& cplSiteName &

Silence Like Diamonds – Finale: When in Rome

John Barnes
Faster-Than-Light Reading
John Barnes, Author
8/25/2015
50%
50%

It took many more police to work the jammed cars out of the roundabout, then feed in the not-at-all patient cars from the surrounding streets. They mostly ignored us.

"The vigili are traffic cops," Markus said. "To book us they need the Polizia di Stato, who probably can't get here because of the traffic jam. So the vigili have either decided we won't run away or that it isn't their problem if we do."

"Good," Yazzy said, working on a tablet that Dusan had run over to buy from across the street. "If the real cops're delayed more than an hour, I should have things arranged so they'll let you go."

Dusan asked, "Was there anything left of our apartment or offices in Prague?"

"Nothing at all," I said. "Including no electronic record; it was like you'd been erased from history. Where were you?"

"In a little spur tunnel about 200 meters from that room you woke up in. We and the 50 or so other NItCo Assets—"

"Assets?"

"Nicer word than slaves or abductees, I guess. When NItCo was launched as a self-training set of algorithms with a budget and power to buy, sell and hire, the owners defined its job as making people happier and taking their money, and gave it a lot of leeway in figuring that out. Eventually the NItCo algorithms reinvented 'greatest good for greatest number': Keeping a small number of people unhappy made it possible to make many more people happy and expand its market. It also figured out that Pareto rule that most of the value of any organization is created by just a few members. So... it secured the services of just those few members."

"By 'secured' you mean 'imprisoned in a tunnel?' "

"It was an awfully nice tunnel," Dusan said. "We could have anything we wanted except the key, and do anything we wanted except leave. And our bank accounts were astronomical. It showed us all the messages from family and friends, but it replied with animated avatars—"

"Mama and I were both wondering how Yazzy had gotten so dull and unimaginative."

"Thank you for wondering!"


Find out more about the New IP on Light Reading's The New IP Channel.


Markus asked, "So you got NItCo itself to stage all of this just to get us inside the perimeter, hand off whatever was in those black ATM cards and then break us back out?"

"NItCo thinks in very long term because it's immortal. It was worth setting up a few-billion-dollar inexplicable phony scam operation if it meant getting Yip inside the wall, because she was one of the people who might figure out what was going on and jeopardize it. Whereas inside, you could help it devise ways to capture more human resources permanently and exclusively. Figuring that it would own you for decades, it was willing to front a lot of money to get you now. So it wanted you very badly, and I played on the fact that Yip is human and NItCo wasn't sure it understood her."

"I can see how someone could play on that." Markus immediately made up for that by resting a hand on my waist.

Next Page: A Final Surprise

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
J Thomas
50%
50%
J Thomas,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/27/2015 | 7:51:03 AM
Thank you.
You brought up an interesting collection of possibilities in a pleasing package.

It was of necessity too short.

Your idea that the records of the past could be gradually changed is important, though not in a LightReading context. Would there be a market for news archives etc saved in read-only form, that are guaranteed not to be changed but only appended to? Or would that market be too small to be profitable?

In your world, an organization that could somehow not need secrets would have a big advantage. Perhaps if the people it was valuable to were somehow more important than the people it threatens, and clear communication among its friends was more important than secrets from its enemies?

Maybe some organizations could move so much faster than their enemies that their secrets would be obsolete before the opponents could decide what to do about them?

With some effort, a rich organization could generate lots of false data. Reports with plausible but randomized numbers. For each important decision, issue orders etc compatible with multiple branches. Only the correct ones get followed up, and everybody knows to only pay attention to the correct ones though all the others also spend time on their desks etc. A competitor or an investigative reporter or whoever gets a document with incriminating evidence. "Sure, that came from us. But it's just chaff we wrote to confuse our enemies. Not something we would act on."

 
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
Verizon Video Woes Pile On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.