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Interstellar Communications
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crmcneill wrote:
Mikael Hasselstein wrote:
I like it.

(I think.)

You think?


Well, I didn't spend the grey cells trying to really understand it. It certainly sounds pretty good, which is what techno-babble is supposed to achieve, right?

But I'm always leery when people talk about dimensions in Sci-fi. Maybe because it means that Mr. Spock is about to jump out of the closet with a goatee beard or something of that nature.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think of it like that, but I don't think it will be an issue (unless someone wants that sort of thing in their campaign). The SWU already makes use of at least one other dimension: hyperspace (two depending on how you perceive subspace), but uses them almost exclusively as a communication medium for real space. If anything, my version simplifies things by getting rid of subspace as a quasi-dimension, with only real space and hyperspace remaining.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hardest part of the whole thing was finding a good sub- prefix word that described the effect I wanted. Subduction is actually a geology term for when two tectonic plates meet and one is forced under the other.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The majority of this thread is about two-way communications, both sending and receiving. While it's obvious the vast majority of the galaxy won't have the ability to send transmissions on the Holonet, what about receiving only?

As in, can the average person receive broadcast signals from the Holonet?

The real world equivalents would be things like Sirius XM or satellite TV. You can listen to news broadcasts or music, you just can't send signals back out.

This would allow, for example, bars or clubs to have access to sporting events, concerts or news broadcasts.

I don't think it would be cheap, and would likely require a regular fee to keep one's access, but as mentioned above, the Empire would likely allow this simply for the propaganda value.

Thoughts?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could see SOME places having the capacity to only receive, such as high end hotels, and large bars/other public venues, that way they can host / show the latest sports event etc.. But privately.. Doubt ful.
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HoloNet News has been a fixture in SW for a long time, was confirmed in Disney canon by at least Star Wars: Rebels and maybe SW III Revenge of the baddies, and is in fact programming that explicitly has been said goes out through the Holonet.

I'm thinking it would likely follow a pattern similar to cable tv or DSL - first, the signal goes into a transceiver, then it is spread through an access network to the individual subscribers from an HSP (HoloNet Service Provider).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarn wrote:
HoloNet News has been a fixture in SW for a long time, was confirmed in Disney canon by at least Star Wars: Rebels and maybe SW III Revenge of the baddies, and is in fact programming that explicitly has been said goes out through the Holonet.

I'm thinking it would likely follow a pattern similar to cable tv or DSL - first, the signal goes into a transceiver, then it is spread through an access network to the individual subscribers from an HSP (HoloNet Service Provider).

This was my thinking as well. The prequels and TV series have made the Holonet a bit more accessible to the masses than WEG did. I still think it isn't cheap. and we agreed long ago in this topic that the real-time person-to-person hologram communications were exclusive to the Empire's upper echelons. However, receive-only modules (the SWU equivalents of Sirius XM or satellite TV) would be the most accessible level of access to the masses.

As an aside, I think satellite TV is probably a better analogy than cable TV, if only because there are no wires leading from hyperspace down to the planet...
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could quibble about the satellite tv analogy too, mostly because there's likely no azimuth settings for pointing the dish correctly. However, that's neither here nor there.

Anyhow, the 'transceiver' I mentioned would be a hyperspace transceiver or subspace transceiver, obviously.

On an ecumenopolis such as Imperial Center, there would likely be too much interference in the RF band - leading to wired services being prevalent.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be far more likely that you'd have a hub set-up... rather than Owen Lars owning a HoloNet receiver, you'd have someone set up in Mos Eisley who would own one and would beam stuff to you that came over the Holonet for public consumption.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, over on this topic, the following point was made...
Whill wrote:
My impression was that there were also illegal networks on the HoloNet that you could gain access to and send/receive, and that might be available anywhere that has general HoloNet access.

Up to this point, we've mostly been discussing official uses of the Holonet, but there have been repeated mentions in the EU of illicit usage. I'd like to hear some more input as to what form this would take, and how characters might be able to access it...
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Jar-Jar Deb Kaadeb
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Interstellar Communications / Galaxywide NewsNets Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
So, over on this topic, the following point was made...
Whill wrote:
My impression was that there were also illegal networks on the HoloNet that you could gain access to and send/receive, and that might be available anywhere that has general HoloNet access.

Up to this point, we've mostly been discussing official uses of the Holonet, but there have been repeated mentions in the EU of illicit usage. I'd like to hear some more input as to what form this would take, and how characters might be able to access it...

I read the article in Star Wars Adventure Journal #3, and if that's where I got my impression from, it would seem my impression was incorrect. The gist of it is legitimate and 'pirate radio' type of news networks existing by way of fast communications starships travelling to various systems, sending and receiving transmissions of local subspace networks, and then ships move on to other systems 'updating the network' as they go. Some of these ships were eventually replaced with hyperdrive-capable droids. The Empire monitored all legitimate newsnets, and this non-instantaneous newsnet system allowed the Empire to put their spin on news and send out official news first through the HoloNet, and suppress dissension in the slower newsnets. (It would seem that the Imperial atrocities of the outer regions were largely successfully suppressed from even being reported in the Core much at all.) But at the same time, the illegitimate newsnets were off the grid and able to avoid detection easier in this system. There were underworld code dealers that sold access codes to the illegal newsnets that were good for a limited time (like a month).

What WEG described conforms to the classic trilogy. I find it amusing that WEG envisioned a more modern pre-Imperial galactic internet and described a more restricted information system for the classic era, and then in the subsequent prequels we saw that more modern galactic internet. There isn't anything I can think of in the last four films contradicting WEG, but I do agree with the consensus here that the HoloNet was not completely restricted in the Empire, just the higher levels of it. HoloNet receivers could also be more limited in the Empire, but HoloNet transmissions could have always been in some cases rebroadcast on local networks and even normal speed-of-light transmissions for same planet or same star system with some delay. Even with the Imperial HoloNet consensus here, there still isn't anything preventing what WEG described as also existing. I like it.

Of course all this also means I have next to nothing on illegally slicing into the HoloNet. Sorry. In theory it would seem possible, but probably would easily discovered and quickly stopped. So a more likely scenario would be hidden coded messages being sent in legitimate HoloNet transmissions that could possibly continue for a while without being detected by the Empire, but that could also apply to WEG's NewsNets system.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Fragments from the Rim (GG9), Chapter 11 deals with various News Agencies, culminating with the Galactic Weekly NewsStack. Their data packages spread like a virus, traveling covertly by piggybacking official data sources and popping up at random in a myriad of different locations

There is also a scene in Shadows of the Empire where Lando sets up a HoloNet access aboard the Falcon, and is able to receive what is likely a one-way message from Chewbacca on Coruscant. The message is interrupted in mid-transmission, with Lando speculating that someone had discovered his unauthorized access.

Not a lot to go on, but it does at least appear that there are illegal and clandestine ways of accessing and utilizing the HoloNet, even if those methods are subject to discovery and removal.

I could easily see the galaxy's best slicers being employed with crime groups like Talon Karrde's organization because of their ability to do manipulate the HoloNet (among other things).
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that the use of the HoloNet varied according to Era, as well. Even during the Imperial Restriction, I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some piggyback signals hiding in the Holonet stream.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition, there is the following text from the Imperial Intelligence chapter of the Imperial Sourcebook...
    Analysis Bureau
    This bureau handles gargantuan amounts of data from tens of millions of sources. In addition to looking for enemy activity, it looks for patterns or trends in social data which might be useful to the agents over in Intelligence. Analysis also handles, examines and copies useful technologies, even developing a few of their own.

    Media
    Media branch pores over public scandocs, newsdocs, holos, comlinks, beamcasts, every form of media in the Empire, looking for patterns or hidden meanings which might betray a clue as to an enemy's plans and operations. Media can, with substantial assistance from Sector Plexus and the Imperial CompLink, give at least a cursory examination of all media in the Empire simultaneously. While they regularly concentrate on a significantly smaller portion of the Empire, they do cast their net wide often enough to make a professional judgment as to whether or not a new media source should be monitored on a more regular basis.

    Signal
    Signal has a saying: "Media examines every media message in the galaxy. We handle everything else so they can have the easy stuff." This is probably an exaggeration, but the job done by Signal is indeed enormous. While Media monitors the intended message, Signal examines the channel through which the information was transmitted.

    Signal samples and checks carrierwave codes and CompLink protocols, scan rates on scandocs and imagepacks on holos to see if any information is being squeezed into the space between what a citizen would ordinarily sense. Signal examines line noise to see if it might contain a pattern rather than random error. Broadcasts and beamcasts are examined to see if the backup information sent with the primary information actually matches and, if not, how they differ.

    The agents in Media sarcastically refer to Signal as "a group of beings who sort through the garbage in order to discover what a family said to each other at breakfast." Signal does occasionally overreach itself, applying blindingly sophisticated mathematical techniques to squeeze nonexistent meanings from chaotic data. However, it was Signal which discovered that Leia Organa had the plans to the Death Star through the analysis of unshielded ELEL (Extremely Low Energy Level) transmissions from
    her ship.

    Cryptanalysis (Crypt)
    When Media or Signal finds evidence of coded communication, they give it to the Crypt. Those who work in Cryptanalysis call themselves "lignyots." Why they call themselves lignyots, and if the word has any meaning independent of Cryptanalysis, is not known by anyone in the other branches. This is as intended.

    Lignyots have gone out of their way [snip]three paragraphs about the juvenile behaviour of Crypt employees[/snip]

Put simply, I doubt the Empire would spend this much time and resources looking for something if there was nothing to be found...
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:10 pm    Post subject: The HoloNet and slicing into it, from Tarkin [hardback] Reply with quote

Tarkin p.111 wrote:
It had just been nine months after the Battle of Geonosis that Count Dooku's scientists had succeeded in slicing into the Republic HoloNet by seeding the spaceways with hyperwave transceiver nodes of a novel design. The Separatists could have kept quiet about the infiltration and tasked the nodes to gather intelligence about Republic military operations. Instead, Dooku... began using the HoloNet to broadcast propaganda Shadowfeeds, providing Separatist accounts of battle wins and disinformation about Republic war crimes, and in the end spreading apprehension among the populations of Core Worlds that a separatist victory was imminent.

It was however Separatist success in jamming Republic communication relays that had brought Tarkin into play. Together with the operatives of the Republic's fletching cryptanalysis department and elements of the Twelfth Army, Tarkin had been sent to Murkhana both to spearhead the invasion and to oversee the dismantling of the Shadowfeed operation.
Tarkin p.112 wrote:
With the Emperor's proclamation of the New Order, some aspects of the HoloNet has come under strict Imperial control, as much to provide the military with exclusive communications networks as to censor unauthorized news feeds.

This is part of the new canon.
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