Galactic Information Bank
The most profitable of several NoCoZo megacorps which maps, makes easily searchable, and caches large sections of the Known Net for its subscribers. For additional fees, it will also attempt to vet the material with any combination of a large number of filters - no memetically active content beyond a certain level, no virulent code, no pro-hu-supremacist content, etc. While the Galactic Information Bank (they have a blanket term in their contract with subscribers which prevents them from using an acronym or shortened version of the name in written or other baseline- comprehensible language format) makes no guarantee of safety of any information provided to the subscriber(s), it has an impressive record of prevention and rectification of problems. That is, if they 1) have a backup of the sophont using their service available, 2) have access to some minder in the sophont's environment, and 3) detects a massive aberration in the sophont's actions, they'll contact the minder and inform them of the potential subversion they've witnessed (yes, that's an additional fee - It's the NoCoZo, after all!).
The Galactic Information Bank doesn't discriminate amongst its patrons - valuta is always accepted. They DO, however, reserve the right to return their fee on a pro-rata basis (less a flat 1024 credit or 16% handling fee, whichever is larger) if the subscriber sublets their access (note - not the information gained via that access) beyond the amount permitted by their agreement. In this case, that particular sophont or organization will be barred from any further access to the Galactic Information Bank's resources. This includes having a personal account under the auspices of another's contract. This term does not need to be invoked much in the present day, as they offer one politely-worded warning letter giving references to some barred users, who're still unable to access the information to the present day.
The fees are usually quite reasonable, a small amount per 'universal block' of data per day. A 'universal block' contains enough information to download a moderate sized library, or a full 20 hours of high-res audio-visual information, or an hour of near-perfect virch, or 10 minutes (or less) of their standard 'perfect virch'. Additional services typically cost an integer multiple of the standard fee, with the 'no active code' being the cheapest at a 100% markup, up to their 'ultra-standard meme filtering', which is an additional 1,000 times the base fee per 'universal block', with an additional multiple for every million 'universal blocks' previously accessed (to catch multipart memetic assaults).
Text by John B
Initially published on 08 March 2003.
page uploaded 8 March 2003, last modified 8 June 2007