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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the government-should-mind-their-own-business dept.
mattie_p writes "MIT students won a hackathon last November with a non-functioning demo of Tidbit. The concept is to replace web advertising revenue with a tiny amount of Bitcoin mining on the user's browser. Out of the blue, the students were hit by a subpoena from the New Jersey Attorney General demanding that the founders 'turn over sensitive information including source codes, hosting websites, and all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit.'

At first MIT council referred the students to legal assistance from the EFF, who quickly came to their defense. Now there is a petition going around requesting the MIT administration support the students directly. Parallels are being drawn to Aaron Swartz, possibly because one of the authors of the recent petition is Prof. Hal Ableson, although details of the two cases have very little in common.

MIT President Reif has now come out strongly in support of the students--and in favor of academic freedom from interference by government."
 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by bopal on Monday February 17 2014, @02:44PM

    by bopal (321) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:44PM (#743)

    If your page has 1000 users per day that can mine at 5Mhash/s (assuming CPU mining, tidbit uses an asm.js miner),
    you have a hash rate of 5Ghash/s per day. Let every user mine for 10 seconds and according to you have 5.20USD of revenue.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @02:51PM

    by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:51PM (#747)

    Out of curiosity, does anyone how out much 1000 users are likely to net per day on average using ads?

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:14PM

      by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:14PM (#762)
      According to this article [forbes.com], it looks like the ARPU (average revenue per user) goal is around $2. If $5.20 is the daily revenue, $1.90 would be your ARPU ($5.20 * 365 days / 1000 users). Seems like a viable alternative if your calculations are anywhere near correct.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by githaron on Monday February 17 2014, @03:23PM

        by githaron (581) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:23PM (#767)

        It seems that right now, their implementation is fairly inefficient (1 penny per 24 hours run [venturebeat.com]). They are apparently planning on tapping into WebGL in order to move to GPU processing.