computer chip


Here are my theories revolving capture technology in a realistic pokemon world. I’ve had the idea rattling around in my head for quite a while, but I just got a prompt to get it on paper, so I thought I would share it!

PART 1. – The first step is the Silph Co. branded Intellechip (name pending, lol) This chip is the key for my idea and is mass produced. The basic idea for step one is that upon turning sixteen, you can apply for an adult Pokémon licence ( until this age, you are considered a minor and have to be registered under your parent or guardians licence, so family pets are fine, but you can’t buy or use poke balls for example, until the age of 16).

When you apply for you licence, this chip is implanted into the palm of your hand. This then connects with the pokedex you are given, which also contains a similar chip. This transfer’s information about you once inputted and is essentially your trainer identification. It also keeps track of your health, has your phone numbers and data etc, and loads of other cool gadgetry. The main point is that it knows you and keeps track of you. In terms of who keeps track of this basic info on yourself, Silph co is a conglomerate that has branches in the police, security and of course, ties to the Pokémon league. No particularly personal information would be there, only stuff that you yourself would be happy putting there, but as it’s a mobile phone, or smartphone, it could be used for online and wireless bank transfers when you lose a match, satellite navigation to the nearest Pokémon centre and various other purposes.

 Whilst they are expensive, there is extended warranty on pokedexes etc, so it’s not too bad to replace. In case of identity theft, if someone were to take your pokedex and try and use it as a fake ID, the dex would read the other persons chip, or lack thereof, and report itself stolen instantly. It has to be close to its trainer to be used as an official league licence, so there Is a good degree of security.

PART 2. – Pokeballs also contains chips. They have two in fact, one for themselves and one that is implanted into Pokémon upon capture. When you purchase a pokeball, it interacts wirelessly with the one in your hand and the one in your pokedex, meaning that it is registered to you to a specific ID and cannot be stolen. Again, there is a degree of security surrounding this kind of equipment. I do imagine, however, that Pokeballs without Pokémon in them can be hacked or gifted to other trainers, but only through use of the pokedex system allowing an official transfer. If they are empty, I don’t imagine them being too hard at all to gift.

This also means that when they are thrown and are not broken, they gravitate back to the trainers palm (ever wondered why they bounce back in a lot of the anime?) meaning they are easier to track if thrown or lost. It also means during battle, they return swiftly to the palm, meaning the trainer can recall the Pokémon at will if they feel it is in danger or needs to be switched out.

PART 3. – When capturing a Pokémon, the pokeball tags the Pokémon with a chip, in the same way we tag our pets. It’s perfectly harmless as the Pokémon is reduced to its ‘energy’ state within the ball. This chip then sends the Pokémon’s data, information, height, weight and all vital signs immediately to the pokedex so that you have a complete and whole view of the creature you have just obtained. It is also at this stage that you can input a nickname.

This means you can monitor the Pokémon’s health directly on the screen, which is what I imagine the ‘HP bar’ to be in a realistic setting. Rather than simply beating each other to a pulp until one or the other goes down, it means they can keep track of how they are doing and switch them out when they are low or injured. In a realistic setting, death is not an unlikely situation, especially for new Pokémon trainers.

This also means that in ‘official’ matches, so with gym leaders, league members or in special battle grounds, this information is transferred to the large screen as shown in the example picture, so that the entire audience can keep track of the match details and how things are going. Think of it as the information that plays about the team as a football match is going on. It also links with a registered pc of your choice, or wirelessly to the cloud network that is available in all Pokémon centres.

This means that, as I imagine a lot of trainers to take laptops with them, they can access their items, plug them in at a local centre and access their whole list of Pokémon, their items, their mail, etc. Upon capture, you also get the option to swap the Pokémon into your team by transferring one from your belt to the pc. Everything is simple and automatic for today’s trainer-on-the-go! (as for PC systems themselves, that’s for another time, though I do imagine it to be much harder to own masses of Pokémon, as they can’t be kept in a box for too long. In fact, I don’t imagine there to be a ‘box’ at all, the pc is just a way of accessing them. They could be sent to live with your parents, a guardian, a friend or a day care in your town, which I imagine to be a very big business and therefore a viable option to keep 10-20 Pokémon per trainer without being cruel.)

PART 4. – The pokedex is also the way TM’s and HM’s are able to be taught to Pokémon. The CD’s are obtained and kept in small cases that can then be installed into the pokedex. Once inside, they can then be taught to any Pokémon in your team of six wirelessly using the chips. As the information is essentially downloading straight into the ball and then into the Pokémon, it’s instantaneous. (In this highly technologically advanced world, I don’t see this as being much of an issue or a question of morals, but eh)

There are a whole load of other things I would like to explore with this idea, but for now, these are the main aspects. It means that information is able to travel freely and swiftly in a world where everything is very fast-moving. I hope this has been explained clearly enough, and do let me know if you think it would make an interesting part to a poster collection, or trainer guide. I also plan on doing information on battles and gym leaders, as well as the league itself. Thanks guys! 


State of the Art: the Evolution of the Computer Chip

Published less than three decades after the first integrated circuit ever produced, Stan Augarten’s State of the Art (1983) demonstrates how rapidly the new technology developed. In a comprehensive survey ranging from the earliest hand-soldered circuits of the 1950s to American Microsystems’ sleek S4535 High-Voltage Driver produced in 1982, the book presents computer chips like works of art, aesthetic icons of the nascent digital revolution. Perhaps most notable is the way the technology quickly evolved out of human hands and into a complex mechanized process requiring precision at an atomic level. Indeed, Jack S. Kilby built the first integrated circuit at Texas Instruments by hand. But his groundbreaking solution, which eliminating the need for individual discrete components by making a “monolithic” circuit from one material, allowed for automation to soon take over. Today the most advanced circuits contain several hundred millions of components on an area no larger than a fingernail and must be manufactured under highly delicate conditions. Laid bare as objects, their mysterious hieroglyphics seem to reveal the intricate, arcane processes that produced them. 

Computer Chip Mimics Features of Real Brain

Researchers have designed a computer chip with brain-like wiring and architecture that can perform sophisticated tasks in real-time while consuming very little energy. The chip paves the way for the design of computer devices suited to tasks conventional computer chips are unable to do well. The researchers’ basic building block was a core comprising 256 input lines (“axons”) and 256 output lines (“neurons”). They connected more than 4,000 such cores and implemented them on a digital computer chip called “TrueNorth,” which has over 256 million “synapses” that trade electrical signals.

Read more about this research from the 8 August issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of IBM Research. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Researchers hack crypto on RFID smart cards used for keyless entry and transit pass

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Researchers at a German university have published a paper detailing a security exploit of the Mifare DESfire MF3ICD40, a widely used RFID smart card. The exploit, which uses an approach previously used to break other wireless crypto systems, demonstrates that even the relatively strong encryption algorithms used in “touchless” smart cards can be broken with a small investment of time and equipment—exposing the shared crypto key and the data stored on them.

The exploit was revealed by researchers David Oswald and Christof Paar at the recent Workshop on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems (CHES) in Nara, Japan. The attack uses a templated “side-channel” attack on the card’s crypto, an approach first described in a paper by Suresh Chari, Josyula Rao, and Pankaj Rohatgi of IBM’s Watson Research Center in 2002. It requires the attacker to have the card itself, an RFID reader, and a radio probe. Using differential power analysis, data is collected from radio frequency energy that leaks out of the card (its “side channels”). Through this process, Oswald and Paar were able to retrieve the entire 112-bit secret key from the MF3ICD40, which uses Triple DES encryption.

The researchers revealed the exploit to NXP, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics, in April of this year. According to a statement issued by NXP, the company had already planned to cease marketing the card at the end of this year, and has been working to move customers to the MIFARE DESFire EV1, an AES-based upgrade to the RFID system. The company also played down the risk to customers, saying that the attack requires hours or days of lab time and specific equipment to reproduce, and only reveals a single key: “The impact of a successful attack depends on the end-to-end system security design of each individual infrastructure and whether diversified keys are being used. If this is the case, a stolen or lost card can be disabled simply by the operator detecting the fraud and blacklisting the card.”

Hopefully, the limitations on the viability of the attack will buy NXP and Mifare users some time, because they’ll need it to complete a migration—there are over 3 billion DESFire cards vulnerable to the exploit in circulation. The DESfire is widely used for transit passes (including San Francisco's Clipper Card), as well as for authentication and entry systems at thousands of companies. And cards based on the technology have also been widely used by government agencies trying to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which mandates the use of smart cards for access to secure facilities and sets a government standard for smart card interoperability. The DESfire RFID integrated circuit was the first to comply with that standard, and Philips sold the DESfire cards directly to NASA and the Department of the Interior. Other companies, such asHID Global, have resold the card technology to other agencies and contractors.