ShipNET, ostensibly invented by Cap’n Redd in his spare time, is the ship-wide intranet. He then thoughtfully provided every room onboard with a PDA-style device so that his passengers could use it. You cannot research things on ShipNET; it’s a self-contained web forum. If you’re on livejournal, you’re probably relatively familiar with message boards and the like, and ShipNET functions similarly to one of those.
ShipNET is a plaintext/audio forum. Pictures cannot be displayed. Captain James W Redd is the one exception to this: he can and will post pictures or videos whenever he feels like; no one is sure how he does it, but it does lend credence to the idea that he was the one that invented ShipNET.
Yes, this means the icons you choose cannot be seen by other characters.
Because ShipNET is a plaintext browser, all people know about other people are their user ID. Unless a character posts their identity on ShipNET, other characters won’t know who they are in person.
Characters can only communicate verbally with other characters if they both speak the same language, on and off the comms. They can communicate through text on the communicators just fine, as it auto-translates.
Audio posts can be converted into translated text, however this takes a bit more skill. If your character can lock a post to about 40% unhackable, they should be able to translate an audio post to text in their own language.
Technically, the audio to text and text to audio functions could be used to translate one audio post into another language (i.e. DE audio --> DE text --> EN text --> EN audio), however this would take detailed technological knowledge. If your character is unable to lock a post to 90% unhackable, they will be highly unlikely to be able to use this feature.
To make sure this doesn't get too confusing, please try to label your posts with subject lines showing whether it is audio or text and which language your character is using (this gives people a clear indicator as to whether they can respond or not; for example [Audio // Italian] or [Text // Russian]).
And yes, crew can respond to any language characters use with them, oh my~
User IDs Edit
Your characters are assigned a unique userID, so people can tell that it’s the same person from post to post; there’s no need to sign your posts! Please note this is NOT your character's Livejournal ID!! It is a seemingly random string of characters, however most passengers will be able to recognize IDs from one post to another, and thus remember who they are talking to.
Anonymous commenting is not possible on ShipNET.
Hijacking a Comm Edit
Using someone else’s ShipNET account is possible if you steal their comm. Obviously, OOC discussion is required for this deed.