Re: intent of package seti@home
On Thursday 22 April 1999, at 13 h 30, the keyboard of Kevin Dalley
> The same does apply. SETI@Home wants to know whether a given piece of
> data has been analyzed. You don't need a Cray to send billions of
> "nobody's home message".
The concern is reasonable but John Hasler explained very well why hiding the
source code does not protect you against such a sabotage. The problem of
saboteurs is real but the solution of concealing the source code is not
serious. Pretending that this is a case where the free software model fails is
> Confirming false positives is easy, as you pointed out. Confirming
> false negatives requiring reanalyzing all of the data using known
> software, rendering SETI@Home useless.
"Useless" is too strong. There are several simple heuristics to limit false negatives:
- assigning each block to two machines (requiring different network addresses). It divides by two the speed but it is quite safe, specially if the blocks are assigned randomly.
- barring machines to send too many results in a too short time (difficult with proxies).