History Main / BlackBox

10th Jun '16 1:36:47 AM Morgenthaler
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* The ''MachineOfDeath'' is a device that takes a person's blood sample and predicts how that person will die. It's cheap to use and possible to duplicate, but no one knows how it works.

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* The ''MachineOfDeath'' ''Literature/MachineOfDeath'' is a device that takes a person's blood sample and predicts how that person will die. It's cheap to use and possible to duplicate, but no one knows how it works.
7th Jun '16 9:17:47 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The SDF-1 in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' is riddled with black boxes, often causing bits of advanced alien tech to do things that the humans never expected them to do. By later series in the franchise, humanity has reverse-engineered most of the ''Macross'''s technology and is in full control of it.

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* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'': The SDF-1 in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' is riddled with black boxes, often causing bits of advanced alien tech to do things that the humans never expected them to do. By the time of the later series in the franchise, humanity has reverse-engineered most of the ''Macross'''s technology and is in full can fully control of it.
15th May '16 8:38:47 PM nombretomado
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*** In UltimateMarvel and the MarvelCinematicUniverse, the serum itself was quickly replicated, but an army of Captain Americas is still impossible because the ''recipient'' is the key factor; In Ultimate, it only works on subjects with [[TheDeterminator superhuman willpower]], keeping the successes at a minimum. In the MCU, it grants PersonalityPowers, meaning unless the government is willing to stick needles in a card-carrying ''saint''(who would thus never perform deniable operations), all they would get is more ComicBook/{{Red Skull}}s.

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*** In UltimateMarvel and the MarvelCinematicUniverse, Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, the serum itself was quickly replicated, but an army of Captain Americas is still impossible because the ''recipient'' is the key factor; In Ultimate, it only works on subjects with [[TheDeterminator superhuman willpower]], keeping the successes at a minimum. In the MCU, it grants PersonalityPowers, meaning unless the government is willing to stick needles in a card-carrying ''saint''(who would thus never perform deniable operations), all they would get is more ComicBook/{{Red Skull}}s.
13th Apr '16 1:26:45 PM Morgenthaler
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* The superweapons of the ''NavalOps'' series, especially in ''Warship Gunner 2,'' are considered to be Black Boxes by the people fighting against them. In ''WG 2,'' they run off a Black Box "Engine" strapped into oversized conventional ships (for a given value of conventional). The equipment you can unlock for customizing your own ship is explicitly labeled in game as "Black Box Technology" in the equipment screen, with individual pieces labeled Enigmatech (Enigmatech Bridge, Enigmatech Sensors, etc.).

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* The superweapons of the ''NavalOps'' ''VideoGame/NavalOps'' series, especially in ''Warship Gunner 2,'' are considered to be Black Boxes by the people fighting against them. In ''WG 2,'' they run off a Black Box "Engine" strapped into oversized conventional ships (for a given value of conventional). The equipment you can unlock for customizing your own ship is explicitly labeled in game as "Black Box Technology" in the equipment screen, with individual pieces labeled Enigmatech (Enigmatech Bridge, Enigmatech Sensors, etc.).
8th Apr '16 9:05:02 AM Soldancer
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* In ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'', it's implied that the eponymous spacetrawlers (which the entire galaxy relies on to enable faster-than-light travel and matter synthesis from space debris) are so complicated that only the technopath Eebs can understand and construct them. [[spoiler:It's eventually revealed that their construction is less complicated than implied, but the details are so horrific that it's no surprise that the builders insist on keeping them secret.]]

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* In ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'', it's implied that the eponymous spacetrawlers (which the entire galaxy relies on to enable faster-than-light travel and matter synthesis from space debris) are so complicated that only the technopath {{Technopath}} Eebs can understand and construct them. [[spoiler:It's eventually revealed that their construction is less complicated than implied, but the details are so horrific that it's no surprise that the builders insist on keeping them secret.]]



* Almost anything in custody of the ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''. [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-914 SCP-914]] is a more literal Black Box than most; it's an incredibly complex mechanical machine into which you put an object, and it comes out "refined" from the other end.

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* Almost anything in custody of The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' classifies objects into three broad categories: Safe, Euclid, and Keter. Safe objects' properties are researched enough that the ''Wiki/SCPFoundation''. foundation knows what the object does, even if it's not completely understood ''why'' it works. Most "black boxes" would fall into this category, since the input and output are stable. Note that here, "Safe" means "understood", ''not'' "non-dangerous".
**
[[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-914 SCP-914]] is a more literal Black Box than most; it's an incredibly complex mechanical machine into which you put an object, and it comes out "refined" from the other end.



17th Mar '16 9:01:13 AM ObsidianFire
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** Usually, however, it's {{Averted}}: the races known for being professional technological scavengers (Humans, Centauri, Narn and Vree) [[GenreSavvy normally open the black box and try and find out how it works, before putting it into production]], the jumpgate technology being the only exception.

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** Usually, however, it's {{Averted}}: the races known for being professional technological scavengers (Humans, Centauri, Narn and Vree) [[GenreSavvy normally open the black box and try and find out how it works, before putting it into production]], production, the jumpgate technology being the only exception.



* In ''[[VideoGame/ArmoredCore Armored Core: Nexus]]'', this comes back to bite the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Corporations]] in the ass. One Corporation activates [[LostTechnology the robotic equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction]] to protect their territory. [[GenreBlind So, it promptly goes berserk]] and ends up killing the executives of that Corporation and most of the people who work for them. This happens again when Kisaragi, ''[[WhatAnIdiot in the same game]]'', [[spoiler: activates a copy of [[ThatOneBoss Nine]] [[BonusBoss Ball]] and a myriad of suicide bots]] which, again, promptly go apeshit and [[spoiler: kamikaze their way through the Corporations and [[OmnicidalManiac nearly kill everyone.]]]] It also [[spoiler: probably gets the protagonist killed.]]

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* In ''[[VideoGame/ArmoredCore Armored Core: Nexus]]'', this comes back to bite the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Corporations]] in the ass. One Corporation activates [[LostTechnology the robotic equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction]] to protect their territory. [[GenreBlind So, it promptly goes berserk]] berserk and ends up killing the executives of that Corporation and most of the people who work for them. This happens again when Kisaragi, ''[[WhatAnIdiot in the same game]]'', [[spoiler: activates a copy of [[ThatOneBoss Nine]] [[BonusBoss Ball]] and a myriad of suicide bots]] which, again, promptly go apeshit and [[spoiler: kamikaze their way through the Corporations and [[OmnicidalManiac nearly kill everyone.]]]] It also [[spoiler: probably gets the protagonist killed.]]
5th Mar '16 5:00:05 PM WarriorsGate
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* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'': When 3D Realms sought to make a sequel to their Duke Nukem sidescrolling games, they shopped around for someone who could make a convincing pseudo-3D engine. Teenaged Ken Silverman sent in his hobby demo, which would later become the infamous BUILD engine, and got the job. He sent 3D Realms the executable file and a bevy of documentation to explain how to make levels with it, and let them build the actual game and its assets without knowing how it works internally. Turns out 3D Realms didn't know how good they had it: the code was eventually open sourced, and internet code analyst/Google software wizard Fabien Sanglard dove into it, only to find it one of the most dense, most obtuse, most esoteric pieces of code ever committed to computer memory. Read all the gory details [[http://fabiensanglard.net/duke3d/ here]].

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* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'': When 3D Realms sought to make a sequel to their Duke Nukem sidescrolling games, they shopped around for someone who could make a convincing pseudo-3D engine. Teenaged Ken Silverman sent in his hobby demo, which would later become the infamous BUILD engine, and got the job. He sent 3D Realms the executable file and a bevy of documentation to explain how to make levels with it, and let them build the actual game and its assets without knowing how it works internally. Turns out 3D Realms didn't know how good they had it: the code was eventually open sourced, and internet code analyst/Google software wizard Fabien Sanglard dove into it, only to find it one of the most dense, most obtuse, most esoteric pieces of code ever committed to computer memory. It was very obviously not meant to be intelligible to anyone whose name isn't Ken Silverman. Read all the gory details [[http://fabiensanglard.net/duke3d/ here]].here]] (tellingly, Sanglard had to have Ken Silverman proofread/explain parts of the article).
5th Mar '16 3:01:33 PM WarriorsGate
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Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'': When 3D Realms sought to make a sequel to their Duke Nukem sidescrolling games, they shopped around for someone who could make a convincing pseudo-3D engine. Teenaged Ken Silverman sent in his hobby demo, which would later become the infamous BUILD engine, and got the job. He sent 3D Realms the executable file and a bevy of documentation to explain how to make levels with it, and let them build the actual game and its assets without knowing how it works internally. Turns out 3D Realms didn't know how good they had it: the code was eventually open sourced, and internet code analyst/Google software wizard Fabien Sanglard dove into it, only to find it one of the most dense, most obtuse, most esoteric pieces of code ever committed to computer memory. Read all the gory details [[http://fabiensanglard.net/duke3d/ here]].
13th Feb '16 1:32:48 PM Theriocephalus
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* [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/index.html The Jargon File]] and its dead-tree twin, ''The New Hacker's Dictionary'', is rife with terms describing programming Black Boxes, most notably [[http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/magic-story.html Black Magic]].
** The most memorable of which is the "Magic / More Magic" switch. The only wire soldered to the switch goes directly to the case of a server. There is electrically no way it can affect anything on the server (except for EXTREMELY bizarre capacitance effects), and yet switching to "Magic" causes the server to die.
*** It could also be due to a difference in electric potential between the ground and the case.

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* [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/index.html The Jargon File]] and its dead-tree twin, ''The New Hacker's Dictionary'', is rife with terms describing programming Black Boxes, most notably [[http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/magic-story.html Black Magic]].
** The most memorable of which
Magic]], where a switch is the "Magic / More Magic" switch. found with its two positions labeled "Magic" and "More Magic". The only wire soldered to the switch goes directly to the case of a server. server--specifically, to a ground pin. There is electrically no way it can affect anything on the server (except for EXTREMELY bizarre capacitance effects), and yet switching to "Magic" causes the server to die.
***
crash.
**
It could also be due to a difference in electric potential between the ground and the case.
8th Feb '16 12:39:45 AM cricri3007
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* In ''Videogame/XCOM'' and its sequels and reboot, your scientists can research alien technologies and replicate them... But they don't really know how they work.
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