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Out-Geek the Geeks
2001-02-01 22:31:19


Digital Gar Gar Gar!
 
Last night I was at Denny's in Emeryville, and security guards wearing big uniforms, leather gloves, batons, and sidearms (45's maybe) seated us!! They weren't just standing around like normal security guards, they were the hosts.
-- Ratsnatcher

 

First there was distributed.net and their successful attempts to crack encrypted data with the power of thousands of idle CPUs. Then came SETI@HOME, which attempts to find extraterrestrial radio stations using the power of thousands of idle CPUs. Now we have Folding at Home, which attempts to increase our understanding of how proteins self-assemble using, you guessed it, the power of thousands of idle CPUs.

I'm not going to try to explain just what protein folding is or why understanding it is such a hot topic in biological circles. If you're really curious, go to the Folding at Home web site and read their explanation.

What I am going to say is that if you're going to donate your extra CPU cycles to a distributed processing project, why not pick one that is so strangely esoteric that you will completely baffle most people?

I'm not talking about the usual lunkheads that are easily baffable either, the ones who stare at the FAX machine wondering how the paper manages to be both here and somewhere else at the same time, but people who actually understand why breaking low-bit RSA is a worthwhile exercise and how the SETI project needs more CPU cycles. These people are HARD to baffle, and this project is just what you need to confuse and astound them. Aside from a few people who actually read Engines of Creation, no one will understand what it is you're doing with your computer, and that's what's really important, right?

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

maclisp@pigdog.org


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