person is and likes is stored centrally
and available for immediate, wireless access.