I'm issuing new orders...

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by chrinFinity, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't that the intent of the big-ass belt buckles on the TMP uniforms? Weren't they vital sign monitors? I wonder why (in-universe) they were abandoned? Or maybe they were just miniaturized?

    How much of a sensor is the combadge? How much would it contribute to the monitoring of lifesigns of the wearer? If the biosigns of the crew are going to be monitored remotely, where are the sensors to do this? In every wall? In every ceiling? There must be some kind of technological limitation to explain why it doesn't seem to be done regularly. Granted, the reason is plot driven - can't have kidnapped officers or rogue crew if they're being tracked continuously. But are we going to accept that alone? All these new "general orders" that chrinFinity has "issued" are just acknowledgements of the plot-driven nature of the limitations. What are the in-universe limitations?

    The computer core may be the size of a house, but how much of that is taken up by actual hardware? The few times we saw the computer core, it was a mostly empty hardware access room with a single terminal. And is the size of the core driven by the need to move information at FTL speeds? The computer doesn't have infinite resources, so lets not pretend it does.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If a combadge were to be continusly transmitting locations and medical info, that would make it easy for anyone to tract it (ie "bad guys"). Even if they couldn't read the signals because of encoding, they would still know the location of any starfleet combadges on the planet - or aboard their ship.

    You're not always going to know if someone is looking for you. Better to activte the combadge only when needed.

    When you ask the computer for someone's location, I think the computer calls the 'badge and the 'badge sends out a location beacon.

    :)
     
  3. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    My order was to apply only in situations where the shields were already up, and weapons were getting through due to the enemy receiving shield frequency information illicitly.

    I'm not really much concerned with situations where crews are off ship. I'm talking about internal sensors, when someone tosses their combadge down a corridor or leaves it in a turbolift and then goes to hide in the jefferies tubes... That situation is preventable, with just a little forethought in programming the sensors.

    And that's why they make everyone wear little tracking devices on their chests??

    Damn! I bet our enemies are SMART. Let's not even *bother* trying to defeat them using conventional means. I need CRAZY ideas only, people! THE CRAZIER THE BETTER!

    First, probably they stay in their own quarters when doing so, so it's not such an issue. Second, I don't even know that you can assert what you're saying is true. We constantly see crew people off duty... Usually they keep wearing their uniforms, and even when not, they almost universally wear their combadge anyway. Would you leave home without your cel phone? Third, a lot of our Starfleet friends literally sleep in their uniforms.

    There is no reason this would not work, unless the writers came along and decided to invent something else to make it not work. Like if someone re-programmed a tricorder to emit a sensor scattering field, or whatever.
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Are kidnappings of officers and officers gone rogue such common occurrences on starships and starbases that continuous monitoring is warranted?
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    The first three posts in this thread deserve some kind of award! :lol:
     
  6. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that the all encompassing reason for all of these security lapses can be traced back to GR's original Utopian vision of the Federation. Which of course got shot to Hell later on. On Earth, two to three hundred years from now, there is no poverty, disease or crime. Evryone is happy and trustworthy. Anyone who isn't is detected early, psychologically tested and sent off to rehabilitation colonies. As a result there's no security monitoring done, everyone can go where they wish, and there are no locks on the doors. Ships only have security details onboard to deal with any potential hostile aliens that they may meet that haven't signed on to the big Federation lovefest. And what happens is children wandering onto the bridge, aliens stealing the ship's most vital dylithium crystals, and all sorts of people wandering into main engineering. Main Engineering on the Enterprise-D didn't even have a door. A main corridor just dumped right into it.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    I'd also like to suggest some kind of security function that prevents engineering personnel from live-fire-testing a phaser rifle pointed directly at the frakking warp core!!!
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't help much if the enemy has a camera pointed at the control panel of the computer that is doing the rotating, as in ST:GEN...

    ...But then again, I'm not sure if shield rotation is a good thing. I mean, yeah, it slows down the Borg - but for all we know, it weakens the shields significantly overall, and since "normal" enemies apparently don't have the ability to rapidly alter their firing frequencies, shield rotation essentially amounts to aiding and abetting the enemy.

    It sounds a bit odd to prepare against your own crew starting a personal mutiny. I mean, if you suspect such a thing, wouldn't it be much more effective to just gun down the officer in question preemptively?

    There are very few situations where taking off the commbadge is indicative of enemy action (say, the Klaestron kidnapping Dax from aboard the Starfleet-controlled DS9), and even in those situations the computer would usually be helpless to accomplish anything useful (say, Q takes Picard off the ship; it's no problem for Him to stop alarms from going off). In most situations, the officer removes the commbadge by conscious decision - and the computer and the Commanding Officer should respect that decision!

    It's not as if they provide realtime tracking or anything. Rather, our heroes check on the whereabouts of a fellow hero well "after the fact", and usually unsuccessfully... That as such isn't a major threat on privacy yet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Ah, that's where my order to secure external communications during battles comes into play... Not every ship has a Geordi to worry about, and hopefully after Generations they made him tamper-proof.

    Except when the enemy matches your frequency precisely, to which the only reasonable response is to remodulate once.

    There are *so* many examples where this happens... Power Play and Dramatis Personae spring to mind immediately as good examples.

    Another GREAT example where this would come in super-handy.

    Fair enough. I am willing to concede that it wouldn't necessarily work on Q. But we don't throw away security precautions just because they wouldn't work on Q.

    Yes, but usually that decision is based on being possessed by an evil alien, or trying to sabotage something, or to evade security, or because the wearer of the badge is having the uncontrollable urge to murder Duras or Gowron. This is what I'm saying.

    It's not like they make all Fed citizens wear them... for crying out loud, Starfleeters are members of a military organization. They have a uniform code, and the badge is a very important part of that code. And I do believe the ship tracks combadge locations in real time, in fact I'm sure there are logs of where people were at any given time, based on their combadge.

    As the Captain of a starship, I have the right to know at any given time the location of any single person, be they crew or passenger, who is on my ship... It is my responsibility, in fact, to be able to find out in a moment's notice... in order to ensure the safety of everyone onboard. If this seems unreasonable to you, try sneaking into the cargo compartment on the next 747 you board and see how understanding is the captain on board in that situation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  10. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    First, we all know Starfleet officers sleep in their uniforms. But regardless, to your question "do we expect the computer to track Picard while he's sleeping for 8 hours with his combadge 2.01 meters away on his dresser?"

    I do not believe it unreasonable to answer "yes" to that question (and I won't even be mean and pull up screencaps showing Picard's dresser is less than 2 meters from his bed). There's no harm in doing the "extra" tracking, given all the times it could come in handy.

    You wouldn't think so if you were benefitting from it to track down a saboteur, mutineer, possessed crewman, or Worf.
     
  11. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    Now THAT is a damn good idea!

    Officer level thinking, Crewman newtype_alpha. Do you have any medical training? We have a job opening in sickbay.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Since when have they not been secured anyway? Uhura caught all the illegal transmissions in TOS; all the ones that evaded the attention of Picard's crew were on obscure alien channels, meaning it took even Data quite a while to pin them down - or were performed by personnel with legitimate access, such as Lore-posing-as-Data.

    In both cases, killing all the heroes would have been an effective countermeasure. Raising an alarm when they separate themselves from their commbadges would have accomplished nothing.

    Way too many false positives. It would take more than a department to keep track of where Dax goes in privacy. Perhaps that's why Lt. Primmin gave up his job?

    The catch is, they also would only work on Q. There isn't a competing scenario where an enemy would be capable of abducting a Starfleet officer in such a way that a "separated from commbadge" alarm-and-track would be the only or best countermeasure - and not be capable of defeating the countermeasure with ease. A quick in-and-out job involving teleportation of some sort is the one working scenario, and reaction time issues would thwart all tracking-based solutions.

    Any enemy stupid enough to attempt the abduction without evoking the counter-countermeasures would be too stupid to care about commbadges in the first place; removing those already tells the audience that the enemy knows what he's doing.

    And said evading security, murder etc. should be allowed to happen, because the officer in question does know what he or she is doing. If he or she does not, then removing privacy is nowhere near a sufficient measure - what should be removed is Starfleet rank and privileges and personal freedom. Mind you, most of the above cases panned out very well indeed in the end; interfering would have led to a less desirable outcome.

    Exactly. If they can't be trusted to follow the code, tracking can't be considered even a half-hearted measure; it's more like sixteenth-hearted. What should be built into the badge is a poison dart that kills the wearer if removal is attempted!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Odly enough, yes.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's ADMIRAL newtype. And no, my area of expertise is information technology.

    Speaking of which, it occurs to me Starfleet's information warfare systems (along with electronic warfare in general) are slipshod at best. I've recently encountered a mission log from the USS Voyager where the ship's operations officer was successfully and repeatedly overridden by a two year old girl working on a keypad she barely knew how to read. In a way this turns out to be a GOOD thing since the operations officers were under alien influence at the time, but it mirrors a similar incident where an angry Hirogen was able to access the ship's comm system using a keypad in the mess hall and actively prevent the Ops officer (the SAME ops officer) from blocking his access. That also mirrors incidents on the Enterprise-D where a 20th century stockbrocker was able to not only access a comm panel to harass the ship's command officers, but was able to gain access to the bridge -- during a yellow alert, no less -- and stand there for several seconds without anyone noticing him.

    Simple access controls are called for. I wouldn't advocate anything so mundane as a login name and password (although that would certainly help) but it occurs to me that shipboard sensors and user interfaces are sophisticated enough to obtain biometric data from anyone attempting to use them to confirm that they really ARE authorized to access those systems. Something as simple as a fingerprint or voiceprint analysis would at least force would-be hackers to obtain and then spoof those signatures in order to gain access, which if nothing else would give security teams a few minutes to react to potential breaches. Just for starters (of course, simply locking doors to sensitive parts of the ship is a long overdue security measure, especially for ships with children aboard).

    The other side of this is that we either need operations officers who have at least basic training in information technology (or at least, enough knowledge of their own systems that they will not be locked out by children and/or aliens who otherwise have no knowledge of their systems), and as a backup, subroutines for the main computer that would allow it to automatically intercept such hacking attempts before they can interrupt bridge control.