[RC5] seti@home fraud!

Paul Cuni paul at paulcuni.com
Sat Jun 5 12:45:44 EDT 1999


 

  500,000 users working on 115
  work units?
                                   Bob_Kanefsky
                                    (M/California) 
                                                                       Jun
5 1999

2:28AM EDT

   I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that SETI at home's half million
participants are currently being
   assigned the same 115 work units over and over again, all from three
different sky locations collected
   on January 7 and 8. If anyone has seen any other work units recently --
especially from January 9 or
   later -- please speak up.

   After seeing a few duplications of work units a machine at work had
already processed (same headers,
   same content), I ran a test. I instructed my computer to repeatedly
start the SETI at home client and
   download a work unit, but then just kill it, record the name, and start
again. The result: Out of 2500
   work units, the same 115 kept showing up.

   Two of the 115 work units are slices of different coordinates and have
the following names (as shown
   on the fourth line of the work_unit.txt file):

   name=07ja99aa.10912.26555.213914.156 [got this one 6 times out of 2500]
   name=08ja99aa.16286.4081.917340.30 [got this one 4 times out of 2500]

   The others are all subband slices from one location (but only 113 of them).
   They all say
   name=08ja99aa.12769.4418.68748.*
   where * is one of these subband numbers:
   0 2 3 4 5 6 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 31
32 33 35 36 37 38 39 41 43 44
   45 47 50 52 54 55 56 60 61 62 64 65 66 67 70 72 74 76 78 79 80 85 86 87
88 89 90 91 92 94 95 96 97
   98 99 100 102 103 104 109 110 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 122 123
124 125 127 131 132 133 134
   135 138 139 140 142 143 145 148 149 150 151 152 154 158 160 161 163


   The only other data unit I've seen was one I downloaded on May 27 and
then had to release the
   machine that was working on it.

   I hope the SETI at home project will fix this problem soon, or at least
acknowledge it and promise that
   they're working on it.


   P.S. Kris, you may be right about the cause, but I doubt it. Web browser
clients may be configured to
   use caching proxies, but there's no reason that the SETI at home
client/server connection would be built
   only anything that complicated when a direct connection is easier to do.
But not having seen the
   implementation, anything is possible. 

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