Almost all biomorphs in the solar system are equipped with basic mesh inserts — implanted personal computers. These implants are grown in the brain via non-intrusive nanosurgery. The processor, wireless transceiver, storage devices, and other components are directly wired to the user’s cerebral neuronal cells and cortical centers responsible for language, speech, and visual perception, among others. Thought-to-communication emulations (so-called transducing) enable the user to control the implant just by thinking and to communicate without vocalizing. Input from the mesh inserts is transmitted directly into the brain and sometimes perceived as augmented reality, overlaid on the user’s physical senses. In a similar vein, the mesh inserts installed in synthmorphs and pods are directly integrated with their cyberbrains (creating a potential security concern as cyberbrains are vulnerable to hacking).
External devices called ectos are also used to access the mesh, though these are growing increasingly rare given the prevalence of mesh inserts. Ecto interface options include haptic interfaces like touch-display controls, bracelets or gloves that detect arm, hand, or finger movements (virtual mouse and keyboards), eye tracking and blink control, bodyscanning grids (body-axis control or all-limb controls for non-humanoids), voice controls, and more. Sensory information is handled via lenses, glasses, earplugs (subdermal bone-vibrating speakers), bodysuits, gloves, nose plugs, tongue dams, and other devices that are wirelessly linked to (or physically plugged into) the ecto.
Mesh media is accessed using one of three protocols:
Every mesh user (and, in fact, every device) has a unique code called their mesh ID. This ID distinguishes them from all other users and devices and is the mechanism by which others can find them online, like a combination phone number, email address, and screen name. Mesh IDs are used in almost all online interactions, which are often logged, meaning that your activities online leave a datatrail that can be tracked. Fortunately for those who value their privacy, there are ways around this. AIs, AGIs, and infomorphs also each have their own unique mesh ID.
ACCOUNTS AND ACCESS PRIVILEGES
Devices, networks (such as PANs, VPNs, and hardwired networks), and services require that every user that accesses them does so with an account. The account serves to identify that particular user, is linked to their mesh ID, and determines what access privileges they have on that system. There are four types of accounts: public, user, security, and admin.
Public accounts are used for systems that allow access (or access to parts of their system) to anyone on the mesh. Public accounts do not require any sort of authentication or login process, the user’s mesh ID is enough. These accounts are used to provide access to any sort of data that is considered public: mesh sites, forums, public archives, open databases, social network profiles, etc. Public accounts usually have the ability to read and download data and sometimes to write data (forum comments, for example), but little else.
User accounts are the most common accounts. User accounts require some form of authentication to access the device, network, or service. Each user account has specific access privileges allotted to it, which are tasks the user is allowed to perform on that system. For example, most users are allowed to upload and download data, change basic content, and use the standard features of the system in question. They are not, however, usually allowed to alter security features, add new accounts, or do anything that might impact the security or functioning of the system. As some systems are more restrictive than others, the gamemaster decides what privileges each user account provides.
Security accounts are intended for users that need greater rights and privileges than standard users, but who don’t need control over the entire system, such as security hackers and muses. Security access rights usually allow for reading logs, commanding security features, adding/deleting accounts, altering the data of other users, and so on.
Admin accounts provide complete control over the system. Characters with admin rights can do everything security accounts can, plus they can shut down/ reboot the system, alter access rights of other users, view and edit all log files and statistics, and stop or start any software available on the system.