Re: intent of package seti@home
On Wed, Apr 21, 1999 at 10:45:40PM -0700, Joey Hess wrote:
> Ron wrote:
> > it's one of the reasons I don't run their daemon anymore either. I'm all
> > for the idea of donating 'unused' cpu cycles to something else -- but if
> > they won't let me see what they are using it for, and refuse to even share
> > the technology that makes it possible, then they can go buy their own
> > computers IMHO.
> > I suspect the real reason is that the code is such a 'secret', is that
> > people may find more compelling uses of their own for all those spare
> > cycles ...
> That's not completly fair. Distributed.net has released the core code for
> their client, they just haven't released their networking protocols.
> It's really an interesting problem, and perhaps one of the places where open
> source breaks down - how can you be sure if you release the code that
> someone doesn't fake results? Until someone coms up with a method of
> preventing this type of abuse, I don't expect to see them change their ways.
The following message about Cosm was posted to the distributed.net
announce mailing list. The source will be public, but I don't know if
it'll be free.
> see shy jo
"distributed.net was founded to serve as a gathering point for research and
projects related to distributed processing. To build up a network of
computers over the Internet all coordinating on various tasks, with each
computer working on the project it's best suited to." - me, distributed.net
mission statement, May 1997
Basically, distributed.net was founded to build a system to enable a huge
global pool of processing power that all might draw on and contribute to.
Where all kinds of research and work may be done orders of magnitude faster
then by any person or organization alone.
Over time distributed.net grew, and eventually prize money and expenses were
involved, so distributed.net became the non-profit organization Distributed
Computing Technologies Inc (DCTI). As a part of that process a board of
directors was formed to decide where DCTI would go next. Over time more
people got involved, and DCTI grew and is still growing.
Over the last 2 years much has been accomplished in the world of
distributed.net. We have solved RC5-56, two DES contests, and made it more
then 7% into the RC5-64 keyspace. All striking a blow to the government's
ridiculous laws about the export of cryptographic technology. The RSA
sponsored contests were where we started, but were never intended to last
forever. OGR is coming soon, and maybe another cryptographic contest.
Additionally, distributed.net has done very well at getting the idea of
distributed computing out into the public view. This is something of which
we can all be very happy about.
As any organization changes as it grows, so has disributed.net. As a result,
it has become apparent that the goals of DCTI have changed considerably over
the years, and are no longer the same as what they were.
During much of the last two years I have been working on Cosm (which you may
know as 'v3'). Cosm design began years before distributed.net in my days at
IIT.edu. My goal is and always has been to build a system that served to
explore and push the envelope distributed computing. It was my intention to
realize the design as part of DCTI. Unfortunately, this is no longer the
direction DCTI wants to head. Cosm no longer fits in with the goals that
DCTI has for its future.
So the DCTI board has decided that it would be best for DCTI if Cosm and the
related technology and people go our separate way. And so, as of today, Cosm
and myself are no longer associated with DCTI.
While this wasn't the original plan, it does provide for Cosm to proceed
unencumbered and in a more direct manner to the eventual goal.
Cosm phase 1 has been well underway for quite some time, as you can see from
the Cosm web site at http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/cosm/. The design is all
ready to go, and several chapters of the documentation are well under way.
It is rapidly approaching the point where source development will go public
(the goal is May 1st). The next step is to finish off some more
documentation, the license, and a few more headers. The only thing holding
up progress at this point is the speed at which everything can be
Cosm development will be basically unaffected by the split with DCTI.
Progress will continue, and if all goes well, we'll have a working system
out a few months from now.
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to distributed.net over
the last 2 years. And I wish them the best of luck on whatever course they
decide to take.
- Adam L. Beberg
April 22, 1999
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