The adventures of JOHN STORM and the SOLAR NAVIGATOR
CYBER WARS © by Jameson Hunter
CHAPTER 11: SEALED BIDS © Jameson Hunter 2008 - 2014
Will Bates had tried to negotiate with several blue chip companies over many months, but they all wanted the know-how upfront already patent protected before they’d talk to him by way of unsolicited approach. Will couldn’t afford worldwide patents and didn’t like the system where protection ran out after 20 years no matter how much money you threw at it. He thought rock musicians and artists got a better deal from copyright. Their international song copyright is free and lasts way after they’re buried. All they had to do was assert that right and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) would protect songs and films for free, by prosecuting the offenders or confiscating works. Scientists and engineers get a raw deal – nobody protected their paternity.
But he’d done what all the big boys couldn’t. He’d shrunk a fully functional hybrid computer and communications device onto one nano-chip the size of a thumbnail. He wasn’t going to give that work away for nothing. He wasn’t going to describe to anyone how it worked on paper. He’d just show them it working and let them drool. Of course that meant devoting himself to the cause, in absolute secrecy. It had taken him five years of dedicated research to get this far.
Using the organisational skills of his capable partner, he’d hosted a demonstration in the Regent, a plush hotel in Beverly Hills. He’d announced it as a breakthrough to rival John Harrison’s chronometer, or Edison’s light bulb. That was to prove to be an understatement and he wanted equal reward without the wait. Of the ten or so institutions working on nano communications, not one had come close to perfecting a system that worked. When the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly referred to as DARPA, wanted to develop a vehicle that could drive across a desert by itself, they’d offered a $million dollar prize to anyone who could prove their vehicle. They’d organised it as an annual race until a university team sponsored by the Red Bull drinks company finally succeeded. That could never have been achieved so cheaply and the military knew it.
They’d all laughed at first, but every one of the big players turned up to the reception hall with an army of experts in tow. Jane Wall greeted the guests and allocated a table for them. They were shown to the buffet and given a choice of wine or champagne by the waiters. As each new party arrived the already seated guests grew more anxious. The more in attendance, the tighter the bidding would be. If the auction was a success, Jane knew she’d soon be Jane Bates and living on some south pacific paradise. There was a lot riding on the evening.
Will Bates mounted the rostrum and tapped the microphone nervously. Loud feedback got the gathering to focus on the stage. Instead of a white lab coat, Will was wearing a white suit and bowtie. The gathering silenced. Behind him, a white banner was softly lit with silver gray laser cut vinyl graphics saying: ‘Nanocom – is your future.’ Will spoke into the microphone,
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, bidders all. Tonight I’m going to give you the demonstration you’ve been waiting for.” He motioned to Jane at the back of the hall to dim the house lights and bring up the stage spotlights.
“Thank you all for coming. I’d like you first of all to help me verify that there are no parlour tricks here; just a demonstration of what the device I’m wearing on my wrist is capable of. ”
On Will’s command, all the exit doors were closed, then bolted by security men wearing black suits. It was clear they were armed as two to each door they watched on.
Will took off the Omega wristwatch and held it up. He then passed it to Jane who’d come forward. She took it to the first table at the front left. All eyes focused on this small object curious that what they’d come to see could be so compact. “Please everyone; pass the watch around the room carefully, taking note of the screen and micro ports. Don’t take too long looking because all will be explained.”
The hall erupted in excited exchanges as each table passed the watch on, around their table and then onto the next table. It took 20 minutes for the watch to come back to the front right table, where Jane handed it back to Will. One can imagine the thoughts of the visitors as they were handed the watch. It looked just like a fancy dress watch, but they knew if it worked it was worth millions; possibly even priceless. But it was a gamble. The temptation must have been to grab the item and shoot it out, except they’d all been searched on entry and been asked to surrender their weapons, of which there were many.
“Ladies and gentlemen, shall we call this exhibit A.”
The Nanocom super computer was shoehorned into this stylish wristwatch. It can outperform The £60 million super computer on the rights which is more powerful than 200,000 standard PCs. It is capable of 2,000 billion calculations every second to feed data to 800 scientists. The mainframe computer uses 2.4 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power a medium sized town.
At another signal to Jane, some black velvet curtains were drawn open revealing a Tion Supercomputer Corporation TZ350R mainframe computer. The TZ350 was in a glistening stainless steel frame on the right of the stage. It was held to be the most powerful machine commercially available and used by virtually every nation’s military for code breaking. That elevated the benchmark somewhat. It measured just three metres, by two metres, by two metres. Pound for pound it was worth more than platinum, but one day it would be scrap metal. That day could be sooner than they thought. The $ten million dollar machine was also used in research aimed at achieving artificial intelligence; the holy grail of computers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you exhibit B. I’m with the ‘A’ team."
The audience laughed quietly at the theatrics, while Will connected a cable to a 70” plasma display overhead. “In 1948 the physicists: Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley invented the transistor at the Bell Telephone Laboratories; hotly disputed of course by Matare and Welker at Westinghouse Laboratories in Paris. But in 1956 B, W and S were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize” Will paused for a sip of water.
“We’ve come a long way since Intel’s 4004. That managed to squeeze 2,300 transistors on a thumbnail size chip at a cost of $200. It could process an instruction in 1/60,000th of a second. But it would take a million of those to equal your average laptop of just a few years ago. Carbon nanotubes are 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, one hundred times stronger than steel at 1/6th the weight.” By now the guests were sitting bolt upright. Some had no idea what he was talking about; others knew exactly where he was going. “DNA chips or micro arrays from Moldyne Biometrix were the next leap with programmable strand self-assembly at molecular level. We know that today as PSSA.” Will then clipped the Omega watch into a holder on the other side of the stage and connected a lead from it to a 50” plasma screen display.
“I’m sure you’d like to see some action?” The guests all nodded in unison without uttering a sound, and edged to the front of their seats.
“Okay. I’m going to ask the TZ to crack a 100 digit code. “It should take a few minutes.” Will input a code into the inbuilt keyboard to gain access to the super-computer. He then carefully input the 100 digit code and set the machine searching for the sequence. “If you have a stopwatch function, start it now. If not, watch the display above the TZ.” A large red display on screen counted the seconds. As the TZ worked Will input the same 100 digit code into the Omega using voice commands and initiated the command to find the sequence. He turned to the audience and waited.
“Now keep your eyes on both clocks,” he said, indicating the large red display above the Omega, which was already filling the screen with numbers. The Omega beeped suddenly with just seven seconds on its display. The TZ kept on working. The crowd waited almost holding their breath. At three minutes fifteen seconds the TZ buzzed. The guest burst into spontaneous applause. A distinguished Italian scientist cried openly. He knew what this meant for mankind.
“Human DNA is built of four nucleotides which provide the master blueprint for everything we need to live.” Will listed them: “Adenine – Thymine and Guanine – Cytosine. In us each cell holds 46 separate DNA molecules, each containing 160 million nucleotide pairs. Yet this massive amount of information is stored and copied with no mistakes – provided the cells are healthy of course.” Once again the guests were straining for every ounce of information. They all knew about unhealthy cancerous cells.
Will continued. “Today’s computers calculate in sequence; using the binary code. Quantum communications uses qubits for multiple possible configurations and many of you will know about electron spin. I don’t want to teach you to suck eggs, but the financiers among you need to know about: 00, 01, 10 and 11 as a four state base for parallel calculations. Where the binary language is: zeros and ones for sequential calculations. There is no contest. Well we all know the theory, but have any of your companies perfected a workable method? I doubt it or you wouldn’t be sitting here.”
The guests looked around at each other, poker faced so as not to be seen to agree of disagree. It was like a bluff scene from Casino Royale.
“Now,” said Will, “would you like a break or to see something really difficult?” The financiers turned to their respective experts for advice. Shortly after which some of the guests then gestured to continue.
“Righto.” Will nimbly went over to the TZ and input a 400 digit number, which took a good fifteen minutes to get right. “Ladies and gentlemen, you can see on the screen an impossibly large number to crack. Here’s where the factoring ability of a quantum computer comes into its own where encryption is concerned.”
He pushed the enter key to start the TZ on this task, and then turned back to the audience. “Now, don’t wait up, but even the TZ will take about a billion years to factor that code using sequential calculations. So, what about the Omega?” He deftly strode across the stage to the little watch and spoke the commands into its tiny microphone which took slightly less time, then initiated the command and the display overhead again began counting the seconds.
As both machines toiled away Will continued: “I’m not telling you how this little marvel works, but you’ve seen it for yourself. Either I’m the sting-master of all time or you are looking at the next world technological revolution. With this machine and the right bio interface you can decode the Human Genome finitely and eventually cure cancer. Or, you can hack into any defense network in seconds and disarm your enemy, or take control of their communications. What is your poison ladies and gentlemen?” At this stage the scientists in the audience did not believe the little Omega could factor that number, but as the minutes ticked by some of the numeral sequence appeared in the blank boxes on screen. With 400 boxes showing in only a 70 inch display, the numbers coming up could not be read individually. This prompted a number of guests to get up and try to mount the stage.
“Please gentlemen, go back to your seats. You can all take turns to examine the screen in a few minutes.”
Some of the door guards came forward menacingly. Reluctantly, the eager beavers returned to their seats, red faced, soon engrossed in the display on the left which was now ablaze with light. The screen on the right was still blank. Finally after 12 minutes and 24 seconds the Omega beeped again to conclude the execution of that command. This time the audience was totally silent, mouths open in awe. It would take a few minutes for what they’d just witnesses to sink in. The financiers recovered sooner, since they only had a slight inkling of the implications. The scientists on the other hand were more in tune with the ramifications for mankind.
Will placed the Omega in a silver safe on the stage and switched on a laser alarm system to equal that surrounding the Crown Jewels. He turned to the audience and signaled the waiters to circulate with champagne for a toast. This took a few minutes.
"Ladies and gentlemen I give you the future of computing." Will raised his glass high. The guests raised their glasses and shouted
"to the future of computing."
"Thank you all ladies and gentlemen. Now I’d like you all to retire and consider the value of the know-how for your companies. You’ll have seven days to decide if you want this technology. The bidding will be online by sealed bids in a ten minute window. You’ll be able to see who has lodged a bid online, but not the quantum. You may increase your offer with a second bid, a third and so on. The reserve is $100 million dollars."
"You must email a locked document to the same address from which you received your invitations for tonight. That document must be in the form of an agreement with banking details transferring that sum to our numbered account, which if we accept that bid, must be transferred by return acknowledgement into our account within 60 seconds and verified. We in turn will
sign an agreement with each of you binding us to supply the item to the successful bidder. Only one bidder will be contacted as successful. If for any reasons the auction is declared void. There will be another ten minute event the following day, but the reserve will be tripled. A defaulter will not be issued a bid code for a second time and will be barred. Good luck to you
all and good evening."
electronic transfer was duly confirmed and the auction closed @ $2 billion. Jane and Will
were ecstatic. Two-hundred and forty contestants
around the world were disappointed, among them
the USA, Russia and China. For every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction. The war
was just about to change into another gear in
the wrong direction. That was quite a few years
George Bush at appropriations signing the document to set up the Department on Homeland Security. This all sounds rather familiar. If we exchange 'Homeland' for 'Fatherland' and give all the signatories black leather coats!
WARS (CYBERCORE) Copyright
© Jameson Hunter 2008 and 2014.
right of Jameson Hunter to be identified as the
author of this work has been asserted in
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Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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