[RC5] A new life for RC5

Chris Eaton tridus at inforamp.net
Sat Mar 14 10:55:33 EST 1998


At 03:13 PM 13/03/98 , you wrote:
>My friend and I had this plausible idea over hot-wings last night.
Needless to
say he is a d.net feind as well.
>
>TO make a long story short, I'll just describe the idea and get into detail
later in the thread.
>
>In order to rejuvenate the interest in RC5, we need to make it look sexier. I
know that there has been a lot of talk about different sexy projects for us.
But in this case we can use one already up and running.
>
>The idea is this. If we can get everyone to chip in $1 to a fund managed by
d.net's fiscal arm (if any???) we can amass a large amount of booty to give to
whomever cracks the block. On top of the $1000 promised by RSA, we can tack on
at least another $20000 from all of our donations.

Right there your going to loose a lot of users. Personally I have no interest
in the prize money, I'd rather see 80% of it go to charity, as well as the
obvious goal of working for better encryption. I can saw wholeheartidly that I
would never pay to run the client, and without a doubt I can say that at least
80% (and possibly 100%, there were a couple undediced people when I
checked) of
my teammates feel the same way. Now thats only about 30 people that would be
lost, but if that percentage holds true among all the other teams, your going
to loose most of the people.  And thats before the administrative nightmare of
keeping track of whose paid, how much money there is, and collecting it. I
feel
sorry for anyone at d.net who would have to be responsible for collecting
several thousand $1 donations.

>With just this, the common computer user may or may not be interested. As we
are all aware of, marketing drives consumer spending habits. Therefore, we
need
someone to sit down and redesign the front end of the GUI clients. With what
you ask? Here is the kicker that will push Bovine into the mainstream.  
>
>When the client is first run, the user is asked for an email, or other
contact
###. On top of that, a secret password is generated that the user will use if
and when they find the correct key. Now, the GUI should be some nice Valut
door
with a few tumblers whirling  back and forth trying all the combinations.
There
must be the "Oh whats that..." factor in this. The user will probably not be
interested in the stats, all the want is thier chance to crack the scheme and
win! 

Alright, I agree that the Gui client should be made to look a bit different,
but for different reasons. For new users, the current log output isn't the
easiest thing in the world to understand. But please no animations, the last
thing we need is to slow things down even more. What would be nice is a more
fixed display, something like this:

Blocks Remaining in Buffer: 14 Completed Blocks to upload: 6
Current Block: 1234567879 Block Type: RC5 2^28
Current Speed: 63787 keys/second Average Speed: 41202 keys/second
<% progress meter for current block would go here>

So what would happen is when a block was completed, the above numbers would
simply change. At the very least it would make things simpler for new users to
understand what was going on. Of course I'm sure that somebody else can
improve
on how things would look and the layout, I'm just tossing out the idea. (maybe
have the old logfile display available as an option for those who like it
better)

>Of course we can keep the NT services and SUN/Solaris clients as is, but for
the W95 and Mac clients, we will push the glitz and make the user feel like
they have a chance in this lottery. Yes, lottery. Everyone who wants to run
the
client has a choice to pay in the $1 or not. Those who do have a chance at
+20,000 and those that don't must settle for a measly $1000. 

I thought the goal of the effort was to prove the inadequacy of encryption. It
seems to me that we'd be trivializing and illegitimazing that goal by
obscuring
things with a lottery approach. If the goal is to give out money, I'm sure we
could find a much better way of doing it then by encryption breaking. Besides,
how many people would join a lottery that is going to take years to figure out
who won?

>On top of this we need some new rollout press release from D.net announcing
their new Internet lottery. Then, all of the stalwart RC5 list readers can
deluge their local news agencies and get some exposure. Imagine Tom Brokaw or
CNN doing a 30sec bit on the effort with an URL? Besides the website getting
blasted, our usership could explode within a few days.

Having the news agencies doing articles on D.net would be great, however, is
the "internet lottery" what D.net wants to be known as? IMHO thats not a very
good reputation to have, especially for the people who beat DES II-1 in 40
days.

>This can work. All the bugs are worked out, we need to now market our idea. 

This can't work. Its destined to blow up in the face of anyone who attempts
it.
Besides the nightmares involved in running it, isn't a private lottery
illegal?
I can't say since I don't live in the US, but I think the government might
have
a slight problem with such an idea, and since Dcti is registered as an
American
company, isn't there a problem?

>The underlying motivation for this approach is that all the other computer
users out there could care less what the application is doing. All they care
about is their "free" chance at big bucks. I know this is preying on people's
greed. But the means seems to justify the ends. 

I don't think so. We're much better off having a small userbase of people who
actually care about what the goal is rather then a large group of uncommited
people who have no idea what we're even doing. Again, that just seems to
trivialize the whole effort. I can only speak for myself and my teammates who
I've talked to on the issue, but  I can say that this is more likely to cause
people to go to different projects rather then attract more.

To quote one of my more colorful Teammates' comments from IRC:
"<Bela> I not doing tis for money cuz I know I have no way to win.. this is
just anouther thing to ram up the goverments ass"

Indeed, thats one of the oddest reasons I've heard to be involved, but its
still better then greed.
--
"In the end, I wonder if one of the most important steps on our journey is
the one in which we throw away the map. In jettisoning the grinds and
brambles of our own preconceptions, perhaps we are better able to find the
real secrets of each place; to remember that we are all extensions of our
collective history."

- Loreena McKennitt: The Book Of Secrets


Chris

http://home.inforamp.net/~tridus
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