Zorba the Hutt (zorbathut) wrote,
Zorba the Hutt

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how to screw over your volunteers

So there's this online project called distributed.net. distributed.net has, for many years, been coordinating a massive attempt to crack a code. They finally, several days ago, announced that they'd succeeded.

Except here's where it gets messy.

Turns out that they didn't succeed three days ago. They actually succeeded three MONTHS ago, and a combination of a few bugs and being unable to contact the winner pushed the announcement date back this far.

So far, not a real problem, just an annoyance. Well, here's the problem.

distributed.net also tracks stats for all its volunteers. You basically get a readout of how much you've contributed to the project since day one. Well, they've decided to roll back the stats to the day the key was found.

Which basically says, "remember all that work you put into adding more computers? Well, it's gone now. Sorry. Get over it."

And to anyone who joined *after* the key was "found", it says "Sorry. We're not going to count your contribution anymore. All that work you put into it was meaningless to us."

Now, keep in mind that dnet doesn't have any reason to do this. It's not like they're paying more for each block contributed. ALL they're doing is ripping out the numbers that represent the hard work of their VOLUNTEERS.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a seriously stupid idea?
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