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The Internet Has Lost Some Team Association 258

singularity writes "According to Nugget's plan at, some users have lost their team affiliation. I checked mine, and sure enough I needed to join team Slashdot again. As always, you can join's team after you have contributed your first blocks and have your password. "
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  • ...some of the team joins performed during the 27-Dec to 29-Dec...

    If I need to translate, that means only if you joined a team between December 27th, and December 29th.

    Is this really big news for slashdot???


  • A number of places bit the game as a sort of platform-vs.-platform contest, feeling that showing who can bust through the most blocks somehow indicates system superiority.

    Does team affiliation matter in the end, or is the greater goal the cooperative effort of so many people as members of

    Does anything I say matter in the end? Probably not. Just wondering, is all. :^)

  • Maybe it seems naive but why are teams necessary for or do they increase key rate processing any?
  • Actually, no:

    We tried to recover
    some of the team joins performed during the 27-Dec to 29-Dec and it
    looks like our code accidently unjoined a few people from their teams.

    All joins between 27-Dec and 29-Dec were lost, because the stats db was rebuilt.
    However, when they tried to recover the lost changes
    they accidentally unjoined other people from their teams.

    Still possibly not slashdot worthy in everyones opinion, but it's about time got another mention :)
    David Taylor
    [To e-mail me: s/\.spam//]
  • They aren't necessary. It is supposidely more fun to work together as a team. Acts as an incentive to process those keys I guess.

  • This is not big news for /. as nugget states in his .plan at only involves a small number of people, just because Hemos got affected it made news on /., this is what i belive happened, and it does not have to be the truth.

    "I might just go mad now and save sanity for later"
  • I can't see how the perl code for slashdot intersects this topic in the fact that maybe they both use perl.
  • Well now you're just repeating yourself. If you're going to cut-and-paste, at least wait until people have forgotten the exact wording of your last post.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • D. Taylor - Whoops, thanks for the correction... much appreciated.


  • Well I guess it is more important news than DCypher.Net [] bringing out clients for Linux and FreeBSD for the new Gamma Flux distributed computing project. That one was rejected twice.

    *sarcasm off*
  • I think that most people value the reasoning of people asking why and with what means. The question that people should ask is why is this necessary and important.
    I believe it was Socrates who said that "tge unexamined life is not worth living" or some such.

  • If people are affected, they wont loose blocks, everything is logged, so when they rejoin their team, the unasigned blocks that where processed get assigned to the team. NO BIG DEAL!

  • Are you boycotting Larry Wall or something? Slashdot could be a little faster, but who really cares? I think you're just trying to cause trouble.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I think I speak for everyone reading this thread when I say, "What?"


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • People the world over have usually found the need for vanity wheather it be in gold or silver or in rank. Basically this reduces the team standing and allows for Billy Bo Bob's 31337 team of W2k people to get ahead.
  • Why is this still needed? Haven't we verified that these encryptions can be broken through brute-force already? To continue doing it would seem to be wasteful exercise of cpu power, kinda like Sisypus pushing that stone up the hill, only to have it fall back down. Don't mean to upset any body, just wondering why?

  • I understand the original point was to show that 56-bit encryption wasn't enough, but RC5-64 is just not that interesting. (In fact, I could argue that this is proving that RC5-64 is more than adaquate, if they've only searched 17% of the keyspace in 2+ years of massive work).

    Why doesn't someone think up a better project for all of this computer power? Even Seti-at-home is pretty dull, since I don't really believe they know what they're looking for.

    Anyone have any better project ideas?


  • Actually, if a ID hasn't had a team attributed to it for 3 days, then that person re-joins a team, those last 3 days go to the team they join.

    ...therefore, bringing the 31337 skript kiddi3z back down on their kn33z...

    Unless, of course, they've installed the client on every computer in their Jr. High Computer Lab.


    1. Rewrite Slashdot in your language/tool of choice, demonstrate it can do everything /. can do and handle the load, and convince CT that your way really is better
    2. Put up or shut up. If you don't like /., why do you even come here?

  • I guess it works like this:

    people like me that love stats (and hang out in #distributed) are most likely to have a team, we put a lot of work in recruting new people (and our mothers and other relatives in RealLife(TM)) to get a higher ranking on stats.

    so if we did not have teams there would be less competition, and thus less people doing it.
    and we all know that the more people that join up (on my team) the better :)

    BTW SlicerAce is leet

  • I think the main point is that it's better than the nothing that those cycles would otherwise be doing. Slashdot did have an article on the Casino 21 [] project at one point. When / if it starts up, it will use distributed clients to run climate simulations. Check it out.

  • Distributed net has a new project in the works, OGR

    can be found at: OGR todo list []

    and some good information can be found at: Project OGR []

  • Wow, aren't you an annoying a$$hole.

    I've got a better idea, as a form of protest, you should boycott slashdot until they see you java way :)

    Why not start up a site of your own mr 3l33t coder, then you can show cmdrtaco up at his own game.

  • Well sir, if you know of a better way to do it,, then do it and PROVE that its better, else STFU.
    Thank You.

    Else i will refund you the money you paid for your slashdot membership.

  • Because people are so religious about their platform, this offers them a superficial way of proving it. The end result is that more people will probably join in, and more blocks will be completed.
  • Actually, when you are a lone (and powerless) voice in someone else's large forum, put up or shut up is a perfectly valid point.

    If you don't like the language too bad, you are just going to piss people off here and get moderated down for every whiny "java is great, woohoo!" post you make.

    If you are interested in making slashdot better, contribute intelligent discussion.


    ps. If you really are interested in convincing Malda to see your point of view, perhaps you should use a less insulting tone. These are the kind of things you learn after junior high.
  • Au contraire (is that how you spell it? :)

    I think that the RC-64 project has shown that even 64 bit encryption is inadequate. The idea that a bunch of basically personal computers, workstations, and servers could put that big a dent in the keyspace in two years is not very reassuring, considering that organizations that may attempt to break it for gain are not going to be using the same machines as we've got.

    They'll be using machines built for the singular purpose of cracking keys, rather than clumsy computers, that sometimes have 100% of their CPU available to the cracking effort, but at other times may disappear for days on end. And most importantly, each cracker will be multitudes of times faster, being that everything is in silicon, rather than being processed on (mostly) x86 processors...

    But, tell me this, besides exportable browsers and other software, what applications are using 128 bits these days? Not my bank, brokerage, etc.
  • Another ZDNet editor finds slashdot...

  • I have three questions.

    I was wondering, are the stats for RC5 messed up? I noticed in nuggets plan that they had problems and now they are saying that the issues are resolved?

    Why did decide to compete in csc? Do they need the money do to financial problems or some other reason?

    One last thing, I'm just curious why slashdot posts issues and announcements but will not post anything regarding Dcypher.Net? That just does not seem objective. It makes me wonder what other type of information we are not finding out about.
  • One thing you haven't done is demonstrate the technical merits Java might have over Perl.

    They are both interpreted languages - Perl compiles scripts into byte code just before execution just as Java does.

    From what I've seen, Java just adds more bloat and bugs to anything it touches.

    I think the major problem here is you see something *you* don't like. Despite the fact that many other thousands of users are quite happy with it, you feel the need to whine about it in a manner that causes annoyance - and ADDS to the the ``hundreds of thousands of bytes'' you must download.

    Further, without a hint of irony, you call your detractors ``juvinile''. A quick lession: Attacking the author instead of the issue only makes your point look foolish. Ad Hominem tactics never get you anywhere.

    In my own defense for attacking the author in this case - the authors credibility is now the topic at hand.

    If you're so intent on ``utilizing your right to express yourself'', why do you insist on hiding behind a mask of anonymity?

  • by Anonymous Coward has exhausted 89% of the keyspace in the CSC project. This means that either 1)we will find the key in less than five days or, more likely, 2) the key was missed due to an error in client code. If 2) is what actually happened, this will be a major detractor from as the project will have been a failure, and we will need to re-check the keyspace from the beginning. D'oh!
  • There are dozens of proven sites that do it better than slashdot.

    Then why aren't you there?

  • I've found skittles to occationaly contain meaningful, but I digress.

    What insightful, constructive points have you brought up besides
    1. slashdot should completly re-write their site in another language for the sole reason that I want to them to and
    2. CmdrTaco writes bad perl code.

    Yeah, you are right. It's tough to rise to that level of insightful conversation.


  • In DES-I we reached more than 90% of the keyspace, and still found the key

  • by Decibel ( 5099 ) on Sunday January 02, 2000 @11:46AM (#1415290) Journal
    I havn't had a chance to talk to Nugget yet, so I don't know what he saw or what reports he had, but I think that what happened is that all team joins for Dec. 30 were lost. Unfortunatly, we had no way to recover those, so anyone who joined a team or changed their team affiliation on Dec. 30 would be affected. IIRC, we saw about 10 people from Dec. 26-Dec. 29 who changed their teams, so this will probably affect only a very, very small number of people. Since I havn't talked to Nugget yet, there could be something else going on that I'm not aware of though.

    As others have pointed out, no blocks have been lost, and if you weren't on a team before, your blocks will all get assigned when you join the team of your choice (part of the nightly statsrun assigns any blocks for a given participant with a team ID of 0 to that participant's current team, assuming that their current team isn't 0).

    Sorry for the confusion. As other's have mentioned this really isn't a big deal. Of course, it never hurts to get mentioned on /. }:8)

  • If anyone even dares to about it that way, let me know... all it shows is what platforms are popular among supporters of

    If it showed anything else according to the real world, you'd see Windows machines dwarfing all others, for the simple fact that there's huge numbrs of them.... Macs would come in second, with linux having just made a huge run up to the #3 spot...

    That's not what it shows, though... So I don't think that anything beyond platform popularity of distibuted's audience can be statistcally relevant.
  • we decided to do CSC right after it was announced, As a "quickie" contest to give a nice short term objective, We would like to continue doing short ( 3 month) projects to allow for some variety and to appeal to differnt folks. we don't need money, as d,net will get at most 2000euros ( unless is picked at the charity, in which case the get 6000 and the #2 charity gets 2000). As you can see at we are not hurting at all for money.

    Next up is OGR ( optimal Golumb Rulers) and ECC ( elliptic curve Crypto), and we are looking at a couple of other projects including working with GIMPS
  • Simply calling people closed minded in a debate does not help your case in any way.

    My advice is to attempt to intelligently bring about change.

    Whining about perl and attacking Malda and co. in every article is akin to spraypainting "clinton sucks" on a freeway overpass. You might be right, but you show yourself to be incapable of expressing yourself effectivly, and you annoy people along the way. Not to mention that it is not going improve slashdot at all, it only makes is worse.


  • How about gimps []?
  • Now you are sounding like a different person. Not the same who posted this:

    If you can' handle java, and based on your flaky Perl coding, that is a good hunch, perhaps you can outsource to one of the Andover cronies.

    If you interested in bettering /. I suggest you begin using constructive criticism (as you claim) and provide us with some reasoning behind your arguements.

    Your previous NNTP point is valid, but what is your plan, to attack cmdrtaco until he does your bidding?


  • Yes Sybase ASE for Linux on a Linux box
  • My posting using my username shows that I believe enough in what I say to put my name behind it. It shows that enough thought has been put into it that I'm willing to stake my reputation behind it.

    Your remarks are nothing but inflammatory drivel.

    I hadn't stated that your concerns aren't valid - merely that your methods of expression are childish.

    You've made a blind suggestion without any technical backing or how your particular solution has merits over others. You've made allusions to ``other sites do it better'' without any references or demonstration. Further - you're unfamiliar with how the ``real'' Slashdot actually works - an experience that is quite limited to the maintainers themselves.

    It also seems that you lack the life experience to realize that repeating the same tired drivel doesn't make your point heard more - it just deafens the ears you hope might listen.

    You've yet to offer any constructive criticism, and that is where you fail.

  • We're not aware of any current issues with RC5 or CSC stats, other than this teams issue (teams are cross-project, so this problem will affect both RC5 and CSC stats).

    We started working on CSC not long after the contest was announced. I don't have the announcement handy, but I believe we announced we'd be working on it sometime in May or June of 1999. That announcement would probably have more details, but in a nutshell, we did CSC because it was relatively easy to add to our current network infrastructure, and because it would be a nice, quick contest that would serve as a nice break from RC5-64. Since we only keep 20% of the prize, I wouldn't say we really did it for financial reasons, not that $2k EURO is anything to sneeze at. }:8)

    As for posting Dcypher announcements, I will only mention that there have been several articles posted about Dcypher, and several articles posted about since Dcypher opened it's doors.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That OGR project has been 'coming soon' for so long that I wouldn't get too hopeful about ever seeing it start. Too bad, since it would be more useful than RC5 or CSC.
  • No, and I mever have. I have taken exception with the manner in which you bring these points up.
    I personally believe PHP would be a better way of dishing up dynamic content, but I'm not going to flame ./ to make that point.

    Personally, I believe slashdot has many more pressing problems like the flooding and the story submission system.


  • If it showed anything else according to the real world, you'd see Windows machines dwarfing all others, for the simple fact that there's huge numbrs of them.... Macs would come in second, with linux having just made a huge run up to the #3 spot...

    Not quite, if you go to [], you will see that while windows is indeed first, linux is #2, with the Mac at #5. But this is just the CSC contest--and csc cores have only really come out rather recently for the Mac (I think), so the numbers may be skewed. But the fact that the Mac is on there at all doesn't lend too much credence to that argument, especially given the margin between them.

    Now if only they would run the Platform/OS analysis for RC5... :-)

  • And your point is valid, however the offensive manner you started with automatically overshadowed it. I don't know what the problem is with the group that runs this site.
    I believe I speak for a lot of people as well when I say the "crusade" to better ./ that many have taken on is severly detracting from OUR experience. It's annoying when you have to wade through ./ sucks posts to read the stuff you want. The result is, unfortunatly, many of us now read at level 2 to just get posts that are revelant to the article.
  • Perhaps you are right, but I hope you see that posting flames in every article is going to hurt slashdot while you are trying to help it.
    Simply toning down the rant and adding facts to back up your arguement will go a long way to help bring about intelligent discussion, if you must post in every story.

  • Looking at the stats page, so far 88.8% of the CSC 56 bit challenge has been completed, and the correct key has not been found. With only five days left before the keyspace is exausted, I'm beginning to worry that somehow we may have missed it. If we get to the end and still haven't found it, what will we do? I'd hate to have to explain to those 15 thousand active participents that their processor time was wasted. What could have gone wrong? Forged blocks, an error in the algorithm, anything else?
  • ....when doing it "brute force" no longer pays. I do believe the 64bit challenge will be broken that way, but some bright young student of maths is going to take the 72 - 128bit challenges in one go!

    It may feel good to be part of a 'group effort' and some can (like floodnet, electrohippies, etc) can be so stubborn that i can do a 'strobe attack' to all the targets and accomplish single handedly what the whole group of 'surfers' (serfs?) attempt to do.

    I'd admit whoever gets the whole challenge deserves the Nobel Prize, but rest assured it will happen like this and in this decade! In closing, i'd be a bit suspucious of "seti@home" or other group efforts. As a matter of fact, it is general policy to not allow participation in any of this on my servers, that includes Napster, just another great waste of resources.
  • It might just be me, but I find it very difficult to listen to an Anonymous Coward.. I'm sure much of the /. community agrees with me.. Your points seem valid, but posting it under a story about as an Anonymous Coward makes much of the /. take your posts less seriously. Just my opinion..

  • Nope. I'm saying "Oh God! Not again!" But that's just me :) I think I'm going to turn off reparenting. The ACs and trolls of late are really starting to get on my nerves and I don't need some higher rated comment stimulating my interest.
  • Our true purpose is to promote wide-area distributed computing... encryption contests just happen to be the vehicle we've used to do that so far. OGR will be the first contest that breaks that mold.

    For those who are interested, I would suggest taking a peek at our mission statement [].

  • CSC Coming to an Unfortunate End?

    Not likely, there has been past projects where more than 90% of the keyspase has been searched, and still the key was found. here in CSC the keyspace is assigned randomly so the chance/risk of finding/missing the key is jus as big as in the start of the project.

    last night on #distributed nugget said:
    "[04:50] It's normal to start worrying at 90%. Doesn't mean it's "correct", but it is "normal". :)"

  • Ok your comments about NNTP really have little revelency with actual experience. Have you ever seen the actual nntp distribution system? It relies on servers that need to transfer several hundred gigs a day at the very least. Not only that but when you get right down to it you then could effectively block anonymity that you are so lavishly enjoying (most likely you are a person with already high karma) so that you can say whatever you want.
    The http/perl interface is the best for all around compatability issues when things like this are involved. Personally if your little plan does go into production taco better provide an interface that everyone can use and not just the elities. If not a little lawsuit under the ADA will be in order to correct the matter for the betterment of the community. I really find this intreesting that you can't even just post to items and then you can see if anyone has actually read your remarks and then posted back by using the user page.
    Even if you submit several thousand submissions a day only the last 50 will be counted and then you can see the responses to them. Another interesting fact I have used slow and low bandwitch connections at various locations and slashdiot works find and dandy in even the most low key setup. For starters you could change the HTML created to "lite" mode and that would most likely reduce the useless details of the posts to a minimum (in informal test that I have run preformance increased by at least 20-50%). So quite frankly quite your bitching and let us enjoy things the way we want ok?

  • is just flexing its muscles

    and OGR will start, DCTI is looking into short term (3 months) projects for the future. so if OGR wont start then another project will be found.

  • Gee when I took a class in communications for the work place they said the first and foremost people need contact information in order to actually get your point across. Taking the "clinton sucks" message reference it does not good for two reasons the second of which besides the fact that you are not addressing the person directly is that you are not making any credible measure of your point because you are implying that you need to hide because what you say is dangerous or stupid.
    Quite frankly I don't think Malda gives a pile of horse shit about what you say and neither do I. He owns creative liscence to that site and that is his affair. What anonymous cowards say in his forum is of little concern to him or almost anyone else. In fact I would think that because I have not seen evidence that slashdot can expire old and or unused accounts that one of the main reasons that anonymous coward posting (versus posting anonymously) was implimenting was because he didn't want his ewntire database filled with expired logins for microsoft stoolies.

  • The core problem here is that its 2 different rankings and as you state people wont do CSC because the are affraid of their RC5 rating.

    the sloution to this could be to make a single rating, so a work unit from either project would count.
  • You guys have been saying the OGR is right around the corner for a long time now. It is really starting to piss me off, because your announcement the you were going to do OGR basicly killed the existing OGR project, which probably would have been finished with 22-mark rulers by now. I just pray that you guys dont try to mess with GIMPS - the bulk of your stat-happy users will hate 6 month long work units and will probably abandon 90% of them, leaving us to sort through the mess.
  • yep, and their "announcement" killed the existing OGR project. Kind of like Microsoft pre-emptively announcing products to kill their competition. [] has lots of links to more scientifically interesting distributed projects.
  • /joke on

    I have it!
    I wrote it down on a pice of paper this morning, tho unfortunately i lost it again.

    i had it on a StickyNote(TM) sitting on my monitor, i guess my cubicle neighbour must have stolen it. :(

    i knew i should not have written "top secret key" on the note :(

    /joke off


  • Thanks for this clarification. Now I understand that this is only the beginning of a very ambitious project. Good luck guys!

  • Yeah but MS has a commercial intrest has not, and whoever works on OGR only helps (OGR not being a contest but a open project that anybody can work on at any speed)

    so it really does not matter is will do OGR or not. nobody can win in OGR and ther are no prize money!

    i think that says it all

  • To take your comments one at a time...

    because it was supposed to add stability and scalability that was not available in the NT/SQL config they had before.

    Statsbox II is more stable and scalable than Statsbox I. sbI was having more and more hardware issues. It was also a single Pentium 166 that was OC'd to 200MHz. sbII is currently a dual PII-300, and the motherboard should support any Slot 1 CPU. This mobo will also support up to 1G of RAM and currently has 1/2G installed. sbI was maxed out with 256M, iirc.

    Well, it's no faster. Crashes and corrupts just as often,

    Based on what measure? The RC5 statsrun dropped from over 6 hours with stats turned off to under 4 hours with stats left on. Even with the ever increasing RC5 statsrun time (it will keep getting longer until the project is done) and CSC stats, we're still finishing stats in less time than on sbI, and we're leaving HTTP access enabled durring the run.

    We've also had far less unexpected downtime with this setup than with sbI. In fact, I can't think of any hardware issues that have affected sbII. The current problem was caused by human error, read my .plan [] for more info.

    they have failed misserably at putting the functionality back into the stats pages.

    This is the only argument yake that holds any weight, as far as I can see, but I'd like to know what is missing other than all of the CPU/OS info that the old site had? Also please note that there is CPU/OS info available for CSC (see here [] and here []).

    Since I do more 'cause stats are cool than any other reason, it kinda pisses me off...

    You're certainly not the only participant who is a stats-junkie (I'm one myself). We do try and take stats very seriously, but unfortunately, there's only so much time in our days. Nugget, Bruce, and I are working on our next version of stats, which will be far more robust (and hopefully will include cross-project stats). Sometime in the future, we will also be looking to bring some more PHP and SQL folks on-board.

    I hope you can undertand how discouraging a post that is full of misinformation can be to those of us who are working to improve stats.
  • I originally posted the comment in question because my original join of Team Slashdot was made months ago (if not a year ago) and was lost. There may be more team-association losses than Decibel thinks.

    My account has been active 534 days (although that includes two retired accounts, the most recent account retired about six months ago, at least).

    If I had thought it was just people for a couple of days in Decemeber, I never would have submitted. But my experience leads me to believe that it is more that just that.

    And it never hurts to check and make sure you are on the team you think you are.

    In answer to some of the questions I see on here:
    No, joining a team in no way effects how quickly we crack keys. But isn't it nice to see Team Slashdot at the top of the overall rankings? I believe thatis how I first heard of Slashdot in the first place.

    You have a choice of many contests to run in. RC5 cracking is just one. But just because you do not run the client (or hate the idea of it) does not mean that others do not. Lay off a bit.

    I am runnning RC5 because the most recent version of the MacOS client does not want to see both of my processors no matter what I do. The old one does, and runs RC5 faster anyway.
  • Just like communism how is it moving anything forward?
    If you mean finite fine grained control for every possible function to be something that is advanced. You know I guess that their are two considerations here.
    1. Bandwidth that you have is limited
    2. NNTP solves the bandwidth problem by allowing you to access things at least as fast or at least competitively due to the lack of moving more data.
    Now in all the implimentations that I have seen of any newsgroup program you have an option to download headers and then you can look at the subject and determine what it says. If this is your argument then it is dead wrong. Try this experiment for me. Find a browser preferably some version of netscape because IE messes up the formatting. Find a story that is either scrolled off the page of stories in either standad but preferably on maxium stories for today and then save it as text.
    Go back and look at the actual difference between the text of the subject and the text of the article (in NNTP language the news body) you will see a striking difference between the actual content of the body and what is being discused.
    That plan would only usually use just having more user intervention and most likely almost the same download time. Having a high user threshold usually helps for downloads takig less time plus the other tips I have given in posts.
    As far as being a fool for replying well I guess I am but that is only because I have seen too many examples where people wanted to "improve" something and it just made things much, much worse that as Shakespeare said "it moves me to stand"
  • announcements don't kill other projects. It's too bad that the existing OGR project decided to pack their bags... but laying blame on someone else?

    I'd think slashdotters are used to holding strong to an underdog. Like someone's just going to quit working on some app for Linux just because some other company announces they are going to make it for Windows?

    You get the anology.

    Secondly, supports distributed computing efforts as a whole, not just their own. See their Mission Statement [] where they say "...we will advocate distributed computing..." implying as a whole, not just themselves. Their mission is to do things " the advancement of distributed computing..." not just

    Thirdly, even credits the Origional Effort [] on their OGR Page []... and in no way told the origional effort to stop what they were doing.


  • Guess that means that Windows is better than all other OSes combined, eh? :)

    It's funny. Laugh. Just don't moderate it as funy, because it's not really thatfunny.
  • perl creates huge executables. it's disgusting. give me C++ anyday of the week.
  • why is it ignorant? i ran perlcc on a very basic program and it was 500k. the same program in C++ was 12k.
  • Does she sound like this?

    "Ooh, do me, you coward!"

    "If you were a *real AC*, I wouldn't have to look at you when we do this!"


  • All that's clear is that you can't tell the difference between a hole in your head and a hole in your ass, since you're blending together two protocols plus one programming language in your blathering little rants. Why don't you explain what the fundamental problem with HTTP is that makes it completely unsuitable for Slashdot? Why don't you explain what the fundamental problem with HTML is that makes it completely unsuitable for Slashdot? Why don't you explain what the fundamental problem with mod_perl/Apache is that makes it completely unsuitable for Slashdot? And why don't you explain why millions of other sites work just fine?

    Not that he's not a nutfuck, of course, but it really would be convenient to be able to read /. using, say, slrn (I'm thinking slrn's scoring/killfiling abilities, here)

  • It's a nice idea, but I prefer to see results in the same year that I join the project...
  • You guys have been saying the OGR is right around the corner for a long time now.
    It's true, has been, um, somewhat slow at getting OGR going. Most of the initial work was not actually OGR-related, but reworking the client to support contest types other than brute force crypto cracking. There were a lot of subtle assumptions that needed to be changed for OGR.

    The other chunk of work was the master server and proxy network - we want this to be fully automatic and not require any more work on the user's end than RC5 or CSC requires today (that is, nothing except saying "yes, I want to help with this project"). If you've ever run the original OGR client, you'll know what I'm talking about.

    Finally, the announcement that we would be searching for OGRs did not "kill" the original OGR effort. Mark et al discontinued the search after the 23 mark ruler for various reasons unrelated to

    Currently, the OGR client is nearly ready to go with the exception that there is an elusive bug that causes the client to hang for no apparent reason. The source code is available at so if you'd like to try to track it down, feel free.

  • His points might be valid, but after seeing the results (nested, highest scores first, -1), I have come to the conclusion that making /. more like a newsreader or one-on-one discussion forum would be a WrongThing(TM). A better way of doing the WrongThing(TM) is NOT an improvement. Slashdot is doing very well, thank you.
  • by ToLu the Happy Furby ( 63586 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @03:31AM (#1415489)
    I think I've finally had it with

    Anyone who's been following their .plans [] for the past month and a half or so knows that this is just the latest in a ridiculous string of fuckups. While they haven't lost any blocks (yet), they've had stats down for days at a time, screwed up participant ID's, and misplaced and miscounted blocks left and right. True, none of these incidents has been too big a deal, but when you have to check the .plans every day just to make sure you still belong to the same team, something's amiss.

    Wait--did I say this was the latest in their string of fuckups? Well guess what--as several hours had passed without a new bug report coming out of, wouldn't you know it, now it turns out that they haven't actually completed 91% of the CSC project after all. []

    Yep, you read that correctly. Oh, but don't worry--it's not a bug, it's a feature. For those of you who won't take the time to click on the last link, here's how dbaker's latest .plan update begins:

    As we near the 100% mark of CSC keyspace completion, I think it's
    time to explain what that CSC statistics mean, and how they are

    It is perhaps a common misconception that each CSC work unit
    completed is unique...

    He goes on to describe the fact that they've implemented redundancy checking to weed out hacked clients with the CSC project--a very good if a bit overdue move (although perhaps they could have disclosed this earlier?)--and that they've decided to give everyone full credit for all their blocks, even redundant ones--also a good idea--and so therefore there's obviously absolutely no way that they could avoid the actual keyspace being more than 100% of the reported "keyspace". Obviously. And this was the plan all along. Which is why they even wrote up not one but two new scripts which (falsely) calculate that the "keyspace" will be exhausted in only 2 days now. Obviously.

    And of course it's perfectly fine that they just hoped that the project would get solved before it his 100%, so that they wouldn't have to inform their users that they've implemented redundancy checking. And no, they're not going to tell us how many percents are actually in the keyspace (105%? 110%?), or how many days it will actually take before we check all the keys and get to find out if they've somehow managed to fuck up yet again. Why should we be entitled to know silly information like that??

    Meanwhile, [] has sprung up, and, in only a couple months, and with what certainly seems to be fewer people working for them than has debugging their database they've:

    come out with a CSC client which is 250% faster than distributed (on x86, at least).

    Yes, that's 2.5 times as fast.

    had stats which (gasp!) don't break or have new bugs in them every couple days and (gasp!) don't have a 2 hour scheduled downtime to update every night and even (gasp!) update in real time, almost like real databases do!

    started the Gamma Flux project which, while not personally my cup of tea, is certainly the first distributed computing project which is actually useful (it helps calculate ideal containment solutions for nuclear waste).

    promised to pass on the entire share of the CSC winnings to the person who wins, as opposed to's 20% (10% if you join a team).

    But what finally pissed me off the most was reading this post [] earlier in this thread from Decibel at, in response to an admittedly pretty hostile post [] from Armin Lenz at, in which he has the gall to imply that dcypher shouldn't have done CSC at all because distributed had "announced" that they intended to work on it soon after the contest was announced, way back in May. Of course, Decibel doesn't mention the fact that they didn't launch the project until November 17, 2 weeks *after*, and only then with a broken client (yes, a brute force program that's 2.5 times slower than it should be is certainly broken), and that they haven't even *released* a finished client for the Mac!

    And furthermore, he doesn't even understand that making the argument that "we announced first" isn't likely to garner too much respect at /. Guess what, Decibel--there's a word for preannouncing programs months before you plan to release them so as to scare off any potential competitors. It's called "FUD", and it's a particularly disgusting kind; in fact, even Microsoft's backed off a bit from that sort of thing lately.

    And despite all that, he still says "we did CSC because it was relatively easy to add". Well I'd hate to see how badly they can screw up a project that's a little "hard".

    I'm hoping I won't get the chance with OGR. Despite everything, I think OGR is a pretty cool project, and I just might be persuaded to stick with if they (finally) come out with their OGR client, and it works, and isn't orders of magnitude slower than competing clients, and they fix their stats and get their act together. I suppose in the end I was always a sucker for the moo.

    But distributed has a lot of lost trust to earn back.

  • If he continues to ignore us, some of us may become inspired enough to do "slashdot" the right way.

    This is my usual suggestion to people who bitch about slashdot. The MAJORITY of people here enjoy this site the way it is, sure there are some cosmetic improvements that could be made, but most of us are happy for the forum that is provided for us, free of charge.
    The owners of this site are right not to bow down to a vocal minority, especially when that vocal minority constantly floods the forum, posts rambling complaints without solutions, and sersonally attacks the owners and users of this site.

    I'm not saying you are doing all of this, but this is the company you are being grouped in with. Unless the "slashdot reformers" learn to grow up, they will not effect change at all.

  • and that they haven't even *released* a finished client for the Mac!

    Interesting you mention this, since did recently release a new Mac client (finally), one that is capable of running CSC. However, what is ironic is that you promote dcypher, which I would love to run, but a quick look at their clients [] shows no MacOS client, nor even a LinuxPPC client. In fact, it does not seem that they have a non-x86 platfom mentioned.

    For a web page that so often has such an anti-monopoly, anti-Wintel stance, Slashdot's hatred of Distributed and love of Dcypher seems strange.

    You mention that Dcypher is running CSC about 2.5 times faster than Distributed, but fail to mention that Distributed has RC5 running about twice as fast on Altivec-based MacOS machines. Can you imagine a Dcypher-based, Altivec-aware CSC client? Well, it will take imagination since they do not have one.

    Yes, I realize that Dcypher is working with only a few coders and is trying to get a Mac client out the door, but at the rate they are going at, do you really thing they will get one out before CSC is done?

  • I have been using distributed net clients on many platforms since they have been around. I have to say that when I first joined they had vision, and their client on every platform known to man working on one big project was a great idea. Then something happened. Adam Beberg left. I don't know the man, but I do know that is the point died. Adam left to pursue the v3 (version 3) client scheme he had come up with. Basically you can write your own core for whatever project you are working on. The whole thing is GPLd. You can contribute to the CVS archive if you want. The url is When this is finished people will be able to use distribued clients for things like rendering graphics, nuclear research, etc, etc. Why buy a beowulf cluster when there are millions of PIIIs chugging away at 0.00001% of CPU time used while people type? Save the money and make a NOW (network of workstations).

  • >and that they haven't even *released* a finished
    >client for the Mac!

    Interesting you mention this, since did recently release a new Mac client (finally), one that is capable of running CSC. However, what is ironic is that you promote dcypher, which I would love to run, but a quick look at their clients shows no MacOS client, nor even a LinuxPPC client. In fact, it does not seem that they have a non-x86 platfom mentioned.

    You're right. I missed the fact that actually released a final client and not the buggy and barely workable beta clients they'd let the Mac users have as a stopgap measure. Still, the fact that CSC had already hit 85% completion by that time (whatever 85% means in land) says something.

    You mention that Dcypher is running CSC about 2.5 times faster than Distributed, but fail to mention that Distributed has RC5 running about twice as fast on Altivec-based MacOS machines. Can you imagine a Dcypher-based, Altivec-aware CSC client? Well, it will take imagination since they do not have one.

    Yes, I realize that Dcypher is working with only a few coders and is trying to get a Mac client out the door, but at the rate they are going at, do you really thing they will get one out before CSC is done?

    No, I'm sure they won't get one out before CSC is done...but you have to realize two things. First off, not only does dcypher have fewer coders, and no Macintoshes to work on (anyone at Apple want to lend them one?), but they have so far done a much better job than distributed of actually optimizing the hell out of their clients--hence 2.5 times as fast--which, of course, means it takes longer to write a port for a completely different architecture. But more importantly, unlike, they didn't already have a mac client to upgrade. Updating an existing client to support a new contest, and completely writing an entire client from scratch, are simply not comparable tasks. I'd wager that dcypher supports more OS/architecture configurations now than did 2 months after launch, and that they'll continue to expand their list as quickly as they can.

    For a web page that so often has such an anti-monopoly, anti-Wintel stance, Slashdot's hatred of Distributed and love of Dcypher seems strange.

    Here we really disagree. (For one thing, I fail to see how you can identify dcypher as a "monopoly" and distributed presumably as the nimble and superior underdog, but I digress.) First off, if I were to characterize what /. really supports, it wouldn't be Linux, or alternate platforms, or even open-source--and it certainly wouldn't be "anti" anything. Rather, I frequent /. because the community seems to promote above all solutions that work, no matter if they're the most popular. By this criteria, /.'s continued support of distributed over dcypher (and yes, when /. posts a bug report for distributed, but doesn't post the existence of an entirely new project for dcypher, they're supporting distributed) is pretty hard to defend.

    While I really really want to like distributed, and they're certainly the pioneer in the field, they've simply screwed up too many times recently to be considered a solution that works. And even without the screwups, I have to say that doesn't meet the "/. test" of something that works. Their CSC core, despite being months late, simply does not work--when speed is the only relevent criteria, 40% == broken. And their stats, which are the core of their webpage, even if they managed to be accurate, are similarly broken: once a day updates that require 2 hours of downtime are simply not acceptable. And it's been months and months since they announced that they'd do OGR, killing the existing project--and there's still no OGR core in sight.

    When an upstart project with 1 client coder and 1 web coder can produce a product which fixes all three of these ridiculous flaws--substandard cores, once-a-day stats, and preannounced new projects that take a year to be released--then that really says something.

    Even if they do run their website on IIS.
  • Wow, impressive.

    The guy that everyone is bashing on, actually has a valid point.

    Slashdot has gone down hill in the last year. I used to enjoy coming here to see what's going on, but now it's just a waste of time.

    I find myself checking this site fewer and fewer times each week.

    Let's face it, open forums with anonymity causes chaos. Every environment needs some sort of order to it, and slashdot has none.

    (Yes, my threshold is set to 1, and I still read a bunch of crap. Setting it to 2 just makes the threads incohesive.)
  • "As bad as.." ?

    What a tragic state you have come to, in the United States, if you think proper litterate discourse is "putting on airs." Or this just another EyeDeeTenTee error?

    I'm glad this AC is allowed to express his opinion, and I'm glad he has some education of the litterary sort. If you don't want to see him, get an account and increase your browse level.
  • I'm not sure what the AC has in mind, but I've always liked Phorum [].
  • akin to spraypainting "clinton sucks"

    I thought we all agreed it was Lewinski doing the sucking. At least, that's what I got from the findings of fact..
  • So what? Malda's still shown us his code and you haven't shown us yours.

    Rob's not put a new Slash Code up on the code page sine 1998.

    I'm very tempted to pull GPL on his ass and force him to release code.
  • Am I the only one finding this "Battle of the ACs -- No Holds Barred!" thread hillarious!?
  • If he continues to ignore us, some of us may become inspired enough to do "slashdot" the right way.

    Some people already have worked on rebuilding a Slashdot-like engine from scratch. Take a good look at squishdot []. Squishdot is not implemented in Perl (good for quick hacks, ideal for small text processing jobs, unweildy for much else) or Java (bondage and discipline language far too platform dependant ("write once run anywhere" - on a few select platforms)) but instead in Python (not very fast at run-time, but development is fast and code is readable).

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