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posted by martyb on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:38PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Can-we-make-the-Top-400-by-Halloween? dept.

It has only been six short months since SoylentNews' Folding@Home team was founded, and we've made a major milestone: our team is now one of the top 500 teams in the world! We've already surpassed some heavy hitters like /. and several universities, including MIT. (But now is not the time to rest on our laurels. A certain Redmond-based software producer currently occupies #442.)

In case you aren't familiar with folding@home, it's a distributed computing project that simulates protein folding in an attempt to better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's and thereby help to find a cure. To that end, SoylentNews' team has completed nearly 16,000 work units.

If you'd like to contribute to our team by donating some spare CPU/GPU cycles, you can get started here. There are clients available for Linux, Windows, and OSX. Once you have installed the software, enter the TeamID 230319 to join us.

Feel free to join #folding on our IRC channel if you need any help, or just want to chat.

Thank you to all that have participated, and a special thanks to our top 10 folders:

  1. cmn32480
  2. Runaway1956
  3. Beldin65
  4. tibman
  5. LTKKane
  6. EricAlbers_ericalbers_com
  7. Kymation
  8. meisterister
  9. kurenai.tsubasa
  10. NotSanguine

Related Links:
http://folding.stanford.edu
http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=230319


Original Submission

Related Stories

Folding@Home - Team SoylentNews About to Reach a Milestone! 18 comments

[Folding@Home is a distributed computing project that takes advantage of otherwise idle computing resources on volunteer's computers to simulate how proteins fold and thus guide progress to finding a cure to diseases such as: Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers. --martyb]

Back in February of this year, one of our site's members Sir Finkus introduced our community to Folding@Home with this story:

I've taken the liberty of setting up an official folding@home team for SoylentNews. In case you aren't familiar with folding@home, it's a distributed computing project that simulates protein folding in an attempt to better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's.

There is more information on the project here , which explains it much better than I could.

Clients are available for Linux, OSX, and even Windows (if you swing that way), so come join our botnet!

That Other Site's team is ranked at 1817, so we've got some catching up to do.

On a personal note, my Dad carries the gene markers for Huntington's disease, and will eventually succumb to it. Research like this is very helpful for understanding, and hopefully developing treatments for it.

tl;dr Our Soylent News team ID is 230319

We are pleased to announce that our SoylentNews Folding@Home team is now approaching the top 500 spot! Our team size has plateaued, but new members are welcome at any time. To put this milestone in perspective, since the time when the team started in mid-Februrary of this year, we have overtaken 229,814 teams!

We even have a channel, #folding, on IRC.

Official Stats:
http://fah-web2.stanford.edu/teamstats/team230319.html
http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=230319

Better Stats at:
Team Summary
Teams Overall Rank
Overtake Projections - Teams Ranked 501-600
Overtake Projections - Teams Ranked 499-500

Related Coverage:
Soylent News has a Top 1000 Folding@Home Team!
Huntington's Disease: University of Toronto Researcher is First to Share Lab Notes in Real Time


Original Submission

Folding@Home Joins Fight Against SARS-CoV-2; New Folders Prompty Drain Work Unit Queue 38 comments

Don't worry; they'll make more.

[Editor's preface: SoylentNews has a Folding@Home team (#230319) As of this writing, SoylentNews.org is ranked at number 210 in the entire world! My current Core 2 Duo laptop would do little to support the effort compute-wise, so I assist as best I can by cheerleading, communicating our team's progress, and similar activities. We have a channel on our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server "#folding" where there is sporadic discussion about progress. Check out the list of previous stories at the bottom of this story... to get involved, just mention it in the comments and come join our team!

If you are wondering what in the world F@H is, Wikipedia has a nice summary of Folding@Home . And, of course, there is F@H's "About" page, too. --martyb]

Intro:
If you are a Folding@Home (F@H) contributor, you may have noticed that you aren't getting your normal allotment of work units. It appears to have started some time Friday, March 13. The root cause? Schools shutting down around the United States.

Looking for Work [Units]:
Kids are scared (some more, some less) of the Coronavirus, they read something somewhere about efforts such as F@H that are working on curing various diseases. Those kid's gaming rigs are exactly what F@H and other similar research groups need. And, some of these kids have machines that most of us would envy! A well-built gaming machine is simply awesome!

https://foldingforum.org/viewforum.php?f=61

That forum is filled with "newbs" trying to figure out how to set up F@H on their machines, and then complaining that they can't get a work unit.

This post, specifically, explains that the huge influx of volunteers has depleted the available work units. https://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=32424 Apparently, on Friday, the staff filled the WU servers' caches with the normal weekend's amount of WU's and they were gone by early Saturday morning. Someone volunteered to work on Saturday to refill the caches, which were promptly emptied out again.

One of the posts on the F@H forum suggests that F@H has about 4 times the number of folders that it had a week ago.

What to do?
If you find yourself unable to download a WU, take a look at the log. You will probably find complaints,
"No WUs available for this configuration" and/or "Port 8080 unreachable, trying port 80" and/or "no http service available".

Those and more are all related to the fact that the servers are being hammered by half a zillion school kids who are looking for something useful to do with their time, and their computers.

Be patient, and just let your client work through it. It will eventually download a work unit, crunch it, and return it.

Official Statement:
Straight from the F@H project: Coronavirus – What we're doing and how you can help in simple terms – Folding@home

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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:45PM (#393956)

    Hey, it runs on Linux. That's great because otherwise nobody here would use it! I just have one question though. Where do you find the nigger penguins to harvest their piss?

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Subsentient on Sunday August 28 2016, @04:39AM

      by Subsentient (1111) on Sunday August 28 2016, @04:39AM (#394100) Homepage Journal

      Up your mom's cheesy infected pussy and around the corner.

      --
      Trying is the first step towards failure. -The Click
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @09:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @09:42AM (#396976)

      If you weren't such a lazy, ignorant moron, you'd know the answer to this question. If you'd rather waste time posting shitty comments on the interwebs than improving yourself, then go ahead, it isn't like your stupid comments will actually offend anyone anyway.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:47PM (#393957)

    Do the results get published openly and freely or do they get kept in secret or behind paywalls.

    I used to do that SETI thing until I learned that the organization will first contact the government and perhaps get their permission before releasing any results. That's not acceptable, why should I dedicate my CPU usage to something for someone else to reap the benefits exclusively and to then decide what they wish to release on their terms.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @03:57PM (#393958)

      All of these distributed computing projects are social clubs. You don't donate CPU time to do actual work, you donate CPU time to get notoriety and get groupies. Protein folding is secret code for blowjobs. All of science works under cover of innuendo. You don't think they're actually finding a cure, do you??

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @08:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @08:46PM (#394033)

      Had to dig deep, but I found:

      Who “owns” the results? What will happen to them?
      Folding@home is run by an academic institution (specifically the Pande Group, at Stanford University’s Chemistry Department), which is a nonprofit institution dedicated to science research and education. We will not sell the data or make any money from it. Moreover, we will make the data available for others to use. In particular, the results from Folding@home will be made available on several levels. Most importantly, analysis of the simulations will be submitted to scientific journals for publication, and these journal articles will be posted on the web page after publication.

      Following the publications of these scientific articles, we will make the raw data of the folding runs available to other researchers upon request. The data sets from some of our most prominent simulations are already publicly available. We’ve also striven to share our key technologies with other scientists, to assist their research as well.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @03:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @03:03AM (#394085)

        Thanks for that.

        That's still kinda vague, no?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @07:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @07:18AM (#394121)

        This is something they say but at least it used not to be true. Their excuse was the large amount of data and that they "were trying" to make it public. There was a thread about this hidden on their forums 10 years ago when I took a glance at this project. Didn't seem like a priority back then.

        Whats a little lie between friends if it keeps donations rolling in. Such hoarding might have something to do with publish or perish...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:04PM (#393959)

    LOSERS!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:10PM (#393964)

      I am reluctant to sign up because I have a current account going back over 10 years and am in the top 1% in the world as a result, all from the results of PCs I owned one time or another... I don't really feel like sharing the fruits of so many electricity bills with people I just met...

      • (Score: 2) by ticho on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:34PM

        by ticho (89) on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:34PM (#393970) Homepage Journal

        You would only "share the fruits of so many electricity bills" with them if your work actually happened to contribute to finding a cure that could be applied to whatever might be ailing these people you just met, or their loved ones. Anything else, points, standings, is just dick-measuring contest.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:47PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:47PM (#393971) Journal

          And so what is the down side of that?

          If you don't care about thee electricity usage and it has the potential, with zero guarantee of finding something useful, who cares if a dick gets measured along the way?

          You don't have to ever look at the standings if you don't care.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by ticho on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:56PM

            by ticho (89) on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:56PM (#394004) Homepage Journal

            I'm not saying there is a downside to that. :) I was merely reacting to the guy too proud of his folding@home dick size to join a team.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:15PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:15PM (#393976) Homepage Journal

        There are several things you can do.

        Not join our team, and stay with your current team, if any.

        Join our team, and bring your points with you.

        Join our team under an alias - all you need do is use a different donor name, and generate a new passkey.

        I'm happy that a fellow Soylentil is doing something for science. You may or may not contribute to our team, and that is perfectly fine. They ARE your computers, after all.

        I believe that if I were in the top 1%, I'd be very reluctant to change anything about my status.

        --
        Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Sunday August 28 2016, @08:03PM

        by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday August 28 2016, @08:03PM (#394313) Journal

        I have a current account going back 6 months, and am also in the top 1%.

        According to the stats, there are 1,837,242 users enrolled.

        The top 1% would be anyone ranked under 18,372.

        Unless I have seriously pooched the math, our top 4 team members are ALL in the top 1%.

        --
        "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Justin Case on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:10PM

    by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:10PM (#393963) Journal

    1. Link to https://folding.stanford.edu/ [stanford.edu] for FSM's sake, not http!

    2. Site expects to take control of my computer (JavaShit) before giving me any reason to trust them, or even why that should be necessary. (HTML still works, you know.)

    3. Speaking of trust, if I give my CPU over to someone else's code how do I know they're just going to fold proteins? I would imagine this is open source... right??? but the first web page provides no such information, just a breathless "Download here!" which is, again, only available via JavaShit.

    Not getting off to a good start here...

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:19PM (#393966)

      Some of the different BOINC programs actually prefer if you run them in a VM. That way, it is not only more secure for the user, it allows server farms to run them on their idle machines and gives the program a more consistent environment to run in.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:20PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:20PM (#393977) Journal

        Bad enough dedicating your cpu or gpu, but dedicating the necessary resources to emulate an entire OS seems a bit over the top.

        It would be one thing if it were a tiny Free-Dos VM, but usually they want access to your GPU, as well as your CPU(s) and some way to measure the user workload on the machine so as to get out of the way when you are busy. A Virtual Machine just makes all that stuff harder.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @07:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @07:09PM (#394008)

          They aren't really that much bigger than the software itself. The reason is that with a VM, they know exactly the "hardware" it is running on and what software is needed. Therefore, they can cut out all the crap and just use the minimum. Additionally, most projects on BOINC don't actually use the GPU, either due to memory constraints or lack of the proper type of parallelism. In addition, you can still control the load and whatnot, as a supervisor can pause VMs and use other rate limiting.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:22PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:22PM (#393980) Homepage Journal

      On my computer, I added a repository, then did ~ # equo install sci-biology/foldingathome

      On my secondary computer, I didn't even need to add any special repository - # apt-get install foldingathome

      On Windows, you don't have a "trusted repository", so you have to make up your mind whether you trust foldingathome.

      The forum may be helpful, if you have questions - https://foldingforum.org/ [foldingforum.org]

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:26PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @05:26PM (#393982) Homepage Journal

      In my response to you, I missed the moderation as flamebait. I resent that someone modded you as such. Your concerns are legitimate, and they deserve a legitimate response.

      All I can say is, I trust FAH not to be running malware in the background. I'm not sure how far I can trust FAH to release information to the public, without charging for it. So, I trust them, up to a point.

      If I'm a sucker, well, I'm in good company. A lot of pretty smart people are running the software.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:59PM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:59PM (#394006) Journal

        Thanks for the support and info. I did find the forum but not a link to the source code or a discussion of their security thinking. Maybe if I dig further, but really, they're trying to sell me on helping, so they should be the ones making the effort to demonstrate their trustworthiness, not me.

        I don't truly suspect them of intentionally bundling malware with the client, but just through carelessness, their software could easily expand a user's attack surface. If they are (a) honest and (b) competent they should be out front with evidence of their thinking in this area.

        And I don't mind the flamebait mod.. much... I take comfort in the knowledge that whoever classifies security considerations as flamebait will soon fall victim to a breach. :)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by NotSanguine on Saturday August 27 2016, @07:10PM

          by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Saturday August 27 2016, @07:10PM (#394010) Homepage Journal

          Thanks for the support and info. I did find the forum but not a link to the source code or a discussion of their security thinking. Maybe if I dig further, but really, they're trying to sell me on helping, so they should be the ones making the effort to demonstrate their trustworthiness, not me.

          Et voila! [berkeley.edu]

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @03:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @03:50AM (#394090)

            FYI: Folding@Home doesn't use BOINC. They've rolled their own multiple times, despite outreach by the people at BOINC.

            • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Sunday August 28 2016, @04:04AM

              FYI: Folding@Home doesn't use BOINC. They've rolled their own multiple times, despite outreach by the people at BOINC.

              And so it is [berkeley.edu]. My mistake. Apologies for any confusion.

              To clarify parent's point, the following is from the FAH FAQ [stanford.edu]:

              FAH is built from several open source tools, namely Gromacs (http://www.gromacs.org), TINKER (http://dasher.wustl.edu), and AMBER (http://ambermd.org/) for MD packages and MPICH for MPI (http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/mpi/mpich/). If you’re interested in checking out these codes, you should feel free to download them and check them out. One can compile a SMP version of Gromacs by using the latest Gromacs with MPICH. This would reproduce the SMP clients we have on FAH.

              ...

              What about the client?
              Full open sourcing of the client

              We have not outsourced the client for several reasons, relating to client reliability and other issues. However, we’ve come up with a compromise — we have been developing a plug in architecture to allow people to write open source code that we can plug into our client. Visit the Folding Support Forum to discuss, ask questions, and show off your work.

              ...

              Gromacs
              Isn’t Gromacs a GPL’d code? Where’s the source for your mods?

              Folding@home has been granted a non-commercial, non-GPL license for Gromacs, so we are not required to release our source. We have analogous license for the other core codes. The copyright owners of any GPL code (in this case the owners are the Gromacs development team) can distribute the same piece of software with difference licenses in parallel. See the GPL FAQ for more info on this. However, we will release our patches back to the Gromacs tree (and have discussed this extensively with the Gromacs team).

              We are also working to release our GPU code and other aspects of FAH mods in a new open library called OpenMM. You can learn more about that here: https://simtk.org/home/openmm [simtk.org] .

              --
              No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @02:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @02:23AM (#394080)

      3. Speaking of trust, if I give my CPU over to someone else's code how do I know they're just going to fold proteins? I would imagine this is open source... right??? but the first web page provides no such information, just a breathless "Download here!" which is, again, only available via JavaShit.

      You might imagine so, but Folding@Home is 100% proprietary software. It is truly unfortunate that the researchers felt the need to release it this way.

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:33PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @04:33PM (#393969) Journal

    The weather has been so warm lately that I have been forced to pause the folding. My GPU puts out a boatload of heat and soon all the other fans join inn and the office is 90 degrees.

    That said, there are few worthwhile problems that lend themselves to this kind of collaborative effort. I can't be sure this is actually worthwhile or not.

    But all it costs me is a bit of electricity.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @06:45PM (#394000)

      I folded for a long time. But heat and power was the reason I shut it down. For me it was a ~20 dollar per month habit. For a long time I folded for Ars. Think I was around 800k and about 5k WU. I had considered folding for pleasuredome as you can also get upload credit. But voted against it again for power and heat reasons.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:09PM (#394040)

    There is no FreeBSD support.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:58PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:58PM (#394048) Journal
      Well there was FAH in FreeBSD in 2005, and in 2010. I'd be very surprised if it is not possible now, but as I am in bed and about to go to sleep, it will have to wait until tomorrow....
      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @10:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27 2016, @10:48PM (#394054)

        They have an old client, 5.0.4 in the ports tree; but, they are somewhere in the 7 version now. There are some ways to get Linux binaries to run on FreeBSD but if FAH were open source, then someone would have probably updated the ports tree so it worked out of the box. They probably think that not releasing the source prevents cheating or competitors from stealing. However, that is very naive thinking.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:11PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday August 27 2016, @09:11PM (#394041) Journal

    Will there come a time when consumer hardware just sucks too bad at folding proteins in comparison to some specially built neuromorphic or quantum systems? Will Folding@Home fold up?

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Sunday August 28 2016, @04:42AM

      by Subsentient (1111) on Sunday August 28 2016, @04:42AM (#394101) Homepage Journal

      That's one thing quantum computers are very good at. I'd imagine that's a strong possibility.

      --
      Trying is the first step towards failure. -The Click
    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Sunday August 28 2016, @05:50AM

      by tftp (806) on Sunday August 28 2016, @05:50AM (#394110) Homepage

      Will Folding@Home fold up?

      The results must become entirely worthless for that to happen. Otherwise F@H will continue to enjoy free CPU time that someone else pays for.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday August 28 2016, @06:29AM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday August 28 2016, @06:29AM (#394112) Journal

        F@H is handling around 75 petaflops of activity. There are servers that cost money to maintain. If a purpose-built neuromorphic or quantum computer could do the work of folding far better than CPUs or GPUs, it might be cheaper to focus resources into that than maintain F@H. It could be a while before something like this happens (since quantum computers are so rudimentary today), but quantum computing is expected to absolutely dominate at certain tasks including protein folding, and scale much better than classical computing for larger simulations (more atoms in the protein).

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 1) by tftp on Sunday August 28 2016, @06:50AM

          by tftp (806) on Sunday August 28 2016, @06:50AM (#394114) Homepage

          As I understand, the F@H HQ only handles coordination of computations - such as it issues specific work units ("blocks" in SETI terms) to test. The data packet into the client can be, say, 1 kB, and the answer can be, say, 10 bytes (a single double + checksum.) In the meantime the client runs for hours, if not for days, non-stop, producing those total petaflops that you mention.

          But in reality the involvement of F@H's own resources is just a number: $h. (We do not need to know the exact figure.) Currently the nodes of the grid are free to them, so they only spend $h per $unit_of_time to generate those 75 petaflops. If they replace the distributed grid with a quantum computer, the cost will be $m, which includes the procurement cost and the operating cost of the computer. As soon as $m > $h the folders will be kicked in the $behind. But consider what that $m has to be in the near future! A billion dollars, perhaps? Compare to $h, which probably is not that much, given that it is ran out of a university lab that has no obvious mindboggling financing.

          Projects of this kind had their place a decade or two ago, when computers were idling at 100% power. This is history. Modern computers manage power quite efficiently, and there is no such thing anymore as "free CPU cycles". Perhaps, the right thing to do would be to construct a specialized farm with hardware-assisted computations - like the BTC miners; the BTC mining cannot be done on a PC for many years now. However, F@H nodes are free. Why would anyone bother improving things if abundant free labor is available?

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @07:31AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28 2016, @07:31AM (#394123)

            Projects of this kind had their place a decade or two ago, when computers were idling at 100% power. This is history. Modern computers manage power quite efficiently, and there is no such thing anymore as "free CPU cycles". Perhaps, the right thing to do would be to construct a specialized farm with hardware-assisted computations - like the BTC miners; the BTC mining cannot be done on a PC for many years now. However, F@H nodes are free. Why would anyone bother improving things if abundant free labor is available?

            I think this is a key insight. That was a different world back then indeed. I guess now the question is whether it is more morally corrupt to

            1) run this extra electricity sucking job but potentially generate something useful
            2) let your $5000 hardware sit idle

            Having said that I will certainly not participate in a project that doesn't share the results and runs on proprietary software.