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Grad Student Project Uses Wikis To Stash Data, Miffs Admins 268

Posted by timothy
from the going-on-the-beg-forgiveness-principle dept.
Anonymous writes "Two graduate students at the Ivy League's Brown University built a P2P system to use abandoned wiki sites to store data. The students were stealing bandwidth from open MediaWiki sites to send data between users as an alternative to BitTorrent. There was immediate backlash as site operators quickly complained to the University. The project appears to be shutdown, but many of the pages still remain on the web. The project homepage was also taken down and the students posted an apology this afternoon." The same submitter links to two different forum discussions on the project.

Comment: Re:Interesting/Disappointing (Score 1) 120

by LargeWu (#27241021) Attached to: The Realities of Selling Independently Developed PC Games

"Nope not at all, I mean producing a decent product at a sensible price."

Your point is moot, because it would still get pirated. You can't tell me $10 is not an acceptable price for many good music albums, however you define good, yet they still get pirated like crazy.

"Morals are defined by the masses, and if the masses support something as being an acceptable activity (which judging by the scale of piracy it is) then it cannot be defined as morally wrong except on a personal level."

So until slavery became illegal in the US, it was morally correct?

I'm so sick of all these straw-man arguments that get thrown around all the time, like those who pirate games and music are engaged in some noble fight. If you would all just be honest with yourselves and admit that you're just a bunch of cheapskates who don't want to pay, I'd have a lot more respect for your argument.

Comment: Re:Twitter has economic value? (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by LargeWu (#27041681) Attached to: Facebook Nearly Added Twitter To Friends List

I'll say it again, this is EXACTLY what happened about 10 years ago. Investors started throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at websites without bothering to contemplate the fact that they didn't have a business model, and most of them failed for obvious reasons.

Consider also, that even if Twitter does start to accept advertising, nobody is going to see it. Why? Because a lot of Twitter users (most?) use 3rd party clients, especially the hardcore users. And you know everybody is going to use clients that don't bother them with ads.

Comment: Twitter has economic value? (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by LargeWu (#27041347) Attached to: Facebook Nearly Added Twitter To Friends List

Last time I checked, Twitter was free to use and does not have advertising. In other words, its income cannot be anything more than a trivial amount. It's true value is probably a lot closer to $0 than to $500 million.

This is how the dot.com boom of the 90's happened. Users != revenue or profitability.

Comment: Re:From TFA (Score 1) 462

by LargeWu (#26888445) Attached to: Casinos Warn iPhone Card-Counting App is Illegal

It's not illegal to own. That said, I don't think I would walk into a casino with this loaded on my iPhone. If casinos suspect you of cheating, or even counting, they will use any pretext to hassle you or even prosecute you as aggressively as possible. Just being in possession of this on a casino floor is a bad idea.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 1088

by LargeWu (#26829015) Attached to: Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College

What you're describing though is a failure of individuals, not of the ability to disseminate information. The electoral college doesn't do anything to solve this problem.

Why? Because most people have a lot more information about elected officials on the national level than they do locally. I couldn't tell you who the mayor of my city is, much less what his or her politics are, but I know who every congressional rep is for my state. And I've at least heard of most senators and know their political leanings. It's just a matter of information being available.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 1088

by LargeWu (#26828453) Attached to: Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College

No, that's not the idea of the electoral college. Here's the idea:

Back in the day when this was conceived, rural farmer Jim Q. Hatfield in southern Georgia didn't know who many of the candidates were, especially those from, say, Boston. But he did know who two of Georgia's electors were, John Smith and Frank McCoy, because they lived nearby. He liked John Smith, but didn't trust that McCoy fellow, who was a dirty cur and a northern sympathizer. So Jim Hatfield would cast his vote for John Smith with the knowledge that John Smith would then vote for a presidential candidate that represented his interests.

The electoral college has nothing to do with populated areas v. rural areas. It's an outdated system based on the premise that most people don't have enough information about candidates on the national level. This has clearly run its course.

Comment: He must be doing something right (Score 1) 356

by LargeWu (#25877765) Attached to: Anathem

If you don't have both people that love and hate your work, then you're not doing anything interesting. Haven't read it yet, since I've got a few other books in my queue, including Sytem of the World, which is next on my list and will probably take me at least 6 months anyway. But I am LOVING the fact that there is a significant group here complaining it's overlong, wordy, etc., because while those books can be challenging and tedious at times, they often pay off. So far the Baroque Cycle has done that for me, and I'm hoping for more of the same with SOTW and Anathem.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire

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