|thinking about the ICPs as anti-virus programs, you suppose there couyld be a particular program who is like a decective- a virus decetor. that could make for an interesting story...|
That sounds like a really fun idea. A tracker of sorts. A program like that could have a really cool character too, like a Pathfinder or an Old West bountyhunter. I like it.
|as for resource hogs, you have me there. but the idea of stealing code from a 'living' program could be done with a virus. seeing as some viruses can use your computer as a means of distributing itself (E-mail viruses) would it not need to 'absorb' permissions to do so? (getting a bit far-fetched here, but it's just an idea)|
If we're still looking for something scary, it seems like it would be less frightening with something like an email worm (hmm... worm... guess we know what such a virus would look like..) . Often they don't do any physical damage to anything, and the most they do is bog down servers, but once they're removed its as if they were never there.
|a virus breaking off of it's original plan would be great. the thing is, most real-world viruses I get are like spies. wait- there's an idea there. viruses that corrupt not just to destroy, but to gain information they send to their users. but then that's different than hacking because it's an independant program- not being controlled. what if one of these viruses learned enough about the user world that it realized how to run the computer without user intervention? then it would be virus with the power of a user- but without the emotions or feelings that are innate in a user, even Thorne.|
I guess we need to decide exactly how programs would get categorized down in the digital world, because we're starting to blend viruses with "spyware", though the two can easily intermingle. I think a virus meant simply to extract information and transmit it to a User wouldn't be a terrifying destructive thing at all, just a crafty/shadowy character that tries to draw minimal attention to itself (though the spy might kill a program that caught him doing something naughty). This pretty much matches what Clu was doing, but the modern era with more complex programs, in a more populated part of the system it would probably be much more interesting. But we're entering a different film genre with this.
A chaos/destruction virus that intends to wreak havoc on systems would be much less subtle and wouldn't care too much about whether or not its presence is known. This is the kind of program that could get a monster-like shell slapped onto it and go around killing and maiming.
Your conscious spy program perhaps could alter its programming so drastically that it did become a nasty version of a virus after it knew what it was doing... taking over a system by force and ruling with an iron fist. with such power, it be a false-User, fooling programs into following it. (the MCP probably did a lot of this, but unfortunately we don't get to see it rise to power).
As for what WE classify as spyware, I think it'd be hilarious to see one of them pop into a film at some point. They generally don't destroy or harm (not intentionally anyway though their code often is very buggy and causes all sorts of annoying problems) , they just get downloaded by a User who wants their primary feature (unaware of the fine print detailing what ELSE it does). Then much to the annoyance of the other programs nearby, every 20 seconds it sends out a pop-up advertisement, screaming obnoxiously like a used car salesman that just won't get out of your face, and so distracting that a couple of programs actually screw up what they're doing and crash. And when the User finally realizes what's going on, tries to delete it, which the programs do (and enjoy it), only to have a new one rez in and start the process all over again.