[RC5] nice hardware for distributed.net

Matt Steinhoff matt at steinhoff.net
Sun Nov 1 10:56:53 EST 1998


04:19 PM 10/29/98 -0600, Mike Harms <mikeh at bechamp.com>:
>>Why is it that every report that references Distributed Net's
>> success talks about the "tens of thousands" computers as though
>> this is some huge concerted effort to break encryption.

    Err... Could it be because Distributed is some hugh concentrated
effort to break encryption? Last time I checked, we're processing
key blocks, not chocolate chip cookies.

>> The press doesn't seem to realize that most of the computers
>> involved in Distributed Net's project are doing this in their
>> spare time.  

    Spare cycles, yes. But that doesn't negate the fact that 90%
of the time (at least) my computer is on, it's working on RC5.
Therefore, while those cycles are spare, most of the work my
computer does is cracking encryption. Extrapolate from there.
    And, as computers become faster, a greater percentage of
there processing power gets devoted to RC5. For example, on my
486 linux box, RC5 may only get 60% of the CPU but on a killer
P-II 400mHz box, RC5 is grabbing over 98% of the cycles.

02:51 PM 10/30/98, Carson Michael Chittom <cmchitto at olemiss.edu>:
> Have you ever tried to explain something to one of the press
> that didn't fit in with their pre-generated angle for the story?

    That's not really the issue. Reporters don't have enough 
understand of the issue to have a pre-generated angle.
    The reason the media (not specifically the press, I'd imagine)
hoses much technological news is that they don't understand it.
    Some reporter has to translate egg-head speak to English.
Having spent half my life as a photojournalist and the rest as a
Unix Systems Administrator (don't ask), I can see both sides of 
the issue.
    Reporters who cover technology should have more training before
they talk to a subject. Folks who work in a technology industry
either need to hire a good public relations spokesman or be capable
of forming a paragraph without the use of acronyms.
    This has little to do with pre-generated angles and much to do
with simple mis-understanding.

    Matt


+---------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Matt Steinhoff                                         407-420-6121 |
| matt at steinhoff.net                       Unix Systems Administrator |
| http://matt.steinhoff.net/   I'm really just a guy with a computer. |

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