CSI: Cyber

Sunday, March 8, 2015 9:33 PM
TTD-120-420's avatar

I know that Verbolten is able to be controlled from Germany in Ziere's offices. That's the only ride I can think of that is set up like this.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015 11:39 PM

slithernoggin said:

Lord Gonchar said:

Sadly, it's closer to 42 minutes these days.

Damn.

Thanks to DVR, I mostly fast forward through commercials and boring parts, had no idea we were under 3/4 of an hour....

(Except for the CSI Miami marathons, where I go see what's on Food Network during commercial breaks.)

Earlier this year I read an article that said the AVERAGE number of commercials showed during a program is 20.1 minutes an hour. That's over 1/3 of a program.

When the season with this episode makes it to DVD I'll wait until it hits a retailer's bargain bin (Usually less than a year) and snatch it up.

I gave up on Broadcast and Pay_TV in January of 2007, I got fed up with the INSANE amount of advertising that's tossed at viewers these days (not to mention what's on during those ads - I know people who won't let their kids watch a program until the show is recorded and the commercials edited out). For less than half what it costs to subscribe to a Pay-TV service you can purchase an INSANE amount of programming on home video (Since "cutting the cord" 2007 I've accumulated over 40,000 hours of TV shows, movies, serials and documentaries and other programming!). Whenever I watch something I don't have to cope with commercial breaks lasting as long as five minutes, and reruns are on my terms since after I finish watching something I GET TO KEEP IT!.

Last edited by Regulus, Sunday, March 8, 2015 11:54 PM
Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
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Monday, March 9, 2015 5:04 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Yup. Rent, download, get from library, a dvd of a popular 30 minute show (Big Bang is a great example) and notice how each episode is 18-19 minutes. Pretty sad, actually, as when we watch TBBT, we always get the feeling that there is more to the jokes, but due to time, the scene cuts earlier than it should have.

To bring around to on topic, I will DVR this show for my son and I to watch. But since we won't be able to watch it till at least Sunday, I guess I'm going to have to avoid this thread so as not to get spoiled. Hahaha

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Monday, March 9, 2015 5:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Tommytheduck said:

Yup. Rent, download, get from library, a dvd of a popular 30 minute show (Big Bang is a great example) and notice how each episode is 18-19 minutes. Pretty sad, actually, as when we watch TBBT, we always get the feeling that there is more to the jokes, but due to time, the scene cuts earlier than it should have.

Sounds like syndication-edited versions of the show...like you'd see in reruns on TBS or whatever.

Do they really use those for DVD/rental release? Otherwise, I can't imagine how you're getting run times that low. Something like TBBT should be 21/22 minutes. I'd expect 20 at worst. If you're getting down around 18, those are syndication numbers.

ETA - Wow. Just did a little quick looking around and it turns out some shows do release the edited versions on DVD/Blu Ray or on certain streaming or download services. If you're seeing 18 minute versions of TBBT, you're most certainly seeing an edited verson that differs for the original broadcast. (as you noted they even feel 'choppy' - because they are)

I guess they have to keep fnding more and more ways to encourage audience to view original broadcast episodes.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, March 9, 2015 5:31 PM
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1:12 AM

These days, coaster controls are dramatically simplified through networking. Instead of running twisted pair to every switch and actuator on the ride from the main control cabinet, the "new way" to do it is to put I/O panels wherever you have a large number of I/O sources and sinks (say, on brake runs, station, etc) and then those are connected to the main system controller via IP network hardware. That way, you need only a single Ethernet cable or fiber to feed each I/O panel, even if the I/O panel has dozens of connections.

So that means the entire control system is operating in a (presumably private) IP space. Presumably the designer then isolates the I/O network from the network interface on the controller. So the access available by connecting via network to the PLC, assuming that is even possible on a given system, is determined by the permissions given by the PLC. The level of access that is possible depends on the designer's comfort level. As for how to connect...there are different ways to accomplish it for remote access for authorized users, and that access could range from total control to merely system monitoring, again, depending on how the system is designed.

Good IT practice means you would have to get into an isolated network inside the private network inside the park's network in order to get to the controls.

Oh, and there is now an ASTM committee starting to discuss standards for control system security. Given that the last major example of control system tampering to result in an incident did not involve any tampering to the programmable system but rather to the system wiring, I hope the forthcoming standard (expect it in a few years) takes that into account.

--Dave Althoff, Jr


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:21 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Not only do they edit shows in syndication, they also speed them up. I just read an article recently that they speed up the show by a fraction to get an extra 2 min. for commercials.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:41 AM
Fun's avatar

Dutchman said:

Ride controls use PLC's and are not usually networked to the outside.

There has been a growing trend in actually doing the opposite and making, at the very least, diagnostic information available via network connection. 10 years ago I'd say the CSI episode was too far fetched but now, it's certainly not impossible to break into a networked resource. Rideman is correct however, what they can do once they are "in" still varies greatly.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:21 AM
Jeff's avatar

As someone who has had to build external facing interfaces for internal systems, the first thing you have to do is make sure you have the most limited possible surface area. Second you make sure you can instantly (or in an automated fashion) revoke privileges. It's not that hard to secure this stuff.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:53 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I know that it was widely reported that the rides were locked out by the mfg remotely when HRP didn't pay their bills.


Website | Flickr | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

Widely reported, but I'm not sure ever confirmed.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 2:50 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

It is really amazing to see the instructions becoming available for use PLC's. For example I was working with an integrator that was testing out sending a text message and sending out an email from a control system for a water treatment plant. So the idea of these networked control systems aren't too far fetched anymore. Not only that, but part of service agreements offered by integrators are including the provision for remote access for troubleshooting, service, or a proactive maintenance plan.

Still.. as far as I understand it, you still need the programming software to make changes or mess with a system, which are both expensive and difficult to crack activations for. It's still a specialized skillset necessary to even know how to connect to some of these systems.

~Rob

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Thursday, March 12, 2015 10:56 PM

Some systems are programmed with EPROMs so that you can't change the code without swapping out the chip. You still might be able to make mischief, though.

There are different levels of network connectivity, too. Maybe the ride allows for remote monitoring and shutdown, but not startup, for example. Remember what Jeff said about limiting surface area? That's key to managing remote access. First you limit the system so that you don't render it unsafe by accessing it remotely, then you bury it in the network so that you have to have authenticated access to get to it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:11 PM

But the question no one asked or answered, what coaster was it?


Just a couple of G-Force junkies!

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Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:26 PM
sws's avatar

Son of Beast - self-explanatory.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 12:05 AM

It was discovered that an additional "board" had been added to the computer system. It allowed remote control of the ride system from a few yards away. Whether this can actually be done or not is the question.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 12:17 AM

Tekwardo said:

I know that it was widely reported that the rides were locked out by the mfg remotely when HRP didn't pay their bills.

Do ride manufacturers finance the rides they sell? I would expect they sell for cash. If a park doesn't have cash, the park arranges for its own financing. If that's the case, the manufacturer doesn't care if the park stops paying its bills because the manufacturer has already been paid in full. I don't recall seeing debts owing to manufacturers on balance sheets of amusement parks. But maybe some makers provide financing.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 12:55 AM

angnjc said:

But the question no one asked or answered, what coaster was it?

I recorded the program, and have looked the coaster scenes a few times.

It looks like that they used a lot of stock footage for the distance shots. The station area appears to be a mock up set up especially for the scene.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 1:33 AM

GoBucks89 said:
Do ride manufacturers finance the rides they sell?

No, but the same manufacturers sell parts to the parks and they likely invoice them for payment. I would assume that's the bills that HRP wasn't paying.


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Friday, March 13, 2015 6:25 AM

I DVR'd the Very Special CSI:Cyber and remembered to watch it late yesterday afternoon. What an awful show. I expected more from a series that managed to snag Academy Award Winner Patricia Arquette, but sadly, no.

The coaster scene was set in a ficticious amusement park in Richmond, Va and the opening scene was the crash. It was hard to tell what coaster was used for the actual footage, it looked like some medium sized Arrow looper/corkscrew, but the shots were fast cut-aways, and blurred shots. Then there were station shots, of course, which was fake. It looked like a rigged up train on a glamorized Dragon Wagon trailer.

Spoiler alert:
And did I get this right? During two train operation the hacked computer killed the fail-safe braking system which somehow caused the train to go backwards and slam into the train unloading in the station? Or did it come in from behind? Backwards makes no sense as it would have to roll back over the first drop and the lift. Forward makes no sense as the young woman in the front seat of the parked train was slow to disembark and was killed. (she was the girlfriend of a former Park Engineer who had been fired for tardiness. Ah HA!)

Turns out the culprit was some freak who's sexual turn on involved blood, guts, and gore, and he staged this event using a blue tooth phone device (I KNEW it!) in order to be invited to join an exclusive gore-centric website. His next planned event was to crash a subway train, so the coaster thing was a small part of the show.

The whole show was ridunculous and preposterous. And I must've dozed off outta boredom because I don't remember exactly how it turned out. I think it was Timothy Bottoms.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 8:09 AM

bigboy said:

GoBucks89 said:
Do ride manufacturers finance the rides they sell?

No, but the same manufacturers sell parts to the parks and they likely invoice them for payment. I would assume that's the bills that HRP wasn't paying.

A manufacturer would not have the ability to unilaterally impose the remedy of shutting down rides for non-payment (for spare parts or the ride itself). The applicable park would have had to give the manufacturer that right in whatever contracts are signed. Folks here would better know the competitiveness of the ride market. But to me, all other things being equal, I am going with the manufacturer who doesn't make me sign a contract giving the manufacturer the right to shut down rides if I don't make a payment on time (especially if we are talking paying for spare parts on a multimillion dollar revenue generating machine).

The shutdown remedy also brings with it some risk to the manufacturer. If payment had actually been made, was in transit, there was some type of billing/accounting error, you may find the park seeking damages against you for shutting down a revenue producing ride without cause. And the next time you are making a pitch to another park for a ride, you likely will face questions about that issue.

For spare parts, I think a less risky and just as effective remedy would be to require payment in advance. We will invoice you and let you pay later so long as you actually do so. But get behind on paying and we make you get current for past invoices and pay us for parts being delivered tomorrow before we deliver them tomorrow. The park loses its spare parts supply if it doesn't make payment and at some point has to shutdown the ride on its own.

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