Subject: Re: SETI or RC5
To: None <netbsd-advocacy@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Simon Burge <simonb@NetBSD.ORG>
Date: 07/01/1999 08:13:05
"Perry E. Metzger" wrote:
> Paul Goyette <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > If you don't think that looking for alilens is a worthwhile way to spend
> > your spare CPU cycles, then consider joining the NetBSD RC5 team at
> > distributed.net. Maybe not as sexy a project, but demonstrating the
> > ability to "crack" a supposedly unbreakable cypher probably has more
> > relevance to all of our daily lives (encryption, ITAR, etc) than the
> > extremely remote chance of finding ET!
> Not really. Everyone pretty much knows how many CPU cycles cracking
> RC5 of a particular depth requires, and frankly, all this does is help
> RSA DSI's marketing department. Sorry to be a party pooper, but RC5
> cracking is damn useless. It was one thing to show DES could be
> cracked, but showing large key RC5 requires half a year of heavy work
> from hundreds of thousands of machines isn't exactly a help.
> OTOH, doing science work with your spare cycles seems like a really
> good cause to me. It is unlikely anything will be found, but it sets
> an excellent precedent for future CPU cycle donations to science, and
> indeed to future (more likely to succeed) versions of the same project.
If we're gonna start plugging favorite distributed projects, there's
always GIMPS (http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm) - the Great Internet
Mersenne Prime Search. They should very soon be announcing a prime
number with 2,000,000 plus digits. Unfortunately the best program
around is wintel-centric.
There were rumors going around that SETI only actually had a very
limited amount of data and that almost everyone was working on the
same three sets of data or so. Anyone heard this (or something to the