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Computer troubles, so I’m going to do a little on Bugs.

In the future computers will be exponentially more powerful than today’s computers, this is the current trend and Moore’s law doesn’t look like its going to run out anytime soon. However, this does not particularly imply that computers become easier to use, or more useful, and one thing that people tend to forget is that computer viruses also become more and more dangerous.

Bugs are the first sign of viruses becoming intelligent. Well, intelligent is a strong word, but as computers become powerful enough and gain enough memory to hide complex programs the first learning virus comes into being. These spread across the world like wildfire, as the existing anti-virus software was woefully inadequate to deal with a worm that could rapidly adapt itself into any static defence. Fortunately for the world at large the first Bug was by a script kiddie, who didn’t really think to include anything malicious in the code but it gave the world a scare and new breeds of active virus defence software hit the market in under a month.

This almost wasn’t soon enough, but even with the quick fixes the virus were still getting into a lot a systems and the next generation of Bugs began to combine their stolen processing power to generate even more exotic methods of system entry. Again this disaster was averted[1] by the timely invention of a distributed computing network to create vaccines to the viruses. But there in lies the war between the Bugs and the vaccines as every time a computer is liberated from the Bugs another falls due to another clever Bug overcoming a flaw.

A good chunk of the world’s computing power is tied up in this way, and this does reduce computers usability. It also poses a problem to anyone wanting to use computers on their space ship as you are separated from the ground based protection by your latency, but not from viral attack. This is generally countered by draconian firewalls and limited communications, and is why ground control and telemetry have become a thing of the past.

As a point of interest the Bugs in the late twenty second century started getting too clever for their own good and actually started renting out server farms to further their power. This would have galvanised the nations of the world to act against Bugs before they became smarter than their human creators, but they were busy with the Corporation Wars and already way too late to stop AIs being created.

AIs promptly removed all Bugs from the world. They couldn’t stand the competition.


[1] Curiously enough people didn’t quite realise just how close society came to collapse because of this, which kind of reinforces the idea of a computer being a little magic box that hopefully works.

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