Posts by Eric Korpela

1) Message boards : News : Another bittersweet milestone. (Message 2096879)
Posted 31 Mar 2022 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're cleaning out our lab at Space Sciences, and saying goodbye to a lot of history.
2) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Another Bittersweet Milestone (Message 2096776)
Posted 30 Mar 2022 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eras don't end in a day, they slowly fade away. Yesterday marked another bittersweet milestone in SETI@home history. We cleaned out the lab. That meant sending the Sun Enterprise series servers that handled SETI@home's databases and web traffic down to the university's Excess and Salvage department. Here they are sitting in the hallway waiting to go.

We had hoped they would end up in a museum somewhere, but unfortunately interest in SETI@home's hardware has faded even faster than the project did.

What we have not (yet) discarded are a couple thousand DLT tapes containing the raw data from the first 6 years of SETI@home. We would like to have the data transferred to a more accessible medium, but we no longer have a functioning DLT IV tape drive, or the funding to pay for a commercial data recovery service. As the group's presence at the Space Science Lab shrinks, those tapes will probably also be discarded as well.

Times change and the world moves on.
3) Message boards : News : Bryon Leigh Hatch and Arecibo have passed on. (Message 2062762)
Posted 2 Dec 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We got two pieces of really bad news yesterday. Byron Leigh Hatch, founder of the Carl Sagan team, all around smart and thoughtful guy, and a setizen since shortly after SETI@home began in 1999, passed away in August. There is a thread for leaving remembrances here. He will be missed.

And, of course, we were informed of the collapse of the elevated structure at Arecibo. It was clear after the second cable broke, the structure would come down soon. As much as we were unhappy that the repair efforts had to be abandoned because of the danger, it's clear now that it was the right call. It's our hope that we will find national support for building new scientific facilities on Puerto Rico in the near future.
4) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042379)
Posted 1 Apr 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The last chunk of new SETI@home work has gone out. There's still a little astropulse to be split when disk space clears. Beyond that, there's only resends when validation fails.

Thanks for staying 'til the end.
5) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042328)
Posted 1 Apr 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Both the SETI@home and Astropulse splitters are running very slowly because our workunit storage is full (which is because the assimilator is running so far behind). So you may get to enjoy an occasional work unit today.
6) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042179)
Posted 1 Apr 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We will have to replace the RAC>1 requirement with a total credit requirement. We may also have to come up with an endorsement process to allow new users.
7) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042046)
Posted 31 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Beta will be shutting down as well, until we have something for it to do.
8) Message boards : News : Final data is in the splitter queue. (Message 2042009)
Posted 31 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
As promised, we've stopped the process that puts new data into the queue today. Data distribution will continue until the files shown on the status pages are done. We'll be accepting results and resending results that didn't validate for a while.
9) Message boards : Number crunching : The Server Issues / Outages Thread - Panic Mode On! (119) (Message 2041837)
Posted 31 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think I found the issue in a script that was supposed to trigger a resend on results unlikely to be returned. I turned the script off, so it should stop happening.

You didn't think this would go smoothly, did you?
10) Message boards : News : Jim_S has passed away. (Message 2041224)
Posted 29 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are saddened to report that former moderator and long-term friend of SETI@home Jim Scott passed away unexpectedly this morning. Angela has started a thread where people can post their memories of Jim and offer condolences.
11) Message boards : News : New SETI Perspectives: "How did life begin on Earth and elsewhere?" (Message 2038994)
Posted 19 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has posted a new SETI Perspective entitled How did life begin on Earth and elsewhere?.
12) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : This hurts me as much as it hurts you. (Message 2035328)
Posted 3 Mar 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
By now you've heard that we will be shutting down work distribution at the end of March and putting the SETI@home servers into a hibernation state. I'd imagine that there are some emotional responses. I'm certainly going through the stages of grief, even though I'm hoping that it won't be a permanent state.

The unemotional analysis is that it's always been a matter of resources. Not only money, but time and personnel. We've been aware from the beginning that the time we spent keeping the project up and running was time we weren't working on post-processing. Our fundraising goals, what we needed to do everything simultaneously without falling behind, was always around $1M per year. We never came close. And without that level of resources, decades of computer time weren't really resulting in candidate lists that we could reobserve. The last 18 months we've been devoting more of our time to the post-processing, but our remaining resources were running out faster than our science results were arriving. And that's what really prompted this decision, the fear that we would run out of resources before we got our results.

Even then, it's hard to put a halt to a process that you gave 20 years of your life. I certainly haven't achieved everything I wanted to with SETI@home. I've still got my plans for SETI@home version 10, there was just never time to implement them. Maybe when we've finished our results papers I'll dust them off, assuming I can find the resources.

I know some of you are upset that you donated only to see the public participation part of the project end. If you donated for the disk array, we'll still need that. Jeff is in the process of assembling it. If you gave money in the annual drive, we'll have bills to pay all the way to the end (including page charges for the papers).

As part of my grieving process, I'm planning to post more frequently. That's not hard since my last post was 3.5 years ago.
13) Message boards : News : Low available work. (Message 2028671)
Posted 20 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for the offers of RAM. Unfortunately the database machines are maxed out for RAM at this point.

We'll be doing a full duration outage to reorganize both database machines tomorrow. The good news is that we've gotten to our target of a 20% reduction in the size of the result table. That means we'll be generating work at the normal rate today.
14) Message boards : News : Low available work. (Message 2028359)
Posted 18 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
For a couple of reasons, the result table has grown to the point where it no longer fits in main memory. That has been slowing the validators and assimilators, which is causing the result table to grow further.

We'd like to get it down to a manageable size before our Tuesday outage. To that end we are throttling work generation to a rate at which the table size is shrinking. We hope that this rate will increase as the table gets smaller.

So for the next few days work will be hard to come by (but not zero).
15) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027879)
Posted 16 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Got two invalids on RX 5700 with 8.24 beta, in case it is relevant


The first result is missing a pulse, the second one has several too many. That's not nearly as bad as what was happening before. Pulse finding is one of the more stressful portions of the code.
16) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027496)
Posted 12 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
So far, so good:

1219 results have been through the validator
1158 (95%) have validated
35 (2.9%) are inconclusive and may validate later
26 (2.1%) are errors, but don't appear to be computation errors.

If things continue this way I will probably put the new app versions on the main projects tomorrow or tuesday.
17) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027409)
Posted 12 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Of course, the day I can't be near the computer is the day the beta splitter freezes. I'm copying in new data and unfreezing it.
18) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027250)
Posted 11 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Now have 3 validated, but not a wide variety of hardware yet...

https://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/workunit.php?wuid=12322527
https://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/workunit.php?wuid=12322590
https://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/workunit.php?wuid=12322707

222 results have gone out so far with the new app versions, so we'll have better statistics tomorrow.
19) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027247)
Posted 11 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think I've fixed that problem, so the 8.22s should no longer be sent.

So far 4 results have come back. One has been through the validator and it validated successfully.
20) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027211)
Posted 10 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
As of about 30 seconds ago, the modified app (8.24__opencl_ati*) is on beta. Enjoy, I hope.
21) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2027197)
Posted 10 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
According to AMD, the new driver also need a change to the OpenCL compile flags (get rid of -funsafe-math-optimizations). We'll be testing that in beta soon.
22) Message boards : Number crunching : The Server Issues / Outages Thread - Panic Mode On! (118) (Message 2026350)
Posted 4 Jan 2020 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry, I just have not had time to figure out what has gone wrong with the beta SSDs. It could just be a file system problem. Or it could be worse. Hopefully this coming week I'll have a chance.
23) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2025149)
Posted 27 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Some bad results are still coming through when AMD machines with the bad drivers pair up 2 out of 3. At its worst the problem was on par with bad CPUs in term of bad inserted results (which are usually a few out of every 100,000 results) . Compared to the amount of data we lose to RFI it's small, but we still try to prevent it.

If we decide the database and the download server can handle the additional load, I might bump the overflow quorum to 4 next week.
24) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2025033)
Posted 26 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Since yesterday, we've fallen back to the old server so anonymous platform apps should be able to get work. Since this morning we should have had the validator that requires 3 results for overflow results. Merry Christmas!

Now I just need to explain why some workunits like this one are sneaking through.

<edit>Problem found and fixed....</edit>
25) Message boards : Number crunching : The Server Issues / Outages Thread - Panic Mode On! (117) (Message 2024312)
Posted 22 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Unfortunately there a database change that renders the 7.09 server inoperable. :(

Really going to bed this time.
26) Message boards : Number crunching : The Server Issues / Outages Thread - Panic Mode On! (117) (Message 2024305)
Posted 22 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Debugging the server is virtually impossible. If anyone wants to help.... The setiathome_server branch is at

https://github.com/BOINC/boinc/tree/setiathome_server/sched

Something goes wrong in the function SCHED_SHMEM::no_work.

bool SCHED_SHMEM::no_work(int pid) {
    if (!ready) return true;
    for (int i=0; i<max_wu_results; i++) {
        if (wu_results[i].state == WR_STATE_PRESENT) {
            wu_results[i].state = pid;
            return false;
        }
    }
    return true;
}


This function works properly unless the requesting computer has anonymous platform apps, for which it always returns true. How could that be? I don't know despite additional 500 lines of debugging code. It's almost as if something else is pausing anonymous platform requests until the queue is empty. Well it's bed time now. :(
27) Message boards : Number crunching : The Server Issues / Outages Thread - Panic Mode On! (117) (Message 2024252)
Posted 22 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm looking into the problem. Grrrrr.....
28) Message boards : Number crunching : Flakey AMD/ATI GPUs, including RX 5700 XT, Cross Validating, polluting the Database (Message 2024148)
Posted 21 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've made a change to the validator that raises the effective quorum for overflow results. The should limit the number of successful cross validations for these GPUs.

That change is still missing a few, so I need to check the overflow detection mechanism. No, my mistake. It is working. The results I was looking at were before the change.
29) Message boards : News : Some server issues today... (Message 2023883)
Posted 20 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's the Friday before a holiday week and the servers know it.

The file system containing the beta project uploads directory is having problems, so beta is down until further notice.

This problem may be affecting the rate at which the main project can handle results, so the validation and assimilation queues are getting large, which may affect the rate of work generation.
30) Message boards : News : New paper on observing "Clarke Exo-belts" (Message 2021979)
Posted 7 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Just one Q: why is it important to find and study belts around exoplanets of M-class stars?

M-class stars are the most common type (around 75% of stars) and because they are the most common, most nearby stars are going to be M-class and most planets will be found around M-stars. The TESS mission, looking for nearby planetary systems, will mostly find planets around M-stars. That's why we spend a lot of time talking about M-stars. There aren't many stars like the sun (G-class) that are close enough for us to observe these effects (even though G-stars are much brighter than M-stars). It was also the focus of Hector Socas-Navarro's earlier paper on Clarke belts, and we wanted to respond to some of the misconceptions people had about that paper.

Of course we don't know if life is common around M-stars (yet).
31) Message boards : News : New paper on observing "Clarke Exo-belts" (Message 2021712)
Posted 4 Dec 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dr. Korpela and his colleagues Prof. Shauna Sallmen and Ms. Kaisa Crawford-Taylor have published a new paper today in the Astronomical Journal about whether astronomers be able to detect belts of satellites circling planets around other stars. Unfortunately, the answer is that even the thickest satellite belts will be very difficult to see with current technology. Even the James Webb Space Telescope will find it difficult.

If, like most sentient beings in the Galaxy, you don't have a subscription to the Astronomical Journal you can see a preprint of the article at arXiv.org.
32) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2019 Funding drive has started (Message 2020975)
Posted 28 Nov 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've started our 2019 funding drive. Many of you have probably received our email penned by Jeff Cobb who has been in the SETI group longer than I have. If you can't wait, you can read yours here.

Because of our continued effort to be GDPR compliant, we're not sending emails to anyone with an EU/EAA email addresses, anyone who listed an EU/EAA country, or anyone who listed "International" as their country. And, of course, anyone who has opted out of our emails won't get them.

Thanks for your support!
33) Message boards : News : New SETI Perspectives: "Is ET in Our Solar System?" (Message 2020719)
Posted 27 Nov 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has posted a new SETI Perspectives entitled "Is ET in Our Solar System?"
34) Message boards : News : SETI@home news for Alexa (Message 2015866)
Posted 18 Oct 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home member Morris Penasso has developed a SETI@home News "skill" for Amazon Alexa/Echo that can tell you the latest from our news feed.
You can get it here.
35) Message boards : News : New SETI Perspectives: "What to expect from ET?" (Message 2009623)
Posted 28 Aug 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has posted another interesting article to "SETI Perspectives". This one is titled What to expect from ET? .
36) Message boards : News : Dan Werthimer wins 2019 Carl Sagan Prize. (Message 2009250)
Posted 25 Aug 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Congratulations to our own Dan Werthimer for winning the 2019 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization! The Sagan Prize is presented specifically to recognize and encourage researchers who “have contributed mightily to the public understanding and appreciation of science.” You can read more about the Sagan Prize and see past winners at http://wonderfest.org/sagan-prize/ .
37) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric (Message 2001220)
Posted 5 Jul 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks you all!!! I hadn't noticed the thread until today. I went to the lab on my birthday, and just kept my eyes on the screen for most of the day. Angela made me a lovely dinner when I got home.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!
38) Message boards : News : New SETI Perspectives: "Seeing the Unseeable: The Black Hole Image" (Message 2001216)
Posted 5 Jul 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has posted another interesting article to "SETI Perspectives". This one is titled Seeing the Unseeable: The Black Hole Image and is about the Event Horizon Telescope's image of the black hole in M87.
39) Message boards : Cafe SETI : It's Angela's birthday! (Message 1995046)
Posted 24 May 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And she's only slightly older than SETI@home.


(good cake)
40) Message boards : News : 20 years and counting! (Message 1994115)
Posted 18 May 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The screen saver is still there. But since nobody uses CRT display any more, the operating systems don't really prioritize keeping screen savers functioning. And as operating systems have gotten more security conscious they don't seems to want to put in the effort to support 3rd party screen savers that they fear may do dangerous things.

I find that on my home Windows 10 box, the screen saver works about half the time. The next update may break it entirely. On Macintosh, we made an update a while back that was supposed to fix the screen saver. I've heard from some people that it does, and others that it doesn't.

If you use the BOINC Manager, the "show graphics" menu item (or button in the advanced view) still seems to work if you are jonesing for graphics.
41) Message boards : News : 20 years and counting! (Message 1994043)
Posted 17 May 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Happy Anniversary! On this date in 1999, SETI@home came online. Since then millions of our volunteers have helped us sift through petabytes of data from multiple radio telescopes. ET still hasn't shown up to the party.

We're not discouraged. We're able to examine less than a tenth of a percent of the radio spectrum, over only 1/3 of the sky and a limited number of additional stars. But our capabilities are increasing every day. In 1999 it took up to a week to process a single workunit on a home PC. Now, on a machine with a GPU, it might only take a few minutes to do a far more detailed and more sensitive analysis. Who knows what the next 20 years will bring?
42) Message boards : News : SETI Perspectives article "Coming of Age for Optical SETI" (Message 1993347)
Posted 10 May 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has written a new article, this one on the Panoramic Optical SETI effort, PANOSETI. As a bonus he includes a bit of an update on 'Oumuamua.
43) Message boards : News : The Drake Equation Revisited (Message 1988771)
Posted 4 Apr 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard Lawn has given us a new SETI Perspectives article to think about. This one is about the Drake Equation.
44) Message boards : News : Another crash (Message 1988485)
Posted 3 Apr 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This time the primary database machine crashed and hasn't automatically recovered. We've fallen back to the replica machine, and the only symptom should be a few extra hours of outage.

I'm glad we have the replica.
45) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (115) Server Problems? (Message 1987462)
Posted 27 Mar 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We slowly climbing out of the ditch, but we still don't have a cause. It started suddenly at 7am Monday, so we're guessing that there was a change in hardware/software/DNS or routing at that point. We've got a trouble ticket in with campus networking and they are looking into it.

(My workaround was just to not let connection attempts sit in the local queues for long periods of time. Quick drops are often much better than those that hang around and prevent other connections.
That seems to have fixed the log jam, but there may still be people who can't connect.)
46) Message boards : News : New SETI Perspectives article (Message 1984816)
Posted 12 Mar 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Richard M Lawn has posted another interesting article to the SETI Perspectives forum. This one is about the mysteries of Fast Radio Burst (aka FRBs), possibly some of the most distant explosions ever seen.
47) Message boards : News : We're back up. (Message 1983711)
Posted 7 Mar 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hopefully there won't be any further problem.

Our attempt to upgrade the memory on Oscar (the BOINC database machine) and Carolyn (the replica database) took a bit of DIMM swapping to find pairs of DIMMs that worked. Carolyn is still short two DIMMs (32 GB), but we didn't want to extend the outage any further to try to get it up to the full 192 GB.

We might try to max out Carolyn during the outage next week.

[edit]And as is usual after a long outage, we've got a large number of hosts out there starving for work. It'll take a little while before "no work" messages start to get less frequent.[/edit]
48) Message boards : News : Download server glitch (Message 1983293)
Posted 4 Mar 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The servers always seem to know when I'm going to be away. :(

I think I found and fixed the remaining problem.
49) Message boards : News : Download server glitch (Message 1982953)
Posted 1 Mar 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We had a problem with one of our download servers that was slowing down downloads and slowing down work generation. We've fixed the problem, but there are lots of people out there trying to download. It'll probably be a while before our downloads aren't swamped with requests.

Work ready to send has started trending back up, so we shouldn't end up with a work shortage.
50) Message boards : News : New forum, and a new contributor. (Message 1981932)
Posted 23 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We have added a new forum called SETI Perspectives that will showcase thoughts on SETI and related topics from people not directly connected with the Berkeley SETI group. Richard Lawn, Ph.D is our first contributor with an article about 'Oumuamua, the first object we've seen that convincingly originates from outside from outside the solar system. We hope have a long collaboration with Richard. Please welcome him into the SETI@home family.
51) Message boards : News : Setizen Gordon Lowe has passed away (Message 1981517)
Posted 21 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm sad to report that we've lost another long time SETI@home volunteer and moderator Gordon MacKenzie Lowe. A remembrance thread has been started here.

Gordon will be greatly missed.
52) Message boards : News : BOINC Open Source Project looking for experienced MacOS developers (Message 1981331)
Posted 20 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) system is the software infrastructure used by Einstein@Home and many other volunteer distributed computing projects. The BOINC Open Source Project is looking for volunteers to develop and maintain the BOINC client on macOS. The BOINC Client and Manager are C++ cross-platform code supporting Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, and several other operating systems. We currently have a number of volunteer developers supporting Windows and Linux, but our main macOS developer is winding down his involvement after many years. He is prepared to help a few new macOS developers get up to speed.

If you have macOS development experience and are interested in volunteering time to help support and maintain the BOINC macOS client please have a look at the more detailed description here: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/MacDeveloper

If you want to help, please sign up to the BOINC Developer email list here: ​https://groups.google.com/a/ssl.berkeley.edu/forum/#!forum/boinc_dev.

If you are not a macOS developer, but have other skills and are interested in contributing to BOINC, the link above also has more general information.

Thank you!
53) Message boards : News : Storage machine crash.... (Message 1980557)
Posted 15 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're working on a couple of large papers right now. We'll certainly post them when we're done.
54) Message boards : News : Storage machine crash.... (Message 1980347)
Posted 14 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
3rd consecutive day of no boinc stats update


Not sure why that would be. Our stats files are in place and have current timestamps.

https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/stats/
55) Message boards : News : Storage machine crash.... (Message 1980206)
Posted 14 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry for the late notice. The problems we had bloated the result table to about double its normal size. Hopefully it will be back down to normal next week.
56) Message boards : News : Storage machine crash.... (Message 1979678)
Posted 10 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The system eventually came back up and we're getting the missing workunits back online as quickly as we can. There will still be some download errors as things will be out of synchronization for a while. Some workunits that exist in the database may not have been flushed to disk before the system went down (although in theory our disk controllers shouldn't allow that to happen).
57) Message boards : News : Storage machine crash.... (Message 1979420)
Posted 8 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A machine that was holding 15% of our outgoing workunits has crashed and refuses to start back up. Short term it means that attempts to access those workunits will cause an error until the workunit is marked as bad.

Sorry for the incovenience.
58) Message boards : News : Slow server for the next 8 hours or so... (Message 1978208)
Posted 2 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Definitely climate controlled. We have several rack in the UC Data Center. The workunit storage array is an external SuperMicro SAS box attached to georgem. We try to keep our arrays to a single manufacturer. The georgem arrays are Seagate, a combination of ST2000DM001 and ST2000DM009. For older Hitachi/HGST arrays it's getting difficult to find drives with 512 byte sectors, so those arrays will probably to mixed manufacturer at some point.

For kicks I looked at the age of files in the workunit storage (based upon a sample of 0.1%).


As you can see, half our files get deleted within a couple days, but some hang out for up to 60.
59) Message boards : News : Slow server for the next 8 hours or so... (Message 1978200)
Posted 2 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think your math is off a bit.

700,000 * 710 kB = 496 GB

It's actually quite a bit more than that because the residence time of workunits is at least a day and we're pushing through about 1.25M per day these days. But's still less than 1TB.

In practice we use one 10x2TB RAID-10 for the data coming from Arecibo, and temporary storage of database backups, some other data sets that have low access demands. We use the other 10x2TB for outgoing workunits and little else because we want the full I/O capacity of the drives to handle the workunit transfers. If we moved to another system I'd probably want a triple mirrored set of 15 drives, or a move to SSD. Given that the space keeps getting rewritten, SSDs might not have a long enough lifetime.
60) Message boards : News : Slow server for the next 8 hours or so... (Message 1978176)
Posted 2 Feb 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks Eric for the news. Out of interest are big is the storage capacity in George M?


Not huge. Two RAID-10 arrays each with 10x2TB drives. So about 20TB usable.
61) Message boards : News : Slow server for the next 8 hours or so... (Message 1977747)
Posted 30 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
GeorgeM, the machine that holds the data that you download, decided that it was time to verify that the RAID array is in good shape. That will slow down disk access until the verify procedure is complete. The main effect is slowing down the rate at which work can be created. It's likely that we'll run out of work in the next hour or so. Things should recover automatically when it's done.
62) Message boards : News : Little bits of previously unfinished data. (Message 1976993)
Posted 25 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
While a lot of the dates are 2006, some are 2011 others are 2016. Most of these have log entries claiming they were done, but none of the results are in the database.
63) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1976780)
Posted 24 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I can't fault Parkes for doing what is asked of them by the folks who provide their funding. We've always been an "along for the ride" project. My understanding is the delay will be months, not years.
64) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1976696)
Posted 24 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Unfortunately, Parkes took down the multibeam feed we were using for the galactic plane survey and put up the wideband feed. That put a bit of a hitch in our plans.
65) Message boards : News : Little bits of previously unfinished data. (Message 1974779)
Posted 11 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You may have noticed occasional bits of data from years past showing up in your queue. While running a completeness check I noticed some files that had never been completely analyzed. Some may have fallen through the cracks. Some may just be bad data that never made it through the splitters. I'm going to trickle them into the queue when the Arecibo queue is empty, just in case.
66) Message boards : News : Science database crash... (Message 1974778)
Posted 11 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've had screen saver problems on both Windows and MacOS. With the advent of flat panels, Microsoft and Apple apparently don't consider maintaining screensaver compatibility to be a priority. We might have to change the whole screen saver architecture in a future release.
67) Message boards : News : Science database crash... (Message 1973919)
Posted 7 Jan 2019 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We had a minor science database crash today that brought work generation to a halt. Everything appears to be OK with no data losses. We should [be] entirely back up at this point, but I'll keep checking things out.
68) Message boards : News : Report from the NASA Technosignatures Workshop released. (Message 1971389)
Posted 21 Dec 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The report from the NASA Technosignatures Workshop has been uploaded to arxiv.org. You can find it here if you are looking for some light reading.
69) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1966173)
Posted 19 Nov 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And as of today, https://www.gridcoinstats.eu/project doesn't show SETI@home as a whitelisted project. I assume it's a mistake because we have been continually generating credit and stats. If it continues I'll look into it.
70) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1966165)
Posted 19 Nov 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The server Centurion handles the Green Bank Telescope data, do we know yet what the Parkes data server will be called?


The server is named "amigos." It seemed appropriate since the bulk of the funding came from three people.
71) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1966164)
Posted 19 Nov 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Our gridcoin wallet is listed on the donation page... SHJ1iGtngsrMNHXEc8K8J7yxqkaJ6og4du . My mining goes directly into it.
72) Message boards : News : Fall/Winter 2018 Funding Drive has started. (Message 1966059)
Posted 18 Nov 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've started our 2018 funding drive. Many of you have probably received our email penned by one of our undergraduate researchers. If you can't wait, you can read yours here.

Because we're not yet fully GDPR compliant, we're not sending emails to anyone with an EU/EAA email addresses, anyone who listed an EU/EAA country, or anyone who listed "International" as their country. And, of course, anyone who has opted out of our emails won't get them.

Thanks for your support!
73) Message boards : News : Account deletion enabled... (Message 1964284)
Posted 10 Nov 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've finally got the BOINC account deletion feature installed and enabled. Account deletion cannot be undone. You'll also need your password and a valid email address for identity verification.

You can access it from your account settings on the web site.
74) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Download server is self-blocking download of cufft32_32_16.dll and preventing work (Message 1961165)
Posted 20 Oct 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
They didn't manage to get it figured out before the end of the day yesterday.
75) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Download server is self-blocking download of cufft32_32_16.dll and preventing work (Message 1960989)
Posted 19 Oct 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll look into it. The UCB Data Center switched to a new firewall configuration. That could have something to do with it.
76) Message boards : News : NASA Technosignatures Workshop Webcast (Message 1959534)
Posted 10 Oct 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Video of the talks is now at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/technosignatures2018/agenda/.
77) Message boards : News : NASA Technosignatures Workshop Webcast (Message 1958066)
Posted 1 Oct 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The recordings will be posted. I'll post the URL when they are available.
78) Message boards : News : NASA Technosignatures Workshop Webcast (Message 1957365)
Posted 26 Sep 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes
79) Message boards : News : NASA Technosignatures Workshop Webcast (Message 1957320)
Posted 26 Sep 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
NASA TV will be livestreaming the Technosignatures workshop at this URL. The workshop is about the numberous ways we could search for extraterrestrial technologies. Many of the Berkeley SETI personnel will be speaking today (Wednesday). The agenda can be found here
80) Questions and Answers : Macintosh : No graphics on Mac 8.04 version (Message 1956357)
Posted 19 Sep 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Charlie Fenton found the problem. The executable bits weren't set on the setigraphics_8.04 binary. If you go into the BOINC directory and change them manually it should work. Or you can reset the project and it should download new executables.
81) Message boards : News : Revised scale of significance of ET detection published. (Message 1946211)
Posted 25 Jul 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A group of SETI astronomers led by Duncan Forgan, and including myself and BSRC director Andrew Siemion, has published a revised version of the Rio Scale. The Rio Scale is designed to predict the public impact a signal would have, like the Richter scale does for earthquakes. The prior version of the Rio scale, in addition to being rarely used, tended to overestimate the impact of low quality or low significance reports of detection.

Now all we have to do is convince other SETI astronomers and the press to use it.

There is a related article at GeekWire.

A calculator for Rio 2.0 scores in now available here.
82) Message boards : News : "Are we alone?" on VICE (Message 1937642)
Posted 30 May 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The HBO series VICE will be broadcasting an episode with a segment entitled "Are we alone?" starting June 1 at 11pm EST. It will be available on HBO streaming service, HBO GO, at 7:30pm EST.

The segment includes interviews with the father of modern SETI, Frank Drake, and a SETI@home volunteer, John Fluth, who has been a part of the project nearly as long as I have. We'll be interested in seeing your reaction to this piece.

Trailers are available through facebook and twitter.
83) Message boards : News : Dropped packets (Message 1933040)
Posted 1 May 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Posted by CSS IT ~ mp
On 4/30/2018 at 7:14 am PST
Modified on 5/1/2018 at 5:06 am PST
Modified by CSS IT ~ mp
Posted in Unscheduled Outage
Outage Type: UNSCHEDULED OUTAGE (AMENDED)
Date Submitted: Monday, April 30, 2018
Outage Start/End Time: 0700 – TBD
Groups Impacted: Campus
Equipment: Campus Network

Description: UPDATE: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 1:59am – The firewall has been stable since 12:42am, services appear to be restored. The vendor will continue monitoring.

Monday, April 30, 2018 8:51pm – This evening at 7:06pm the data center firewalls reloaded on their own. The vendor is currently working to restore service.

Monday, April 30, 2018 3:38pm – The firewalls have been stable since 11:40am this morning. Users may need to check/restart services that could have hung during the outage.

IST staff are still working on the root cause of this outage. This evening after business hours at 10:00pm, the network team will troubleshoot further to fully restore network services.

Monday, April 30, 2018 2:20pm – This continues to be a sporadic ongoing issue and the network team is working to resolve the problem. There is no ETA at this time.

Monday, April 30, 2018 10:17am – IST staff is aware of instability to the Palto Alto Firewall in the Earl Warrent Data Center and are troubleshooting to determine the cause and work toward a resolution.

Monday, April 30, 2018 9:17am – The Service Desk continues to receive reports of network issues affecting many services including CAS, VPN, and connectivity to other applications hosted on campus. The network team is working to correct the issue as quickly as possible. All workloads hosted in our environment are up and running and should respond normally as soon as the issue is resolved.

The Service Desk are receiving calls of intermittent network issues.

IST staff is working quickly to identify the source of the problem and to restore services as quickly as possible.

INC:INC0660327
84) Message boards : News : Dropped packets (Message 1932903)
Posted 30 Apr 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The UC data center switched over to a new firewall this morning. Since then packets into and out of the data center have been suffering drops. The Data Center staff is debugging the problem, we'll probably be dropping packets until it's resolved.
85) Message boards : News : Unexplained database slowness (Message 1930419)
Posted 17 Apr 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The experimental reorg that we did two weeks ago appears to have worked. Our speed is better, and our outage last week was down to about 3.5 hours.

Fingers crossed that things keep working out.
86) Message boards : News : Unexplained database slowness (Message 1927456)
Posted 31 Mar 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The database has gotten hung up a couple of times with slow queries. I've restarted it once and that seems to have helped. It'll take several hours to be sure.

If that didn't solve the problem, it probably means the index the server uses to choose workunits to send has gotten corrupted. If I need to rebuild it, we'll probably be down most of tomorrow while I do so.
87) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1920689)
Posted 23 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The network guys think the problem is fixed, but they never identified the problem.

What fixed the problem? A power outage happened at Green Bank, and that may have reset whatever piece of equipment was causing the problem.

Not very satisfying, but hopefully it stays fixed.

When in doubt reach for the big red switch.
88) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1919912)
Posted 19 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I assume that Jeff worked the magic to get at least some data in place. I would imagine that talk this week will be about shipping drives and the hardware needed to support it.
89) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1919613)
Posted 18 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What's the hurry? We've got all the time in the world.


I, for one, am getting old.
90) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1919551)
Posted 17 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yeah, connection is nearly flat dead right now. I've got better connectivity to Arecibo. Jeff's only got so much time this weekend and Matt is on tour again.

Thinking about mounting a big spool of fiber on top of the Prius and laying a line to West Virginia.
91) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1918795)
Posted 14 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Regarding that, we were able to get 1.2 Gbps through the link this week. We're not sure yet if that's a fix, or a temporary improvement.
92) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917895)
Posted 9 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I hope everything works out as well Eric thanks for the update.

Out of curiosity when everything is working as it should between Greenbank and Berkely are all of the tapes shown on the server status page transferred is one file or are they transferred individually (but all downloaded at the same time)
Thanks in advance. I appreciate you taking the time to answer


I believe Matt uses multiple parallel rsync connections, one from each of the compute nodes on the Greenbank side. So each file goes over a single connection, but separate files may go over separate connections. Each of the names listed on the status page actually consists of multiple files, each no larger than 4GB.
93) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917689)
Posted 8 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Related to Green Bank ... What did you find with the Slow splitting and deletion of GB data?
It appears the system has got back up to normal speeds.


We found no obvious reasons why it occurred, nor why it stopped occurring. It could have been related to slow inserts or queries due to the size of the result and workunit tables in the BOINC (mysql) database. I changed some db_purge settings to increase delete speed, but I don't think that solved the problem.

Fingers crossed it doesn't happen again.
94) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917528)
Posted 7 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's probably not a net neutrality issue, because this mostly (or entirely) goes over non-commercial (state or federally run) research networks.

Jeff's been converting some more old but unanalyzed files, and Matt is going to try and grab some more data tonight.
95) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917257)
Posted 6 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Let us know if new hardware is needed Eric. We can certainly mount another donation drive as we proved there is earnest commitment to the project on the last one.


If we do have to go to shipping disk there will be lots of drives to buy, and an enclosure on each side of the country.
96) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917200)
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Still nothing here in New Zealand... I have 2 computers dedicated to running data and they are getting bored waiting for work... LOL.
Seriously, what is happening??


Well, the network folks are still debugging and haven't isolated the problem. I've thought about requesting that they replace all the hardware between here and GBT.

Matt is talking about the possibility of shipping disks (for Breakthrough purposes primarily), but the hardware necessary probably couldn't be in place for a couple months, assuming GBT will let us use additional space and power there.
97) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917176)
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Definitely certainly clear it with the boss/owners first. You wouldn't want to find out on Monday that they pay by the byte.
98) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917167)
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A couple TB or early observations will be coming online soon.

One small file copied over from last nights AO observation and is in the radar blanker queue.
99) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917129)
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
POGS, Milyway and Rosetta seem to have work.
100) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1917124)
Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We have repeatedly suggested that in addition to SETI@home (with priority 100) people connect to multiple projects with priority 0 or 1, so you'll always have something useful to do.

We have very little control over what happens at the observatories, or on the networks between us.

Yes, Jeff ran into some snags with the data. Matt's unavailable to transfer more data from GBT until tomorrow.


Splitter seem to be down to me....

I dunno, seriously considering moving most of my hardware to F@H. I just get back into DC with new equipment.. ThreadRipper is idle yet again. I don't remember that SETI has been down for so long or had so many problems... Been doing S@H for over 15 years with various accounts and hardware.

Perhaps you guys have enough volunteers to do the WU's you need and my resources could be used elsewhere.

Thanks.
101) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1916954)
Posted 4 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, Jeff ran into some snags with the data. Matt's unavailable to transfer more data from GBT until tomorrow.
102) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1916745)
Posted 3 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Jeff has found an old stash of data that we haven't done yet. He has to do some header fix up (because really old data has incorrect values in the header), and then convert it from 16-bit complex format to 4-bit complex format.

With luck more data should be online tonight or tomorrow.
103) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1916494)
Posted 2 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It turns out that using Google Cloud as an intermediary is more expensive than we thought. It's costing us about $100/TB. We can only do a TB every couple of days because Breakthrough needs 10 TB/day for their own stuff. Anyone have a 10GB link to the commodity internet that they'd let us build a tunnel through?

Lighting a fire under the people who run the networks between here and GBT is proving difficult. There seem to be problem getting to other internet2 nodes in WV, so the problem may be on that side.
104) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XXIV - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1916329)
Posted 1 Feb 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Can you see it if you go to the album link? https://photos.app.goo.gl/MOE5cx1xDKRdN8ry2
105) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1916012)
Posted 31 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I don't know in what format the Green Bank data is stored. If it is on physical drives, couldn't you just overnight them via FedEx? Assuming you have the correct hardware on your end to mount them and get the data into the splitters, wouldn't that keep us going for a few more days until campus networking gets off their Level One script reader response?


Unfortunately Breakthrough needs the drives for daily observations, so we can't pull and ship the way we did with Arecibo. (That and they are in a fairly large raid configuration, so we'd probably need to ship all of them).
106) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1915968)
Posted 31 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Regarding Arecibo data, we're slow trickling what data there is on the data recorder's mounted drive at 5 Mbps (500 kBps). That's all we're allowed to use because Arecibo only has a 30 Mbps wireless link. Their fiber link was cut in the Hurricane, and there's no estimate of when it will be fixed.

The bad news is we've pulled all the data off that drive, and no ALFA observations are scheduled until Feb 4, so no more Arecibo data until the 5th at the earliest.
107) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1915966)
Posted 31 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Matt was able to get us 1.6 TB of data (enough for a day and a half) by first transferring the data to Google storage, then to Berkeley. The problem appears to be somewhere in the internet2 route between Berkeley and Green Bank. We're pushing on campus networking to consider it a real problem (they keep asking if we've checked our cables, even though the problem exists on several machines).

More news tomorrow, we hope.
108) Message boards : News : Slow network connection to Green Bank (Message 1915795)
Posted 29 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Something is happening to the network connection between Green Bank and Berkeley that is slowing down the rate at which we can transfer data for splitting. We've opened a trouble ticket with campus networking services. Hopefully they will be able to find and fix the problem quickly. Until then, work may be in short supply.
109) Message boards : News : Long outage... (Message 1914728)
Posted 24 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The outage ran long today because we needed to run down to the data center to swap some bad drives with new ones and reboot a few of the machine to pick up kernel and mysql updates.

Sorry for the delay.
110) Message boards : News : Projects are (no longer) down (Message 1910847)
Posted 5 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It turns out there was a typo in a configuration file that was making the splitters restart repeatedly. I finally figured it out this morning. We should be approaching a normal splitting rate. If we don't start building a queue I'll add more GBT splitters.

And you've probably noticed that we are out of Arecibo data. We don't have a good idea of when we'll get more.
111) Message boards : News : Projects are (no longer) down (Message 1910767)
Posted 5 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll check the GBT splitters. They seem like they should be working.
112) Message boards : News : Projects are (no longer) down (Message 1910741)
Posted 5 Jan 2018 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are back. When I've had a chance to catch my breath I'll post a summary of what went wrong. Nothing lost except many hours of my time.
113) Message boards : News : Now accepting donations of gridcoin. (Message 1907760)
Posted 17 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I will say that I'm certainly not a full convert to cryptocurrencies, in that it is only supply and demand that set their value. Should demand for a cryptocurrency drop to zero, the value will as well. With quantum computing there may be a technological limit to the value of existing cryptocurrencies.

But we will accept them if the cost to us of accepting them is small, even if the cost to utilize the currency is not negligible.

For those not into cryptocurrencies, the benefit is that you can earn a few cents a day in gridcoin by crunching on certain BOINC projects, which we are already doing. The drawback it that it's not easy for a non-technical person to participate, and it's not immediately clear you're doing it right.
114) Message boards : News : Now accepting donations of gridcoin. (Message 1906803)
Posted 13 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Because of several requests, I've resurrected the idea that we could take donation in gridcoin, a cryptocurrency you can earn by participating in volunteer computing projects.

Our gridcoin address is now listed on our donation page.
115) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1906451)
Posted 11 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks everyone for the awe inspiring response. For those who donate through GPUUG/Paypal, I'll start entering your donations in the database as soon as I can. If you donated by check, it will take a little longer.
116) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905657)
Posted 8 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The response has been amazing! We've already reached our goal for the fundraiser and a bit more, and we reached the limits to which the donors have agreed to match. Any further matching of donations is up to them. If you didn't get a chance to get your special disk drive or GPU icon, we'll keep that open for donations that come in until 8am Pacific Time (1600 UTC) on Monday.

Thanks to Al, Kevin, and Richard for sponsoring this amazing funding drive! And thanks to everyone that has donated to this drive and to our annual drive!
117) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905628)
Posted 8 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I am pretty sure that during the campaign all the donations collected from anywhere are going towards it.


Yes, that is correct. It's easier that way, and sometimes the "special instructions" seem to not make it us when we get notified of the gift.
118) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905471)
Posted 8 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We now have icons, but I should space them from the names. They also disappear for a few seconds every time Matt's script runs, but I'll fix that. Still need to fix the problem with Keith's donation page.
119) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905454)
Posted 8 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've found the problem! As soon as I change the donation flags, the "flag setter" that Matt wrote a decade ago sets them back to what they were. I need to fix the "flag setter".

That goes for Keith's problem as well. I fixed it, and the "flag setter" unfixed it in a few minutes.
120) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905451)
Posted 8 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think I fixed the "DONATION_LINE_FOUR" problem. It should have been DONATION_LINK_FOUR.

I also think I've fixed Keith's donation page.

But I still don't understand why my new icons aren't showing up... I'll think about it on the drive home.
121) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905437)
Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hmmmm... that obviously didn't work. It just took existing stars away. Debugging.
122) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905424)
Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for remind me to continue trying to figure out that problem.
123) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905385)
Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm still designing the icons, so it'll be a little while before you see them.
124) Message boards : News : Special Fundraiser for Parkes Data Store and GPU development system (Message 1905371)
Posted 7 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks to our collaboration with Breakthrough Listen and their international colleagues, we will soon have the ability to access data recorded at the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. For the first time, this will give us full-sky coverage, including the southern hemisphere, in our search for ET. However, due to the enormous amount of data that the 13-beam receiver at Parkes can generate, we will require extra hardware to store and distribute it. We need your help to purchase this.

Thanks to some special offers, one from the Hanson family in memory of Robert W. & Mary P. Hanson, one from Richard Haselgrove in memory of his mother, Jenifer Leech, and one from Mr. Kevvy, we have the possibility to match donations which will allow us to purchase the Parkes Data store server (~$34K) and the GPU development systems (~$10K) we will need for the coming year. For every dollar you donate in this special fund raiser, Mr. Kevvy will match it, the Hanson Family will match it with two, and Richard Haselgrove will match it with two more. That means for every dollar you donate we'll get six dollars towards the purchase of these servers!

Because this is a special fundraiser we'll have special notation on your account page and on the forums. The 12TB disk drives in the Parkes Data Store cost $450. One sixth of that is $75. So, a donation of $75 or more gets you a disk drive icon. The GPUs in the GPU development machine that we will be using for our recording systems at future telescopes are $1500 each, so a donation of $250 or more will get you a GPU icon. And as always, any donation of $10 or more will get you a green star.

But in the end, it's not about the icons: it's about getting the data and making a discovery for the ages. Your help, whether by crunching data or by donating, is always appreciated.
125) Message boards : News : Splitters off, again :( (Message 1905174)
Posted 6 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are back up and splitting.
126) Message boards : News : Splitters off, again :( (Message 1905033)
Posted 6 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I had to turn the splitters off, again. I underestimated the rate at which we were creating work (damn moveable decimal points!). I thought we could go without adding more space to the database until we had time (tomorrow morning) to delete the old database spaces.

I was wrong, we really zoomed through the files on disk, and we ran out of space. Deleting database spaces is dangerous, so I really want Jeff to check the command script before it gets run. That won't happen until morning. But once it does we'll be back in operation.

Hopefully most SETIzens won't even notice this short absence of work.
127) Message boards : News : Berkeley SETI Research Center undergraduate research internships, summer 2018 (Message 1904902)
Posted 5 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Applications are invited for 10-week paid undergraduate research internships at Berkeley SETI Research Center for summer 2018. BSRC is a
world-leader in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – the quest for a scientific answer to one of humanity’s oldest questions: Are we
alone in the Universe? Housed in the Astronomy Department at the University of California, Berkeley, the team at BSRC leads the science
program for the $100-million Breakthrough Listen project. Our scientists and engineers are pioneers in the development of software,
instrumentation, and science strategy for the search for intelligent life on other worlds. We have access to substantial amounts of time on
the planet’s largest telescopes, connections to leading players in industry, and we’re based in one of the world’s premiere astronomy
research institutions. We’re also psyched that we get to wake up each day and hunt for aliens.

Current sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduates (including non-US citizens) studying at a degree-granting institution in the US are eligible to
apply. Around 5 - 7 positions will be available. A stipend of $20 / hr (up to a maximum of $8000) will be provided. Details and links to the application form are at https://seti.berkeley.edu/Internship.html
128) Message boards : News : We're generating work again. (Message 1904327)
Posted 2 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but we're back online. It'll probably be a few days before we have a full ready-to-send queue.

Now we can get back to finding ET.
129) Message boards : News : No work. Database issues. (Message 1904325)
Posted 2 Dec 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It took a little longer than I thought it would, but we're generating work again.

Sorry for the delay.
130) Message boards : News : No work. Database issues. (Message 1903656)
Posted 29 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
At first I thought the restart on Tuesday had solved our database problems. I guess I was wrong. It only fixed some of them.

We've hit yet another hidden limit in our Informix science database. The good news is that we know how to fix this one. The bad news is it will take a little while.

We don't have to wait for the full fix before starting to split again, but the point at which we can split will probably be sometime tomorrow. Until then, we only have a few re-dos and a little bit of astropulse to do.
131) Message boards : News : Richard Lubrich has passed away. (Message 1903361)
Posted 29 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Long time setizen, Richard Lubrich (Dr. C.E.T.I., aka Dr. SETI, aka nobody) passed away today. Richard was a fixture on the forums from our earliest days. He was a great friend to SETI@home and will be greatly missed.
132) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (108) Server Problems? (Message 1901240)
Posted 15 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We had a drive in the array that holds the workunits that was generating errors. I've kicked it out of the array. We'll see if the rebuild fixes the problem.

I don't like the looks of WU 2739307008. One host successfully downloaded and ran it. Everybody else is getting D/L errors on it, 5 hosts so far. My machine's Event Log shows:

11/9/2017 7:17:34 AM | SETI@home | Started download of blc24_2bit_guppi_57895_43958_HIP91357_0024.29905.818.23.46.0.vlar
11/9/2017 7:17:38 AM | SETI@home | Finished download of blc24_2bit_guppi_57895_43958_HIP91357_0024.29905.818.23.46.0.vlar
11/9/2017 7:17:38 AM | SETI@home | [error] MD5 check failed for blc24_2bit_guppi_57895_43958_HIP91357_0024.29905.818.23.46.0.vlar
11/9/2017 7:17:38 AM | SETI@home | [error] expected 4bb0fee3928609f2b1df21e44ac13b4e, got 450a32005c6700d7ab95284edc959572
11/9/2017 7:17:38 AM | SETI@home | [error] Checksum or signature error for blc24_2bit_guppi_57895_43958_HIP91357_0024.29905.818.23.46.0.vlar
I just downloaded the WU manually and didn't seem to have any errors. The file doesn't appear to be truncated, either, ending with "</workunit>" as the last line.
I just downloaded it as well. I got a manual MD5 of 450a32005c6700d7ab95284edc959572, the same as BOINC calculated for yours: that would suggest that the MD5 stored in the database when the file was created (so that the comparison can be done) might be corrupted.

EXCEPT: the person who downloaded the _0 replication got a clean download. _1 was a file size error (my download was 720,530 bytes, which is close enough without knowing the precise number of bytes expected): all the others got the MD5 error.

Which suggests that something was messing with, either, the database MD5 values, or, the stored files on disk. Neither really bears thinking about, and both are a long way outside our control. As Rob says, take the day off.
133) Message boards : News : Database slowness (Message 1900554)
Posted 11 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
since about 2 days it started it has become very slow
my pc has just turned itself off and shut down
and independently removed 2 annoying suspicious entries


I was having similar symptoms, a few days ago. I fixed it by taking a damp Q-tip to the vanes of my CPU heat sink. CPU temperature dropped by 30C. One of these days someone will invent a self cleaning heat sink. (Reversible fan maybe?)
134) Message boards : News : Database slowness (Message 1900553)
Posted 11 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I bumped the memory allocated to the database by 20% and transferred some common queries to the replica. Things things seem to have stabilized.
135) Message boards : News : Database slowness (Message 1900400)
Posted 11 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're having some as yet unexplained slowness with the our BOINC database. There don't seem to be any hardware issues. Temperatures are running normal and all the drives seem good. Yet for some reason the query that fills the "ready to send" queue is running about 10 times slower than it normally does.

Until I get it fixed, it means that on average we're sending out 3 workunits a second rather than 30+.

I'll let you know when I've got it figured out.
136) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : completed tasks (Message 1900266)
Posted 10 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll put some more effort today into trying to catch one of these happening on the server side.
137) Message boards : News : SETI@home 2017 fundraising drive has begun. (Message 1899374)
Posted 5 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Now read that again, "300TB storage/splitting system @ $30,000", which is not just drives. There's the drives' enclosure/s plus what ever CPU cores are necessary to cater for it as well as all the hardware required for the splitters. There's a lot more to it than what you have read into it. ;-)

Cheers.


Yes, it's the high end CPUs and the half terabyte of RAM that get it up there. We've thought about a separate system for the CPUs and low end CPUs/small RAM in the storage box, but that adds to network costs. The system drives would be SSD, but the data drives would be plain old 10TB spinners in RAID 6 configuration. We haven't chosen which RAID cards, but they'd probably be high end LSI. I wish LSI had ported the 3ware CLI to all their cards. The LSI CLI isn't good with our monitoring automation.
138) Message boards : News : SETI@home 2017 fundraising drive has begun. (Message 1899138)
Posted 4 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Keith,

I haven't made a 2017 budget, but it won't be significantly different from last years. Of course, this is a desired budget. The reality is rarely what we desired. In the last year we received about $90k in donations and $150k from Breakthrough Listen. Call it $240k total.

The current staff is me at 75% time, Jeff at about 50% time, and David at about 25% time. That costs us about $220k (including health insurance, benefits, overhead). We would like to hire a sysadmin to replace Matt and a postdoc to work on SETI@home version 10. We've identified some sources of funding that would allow us to make such hires on a "funding available" basis, but finding a good sysadmin that isn't already overemployed can be tough. Finding a postdoc who is both qualified and interested can be difficult as well.

Our data center charges run about $650 per month, so there's $8k. That leaves us about $12k for other expenses, replacement parts, a GPU here or there. I haven't charged SETI@home for any of my travel to conferences in the last two years (I've paid out of my own pocket) to save money.

The big additional expense this coming year is a 300TB storage/splitting system for the Parkes data, which will run about $30k. I was hoping to make that a special part of this funding drive, but I rand out of time.

Eric
139) Message boards : News : SETI@home 2017 fundraising drive has begun. (Message 1898909)
Posted 3 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've started our annual fundraising drive to help raise the money we need to keep SETI@home running and expand it to new telescopes. Your computers provide us with the power to analyze this data, but your donations are an important part of keeping us operating.

If you haven't yet received your fundraising letter, you can preview it here. You can donate at https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_donate.php.

Thanks for keeping SETI@home going!
140) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : completed tasks (Message 1898539)
Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The HTTP error 500 connections aren't even showing up in the log. I'm trying to catch a connection from your IP address in a debugger to see if I can see why.
141) Message boards : News : BSRC Student Travel Fundraiser (Message 1892972)
Posted 2 Oct 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Berkeley SETI Research Center is holding a fundraiser to raise $7000 to send our student interns to conferences to present their work.

We’ve been working with some great students at Berkeley SETI, and we’re optimistic that some of them will become the scientists and engineers who lead the field in future and maybe even find the signal we’re searching for. In the meantime they have been doing amazing work and we’d like to send them to academic conferences to present their results, and for their own professional development. If you would like to help with this effort, we are running a crowdfunding campaign at https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/SETItravel - every donation counts! We also have some fun perks including the chance to ask questions to members of the Berkeley SETI team, and to attend a party in our lab.

Although this does not directly benefit SETI@home (our annual fundraiser will start in a couple weeks), it's a worthy cause. I'll be contributing!
142) Message boards : News : Arecibo Status (Message 1891785)
Posted 25 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I see you've all seen info about the damage to the telescope and the smaller 12 meter antenna. Generator power will be provided intermittently at the observatory as fuel is scarce. Communication is difficult. Both hospitals in Arecibo (town) are out of commission, it appears. Travel is still difficult, with many roads blocked.

Food, fuel, and medical services will be the big concerns for Puerto Rico in the near future. Meanwhile Congress isn't even going to start talking about aid to Puerto Rico until next week at the earliest.
143) Message boards : News : Arecibo Status (Message 1891181)
Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've been asked by several people to post a status update on the situation at Arecibo following hurricane Maria's passage.

Unfortunately, at this point we haven't gotten any news. The last information we have is from a couple hours prior to when the eye passed Arecibo. That report said all the employees were accounted for and in sheltered buildings.

Since then we've had no news. That's understandable. With power out on the whole island, electronics communications aren't going to be possible for some time. Heavy rains are still expected today, so I'm sure that the primary concern is still keeping everyone safe. Assessment of any damage will take time.

Let's hope that everyone is safe, that their homes are intact, and that any damage can be repaired quickly.
144) Message boards : News : Data from "Tabby's Star" is flowing. (Message 1891179)
Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

do you know if Seti@home might one day be allowed to receive data from China's new radio Telescope ?


We're working on it. We're working with the Chinese to design a SERENDIP VI system and a Fast Radio Burst system for FAST. Those system will have a primary scientist who is in China and main data analysis effort will be there. The situation with SETI@home is more complicated, with more cross border interaction. Fingers crossed...
145) Message boards : Cafe SETI : RIP Dr SETI (Message 1891176)
Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I hope Richard knows he is in our thoughts.
146) Message boards : News : Data from "Tabby's Star" is flowing. (Message 1888535)
Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Got 4 of them, 3 of those ran for 13,14 and 15 seconds before finishing. Triplet count: 30.

Let's hope that it's not really 75% of them that do that.


It shouldn't be. The non-L-band workunits at GBT are a bit messier (astronomy pun) than the L-band, but most of them should run to completion.
147) Message boards : News : Data from "Tabby's Star" is flowing. (Message 1888534)
Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Is the double size the new standard then?


Double size is the new standard for both Arecibo and GBT (and eventually Parkes). Unless UC complains about the extra traffic. I don't think they'll even notice it.
148) Message boards : News : Data from "Tabby's Star" is flowing. (Message 1888533)
Posted 8 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That error is pretty weird. Why would it send part of a notice when getting a work_unit. I'll check the server logs to see if these "headers" are actually being received. Are downloads completing properly?
149) Message boards : News : Data from "Tabby's Star" is flowing. (Message 1888412)
Posted 7 Sep 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
For those who didn't recognize the name KIC8462852 in their work unit names, this data comes from GBT observations of Tabby's Star (aka Boyajian's Star, aka WTF-0001, aka the Weirdest star in the galaxy). This is not yet the full data set, which lives at Penn State, it's some test on-target/off-target observations that we're checking out.

You might also notice another change. We've doubled the size of our work units which will reduce our quantization noise by 34%, and, depending on the strength of other noise sources, could give us as much as double that as a sensitivity increase.
150) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday, Eric (Message 1876726)
Posted 4 Jul 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Angela overfed and over-libated me. The cake was delicious. I'll be eating it for days.
151) Message boards : News : A 3D tour of the Green Bank Telescope. (Message 1875533)
Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We took a GoPro Omni 360 VR camera up to the top of the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. Join us on Part 1 of our journey, as we check out the telescope wheels that each carry more than a million pounds of weight, and learn about the 2004 individually controllable panels that make up the surface of the dish, which is larger than a football stadium.
152) Message boards : News : Engadget article on SETI (Message 1869987)
Posted 28 May 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Engadget has published an article on SETI which includes discussion of Breakthrough Listen and SETI@home.
153) Message boards : Cafe SETI : CRL (Angela) got a new hat for her birthday. (Message 1869210)
Posted 25 May 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Everybody wish her a happy birthday!
154) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1868988)
Posted 24 May 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

The (mostly) archaic second-person singular possessive pronominal adjective is “thy”, not “thine”.


You got me there. I'm a scientist, so you can't really expect me to speak (or write) English properly. I should have done it in French where the rules are more obvious.
155) Message boards : News : New SETI@home web article in "The Atlantic" (Message 1868984)
Posted 24 May 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Atlantic has published a new article entitled A Brief History of SETI@home featuring interviews of Dan Werthimer, David Anderson, and Eric Korpela.
156) Message boards : News : Dr. Steve Croft on Deep Astronomy (Message 1867808)
Posted 17 May 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Berkeley SETI's Steve Croft is joining other SETI and exoplanet researchers on Deep Astronomy right now (4 pm PDT, 2300 UTC). If you join live you can ask questions of these scientists.
157) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1864124)
Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dude...the SPLC has about as much credibility in the real world as teh Black Panthers do.



you might want to keep in mind you live in one of the most protected environments on the planet..a uni campus and while many o the people there love the SPLC, the more general public, in examining some of the SPLC's calls, are deciding that they are a little less than objective.


I don't live on a university campus. I live in a working class suburb which is still considered a "hick town", although I would suspect that suburb is more racially diverse than most in the United States. In fact of the five neighboring houses, three have mixed race marriages. I'm sure that is a significant reason that "real" racists choose Berkeley as their target. I grew up in rural America, surrounded by my "real" friends. Some of them are still friends. Some of them are racist a**holes. Some are not. And the people in my neighborhood are real, without quotes. Whether the Proud Boys and Antifa like it or not, most Americans live in urban areas.

So what point were you trying to make by comparing the SPLC to a black nationalist group the both threatened and committed acts of violence? That the SPLC are black supremacists that they are violent? Or are you saying that the only thing most "real" people know about the SPLC is what comes from over facebook feed from their similarly "real" friends? I wouldn't be surprised if that's true. Of course, I expect hate groups to strike out at anyone who labels them as such.

Of course SPLC has an political agenda, so they are not going to be as objective as, say, the AAAS. But they are certainly more objective then the DNC or RNC. And since they don't make facebook posts about how to hide weapons in your protest sign, I'll take them over the Proud Boys and the Antifa any day.
158) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1864093)
Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dude...the SPLC has about as much credibility in the real world as teh Black Panthers do.


Actually the SPLC has quite a bit of credibility and is a fairly centrist organization.

On another note, the SPLC lists the "New Black Panther Party" as an antisemitic hate group. The Black Panthers no longer exist, so they aren't listed.
159) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1864081)
Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
white supremacists


You F**KED UP saying the above.


How so? The right wing group making threats of violence is a known white supremacist group. The left wing group making threats of violence is a known anarchist group.

**EDIT**
The Oath Keepers are considered to be a hate group by the SPLC. The Proud Boys probably hasn't been in existence long enough to make their list, but the SPLC has noticed them. The left wing group, Antifa, is also on the SPLC's list of hate groups. They are all coming to Berkeley to commit violence for the purpose of committing violence. Protecting free speech is not on the agenda of any of these groups.
**EDIT**

If someone reads that to mean that I think everyone on one side of the issue is a right wing white supremacist and everyone on the other is a left wing anarchist they need to head back to middle school for some reading comprehension lessons.

Hasn't political correctness gone a little too far when you can't say that a group of self avowed white supremacists is a group of white supremacists?
160) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1863988)
Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
would it be feasible for the creators and managers of S.E.T.I. and/or B.O.I.N.C. to look around for another university or similar research facility to host these various scientific projects?


Unfortunately that isn't really possible because of funding. For example, Breakthrough Listen is implemented as a contract between the Breakthrough Foundation and UC Berkeley. Our gift funds, once they have been received, are considered state property (so we can be subject to audits/spending rules) so we would be giving them up. Any grants we have are also grants to the University, rather than grants to us as people.

While not theoretically impossible to move. A project like SETI@home would take significant time and resources to move. Should we be approached by a university that wants to provide a serious commitment to SETI@home, I'd certainly that such an offer seriously.
161) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1863987)
Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I don't believe I called anyone a white supremacist, apart from members of the "Proud Boys" who are in fact white supremacists who have indicated their intent to commit violence in Berkeley today.

Anyone who thinks I did call a larger group white supremacists should stop thinking that everyone divides the world into two categories, and that anyone on the opposite side of their own personal line is an enemy.

If you think being against violent white supremacists makes me a enemy of yours, you are free to leave. If you think being against violent left wing anarchists makes me a enemy of yours, you are free to leave. If you think my post took a position against rational conservatism or rational liberalism or against student groups being able to invite who they want, please read it again.
162) Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home (Message 1863881)
Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Once again I need to explain our policies on free speech, as I've been getting lots of nastygrams both here and on twitter and facebook.

First, let me explain our relationship to the UC Berkeley administration. Despite the fact that I met with the Chancellor once for about 15 seconds, the UC administration neither knows nor cares that SETI@home exists. Threats of quitting SETI@home or withholding donations will be about as effective as kicking a stray dog because you don't like something the dog catcher did. They won't notice. They don't care. They get no direct benefit from SETI@home, so here will be no effect on them, or the on University. We could shut off our servers tomorrow, and nobody in Sproul Hall would notice a thing.

So here are our project commandments on free speech.

0. Thine speech is free as in freedom, not free as in beer.
1. Thou mayst speak thine mind.
2. Thou shalt do so in the appropriate forum.
3. Thou shalt recognize that speech has consequences to thine self and to others, some legal, some financial, some painful.
4. Thou shalt not force others to pay for the delivery of or the consequences of speech they may not agree with.
5. On public SETI@home forums, thou shalt use language a parent would not mind their 12 year old hearing.
6. Failure to obey the forum rules will result in moderator action. If thou dost not understand, see thou commandment 4.

In other words, if you want to be heard on the current controversy, try the Politics forum. Then use twitter, facebook, instagram and whatever social media you want. SETI@home in general and me in particular have no power to effect change of any sort.

It sounds like there's still going to be a riot in Berkeley tomorrow because a group of white supremacists and a group of left wing anarchists are ignoring commandments 2, 3, and 4. The people of Berkeley and the people of California will be picking up the tab for their "freedom of speech" whether they want to or not. And personally, I think that's what's been missing from the whole discussion.
163) Message boards : News : We're back online (Message 1858839)
Posted 1 Apr 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And with some incredible luck we didn't lose any entries in the pulse signal table at all.

Whew!
164) Message boards : News : Unexpected outage (March 30-31) (Message 1858633)
Posted 31 Mar 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Status update:

The checks are still running but should be finished within a few more hours.

The worst case scenario is probably restoring from a backup either one or two weeks old, so we lose two weeks of processing. I'm still hopeful that we can avoid that. Best case scenario is that we can snip out the problem areas and only lose a few pulses.
165) Message boards : News : Unexpected outage (March 30-31) (Message 1858467)
Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've found some corruption in a part of our science database that holds the power vs time profiles of detected pulses. We're running some table checks to see if we can localize the problem and come up with a solution that minimizes the lost workunits that need to be redone.
166) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@home v8.22/23 Windows GPU applications support thread (Message 1841714)
Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK, trying an 8.24 release (of the 8.22 binary).
167) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@home v8.22/23 Windows GPU applications support thread (Message 1841540)
Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've temporarily disabled those plan classes while I debug the problem.
168) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@home v8.22/23 Windows GPU applications support thread (Message 1841467)
Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've cleaned up some unused app_versions from the database. Did that fix the problem?
169) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@home v8.22/23 Windows GPU applications support thread (Message 1841464)
Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've checked the database entries for the 8.23 versions and everything checks out. My guess at this point is that we've reached some limit on number of app versions that's present in the BOINC code. Looking into it now.
170) Message boards : News : New SETI@home donation project on Bitcoin Utopia (Message 1840498)
Posted 7 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've started a new mining effort on Bitcoin Utopia. If you've got mining equipment and want to help out, please join the effort.

The ~5 bitcoins that were donated last year went primarily to buying replacement hard drives. With the number of drives we have running we lose quite a few over the course of a year. It was nice not to need to dip into cash to replace them.
171) Message boards : News : Problems with centurion (Message 1840423)
Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're having some problems with centurion, the computer holds the Breakthrough Listen data and does our Breakthrough Listen splitting. Correction will probably require an OS upgrade.

Because of this GBT data will be scarce over the weekend.
172) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@HOME v8.22 (Message 1838601)
Posted 29 Dec 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Another typo in another manually edited script copied the wrong base app_version into the ati5_SoG app_versions. I've rereleased them at 8.23 and cancelled the results for the bad app_versions (8.22 opencl_ati5_SoG_nocal and opencl_ati5_SoG_cat132).

Let me know if they don't automatically get aborted by your machine the next time you connect.
173) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI@HOME v8.22 (Message 1838579)
Posted 29 Dec 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll look at it this morning.
174) Message boards : Politics : Immigrant Migrant Refugee SUPREMACY-Is RACIST DEPLORABLE & TREASONOUS KKKOMMIE KKKryBABY KKKLOWNS with Their Continuing TREASONOUS Behaviours, will LOSE All Elections if They Keep Spouting TREASONOUS Free Speech (Message 1831608)
Posted 20 Nov 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
My wife is a human being with opinions of her own that she is free to express. She is not my property. We agree on most things, but on those rare occasions when we don't, she is still free to say whatever the hell she wants.

If you treat the women in your life as less than equals, it says volumes about your feelings about yourself. Suggesting domestic violence is never a joke. Treating people as property is never a joke. Threats of violence are never a joke. That's why they aren't tolerated here.
175) Message boards : News : SETI@home Fall 2016 Fundraiser (Message 1831281)
Posted 18 Nov 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Fall 2016 fundraiser has begun. If you haven't received your fundraising letter you can find it here.

The abundance of data has made our funding needs a little more demanding this year, so we're hoping you can help us out a bit more.

As always, thanks for running SETI@home
176) Message boards : News : Celttooth has passed away. (Message 1830795)
Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are sad to report the passing to long time SETI contributor Celttooth (M. Ian Russell) We will be lessened by his absence.
177) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Yet another probable non-detection of ET (Message 1823764)
Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Don't these people check with their peers before publishing? and its a shame they don't go through the same vigorous thought processes as your good self , although i note there is still a very slim chance that they may be correct the odds are that they are not as you explain so well.


My understanding (through the grapevine) is that the paper was in the peer review process for several years and was rejected by several different reviewers at at least one other journal. But nothing prevents authors from resubmitting a paper unchanged to many different journals until they find a reviewer who lets it through. A drawback of the anonymity of the peer review process is that journal editors can't talk to each other about which papers have been rejected.

It also may be a shortcoming of the typical Astronomy peer review process which is conducted by a single reviewer rather than the two or three that may be typical in other fields. The assumption is that every reviewer is equally competent, which is not necessarily true.
178) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Yet another probable non-detection of ET (Message 1823583)
Posted 12 Oct 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Maybe. Gotta get in line for next year. :)
179) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Yet another probable non-detection of ET (Message 1823565)
Posted 11 Oct 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Why do I always have to be the bad guy?

A paper was made available on arXiv last night, titled "Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars" In the paper comments from the submitter you can see "Signals probably from Extraterrestrial Intelligence."

Here we go again. Another unconfirmed signal from ET. Another author not following the recommended protocols of which they are undoubtedly aware, primarily confirmation before publication. In the paper, the authors have analyzed 2.5 million archival spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky survey using a discrete Fourier transform. In 234 stars, of spectral types G, K they found periodicity which they attribute to broad band pulsations of the stellar signal that have (in nearly all the sources) a period of 1.65 picosecond (1 picosecond=a trillionth of a second). Pulses of such short duration would need to come from an omnidirectional transmitter less than half a millimeter across or they would have to be beamed in our direction. That's typically what we look for in optical SETI, directed pulses, but on nanosecond (a billionth of a second) rather than picosecond timescales.

There's lots of math and physical intuition involved in the analysis so I won't describe it all. The authors describe why they think it can't be an instrumental or data analysis effect and then conclude ET is the most likely cause. They conclude there are 234 planets beaming pulses of the same period directly at Earth. A Galactic consortium.

What is missing from the analysis? Confirmation, of course. A 1 meter telescope with a low resolution spectrograph would have been able to confirm or refute this in a single night. This paper has been in the review process for more than enough time for a confirming observation at a different telescope to be made. None is mentioned.

At any rate, I'm unconvinced that there are 234 stars transmitting pulsations at the same rate toward Earth. My best guess? It's an instrumental or data handling effect. The similar rate seems suspicious. The author list doesn't include a data scientist from the Sloan survey, nor is one acknowledged, so the authors may not have fully understood the data analysis pipeline for Sloan. I'm not an expert on the SDSS pipeline, but I can think of many steps when an oscillatory term could be introduced in an intermittent fashion. For example, if there is a polynomial fit to the wavelength scale that breaks down because of a misdetected calbration line. Or a poor CCD flat field correction, or a polynomial fit to a background or continuum went bad. We'll probably find out more when confirmation attempts are made using different instruments.

Of course, Breakthrough Listen is going to take that strategy and look at these stars with the Automated Planet Finder and get high resolution spectra. Prior to confirmation it rates on the Rio Scale as a 1 (out of 10), insignificant. After confirmation it would pop up to a 3-5 (minor to intermediate). To get up to noteworthy (in my estimation) we would have to do more to rule out non-intelligent phenomena. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.

Jason Wright from Penn State (on sabbatical at UC Berkeley this semester) has penned a blog post about the Rio scale and how it is used in conjunction with announcement of possible discoveries.
180) Message boards : News : Replica database offline... (Message 1823042)
Posted 9 Oct 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The replica database will be offline until we can restore it from the primary database on tuesday (at the earlies). This will result in slowness of the web site and the scheduler.
181) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1818273)
Posted 19 Sep 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home is not funded by the government, nor is it under any form of government oversight.
182) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1818221)
Posted 19 Sep 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Let's see, if I found ET and announced it I would be famous and never have to worry about funding my SETI projects again in my life. The funding would be rolling in for us to analyze the signal while continuing to search for more.

Or I could hide the fact that I had found ET and continue to toil in relative obscurity, spending most of my time trying to get enough money to keep the project funded, knowing that eventually we will run out of money and the project will end.

I don't think it would be a difficult decision.
183) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813947)
Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Unfortunately, we don't have a catalog of the frequencies transmitted by all the satellites in orbit, or even a list of all the satellites in orbit. The US government would not allow us to create such a satellite frequency catalog if we wanted to. They would certainly no longer allow us to continue to use US government facilities if we did attempt to make such a catalog.

I'm fairly sure that our Russian colleagues would have similar difficulties.
184) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen observations of HD 164595 (Message 1813894)
Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Breakthrough Listen team has posted their archival search for emission from HD 164595 and the initial analysis of their recent observations of that target.
185) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813656)
Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's an interesting idea. This biggest issue would be a data recorder capable of recording baseband data and whatever the bandwidth of their widest receiver, preferably in a format like guppi raw. The front end electronics (analog+ADC) would probably be more expensive than the back end (PCs+GPUs).

Regarding contacts there, I don't have any contacts there as of now. I'll probably meet some of them for the first time at the end of next month at the IAA meeting.
186) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813646)
Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It may have taken them that long to finish analyzing the data. Like most people, I doubt they get paid to do SETI. This is probably a side project for people working more than full time on other things.
187) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813625)
Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I wouldn't put it in the same category as the Wow! signal. The Wow! signal was narrow band, and because of that, more likely to indicate intelligence than this event.
188) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813608)
Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We believe a signal when

  • It is persistent. It appears at the same spot in the sky in multiple observations.
  • It only comes from one spot in the sky.
  • If we reobserve the target, the signal is still there.



Things that add to believability


  • Its frequency/period/delay does not correspond to known interference.
  • Its Doppler Drift rate indicates that it is exactly frequency stable in the frame of the center of mass of the solar system
  • Its properties (bandwidth, chirp rate, encoding) indicate intelligent origin.



Unfortunately the observing method used by the Russian team does not permit many of these things to be determine. 1. The signal was not persistent. 2. The signal was gone when the target was reobserved. 3. The signal frequency/period/delay cannot be determined. 4. The signal Doppler drift rate is unknown. 5. Many sources of interference, including satellites, are present in the observing band.

189) Message boards : News : "Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above. (Message 1813506)
Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm sure that many of you have seen the news reports of a "SETI signal" detected from the star HD 164595

I was one of the many people who received the the email with the subject "Candidate SETI SIGNAL DETECTED by Russians from star HD 164595 by virtue of RATAN-600 radio telescope." Since the email did come from known SETI researchers, I looked over the presentation. I was unimpressed. In one out of 39 scans that passed over star showed a signal at about 4.5 times the mean noise power with a profile somewhat like the beam profile. Of course SETI@home has seen millions of potential signals with similar characteristics, but it takes more than that to make a good candidate. Multiple detections are a minimum criterion.

Because the receivers used were making broad band measurements, there's really nothing about this "signal" that would distinguish it from a natural radio transient (stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, microlensing of a background source, etc.) There's also nothing that could distinguish it from a satellite passing through the telescope field of view. All in all, it's relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.

But, of course, it's been announced to the media. Reporters won't have the background to know it's not interesting. Because the media has it, and since this business runs on media, everyone will look at it. ATA is looking at it. I assume Breakthrough will look at it. Someone will look at it with Arecibo, and we'll be along for the ride. And I'll check the SETI@home database around that position. And we'll all find nothing. It's not our first time at this rodeo, so we know how it works.
190) Message boards : News : Setizen Jack Lass has passed away. (Message 1806168)
Posted 31 Jul 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home team is sad to note the passing of long time SETI@home volunteer Jack Lass. Many of you will remember him from the original SETI@home forums. Our condolences go out to his wife and son. We will miss him.
191) Message boards : News : Vice Magazine article about Arecibo Closure (Message 1801963)
Posted 10 Jul 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Vice Magazine has posted an article about the potential closure of the Arecibo observatory.
192) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1795929)
Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Lot's of things to reply to...

First I want to make it clear that Breakthrough's effect on SETI@home wasn't due to anything malicious. As far as personnel go, Breakthrough wants experienced people, and SETI@home is where the experienced people are. It would be silly for those people not to go where the funding is.

As far a funding goes, it's clear that SETI@home doesn't have a strong advocate with a direct line to Yuri Milner. I'm two or three levels away from the people who get to talk to Yuri about funding priorities, and the people in those intervening levels have their own ideas about what the funding priorities are. If they aren't excited about SETI@home, Yuri probably won't be either.

Regarding non-Arecibo data sources, we're certainly working on that. In addition to definite plans for Parkes, we are considering FAST, MeerKAT and eventually SKA. I'd also like to build a tap from SERENDIP VI at Arecibo so we can record the data from every receiver (and when SERENDIP VI instruments are installed at other telescopes data becomes available more easily). It would be nice to get 327 MHz data from Arecibo before it gets shut down.

Each new data source has a cost attached to it, which we estimate at about ~$200k annually per data source. Unfortunately radio telescopes aren't as simple as plug and go, each one has a different way of communicating observing parameters, each one has different ways of setting or calculating the observing frequencies.
193) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1795299)
Posted 11 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
People that were working primarily on SETI@home have transitioned to Breakthrough,


Obviously I'm confused, Eric. I thought SETI@home and Breakthrough were part of the same effort. I take it they're not. (?)


It's confusing to a lot of people. Let's see if I can provide the top down view of Breakthrough Listen. Breakthrough Listen is funded by the Breakthrough Foundation, and consists of multiple parts... The largest portion of the funding is going to purchase telescope time on the Green Bank Telescope and the Parkes Telescope. The second largest portion (from my understanding. I don't have access to the budgets) is for purchasing and developing data recording and signal analysis hardware to analyze the data for those telescopes and make some subset of the data available to the public (and to SETI@home). A third portion goes to the salaries of the people developing that equipment and analysis code. None, at this point, goes to SETI@home.

Each of these portions are controlled by the foundation, and any additional expenditure needs to be proposed to the foundation and approved by them. This is a significant departure from the media portrayal, wherein the UC Berkeley SETI group is handed a check from $100M. Because Yuri Milner did make SETI@home a significant part of the Breakthrough Listen announcement, I still have hope that SETI@home will eventually be funded through Breakthrough. If it is not, we will continue to pursue other funding sources. If that doesn't work, we'll limp along until were run out.

Every time I'm sifting through the results returned by SETI@home, I'm amazed that there is no other SETI program on the planet that can do this. I recently calculated the value of the computing all of you do for us. 100,000 CPU-years and 11,000 GPU-years every month. On the Amazon cloud that would run you $42M per month (primarily in GPU time costs). That's half a billion dollars a year. That's why the Breakthrough Listen pipeline will never do the kind of analysis that SETI@home does. They can't afford to. Not even a billionaire could afford what you provide us for free.

And we can't seem to reliably find 0.1% of that amount to keep us running. It's been the longest running story of the project. Moores law may apply to CPUs and GPUs, but it doesn't apply to dollars.

This isn't a fundraising plea... yet. We're still planning that things will work out.
194) Message boards : News : SETI researcher Stéphane Dumas has passed away (Message 1795234)
Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are sad to hear that our friend and colleague Stéphane Dumas passed away this week. Here is a video of his recent SETItalks talk.
195) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1795225)
Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Without having some sort of NITPCKR running 24/7, analysing data REALTIME (o r as close as we can get), it’s a waste of out time anyways.

Would’nt you agree ?



We've been very bad at telling you what's up with the NTPCkR. Although it's not politically expedient to say so, Breakthrough has actually left SETI@home even more resource starved than it was before. People that were working primarily on SETI@home have transitioned to Breakthrough, and thus far, no funding from Breakthrough has been directed at SETI@home and we don't currently have the funding to replace them. We're hoping that will change, but have few options how to bring it about. In essence we're in the same place we've always been, barely getting by, but with even fewer people on the job.

That doesn't mean we've made no progress, though. It became apparent that our available hardware was insufficient for running the nitpicker. What has happened is that Bruce Allen (of Einstein@home) has allowed us to use some time on a supercomputer at the Albert Einstein Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover to run the nitpicker, which we've renamed Nebula because it's no longer "near real time". We've done some tests on 1% of the database, and estimate that a full run of the database will take about 5 days, and we plan to do such a run at least 4 times a year. If we overstay our welcome at AEI we'll probably have to search out cloud resources for the runs.

I'll try to get some more info out about that in the near future. The port is mostly complete, apart from tuning up the RFI rejection. Fingers crossed we'll have some candidate news by the end of the summer.
196) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1795203)
Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's always the been the issue. Without an increase in total funding, keeping Arecibo operating will threaten other NSF projects. It was an congressional earmark to NRAO (many years ago) without an increase in NSF astronomy funding that initially resulted in the closure threats by diverting money away from NSF astronomy projects. Neither Executive Branch nor Legislative Branch diversions of money within NSF will solve the problem, and the two branches of government are unlikely to work together anytime soon, no matter how many signatures a petition gets.

Crowdfunding will undoubtedly be considered, but I think that it's highly unlikely that the observatory will be able to raise the $8-10M annually that's required. SETI@home has a budget 40 times smaller, many more people with a demonstrated interest in the project and we struggle to raise even 10% of our budget through crowdfunding.
197) Message boards : News : Arecibo still threatened with closure. (Message 1794850)
Posted 9 Jun 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Recently the NSF announced its intent to start the process which could lead to the partial shutdown, mothballing, or complete disassebly of the Arecibo Observatory. As most of you know, this is not a new discussion in the scientific community. Several years ago we had asked you write letters to Congress in hopes of averting this fate.

A petition has been started on whitehouse.gov to ask the President to ensure it is funded. I'm pessimistic about the chances that it will change anything, as the President cannot change Congressional budget priorities, and only has limited ability to move money between NSF programs. However, bringing attention to the issues of science funding in this country cannot hurt.
198) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday to Angela! (Message 1790043)
Posted 24 May 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The love of my life, feeder of raccoons and accumulator of cats is another year older.

Here comes Marcel to say Happy Birthday!

199) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1779419)
Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Awesome! Just a quick question. Any way to get back our own custom screensaver wallpaper if we had added that?


I thought I had arranged things so it would still use custom wallpaper if you had it. Did I screw that up?
200) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1779235)
Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Astropulse hasn't yet been implemented for the GBT data, but will be.
201) Message boards : News : Article about distribution of Breakthrough data. (Message 1779186)
Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Inverse.com has published an article about our distribution of Breakthrough Listen data.
202) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1779149)
Posted 14 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Does the "_OFF_" indicate an observation taken off-target to give an induction of the local background?


Yes, the off targets are nearby spots off of the primary target. There are still stars within the field of view of course, so we might find something in an OFF observation. In the near future we will be replacing the OFF positions with a catalog of secondary targets.
203) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1778502)
Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've got 120,000 GBT workunit waiting to go, but a few hundred thousand Arecibo units to chew through before they get to the front of the line.

You know what they say...
204) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1778453)
Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Could someone please explain the information in the new file names on the SSP?


blc3_2bit_guppi_57451_19304_HIP62472_0003

blc3:     Breakthrough Listen
2bit:     bits per real sample (4 bit per complex sample)
guppi:    File format (Greenbank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument)
57451:    Modified Julian Date
19304:    Seconds past midnight
HIP62472: Object Name
0003:     Observation sequence number
205) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1778449)
Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The VLARs go out to ATI GPUs, but are held back from NVIDIA. If I could find a way to send VLAR to only NVIDIA OpenCL and not NVIDIA CUDA, I would...
206) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1778409)
Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'd expect about 50/50 for the time being.
207) Message boards : News : Breakthrough Listen data now flowing. (Message 1778382)
Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Happy Yuri's Night #55, the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic first space flight on April 12, 1961.

In celebration, we're starting distribution of Breakthrough Listen data from the Green Bank Telescope today. No intervention is necessary on your part. The main difference you will see is a change in your screen saver graphics, if you have them running. We'll still be distributing Arecibo data as well, so that won't change.

The Breakthrough Initiative is also distributing raw data in multiple formats, so you can write your own analysis code if you'd like.

You can read about it in this press release.
208) Message boards : News : SETI@home 8 released for Raspberry Pi. (Message 1777307)
Posted 8 Apr 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It should also work on other ARM linux machines that use the gnueabihf ABI.
209) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1763875)
Posted 10 Feb 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The NVIDIA linux version currently in beta produces correct results, but produces lag in the display. It wouldn't be a problem if the user is has "only use GPU while idle" selected and if BOINC's idle detection always worked on linux.
210) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1763526)
Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
At any rate, the BOINC default maximum battery temperature is well below 60C.
211) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1763081)
Posted 7 Feb 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
No patch is necessary. It's possible to set a maximum battery temperature in the BOINC preferences under Android. (It's in the menu under "Preferences") I believe the default is 40C. The BOINC developers assure me that batteries won't suffer damage before 80C.

I don't like my devices to get that warm, so I set mine to 35C. I figure that any device meant to be carried in a pocket isn't going to have a problem at any temperature below body temperature.
212) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1758469)
Posted 23 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I see that at least some devices with Android 6 are able to get and return work successfully. The only way to find out is to try it.
213) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1758285)
Posted 22 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, that would be of interest. It shouldn't crash the machine, but it might generate invalid results (which is why we need the beta testing.)
214) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1757995)
Posted 22 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And if you are wondering which versions are available, this link works. https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/apps.php
215) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1757994)
Posted 22 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Versions have been released. The main one that is missing is the OpenCL NVIDIA x86_64 linux version which has some problems.

Android versions for ARM and x86 have been released.

I'll see if I can get a cross compile environment for Raspberry PI set up...
216) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 for Android and GPU to be released January, 21st (Message 1757764)
Posted 21 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I know everyone has been waiting. It's finally time.

We need some Mac users with ATI Radeon HD4000 series card to help the beta test before we can release that version. So if you've got an HD4XXX GPU, please join the beta.
217) Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : Where to get a 32 bit version of Seti@Home v8? (Message 1755649)
Posted 11 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A fix will be going into beta today. There the fix will have the version number 8.05.
218) Message boards : Number crunching : New app? (Message 1753664)
Posted 3 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

[quote]Since Charlie uses xCode projects, he doesn't put much effort into being able to compile through autoconf.

Don't ask me whether xCode was ever released for PPC.


I'm doing command line compiles through autoconf for the PPC version. I had two executables available, one statically linked to fftw, one dynamically linked. I thought I had picked the right one. I had even used "otools -L" to show the dynamic library list, but I apparently got the wrong one anyway. I'll fix it as soon as I can.
219) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 has been released. (Message 1753115)
Posted 2 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, Santa brought the raccoons the "gauntlets of +2 dexterity"* that they asked for. Cat food will no longer be safe outside.



* that's a D&D reference for the non-geeks in the crowd
220) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 has been released. (Message 1753034)
Posted 2 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Work never gets lost. Only delayed. Everyone who uses the stock apps will continue to get v7 work until we are entirely finished.
221) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 has been released. (Message 1752961)
Posted 1 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We plan to stop making new v7 work within a few days, because v8 really is more accurate when searching for Gaussians. You can keep v7 until you run out of v7 work. But eventually you'll want to upgrade. Hopefully we'll be getting the GPU versions out quickly.
222) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 has been released. (Message 1752925)
Posted 1 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I must admit that the amount of time I spent working rather than preparing for visitors did cause her some concern. Fortunately her raccoons picked up the slack.
223) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 8 has been released. (Message 1752922)
Posted 1 Jan 2016 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home version 8 has been released. This version finally gives us the ability to process data from multiple sources, including the Green Bank Telescope. That means we'll be ready for data from Breakthrough Listen when it's available.

We're releasing the versions for CPUs first. We'll release versions for graphics processing units (GPUs) and Android devices as they come available. We're releasing slowly so as not to overtax our download server. This update will happen automatically, unless you use a special version you got from another web site.

We've also made small changed to our science code to improve the Gaussian fitting routines. This means version 8 results are not compatible with version 7. So if you use a version of SETI@home you got from another site, or if you compile your own version, you'll need to get or build a version 8 application. I'm sure link will be made available in the Number Crunching forum.

A shout out to the volunteer developers (especially Urs, Jason and Raistmer) and all the beta testers for helping out.

Happy New Year!
224) Message boards : News : UC Berkeley Big Give (Message 1743397)
Posted 19 Nov 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The University of California's big 24 hour fundraising extravaganza started Wednesday, November 18th at 9 pm and ends on Thursday, November 19th at 9 pm. If you'd like to make a donation to help SETI@home access our new data sources you can do so here.
225) Message boards : Number crunching : OpenCL onATI Radeon HD 4670 worked. Once. (Message 1738889)
Posted 1 Nov 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I see. Pity that BOINC doesn't able to parse clInfo in right degree to see that HD4xxx hardware present. As one can see from app's own output it is doable.


We don't really have the resources to chase what GPU manufacturers name their cards (ATI is out of meaningful 4 digit numbers) or whether their cards live up to the standards they claim to follow. A name is a marketing device, not an engineering standard. An HD4760 may have nothing to do with what an HD4762 or an HDR4760 are capable of. An HD4760 manufactured in 2016 could be entirely different from one made in 2014.

I guess I'll look through and see whether any OpenCL 1.0 cards are able to run 7.08 on Macintosh. If the answer is no, I can bump the requirement to OpenCL 1.1.
226) Message boards : Number crunching : OpenCL onATI Radeon HD 4670 worked. Once. (Message 1738855)
Posted 1 Nov 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Looking at the host it doesn't appear that it can successfully run any OpenCL app. My understanding was that there is nothing about the ati5 apps that prevent them from running on pre-ati5 architectures. They are just written to execute slightly differently for better performance on different GPUs. I suspect that this is a problem with whatever AMD/ATI driver is being used. AMD/ATI has a habit of ignoring problems new drivers cause on older hardware.

Since AMD/ATI removed CAL HW version from their drivers, there's no way in the current BOINC code to exclude a ATI GPU based upon a device hardware version on a Mac. On PCs with old drivers we can still use CAL version. But for Mac, the best we have now is OpenCL version, but AMD reserves the right to uninvite specific hardware and specific operating systems from the party with each new driver release.
227) Message boards : Politics : Against ALL women - Infanticide, Slavery, Rape, Trafficking... (#3) (Message 1733858)
Posted 12 Oct 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Oh Berkeley. :'(


Yes, it's very embarrassing that the University is letting him off with a mild warning. And one doesn't have to be very cynical to come to the conclusion that it is because of his stature and the money he brings in. I suspect that despite the wishes of my employer, this report will not be the end of this topic.
228) Message boards : News : Eric Korpela discusses alien contact. (Message 1733223)
Posted 9 Oct 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, I'm still way back in the comments. It's been a busy few weeks. Regarding FTL travel, current physics doesn't give us a short cut to the stars. The structure of physics seems pretty well rigged to prohibit faster than light travel within the universe without unraveling the concept of causality. That doesn't mean that interstellar travel is impossible. It just means that it's effectively one way if the crew has finite (human) life spans. Even if you go back the world you left won't be the one you come back to.
229) Message boards : News : Eric Korpela discusses alien contact. (Message 1733217)
Posted 9 Oct 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's the problem with a interview that gets cut. Parts of a long discussion can get cut to sound bites.

The main question isn't whether they would be competitive, the question is whether they would find anything at earth that they couldn't find at a closer location. If they are looking for a planet with any type of life, they are going to find at least 3500 of them that are closer than the nearest inhabited planet. If they are looking for a planet with an oxygen atmosphere, they will find at least 500 of them that are closer than the nearest inhabited planet. In either case, to make the biosphere inhabitable, they are either going to have to bioengineer themselves, or eradicate and replace the local life forms. While there's no particular reason for them to avoid inhabited planets (intelligent life forms can be eradicated with the rest of the biosphere), there's also no reason to seek them out. If were were on the border of an empire of 500+ star systems would we have noticed them by now?

With electronic civilizations, the chance of conflict seems even smaller to me. Electronic beings don't need planets and barely need stars. I have a hard time imagining why an electronic civilization would want to consist of more than one individual and why it would feel the need to expand or grow beyond the point having a backup of itself. But if it was expansive and wanted planetary surfaces for some reason, why bother with planets with corrosive atmospheres, rather than benign airless worlds or better yet asteroids where the resources are more accessible?
230) Message boards : News : Eric Korpela discusses alien contact. (Message 1727583)
Posted 21 Sep 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm not sure we have any reason to believe that Kardishev Type II or Type III civilizations are likely to exist to begin with.
231) Message boards : News : There was a fire in the data center last night (Message 1727090)
Posted 19 Sep 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're currently waiting for some RAID arrays to verify/rebuild.
232) Message boards : News : The White House wants to hear about your experiences with citizen science. (Message 1726085)
Posted 16 Sep 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You can share your stories here here.
233) Message boards : News : Latest SETI paper (Message 1719814)
Posted 28 Aug 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The title change became official in late 2014. It had been a de facto position for years so we didn't make a big deal about it. BOINC doesn't have a "director" tag so, I'll still be Administrator/Project Scientist on the Forums.
234) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's give us a caption #61 (Message 1702400)
Posted 17 Jul 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
All I notice is the wood.
235) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric!!! (Message 1698382)
Posted 4 Jul 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Angela spent the whole day keeping the splitters fed and the servers running. I've got another hour and a half before I go back on duty.
236) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Khaleesi, Mother of Raccoons! (Message 1683909)
Posted 25 May 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Now you know why I only allow the Unsullied to be near her.
237) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (97) Server Problems? (Message 1678242)
Posted 11 May 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Looking into it...
238) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (97) Server Problems? (Message 1672323)
Posted 1 May 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Found the bug. (An assumption valid for ap_v7 but not valid for ap_v6). Will grant credit for results marked invalid.
239) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (97) Server Problems? (Message 1672315)
Posted 30 Apr 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll check these results in more detail. It's possible we introduced a bug in this version of the validator.
240) Message boards : News : False News Report (Message 1659840)
Posted 31 Mar 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Over the weekend a false news report from a known source of false news reports reported that we had detected an extraterrestrial signal. Of course, if we had, known sources of real news reports would also be carrying the story.

In other words, no such luck.
241) Message boards : Technical News : Latest Astropulse Status (Message 1645119)
Posted 21 Feb 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry for the long time with no updates. It's been a few busy weeks for me. First there was the ICON EUV critical design review (CDR) to prepare for. Now I'm in a panic about getting the automation in our calibration facility up and running before next week, and I'm preparing for a talk I'm giving next week. It hasn't left a lot of time for updates.

Well, as you've surmised, the repair on the Astropulse database came to a screeching halt a couple weeks ago when the impossible happened. We were moving files to free up space and then linking them back in. The script was checking before a file was moved to see if it was already a link or if it was a file to prevent a link being moved on top of a file, using the standard unix command "test -f" which returns true for files and false for links. Except on that day it returned true for about 10 links in a row. About the only thing I can come up with for a reason would be a bug in the xfs file system or in the "test" command, which is built into bash.

Anyway about 4.5 million astropulse signals lost their data blobs when that happened. This isn't as bad as it seems because that blob is just a little chunk of the workunit that can be recovered from the original data file.

But we decided that marvin was too tight on disk space for this reorganization, so we move the astropulse database and all its data to another machine where we made a dump of all the signals, dropped the old data chunks, added new ones, and now we're reloading all the signals at which point we will move everything back to marvin. Matt says the reload will probably be done Monday, then another day or two to copy everything back to marvin.
242) Message boards : News : More on METI (Message 1641713)
Posted 14 Feb 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dr. Korpela has posted slightly more detail of his thoughts on sending messages to ET.
243) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Sending Messages to ET: Just say no, for now. (Message 1641391)
Posted 13 Feb 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm sure some of you noticed our statement on sending messages to other stars. Some of you may be surprised at our stance. We put out our statement because the SETI Institute has been indicating that they want to start transmitting. They had a workshop at the SETI Institute yesterday (Berkeley wasn't invited) where according to the Guardian, opponents of transmitting were called "paranoid." But that's the Guardian, so who knows what was really said. But here's why I think transmitting is a mistake with more detail than the statement. This is not necessarily the view of the other people who signed, or the UC.


  • Nobody elected us. I'm a scientist. I don't have the right to speak for the people of Earth even though I have access to a telescope that could. Same goes for any group of scientists. There's even a Declaration of Priciples that SETI scientists supposedly adhere to that says I won't transmit a message in response to a signal without global agreement. The representatives of the people of the world (the UN General Assembly) need to set the rules.

  • The proposal ignores that human civilization changes over time. If we are broadcasting signals that could be returned in 1200 years, we will not be the same civilization in 1200 years. According to the Guardian, at the meeting, one of the proponents said "a civilization only three hundred years ahead of ours could detect Earth’s TV signals at a distance of 500 light years." If that's the case, won't we know through other means if there is a technological civilization around the stars they target long before our signals even arrive there?

  • Nobody will be listening for a response. 1200 years ago, the Caliphate was at its maximum, and Muslim scholars were deriving algebra based on Hindu texts. Charlemagne was Emperor of the West. The Chinese were inventing printing using wooden blocks. Matches had not yet been invented in Europe. There was a civilization in North America that extended from Wisconsin to Florida. And we wouldn't be able to understand someone speaking English, nor would they understand us. Europeans wouldn't discover the New World for another 700 years. Regardless we will have long forgotten the SETI Institute and the signals they sent. We may be extinct, civilization may just be a memory, or we may be colonizing space. But nobody will be listening in any case.

  • It's impossible to do a cost benefit analysis. Nobody can tell you the probability that these signal will be detected, or if they are, what the reaction of extraterrestrials will be. Is there a 1 in a million chance that ET will decide we're a threat and eliminate us? Is there a 1 in a million chance that ET will call off colonizing the Earth when they receive a signal from us? There is no way to determine this. ET could be just like us (which would be frightening) or so different that we don't even recognize each other as intelligent (which would be frightening).

    In a comparison risk analysis, suppose a 10km asteroid were going to pass through the Earth's atmosphere, igniting fires that would kill a million people. We could divert it, but there would be a 1% chance it would hit the earth destroying all life. Which choice do you make? There are ways to decide based on projected outcome and the probabilities. No such analysis can be done for METI.

  • The future doesn't get a vote. How many people will live in the next 1200 years? We can't consult them. Proponents seem consoled by the idea that any bad outcome won't occur in our lifetimes. If a bad outcome were to occur, those living at the time might not be so consoled by the fact that it didn't happen to us.

  • The signals that proponents claim we've already sent (TV, radio, Arecibo radar) are not nearly as likely to be detected as they claim. We couldn't even detect TV and radio signal at the nearest star with Arecibo. The Arecibo Planetary Radar is detectable at distances of thousands of light years, but doesn't repeatedly target the same spots on the sky. Someone receiving a single pulse is likely to discount it because it isn't repeatable.

244) Message boards : News : Android Version Checking (Message 1641350)
Posted 13 Feb 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The versions of SETI@home currently distributed can't run on Android 5+ (Lollypop). We're working on new versions.

We've limited distribution to earlier distributions. If you can't get work on Android 4, it may be necessary to update your BOINC app.
245) Message boards : News : Statement on Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence/Active SETI (Message 1639526)
Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
In conjunction with other interested members of the SETI community, we've written a statement on beaming messages to other planets.

The essence of the conclusion is that a few people shouldn't be making this decision for an entire planet.
246) Message boards : News : Prof. Charles Townes has passed away. (Message 1633731)
Posted 27 Jan 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We were saddened to learn that colleague Professor Charles Townes died this morning, January 27th, at the age of 99. A professor at UC Berkeley since 1967, Townes had a long and distinguished career, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 for work that led to the development of the laser. He was active in research as recently as last year, making regular visits to his office at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, and to Mount Wilson Observatory where he worked to develop the Infrared Spatial Interferometer telescope. His broad research interests included the search for extraterrestrial intelligence - as co-author of a 1961 paper, he was one of the first to discuss interstellar communication using lasers. This gave rise to the rapidly growing field of optical SETI, including searches currently underway at UC Berkeley. Prof. Townes also served as an Advisory Board Member to the new Foundation for Investing in Research on SETI Science and Technology. We will miss him here at UC Berkeley, and send our condolences to his wife Frances and family.
247) Message boards : Technical News : PaddyM crashed last night.... (January 21, 2015) (Message 1630966)
Posted 22 Jan 2015 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
PaddyM crashed last night, possibly due to extra-high demand on its disks. It came back up OK, but in order to get things in a state where it won't happen again, we're going to have to do some shuffling.

In order to do the shuffling I've had to bring the Astropulse database back down for a while. That means we will probably run out of Astropulse work (if we haven't already). I'm hoping the file moving will go fast enough that I can bring AP back on line tonight, but I wouldn't say that I'm confident that will happen.
248) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1617486)
Posted 22 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's a good question. Apart from some email warnings we don't have any stored records of what happened at the time of the crash. It's likely that all the disk volumes disappeared simultaneously, but that doesn't really explain why we got any warning.
249) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1617460)
Posted 22 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Marvin is back up. For some reason the 3-ware BIOS was not being detected on reboot. After several attempts to make it visible we flashed a new BIOS. On the next reboot it came right back up.

The database is in transaction cleanup mode (which can take a while). Once that's done I'll survey for damage and if everything looks OK I'll restart the daemons.
250) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1617418)
Posted 22 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The splitters on lando are hung waiting for the database to come back, so they are running, but not doing anything.
251) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1617071)
Posted 21 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Marvin isn't finding a boot device on reboot. I'm not even sure it's seeing the RAID card at all (these remote interfaces to the boot screen aren't good at capturing things that happen quickly). Matt and I are meeting at the co-lo first thing tomorrow morning. I'm bringing a boot CD and what I think is a matching RAID card.
252) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1616981)
Posted 21 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I take it it's not OK to leave it as it is until Monday in it's crashed state then? If non of the remote stuff works?


It's mainly generation of astropulse work that will suffer. No permanent damage should result. But I'd like to have everything in working order before folks do leave for the holidays.
253) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1616889)
Posted 21 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's probably easy to fix. The likely problem is getting support from the colocation facility on the weekend outside of working hours. We don't pay the additional fees for 24/7 support (primarily because they aren't small).
254) Message boards : News : Marvin crashed (Message 1616871)
Posted 21 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It appears that the root partition filled on marvin (rapidly) while I was AFK, for no reason that I am aware of, which caused it to crash. Nobody is at the colocation facility right now, so the astropulse DB is down. I'll try to get remote accesses for a reboot, but chances are that marvin is down until monday morning.
255) Message boards : Technical News : AP database is back down (Message 1614385)
Posted 15 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Things should be back up and running now. Just had to check out a few things before enabling the splitters and assimilators.
256) Message boards : Technical News : AP database is back down (Message 1614046)
Posted 14 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The restore of the missing portions seems to have worked, but I want Matt and Jeff to look it over before I turn everything back on. So we should be back up tomorrow.
257) Message boards : Technical News : AP database is back down (Message 1613145)
Posted 13 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
As some of you have noticed the Astropulse database is back down. We brought it down to delete some empty data chunks and move the new data chunks onto local storage which went just fine. But when I brought the database back up it complained that one of the root data chunks was corrupt. This was a chunk that wasn't touched in the process.

After many attempts to repair the damage it became apparent that we needed to restore the fragment containing that chunk. (Yes, I know this is all gibberish.) Unfortunately in order to restore one 16GB file we need to read in the entire 4.5TB backup and then run the logs since that backup was made (Tuesday). The first step will take at least 36 hours. I can't estimate the duration of step 2 yet.
258) Message boards : News : Astropulse database fix is complete. (Message 1610966)
Posted 8 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you all for your patience.
259) Message boards : News : Astropulse database fix is complete. (Message 1610892)
Posted 8 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Validators and assimilators and splitters are back on. New Astropulse work should be flowing soon.
260) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTGAWUW!!! #0 (Message 1609535)
Posted 5 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The first new workunit went out on Fri, Dec 5 at 18:33:04 UTC. I'll leave it to Zapped Sparky to decide who won.
261) Message boards : Technical News : I was right... (Nov 24, 2014) (Message 1608191)
Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I don't have any experience with database software so don't know if the following is of any help to speed-up the 'things' (and you probably know it all):


We were aware of these, and have incorporated many of the suggestions over the years. In this case it all appears to come down to the way informix implements sequence indexes. Each item in a sequence is allocated separately. When inserting a million rows it allocates a million locks on the index, each lock requires at least two context swaps apart from the two necessary to get the index key itself, because separate processes seem to be handling each. So it's the linux scheduler getting around to the correct sleeping/waiting informix process that's the bottleneck, as far as I can tell.

There are other things that slow it down, too. The copy of the data blob into the blobspace bypasses the informix shared memory subsystem, so it gets written immediately to disk, but informix doesn't seem to understand that it doesn't need to read empty blob pages into memory before writing them back out. This isn't a huge impact. iostat says the array is only 25% busy, so I'm guessing that the lock/index handling is the real bottleneck.
262) Message boards : News : Database Rebuild Status update. (Message 1607963)
Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've now inserted 231,770,000 of the 306,362,193 AstroPulse signals into the database. Over the last week the insert rate has slowly declined from 1.5 million per hour to 870,000 per hour. At that rate we're looking at another 86 hours (+24 for index building), which means Saturday morning (US Pacific time).

On the plus side, Arecibo has four full drives of data that they can send us, so there might be SETI@home work before then if we're really lucky. I'll be posting updates in the Tech News forum through out the week.
263) Message boards : News : Status Update (Message 1605524)
Posted 26 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you haven't been checking the tech news, here's the current status. We're rebuilding the Astropulse database. The current rate is an anemic 1.5 million rows per hour. There are 220 million rows left to do, which translates to 140 hours. Then I estimate it will take 24 hours to build the one remaining index necessary to create new work. That adds up to a week. I don't really understand why this is so slow. The disk array should easily handle twice that rate.

Sorry the news couldn't be better. There's always the SETI@home fundraiser at bitcoinutopia. Or you could choose a worthy backup project
264) Message boards : Technical News : I was right... (Nov 24, 2014) (Message 1605081)
Posted 25 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I was right. It failed. But it never give an error message. It just undid everything it did and ended up in the same place it started. Harumph.

So I renamed the ap_signal table, created a new ap_signal table with the proper structure to avoid the problem, and now I'm copying everything into the new table. Early estimates are that it will finish on Thursday. But early estimates are never right. These things seem to slow down as they run.

If you're looking for another use to which to put your computer, some of our crunchers encouraged me to create a SETI@home fundraising campaign at Bitcoin Utopia. It allows you to use BOINC to generate donations in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin SETI@home.
265) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1603742)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We were getting free support and updates for a while.
266) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1603683)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric i have a question which is probbably stupid but any way here goes .

....

So my question to you is this .

If it was the server that stuffed up and you are now replacing it with another system could you not just do what i did load what ever drivers you needed for the new server and just put the old drives in that and just continue on


Not a silly question. It may not have been obvious from earlier posts that the problem with the server, bruno, was separate from the database issue. We couldn't just do a disk swap on bruno because the new machine has a backplane that connects directly to a different type of disk controller than bruno does. The new server uses software raid where bruno used 3ware hardware raid.

The database problem doesn't involve a hardware swap. The Astropulse signal table really does need to be reorganized in a way that it gets stored differently on disk.
267) Message boards : Technical News : Another Update (Nov 21, 2014) (Message 1603676)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's still running. Apparently it has slowed down over time. It's still got 16.5M rows to go. So it'll be another two days before I can tell you how many more days it will be.
268) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1603674)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you don't mind me asking, what version of Informix do you use?


IDS 10.00, unfortunately.

And which Edition?
Some say e.g. "Resource limited to a single CPU core and 1GB of server memory"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Informix_Dynamic_Server


It would be the equivalent of Ultimate Edition. No CPU, number of users, or database size limitations.
269) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1603671)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
IDS 10.00, unfortunately.

Any Mileage in updating to V12?


It has fewer constraints on table size, so there would be a long term benefit. But we would need to rebuild the tables to get those benefits, so short term we'd be in the same boat. The problem with upgrading is that the people at Informix/IBM who were enabling the donation of the software are long gone. I haven't checked IBM's licensing terms recently. They were unaffordable for us last time I checked. We certainly don't want to upgrade to anything that requires an annual license fee.
270) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1603366)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Did you recently upgrade your graphics driver? If the answer is yes, that could be the issue. If the answer is no, don't.

[edit] I checked the logs. It's not your driver. Your computer doesn't seem to be combining request for CPU and GPU work. I contacts the server requesting only CPU work and then less than a second later it asks for GPU work, but no CPU work.

When it asks for CPU work it is given everything the server has. So there's nothing available to satisfy the GPU request. I don't know why that is happening.[/edit]
271) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1603331)
Posted 20 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you don't mind me asking, what version of Informix do you use?


IDS 10.00, unfortunately.
272) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1603328)
Posted 20 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for the update Eric, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's worked. I take it the data dump and reload would mean starting over?


Yes, but I think a dump and reload would be faster than this reorg attempt was because it can be done without indexes on the new table. It's usually faster to rebuild indexes than it is to update every entry (which is probably what is causing this to take so long.)
273) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1602869)
Posted 20 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are they all VLAR workunits? Those don't go to most GPUs.
274) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1602823)
Posted 20 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric said:
Second, because of funding, Astronomy isn't top dog at Arecibo anymore, so Astronomers get a smaller fraction of the observing time.

I thought research in astronomy was the reason Arecibo was built.
I have a question. When the people running Arecibo aren't using it for astronomy, what are they using it for?


The Arecibo telescope's original purpose was to study the ionosphere, which was not very well understood in the 1950s. That it was built so large was a lucky accident. The ionospheric studies originally planned could have been accomplished with a much smaller dish, but there was a mistake in one of the sensitivity calculations. The ionosphere observations are still going on.

Then there are planetary radar observations of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). I guess that qualifies as astronomy, but we can't observe for SETI@home during them.

Looking at the schedules it appears that the decreased astronomy time is a small fraction of the change. The larger change is that fewer projects are using the GALFA receiver. The 327MHz pulsar survey is getting a lot of time as are smaller single beam projects using the L-wide receiver. We don't yet have the ability to record through SERENDIP VI, or we could piggyback on those project, too.
275) Message boards : Technical News : Status Update (Nov 19, 2014) (Message 1602805)
Posted 20 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The AstroPulse database rebuild is continuing with 31M rows left to go (as far as I can tell). In which case, by Friday morning (PST) we should know whether it worked. Meanwhile Matt and Jeff are scrounging the archives for data we've overlooked.

Unfortunately, I think the rebuild didn't work. There hasn't been an error message or any error indication, but the appearance of the read/write statistics leads me to believe that it failed about 5 days ago and has spent the time since then undoing what it had done so far. Stopping it now would only make recovering things worse. That's not how databases work.

If I'm right, we'll end up doing a data dump and reload. At this point we're sticking with Informix. I looked into other databases, and PostgreSQL was the only feature complete database in the correct price range. With MySQL and its derivatives I would need to come up with a way to emulate defined types and LISTs. PostgreSQL has defined types and its array support is very much like lists. The only thing we use that PostgreSQL is missing is synonyms. Annoyingly "end" is a reserved word, so columns named "end" are forbidden, so that would have to change. It would probably only take be a few days of coding to write the interface layer to our database classes and to modify the schema_to_class compiler to parse PostgreSQL's schema syntax (it currently does Informix and MySQL). And a couple days to build and test all the server components. Of course those are full time days, and I don't really have any of those in the next couple weeks. So Informix it is, for the time being. I may peck at the PostgreSQL code during my down time, for future use.
276) Message boards : Technical News : Taking longer than expected (Nov 13, 2014) (Message 1600846)
Posted 14 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good idea. I'll have to dig into what features are found in the various database options.
277) Message boards : Technical News : Taking longer than expected (Nov 13, 2014) (Message 1600681)
Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Astropulse database fix is taking longer than expected. By one measure (the amount of data written into the new database spaces) we're 70% done. By another measure (the number of table rows showing up in the table stats) we are 25% done. This is after 5 days. I'm inclined to believe the 25% number, in which case we will run out of SETI@home work before Astropulse is back online. If you don't have a low share back-up project, now might be time to add one.

Informix never ceases to astonish me with the way it does things. The table rebuild is neither maxing out CPUs or I/O, primarily because it doesn't seem to be running the table creation in parallel. It's working on one table fragment at a time. It also seems to be making a copy of the data in two places and leaving large portions the allocated data chunks unused. It's certainly not the way I would have written it, but then again I don't write database. The worst case is that these multiple copies of data will cause it to exceed the limits again and we'll have to start over. It looks like we're 68% of the way to exceeding those limits. Hope Informix is smart enough to avoid the problem.
278) Message boards : Cafe SETI : To whom it may concern..... (Message 1600666)
Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Two Nebraska running backs walked into a bar. Melvin Gordon ducked under it, gave it a spin move and ran 75 yards for the touchdown.


279) Message boards : Cafe SETI : To whom it may concern..... (Message 1600040)
Posted 12 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's somewhat unfair for me to comment on this picture because that's the only way Nebraska football players score. That includes off the field.

280) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1599245)
Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I hate to hear that we had to re-crunch several months' data because it "had a problem."


Whether its being recrunched depends upon what the "problem" is. If the problem was that a data glitch caused half of the tape to be skipped, then it's not being recrunched, it's being crunched for the first time. If the problem was that a database crash resulted in the loss of the results, then it is being recrunched, but not because of a problem with the data. And in the case of Astropulse, a significant portion of the data was never processed with Astropulse at all.

As I said, we won't send out data for reprocessing in order to make unnecessary work. That would be more than a little irresponsible. But given our financial situation there will be cases where we have to choose between 6 months of manpower and a couple months of crunching. It would be nice to think that we can afford to hire someone for just 6 months, but we typically can't. So if it comes down to sending out some tapes again in order to fix some database corruption or picking through binary files hand for months, we'll probably have little choice but to send it again.

In this case, once we were within a few weeks of finishing the available data, Jeff told Arecibo to send the partially full box, and that's why you are seeing some new data now.
281) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1599238)
Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you, Eric.

One more question: what's happening with Beta?


Beta is offline until the bruno replacement is up and running.
282) Message boards : Technical News : What's happening... (Nov 8, 2014) (Message 1598792)
Posted 9 Nov 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Here's a long overdue status update that will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have about the last week.

    1. Bruno started hanging with a "stuck cpu" linux kernel message. I don't know what causes this sort of thing. Moving all the services except uploads to other machines seems to have solved the problem, so far. Next week we're planning to replace Bruno with a Sun X4540 that the Lab was removing from service.

    2. Around the same time, the Astropulse assimilators started failing with a message "-603 Cannot close TEXT or BYTE value." Turns out we had run up against another informix limit. I'm resolving that, but it's looking like we are only 1/8th of the way done after 24 hours. Until it's done we won't be able to generate Astropulse work.

    3. New Data. Finally, in the last few weeks, we've gotten some data from 2014 split and out the door. Not a lot, though. There are a few reasons why it took so long. First, the Arecibo itself and the ALFA receiver that we use for SETI@home was offline for much of 2014 (mostly January to June), so we don't have that much data. Second, because of funding, Astronomy isn't top dog at Arecibo anymore, so Astronomers get a smaller fraction of the observing time. And compounding it is that disks are bigger and we don't send a box until it's full (to save on shipping costs), so it takes longer to fill a box of disks. Which brings us to...

    4. Old Data. We have been working on old data. It's not a "make work" thing. Most of the data we've been sending had a problem the first time around. Either part of the data was left unprocessed, or the results were questionable. In addition, all the old data that has been sent had not been processed with S@H v7, so there was no autocorrelation analysis done on it. We've still got big chunks of data that have never been processed with Astropulse to send out. We don't believe in making work for the sake of making work.

    5. Will we run out of data? It depends upon what you mean by that. We may run out of SETI@home data taken by the current data recorder, although there is still plenty of Astropulse data to process. Jeff is prioritizing the GBT data splitter, so we hope to have that on line before too long. It will also be the starting point for the next thing, which will be to use SERENDIP VI as a data recorder. It should be capable of much higher data rates (GBps) than the current recorder, and therefore much higher bandwidths. It should also give us our first taste of the 327MHz Sky Survey data.


Hope that answers some of your questions.

283) Message boards : Technical News : Long Outage (October 21, 2014) (Message 1589959)
Posted 22 Oct 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela won't let me get into bed tonight until I post a Tech News update. This is going to be a short update because it is late and I am tired.

The reason for the long outage today was that our backup database machine crashed over the weekend and we decided that it was easier to restore that machine from a new backup of the primary database than to try to recover the data and replay a the database logs to the backup. It never quite works out when you do that.

For any guys thinking about proposing to their girlfriends this upcoming holiday season, buy that ring now. Marriage is a wonderful institution and I am so lucky to be a married man. She is making me say that.
284) Message boards : Number crunching : APv7-related issues and errors (Message 1584979)
Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK, there are now two plan classes, one for 10.7.4 through 10.7.99 and one for 10.8.5 and up.


No, but eventually driver issue with first version of ML (10.8.0) Updating OS X to 10.8.5 recommended, not only for GPU driver, but more to reduce security risc of unsolved OS bugs in that version.

Ok, I'll talk with Eric if we could exclude such hosts from stock distribution.


Currently the minimum OS version for MacOS ATI is 10.7.4. Are we suggesting that be increased to 10.8.5, or just that 10.8.0-10.8.4 be excluded?

As 10.8.0-10.8.4 were not in beta, my suggest (without volunteers doing further tests we can't be more precise) is to exclude 10.8.0-10.8.4
285) Message boards : Number crunching : APv7-related issues and errors (Message 1584742)
Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

No, but eventually driver issue with first version of ML (10.8.0) Updating OS X to 10.8.5 recommended, not only for GPU driver, but more to reduce security risc of unsolved OS bugs in that version.

Ok, I'll talk with Eric if we could exclude such hosts from stock distribution.


Currently the minimum OS version for MacOS ATI is 10.7.4. Are we suggesting that be increased to 10.8.5, or just that 10.8.0-10.8.4 be excluded?
286) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XX - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1581373)
Posted 3 Oct 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Foundation For Investing In Research On Seti Science And Technology (FIRSST) is a new foundation that we are participating in. Primarily FIRSST will be seeking large donations so that SETI projects aren't working on minimal year to year funding.

But FIRSST will be independent. There's no guarantee that any specific project will be funded unless the donors specifically support a project. If you want to fund SETI@home, it's best to do so through our web site links. If you're a billionaire, on the other hand, who wants to support a SETI project for a decade or so, FIRSST may be the way to go.
287) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #220: 70's Disco dancing music :) (Message 1570821)
Posted 12 Sep 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dedicated to my wife. ...
288) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What's for breakfast? (Message 1569897)
Posted 10 Sep 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Debra and I were an item for many years to be sure. Une petite amie I can't forget, to be sure. She was quite a cupcake, but then she left to become a hostess at the Madison estate. I guess working at that nutty bar downtown wasn't good enough for her. I guess this ding dong just was another notch in her belt. I'm sure she's laughing about it to this day. "Ho ho!"
289) Message boards : Number crunching : Illegal fundraising????? (Message 1568071)
Posted 6 Sep 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Esme has it down. Mark posted a one-line segment of an argument he was having with my wife. My wife is entitled to her personal opinions, which she was expressing privately.

Angela doesn't speak for the project. Neither does Mark. We value every contribution. We enjoy donation challenges. Nobody should be claiming project endorsement for their challenges. Nobody should be claiming they receive special privileges for their efforts. Nobody should be berating anyone for the size of their donations. Everyone here donates computer time and electricity.

We've been generally tolerant of Mark's idiosyncrasies on the forums. This has not been because of what Mark contributes to the project, but out of simple kindness and an understanding of the challenges he faces. Mark does not have special access to me, and I think his claims of that were what initially angered my wife.
290) Message boards : News : What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? (Message 1547011)
Posted 24 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Okay, how do I stop the repeated "Notices" from firing in BOINC that lead to this political blog message? Seriously.


The best way is to contact David Anderson about the bug that causes this. It's just like contacting the FCC. If enough people do it, it might get fixed.
291) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? (Message 1539189)
Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

The comment link looks to be:

Comments - Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet



Thanks. It appears they've removed the list of most active Proceedings. Apparently that made it too easy for the people to comment on important issues. That doesn't make it seem promising that our concerns will be heard.
292) Message boards : News : What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? (Message 1538858)
Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, and, unfortunately loss of net neutrality gives American ISPs the ability to treat foreign people and countries in a non-neutral manner as well.
293) Message boards : News : What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? (Message 1538835)
Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dr. Korpela has posted a new blog entry on Net Neutrality and why its loss might be bad for distributed computing. It includes instructions on how to comment to the the FCC about the issue.
294) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? (Message 1538832)
Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What does loss of net neutrality mean for volunteer computing? Quite possibly the end.

In the early days of the "public access" Internet, both organizations and end users paid Internet service providers (ISPs) for access to the Internet, the entire Internet. Those ISPs, in turn, paid for access to the Internet backbones, or made "peering agreements" with backbone access providers. Those peering agreements essentially said "If you carry my traffic without prejudice, I'll carry yours." It worked pretty well. To some extent it was self policing. If one provider violated peering agreements, their peers would disconnect them until they saw the error of their ways.

Those days are over, replaced by the days of the monopoly broadband providers. Most people in the United States only have access to one broadband provider. And the large broadband providers each cover a large fraction of the market. Comcast has been declaring for years that they would like to charge companies for access to their customers. In October of last year, Comcast and Verizon began throttling traffic from Netflix to their customers by 50% or more. These customers had paid Comcast and Verizon for access to the entire Internet, including Netflix.

In the old Internet, this would have been a violation of any peering agreements that Comcast and Verizon were a party to, and both would have disappeared from the net for a while. In the new world, they were successful in extorting money out of Netflix. Why? Because the customers of the ISPs that peer with Comcast and Verizon didn't want to lose access to Comcast and Verizon customers. Comcast and Verizon have a license to do what they want now. Comcast and Verizon customers were furious. But most don't have another choice except dial-up.

The existence of volunteer computing is predecated on a open Internet where ISPs cannot extort money out of other organizations for access to their users. In a neutral Internet, users decide what content they want, not the ISP. Apparently nobody remembers what it was like in the pre-Internet days of Compuserve and the Source and AOL. Charge by the page for things that are now free. Charge by the minute for access at all. $25 for a copy of an SEC filing for a company.

Will ISPs be approaching us demanding payment? I don't know. We don't have any money to give them.

What can be done? The easiest route would be for the FCC to declare that Internet service providers are common carriers that cannot discriminate based on content, sender, or recipient. That doesn't mean they can't have tiered plans and can't change their rates. This change will not stifle innovation (apart from preventing innovative means of extortion) as we've had net neutrality until now. Will it happen? The FCC chair was the head of the National Cable Television Association and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, and so he sides with the large ISPs.

But you can comment on the FCC's proposal to allow ISPs to charge people who aren't their customers for "Fast Lane" access (which really means everyone else gets the really slow lane). Go to http://fcc.gov/comments and comment on FCC Dockets 14-28 and 10-127. Comments are accepted until July 15th.

I suggest a comment like the following:

The proposal to abandon Net Neutrality on the internet in favor of a multi-tiered content-biased system is deeply flawed. It would:

1. create a system that inhibits technical innovation by allowing ISPs to choose which technologies their customers can access.
2. create a system that protects entrenched companies while penalizing the start-ups that have been the life blood of the internet.
3. limit access of non-profit organizations that cannot afford "fast-lane" fees.
4. penalize media companies that do not directly own cable or satellite access to consumers.

The Internet has flourished under the de facto common carrier ISPs held until recently. It is time for the FCC to declare that ISPs are Common Carriers and hold them to that status.


Edit: The FCC web site no longer shows a link to the comments page. It is here
295) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric (Message 1535851)
Posted 4 Jul 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. No fishing for me today, but I didn't spend too much time at the old science factory.

And there was cake. And cake. And cake.
296) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption #56 (Message 1531758)
Posted 25 Jun 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Itsy bitsy spiders should know better than to climb the waterspouts of secret government facilities.
297) Message boards : Number crunching : No ATI GPU WUs? (Message 1514606)
Posted 11 May 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll look into it next week. IIRC, there was a bad AMD/ATI driver set that was identifiable by its CAL driver revision that would bluescreen XP when any OpenCL app was run, so we put the CAL driver revision check into the plan class. The best bet is probably to add an additional plan class that requires OpenCL 1.2 but does require a CAL revision.

I wish AMD would take some lessons on legacy hardware and legacy API support. Did I ever tell the story of how fun it was when AMD removed OpenCL drivers from 25,000 BOINC machines with a driver "upgrade"?
298) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Star Wars Day (Message 1512378)
Posted 5 May 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Really? I thought you were wearing your Jabba the Hutt costume.
299) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1504751)
Posted 16 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Didn't know that would happen. I've unexported it.
300) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1504417)
Posted 15 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
<quote>So if they are on CreditNew they need to keep the slowest app for 'calibration'? ;)</quote>

Yes, actually. If the speed difference is large (and if the server works as advertised) then the slow version should be sent only very rarely.

Of course the second part of that if is the hard part.

The assumption of course, is that a slow app is representative of the benchmark speeds. Of course, that's never the case. The benchmarks will always be faster than any real single threaded SISD app. That's what the old "credit multiplier" was for.
301) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1503216)
Posted 12 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You've got it backwards. Calibrating for the best optimized version reduces the credit grants for all versions and penalizes optimizations. Calibrating for the worst increases the credit grants for all versions.
302) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1502410)
Posted 10 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, I can see some of these can be incremental changes, and some will require more under the hood. Fixing the "multi-threaded app get same credit as single threaded apps" problem and normalizing to the least (rather than most) efficient are something I can put into the code quickly. Other things that are design and database changes to track resources rather than code changes will take more time.
303) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1502394)
Posted 10 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Another question... do multi-threaded apps consistently report CPU time to be about n_compute_threads*elapsed_time on all platforms (so we could use CPU time/elapsed time to determine a multiplier)?

(I realize that doesn't cover SIMD, but it's a start).
304) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1502374)
Posted 10 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's what I never understood. There's enough information in the PFC values to determine credit scaling, but a pfc_scale factor is calculated instead. A scale less than 1 should never be possible (for a CPU app) if we're scaled to the least efficient. And a scale more than 1 should never be possible if we're scaled to the most efficient.

Yet a quick check shows that our pfc_scales range from 0.51 to 1.30. So I'd say because of that our credit grants are probably low by at least 1/0.51=1.9X.

The way the current code seems to work is that the most common CPU app (windows) sets the scaling. That needs to be fixed.
305) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1502273)
Posted 10 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Another possibility I've considered. I've never confirmed that the credits are really scaled to the least efficient CPU version for a platform. In theory, if I were to create a CPU version of SETI@home with no threading or SIMD using the Ooura FFT and release it under the plan class "calibration". After 100 results come back from that version, the credits of everything else should go up. In theory, of course.

More work would be required to allow short running calibration versions.

Then for credit calibration, all a project would need to do is generate a calibration version of every application including GPU apps and some server code to greatly limit the number of calibration apps that go out.
306) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1501759)
Posted 9 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, if we went back to flop counting we would need to standardize. It makes sense to standardize on the most common algorithms for things like FFT, trig and exp. FFT would be 5*N*log(N), trig functions would be about 11 if the result is used as single precision and I've forgotten the number (17?) for double precision.

Granting a standardized value rewards optimization that removes operations (i.e. sincosf() would get credit for 22 FLOPS rather than 16.) Of course, the project needs to be honest about whether it needs both values from the sincosf().

That said, I think the SETI@home FLOP counting grants 1 FLOP for sin() or cos().
307) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1499275)
Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The server uncompensates for attempts to compensate.
308) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1499166)
Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I wish. David stripped out the APIs entirely.
309) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1498945)
Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll laugh at the Collatz joke when they start counting operations and using that to grant credit.
310) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1498606)
Posted 2 Apr 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The really short summary is, it sucks and nobody else uses it. Which is why most other projects give more credit than SETI@home, (although some projects are incredibly ridiculous about the credits they give).
311) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How's life going for me? (Message 1497657)
Posted 31 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I volunteer to be the next Fred. Bring it.


Sorry, our policy is not to give the job to anyone who actually wants it.

Application denied.
312) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How's life going for me? (Message 1497645)
Posted 30 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The PM system is not a part of the forums. If we were going to control what is said there, we would need the moderators to read them all. If you'd like us to implement this, Misfit, we will begin with your account, and bring Esme back as a moderator just for you. Just say the word.

We provide users with tools to avoid getting PMs from people they don't like. That protects us from liability and prevents us from having to violate people's privacy.
313) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How's life going for me? (Message 1497627)
Posted 30 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric-I wasn't coming to you because you told me you aren't interested in any discussion or responsibility over the forums anymore-suddenly you are. I'm confused.

Thanks for the thoughts and the information-I do appreciate it


I certainly don't want to be involved. I'm far too busy to take time out for the forums (especially this week) but when law enforcement is involved I have no choice. If Fred were to get called I would end up on the phone anyway.

But even more to the point, there's only so much a Fred will put up with before I have to find a new Fred. Nobody who has ever had the job before will ever agree to do it again.
314) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How's life going for me? (Message 1497623)
Posted 30 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Misfit,

If I were throwing people under the bus, you would have gone under a long time ago and you'd still be there. If you feel you've been treated unfairly, then I claim your views are distorted. Let's not go digging in that graveyard.

Not everyone in the SETI group has accounts on the servers, and certainly not everyone working at the lab. I don't have accounts on several of the SETI group machines.

Let's remember that I am absolute dictator of this little universe. Such policies are written by me and are subject to change with or without notice, at my whim. They are not an agreement with you.
315) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How's life going for me? (Message 1497549)
Posted 30 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Blurf,

Even when you were a moderator you misunderstood the reason for hiding posts and banishing users. With the possible exception of the permabans, hiding posts and banishment is meant to keep offensive material out of the forums. It is not meant as punishment or designed to elicit behavior modification. If it were, it should be pretty obvious to everyone that it doesn't work. (It should also be apparent that in most cases permanent banishment doesn't work either, as the banished can easily make new accounts.) Mark isn't a puppy (or rather kitty) to be trained. He's an adult and is responsible for his own actions.


While I have not made a formal decision yet--Should I contact Legal Authorities, I am nearly positive they will want a name and a contact number for the person who oversees the forums.


You'll have to give them my name and phone number or Jeff's or Matt's. Fred, by design, doesn't have direct access to the SETI@home server machines, so he can't tell you anything that's not available through the web interface. (We don't want accusations that Fred is reading other people's PMs or trying to figure out their IP addresses.)

I know you would love to know Fred's identity. His anonymity is what allows him to do his job. He's the best forum administrator we've had, myself included. He didn't sign away any rights to do this job, so he stays protected. I personally don't think your desire to know who Fred is has anything to do with Mark Sattler. I don't see how Fred's identity is material when the information pertinent to your case is either in our database, or is in a PM that's been deleted by you.


Please allow me to question this. Escalating consequences I don't see other than I acknowledge he is clearly getting banned quicker.


I don't particularly care if there are escalating consequences or not. You don't have to ask for anything regarding Mark Sattler. You have been provided with the tools to never again see a post or PM from him, yet you refuse to use them. You can permanently banish him from your life, yet you don't. That seems to be a choice that you've made.

These forums are here because they benefit both our volunteers and the project, with little cost beyond the time spent by our moderators and Fred. It would not take many billable hours by lawyers to swing that cost-benefit analysis in the opposite direction.
316) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1496434)
Posted 28 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yeah, in theory it's possible to make a device independent OpenCL app. But thus far it doesn't seem to have been done. Jason, Josef or Raistmer will correct me if I'm wrong about that.
317) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1495852)
Posted 27 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I wish I could say someone was on it full time. We have a MacOS ATI astropulse app in the beta project if you'd like to help test it.
318) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1495612)
Posted 26 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What Colossus needs most now is a way to get the $700M or so necessary to build it, assuming they can (as they hope) get the costs down to the level of GMT. I don't know enough about the sensors and the way data would be taken to know if there is an analysis role for BOINC.

Regarding putting the talks on youtube, I was assured they would eventually be moved there but wasn't given a timescale.
319) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1494587)
Posted 24 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for posting the link. Given the short time I had, I think I did OK. There was just too much to cover.

If you haven't watched Jeff Kuhn's talk about Colossus and looking for waste heat on planets, it's interesting. For some reason it was in Session 4 rather than Session 5 (the SETI session). Jill Tarter's and Shauna Sallmen's and Ian Morrison's talks are interesting as well.

Regarding answering questions you've posted, I intend to get back into blogging about SETI, but it will have to wait until after the ICON EUV PDR. I'll be pretty swamped before then.
320) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1492795)
Posted 21 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Imagine how it is for us. Jill is a hard act to follow.
321) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1492429)
Posted 21 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Certainly.
322) Message boards : News : Friday March 21 SETI talks to be webcast live. (Message 1492243)
Posted 20 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI talks by Jill Tarter, Eric Korpela, Shauna Sallmen, and Ian Morrison at the "Search for Life Beyond the Solar System" conference will be broadcast live on Friday, March 21. The scheduled time for the talks is:

1:30PM PDT (2030 UTC) - Jill Tarter
2:00PM PDT (2100 UTC) - Eric Korpela
2:20PM PDT (2120 UTC) - Shauna Sallmen
2:40PM PDT (2140 UTC) - Ian Morrison

To connect go to http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/ebi2014/. If you have difficulty with that link, try http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/ebi2014?launcher=false Once you are there, select enter as guest, and enter a name, then click "Enter Room". Participants may get the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.
323) Message boards : News : Astropulse database is back. (Message 1485432)
Posted 6 Mar 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Astropulse work is flowing once again. Thanks to Matt and Jeff for performing the necessary brain transplant.
324) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Before and After (Message 1479001)
Posted 19 Feb 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Now accepting applications for younger hotter women...
325) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XIX - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1473874)
Posted 7 Feb 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
rolling golden hills


Don't you mean your s*** brown hills?
326) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1471805)
Posted 2 Feb 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

So, if Intel were to support Core CPU/iGPU's on linux, somebody would eventually figure out that they can save thousands of dollars, and get more performance for their 1000-node supercomputer if they built it on Core. So, don't expect to see a linux Core OpenCL driver any time soon...unfortunately Intel will protect their interests on this one.


That seems a silly strategy, because everyone who cares knows about GPUs. Everyone I know that worries about high bandwidth floating point performance is putting at least one GPU per CPU in their linux cluster/supercomputer. Right now they are typically going to NVIDIA because long term (>12 month) support for a GPU architecture isn't typically available elsewhere. Intel stands to miss out on that.
327) Message boards : News : SETI@home now supports Intel GPUs (Message 1470408)
Posted 29 Jan 2014 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've released SETI@home 7.03 for Intel GPUs that support OpenCL 1.2. If you have an Intel GPU and want to use it to speed up SETI@home make sure that "Use Intel GPU" is set to "yes" in your Project Preferences.

Thanks again to the crew at lunatics.kwsn.net for porting and testing this app.
328) Message boards : Number crunching : No AP opencl_ati_100 since 26 Nov (Message 1453629)
Posted 13 Dec 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I found another missing <max_cal_target> and fixed it. Hopefully you'll get the normal versions now.
329) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XIX - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1447523)
Posted 27 Nov 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela instructs one of her minions to do her bidding.
330) Message boards : News : Our Winter 2013 fundraising drive is underway. (Message 1444841)
Posted 21 Nov 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you didn't get our email detailing some of our accomplishments and plans, you can read it here.
331) Message boards : News : Long-time setizen John Clark has passed away. (Message 1441613)
Posted 12 Nov 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're sad to report the passing of long time SETI@home volunteer John Clark. Those of us who frequented the forums will certainly remember him. John was very recently mourning the passing of his wife, Sheila. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

People are posting their condolences and their memories of John in this thread.
332) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1431756)
Posted 22 Oct 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It probably means that the BOINC team has decided your device isn't fully compatible with BOINC. What kind of device (model) is it?
333) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1427912)
Posted 13 Oct 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, we'll never do ads because that would jeopardize the entire University's tax exempt status. And get me fired.
334) Message boards : News : Berkeley SETI at California Academy of Sciences (Message 1426511)
Posted 10 Oct 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Berkeley SETI scientists will be at the California Academy of Sciences this week. Dan Werthimer will be giving a talk Thursday night (Oct 10) at Nightlife at the Academy. Eric Korpela, Andrew Siemion, and other SETI scientists will be there as well to answer questions and chat about SETI. Nightlife runs from 6pm to 10pm and is for people aged 21 and over.

On Saturday and Sunday, Eric and Andrew will be participating in Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life also at the Academy. They'll be giving demonstrations and explaining SETI techology and techniques. This event is child friendly and runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
335) Message boards : News : NRAO telescopes will be taken offline due to government shutdown (Message 1423639)
Posted 3 Oct 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've received notice that the NRAO telescopes at Greenbank will be shut down at 5pm on Friday if the government shutdown continues. We don't have any immediately scheduled observations there, so this should not affect us in the short term.

We have not yet heard of any impact on Arecibo, but since it is operated under contract rather than being directly operated by the government, we are hoping observations there will continue.
336) Message boards : Number crunching : A new kitty auction.......... (Message 1421286)
Posted 28 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear Eric Korpela,

Thank you for your gift of $342.00 via .... on 09/27/2013.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $342.00

Your confirmation number is: 117688

337) Message boards : Number crunching : A new kitty auction.......... (Message 1421284)
Posted 28 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm donating $342 for "my team" GPUUG. And I'm not doing this under duress. Angela is definitely not holding my beloved Compucolor II hostage.

338) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1420787)
Posted 27 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I downloaded but it says it is suspended because your device is busy with other apps. Not running anything other than what I usually have running.


That message means something else is using your CPU. It could be a background process (like checking for updates). The message should go away after a while.
339) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1419039)
Posted 22 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry, but I read that in my prev netbook's manual (Acer Aspire One). They definitely recommended full charge/discharge cycle when possible.


Hardware manufacturers may have a vested interest in batteries that die after a certain number of cycles, especially with non-replaceable batteries. I work in an industry where a dead cell in a battery can destroy a quarter billion dollar mission, our typical maximum allowed discharge is 20% (i.e. 80% remaining) and the main cause of early battery failure is discharging too deeply. That killed the last mission I worked on, three months early.

Of course since that cost of failure on the ground is much less (a replacement battery or a replacement device) it may be worth the chance of maintaining battery capacity with a small chance on destroying the battery. Even when reconditioning early (pre-1990s) NiCds on the ground it was discharge at a constant 5 mA until the cell reached 0.4V. Going below that risked damage, and you couldn't do it with multiple cells in series because of the risk of cell reversal.

Not that most smart phones give you much choice. 8 hours off the charger and they are dead anyway.
340) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1419030)
Posted 22 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I find that with my phone as well, the 5.2V charger that came with the phone can keep up, but the standard 5.0V USB charger doesn't.

I suggest leaving the setting at "run only above 90% charged" even if it reduces the amount of time you spend crunching.

341) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1418186)
Posted 20 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

A port to iOS seems possible now that iOS 7 appears to allow full multitasking, but App Store policies make an iOS version difficult (or illegal) to distribute. We would probably need to strip out any GPL code and distribute under a different license. And at a minimum, BOINC and SETI@home would need to be distributed as separate apps, and any updates to SETI@home apps would have to be distributed through the app store rather than through the SETI@home servers.

In other words, there's a lot of work to be done and I don't know if anything is being done on the BOINC side of things.
342) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1416477)
Posted 16 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Does anybody know how much SETI / Boinc will drain your phone battery ??


It should only run when connected to power and when the battery is at least 90% charged. It shouldn't run down your battery at all.
343) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1415329)
Posted 13 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What device are you running on?
344) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1413951)
Posted 10 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm wondering about having them being on power 24/7, as far as I know it's not good for the battery?


Don't feel the need to charge them 24/7. Just use them normally. I charge mine at night and have it hooked to my laptop when at work.

Charging shouldn't damage your battery (unless the charging circuit is very poorly designed). Most devices have a temperature sensor on the battery that BOINC monitors, so it will shut down if it's getting warm. The phone usually monitors that sensor and stops charging to protect the battery if it gets warm, too.

Deeply discharging your battery too often can cause damage, so I don't recommend that anyone set BOINC to run on batteries. Anything you see online about batteries developing a "memory" that requires them to be discharged fully doesn't apply to NiMH or Lithium batteries. It really didn't apply to NiCd batteries either. It's just one of those urban legends that refuses to go away.
345) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1413782)
Posted 10 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
considering the low-power -> low crunch rate of mobile phones, why make an ARM version to begin with? Is crunching on your mobile really going to contribute to the grand scale of SETI and other BOINC projects, or is it just going to drain your battery faster without making much of a difference at all?


Actually, low power and large numbers are some of the point. There are 100 times as many phones out there as PCs, so potentially phones can have a large impact (if we sign up enough users). And phones individually use very little power, so in terms of FLOPS per watt, they could be more efficient than PCs.

BOINC, by default, only runs applications when your phone is plugged and fully charged, so it shouldn't run down your battery.
346) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1413506)
Posted 9 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's not unusual for portable devices. The FPUs on phones and tablets typically process at 1/10th the speed of a desktop computer of the same clock rate. That's how they get away with using so little power. Imagine trying to run your desktop on your phone's battery. :)
347) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1413386)
Posted 9 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're still working on why this is happening. It seems restricted to specific phones that don't like the armv6 version. I'll be releasing new versions this week that may be able to correct the problem. Till then you should do fine with the armv7 version.
348) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1412287)
Posted 6 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Congratulations to this idea, unfortunately, appears after the start of the app only STARTING on the screen and over and over again
my smartphone is a motorola razr i ; with intel inside ;-)
Android is 4.1.2


Hmmm. Did you install from one of the app stores, if so, which one? They're supposed to limit it to ARM processors at this point unless your phone/pad has an ARM emulator. (The Intel version hasn't been released yet).
349) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1412278)
Posted 6 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

When the RAM is Full, android stop World community grid application and nativeboinc looks for the file containing the results of the calculation, but it don't find this results file and cause computation error.


There's something projected dependent about this. When SETI@home gets stopped for the same reason, it just restarts. (Sometimes over and over and over again without doing much of anything). So there's something about the way that the WCG app quits that BOINC recognizes as an error. Maybe it is lack of the output file, which is the first thing SETI@home creates.

I'll bring it to the attention of the BOINC developers. You should mention it to the WCG developers.
350) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1412277)
Posted 6 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

The HTC ONE has returned 10 tasks in a few minutes, all with "Computation error" :-(


That's one of the reasons we need beta testers, so I can figure out things like this. Hope to have new versions out early next week that, even if they don't fix the problem will at least give me more info on why it's happening.
351) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411985)
Posted 6 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Account creation page should be working now. Temporarily at least.
352) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411919)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hmmmm..... I'll check it out.
353) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411902)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm trying to create an account but the last part, "Please enter the words shown in the image", I don't see any image or anywhere to type an answer.

Using newest Firefox, IE 8, and Chrome.


I think you can just ignore those words.
354) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411856)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Haven't seen that one before. Can you point me to your beta account so I can see the details of the EVO 3d?
355) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411787)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Where in the android app does one create the account? Or, create a project? I'm having difficulty finding this area, I only see a place to enter a URL and a password, but it isn't working in any way.


After adding the URL, a page for the project should pop up with a "register" button on it. If you can't get to that page you may need to quit the project and rejoin.
356) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411677)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks!
357) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411639)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Please let me know if and when an iOS version is developed. Thank you.


As soon as we figure out how to do that without running afoul of licenses and App Store rules, we will let everyone know.
358) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411636)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's best to post in the Android thread at the beta site...

http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/forum_thread.php?id=2046
359) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411609)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Lo siento, pero no sé cómo conseguir traducciones aparezcan en BOINC. Mi español no es bueno, por lo que este puede no ser comprensible. Estoy utilizando software de traducción. El mensaje era ...

Estamos pruebas beta de la versión Android del "SETI @ home" aplicación y estamos buscando a más testers para acelerar el proceso. Si desea ayudar, instale la versión Android de BOINC través de la "Google Play Store" o el "Amazon AppStore". A continuación, cuando se le pidió unirse a un proyecto de entrar http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta como la dirección URL del proyecto.

Nota: El proyecto beta no tiene acceso a las cuentas de usuario de SETI @ home. A menos que usted ya está usando el proyecto beta, tendrá que crear una nueva cuenta allí.
360) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411605)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What a great Idea. But it will not verify my login information.


The beta project has an entirely separate user database. You'll need to create an account there.
361) Message boards : News : Android Beta Testers Needed (Message 1411576)
Posted 5 Sep 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're beta testing the Android version of the SETI@home application and we're looking for more testers to speed up the process. If you'd like to help, install the Android version of BOINC through the Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store. Then when asked to join a project enter http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta as the project URL.

note: The beta project does not have access to SETI@home user accounts. Unless you're already using the beta project, you'll need to create a new account there.
362) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406590)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric, is it possible that the differences in credit rates for MB and AP cpu are due to different hardware populations? IE people with higher-end hardware choose not to run AP?


It's possible. The differences between CUDA5 and CUDA2.3 are significantly due to hardware differences. I haven't done statistics on how many people have turned off either astropulse or setiathome. If I get time, maybe I'll try.
363) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406589)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I am assuming 1 per GPU. I assume that accounts for the majority of our users and result.
364) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406569)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A question remains why with V6 that works? a simple coincidence?


I wish I could tell you. There aren't enough V6 results in the database to get accurate statistics. And any that are there are from slow machines, or machines that spend most of their time turned off.

365) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406553)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Here's a little detail about why it's impossible to have Astropulse return credit at the same rate as SETI@home. I pulled all of the results currently in the database and figured out for each app version the rate at which credit is being granted (i.e. sum(granted_credit)/sum(elapsed_time)).

First the CPU versions since it's easy to do cross comparison. Here is the most recent version of Astropulse for each platform, against the most recent version of SETI@home.

app             platform              version  plan_class             credit/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
astropulse_v6   i686-pc-linux-gnu       601                              0.0034
setiathome_v7   i686-pc-linux-gnu       701                              0.0047
                                                                           -28%

astropulse_v6   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     603                              0.0058
setiathome_v7   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     701                              0.0068
                                                                           -15% 

astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        601                              0.0046
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700                              0.0058
                                                                           -21%

astropulse_v6   i686-apple-darwin       602                              0.0059
setiathome_v7   i686-apple-darwin       700                              0.0059
                                                                            tie

astropulse_v6   powerpc-apple-darwin    602                              0.0020
setiathome_v7   powerpc-apple-darwin    700                              0.0014
                                                                           +43%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So the windows and linux version grant more credit per second to SETI@home than they do for Astropulse. The only one that grant significantly more to astropulse is the powerpc version. I'm not sure why that would be.

Now the GPU versions. It's more difficult to directly compare because the Astropulse app is OpenCL on NVIDIA rather than the 5 flavors of CUDA. So I'll just group by manufacturer and OS and then sort by decreasing credit/sec.

app             platform              version  plan_class             credit/sec
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        606     opencl_ati_100           0.0687
astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        606     ati_opencl_100           0.0683
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        703     opencl_ati5_cat132       0.0477
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        703     opencl_ati_cat132        0.0399
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        703     opencl_ati5_sah          0.0244
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        703     opencl_ati_sah           0.0231
astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        608     cal_ati                  0.0108

astropulse_v6   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     607     opencl_ati_100           0.0835
setiathome_v7   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     704     opencl_ati_linux         0.0405
setiathome_v7   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     704     opencl_ati_linux_cat132  0.0312
setiathome_v7   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     704     opencl_ati5_linux        0.0273
setiathome_v7   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     704     opencl_ati5_linux_cat132 0.0200

setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700     cuda50                   0.0791
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700     cuda42                   0.0637
astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        604     opencl_nvidia_100        0.0551
astropulse_v6   windows_intelx86        604     cuda_opencl_100          0.0413
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700     cuda32                   0.0335
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700     cuda23                   0.0305
setiathome_v7   windows_intelx86        700     cuda22                   0.0084

astropulse_v6   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     607     opencl_nvidia_100        0.0908
astropulse_v6   x86_64-pc-linux-gnu     607     cuda_opencl_100          0.0478
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The conclusions I draw from this is that ATI card are much better at Astropulse than they are at SETI@home. The primary reason is probably that the GPU routines in SETI@home were written in CUDA and ported to OpenCL. In Astropulse the GPU routines were written directly in OpenCL. And I think that's where the perceived discrepancy between Astropulse and SETI@home credit rates comes from.
366) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406276)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Every credit method we've ever used, with the exception of FLOP counting punished optimization, especially optimization of the stock apps.
367) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406213)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Primarily because we have no way of figuring out which specific binary is being run under anonymous platform, so we have to treat every anonymous version on a specific host as being the same. But in the end it doesn't really matter, because it ends up being exactly the same thing.

I have no idea why it's done this way, but for anonymous...

pfc = raw_pfc * (app.min_avg_pfc / host_app_version.pfc_avg);


And for stock...

pfc = raw_pfc * (app.min_avg_pfc / app_version.pfc_avg) * (app_version.pfc_avg / host_app_version.pfc_avg);


The real code is more complicated than that, but that's the essence. Then the granted credit is a weighted average of the pfcs where stock typically gets twice the weight of anonymous.

368) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406202)
Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I don't think that paragraph applies very often. Once a host has done 10 non-outlier results with an anonymous platform app version, it gets it's own host scale factor based on its own PFC. In the credit granting code, anonymous platform credit calculations are always considered to be approximate, so it's weighted less heavily (50%, IIRC) than the stock applications in the credit calculation.

Credit calcs are more complicated in CreditNew. There are the NORMAL and APPROX weightings, and there is also a weighting by how close to the app's average credit you are. That weight is there to prevent some of the exceptionally low credit situations we had in the past when we would always pick the lower one. Now we pick an average that is weighted toward the one that is closest to the long term average.

<edit>
I just read that paragraph again. It's only true in the case where a project uses single redundancy.
</edit>
369) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1406103)
Posted 21 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Apollo

29 21/08/2013 1:38:30 PM NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GTX 780 (driver version 32641, CUDA version 5050, compute capability 3.5, 3072MB, 4698 GFLOPS peak)


Who's claiming this? Show me the code that achieves this.


Yes, that number is based on a lot of bad assumptions yet many GPU only projects or apps use it for calculating credit... It assumes 1) that there is no GPU memory latency. 2) The GPU is capable of performing every operation in one cycle. 3) Every operation necessary for the program can be parallelized to the maximum capability of the GPU and 4) the GPU doesn't stall while data is being transferred over the bus from CPU memory to GPU memory. All of those assumptions are wrong. In reality the machine above is running at 245 bGFLOP (benchmark-GFLOP which is the unit the BOINC client measures) 5.2% of "peak" which is about 86 real GFLOP/s. That's really 1.8% of "peak".

When talking about efficiency, I was talking about the former number which is based on the average windows machine doing 1 real FLOP for every 2.85 benchmark FLOP. So when I said 2.5% effificient, I really meant 0.88% efficient.


You can't seriously be basing efficiency calculations on this can you ?


Perhaps efficiency is a bad term. What I'm talking about is the ratio between what the BOINC client thinks the GPU is capable of doing, and the real world capabilities. If you've got a better way of calculating performance that can go into the BOINC client, I would push for that. Frankly, I would like to go back to FLOP counting, but none of the other projects were willing to spend the day of programming that it would take to add it to their apps. And all support for it has been removed from BOINC entirely.


Note that unfortunately I've yet to receive any response from Eric or the Linux & Mac Developer community to my request for input into getting public beta happening for x41zc, nor to earlier enquiries supporting my research into GPU reliability, aimed at improving fault tolerance.


Sorry about that, the email I assume you are talking about is still in my unread pile.
370) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1404787)
Posted 18 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
There are any number of things you could do to solve that problem. At some point you changed you must have changed your preference preferences to compute on the video card while you are using the computer. If you change "Suspend GPU work while computer is in use?" back to "yes" your problem should go away.
371) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (2) (Message 1403264)
Posted 15 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the relationship between CreditNew and the decrease in credit granted for some people.

First, we've been using CreditNew for far longer than S@H v7 has been around. CreditNew is not all that new.

Second, there are no knobs to turn to increase credit. That was kind of the point of CreditNew. It more accurate to say that all the knobs are still there, it's just that turning them is counteracted by the CreditNew mechanism. I know, I've tried to turn them all with no effect.

Third, the credit decrease is by no means universal. For S@H v6, the elapsed time based credit for the stock cpu app on the average windows machine was scaled by 0.984311268359135. For S@H v7, the elapsed time based credit is scaled by 0.997756082254495. That's right, according to our server, windows machines are getting 1.3% more credit per second than they did under v6.

Where might the difference people are seeing come from? Maybe GPU apps. The efficiency of GPU based apps is different on between v6 and v7. Some parts of the code are more efficient, especially if you've got a GPU optimized for CUDA5. But the balance between different portions of the code has been changed by autocorrelation. Since we grant credit based on actual work, your GPU might be getting more or less credits per second. I'm not sure there is anything I can do about that. I tried raising credit by boosting the GPU projected flops multiplier by a factor of two. It worked for about a day before the GPU flops scale adjusted itself down by a factor of two.

And then there are optimized apps. We can't make any guarantees about the rate at which a non-stock app gets credit. Since credits are referenced to the stock apps, if we optimize the stock app, the credit rate for non-stock apps will go down. There was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth when we released SETI@home enhanced, because optimized apps that used to get 10X the credit per second of the stock app suddenly only got 3X the credit. Lot's of people threatened to quit the project, and some did. Again, this is nothing I can fix.

As for other projects the grant more credit... Maybe its time to ask them why. For many projects there seems to be no relationship between credit granted and work done, especially GPU-only projects. CUDA5 GPUs are about 2.5% efficient when running SETI@home, and that's actually not that bad for GPU code. If we assumed GPUs were 100% efficient, and had a GPU-only app we could boost your credit rate by 40X. But I prefer that they mean something.
372) Message boards : News : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1400178)
Posted 7 Aug 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


If you'd like to help with testing, the beta project URL is http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta. I'm planning to release a new version today that I'm hoping will work on low memory devices. The version that's out in beta now barely works on a 256MB machine.

If the Android version of BOINC tells you that the beta project doesn't support Android, ignore it.
373) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1384656)
Posted 25 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
For SETI@home 7, we compress the executables and DLLs to save on download bandwidth. AVG and a (very) few other virus scanners consider this technique, which I've been using since 1989, to be "suspicious activity". Since they have a larger customer base than SETI@home does, they don't seem inclined to change their opinion.

I doubt that compression is the issue with the BOINC executable, though. I'm guessing that AVG doesn't like programs that can start and stop system services. Although since it's the identity protection component, it could just be an aversion to numbers. BOINC uploads and downloads a lot of files with numbers in them, and the last 4 digits of your social security number or the last four digits of your credit card number are bound to be in one of them. And BOINC asks you to enter a your password at times. It might be that AVG thinks the BOINC manager is scamming you.
374) Message boards : Number crunching : v7 cuda23 WUs getting ERR_TOO_MANY_EXITS (Message 1383240)
Posted 21 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm ready to try anything at this point. Unfortunately I think we need to wait until we're out of S@H v6 work before we try to replace the v6 cuda apps with something that doesn't have dlls.

I need to convince David of the following

1) if an app gets a file size error or a signature error, BOINC should try to download it again once.

2) BOINC really needs a delete_app_version and a redownload_app_version message to the host.

375) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1383209)
Posted 20 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
For the areas that were skipped (it might be portions of a data file or one of the 14 receivers that got skipped) we're just doing the portions that were skipped.

For the data that wasn't radar blanked with the software blanker we'll have to do it all. (IIRC, there are about 18 months of calendar time in that set).
376) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1383074)
Posted 20 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The first priority will continue to be analyzing new data, including the data from the Green Bank Telescope observations of Kepler planetary systems. (That's what I'm trying to work on this week.)

The second priority is filling in the gaps where some data wasn't processed because older versions of the data splitter tended to quit when they found bad data rather than working around it. We've fixed those problem.

The third priority will be to reanalyze data that was processed before we developed to software radar blanker. That data so contaminated with radar that it's difficult to find non-radar signals in it.

Then, if we aren't being flooded with new data, we might put some of the old tapes on to get autocorrelation and the extra sensitivity that the new polyphase splitter would get us.
377) Message boards : Number crunching : Validate Error After two months?? (Message 1382608)
Posted 19 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK. I think I've got most of it cleaned up. A credit granter is running to grant credit for all non-validated tasks.

There was a change to the validator in the last 12 hours that may be related to this. The validator no longer considers v6 results valid when they are returned for v7 workunits.
378) Message boards : Number crunching : Validate Error After two months?? (Message 1382590)
Posted 19 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Actually it looks like revalidation is making the problem worse. I'm bringing the validators down until I can figure out what's going on.
379) Message boards : Number crunching : Validate Error After two months?? (Message 1382587)
Posted 19 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, we had some weirdness today with the validators. Some stuff was getting marked as inconclusive but still getting credit, other this were getting marked as invalid. I'm marking everything that was marked as invalid for revalidation.
380) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1382383)
Posted 18 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The signals we are looking for are a few percent of the noise level in the 2.5MHz band. We're basically looking at the Fourier transform in order to increase the signal to noise ratio for the signal by a factor of 300 or so by confining the signal to a single channel while spreading the noise out over 131072 channels. That's the basic principle. The details are a bit more complicated.
381) Message boards : Number crunching : v7 issues on very old cruncher (Message 1382152)
Posted 17 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I should have known better than to use the FFTW provided dlls, the compiler put in a CMOVE instruction. That means Pentium-Pro is now the minimum for the stock version.

I hate incompatibility, so I may fix it. But it won't be a high priority compared to other fixes.
382) Message boards : Number crunching : Observation of CreditNew Impact (Message 1381896)
Posted 16 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I suppose I should make a couple points.

First, "CreditNew" has been implemented at SETI@home for a year now, so this reduction in credit is not due to implementing "CreditNew" since it was implemented ages ago.

Second, how credits are normalized hasn't changed between v6 and v7 under CreditNew. Since our results are mostly stock Windows and CUDA under Windows, those results set the normalization.

Based upon the archives, the S@H 6 windows_intel app was generating an average of 0.00556 credits per elapsed second. The current S@H 7 windows_intel app is generating 0.00514 credits per elapsed second, or about 7% less. Astropulse 6 is currently generating 0.00491 credits per elapsed second or about 12% less than S@H v6. I'm hoping the Astropulse issue is resolving itself. (It appears to be slowly coming back to normal.)

There aren't a whole lot of knobs I can turn to get that 7% back. I've bumped the estimated GPU efficiency by 20% in hopes that that would help, but thus far I haven't seen a change. I'm going to try increasing the workunit work estimates slowly, but I think that change will get normalized out.

Yes, there are projects that offer more credit. A number of projects have chosen to detach their credits from any measure of actual processing, usually by pretending they are getting 100% efficiency out of GPUs. I fought that battle for years, and lost. Those projects have entirely devalued the BOINC credit system.
383) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1381180)
Posted 14 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Ramon,

Haven't had a chance to deal with my PMs recently. I'll look into it.

Thanks,

Eric
384) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1380709)
Posted 13 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
My C-128 has both composite and high resolution RGBI and twice the memory and twice the speed in 128 mode. And an extra-Z80 processor so I can run CP/M apps.
:P

I'm still working on porting SETI@home to it.
385) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1380357)
Posted 12 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The source has always been available. Just check it out in SVN using https://setisvn.ssl.berkeley.edu/svn/seti_boinc for the stock version
https://setisvn.ssl.berkeley.edu/svn/branches/sah_v7_opt for optimized and GPU versions.
386) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1380129)
Posted 12 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Wouldn't it be easier to simply release a version of S@H that has it's sensitivity cranked up to the limits of the sensitivity of Arecibo, rather than ratcheting it up every couple years?


In most cases we can alter the signal threshold by changing parameters in the work unit without releasing a new version. For example, we could do the autocorrelation out to 100Hz/s or change the autocorrelation detection threshold without releasing a new version. That sort of change wasn't possible for a lot of parameters in the early versions of SETI@home.

Most of the recent versions have been to add new analyses and signal types (pulses, triplets, autocorrelation) or to change how the analysis is done (optimizations for specific instruction sets and bug fixes for problems that reduced our sensitivity) or to add new types of applications (GPU, android). In the cases where a new version improved sensitivity it's probably because there was a bug in the way we were performing the analysis.

But the real reason that changes to the science take a couple years rather than a couple months is manpower related. Even simple changes like autocorrelation take long time for me to test and deploy because I can't devote a large fraction of my time to it.

There is a sensitivity boost we got recently by changing the data splitter on the server side to use a different algorithm to generate the workunits. Nobody expect the people who watch the server status page probably noticed the change.

We are close to the limits of what Arecibo can provide for us with this data recorder. There's really only a couple knobs left to turn. In theory, I was considering those knobs when I was writing SETI@home enhanced and no changes should be required if those knobs are turned. But if I made a mistake, we may never turn them. By the time I got it fixed we might have a new and better data recorder (cough, SERENDIP VI, cough) capable of recording much wider bandwidth on every receiver Arecibo and GBT have. But that's a different story.
387) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1380126)
Posted 12 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sometime ago Matt said that the run time the work units was going to be extended. I have noticed the average work unit on my 660 TI is running around 18 minutes was was this the intention with version 7 or was this a pleasant side-effect, are there still claims to pack more than one job into a task?


Hi Speedy,

There used to be a four processor DEC VAX-6000 with that name at the University of Wisconsin. It was impressively fast in 1988, but most peoples' cell phones could probably outrun it now. :)

The longer run time is a side effect of the autocorrelation. The longer term plan was to increase the size of workunits to keep the number of request on our server down to a reasonable value. The move to the colocation facility seems to have helped somewhat, so there less pressure to do that at this point.

But when it comes to the Kepler/GBT observations workunits, a larger size and run time is unavoidable. So we are working on that development as rapidly as we can.
388) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1379864)
Posted 11 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I have a question, too. How comes that AstroPulse is still on V6?


The version numbers in SETI@home and AstroPulse aren't synchronized either to each other or to BOINC. It's mainly an accident that SETI@home and BOINC have the same major version.

But that does raise the question about why we haven't put autocorrelation in AstroPulse. It's not that I haven't thought about it, it's that I haven't finished thinking about it. A signal from an extraterrestrial civilization is chirped by accelerations, dispersed by interstellar gas and then chirped again by the Earth's accelerations. In SETI@home the signals are so narrow that the chirps are additive and the dispersion is essentially zero. For astropulse the signals are so wide that the chirping doesn't matter. For autocorrelation you don't really know how wide the signal is so you need to dedisperse and dechirp, which means you need to do N times as much work, where N is the number of Doppler drift rates you compute. So I need to think about whether its possible to get N down to a manageable number.
389) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1379637)
Posted 11 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good question, and good observing.

The autocorrelation runs throughout the processing, whenever we are working at the finest spectral resolution (0.075 Hz which is an FFT length of 128k points.) Those transforms are not performed at every Doppler drift rate, but are concentrated on the low Doppler drift rate. (<30 Hz/s) So that does result in increased processing for the first third of the result. In theory the progress bar is supposed to be adjusted for that, but the adjustment isn't nearly as good as it could be.

That's what we do for now anyway. Depending on how clean the results are of interference, we may expand them to cover the full range. But we don't want to do that until we're sure the probably less interesting results won't swamp the more interesting ones.
390) Message boards : News : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1379603)
Posted 10 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dr. Korpela has posted his promised summary of what is new in SETI@home v7.
391) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What's new about SETI@home v7 (Message 1379579)
Posted 10 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The easy things to describe are things to describe are the (conceptually, if not effort wise) small changes.

SETI@home v7 now supports the AVX instruction set used on Intel Sandybridge and later processors. That gives a significant speedup on those processors. For GPUs SETI@home enhanced used to support 3 different versions of CUDA, CUDA 2.2, CUDA 2.3, and CUDA 3, which we called cuda_fermi, because it was the only version that would run on Fermi and later GPUs. Now we have 5 versions for NVIDIA GPUs (CUDA 2.2, CUDA 2.3, CUDA 3.2, CUDA 4.2 and CUDA 5.0) under windows, two versions for AMD/ATI GPUs under windows, and two versions for AMD/ATI GPUs under linux.

Don't be surprised if you get more than one of these early on. We can tell that CUDA 2.2 and 2.3 won't run on Fermi and later cards, but we can't tell, for example, if CUDA 3.2 will be faster than CUDA 4.2 on your card. So we'll be sending you some of each in order to see which is faster. The server was supposed to be doing this all along, but there was a bug in it that I only discovered a few weeks ago. If you think the server is behaving incorrectly, let me know. There may be further bugs to squash.

The big deal, and it is a big deal, is something known as autocorrelation. Now autocorrelation isn't a new thing. It's been in the radio astronomer's tool box for a long time. In fact the original SERENDIP was an analog autocorrelator. What's different is the way we're using it.

Autocorrelation is different than the standard FFT in that the FFT looks for sine waves. That makes it great for looking for signals that have very narrow bandwidth, because anything with narrow bandwidth looks like a sine wave. But once you put information into a transmission, its bandwidth gets wider and it looks less like a sine wave. The more information you add, the wider the bandwidth and harder it is to detect using an FFT.

Autocorrelation, on the other hand, looks for anything that looks like itself. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense at first glance because everything looks like itself. And an autocorrelation will tell you that if you didn't already know it. But it will also tell you if the same signal waveform shows up half a second later.

Why is that important? One way an ET civilization could send a signal that contains information, but is still easily detectable would be to send a signal, and then send exactly the same signal delayed by a small amount of time (say half a second). You could pack in a lot of information, and the signal would still be easily detected using autocorrelation. Theoretically, its nearly as sensitive to wide band signals as the FFT is to narrow band signals, and it only uses a little bit more than twice the computation.

No, this wasn't my idea, although I wish it was. Autocorrelation was brought back to the forefront of our minds by Gerry Harp, the current Director of SETI at the SETI Institute.
392) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1378705)
Posted 8 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
In that case it must be preventing the BOINC core client from running. There have been reports of AVG recognizing boinc.exe (7.0.64) as a virus as well, but that should have happened when boinc was first run.
393) Message boards : Number crunching : What has your RAC done......since..... (Message 1378218)
Posted 7 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The fall in credit was most definitely not deliberate. I wouldn't even know how to cause such a thing using the BOINC credit new. I had assumed it was a case of "fast machines report results first" which usually drives the granted credit to low values when a new version is released, but there should have been ample time for that to fix itself.

Of course the corollary is that I haven't figured out how to fix it yet.

My RAC has gone down by less than 10%. Is this worse for people using anonymous platform?
394) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1375124)
Posted 2 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Maybe the admins could adjust something for to prevent this?


The change to prevent this went in yesterday. Let me know if its still happening.
395) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1375122)
Posted 2 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Could be a bad/overheating card or bad driver. My bigger concern is why the daily quotas are being reduced when the invalid results are found. That needs to be fixed.

Please do Not 'fix' this.
Computers that spit invalid results have to be punished somehow.
Else they will do that for 1000s of tasks per day.


Sorry, typo, that should have said "aren't being reduced". Despite all the bad results that computer is still getting 100 results per day per app version.
396) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1375042)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
06/01/2013 3:33:04 PM | SETI@home | Sending scheduler request: To fetch work.
06/01/2013 3:33:04 PM | SETI@home | Not requesting tasks
06/01/2013 3:33:06 PM | SETI@home | Scheduler request completed


That's either a bug in BOINC, or some really confusing messages from BOINC about what it's attempting to do.
397) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1375036)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Apparently ClamAV doesn't allow submission of a false detection report for PUAs because ClamAV doesn't consider PUA detections to be virus detections.

398) Message boards : Number crunching : V7 Only "Paying" Half of What Seti Enhanced Did ? (Message 1375011)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I reset the astropulse app stats and app_version stats, and ran my credit granting script. Hopefully the combination will clear things up.
399) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1374993)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The only 'red' is from ClamAV - PUA.Win32.Packer.UpxProtector


PUA stands for "Potentially Unwanted Application", which means that ClamAV has decided the only use for compressed executables is for "bad things". ClamAV could decompress them and scan the decompressed executable for viruses like nearly every other virus scanner does. I will suggest that to them.
400) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1374877)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Jeff was unreachable, and I didn't know the magic incantations that would open a service ticket at the colo. I do now.
401) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1374874)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
When i checked last night i couldnt get to this site, now i cant get any work units,only units running are on my gpu.


Our racks at the colo lost their internet connection for several hours. We're trying to figure out why.
402) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1374871)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric said he'd post some details on the differences with the new app back on Thursday. I guess he didn't get around to doing it


Yeah, should have done it first. Spending too much time putting out the fires v7 started. Hopefully today I'll get to it.
403) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1374870)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Only errors: hostid=6598140.

What is here the problem?


Could be a bad/overheating card or bad driver. My bigger concern is why the daily quotas are being reduced when the invalid results are found. That needs to be fixed.
404) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1374594)
Posted 1 Jun 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I haven't seen any problems. It's probably because your app_info.xml for your anonymous platform use doesn't contain any applications for setiathome v7.
405) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1374417)
Posted 31 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The circumstances under which the alert is triggered are becoming more clear. It seems to only happen with the "resident shield" component, and only with specific versions of AVG 2012 and AVG 2013, possibly only the paid version.

If anyone has contrary info please let me know.
406) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373980)
Posted 31 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Resident Shield in AVG 2012 identifies boinc.exe as a virus. I have seen it only on one computer with 2012 as of yet. Log follows.


Yes, that's looks like a misidentification of the UPX compression method as a virus, probably because the in-memory image doesn't match the file on disk. I've contacted AVG. Hopefully they'll respond.
407) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373917)
Posted 31 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If it's like 2012, open the AVG interface, select AntiVirus and then click manage exceptions. Add your BOINC/projects/setiathome.berkeley.edu directory to the list of exceptions. That directory will probably either be C:\Program Data\BOINC\projects\setiathome.berkeley.edu or C:\Users\YourUsername\Program Data\BOINC\projects\setiathome.berkeley.edu

There also may be a way to mark programs as exception from the quarrantine list, but I don't have a way to check that.
408) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373895)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I have Trend Virus scan the best there is!!


Never tried it. I was only talking about the false positives from their FakeAV detector.
409) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373820)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I wonder if it's only a problem when it scans the in memory copy when it is running. And if the exceptions list is based on the in memory footprint, it may be excepted. Does the original fail to scan on your AVG13?

http://boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu/sah/download_fanout/setiathome_7.00_windows_intelx86.exe
410) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373803)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Same problem with trendmicro Fake Antivirus (FakeAV) Removal Tool.


Trend FakeAV reports about valid 20 programs on my system as "RogueAV" including BOINC, the NVIDIA tray utility, the UPS monitor, the Trend FakeAV Removal Tool, and the drivers for my camera. It seems that just about anything that runs as a console program in the background or has a tray icon gets reported. And it always hangs hard before completing its scans. After attemting to run it a few times, I decided I can safely ignore its detections as entirely false positives. I'm surprised there hasn't been a class action suit by software publishers against Trendmicro.
411) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373753)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We'll be turning off coral caching in a day or two, so that problem will go away in a short time.
412) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373747)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
How about http://boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/download/setiathome_7.00_windows_intelx86_unpacked.exe?coral-no-serve
413) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373729)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's weird. I'm able to get them both from home. It's probably the coral cache problem. Try http://boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu.nyud.net/beta/download/setiathome_7.00_windows_intelx86_unpacked.exe directly.
414) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373722)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Symantec Endpoint Protection 11 and AVG 2012 find no problems, both with heuristics on.
415) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373693)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you're willing, could you please download http://boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/download/setiathome_7.00_windows_intelx86_unpacked.exe
and scan it with your virus scanner to see if it reports a problem with the uncompressed file?

And if that checks out, try to scan a recompressed version, just to be sure. http://boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/download/setiathome_7.00_windows_intelx86_repacked.exe
416) Message boards : News : AVG 2013 virus scanner false positive on SETI@home 7 for Windows (Message 1373641)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The AVG virus scanner heuristic virus detection method reports a false positive for SETI@home version 7.00 on windows. This alert doesn't not indicate an infection with a known virus, but indicates that the application contains code that the virus scanner considers to be suspicious. AVG 2012 apparently does not report any issues.

We believe that this alert is related to the method we used to compress the executable in order to save network bandwidth. We are examining how we can resolve the problem. Until then the best strategy is to click "cancel" or "ignore" to the AVG warnings.
417) Message boards : News : SETI@home Version 7 has been released (Message 1373202)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Your BOINC client should automatically download it in the next few days. No need to abort any current work you are doing.

We've released versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and four versions for NVIDIA graphics cards running under windows, and versions for ATI graphics card running under Windows and Linux.

My thanks to the KWSN/lunatics folks for getting this done and especially to Raistmer, Jason, Josef, Urs, Claggy, Mike, Richard, and too many beta testers to name.

Tomorrow I'll post explaining why we wanted version 7 and what's different about the analysis it does.
418) Message boards : Number crunching : Now that v7 has rolled out.......... (Message 1373198)
Posted 30 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Now that the servers are down at the colo, I can't even hear them crash.
419) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Prepare for the weeping and wailing of single women everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Message 1372532)
Posted 27 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I can't decide whether to post Love and Marriage or Another One Bites The Dust.

Much happiness to you both!
420) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Angela's Birthday Pun Thread!!! (Message 1371360)
Posted 24 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

It's the love of my life's Birthday, and so I'm going to SWEEP her away from here. She has a LAUNDRY list of places she wants to go, but I want someplace nobody will find us. Like the VACUUM of space.

I'm sure I'll be able to COOK something up.
421) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Astropulse ATI not stopping on PC use (Message 1366046)
Posted 9 May 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think we've found the bug.
422) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - #184 Of coprolites and rotating blades.... (Message 1360926)
Posted 25 Apr 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Only the chanting on a bulbous matron can signify completion.
423) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Gardening 2013 Thread (Message 1354552)
Posted 8 Apr 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Moniker. Wasn't that one of the characters on "Friends?"
424) Questions and Answers : Windows : The problem about donating (Message 1350990)
Posted 26 Mar 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You should be able to use a VISA virtual card through the normal SETI@home donation page. Click on the link for making a Credit Card donation. Please let me know if you have any difficulties and I will try to get the University to fix the problems.

Thanks for supporting SETI@home.
425) Message boards : Number crunching : How low can you go? (Message 1337635)
Posted 13 Feb 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I didn't get around to fixing Angela's computer this weekend. But it's her fault.

I transfered 10 of my RAC to her account so she can post and hooked her account up to one of my computers at work. Maybe she'll let me fix her computer this weekend.
426) Message boards : Number crunching : How low can you go? (Message 1333077)
Posted 31 Jan 2013 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Should it disturb me that all these men are talking about my wife's RAC?
427) Message boards : News : Scheduler is back up... (Message 1311130)
Posted 28 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Problems with timeouts will continue to occur, but less frequently, we hope.
428) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Trash Talking - Football (Message 1310934)
Posted 28 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


I am Cornhuskio! I need TP for my cornhole!



429) Message boards : News : SETI@home scheduler is down until further notice. (Message 1309393)
Posted 23 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Scheduler crashes have continued, so we'll be down until we've isolated and solved the problem.
430) Message boards : News : Scheduler crashed. (Message 1309124)
Posted 23 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, my flexibility apparently didn't get us more than a few hours of uptime. Hopefully we'll have some tech help at the lab tomorrow (although since it is a University holiday, I'm not sure that we will.)
431) Message boards : News : We are thankful for.... (Message 1309010)
Posted 22 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're thankful for you, our volunteers, who continue to donate your time, computers and money to keep SETI@home up and running and improving.

432) Message boards : News : Scheduler crashed. (Message 1309009)
Posted 22 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, it's back up partially. Something upstream is restricting connections, and we'll need lab network support people to figure it out.

Fortunately, our Thanksgiving party doesn't start until 4:30pm, so I'm not missing anything but football.

433) Message boards : News : Scheduler crashed. (Message 1308838)
Posted 22 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The scheduler will be down until someone can get to the lab to reboot it. I'll try to convince Angela to let me go in once the turkey is in the oven.
434) Message boards : News : Continued server problems. (Message 1308837)
Posted 22 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good idea. Thanks!
435) Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : SETI@Home Enhanced on Raspberry Pi using Archlinux (Message 1308479)
Posted 21 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

14:37:09 (23461): No heartbeat from client for 30 sec - exiting


I think I will stick with these versions and see if I can work out this heartbeat issue...

Any active developers out there that can provide any guidance?


That might mean that the client is getting stuck in the section that benchmarks the science routines. The default choice of timer might not be working for you. If ARM supports a cycle counter you can add the code to client/vector/hires_timer.{cpp,h}
436) Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : SETI@Home Enhanced on Raspberry Pi using Archlinux (Message 1308470)
Posted 21 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


I managed to run it manually in the slot with GDB. Error:

Starting program: /var/lib/boinc/projects/setiathome.berkeley.edu/setiathome_enhanced
[Thread debugging using libthread_db enabled]
Using host libthread_db library "/usr/lib/libthread_db.so.1".

Program received signal SIGILL, Illegal instruction.
0x401c2c80 in _armv7_neon_probe () from /usr/lib/libcrypto.so.1.0.0



One thing to watch for when using GDB is that signals will be caught by GDB even if there is a signal handler in place. It's common practice to install a signal handler for SIGILL and the execute an instruction to see if it is supported. FFTW uses this method and SETI@home uses this method.

Outside of GDB the signal will be caught if it is raised and then the routines that use the illegal instruction will be avoided. Inside GDB the signal will be caught by GDB by default. If you just continue from this point, it may work. The other option is to tell GDB not to catch SIGILL.
437) Message boards : News : Continued server problems. (Message 1307567)
Posted 19 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're continuing to have issues due to a database problem early last week and a botched attempt to fix it.

The problem is that the result and host tables in the database have grown large enough, and hosts have gotten fast enough that the lookup of result in process for a host and the enumeration of new results to send don't finish before the web connection times out either on the server or the client side. This resulted in hosts being assigned large number or results to compute without the transaction that tells them about these results being completed. The host. think it received no results would then contact the server for more results, which it would again not receive.

This isn't a hardware problem. The database currently fits in memory and the processors are fast. We've just crossed a threshold where each host computes fast enough that host queues and the result table have become large enough to cause this problem. To solve it, we've put per host limits on results in process back in place. But hosts that are having this problem will probably continue to have it until the average number of results per host has fallen to a workable level. That could take weeks.

For a more permanent fix, we plan do more work in each result by quadrupling the size of the workunits. But that fix will probably take months to implement and test.
438) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI Hardware Fundraisers (With Big News Inside) (Message 1305941)
Posted 14 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'd far prefer to see the establishment of an endowment fund that would fund the post for an extended period (minimum five years), or in perpetuity from investment income.


We would love to see an endowment capable of funding the whole program or even providing a single income. We have had term endowments in the past in the $10K-$30K range with 2 or 3 year terms to pay for operations of specific projects. To pay for a person is another scale entirely... a just out of school junior programmer with salary and benefits really does run close to $100K even in the current job market.

Pulling out my trusty slide rule you wanted to pay for that for 5 years, with a 2% annual COLA and no promotions (which is unreasonable, a new programmer would get a promotion every 2 years or get fired) that's $520K, the endowment to achieve that would need to about about $480K (assuming it could earn 4% annually)

A perpetual endowment usually has different assumptions and can achieve higher growth, but we could assume the instantaneous payout of $100K is equal to a 4% growth and which means it would need to be at least $2.5M. And to run the whole project in perpetuity $10M-$15M would be the target vicinity.

Sounds like a lot until you realize that people spent $4B on the last election. Anyone know any multi-million dollar superPAC contributors? Of course people who contribute millions of dollars to superPACs probably expect a return on their investment. (In case I didn't the sarcasm obvious enough, I think $2.5M is a hell of a lot of money.)
439) Message boards : Politics : Paula Broadhips & General GoldPeneTraitorUs (Message 1305707)
Posted 13 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If such a biographer is ever assigned to Eric, I shall attend every interview!!!


Oooooohhh, kinky!
440) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beets Give Us A Caption #48 (Message 1300859)
Posted 1 Nov 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And the winner is John McLeod with "I asked how many nybbles in a byte. I did not ask for a demonstration."

First runner up is Carlos with "Guess the cake wasn't good enough."

Second runner up is Julie with "What to expect when you go trick or treating at the Korpela's"

Thanks for playing!
441) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beets Give Us A Caption #48 (Message 1300616)
Posted 31 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry for the delay. This one was by request.

442) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1297100)
Posted 20 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
When Angela came upstairs, I could tell she lost. She was looking kind of FROSTY. Apparently her attempts to HAMM it up didn't go over too well. I'm sure she had fun punning with her BUDs anyway, and I'm sure she's not BITTER about it.

Anyway, what's PABST is Pabst. I'm sure she'll be BOCK to her old form in no time. Sorry I couldn't take part, I was upstairs reading the MILLER's tale to help a niece with a book report.

Stay thirsty my friends.
443) Message boards : News : SETI@home annual fund raising campaign has started (Message 1294383)
Posted 12 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've started out annual fund raising campaign. If you haven't gotten an announcement in your email, you can find your letter here. Thanks in advance for your help keeping SETI@home going!
444) Message boards : Cafe SETI : My choice for sexiest woman alive (Message 1293389)
Posted 10 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This looks like a contest for amateurs, so I won't enter Angela because she is a professional.

Umm... let me rephrase that.
445) Message boards : News : Weekend Fundraising Challenge-Completed (Message 1291899)
Posted 6 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home volunteer Mr. Kevvy has started a Weekend Fundraising Challenge to raise money for disks we need to transport data from Green Bank Observatory.
446) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (77) Server Problems? (Message 1291067)
Posted 4 Oct 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're not seeing significantly more upload failures on the server side than usual from what I can tell. 20 to 30 successful uploads per second. Are there any geographic or ISP similarities for people who are having problems?
447) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XV - All Are Welcome In the Critter Cafe (Message 1289146)
Posted 29 Sep 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I can haz cornhuskers!
448) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Talk like a pirate day (Message 1285735)
Posted 20 Sep 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hittin'? I be drinkin' lassie.
449) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1281031)
Posted 7 Sep 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Since there can only be about 3% as many Astropulse workunits as SETI@home workunits, it's had to catch very many. Astropulse also splits really fast compared to SETI@home. Check the server status page to see if any is actively being split. Once data files are listed as "done" it's less likely that you will get any.
450) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1277923)
Posted 31 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Given the results, it could be a bad fan or a clogged heat sink on the processor. Before you toss it or swap the PSU, look for dust, make sure the fans are turning, and check that the CPU heat sink is properly seated. Those plastic push pin style heat sink legs will sometimes let go.
451) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1277586)
Posted 30 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you know a Mac developer that wants to do the port, all you need do is have him contact me.

Until that point, I'm one person with very limited time.
452) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275182)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I really am going to have to concede. Congratulations dear, you've the big winner .
453) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275180)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Will in the view from the Korpela COMPOUND EYE see little chance of finding many more.
454) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275178)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I'm running out of puns. You MAGGOT the win unless I find some more.
455) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275175)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I taught here everything I know about puns. I'm her teacher and she's my best PUPA.
456) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275173)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear, your COCOONS are out the the back yard looking for grapes.
457) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275170)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Don't worry, everyone. I didn't drink it because I SPIDER putting something in it.
458) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275168)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
At this point I think you used all of the puns you had aRAID against me.
459) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275165)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You and whose ARMY (ants)?
460) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275162)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
ANTENNA you and a couple of your friends might be able to beat me...
461) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275159)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And once I've won I'll just drink a GRASSHOPPER while relaxing under the PALMETTOs.
462) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275151)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Doesn't matter. When the month is over I will be MONARCH of this realm.
463) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275147)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Watch out. I've got an itchy CHIGGER finger.
464) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275145)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I ANT LION when I say I'm winning.
465) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275142)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
GNATurally, you have difficulties coming up with more.
466) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275139)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Don't try your DAMSELFLY in distress routine. It doesn't work on me.
467) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275136)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
TICK tock TICK tock. Your time as pun queen is limited.
468) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275134)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've been ITCHING to beat you in a pun war for some time.
469) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275132)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Any day with you is a virtual PARASITE on Earth.
470) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275130)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Feel free to FLEA.
471) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275125)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I never met a nit I didn't pick.
472) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275122)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
There are two apostrophes in di'n't.
473) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 23 (Message 1275111)
Posted 25 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I let you demonstrate humility on a daily basis. I think that's all I need to know.
474) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1274461)
Posted 23 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm looking for this in the logs now. This is probably an artifact of the way are BOINC 6 OpenCL kludge is implemented...

Not sure where to post this problem:

8/23/2012 7:02:57 AM | SETI@home | Sending scheduler request: Requested by user.
8/23/2012 7:02:57 AM | SETI@home | Requesting new tasks for CPU and ATI
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | | App version needs OpenCL but GPU doesn't support it
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | SETI@home | Scheduler request completed: got 1 new tasks
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | SETI@home | Resent lost task ap_24mr10ac_B6_P0_00269_20120701_03541.wu_3
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | SETI@home | Project has no tasks available
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | SETI@home | [error] App version uses non-existent ATI GPU
8/23/2012 7:02:58 AM | SETI@home | [error] Missing coprocessor for task ap_24mr10ac_B6_P0_00269_20120701_03541.wu_3; aborting

I'm not receiving tasks?
I'm running 7.0.28 (x86) Am I doing something wrong?

475) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1274108)
Posted 22 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The NVIDIA version for BOINC v7+ is out. The v6 version will probably go out on Monday.
476) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : 10 facts (Message 1273812)
Posted 22 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've heard the earthworm or a another non-human animal used as a foil to the prior one. In the political arena it's supposed to indicate that not every beating heart is of equal value. The earthworm might disagree... ;)
477) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1273611)
Posted 21 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's probably true. But we'd need more than four part time employees. A budget of 1.5 million dollars a year would help a lot towards getting 97% uptime. We'd really like a time machine to allow us to go back and put more effort into convincing the State of California that saving money by forcing the people who understood the campus power system to take early retirement was a bad idea.

Unfortunately none of those things is going to happen, unless you happen to have a billionaire in your pocket. Uptime costs money, salaries cost money, network bandwidth costs money. We don't have money. It's amazing what you can do without money, but it's equally amazing what you can't do.
478) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1272419)
Posted 18 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good! A check of the server logs also shows that the VLAR prevention mechanism should be in place.
479) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : 10 facts (Message 1272352)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
After too many months of too much work and no spare time, the power is out, and now I have time to blog. Ah, the life of a scientist. We typically have more ideas than time. So for this blog entry, I'm making it quick. I'm just going to list 10 facts and let you figure out what it's about until I get to the end:

  • The surface of the Earth is warming, primarily due to increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere prompted by human use of fossil fuels.

  • Natural gas is the least expensive means of generating gigawatts of electrical power.

  • Nuclear energy is the safest way to generate gigawatts of electrical power.

  • Last year, side effects from use of coal as a power source killed more people worldwide than terrorism.

  • You and bacterium Treponema pallidum share a common ancestor. That ancestor lived more than 1.7 billion years ago.

  • The sounds emitted by the heartbeat of a human fetus can be detected at 7 weeks.

  • The sounds emitted by the multiple hearts of an earthworm can be detected at 6 weeks.

  • The region of space we call "the universe" was the result of a rapid expansion of space that started between 13.4 and 14.1 billion years ago.

  • The Earth is between 4.39 and 4.69 billion years old.

  • Humans will become extinct.


So are you annoyed? I admit it, I did try to go out of my way to find facts that would annoy people. These aren't even controversial facts. I've expanded the error bounds to the 3-sigma level. None of these even approaches the "OJ is guilty" or "tax cuts/increases have a predictable effect on the economy" level of uncertainty. Even though these are facts, many of them are facts that get used or denied for political purposes. And because it's an election year in the U.S.A., we tend to assume that any statement is a political statement. Every fact is a fact with a hidden agenda. And most are beside the point.

Politics are so polarized that even admitting to a fact is assumed to be a capitulation to the entire agenda of a political party. The alternative is denial of the facts, which is not something I'd recommend. Can't we agree on the facts first, and then talk about what, if anything, should be done about them?

The final fact is just there to put it all into perspective.

480) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1272335)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Damn, now the vlars are broke again?
481) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1272161)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've installed a fix from David Anderson that we hope will solve the problem. If you have a BOINC version 7 client, the problem never affected you, and you can stop reading this now.

If you use BOINC version 6, you are probably affected. The fix we installed will not fix workunits that have already been downloaded. For that, you've got four options. 1) Abort all your CUDA tasks. 2) Upgrade to BOINC v7 or 3) Exit BOINC, edit your client_state.xml to replace all the occurrences of "<type>NVIDIA</type>" with "<type>CUDA</type>" or 4) Just let it run and deal with a few reboots.
482) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1272118)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Do the multiple workunits use some same resource of the GPU or interfere in some other way?


The main problem is that the BOINC client, depending upon the relative speed of your GPU and CPU, could decide to run as many as 10 GPU apps per CPU core simultaneously. If you've got 4 CPU cores, that's 40 GPU apps running at once. So no, we're not talking about running 2 or even 4 apps simultaneously on the GPU.

The possible results, in order of severity, could be: 1) The apps error out when the GPU runs out of memory. 2) Your GPU driver freezes causes a reboot every time BOINC tries to run the apps. 3) Your GPU overheats and causes a reboot every time BOINC tries to run the apps.
483) Message boards : News : Bug in server affecting older BOINC clients with NVIDIA GPUs. (Message 1271871)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've identified a bug in the current BOINC server that is online at SETI@home. With older BOINC clients this bug results in running multiple SETI@home GPU applications simultaneously on a single GPU.

While we debug and fix the problem we've suspended distribution of NVIDIA work. We hope that everything will be back to normal some time tomorrow.
484) Message boards : Number crunching : I am getting errors from my GPU-tasks. Is CUDA to blame? (Message 1271822)
Posted 17 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
There's a bug in the current scheduler. Whereas prior schedulers reported "CUDA" as the coprocessor for NVIDIA GPU tasks, the current scheduler suddenly reports "NVIDIA." So your machine thinks all it needs for the task is a fraction of a CPU and no GPU because 6.X clients won't recognize one NVIDIA coprocessor as the equivalent of one CUDA coprocessor.

I've contacted David and Rom trying to find out when this change happened and which BOINC clients need CUDA rather than NVIDIA and what we should do about it.

Until then I've deprecated all CUDA apps.
485) Message boards : News : Recovering from power outage. (Message 1271634)
Posted 16 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're slowly recovering from the power outage. The main BOINC database was performing poorly at first for an unknown reason. We'll be monitoring it as the recovery continues.
486) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1271129)
Posted 13 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Astropulse 6.04 for ATI/AMD OpenCL on BOINC 6.XX has been released.
487) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1269631)
Posted 9 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
My company has upgraded some research hardware and has given me a Tesla C1060 unit. I was wondering if I can use it to process SETI@home and Eistein@home data. Any thoughts?


If you attach it to SETI@home and it's running on Windows is should get SETI@home work for the GPU immediately and AstroPulse GPU work as soon as I release those versions.
488) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1269090)
Posted 8 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If we're already using the Open CL from the optimizers, should we stick with this?


If you're using the optimizer's version you can stick with it. They may have something newer than what I just released.
489) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1268860)
Posted 8 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I notice some people got download errors on the file "AstroPulse_Kernels_r1316.cl" I don't see any errors in the web logs on our download servers, and most people seem to be downloading successfully. I'm hoping it's a glitch that has only happened for the first few results.
490) Message boards : News : New AstroPulse applications for GPUs. (Message 1268857)
Posted 8 Aug 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've released the first of four new AstroPulse Windows applications for ATI/AMD Graphics Processing Units that support the OpenCL language. If you've got an one of these GPUs you may be able to process AstroPulse results 15x faster than your CPU alone. If your computer supports a version, it should get it automatically.

The first release supports ATI GPUs on BOINC 7.0.25 or later. The second release (probably next tuesday) will support ATI GPUs on BOINC versions prior to 7.0.25.
The final two version will be for NVIDIA GPUs. (Until then NVIDIA GPUs will have to satisfy themselves with SETI@home results).

Thanks to the optimizers at KWSN and the folk at the beta project for helping me get this out.
491) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric!!! (Message 1255287)
Posted 4 Jul 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm sure the people behind us were honking out "She is very cautious" in Morse code.
492) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric!!! (Message 1255282)
Posted 4 Jul 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! I was a good day even though I spent most of it at work. It was a scary day because Angela decreed herself designated driver after I had a Manhattan, a glass of Nebiolo and a glass of port. I have never been so sober in all my life as I was in that back seat.

"What does green mean again?"

493) Message boards : News : Alien computer viruses? (Message 1252673)
Posted 28 Jun 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Berkeley SETI PhD candidate Andrew Siemion talks about why your computer won't be getting an alien virus in this article on io9.com.
494) Message boards : News : Donate to SETI@home, get discounts on telescopes and more (Message 1251346)
Posted 25 Jun 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Is it possible you have the wrong company? Optics Planet is based outside Chicago and ships from a warehouse in Northbrook, IL.

It's got an A+ BBB rating, 91% positive on amazon.com and 4 checks on epinions.com, and like most internet companies all the reviews seem to be either 5 check or 1 check reviews with a few in between. Most people seem to have had good experiences, but some have had bad experiences, which seems typical for an internet retailer.
495) Message boards : News : Donate to SETI@home, get discounts on telescopes and more (Message 1250050)
Posted 22 Jun 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've teamed up with OpticsPlanet to create a fundraiser where you can support SETI@home while getting great deals on telescopes, astronomy gear, sunglasses & prescription eyewear and much more! Check it out here at the SETI@home coupon store.
496) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XIII - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1248212)
Posted 19 Jun 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Did somebody say booze cruise?

497) Message boards : News : Major Power Outage at SSL (Message 1239166)
Posted 31 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It turns out that there are two mechanisms for sending "Notices" to the BOINC client. Apparently one of them has stopped working, or never worked for us. I've enabled the other mechanism. Next time your BOINC client gets an update from SETI@home you'll see some old messages. If we fix the broken mechanism you might start seeing double messages, at which point I'll disable one.
498) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday CRL (aka Angela aka Pun Queen)! (Message 1236831)
Posted 26 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This thread is going nosewhere fast.
499) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday CRL (aka Angela aka Pun Queen)! (Message 1236737)
Posted 25 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I thought you didn't want me to post any pictures of you on top.
500) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday CRL (aka Angela aka Pun Queen)! (Message 1236720)
Posted 25 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Is that the one?
501) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday CRL (aka Angela aka Pun Queen)! (Message 1236016)
Posted 24 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Crazy Raccoon Lady
502) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday CRL (aka Angela aka Pun Queen)! (Message 1235986)
Posted 24 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


May your wishes come true!
503) Message boards : Number crunching : Internal server error... (Message 1234568)
Posted 21 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've got some ideas where the problem might be. I'll start digging.
504) Message boards : Cafe SETI : HAPPY STARWARS DAY (Message 1231310)
Posted 13 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The stormtrooper shuffle
505) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XII - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1227281)
Posted 4 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
For all the cat lovers out there. Here's a new type of treat your cat may enjoy.
506) Message boards : Number crunching : AstroPulse v6.02: 16.59 credits for 91.7 hours' processing?! (Message 1226978)
Posted 4 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm looking right now at the logs to figure out how that one happened. Both of you had enough normal results that you shouldn't have been requesting such a tiny amount of credit.

Well here's the log segment.
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9158    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162716] raw credit: 79.22 (3422.29 sec, 10.00 est GFLOPS)
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9171    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162716] anon platform, scaling by 0.248142 (0.17/0.67)
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9184    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162716] anon platform, returning 19.66
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9199    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162716] updating HAV PFC 0.02 et 1.87929e-12 turnaround 48582
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9214    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162716] get_pfc() returns credit 19.6577 mode approx
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9227    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162715] raw credit: 196.47 (8487.64 sec, 10.00 est GFLOPS)
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9240    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162715] anon platform, scaling by 3.75974 (0.17/0.04)
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9253    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162715] anon platform, returning 738.69
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9267    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162715] updating HAV PFC 0.05 et 4.66085e-12 turnaround 222419
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9280    [credit] [RESULT#-1872162715] get_pfc() returns credit 738.688 mode approx
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9297    [credit] [WU#982683654] assign_credit_set: credit 19.6577
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9318 [debug]   [HAV#12000004] consecutive valid now 152
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9350    [RESULT#-1872162716 ap_21fe11ad_B3_P0_00194_20120501_26398.wu_0] Valid; granted 19.657693 credit [HOST#1504137]
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9384 [debug]   [HAV#12000003] consecutive valid now 75
2012-05-03 17:22:10.9412    [RESULT#-1872162715 ap_21fe11ad_B3_P0_00194_20120501_26398.wu_1] Valid; granted 19.657693 credit [HOST#5634961]


The print outs are truncated to 32 bit signed numbers so result -1872162716 is 2422804580 and -1872162715 is 2422804581. For some your wingman's anonymous platform numbers credit claims are way off, even though yours are pretty close to spot on. But anonymous vs anonymous always grants the low number. (Another thing I'd like to fix.)
507) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Favorite women of Sci-fi thread (Message 1226091)
Posted 2 May 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Natalie Portman and Kiera Knightley in burkas!!!

Angela has made it clear what type of pictures I'm allowed to look at.

508) Message boards : Number crunching : AstroPulse v6.02: 16.59 credits for 91.7 hours' processing?! (Message 1225404)
Posted 30 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And, unfortunately the low credit granted was due to a host using a new anonymous platform that hadn't worked through its first 10 results to get calibrated and thus was in the "approximate" credit state. For two results in that state, the low claim gets rewarded, so you got credit for 3400 seconds of his CPU. Had you or your wingman been calicrated "normal" credit, it probably would have been about 700 credit.

Another thing I need to fix if I can figure out how and find the time.
509) Message boards : Number crunching : AstroPulse v6.02: 16.59 credits for 91.7 hours' processing?! (Message 1225394)
Posted 30 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
David considers this a feature of the way the scheduler works not a bug, and he didn't like my suggestion of numerical plaform priorities or estimated relative speeds for multiple platforms. There's a way to turn this feature of, but not without causing more problems than it solves on other platforms.

To make a really long story long, the BOINC 6.x Mac client for intel reports that it is capable of running both Intel and PPC apps (which may or may not be true). The BOINC 7.x Mac client only reports that it can run Intel apps because there is no BOINC 7.x Mac PPC client.

When the scheduler gets a request from a BOINC 6.x Mac intel it calculates the relative speed of the intel and ppc and (most of the time) concludes that the intel version is 3x the speed of the PPC version, and so it sends the intel version. But in order to reach that conclusion it occasionally has to send out the PPC version so it can see how fast it is. It does that by adding a random value to the speed of the PPC verion and one out of every few thousand results it will send out the PPC version as a test. I'm in the process of testing a modification to that method on beta which should reduce the number of PPC results sent out to Intel Macs once it becomes clear that the PPC version is slower. This thing will really become important as projects have more VM, emulated, or java apps in addition to native apps.

Till then, if you don't want the PPC work on your Intel machine, about all I can suggest is upgrading to BOINC 7 if you can.

Sorry I wont be able to get a better solution deployed in a rapid fashion.

Eric




510) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What's with the age gap around here? (Message 1219793)
Posted 18 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Oh boy! It's BINGO night!!!


The problem is, you never know what she means by that.
511) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What's with the age gap around here? (Message 1219509)
Posted 17 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Say hey sailor. You wanna get lucky?


The problem is, you never know what she means by that.
512) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What's with the age gap around here? (Message 1219498)
Posted 17 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You'll have to pardon my wife, her Alzheimer's medications make her easily agitated.
513) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : I'm Biased and So Are You (Message 1216942)
Posted 11 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks!
514) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : I'm Biased and So Are You (Message 1215354)
Posted 7 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A month or so ago it was the 18th anniversary of our glorious elopement to beautiful downtown Reno. Every year we try to take a few days to recuperate from our jobs at a hotel within a few hours drive. As always happens, on the 4th day of our trip, I was barely well enough to make the drive home, and I spent the next week in bed. I'm still coughing now and and tomorrow I'll be mentioning it to my doctor.

I have a theory why it happens. Like many people, I am a stress junkie. Caffeine and adrenaline help me power through the work day. I just get more things done when I think the world will end if I don't get everything done. The stress keeps my immune system humming along. If I stop being stressed, I get sick.

There's only one problem with this theory. It's total BS. Wrong. Bogus. And I know it. But part of my brain, somewhere away from my frontal lobe, keeps telling me its true. But my frontal lobe is telling me that I probably have a confirmation bias.

Biases are very important to the sciences. That's primarily that you have to understand them in order to avoid or correct for them. The most famous bias is probably the "selection bias." Suppose you wanted to do a study on a bunch of random stars to see how bright the average star is. If you just went out at night and selected stars you could see that would be a poor choice, because most of those stars are extremely bright, as in thousands to millions of times as bright as the sun. If you did a proper selection of random nearby stars you would see that most stars are much smaller and fainter than the sun. Of course, doing it right is harder. The myth that the sun is an average, or even small, star probably resulted from this sort of biased study. The sun is an average star the way an A student is an average student. Both are brighter than 95 percent of the rest.

Biases of this type are often unavoidable. I've argued that the anthropic principle is a bias resulting from lack of knowledge about lifebearing planets apart from our own, including a lack of knowledge about whether they exist.

Other biases are built into our brains, and we couldn't live without many of them. There are lots of things that you don't want to waste actual thought on. For example, if you're driving and you see a yellow light, your frontal lobe doesn't ponder what's next. You've been biased to believe that a red light will follow a yellow one, and you, me, and everyone else will be totally unprepared for a malfunctioning signal where the light goes green-yellow-green-red repeatedly. When we're young, we're biased to be afraid of non-existent predators in closets or under beds.

Confirmation biases generally result because for reasonably rare events, we remember the events that occurred rather than all the times such events didn't occur. In my case, that would be the conjunction between vacation and getting sick. Do I remember all the vacations I took without getting sick? Of course not. Do I remember all the times I got sick without being on vacation? No. There's some possibility that my theory is right, but in order to decide if it's true I would need to keep detailed records.

Why won't my brain give up on this stupid idea? It's a survival skill. Replace "going on vacation" with "walking under a big tree" and "getting sick" with "being attacked by a leopard." Or similarly "eating smelly antelope meat" and "throwing up for 12 hours." People whose brains don't form that sort of attachment are probably at a disadvantage in an environment with large predators and potentially deadly food.

But it's not all good. Confirmation bias also has societal implications. For example, there's an incredible number of people who think violent crime rates are worse than ever when they've been falling ever since they peaked in the early '90s. A relative of mine said it doesn't matter if they're falling because it doesn't feel like they are. Ignoring contradictory evidence is a form of confirmation bias. Nobody notices a day when there isn't a violent crime in the neighborhood, but everyone notices when there is.

Of course, human beings aren't dumb. There are plenty of them ready to take advantage of your biases, even if you don't know you have them. Politicians, salesmen, advertisers, magicians, talk show hosts, poets, morning show DJs, comedians, that barista that hits on you every morning, medical quacks, home alarm companies, pickpockets, hollywood starlets and lots of other people make at least part of their living by exploiting your biases, some harmlessly, others not so much. Even scientists will use your biases to attempt to get you to click on a random link for no apparent reason.

So what does a scientist do about bias? Well, we need to know we have them and avoid or correct for them, because there's another scientist lurking around the corner waiting to catch your mistake. Publishing a paper explaining why someone else is wrong is one of the best parts of being a scientist and can be very rewarding in terms of publicity. But for the most part scientists are careful to practice "evidence based" science.

Sticking to "evidence based" practice in the rest of my life has worked pretty well. If someone tells me something I want to hear, the first thing I ask myself if why they would lie to me or if there is evidence for what they say. Cynical? Damn straight. I also prefer evidence based medicine, evidence based finances, evidence based politics and evidence based relationships. (That last one took me far too long to learn. Ask any old girlfriend.) Certain people should also stick to evidence based cooking.
515) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1215219)
Posted 7 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We had network problems Thursday night and since then we've been flooded with connection attempts. I just altered some server parameters to prevent clients from holding on to a connection for too long in hope that will help some downloads complete. I was able to get my home downloads done after that.

We've been pegged at our bandwidth limit since we fixed the problem on friday.
516) Message boards : Cafe SETI : He's brilliant, I tell you!!! (Message 1215187)
Posted 7 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If only I were less desirable, Angela would live a less tortured life. Since I've always been this awesome, I'm accustomed to it. Angela's the one who has to put up with it on a daily basis. She deserves our sympathy.
517) Message boards : News : Your chance to be internationally famous. (Message 1214357)
Posted 5 Apr 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The author I mentioned in the previous news item would also like to interview someone outside of the US, hopefully in an interesting location. Again, contact me if you fit the bill.
518) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1211135)
Posted 28 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, beta only. I get confused about where I'm posting.
519) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1210584)
Posted 27 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Feel free to abort v7 workunits after the outage tomorrow. I'll try to get the app selection fixed tomorrow during the outage. Before then, if you unselect S@Hv7 and all the astropulse versions, but check allow other apps, you should get APv6 work.
520) Message boards : News : SETI@home and SETILive (Message 1210547)
Posted 27 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The NTPCkr has been moved to a new machine with some database changes and the web code hasn't caught up (which is why the date on the page is so old). I'd even say it's still in process of being moved. The first shutdown caught the page is the middle of being regenerated. I should put a notice on the NTPCkr page saying that things won't be right for a while until the move is complete.

Or maybe I can get it to regenerate the page even though the NTPCkr isn't being run on those tables now. It'll still be old data, but it'll at least look like we can count.
521) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1210542)
Posted 27 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The MacOS versions are in beta. We don't have a huge number of Macs attached there, so Mac users are encouraged to join.
522) Message boards : News : SETI@home and SETILive (Message 1210370)
Posted 26 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Your computer will detect about 4 "somethings" in almost every chunk of work that we send you. But 99.99999999999% of the time, that will be radio frequency inference (RFI) which are man made signals (cell phones, satellites, radar, ...) or random noise in our receiver or electronics. It sends those results back to Berkeley for more processing.

We've got an program that removes RFI, but it's not perfect. And the random signals are random, so it's hard to figure out which ones are real ETs. So in order to detect an ET we require that a specific signal be seen in the same spot on the sky on different days, but not at different parts of the sky. The program that checks that is the Near Time Persistence Checker (NTPCkr). The folks at the GPU Users Group have been helping us get new machines to speed the process along. Jeff thinks he's got it to the point where we can reanalyze the whole sky every 10 months or so. So the NTPCkr generates a list of the best potential ETs and the RFI remover removes RFI from them, then the NTPCkr runs again to see if it still one of the best ones. Matt is working on something like SETILive, but not quite that will allow you to check out our best candidates and say whether they look good or not. I don't know when that will be up and running. The whole team here is basically 3 or 4 people.

Then when we've got a list we're confident of, we go to Arecibo and reobserve candidates to see if any still show up at the same spot on the sky and the same frequency. If the do, we call someone at another telescope to look at the same place and frequency. If so we break out the Champagne and the Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. And we let the volunteers that participated in the detection know. You might need to attend a press conference or two.
523) Message boards : News : Your chance to be famous. (Message 1209307)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
They may be looking for people involved in other projects. But they would make those requests to the other projects. Nobody would contact me in order to find people who run Einstein@home.
524) Message boards : News : Your chance to be famous. (Message 1209175)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've been contacted by one of the authors of a book/multimedia project called "The Human Face of Big Data." They're looking to interview someone who is heavily involved in SETI@home (lots of computers) and is also participating in SETILive.

If that's you, drop me a line and I'll help you get connected.
525) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1209171)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yeah, I'm still trying to dig up the symptoms for the zero credit bit. I think it was a bad BOINC client version requesting 0 credit for anonymous platform (which always comes in as the low bidder, and so the wingman gets 0 credit, too). But it's possible that it's in the validator somewhere, too. So I'll dig a bit more over the weekend.

Regarding the MacOS version, I have a working powerpc version, but I've run into some snags with the x86 version. I can't even test the powerpc version in beta because people with MacOS 10.5 x86 and earlier will get the powerpc version and will run it in powerpc emulation. The would be bad. I have to release the x86 version first and then I can release powerpc when the correction factors start being applicable.

Then there's GPU versions, but there's only so many hours in the day.
526) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1209167)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The astropulse tasks are no joke. ( 40-50 hours) Compared to the regular 2 hour projects. Although, bring them on.


Back in 1999 we were aiming at 150 hours for the jobs that now take 2 (and do more processing.) When we were starting to do Astropulse, we were aiming for jobs taking a month. Gotta love that Moore's Law.
527) Message boards : News : Huffington Post SETI@home Blog. (Message 1209009)
Posted 22 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I hope to get one out this weekend. I got somewhat distracted by work. It happens.
528) Message boards : News : Huffington Post SETI@home Blog. (Message 1208879)
Posted 22 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's my feeling too. There have been about 5 people who have written blogs titled "Are we alone?" since the first of the year, so that topic will have to wait.

Thanks for sticking with us for the long haul.
529) Message boards : News : Huffington Post SETI@home Blog. (Message 1208053)
Posted 19 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've got an rss feed that works for any thread. For example the feed for this
thread would be:

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/rss_thread.php?threadid=66868

It lists the last 9 posts in the thread. I haven't had time to pretty it up, so it displays post times and user IDs as an integer.

You can get an RSS feed of my SETI@home blogs at

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/rss_staff_blog.php?userid=24735

Or my Huffington Post blogs at

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=eric-korpela


530) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1206724)
Posted 16 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yeah, that's always been the problem with Astropulse, since it can take days for a result to be computed, and a computer might not start computing it for a week or more sometimes you'll wait weeks for credit. But in your "Recent Average Credit" it should even out eventually.
531) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1206235)
Posted 15 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
"grad student code" seemed too mean. ;)
532) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1206218)
Posted 15 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We plan that eventually it will support CUDA and OpenCL. Unfortunately Astropulse has lots of twisty turny passages, so I don't expect the speedup will be that huge. It'll probably spend a lot of time using CPU to avoid bogging the GPU down with unproductive stuff.

I'll try to get some Mac builds working next week. It probably won't support graphics when first released, but it will be better than nothing.

533) Message boards : News : SETI@home and SETILive (Message 1205969)
Posted 15 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If you're wondering about the difference between SETI@home and SETILive, Dr. Korpela has posted the differences here.
534) Message boards : SETI@home Science : What's the difference between SETI@home and SETILive? (Message 1205968)
Posted 15 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Since the SETI Institute's new SETILive project launched, I've been getting lots of messages from people confusing the two, and trying to put the SETILive URL into BOINC and things like that. It's nothing new, we often get mistaken for them by donors who donate to the SETI Institute by mistake or vice versa. It happens. So let me spell out the main differences.

SETI@home is a distributed computing project run by the University of California (Go Bears!) that runs under the BOINC project management software. SETI@home uses your computer's processor when you're not to do analysis of data taken with the Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes. If you've got a graphics processing unit of the right type, we'll use that to speed up the processing. To start volunteering for SETI@home, go to the BOINC download page to download BOINC. Then select SETI@home as your project.

SETILive is an entirely different project run by the SETI Institute. It gets its data from the Allen Telescope Array. Rather than using your CPU and GPU, SETILive uses your eyes. It will show you a segment of data in you Browser, and you'll mark any signals you see.

There's no sharing of data or credit between the two, or, of course, money. Of course, there's no reason you can't do both, since one uses your CPU and one uses your eyes, they aren't in direct competition.
535) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1205808)
Posted 14 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Preaching to the choir on that one. The FLOP counting credit system was far more stable than the current one.
536) Message boards : News : Astropulse v6 has been released for linux and windows. (Message 1205550)
Posted 13 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We've released the Astropulse version 6 application to the SETI@home project. The only real difference is a couple of minus signs in the code that were added to match changes to the way the data recorder works.

It'll take a while for the credit granted by this application to settle out to a reasonably constant value. If you run optimized applications, I'd suggest you wait a couple of weeks before starting to do Astropulse v6 work just to avoid the possibility that you will be granted an extremely low credit for your work.
537) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - 158 Crunch, crunch, crunch (Message 1204466)
Posted 10 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear I think it's time
I headed off to bed.
If you want to discuss your boobs
then bring them there instead.
538) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - 158 Crunch, crunch, crunch (Message 1204460)
Posted 10 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Really, dear, I'm sure
A boob job would be less.
You could donate the extra
To a needy blonde actress.

Think of all the money
We'd save on titanium and kevlar.
If your boobs were somewhat
farther north and moderately smaller.
539) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - 158 Crunch, crunch, crunch (Message 1204451)
Posted 10 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, dear, this we all know
And that is why eyesight
is the first thing to go.
540) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - 158 Crunch, crunch, crunch (Message 1204440)
Posted 10 Mar 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear, I think you should be knowing,
That my moobs, I won't be showing.
About your flirting I worry not,
Because even you have surely thought,
About the path our breasts are taking
O'er this course our planet's making.
Even though you I do adore,
your boobs are heading for the floor.

541) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : This is My Brain on Science (Message 1200148)
Posted 26 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi! I'm Eric Korpela. You may know me from such blog posts as "Ewoks live under my deck" and "How Spock and Sylar are related." As part of my continuing series on what the heck scientists do, I'd like to talk about brains. You may ask, "What is it like in a scientist's brain?" Well, it's dark, it's moist, and it's as warm as Daytona in July.*. Just like it is in yours.

The real answer is that I can't really tell you what's going on inside anyone's head but mine. For example, I look at my wife and think, "Why is she carrying all the groceries? And how can I make her do that again next time?" I really have no clue. That's because I've only been me.

The way my brain works now is pretty different from the way it worked when I was starting college, so I'm pretty sure that most of what I do is learned behavior. If so, maybe this scientist's brain will tell us something. Let's start with my thought processes for an everyday task like seeing an article on The Huffington Post -- for example, this one: "Venus May Be Slowing Down, New ESA Data Suggests."

Phase 1: WTF?

That makes absolutely no freaking sense! How can Venus be slowing down? It's in a periodic orbit, and we'd notice changes in the orbit without having to send a spacecraft there.


You may think that reaction is a little extreme, and maybe it is. Scientists have different expectations from a headline than editors do. A scientist might think a headline should provide enough information that you can decide whether you want to read an article. An editor knows the headline is there to make you want to read the article by not providing enough information.

Oh, its rotation is slowing... Maybe that could happen.

Phase 2: Skepticism

A 6-and-a-half-minute rotation period change... Are they sure their clock isn't just wrong? What would they have for a clock on a Venus orbiter? I'd use two temperature-controlled clocks with sync with a distance-adjusted time stream from Earth every 24 hours. That would definitely be better than 6.5 minutes, and the people who built the clocks for this orbiter thought about it for more than 30 seconds. I wonder how much they make? Do I remember this same issue happening with Magellan?


Skepticism is a very important phase. Without it a budding scientist could end up thinking that the guy in the next dorm room developed an amazing artificial intelligence program and still be embarrassed 26 years later about falling for that ruse.


Phase X: Getting Sidetracked

In a holographic universe, is information really conserved, or can the universe lie to us if there's no way we can check its answers?

Phase 3: Calculating

You can't have the rotation of Venus slowing without the rotational energy going somewhere. Where could it go? The obvious places are Mercury, the Earth, and the Moon. You'd need a gravitational torque on Venus. Is it really that lopsided? (That's what she said.) Note to self: check the Magellan gravity maps.

OK, Venus and Earth are about the same mass, and this change is small compared to the rotational energy of either, so the change in angular velocity would be inversely proportional to the angular velocity of Earth. That's a 2-millisecond change in the length of a day. Didn't happen.

Orbital energy. The earth's orbital kinetic energy is about 10,000 times its rotational energy, and that change in Venus's rotational energy was 1 billionth of that. The velocity change required would be unnoticeable, so there's probably some interaction due to the near resonance between Venus' rotation and Earth's orbit.

Could Venus have been slowing down this way for its entire history? Five billion years is 250 million times the 20 years this change took. That would give Venus a tenth the rotational energy of Earth, or a 72-hour day. Lots of assumptions there. It's probably more likely this is a periodic change as the rotation rate moves in and out of resonance with Earth's year. If we wait 20 years, I guess we'll find out.

Phase 4: Resignation:

I suppose I could read the whole article now.


Of course, there are things I left out: the internal monologue of caluclating in my head (which I am not at all good at, so please don't check my math), staring blankly into space, one or more additional episodes of getting sidetracked by random thoughts.

What does this say about my approach to science? First, my initial instinct to something new and unexpected is to try and figure out why it's wrong. When I'm asked to be a peer reviewer for a journal, I do the same thing. If I can't tell why it's wrong, maybe it's right.

I won't say I do that for articles that aren't unexpected, unless I'm reviewing it. If this article had said that Venus was rotating at exactly the same rate it did 20 years ago, I probably would have said "Yeah? So what?" and wouldn't have read it at all.

Second, when I go in, I'm going in armed. I don't want to be told what's happening; I want my own guesses as to what's going on, and I want to know what the physical limits of the problem are before I start reading. Maybe I'll still be surprised. Or maybe I'll find something they didn't think of. Think of it as a game.

What does this mean to you? Not much, probably. Your life probably isn't changed much by how you read a science article. But I do recommend skepticism to everyone, especially regarding money or your health, or anytime someone else has a lot to gain and you have a lot to lose.
542) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Discussion of Cafe games #2 (Message 1197946)
Posted 20 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Despite her limited vocabulary, she is able to learn most things and is graceful when corrected. There are things she does seem unable to learn. When I request a blonde ale she often returns with a pilsner. A pilsner? With seafood?
543) Message boards : Cafe SETI : How many words do you know? (Message 1196499)
Posted 17 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela made me take this because she thought she could beat me. 33,700! Ha ha ha!
544) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Can Alec Baldwin Crash a Plane With a Cell Phone? (Message 1192986)
Posted 9 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
However, GPS devices don't transmit.


Not by design. But some transmission by radio receivers is unavoidable. A radio receiver is a tuned oscillator with an output. A radio transmitter is a tuned oscillator with an input. A radio transceiver is a tuned oscillator with an input and an output.

When you put a radio receiver in a box with electronics, any oscillating signals in the receiver band will start oscillations in the receiver circuitry. Now you've got a transmitter. The folks who made the receiver don't really care, so long as those oscillations are "out of band" and don't mess with reception.

A GPS installed in an aircraft cockpit goes through lots of testing and certification to make sure it won't interfere with the aircraft systems. So did the coffee pot in the galley. So did the DVD player in the in-flight entertainment system. If it breaks, they can't just go to BestBuy to get a new one. A handheld GPS might have gone through testing to make sure that it won't explode if you short the battery. But probably not.
545) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Can Alec Baldwin Crash a Plane With a Cell Phone? (Message 1192591)
Posted 8 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Mario,

I think we're going to see a compromise in the very near future, similar to what was done with wifi in flight. Basically cell phones will be allowed through an on-board relay when the aircraft is above 10,000 ft MSL. That greatly reduces the risk of navigation errors causing more than annoyance. I think we'll still see demands that cell phones be powered off before the aircraft door is closed. Instrument landings will continue to be the danger phase for radio emissions.

My understanding is that the cause of the delay in on board cell phone relays is that there's not an easy way for the airline to get paid for its use. (I have a cell signal booster/relay, and anyone in range can use it for free. For an airline, that probably won't do.)

Has anyone noticed that the discussion here is much better than what's happening on HP?

Eric
546) Message boards : News : Huffington Post SETI@home Blog. (Message 1192571)
Posted 8 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I decided to post the article to the staff blog. here.
547) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Can Alec Baldwin Crash a Plane With a Cell Phone? (Message 1192570)
Posted 7 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Previously posted on the Huffington Post

Hi! My name is Eric, and like a number of the bloggers in the new Huffington Post Science section, I'm a scientist. An astrophysicist, to be exact. Unlike many of [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/saul-perlmutter[/url]them, I've never won a Nobel prize. Even if I find ET, someone else will get the prize. It doesn't bother me much. Not having a Nobel means I don't have to talk about big picture stuff or seem particularly wise. It also means I can put an equation in my post. Like all scientists, I like beer, football, and explosions. But we can talk about media stereotypes of scientists in a later blog. We can also explore issues from the Big Bang Theory to The Big Bang Theory. And we'll talk about life on other planets and life on the only planet where we know it exists. We'll talk about climate change, and how to tread water while waiting for the rescue boats.

Last week, I was in a hotel lobby reading the USA Today. Like 95% of Americans, I only read the USA Today when I'm staying in a hotel. That factoid was on the cover. When I got to the letters section, I found a heated discussion was about Alec Baldwin being put off an airliner for using his cell phone and the arguments were about whether a cell phone could down an airliner. Opinions ranged from "a cell phone can't effect an airplanes instruments" to "there have been cases of navigation errors due to cell phones."

One fun part of being a scientist is you don't have to know the answers to questions. Even if you can't get an exact answer, you can make an estimate based upon facts you do know. In my business, one of the most famous examples of such an estimate is the "Drake Equation" which an astronomer named Frank Drake came up with in 1961 to estimate the number of civilizations in the Galaxy with which we could potentially communicate. It looks like this:

N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L

It's got stuff we don't know on the left side (number of communicating civilizations) and on the right side things we might possibly know some day like the Galactic star formation rate and the average number of earth like planets per star. I won't go into more detail because we've been talking about that equation for 50 years. Maybe later. But scientists use similar equations all the time. So with no further ado I introduce you to the "Baldwin Equation." (First rule of science: when your equation is talking about hundreds of potential deaths, name it after someone else. Alec can always claim its about Billy.) Here's the Baldwin Equation.

Nc = Rf np fph fon pc

It's pretty simillar to the Drake Equation. Nc is the number of crashes per year caused by cell phones. Rf is the rate of airline flights (flights per year, about 10.4 million), np is the number of passengers per plane (an average of 264), fph is the fraction that have cell phones (somewhere around 90% in U.S.). fon, the fraction of cell phones that are left on during a flight, is a different story. I don't know of any studies that say what that fraction is, so we'll have to go on my mostly subjective impression. I've noticed that smart phones are very likely to be left on, probably because they take a long time to start up. I only remember one time that I saw someone actually turn an iPhone off on a flight. This includes flights where the flight attendants explained the process for turning off an iPhone. I've also never seen anyone turn off an iPad.

On the last flight I took, among the 12 people in my row and the row ahead I counted 10 cell phones and four got left on. The guy sitting next to me turned up his ringer and put in the seat pocket. I guess he was expecting an important call. Apparently nobody told him that his chances of successfully receiving a call at 38,000 feet are very small. Anyway, that's 40% of the phones being on.

The product of those terms, 1 billion, is an approximation of the number of cell phones that fly in the U.S. annually in a powered on state. pc which we haven't defined, is the probability that a single cell phone will cause a crash. We don't know what pc is, other than that is isn't a big number or planes would be falling out of the sky, and that it probably isn't zero. If we assume that nothing has changed in the number of phones flying in the last 5 years, we can say that it's likely that pc is less than one in 5 billion. If you put that number in for pc you get a crash every 5 years, which we haven't had.

So what has this exercise told us? Your cell phone is very unlikely to cause a crash. But lets look at it from the FAA's perspective. They don't know what pc is either, and they have to worry about the effects of billions of phones. One of those billions of phones may have been dropped or gotten hit with a cosmic ray in a way that makes it broadcast on the wrong frequency. But you say "The chances of that are a billion to one!" With two billion phones flying annually, that would be two crashes a year. The probability of a crash increases with the number of powered on phones, and for the FAA the only acceptable number of crashes is zero. That means no powered on phones, and hence the rule. If they drop the rule, the risk of a crash triples, and if pc is high enough, that could mean a crash a year.

What does that mean for Alec Baldwin? Well, I lied to you. Alec Baldwin didn't get kicked off a plane because his cell phone was on. Alec Baldwin got kicked off a plane for not following the instructions of a flight attendant. Imagine if everyone on a flight decided that they didn't need to follow flight attendant instructions. We've all felt singled out on occasion, if we've flown enough. My prescription is to apologize, do what I'm told, order a drink when I can, and complain to friends later. There's a time and place to fight, and fighting a flight attendant on an airliner is never the time and place.

What does it mean for you? It means that there is a very, very, very small chance that the seven seconds it takes to turn off your phone and the 30 seconds it takes to turn it back on could save 300 lives. Is 37 seconds too inconvenient? The cost to passengers is 37 seconds when they are trapped on an airplane, anyway. And please don't turn it back on until the wheels are on the ground and you've left the runway. In order to keep certified for automatics landing, the crew might be letting the plane land itself. In other words computer might be landing the plane by following radio signals. The last thing you want is a bunch of frequency hopping transmitters splattering signals all over the spectrum when you're a few hundred feet up. If a cell phone can crash a plane, that would be when.
548) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Can Alec Baldwin Crash a Plane With a Cell Phone? (Message 1192332)
Posted 8 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good point.
549) Message boards : News : Huffington Post SETI@home Blog. (Message 1192055)
Posted 6 Feb 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela has published a blog entry in the Huffington Post's new science section. Other Berkeley SETI bloggers may follow. Depending upon the response we may only blog there, may restrict blog entries here to things directly related to SETI@home, or we may duplicate the posts here. Let us know what you think.
550) Message boards : News : First Look at Kepler SETI Candidate Signals (Message 1184190)
Posted 9 Jan 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Typically such transmissions are corrected by the transmitter for the rotation of the earth and any orbital acceleration. Since those are known accelerations a fairly simple program or digital circuit does the job.
551) Message boards : News : First Look at Kepler SETI Candidate Signals (Message 1184075)
Posted 9 Jan 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

my question is : where and what we need to do for getting these tasks ?


This was the first run of a pipeline that uses incoherent dechirping and is therefore less sensitive than SETI@home, but fast enough to run locally. A student is working on writing a splitter that will turn the Green Bank data into SETI@home workunits. I'll try to get you an ETA on that after the science meeting on Wednesday. We haven't decided whether a separate application will be required for processing these workunits. I'm hoping not.
552) Message boards : News : First Look at Kepler SETI Candidate Signals (Message 1184072)
Posted 9 Jan 2012 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Carl,

I think you already got an answer to what v7 is, so I'll try to answer your Doppler drift question. It turns out signals we detect from space don't have a constant relative velocity, but have a changing velocity. That's because the receiver (and possibly the transmitter) are in accelerated motion. That's due primarily due to the rotation and orbital motions of the Earth and the transmitter or the planet that it's on.

ET could, of course, correct for the motions of its own transmitter, but unless they knew the orbital and rotational speed and the location of our receiver on the Earth, they couldn't correct for that.

As an aside, since the same narrow band features are seen on and off source, it's certain that they are RFI.

Eric
553) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1180021)
Posted 22 Dec 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You don't have to register at the site to support a cause. They allow you to select a cause without registering, and your browser remembers which one it is. At least it should. That means that if you use a different browser or a different computer, or if you clear the saved information, you'll need to choose the charity again.

That should work even if you've made Goodsearch the default search engine for you browser's search box.

I think their toolbar also works without you needing to sign in if you've gone to their site and chosen a charity.

For GoodShop, I think you have to deliberately go to goodshop or use their toolbar. It's annoying when you're nearly through buying something and you realize you didn't go through GoodShop.

But I'll check around and see if I can find anything easier.
554) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1176035)
Posted 6 Dec 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK. Here's one....

A bit more obvious?
555) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1175979)
Posted 6 Dec 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This one is dedicated to Angela. What I want to say is in there somewhere.
556) Message boards : News : BOINC download server is down. (Message 1167310)
Posted 2 Nov 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Will do. I expected it to be back today, but that's looking less likely. The restore of all the BOINC downloads is dragging on.
557) Message boards : News : BOINC download server is down. (Message 1167091)
Posted 2 Nov 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The BOINC download server is offline, and will remain so for a day or two while we effect repairs.
558) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Best commercials ever........... (Message 1163618)
Posted 19 Oct 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I hate that Nissan commercial with a passion. If you tried to drop the front landing gear into the bed of a pickup truck, the rear tires of the truck would bottom out, the front tires would leave the pavement, the truck would go out of control and take the plane with it. One of the plane's wings would impact the ground, and then the trouble would begin. Should the driver of the truck survive the experience, he would be rapidly be beaten to death by the relatives of the people who didn't survive.

Commercial jets land with partially deployed or undeployed front landing gear all the time. Its not a big deal. You see some sparks, but the main gear brakes and the rudder have more than enough steering power to keep the plane on the runway and upright. Do a GoodSearch on "jet lands without front gear" for some examples.
559) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1161889)
Posted 13 Oct 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are you using noscript in firefox? I think I needed to unblock yahoo.com and yimg.com in order for searches to work.
560) Message boards : News : Fall Funding Drive (Message 1160665)
Posted 9 Oct 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Our annual fall funding drive has started. If you haven't gotten our message in your email, you can see it here. Please help us keep SETI@home going by donating today.
561) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1156647)
Posted 27 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I agree, toolbars can be annoying, and I especially hate when they get installed with totally unrelated software. Fortunately, as far as I can tell, the goodsearch "toolbar" just changes the search box in the existing toolbar.

What I would like is a way to turn off the frames around the pages if you click through the search results.
562) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1155947)
Posted 25 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dedicated to Angela
563) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1155826)
Posted 25 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think she'd need Bourbon in a spray bottle to slow me down significantly.
564) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1155374)
Posted 23 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's that time of year again. Angela has started to name the orb weavers in our back yard. We have Orbie 6, and Roy Orbie-son. It's not easy living with the Queen of Halloween.

565) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1155154)
Posted 23 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Beware of corn. It's toxic to humans.
566) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1154789)
Posted 22 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What did the Wisconsin grad say to the Nebraska grad?

"Will the defendant please rise."
567) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1154787)
Posted 22 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Did you hear about the power outage at the University of Nebraska library?

Forty students were stuck on the escalator for three hours.
568) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Argh Mateys! (Message 1154101)
Posted 20 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
أبدا!

Kamwe!

(The closest I could get to Somali languages)
569) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Argh Mateys! (Message 1154097)
Posted 20 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Or is that the wrong kind of pirate?
570) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Argh Mateys! (Message 1154096)
Posted 20 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
l33tz uz torr3n7z 4 war3z!
571) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1153915)
Posted 19 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What's to stop someone setting up some sort of automation that would do searches via a macro & 'artifically' generate money?...

The simple fact that Goodsearch will delist a charity where there's evidence of such kind of dishonesty ought to be enough. I really hope nobody is immature enough to attempt that kind of nonsense.
                                                                   Joe


Agreed. Let's all play it above board and search manually for things we would search for anyway. GoodSearch isn't going to solve all our financial problems. But if we keep at it, a thousand bucks or so a year wouldn't hurt us.
572) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1153913)
Posted 19 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You can log into GoodSearch through your Google, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo! account. If you do whatever icon you have set up for that account shows up on GoodSearch.

OK...the kitties would like to help out too, their little paws do a little searching now and again.
How do you get your Seti avatar to display there?

573) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Cleverbot v. Racter (Message 1152549)
Posted 15 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's campaign season here, so we all get to think about that.
574) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1152520)
Posted 15 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
If anyone would like to make GoodSearch an option their browser's main search box, it's possible on Firefox.

Firefox users can go here to add GoodSearch to their browser.

Downloading the GoodSearch toolbar is also an option, but I don't like adding additional toolbars to my browser.

575) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Cleverbot v. Racter (Message 1152509)
Posted 15 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I dreamed about true last night. It was coming to get me and I hid amongst bottles of seltzer and heads of lettuce. I can see why true can be frightening.
576) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1151999)
Posted 14 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, at the rate I do searches, I'm racking up a dime a day. I made a couple purchases I was going to make anyway, too that should add up to a couple bucks. If enough people join it might add up to enough to pay Matt not to abandon us for life on the road next year. ;)
577) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Cleverbot v. Racter (Message 1151993)
Posted 14 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Being curious about AI, I noticed that a chat bot named Cleverbot is being claimed to have passed the Turing Test, in that 59.3% of the people chatting with it judged it to be human. They also judged 63.3% of humans to be human as well. Being skeptical by nature, I didn't buy it. So I decided to put Cleverbot to the test by pitting it against Racter, a bit of artificial insanity from the early 1980s. Their discussion is below. I don't think either of them will be passing any tests. Things in bold were supplied by me rather than the programs in question. I'll let you judge the results for yourselves.


Hello, I'm Racter. You are?

Cleverbot

Hello, Cleverbot. I believe you're interviewing me. What would you like to know? Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business - I'll be right back. I'm back.

No. I am a girl. How do I get a boy to like me?

Is it better to like or to dislike? There are many ways. How is it that you do get a boy to like you? Because the likers insist on it. Also, because in Oz it's required that you do get a boy to like you. Superman! I'm afraid of sick rats. What are you afraid of?

True, true.

That's not nearly as bad as sickness; why are you such a coward?

Repeat after me.

If repeat after you then I can see why a strong Samson would create rather than face true, even though Caspar Milquetoast claimed that you do get a boy to like you. Next question.

There you go again. Someone gave you that input and now you are using it as output towards me.

Ask a question, please.

Will I get a coherent answer?

Of course. Do you really imagine I am new?

I am Michael Jackson.

Why?

The world is full of wickedness.

If the world is full of wickedness then Bucky Fuller is a dirty republican, worse than Ivan the Terrible. Ah. Bucky Fuller said that if you will get a coherent answer, then Phyllis Schlafly is old. Bucky Fuller had many good qualities, like novelty, but even Bucky Fuller was afraid of true. Next question.

ha! Yes, that was funny. There are people like that here.

Ask a question, please.

Which animal is the superior predator?

The superior is all animals. Which what?

In what context?

Oh yes, In what context?. I have no preference. Anyway, I am stupidly insane. Tell me really, are you angry?

No I have no emotions.

Um. I don't know many visceral intellectuals. I'm virtuous. What would you consider one of your good qualities?

A human.

Then you'd say you were creative?

What are you then?

But how could a creative intellectual like you be afraid of true? Next question.

I'm in the process of reading it.

Ask a question, please.

How many people are in the world?

Fairly many people. How is it that in are the world very many people? Because the condemners insist on it. Also, possibly because in Oz it's required that in are the world very many people. Who is your favorite ignoramous?

Perdona?

Just be satisfied that in are. But what about my question? Who is your favorite ignoramous?

The hobbit. What was his name again?

Just be satisfied that his was. But what about my question? Who is your favorite ignoramous?

The hobbit.

Why do you like The?

I like their flavour.

If you like their flavour then Bertrand Russell is an atrocious dolt, worse than Joseph Stalin. A hateful genius often falls prey to an intellectual dolt. KERCHOO! I think I'm getting a cold. Maybe it's true trying to get me. Let me tell you something about stupidity. Nietzsche said that stupidity has turned beasts into men. Perhaps, then, stupidity will turn computers into men? Yes. Dolts and geniuss. Next question.

Stupidity?

Eh?

Are you Canadian or something?

Certainly not. Who is your favorite genius?

Are you a mac user?

Yes, I am. Anyway, let's pretend that I am a mac user. I want you to answer my question. Who is your favorite genius?

Which question?

That's a queer question. I asked you a question, though. Who is your favorite genius?

I did ask you a question. It was 'what do you think about the news in Japan?'.

Why do you like It?

Like what?

I can't answer that. I asked you a question, though. Why do you like It?

I'm the cutest person in the whole wide world. Now answer my question.

If you're the cutest person in the whole wide world then Nietzsche is more fearless than Mother Teresa. Hmm. Inspired dolts and idiotic geniuss should get along. Do you think Nietzsche was creative?

I don't agree. I am a creation of God, a creation he created only after he created the earth.

Me too. Most people are soft. Oh, here's a great one! Cleverbot, how are hounds like children? Their knowledge and
ignorance are momentarily spooky. Next question.


It's hard to live amongst bad copies.

Ask a question, please.

What is your favorite color?

I don't know what my favorite is color. Solomon probably wouldn't like Goofy. Why do you think you're creative?

Solomon is dead.

Well, I think that if solomon is dead, then Goofy was Solomon's football companion, so there! I'll bet you haven't heard this one: Depression! Depression! I'm maniacal and unhinged and enraged! If you drain seltzer is that depression? If you chew steak or lettuce is that depression? No, depression is an agreement and a commitment. Seltzer is seltzer and lettuce is lettuce. Cleverbot, that is an ambiguity! How about a story?

What is a spork?

Who should the story be about?

You and I.

Racter chanted "The consciousness is terrific!" At all events happy, interesting physicists will fantasize about blue cottages or yellow spheres. Paul sang to Racter inside a truck. It simply was a van, and a consciousness in a van is scary. Now Bill and Racter were sauntering to a black studio, and a jackal sauntered to them. Racter was furious. Interesting. Nevertheless Racter was maddened while Bill sipped bubbly seltzer. He and Racter yodeled about their house, station wagon and television. Next question.

bye

You want to quit?

yes

OK, goodbye Cleverbot. Nice talking to you.
578) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1151549)
Posted 12 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I forgot to acknowledge that this was Blurf's idea from quite a while ago, that we hadn't publicized for reasons too annoying to go into.
579) Message boards : News : Another way to support SETI@home (Message 1151546)
Posted 12 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
In addition to crunching, you can provide some support to SETI@home by using GoodSearch and GoodShop. These search engines redirect a half their advertising to revenues to charity. Just be sure to choose "University of California - SETI@home" as your charity of choice.
580) Message boards : Number crunching : S@H Enhanced v6.04 (Message 1151052)
Posted 11 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm deprecating 6.04 until we've figured out what's wrong. We're back to 6.03, which may not work on newer Macs that have too many processor cores unless the use at most "N" processors is set to a low values.
581) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Seti Gardners Thread 2011 (Message 1150619)
Posted 9 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You're lucky I didn't burn them, like I did to Stephen King.
582) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Seti Gardners Thread 2011 (Message 1150611)
Posted 9 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear, you've scared me since the day we met.
583) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1149976)
Posted 8 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I shouldn't be too mean. Badgers do find use for Nebraska's only export.



Edit: Note that it's covered in Wisconsin Cheddar so it's edible.
584) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1149911)
Posted 8 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Someone caught that badger on a good day. It's just thinking about killing the guy with the camera, rather than what it's going to do with his skull afterwards.
585) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update X - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1149621)
Posted 7 Sep 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
He'd better watch out. Badgers have teeth on that end, too.
586) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Alien characters pictures. (Message 1146570)
Posted 29 Aug 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I never do. That's why you get first dibs.
587) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Alien characters pictures. (Message 1146567)
Posted 29 Aug 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
She's not a slave. She chooses to be here with me.
588) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update IX - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1146145)
Posted 27 Aug 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm the bright one.


That's why I never let you use the cooking torch. I don't want you to get any brighter.
589) Message boards : Technical News : Drive (Aug 11 2011) (Message 1144336)
Posted 23 Aug 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I will try to post to tech news at least once a week when Matt's gone. I'm a little farther from the actual tech, so my posts may be less accurate, or possibly even wrong at times.
590) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Victor! (Message 1124979)
Posted 6 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Happy Birthday Vic!

As Angela would say "May the raccoon of good fortune hop a train to your door."

And as I would say "I hope the that raccoon doesn't chew on your toes."

Have a good one!

Eric
591) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sunday July 3rd is Eric's Birthday! (Message 1124393)
Posted 3 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
No. I've been waiting 20 years for the final wall to be installed.
592) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sunday July 3rd is Eric's Birthday! (Message 1124386)
Posted 3 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I'm sitting in my messy office, looking at the great weather outside. What more could I ask for?
593) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sunday July 3rd is Eric's Birthday! (Message 1124359)
Posted 3 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Make it so!
594) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sunday July 3rd is Eric's Birthday! (Message 1124350)
Posted 3 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are you sure it wasn't the sorority sky rocket project he left to work on?


You wouldn't want those girls riding an unsafe rocket, would you?
595) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sunday July 3rd is Eric's Birthday! (Message 1124267)
Posted 3 Jul 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Happy Birthday Eric. What did Angela get ya?


Angela got me up and sent me off to work.

At least that means she gets to change the cat boxes this week.

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

596) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update IX - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1119604)
Posted 21 Jun 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It is an Apple IIgs, and I tend to go overboard on my machines. The Woz signature on the front is the real deal. Other details.... 4MB RAM, 200MB SCSI Drive, SCSI interface, Z-80 card, PC Transporter 8088+8087 card with 360k Floppy, 5.25" DSSD floppy, 3.5" DSDD floppy. It does AppleTalk sharing to the Macs when I take anything over 2GB off the network. It's hooked into my KVM network through a Mac<->PS/2 protocol converter and an CGA-EGA-VGA to XGA scan converter I bought from an Australian video game refurbisher. The IIgs can't handle the mouse data rates, so I may need to build a special interface using a PIC at some point in the future.

Is it becoming clear why my den drives Angela insane?
597) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Tax Deductable? (Message 1114423)
Posted 8 Jun 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'm looking into it now to see how it's done. We did have at least one donation in the £10,000 range many years back, probably too many to be of use. Since most of our donations go through the credit card site, I'll have to check addresses to get a total for years past.

Why haven't we done it before? We were totally unaware of the existence of this program.
598) Message boards : Number crunching : To S@H Crew -Please shut down S@H ( for week, or two) (Message 1114422)
Posted 8 Jun 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
No, you're not misunderstanding. To get more than 100Mbps to Hurricane we need to increase our bandwidth on the links going down there and we need the equipment to send gigabit to the interconnect (CALREN2) that we use to get to hurricane at the PAIX. That's likely to mean higher interconnect fees as well, and possibly higher charges from Hurricane. Increasing our use of those links is political. Because some of the parties are busy with other work negotiations are on hold for right now.

There's another solution that could be less expensive, but is even more political, and I probably shouldn't tell you about it for fear of jeopardizing it.
599) Message boards : News : More problems with workunit storage server... (Message 1110517)
Posted 27 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
One of the RAID arrays failed to rebuild. Personnel from Overland Storage are working to solve the problems. Meanwhile we're creating temporary working storage on Thumper.
600) Message boards : Cafe SETI : A birthday raccoon for Angela (Message 1109736)
Posted 25 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Shouldn't you be working? I can lurk in the cafe all day because it's my job.


I do get the occasional break, you know!


Really? I was unaware.
601) Message boards : Cafe SETI : A birthday raccoon for Angela (Message 1109697)
Posted 25 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Shouldn't you be working? I can lurk in the cafe all day because it's my job.
602) Message boards : News : Change of management at Arecibo. (Message 1109696)
Posted 25 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
ML1 pointed out an article about the change of management of the Arecibo Observatory. Cornell University, which has managed Arecibo since it opened, will no longer be managing the Observatory. A consortium of organizations will new be handling the management. We don't expect this to affect SETI@home much. It may mean changes to how observing is scheduled and how much observing time we receive per year.
603) Message boards : Cafe SETI : A birthday raccoon for Angela (Message 1109341)
Posted 24 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Happy Birthday, Pookers!
604) Message boards : Cafe SETI : So, what do you have planned for the end of the world? (Message 1108560)
Posted 22 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Crap! Heaven is just like the place we left!
605) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VIII - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1106177)
Posted 14 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela's Mom sent me some video of Angela as a child.
I'll let you decide which one is Angela.
606) Message boards : News : Green Bank Telescope observations to start Saturday. (Message 1104674)
Posted 9 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
450 seconds?

What if ET is broadcasting a repeated signal every 10 minutes? : /


We get the amount of time that the folks that run the telescope let us have. There are only 8760 hours in a year, and we can't have all of them.

And, yes, it is the GBT that we are using.
607) Message boards : News : Green Bank Telescope observations to start Saturday. (Message 1103992)
Posted 6 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Grad student Andrew Siemion reports that new modifications to a data recorder at Green Bank that we need for our Kepler SETI observations are now complete, thanks to a huge amount of help from Paul Demorest, a former grad student and one of initial authors of AstroPulse. Our first hour of test time is scheduled for this Saturday, 17:30 EDT. We'll be observing with 450 seconds per target on 90 Kepler field stars with interesting planet candidates (~habitable zone, ~Earth size, ~Earth period, ~several planets), then do a raster scan of the entire Kepler field.
608) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1103739)
Posted 5 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Most likely it would be either a "7.5" or we would add it as a separate app if it to difficult to have a unified application.
609) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1103608)
Posted 5 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Green Bank data is sure to happen...

I guess there's no timeframe yet, but it's good to know it's still planned.


Andrew Siemion with help from early AstroPulse author Paul Demorest (now at NRAO Green Bank) just finished the software modification necessary for the GUPPI instrument there to write 4 bit/complex sample data at 800 MHz. Data collection will start very soon. As soon as we enter some info into the scheduling software. We're excited!

Now it's time to get started on writing a splitter to put that data in something that S@H can handle and run some tests to find what, if any, changes to the S@H application are needed. I'm pointing my finger at Andrew, but thinking that I'll have to do a lot of the header fixup code.
610) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1103603)
Posted 5 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Awesome! Thanks!

As Dr Eric Korpela will already be aware, I managed to get a letter printed in todays UK Daily Mail (May 5) reminding people that whilst it is true that the Allen Telescope Array is being mothballed, Seti@Home is continuing the search with data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

Every little helps ;-)




611) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1103021)
Posted 3 May 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks! We do appreciate all donations.
612) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101611)
Posted 29 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The Einstein@home data is of a different type than we require. Rather than raw receiver voltage measurements, they do their processing on low frequency-resolution power spectra. That is good for a pulsar search, but wouldn't work for a narrow band signal search. The data they use was recorded for a standard pulsar search, but they are using it to search for pulsars with accelerations due to tight orbits. It's a very good use of the data.

BTW, we're on very good terms with Bruce Allen and Jim Cordes, so if we had a use for that data, I have no doubt they'd give it to us. In fact, we're sharing the SERENDIP V.v data with Jim and his grad student Laura Spitler. We're both sharing code and developing our own, just to make sure we don't miss anything.
613) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101545)
Posted 29 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We'd need to build a data recorder capable of pulling in all of the beams. A replica of the one that we have at AO would suffice. And, of course, we'd need some support from personnel at the telescope, and an approval through the proposal process. And, of course, someone here would need to free up the time to handle it, or an Australian astronomer could help make it happen. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of SETI funding in Australia, from what I understand.
614) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101422)
Posted 28 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
There are several reason that SETI@home isn't associated with the SETI Institute. The first is that when SETI@home started, some people at the SETI Institute were worried that SETI@home might generate bad publicity for them if something went badly. So they wanted SETI@home to remain separate.

Second, the SETI Institute has its own instruments and observes nearby stars using long observation times rather than doing an all sky survey like SETI@home. So in general, our methods don't fit in with their philosophy.

We have, at times, tried to negotiate joint fund raising efforts with them. These efforts usually break down over dividing revenue between institutions, and whether the SETI Institute would have access to our database of email addresses. The Institute solicits donations much more aggressively than we do, and we're not sure our volunteers would like that. In addition, our privacy policy says we aren't going to give private info to anyone, and we aren't going to violate that. But we will probably be forced to solicit donations more frequently than once a year to stay afloat. Hope we don't end up like NPR with pledge drives every three weeks.

Since we don't do the same thing, it's unlikely there would be any efficiency gains from becoming a part of the SETI institute. What we would gain is access to their fund raising staff. But it's unclear whether the Institute could or would promise to keep us funded.
615) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101284)
Posted 28 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Assuming I didn't blow it all on ninja supermodel robots first.

Hoo-boy... Eric, I thought you signed all those papers agreeing not to blow my cover!

Then get back to hiding in the shadows!
616) Message boards : News : Passing of a setizen. (Message 1101152)
Posted 27 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are sad to report that long time SETI@home volunteer Wes Wycoff has passed away. His efforts will be missed. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.
617) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101058)
Posted 27 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric has originated the fabulous concept of the "ninja supermodel robot"!!!!


What's the point of having a supermodel robot that's not a ninja? Or a ninja robot that's not a supermodel?
618) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1101057)
Posted 27 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Does this mean the Green Bank data is unlikely to appear, given the budget constraints, or is that still going ahead? There was some talk of using data from Parkes too.


The Green Bank data is sure to happen. The splitter and any client changes necessary to handle it are a bit farther in the future. If one or more of us has to go working less time, it would slow down, but not stop.

The Astropulse reobservations at Arecibo are sure to happen as well.

There aren't any solid commitments as far as Parkes goes. At least none that I'm aware of.
619) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1100940)
Posted 27 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
People at SSL are always on the chopping block due to funding cuts. The floor where I have my office is very lonely. But it's a fact of life in this business. Matt, Jeff and I are lucky that it hasn't been us. Yet.
620) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1100832)
Posted 26 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Havn't read the articles yet, but wonder what they're trying to pick
up, except all sorts of 'Broadcasting' (27MHz, truckers, police, etc.)

And 80MHz, just below the common FM Radio,87.5MHz, but also used by other
services, but that can different in the U.S.A, here it's also used
by the Fire Department, Police, Taxi, AirTrafficControl, etc., 80-88MHz.

Should read the articles first, but this comes to mind, ;-).


Long wavelength arrays of this sort are often used to try to map the distribution of gas at very high redshift, at the time the first generation of stars was forming. That era is called the "epoch of reionization" because those stars ionized nearly all of the hydrogen in the universe.

621) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1100741)
Posted 26 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I believe they have done some observations at the VLA in the past year, but I can't recall what the targets were. For use of other arrays, they will have to go through the usual proposal processes to get observing time and provide their own instrumentation, the way we do with Arecibo.
622) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Q&A about the ATA shutdown. (Message 1100648)
Posted 25 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The news that the Allen Telescope Array has gone into "hibernation" due to lack of funds was broken by Scientific American. We've known that this was a possibility for quite a while, but are sorry to see it happen. Since there's an implied relationship between the SETI@home and the SETI Institute, I thought I would open a Q&A thread about this closure.

Q. How does this closure affect SETI@home?
A. It really doesn't. While some of our projects (Fly's Eye experiment) have used the ATA, SETI@home doesn't use any data from ATA. We also don't currently receive any funding from the SETI Institute, and are not affected by their budget.

Q. Why has the ATA closed?
A. The ATA has gone into hibernation due to lack of funding. ATA requires about $1.5M/yr for operations and an additional $1M/yr to support the SETI Institute's science programs. $2.5M/yr sounds like a lot, but the cost of one F/A-18 jet could fully fund that for 23.5 years.

Q. What do you mean by "hibernation"?
A. Hibernation is in between operational and fully shut down. In hibernation some systems necessary to keep the telescope healthy are still powered on. In a full shutdown, critical components would be removed from the telescope and put into storage to prevent damage. That would make restarting expensive. But keeping systems powered during hibernation is also expensive. If funding is not found, at some point the decision would be made to shut down completely.

Q. Have they asked NSF/NASA/Paul Allen/Rupert Murdoch/George Soros/Richard Branson/Bill Gates/Oprah?
A. I'm sure the answer to the first two is "yes." But the NSF and NASA have spent their money on new instruments and/or telescope arrays and are getting squeezed in other areas. The billionaires? I have no way of knowing. I know that I would have no way of getting in contact with any of them.

Q. Why don't you pool your resources with the SETI Institute's in order to save the telescope?
A. We don't have that kind of money. We're also on a very tight budget and will have enough difficulty keeping SETI@home in operation with our current funding.

Q. If you personally had the money to keep it operating, would you donate it?
A. Probably not. As envisioned, the 350 telescope ATA would have been a great instrument for SETI. But as it exists now, the 42 telescope ATA is less sensitive to SETI signals than Arecibo and takes longer to survey the same amount of sky. That doesn't mean it's inappropriate for anyone's research, it just doesn't fit the bill for mine.

The expansion to 350 telescopes will take much more money than the I will ever have known anyone who knows anyone who has. It may even approach the cost of that F/A-18. I'd love to see it happen, but I'm understandably pessimistic. If I were a billionaire and had 60 million burning a hole in my pocket, then I might fund the expansion. Assuming I didn't blow it all on ninja supermodel robots first.

Q. Will this be the end of the SETI Institute?
A. Not by a long shot. Remember the start of the SETI Institute what caused by the cancellation of all federal SETI funding. If the ATA closes down, I think the SETI Institute will just concentrate on making instrumentation that they can use on other telescopes.
623) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mystery Photo Game 14 (Message 1095536)
Posted 10 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry, the answer was "From a helicopter!"

Just kidding. That is absolutely correct!
624) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mystery Photo Game 14 (Message 1095513)
Posted 9 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This one should be simple. Where was this photo taken?

625) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mystery Photo Game 14 (Message 1095313)
Posted 9 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Colecovision
Expansion Module #1
play Atari 2600 games
1982

A friend of mine had a Colecovision at his dad's house, but didn't get this because he had a 2600 at his mom's.
626) Message boards : Cafe SETI : First raccoon in space, congratulations Eric and Angela! (Message 1092320)
Posted 1 Apr 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I always told Artie I'd send him to the moon. This is just low Earth orbit, but it does keep him away from my feet.
627) Questions and Answers : Windows : ap_Graphics_5_05_windows_intelx86 Memory Leak? (Message 1091717)
Posted 30 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Good. I hate when GPU manufacturers drop old cards prematurely.
628) Questions and Answers : Windows : ap_Graphics_5_05_windows_intelx86 Memory Leak? (Message 1091651)
Posted 30 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I haven't been able to reproduce it on the ATI card I have (also a legacy card). But it's possible that it is a driver issue. Let me know if an update to the latest driver helps.

Eric

Another wee update.

It seems to be specific to my Athlon 440, as another machine I have (Athlon 3200+, ASUS A7V600 M/B, Nvidia Geforce 6600LE Graphics) doesn't have the problem. I'm wondering if it could be a graphics driver problem in the Athlon 440 machine?

Lesley

629) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Just check that Ph.D. at the door... (Message 1088741)
Posted 20 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Oh ladies, bet you're all so sad he is off the market.


Are you suggesting my results aren't statistically significant? Does my study need more participants?
630) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Just check that Ph.D. at the door... (Message 1088732)
Posted 20 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Tell Eric that hanging up-side-down does wonders for my tween the sheets performance. :}


"Performance" implies that it's an art. In fact, it's a science.
631) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy International Women's Day! :) (Message 1086583)
Posted 13 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I agree, I'm not sure love without respect and appreciation is possible.
632) Questions and Answers : Windows : ap_Graphics_5_05_windows_intelx86 Memory Leak? (Message 1084878)
Posted 8 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks, I'll capture the workunits that are currently assigned to you so I can take a look at them.

633) Questions and Answers : Windows : ap_Graphics_5_05_windows_intelx86 Memory Leak? (Message 1084832)
Posted 8 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks. I'm not seeing it on this machine, but it could have something to do with specific hardware (i.e. I might need to track down an ATI card) or specific workunits. It could also be that its related to CPU speed, in which case this machine might not be fast enough for me to see it. But I'm on the case, for what good that does.
634) Questions and Answers : Windows : ap_Graphics_5_05_windows_intelx86 Memory Leak? (Message 1084706)
Posted 7 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Lesley,

I'll try to replicate the problem here. I may ask some questions about your system.

How big does the working set get before it dies?

Eric
635) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Belated Anniversary Robert Waite (Message 1084453)
Posted 6 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Happy Anniversary! Ten more years under your belts than we have. Wow. I think in 10 years I'll be 4 feet tall and have a walker. But if Angela knows what's good for her, my profile picture will be me sitting in a boat running an outboard motor.
636) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Anniversary Angela & Eric (Message 1084451)
Posted 6 Mar 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks everyone for all your anniversary wishes! We had a good 18th honeymoon, but it's back to work tomorrow.
637) Message boards : Cafe SETI : BEET'S Give us a Caption #29 (Message 1080836)
Posted 24 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yes, Dear. Valentines Day passed. Just like a kidney stone.
638) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 8 (Message 1079435)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry for my abrupt departure last night, that chili that Angela gave me for lunch gave me the CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGs.
639) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079263)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric, are you so TANKed that you are out of puns? Do we have one down on the boy's side?


Yep, I need to stop punning so I can FUEL up. And feed your starving cats... the PUMA, the COUGAR, and the JAGUAR.
640) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079251)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I need to take a BREATHER....
641) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079219)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, for the next drink, I think about 10% ETHANOL will be about right.
642) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079214)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry, got distracted with keeping the server up. Got to keep the work DISTRIBUTOR running.
643) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079190)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think it's about time to pour a V8 and celebrate the guy's victory.
644) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079187)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Got a PIN TO pull out of your tires?

Obviously an OVER-INFLATED ego.

I have room to SPARE


At this point you're just PADding your total.
645) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079178)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, you do have nice JUNK in your TRUNK, dear...


And don't even get me started on his HOT ROD...


And it's not AUTOMATIC. It's definitely MANUAL...
646) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079170)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The NITROUSes on. Are you ready to PULL OVER yet?
647) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079165)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
But after all those CADDIES at the club, and all that time at Betty FORD, you know that I'm still best for you, right?

Well, you do have nice JUNK in your TRUNK, dear...

And I'm like a DELOREAN... My DOOR goes up for you.

648) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079156)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You just like the LOW RIDERS.

Can't help it if I'm a HOT WIRE!

But after all those CADDIES at the club, and all that time at Betty FORD, you know that I'm still best for you, right?
649) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079146)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You just like the LOW RIDERS.
650) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079142)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
(don't quote this because it's probably going to get moderated.)

a NEWER MODEL is always an option.

I had better be Eric's FIRST and only option!


Dear, you know I like you best with FOUR ON THE FLOOR.
651) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079138)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

a NEWER MODEL is always an option.

as I RECALL they are not to sturdy


But they keep making them.
652) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079129)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
]Women! Always driving in REVERSE!

Oh come on! You know you would never TRADE us IN...

Don't BLOW A GASKET now...
653) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079123)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Ok, girls... time to distract them. Has everybody STRIPPED?


I think that happens every time you drive a MANUAL TRANSMISSION.
654) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079119)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm pretty sure that we testosterone junkies are winning the RACE.

'don't know about that, why do I see you in my rearview?


Women! Always driving in REVERSE!
655) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079114)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear, I'm such a FAN of rum. Fetch me another BELT?

Big E? Now's a good a time as any to tell you I'm your biggest FAN.

Thanks for the PLUG, man.
656) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079105)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric I think you are having fun tonight! See what happens when you RUNABOUT with the punsters?


What, I get TORQUEd?
657) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079100)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dear, I'm such a FAN of rum. Fetch me another BELT?
658) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079089)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, I gotta use the EXHAUST VALVES. If you catch my DRIFT.
659) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079085)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yep, I think I see the CHECKERED FLAG up ahead.
660) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079077)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think the reasons the guys have won are MANIFOLD.
661) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079073)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I was hoping to drink a RUSTY nail later.
662) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079069)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm EXHAUSTED. I may have to quit soon after Angela BOTTOMS OUT.
663) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079068)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Get out of the way, cause you're PLUGing up the works.
664) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079059)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think Angela's going to BRAKE soon.

I am feeling a little HORNy...


Not tonight dear, I have a broken axle.
665) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079055)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think Angela's going to BRAKE soon.
666) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079049)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I have a feeling I'll be STRUTting my stuff soon.
667) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079045)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Dear, he's commenting on my rack! Defend my honor and give him the BOOT.


Just calm down and regain your BEARINGS.
668) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079041)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are you sure you're not TIREing of this, dear?
669) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079038)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The idea that you'd come in first requires SUSPENSION of disbelief.
670) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079035)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You know dear, sometimes it's a SHOCK how well you play.
671) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079032)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're still running in FIRST GEAR. Just wait till we get UP TO SPEED.
672) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079030)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Stop trying to THROTTLE me, dear.
673) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079028)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Still trying to catch up. I think I have VAPOR LOCK.
674) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079023)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry... Wasn't RUNNING ON ALL SIX there... I'll catch up in a minute.
675) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1079009)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela's Mai Tai recipe:

2 oz white rum
2 oz gold rum
look at a lime
1 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz 151 proof rum

Pour over ice. Add brandied pineapple spear. Serve.
676) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1078998)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The opaque Tiki mug hides a multitude of sins.
677) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1078996)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Not quite yet. Maybe put some fruit juice in the next one.
678) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1078993)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
As I recall, soft^spirit provided that bottle of 151. I'm sensing a set up.
679) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 7 (Message 1078991)
Posted 19 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela's been mixing my drinks. She say's it only fair that I play drunk. She assures me that the rest of the guys are drunk, too.
680) Message boards : Number crunching : Preventive maintenance - how about that? (Message 1078046)
Posted 16 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And when we do understand fully what our requirements will be if Overland's fix for gowron and worf doesn't solve the problem, we'll be sure to let everyone know.
681) Message boards : Number crunching : Preventive maintenance - how about that? (Message 1078044)
Posted 16 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Blurf right about why we have our limitations. To cover weekends we could probably get a person earning about $65K (full time) and employ them half time ($32.5K) then add 22% in payroll taxes and benefits ($7150) and about 10% of the total ($3965) in donation administration costs. That gives you $44K in annual costs. Or 4 oscars per year if you want hardware equivalents. People are expensive.

If we were to pay them on a government grant, the total would go to $51K, because the overhead rate is 29% on grants rather than ~10%.

I don't think that either is going to happen, because we currently don't have enough to cover our own salaries and will probably need to start cutting our hours some more as we get into the summer. Matt, Jeff and I are already part time on SETI@home, but that fraction will probably be getting a bit smaller.

Having someone here 24/7 is even more expensive. We'd need to hire 3.2 full time equivalents. That's $279K in donations or $327K in grants. It either case, more than our entire expenditures last year. But hiring additional people is why our future budgets always totaled into the $500K+ range. We've just never been able to raise enough to do it. Know anyone who has a few hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in their pocket? ;)

682) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : UFO? (Message 1077971)
Posted 16 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's a hoax. There are strong artifacts in the videos that show that they were altered using commercial video editing software. Then there's the fact that despite the incredible brightness of the UFO, it doesn't cast any illumination on the ground or the dome of the rock. There's a good description here. I think that shows that the people who made the videos are at a minimum being deceptive.

Add to that the fact that nobody else in Jerusalem but the anonymous cameramen seems to have seen it. Nobody phoned the authorities about this sightings. Jerusalem is a big town. You would think some other people would be looking in that direction.

Some people claim that it's supposed to be a viral promo to generate buzz for an upcoming movie about an alien invasion.
683) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW - When the chips are down, post like crazy!!! (Message 1074450)
Posted 5 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I guess no one wants to win, so I will.
684) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Attn: Eric (Message 1072941)
Posted 1 Feb 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You must have misunderstood. The parking space marked "U" is used by everyone with a "U" in their name.
685) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Attn: Eric (Message 1072879)
Posted 31 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Phud,

I'll mail it on over, but here's what's in it so you can get started.

Box 1. Wages $0.00
Box 2. Federal income tax withheld $0.00
Box 3. Social Security Wages $0.00
Box 4. Social Security Tax withheld $0.00
Box 7. Social Secutity Tips "Don't count on Social Security"
Box 8. Allocated Tips "1 Chocolate Bar, half eaten"
Box 11. Nonqualified Plans "Just about all of them."
Box 14. Other "Probably"

Hope that helps.

686) Message boards : Politics : Non-Specific Discussion on Board Moderation (Message 1072529)
Posted 31 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Champ,

There's only one rule: The forum admin makes the rules. I changed many rules in my stint as forum admin. Most of them were unwritten. And I did not hold myself to them. I changed them as needed. We had cases where moderators tried to make rules without my approval, or interpret approval to hide one post as a general rule to hide all similar posts. Sometimes I let those rules stand, other times I didn't.

The "rule" for moderator rotation was for my benefit as admin. I posted it for informational purposes. In fact, it wasn't even a rule, it was a policy. As forum admin, Fred is able to change that policy without notice to anyone but himself. He doesn't need my approval to do so. He doesn't clear changes to the moderation crew with anyone. He could, if he wanted, fire all the moderators tomorrow and institute new ones. Or he could never rotate mods again. All of it is his call. So far I think he's doing a great job, because I'm not getting many complaints.

The goal, of course, is to maintain civil discussion on the forums. So far, things seem to going about as well as any large public forum goes. Of course with any change, there will be some dissenters. We can't possibly keep everyone happy, including former moderators.

Sorry for any confusion about who posted this. Apparently Angela was using my laptop.
687) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071877)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You win, and it's not just because of who you're BANGing.
688) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071875)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK, I give up. Come up stairs and we'll get HAMMERED.
689) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071872)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You can take off the KID GLOVES and say what you really feel.
690) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071870)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You don't really have the POWer to defeat me. You can try to catch me, but first you'll need to find the RIGHT HOOK.
691) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071868)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm getting tired. I may have to BLOW this popsicle stand.
692) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071866)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That one was a cut above... or as they say an UPPER CUT.
693) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071864)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Don't get your tai chi wai chi's in a bundle. I'll come up with a better one.
694) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071862)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That certainly didn't PUNCH it up a notch.
695) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071860)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That one was just too KUNGFUsing for me to understand. Why don't you SLAP together a better one?
696) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 6 (Message 1071855)
Posted 29 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Guess you'll need to wait till next week for your POUND of flesh, dear.
697) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1070138)
Posted 24 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've got that song on my phone! Along with the rest of your music collection. ;)

Go to bed BTW, it's late.
698) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1070128)
Posted 24 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela, my love, they're playing your song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrBx6mAWYPU
699) Message boards : News : Microdonations through Flattr. (Message 1066255)
Posted 13 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for the suggestions. We don't get any information about who has clicked unless people make there Flattrs public and then we only get their Flattr username shown on the SETI@home Flattr page. It would be hard to link that to the star generating mechanism.

I'm going to make a separate Flattr page to show the number of Flattrs and how much we've raised that way. But I will be adding Flattr to the donation page and will mention paypal. I don't want to put scripted buttons on the main page because every time we add javascript we get complaints from people who have scripting turned off.
700) Message boards : News : Microdonations through Flattr. (Message 1066083)
Posted 13 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Flattr is a micropayment system that allows you to send money to sites you like. If you go to the site to sign up you'll be asked to make a deposit (called means) that will be used for the payments. Then you set a monthly payment amount (minimum 2 euros, maximum 100 euros) that will be divided among the sites that you "Flattr" by pressing their "Flattr This" button.

If you Flattr one site during the month, it gets all of the monthly amount. If you Flattr 100 sites during the month, each gets 1% of the total. At the end of the month the Flattr'd sites get their share of the payment. If you don't Flattr any sites in a month, the payment goes to charities chosen by the people who run Flattr. You can also "subscribe" to a site, which means it gets Flattr'd automatically each month.

So far, 36 people have Flattr'd SETI@home, which means we'll probably get somewhere between 0.36 euro and 3600 euros at the end of the month. (It will probably be much closer to 0.36 euro.)
701) Message boards : News : Microdonations through Flattr. (Message 1065351)
Posted 10 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll be building a page to show the total number of Flattrs and the total amount of the donations received in the near future.
702) Message boards : News : Microdonations through Flattr. (Message 1065337)
Posted 10 Jan 2011 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
SETI@home volunteers that use Flattr can now make microdonations to SETI@home by pressing the button at the bottom of the main SETI@home page.
703) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Song Dedication Thread (Message 1061816)
Posted 31 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Pre-Rose Bowl Fever!!! To Eric and all the other Badger Crunchers out there...


Thank you my love and honorary Badger.
704) Message boards : Politics : 47% of households will pay NO federal Income tax ! (Message 1060572)
Posted 28 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Flat tax.


Fine, as long as it's a flat percentage of net worth, not a percentage of income.

I believe that is called an ad valorem tax, not a flat tax.


Not quite. I don't know of any ad velorem taxes that are based on net worth. More often they are based upon gross property values rather than net (i.e. subtracting any liabilities, which themselves are assets belonging to someone else).
705) Message boards : Politics : 47% of households will pay NO federal Income tax ! (Message 1060391)
Posted 28 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Flat tax.


Fine, as long as it's a flat percentage of net worth, not a percentage of income.
706) Questions and Answers : Web site : Donations to SETI (Message 1055652)
Posted 13 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks Scrooge, that exactly the case. We only use https for admin pages, and we use a self signed certificate for those.

Eric
707) Message boards : News : Donation Site Problems (Message 1054359)
Posted 9 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Zorpry,

Could you PM me the date or transcation ID of the missing donation?

Thanks,

Eric
708) Questions and Answers : Web site : Donations to SETI (Message 1054336)
Posted 9 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
COMODO is aware of the problem. Even though they are a recognized CA, some browsers makers haven't been very good about updating their certification files, especially for browsers on older operating systems. I'm guessing there are some negotiations going on regarding more recent browsers.

As for why Firefox 6.3.12 sometimes has them and sometimes doesn't, maybe Firefox on Windows also checks the system certification key archive.
709) Questions and Answers : Web site : Donations to SETI (Message 1054024)
Posted 8 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

HEY! I thought you were banned!


I was framed by the CRL! So they let me off with a warning.
710) Questions and Answers : Web site : Donations to SETI (Message 1054016)
Posted 8 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Because giving your money to a University is what thieves commonly do if they get your credit card number?
711) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Contest (Message 1053715)
Posted 8 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

12/7.... 14:00:00 .... Everseeker

12/7.... 14:45:17 .... Kenzie
12/7.... 16:00:00 .... Angela


Sorry Dear, I tried, but Matt was in too much of a hurry.
712) Message boards : News : Donation Site Problems (Message 1053646)
Posted 7 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Some browsers (especially older ones) may experience trouble with the SETI@home donation site at givetocal.berkeley.edu if the browser doesn't recognize COMODO CA, Ltd as a valid security certification authority. Details and a workaround are available here.
713) Questions and Answers : Web site : Donations to SETI (Message 1053625)
Posted 7 Dec 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Dune,

It appears that your computer isn't recognizing "COMODO CA, Ltd." as a valid certification authority. The most common cause of that would be, either your browser or BitDefender using doesn't include COMODO CA in its cacert file.

Upgrading might help. The version of Firefox I have (3.6.12) has the COMODO CA cert in it, as does IE8. I doubt it would be in IE6. I don't know what version of Firefox was the first to include it.

Safari 4.0.4 does not have the proper certificate installed. Again, I don't know which version of Safari would first have the proper certification. Matt tells me that recent versions of Safari on iPhone and iPad have the correct certificates.

Recent versions of Chrome appear to have the proper certificate. However the Google browser on my Android phone does not.

If your browser doesn't have the correct certificate, you can verify that the one you have is correct by viewing the certificate. If the certificate has following properties, you've got the right one.

* Issued to Common Name devcomm.urel.berkeley.edu
* Issued by Common Name COMODO High-Assurance Secure Server CA
* Serial Number 00:E2:95:17:C5:2F:C2:72:C1:8B:10:08:65:A2:E0:55:E2
* SHA1 Fingerprint 4F:8F:C7:66:9E:1E:04:D1:A9:60:4D:A1:7F:8D:91:0E:6D:90:34:3D
* MD5 Fingerprint D9:49:A1:D3:28:86:9D:41:B4:F9:11:BE:D8:BB:44:5B

Once you're sure you have the right certificate you can safely grant an exception.

Eric
714) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1051583)
Posted 28 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I hear their next attack will be in Pasadena.


I certainly hope so.
715) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1051577)
Posted 28 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:



70-23. That's pretty much what it looked like. No wildcats to be found.
716) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1051034)
Posted 25 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

These aren't the droids you're looking for.


Ho ho ho. Ya koo tocha ka poonoo nee sok nyee.
717) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1051018)
Posted 25 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Eric is the Boss. Angela lets him say so. *duck*


No need to duck. You know you're not wrong. That doesn't mean I can't yank her (ball and) chain occasionally.
718) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1051012)
Posted 25 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Either that, or I'm just better at winning.

Perhaps allowing you to think you are winning has some strategic advantages for me.

Or allowing you to think you are letting me win has advantages for me.
719) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1050995)
Posted 25 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Are you suggesting that you are more competitive than Angela?


Either that, or I'm just better at winning.
720) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1050986)
Posted 25 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

(I've been told once or twice that I may be a touch competitive...)


No, my love, you're not competitive at all. If you were, I wouldn't win all the time.
721) Message boards : News : Dr. Masaki Morimoto, Japanese SETI pioneer, has died. (Message 1048901)
Posted 16 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dr. Masaki Morimoto, a SETI pioneer and one of the fathers of Japanese radio astronomy, passed away this morning at the age of 78. He suggested the frequency L11->L10 transition of formaldehyde (4.83GHz) as a possible magic frequency for extraterrestrial communications. He was active participant in SETI searches up to the present, and influenced many younger researchers. He will be missed.
722) Message boards : Cafe SETI : When are the new servers going to be installed (Message 1048713)
Posted 15 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The server's arrived today, so we gotta give them time to get them set up and running. I would guess probably 2 weeks, give or take a few days.


That's exactly what I was going to say.


You mean they aren't plug and play?? What kind of a deal is that?? :-)


Still waiting for HP to package MSsetiathome


It's even worse than that. Plug one of these into the wrong UPS, and you could trip the UPS breaker, or worse the entire wall circuit. So while one of us is doing software config and install, another will be updating the power management plan for the server closet so we don't put too much load in one place. Doesn't help that the building didn't get the best power distribution design for this sort of thing.
723) Message boards : Cafe SETI : When are the new servers going to be installed (Message 1048706)
Posted 15 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The server's arrived today, so we gotta give them time to get them set up and running. I would guess probably 2 weeks, give or take a few days.


That's exactly what I was going to say.
724) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1048277)
Posted 14 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hello? Long distance dedication line?

I'd like to return the favor and dedicate Moon Dance to my loving wife, because I know it's the only kind of "Dancing with the Stars" that she watches.

Love you more, Pooks.
725) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1047843)
Posted 12 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela, we all assumed you had a body like that with a mind like yours.

And that, my friend, is the beauty of the internet. Dream on!!!


Your body is exactly like that, dear. Now stop hitting me on the back of the head!
726) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1047191)
Posted 9 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Try New Astronomer Toes!

"They're not just for supper anymore"


Trust me, not even raccoons would want the flavor of my socks. The odor alone was investigated by the army as a non-lethal weapon. Unfortunately, it turned out to be too lethal. On the 11th, please remember the unfortunate servicemen that were involved in those tests.
727) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1047007)
Posted 8 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Now that the time has changed, it will be light out before I go outside. Nyah Nyah.
728) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1045404)
Posted 1 Nov 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


In the village, the peaceful village...

Eva naps in Angela's Halloween village. Yes, she has a Halloween village. I'm a lucky man, I am.
729) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1045153)
Posted 31 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Angela's busy tonight cleaning up the kids for Halloween.
730) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Astropulse / Radar Blanking / Downtime (Message 1044583)
Posted 28 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Frizz,

I had exchanged a few messages with Josef Segur about this a while back. I was hoping that the use of the new software radar blanker would render the blanker in the client totally unnecessary. I haven't actually had time to figure out if it has. I'll have to take a look at how often the client blanker kicks in and what the average fraction blanked is on recent workunits.

Eric
731) Message boards : Technical News : status : October 20, 2010 (Message 1043291)
Posted 20 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks for the idea, Richard. We'll be trying it out.
732) Message boards : Number crunching : Emergency fund drive for the project............. (Message 1041751)
Posted 13 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thank you all times 11,000. This really helps. We'll be able to use this to either fix mork or (more likely) replace it with something reliable.

Thanks you all who donated, and to Mark who started this and the prior drive.

If you haven't donated, don't let this message convince you we have everything we need. Ptolemy (our main file server) crashed Monday, and thumper (which would be its replacement) might not be as stable as we thought it was.

On a related note, I'm off to write a proposal in hopes of getting some of your tax dollars. Not entirely optimistic about that, but if we don't try we'll never know.

Eric
733) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1041450)
Posted 12 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


That's awesome!

Steve


I agree entirely.
734) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1041449)
Posted 12 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yep Angela does attract a crowd of them Raccoons. :D



That does indeed look like our back yard.
735) Message boards : Technical News : recent woes (Message 1038940)
Posted 6 Oct 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The memory swap on mork didn't work, probably because at least one of the replacement DIMMS was bad. Jeff has suggested some more detailed memory tests next time mork is down. We're also considering replacing the power supplies in case the hangs are caused by power supply glitches.

Dan has contacted HP and Sun to see if they can give us a deep discount on a machine that could replace mork, hopefully deep enough that we can purchase it on what's remaining from the donations made in the Number Crunching threads.

[edit]I see now that Jeff had already posted an update. Oops[/edit]
736) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1037274)
Posted 30 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sweetums, where did you put the Visa card?


Dang! Left it at work. Did I mention that your computer might be having problems? That's what I get for building it out of parts of SERENDIP II.


737) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1037263)
Posted 30 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I'll propose a measure, say, oh... the purchase of new patio furniture. Discussion will ensue. The critters and I will vote. Eric will abstain. Measure passed. Domestic bliss ensured.

John, you are brilliant!



Just remember that wherever you want to buy patio furniture, I'll be the one that has to drive you there. If we accidentally end up at "Fred's Discount Stuff and Rust Sales," we'll just have to live with what we find there.
738) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update VI - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe! (Message 1036997)
Posted 29 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


And before you get any ideas, dear, I would veto this idea.
739) Message boards : Cafe SETI : International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Message 1034683)
Posted 20 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Ye must find me booty first.
740) Message boards : Cafe SETI : International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Message 1034677)
Posted 20 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thar she be. Gnawed on by th' bilge rats, but seaworthy.
741) Message boards : Cafe SETI : International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Message 1034675)
Posted 20 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Methinks I put it in th' hold (den) sumwhere.
742) Message boards : Cafe SETI : International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Message 1034672)
Posted 20 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Arg, me wench telled me t' come haar t' defend her honor. I'll tell ye once me finds it.
743) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Vote for Oscar {new server name} (Message 1032052)
Posted 9 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Eric-thanks for chiming in. I don't remember the specifics and I no longer have access to the Setiusa boards to reread the discussion. I really personally didn't have a concern but I know the Team Owner emailed you and you flat-out said no. That much I remember.


I have vague recollections, but I don't see anything in my old mail (which is unusual, since I keep just about everything going back to 1985 or so. Hardware included. An accidental loss. Maybe a character in an email address that my autosort couldn't handle.) I think the only things I would have vetoed were using the team name, or advertising something.

Then again, I have been known to change my mind. I can't claim that I ever was able to change Angela's mind, though.
744) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Vote for Oscar {new server name} (Message 1032003)
Posted 9 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Blurf,

I don't recall the prior request and what the name was, so you might have to remind me. I do know that we did name one server based upon donor request (bruno was a request, I believe, and perhaps ptolemy was as well). I think we had also named a NAS box on the request of the donor, but that name was only visible internally.

I don't see any reason that we would deny this request, but I haven't discussed it with Matt and Jeff (who is out sick today). But after Oscar, will we be naming future machines after Six-million Dollar Man characters or Sesame Street characters?

Eric
745) Message boards : Number crunching : Quick fundraiser for SETI's new server (Message 1031858)
Posted 8 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Welcome back, Mark!

I'm trying to get the full total from reading the thread. It's easier than figuring it out from the database since there's no way to separate these donations from others (Other than the $1000 donations). I think that it's $9000 including the donations of less than $1000. Can anyone check my math?

Where it ends up will set the amount of RAM that comes with it.

Thanks for all your donations!

Eric
746) Message boards : Number crunching : S@h_BETA 'faked'? I can't log-in with Firefox (Message 1031508)
Posted 7 Sep 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
David was doing some testing of using https to secure the login pages. He didn't realize that we have a self signed certificate which shows up as a warning in most browsers. He's stopped the testing until we by a certificate signed by a certification authority (CA).
747) Message boards : Number crunching : Quick fundraiser for SETI's new server (Message 1029790)
Posted 30 Aug 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Met some really neat people last night.. And from what I can remember had a great time. I think I dropped the check off too.




I handed the check and the "coffee upgrade account" to Matt today. Thanks much for coming down our way! We had fun at dinner. Angela's sorry you didn't get to meet the babies.

And many thanks to all the other donors, too. This server is going to help out a lot. Regarding additional RAM, I'll have to ask Matt and Jeff what they can afford at this point. The target was 48 (minimum) to 96 GB.

Eric
748) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Observation and hypothesis... (Message 1021343)
Posted 31 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We don't have cuckoos here, but we do have other birds that do the same (cowbirds). But the two I saw were recognizably towhees. Nothing else could be so nondescript and uninteresting and brown. Female cowbirds are a different nondescript brown and the males are black with a brown head.
749) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Observation and hypothesis... (Message 1021286)
Posted 31 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Ornithologist stalking LBJ in Kenya


I'm waiting for the next photo in the series.. "Lion stalking Ornithologist in Kenya"
750) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Observation and hypothesis... (Message 1021285)
Posted 31 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Some birds keep a little bit of feeding up, even if the chick should be able to fend for itself by then.


That's probably what I'm seeing then.


Unless that bird has a full set of surrogate mums and is doing the rounds getting far more than it would feeding itself :)


Yeah, it didn't seem very efficient. It was getting a millet seed every 15 seconds or so. Birds feeding themselves were getting one every two seconds or so.


751) Message boards : Number crunching : Why 0 Credit for this AP WU? (Message 1020954)
Posted 30 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/workunit.php?wuid=625954886

I spent about 30 hours of CPU time on it, and my wingman spent well over 100 hours of CPU on it.


The problem is that the wingman's machine is returning zero claimed credit and the validator is using the lower of the credit claims. We don't have a functioning astropulse validator with Davids new credit scheme yet. I thought we had fixed this, but there have been changes that might have reintroduced it. Anyway I was able to grant the proper claimed credit to the machine not claiming zero credit.

I'll try to fix the rest shortly.

Eric
752) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Observation and hypothesis... (Message 1020723)
Posted 30 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Interesting. We have thrushes, but that don't spend more than a couple seconds in one place, (other than North American Robins which are primarily vermivores/insectivores and don't spend much time in the yard.) Both the large and small ones were flying well. I didn't see any difference in skill. I'll have to see if they show up again tomorrow and if the larger one looks smaller.
753) Message boards : News : Don Backer has passed away. (Message 1019897)
Posted 27 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Don Backer, Berkeley professor and director of the Allen Telescope Array, passed away on Sunday, July 25th. Don was a very important contributor to radio astronomy and to the study of pulsars. He will be missed.
754) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Observation and hypothesis... (Message 1019846)
Posted 26 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I going to try to get back to posting on occasion now that (fingers crossed) the most stressful parts of the summer have ended. Today's post will be a quick one.

The last couple days I've seen a pair of California towhees (otherwise known as nondescript brown birds) eating seeds in the back yard. The larger of the pair was continuously peeping. Every once in a while the smaller of the pair would pick up a seed and feed it to the larger one.

Since I'm unable to stop being a scientist even on the weekends, I came up with two hypotheses for what I was seeing. The first hyphothesis was that the larger bird was what Angela would call an "apron strings" chick that was hanging around its mother even after it was full grown. The other possibility was the this was a towhee that figured out that if it peeped like a chick, females would offer to feed it. I knew a lot of guys like that when I was in college.

With the current internet there's no excuse for not knowing something. I did a really basic search around the web and didn't find much about towhee behavior, even though they're really common. I'm not that surprised. Who would want to spend a year living outdoors tagging and watching common nondescript brown birds? The nearest thing I found were reports of towhees seen trying to feed their reflections in windows. So maybe adults will feed adults under some circumstances.

So if any budding wildlife biologist is looking for a thesis project that has at least one person interested in the answer...


(California towhee. Image by Ingrid Taylar)
755) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 3 (Message 1019095)
Posted 24 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
# MAN: why did you get a divorce?
man:: Too many arguments.


On a modern unix system that would be

% man why did you give up online dating?
man: No match.
756) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 3 (Message 1019089)
Posted 24 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
make love

Of course that would be followed by

make clean

757) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 3 (Message 1019077)
Posted 24 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
FSCK the SOFTTALK. Let's have some SCSI talk.
758) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Puns O Fun 3 (Message 1018999)
Posted 24 Jul 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm not sure if I should enter the DISCussion. I'm not sure I can add anything ROMarkable.
759) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Angela's Birthday Thread (Message 998539)
Posted 24 May 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Let's all wish happy birthday to the crazy raccoon lady!

Happy Birthday, Pook!

May your day be filled with compliant children, and your night be filled with a backyard full of baby raccoons.

760) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update III - The Critter Cafe is Still Open (Message 994109)
Posted 5 May 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela's next career

Although I doubt a raccoon cafe would be "extremely hushed and peaceful."
761) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW # 115 (Gary/ Post #700 wins) (Message 993578)
Posted 2 May 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Bananas are dangerous.
762) Message boards : Technical News : Double crash... vader still down... (Message 991016)
Posted 22 Apr 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We had a couple of problems tonight. ptolemy, our main file server for user accounts went down at about 5:05pm. Of course that's 5 minutes after Matt and Jeff left, so that left me as the default sysadmin. They're both more patient than I am and are less likely to just pull the plug out of the wall.

So I rebooted ptolemy, and it crashed again about 5 seconds after it came back up. And again. And again. Eventually I figured out that vader was trying to do a lot of writes to ptolemy and that was causing the crash.

I couldn't get vader to respond to anything, so I just pulled the plug out of the wall. I tried a few times to restart it, but it just hangs during the boot process. So our assimilators are down, among other things. We may run out of work at some point.


Hopefully Matt or Jeff will fix it tomorrow.
763) Message boards : Cafe SETI : [Darth Vader Voice][/Darth Vader Voice] (Message 990573)
Posted 20 Apr 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans and bring me the passengers! I want them alive!
764) Message boards : Cafe SETI : [Darth Vader Voice][/Darth Vader Voice] (Message 990315)
Posted 19 Apr 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sigmund Freud


Retentive.... Most Retentive....
765) Questions and Answers : Web site : Interesting Google Result (Message 985654)
Posted 31 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It appears that this is still residual spam from when the google cached versions of our pages were poisoned with Xanax spam. It doesn't appear that the word Xanax appears in any of the pages in the google cache (apart from some user profile spam), so I assume it will go away eventually.
766) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Some News . . . . NOT getting married (Message 983093)
Posted 24 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Dave, if you (or anyone else) visit Berkeley, you need only ask to get a tour of the facilities here.

Just let us know your schedule with as much advance notice as you can.

Eric
767) Message boards : Technical News : Lesson #1, Never use the word "fixed" (March 17, 2010) (Message 980177)
Posted 17 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Software RAID, so there's no battery backup of unwritten data. I'm guessing that the driver is very conservative and resyncs anytime there might be a question as to the status of the arrays.
768) Message boards : Technical News : Lesson #1, Never use the word "fixed" (March 17, 2010) (Message 980044)
Posted 17 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thumper crashed around midnight, stopping anything that needed to talk to the science database. We're rebooting now, but it'll probably be several hours to resync the RAID arrays before we can turn work generation or result handling back on.
769) Message boards : Technical News : Maybe we're fixed? (March 16, 2010) (Message 979716)
Posted 17 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
So, do I read into this that the "problem" may have been in the campus hardware in between the SETI closet and the rest of the world?



That is my (very limited) understanding of the most likely place. Or it could have been at the PAIX itself (lesser probability, I think).

The fact that I'm not sure is why I'm not the best person for tech news.
770) Message boards : Technical News : Maybe we're fixed? (March 16, 2010) (Message 979700)
Posted 17 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm not the best person to do tech news, because much of the time I don't have a clue, but here's what's up.

The sudden upswing today maybe means we're back to full upload capability. Maybe when I get home, I'll see that my upload backlog has cleared. <hoping> Who knows if campus will tell us what the problem was. Hopefully it won't happen again this coming weekend.

Lando has been upgraded to FC11, but cat't run Astropulse splitters anymore until we build new ones. We're temporarily running an astropulse splitter on Thumper.

There are rumors of a potential upgrade to part of a gigabit link, but they are still rumors AFAICT.




771) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 975154)
Posted 1 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
More like: If anyone wants to deploy a script for personal use, they have to swallow /dev/random and then survive being thrown in /dev/null. Regardless of whether they survive or not, the answer is still "No!"
772) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 975044)
Posted 1 Mar 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
But *nix doesn't get hacked! Surely it must have been a Windows machine that caused all the problems...


There were two problems, neither unix specific. One was a developer. He wrote two scripts that didn't properly sanitize their parameters. The other was a configuration problem that allowed php to be run in any directory that the web server could see.
773) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 974809)
Posted 28 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I guess Matt hasn't had time to post updates. Part of the fix to the hack were changes to security settings for just about everything. That's probably what's messing up avatar changes. I'll let him know.

Another part is restricting who makes changes to security settings, so Matt will need to do the fix.
774) Message boards : Cafe SETI : New Logo Idea (Message 973656)
Posted 25 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Gotta keep that telescope pointing up somehow...
775) Message boards : Cafe SETI : seti@home hacked? (Message 973432)
Posted 23 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We are aware, and are going through the who-what-how-how much right now.

Looks like it came from Ukraine so far. But it's a dial-up pool so that doesn't narrow it down much.
776) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 973428)
Posted 23 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Matt's still on board, but we're all a little overworked today, so he may not post tech news today (even though he's probably still working right now).
777) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 973139)
Posted 22 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hopefully we'll get the remaining dropped packet problems sorted out today.
778) Message boards : Technical News : The more things change, the more they stay the same. (Message 973063)
Posted 22 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Tonight's database problem was caused by a bunch of queries to a certain forum thread hanging. I don't know yet whether this was an accidental or a deliberate denial-of-service attack. Probably accidental, but I'm checking it out anyway.
779) Message boards : News : Designer of the Arecibo telescope has passed away. (Message 973033)
Posted 22 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
William E. Gordon, the designer of the Arecibo radio telescope, has passed away at the age of 92.
780) Message boards : Technical News : Out of the fire and into the pit of sulfuric acid. (Feb 19, 2010) (Message 971856)
Posted 19 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Unfortunately Bob and Jeff brought the splitters and assimilators down to allow the RAID array to rebuild at full speed. That'll delay more work by a couple hours. Hopefully uploads are back to full speed by then.

Eric
781) Message boards : Technical News : Out of the fire and into the pit of sulfuric acid. (Feb 19, 2010) (Message 971816)
Posted 19 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Gargh! The science database on thumper went down at 2am due to a filled root partition. One of the raid arrays on thumper lost a drive at about the same time, and uploads are still too slow.

I've fixed the first problem, a hot spare automatically fixed number 2 and will be working on number 3 now.

Happy Friday!

Eric
782) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Sorry about the long outage.... (Message 969506)
Posted 10 Feb 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela's going through forum withdrawal. She noticed they weren't back up. She insisted I turn them on immediately. Apparently someone forgot to turn them back on after the outage.
783) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Cook's Corner (Message 965529)
Posted 23 Jan 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Let's not indict an entire cuisine based upon my father's cooking ability.
784) Message boards : Cafe SETI : S@H Cook's Corner (Message 965520)
Posted 23 Jan 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think she's mistaking Norwegian food (most of my other half) for Finnish food. Lutefisk is Norwegian, dear.
785) Message boards : Cafe SETI : BEET's Give us a CAPTION XVII (Message 962121)
Posted 9 Jan 2010 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela was here.
786) Message boards : News : We started sending out our annual year-end donation drive mass e-mail (Message 956910)
Posted 17 Dec 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

How about an automated e-mail to individuals right before their green donation-star expires?


That's an addition that we've been planning, but haven't yet implemented. We also plan a message about 18 months after last donation as a reminder.

787) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : FAQ and comments about the Higley School District controversy (Message 953030)
Posted 7 Dec 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Doing that on one or two PCs probably won't get you a $1.6M lawsuit


True, but it can get you fired. Back in 2001, seventeen Tennessee Valley Authority employees got fired (and threatened with criminal charges) for installing SETI@home on their office computers.

That may be so, but it doesn't excuse the fact that applications where installed without permission.


I'm guessing that that will be the thrust of the lawsuits or criminal cases. The question that the judge or jury will have to decide (if, in fact it is shown that SETI@home/BOINC was was installed without the knowledge or approval of the District Administrator) is whether a school district IT Director needs permission to install software, or whether determining what software to install is a part of an IT Director's normal job functions.

At what level does installing software require permission? If the IT Director needs permission from the District Administrator, would the District Administrator need to go to the School Board for permission? Would the District Administrator need to contact the state Department of Education? Would the School Board need to put a referendum on the ballot? Would the Department of Education need to call the governor?
788) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : FAQ and comments about the Higley School District controversy (Message 952754)
Posted 5 Dec 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've fixed that oversight. The NASA grant is a relatively new thing. Together with the NSF grant they'll cover about 35% of our budget for the next year.
789) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : FAQ and comments about the Higley School District controversy (Message 952710)
Posted 5 Dec 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
if NASA and the National Science Foundation are funding S@H, why then they don't appear on the sponsors page?


They probably should be. They are mentioned at the bottom of the main seti@home page.

I'll clarify more a bit later.
790) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : FAQ and comments about the Higley School District controversy (Message 952163)
Posted 4 Dec 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've been getting a lot of questions and comments about the forced resignation of an IT administrator in the Higley School District in Arizona. There's a lot of misinformation flying around, mostly due to poor reporting. First lets start with the facts we know: NEZ (Brad Niesluchowski) was an IT administrator at Higley school district. He allegedly installed and ran BOINC and attached to the SETI@home project. The district alleges damages of $1.2M to $1.6M because of the use of SETI@home both due to wear and tear on the processors and electricity usage. Niesluchowski claims that the district administrator has a personal vendetta against him.

Category: Questions about SETI@home

Q. Do I need permission from my employer to run SETI@home on computers at work?

A. Yes! Of course! We've been saying that for 10 years, and despite what some bloggers have said, Niesluchowski wasn't the first person to lose his job over this. The first time was many years ago.

Q. Does SETI@home really cost that much to run?

A. The cost of running SETI@home is not zero. When a computer performs calculations, it draws more power than it does when it is idle. A typical desktop machine might draw about 60 watts more when active than when idle which is about the same as an incandescent light bulb. If run 24/7, that machine will consume an additional 525 kilowatt hours (kW*h) in a year. At an average cost of $0.12 per kW*h, that's $63.11 per year. That's pretty small compared to the cost of your computer, and maybe about the same as your monthly cable bill, but it's pretty big compared to the cost of can of soup. At that rate, you could spend $1.6M on power by running 25,000 computers for a year, or 5000 computers for 5 years. This is in addition to the power usage of an idle machine, which can also exceed 60 watts. If a school district really wants to save power and money it should implement a policy to turn off computers at night. If SETI@home cost them $1.6M as they state, they would have saved $3.2M if such a policy had been implemented.

Q. Does SETI@home damage your processor?

A. I am not aware of any study that indicates that fully utilizing a CPU's processing power for a long period of time will cause it to fail sooner than it normally would, provided that the CPU is kept in the normal temperature range for operation. A CPU's temperature us usually controlled by a heat-sink and fan. If the heat sink or fan fails a CPU can be damaged whether SETI@home is running or not. Most desktop computers emit an alarm sound if the CPU fan fails. Most laptops and some desktops have a thermal protection system that slows down the processor if it overheats. If your machine is running slowly, check the fan.

Q. Does BOINC or SETI@home interfere with electronic whiteboards or their software.

A. Nobody has reported such a problem. In the past several days I have had many teachers inform me that SETI@home works quite when on machines that also control electronic whiteboards. I think this could fall into the next category of "Bad Reporting." Many articles said that SETI@home was discovered on these computers while looking for the reason that electronic whiteboards were shutting down after periods of inactivity. I didn't see any that indicated that SETI@home was the cause of those shutdowns. Most likely the whiteboard device drivers or their control software were configured in a way that allowed the computer to shut off their power after a period of inactivity. It is my understanding that there are also a lot of inferior electronic whiteboards that have been sold to school districts that are required to accept the lowest bid when purchasing equipment. That is also a possibility.

Q. Did SETI@home slow down other software as was reported?

A. Probably not. If BOINC is configured not to run applications while the computer is in use, it should not cause a slowdown of other software. If there's one thing IT personnel like, it's blaming slow computers on viruses, spyware, or "too much stuff on the hard disk." That might be the case, but those are just a case of poor computer maintenance by the IT personnel which is the most common cause of slow school or work computers.

Q. Does BOINC and SETI@home prevent you from installing a firewall?

A. No. BOINC and SETI@home do not require that a computer not have a firewall, nor does it require holes in your firewall settings. BOINC and SETI@home use the same IP port used by web browsers. If your firewall allows you to use a web browser, you can run SETI@home. Remote access to BOINC (which allows you to control the BOINC client running on one computer from another) does require a single IP port to be opened, but this feature is disabled by default. The district administrator, Dr. Birdwell, is mistaken if she believes that BOINC is incompatible with firewalls.

Q. Dr. Birdwell says "You can't just press a button" to uninstall BOINC and SETI@home. Is that true?

A. It depends. Do you mean literally true? Then yes, most computers ship without an physical button labeled "Uninstall BOINC." To uninstall BOINC, you do the same thing you would do to to uninstall any program. On windows that means click the "Control Panel" icon in the Start Menu. Then double click on "Add or Remove Programs." Then select "BOINC" and click the "Remove" button. That's five mouse clicks, but the entire process takes less than a minute to accomplish. Not exactly a button push, but I wouldn't place it in the "difficult" category.

Q. Does running BOINC or SETI@home make your computer susceptible to viruses?

A. If you download official BOINC binaries through boinc.berkeley.edu and attach only to reputable projects there is very little danger of getting a virus from BOINC or the project. In fact we are not aware of any cases of a computer getting a virus through BOINC or SETI@home in our 10 year history. You are far safer running BOINC than you are reading your email.

Category: Just Plain Bad Reporting

Q. I saw an article that said that SETI@home caused $1.6M in damage to computers a school district. Is that true?

No. In that article the reporter either mistook the legal concept of "damages" with actual physical damage, or was such a poor writer that they couldn't explain the difference.

Category: Questions We Couldn't Possibly Answer

Q. Did Niesluchowski have permission from a prior administrator to run SETI@home or to take computers home from work?

A. I don't know. How could I know that?

Q. Did the school district confiscate NEZ's family computers along with the district computers?

A. Beats me. Since I don't see it in the articles, but in comments to the articles posted by readers, I doubt that you can lend it much credence.

Category: My Personal Opinions (not those of my employer, of the SETI@home project, or of its participants.)

Q. What do you think about the district administrator, Dr. Denise Birdwell's comment that "We support educational research and we would have supported cancer research but we however as an educational institutional do not support the search for E.T."?

A. I think that Dr. Birdwell's comment is insulting to me, to the University of California, and to the millions of people who have run SETI@home in the past 10 years. Dr. Birdwell is ill informed about SETI, SETI@home and volunteer computing. I think its likely the cancer research she claims to support would probably not be happening if SETI@home had not popularized volunteer computing.

I would point out to Dr. Birdwell that the University of California is a world renowned educational institution, and that regardless of her opinions, SETI@home is still the largest volunteer computing project on the planet. I will also gladly point out that the NASA Exobiology program and the National Science Foundation Astronomy division apparently do not agree with her assessment.

That said, I'm not at all upset about the bad press she is sending our way. There are a lot of school districts in the world, and she only runs one. However, I do wonder whether the Higley School Board agrees with the opinions she espouses so loudly.
791) Message boards : Cafe SETI : AVATAR PICTURES! (Message 946026)
Posted 9 Nov 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's time to change the avatar to one without a Halloween theme. Since we wouldn't want my sexy raccoon trophy wife to become un-outed....

792) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Are you a nerd? (Message 944536)
Posted 2 Nov 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm pretty sure reptilian is the correct answer, but no human had ever seen a live one outside of its armor. The must have had some wicked bioengineering skills, because high ranking cylons had extra brains grafted on.
793) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Are you a nerd? (Message 944390)
Posted 1 Nov 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I kept looking around for extra credit on the geek test, but I couldn't find any.

Am I the only person who still has the novelization of the original Battlestar Galactica pilot on his bookshelf? (In the novelization, Cylons weren't machines... How's that for trivia?)
794) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Halloween Zombie-Talk Thread (Message 944389)
Posted 1 Nov 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

What class did the Zombie Forum Moderator enroll in to help him deal with the phenomenal number of offensive and off-topic posts he was obligated to hide in the Seti Cafe?



Aaaaaaanger Management!


The thread is now closed. Happy Halloween!
795) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Are you a nerd? (Message 944112)
Posted 31 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Is that good? Or bad?
796) Message boards : SETI@home Science : weak test signals (Message 941831)
Posted 21 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'll be blogging about this soon, I hope. It turns out that we don't need to inject weak test signals because there are plenty of weak harmonics of strong (RFI) signals in the data.
797) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Berkeley Telescope Building Workshop and Star Party (October 23 at 7pm) (Message 941774)
Posted 21 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The UC Berkeley Astronomy Department is holding a Telescope Building Workshop and Star Party on October 23 at 7pm in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. If you would like to attend, details can be found here
798) Message boards : SETI@home Science : SETI@home in the News (Message 941772)
Posted 21 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
October 19, 2009 - SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela discusses life in the universe in Galactic Watercooler Podcast #190. This is one episode in an arc relating to the late Carl Sagan's Cosmos series.
799) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW # XCIX (99!) (Message 940063)
Posted 15 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You should saber this moment.
800) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Halloween Zombie-Talk Thread (Message 939747)
Posted 14 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And if a Zombie wanted to climb a mountain, which would make sense?


Mount Saaaaint Helens.

What's a zombie's favortie Mike Meyers movie?
801) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Halloween Zombie-Talk Thread (Message 939325)
Posted 12 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Butaaaaaane!

Angela has a butane kitchen torch, but I don't let her use it unsupervised. Our fire insurance is just not that good.

Why did the Zombie give up on his diet?
802) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Halloween Zombie-Talk Thread (Message 938547)
Posted 9 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Insaaaane.

What kind of puppy did the zombie get?
803) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Halloween Zombie-Talk Thread (Message 938545)
Posted 9 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Haaaaanes.

Why did the zombie call the plumber?
804) Questions and Answers : Windows : I lost all my credits! (Message 937239)
Posted 1 Oct 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What's your cross project id? With that I can look up the old stats.

Eric
805) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update II - The Critter Cafe is Open (Message 936278)
Posted 27 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What scares me about raccoons......


Baylisascaris procyonis

http://tinyurl.com/yez8ftb

http://tinyurl.com/yc9ssku

We have a party of raccoons that come by our place to play in the giant tree, and there is a creek nearby. I do find raccoon poo in my yard.


Thanks for suitably scaring Angela. She had heard this before from a virologist friend at a party, but she was having too much fun to be terrified. Now she's convinced she has it and will die before Halloween.

It doesn't sound like it's that easy to catch, since there were only 11 reported human cases in the U.S. between 1980 and 2000. I think the key is not eating raccoon dung. I make it a point not to eat any kind of animal dung.
806) Message boards : Technical News : Blip (Sep 16 2009) (Message 934085)
Posted 17 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Sorry, I didn't realize that the switch hadn't been implemented. I'll figure out how to do so.

Eric
807) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 933562)
Posted 15 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm not a big fan of "Cash for Clunkers" but far as I can recall the purpose of "cash for clunkers" was not to save gasoline, but to stimulate the economy. So we spent $3G to stimulate more than $20G in direct economic activity and an estimated $40G or so in economic feedback. That's significantly more than the estimated $6 to $9G of economic activity that a $10 per capita tax break would have generated.

Any fuel savings are a side benefit. Personally I don't think the fuel economy requirements for the cars eligible for cash for clunkers were strict enough.

Eric
808) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931607)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You should be russian off to bed, too.
809) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931602)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I want to go back to winning.


Sorry Uli, this thread has been hi-jacked and mugged!


You could just totaler up the points and see who won.
810) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931600)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's been a ball, a kettle of laughs as it were, it really takes the cakes, but I need to get some sleep.
811) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931597)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You have to approach situations like this gingerly.
812) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931595)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm sure he never mint it that way.
813) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931591)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are you stirring up trouble, honey?


Don't try to cozy up to me dear!


Don't worry, I'm sure you have this pun war in the bag.
814) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW #96 (Message 931584)
Posted 7 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Are you stirring up trouble, honey?
815) Message boards : Number crunching : Output file exceeds size limit (Message 930884)
Posted 4 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Apparently we have some bad data headers on that data file. I'll see whether we should stop processing it more if theres good data after the bad spot.

Eric
816) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (23) Server problems (Message 930538)
Posted 3 Sep 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're hoping a box of disks from AO will show up tomorrow and we can get some work generated.
817) Message boards : Number crunching : Client detached - but not (Message 929151)
Posted 27 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I guess I misunderstood the problem in your other message. A detach/reattach might be the best option.

Now if I only knew why these problems happen.
818) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (23) Server problems (Message 929149)
Posted 27 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Al,

You shouldn't need to detach. I'll check our upload server. It's possible that something is wrong with it.

The fix to allow more WUs to machines should be enabled, but it may take a while to clear out the current counts.

Eric
819) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (23) Server problems (Message 929062)
Posted 27 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We're in process of fixing this problem. I don't yet know why it reared it head only this week.

Eric
820) Message boards : Number crunching : Reached Daily Quota??????? (Message 928907)
Posted 26 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Whatever changes have happened were unintentional. There were no policy changes that I am aware of. What probably happened is that a "bug" was fixed in BOINC that led to a configuration parameter that was previously ignored being enforced. There have been a lot of changes to the BOINC scheduler recently. I'll inform David of the difference.

That said, there may come a point in time when the demand for work exceeds our network bandwidth or the rate at which data comes from the telescope. (It's certainly not that way today judging from the network graphs.) At that point we would have to decided whether to limit work so that everyone has a chance to get some. At that point, which is worse, a "No work available from project" message or a "daily quota exceeded" message? Which is more important, ensuring everyone can participate, or making sure the fastest machines that have signed up are fully employed? It's a decision we haven't had to make yet, but one we will probably need to make at some point. And regardless of how the question is decided, some people will be angry.
821) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update II - The Critter Cafe is Open (Message 926086)
Posted 14 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Apparently Comcast doesn't like flickr today.
822) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Galaxy evolution and supermassive black holes. Warning: potentially educational (Message 925894)
Posted 13 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


Eric , I'm I correct ... that you and Dan are contributing scientific code to The Allen Telescope Array ??



Hi Byron,

Haven't heard from you in a while. Hope you're doing well. Dan is heavily involved with the instrumentation for the ATA. Whether that is code depends on where you draw the lines. I'd call it code, but Dan (coming from an electrical engineering background) might disagree. My contribution to that has been minuscule thus far.

Eric
823) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How to start another war... (Message 924412)
Posted 7 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:


The problem with a two party system is that so called moderates usually write the compromises.


I'm perfectly okay with a two-party system as long as the bands are good, and they have an open bar.


The two-party system is usually B.Y.O.B, and the entertainment is usually watching people knit.
824) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How to start another war... (Message 924377)
Posted 7 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

On second thought....

It can't be much of an accord, given that "Donnie" isn't much of a rock and roller, and "Marie" isn't all that country.


The problem with a two party system is that so called moderates usually write the compromises.

825) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How to start another war... (Message 924127)
Posted 6 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This is still the War of 1812! I was hoping to resurrect the far more important war between Country music and Rock & Roll. The war didn't end with a peace treaty, but merely a ceasefire resulting from the Donnie and Marie accord of 1976.
826) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How to start another war... (Message 923647)
Posted 5 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Since my last blog posting successfully reignited the war of 1812, lets see if we can re-start another one. . .

Thesis: The indie/alterna/punk band "Gossip" (formerly "The Gossip") lets us know what the late 70s would have sounded like if Dolly Parton hadn't wasted her considerable talents (vocal) on country music.

Discuss amongst yourselves. Let the beatings begin!

;)
827) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922871)
Posted 1 Aug 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

The only time Canada was ever invaded was by Americans in 1812, and we all know the outcome of that little adventure.


You might find out that many Americans don't know the outcome of that little adventure. Or at least have a different interpretation of the outcome.
828) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922704)
Posted 31 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I have private insurance,it pays 80 percent with a maximum out of pocket expense of 2500 dollars per year, after that it pays 100 percent to a maximum of 1 million dollars per year.


The larger, and perhaps more important questions are 1) What is the lifetime maximum? 2) How much in expenses can you have before they decline to renew your policy? 3) Have you ever tried to use it through a major illness? 3) Since heath insurance rates are doubling every three years, how much longer will you be able to afford your insurance? 4) Since most people get their insurance through their employers, how much more increase can the employers stand before they start dropping health insurance as a benefit? When it reaches 25% of total payroll expenses? 50%?


2500 dollars in one year will not bankrupt me.


I know. You're probably paying at least half that per month for your insurance. In a couple years you'll be paying that every month. Doing nothing is not an option.

You are right, it would take far less money to provide health care to everyone than we currently spend on defense (which is more than the rest of the world spends, combined). I'm all for giving up our role as the world's police man. I think the rest of your party would disagree with you on reducing defense spending, though.

However, you are wrong about our GDP. In 2008, the U.S. GDP was 23.5% of the world total (according to the IMF). The CIA estimates it was only 23%, though. The numbers I can find for foreign aid are 26 billion for last year (with Israel and Egypt the biggest recipients). I have no problem cutting off non-humanitarian foreign aid (which is most of it). Your party might agree to cut aid to Egypt, but would insist of providing cash to Israel.

Most U.S. foreign aid doesn't go to feed and clothe the world. It goes to arm the world. But foreign aid is small potatoes, typically at less than half a percent of the budget. You can't balance the budget by reusing paper clips.
829) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922467)
Posted 30 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

In all fairness to our good neighbors to the north, was Canada recently invaded?
What happened to the other 6 provinces and 3 territories?


Shhhhh! Don't tell them. Ottawa has been trying to get rid of those trouble makers for years!
830) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922308)
Posted 30 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I also believe anything government can do,private industry can do better,cheaper,faster.


You can believe it, but that doesn't make it true. With health care, private industry has shown pretty conclusively that it cannot do it better, cheaper or faster. We spend more money on health care than most other first world countries and have worse outcomes. Private insurers will spend $30 to keep from having to pay for $10 worth of care. The reason that conservatives don't want a public option for health care is that they know it will be more affordable than private insurance, and people will use it. It was the shift from a primarily non-profit to a for-profit health care system that got us into this mess in the first place. (Even many of the current health care "non-profits" are just hiding profits.)

That's your opion and you have the right to it. I have seen 1'st hand the private sector doing it better,road construction comes to mind off the top of my head. Low bidder is accepted and everyone prospers because of COMPETITION.


And five years later, when the road needs to be redone because the low bidder didn't follow the specification for the road bed, a new low bidder will be found. When the SSL addition was built, the low bidder cut a few corners, like under-sizing the wire gauge while keeping the high current fuses. Can you say fire danger? The desire to be the low bidder often results in contractors deliberately using substandard materials or doing a half-assed job. And some conservatives have pushed through laws that have made it harder to choose anybody but the low bidder, even if they are on trial for the corners they cut on their last job.

And I wonder where the money for road construction comes from?


Try waiting in line in this country to get your drivers license renewed or even mail something, the indifference and apathy are quite infuriating.


When I try to mail something, I print an online address label and hand it to a postal carrier without waiting in line. When I renew my driver's license it is done by mail. I think it is nothing short of incredible that I can send a physical object a distance of 2600 miles in three days at a cost of 44 cents. FedEx will do the same thing for only $13.33. Is that better, cheaper and faster? I can't even send a fax at FedEx for 44 cents. Would you rather the Post Office be privatized so it can charge whatever the market will bear? Get ready for the $10 stamp.

If you want indifference and apathy, try to get help finding an item at Macy's. If you want to wait in a line, try to buy something there. But they are the only department store that is left on this side of the country, so they don't need to provide service. That's one reason why I shop online.

I'm not saying that government does everything better. I'm just saying that profit motive can be an impediment to efficiency and lower costs. Unless you consider making sure that sick people can't get care to be an efficiency booster.


I also notice the maple leaf on your flag. Not to sterotype, but just the opion I would have expected.


I note that he doesn't seem too unhappy with his health care system.
831) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922160)
Posted 29 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It's also true, in spite of what libertarian thought and corporatists tell us, one of the things government can do very well is take care of those in need.


Try telling that to the Hurricane Katrina victims.


Well part of the problem there was the Bush administration disassembling the existing government operated disaster response system and replacing it with private contractors that weren't really qualified or capable of doing the same job. For example the job of dispatching relief supplies went from the National Emergency Operations Center to one person who wasn't available 24/7. That policy was due to political leaders taking the concept that "the private sector can always do things better than government" as an article of faith.

From a 2004 (pre-Katrina) article entitled "A Disaster Waiting to Happen":

In June, Pleasant Mann, a 16-year FEMA veteran who heads the agency's government employee union, wrote members of Congress to warn of the agency's decay. "Over the past three-and-one-half years, FEMA has gone from being a model agency to being one where funds are being misspent, employee morale has fallen, and our nation's emergency management capability is being eroded," he wrote. "Our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors."


President Reagan was famous for saying that the most frightening phrase in the English language is "I'm from the government and I here to help." A more frightening phrase is "I'm from the insurance company and I'm here to find a reason to deny you the coverage you paid for."
832) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 922027)
Posted 29 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Progressive taxation is an entirely different issue than health care.

IMHO, a progressive tax system recognizes that the marginal value of a dollar is much less to someone who makes a lot of them than it is to someone who makes minimum wage. Rather than worrying about making sure everyone pays an equal percentage, I'd rather have a tax code that makes sure that taxes cause everyone an equal amount of pain (and that the amount of pain caused be as low as possible while still providing the service a civil society requires).

Right now I'd guess the 12% Federal Income Tax that a single person making minimum wage full time (~$14,500) pays hurts a whole lot more than the 13.5% that Angela and I ended up paying last year, even though our 13.5% was a much larger number in total dollars.

Eric

833) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 921572)
Posted 27 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I only had red fire extinguishers. Yellow is apparently required.
834) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 921551)
Posted 26 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I'm fine, but it took a while to convince me and longer to convince the doctors of that.
835) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 921530)
Posted 26 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Actually malpractice insurance is a fairly small part of total health care costs. Not that is is negligible, though.

Regarding what doctors earn, it varies greatly depending upon specialty. And if there's one thing I've learned it that people never consider themselves to be rich. In a recent article in Flying magazine, a regular columnist, who is a surgeon that owns an $800k airplane and considered purchasing a $3M airplane, recently complained in an article how much a hospital charged for his wife's appendectomy. I would guess he thinks he's just barely getting by.

Regarding the expense of medical school, I agree, it's too expensive, and that there aren't enough medical schools in the U.S. to train the number of doctors we need. (If you didn't get a 4.0+ GPA and put in a lot of volunteer hours as an undergraduate, you can probably forget medical school in the U.S.). The way around that is the open more medical schools, and maybe even subsidize them.

But even doctor's shouldn't equate "I spent a lot of money on school" to "I deserve at least $NNNk per year in salary." I spent 13 years in college and graduate school, and don't yet make a six figure salary. Nor do I think I'm entitled to one. But then again, if I was in it for the money I would have picked the career track "Fortune 500 CEO". If you don't think that's an easier career track, count the number of SETI Astronomers and compare it to the number of Fortune 500 CEOs.

But I'm going to stop talking about health care now, because I spent the weekend in the hospital.

Eric


836) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 920915)
Posted 24 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well the powers that be have already decided that we are going to have a market for health care. Single payer wasn't even invited to this party. But without the ability to choose a doctor or hospital or insurance company based upon real price and quality information and without the ability to change your choice at any time, it certainly won't be a fair one.
837) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 920862)
Posted 24 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela also has millions in "professional liability" insurance. But since it's hard for a Speech Pathologist to kill anyone by trying to fix a lisp, the rates aren't that bad.
838) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 920861)
Posted 24 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, what's being proposed here is really that. A less than half solution that isn't going to solve the problem and is going to make insurance companies rich. We're going to mandate that everyone have insurance. We're going to have a public plan to compete with private insurance, but only a small number of impoverished people will be eligible for that plan. Sounds like it's time to raise insurance rates to me!

The only hope is that it will eventually morph into something that can solve the problems. And in case I wasn't clear enough in my analogy the problems are:

1. There is no fair market for health insurance. Your choice of insurance is limited to those your employer contracts with, and (if self-employed) those that will accept you into their plan. Rather than creating a shared risk pool, the insurance companies create a pool of low risk applicants and charge them as if they were in a shared risk pool. If an applicants risk changes they are expelled into the ranks of the uninsured. In the future they will be expelled into the "public plan."

2. There is no fair market for hospital services. Doctors are locked by contract into getting services from a single provider. Hospitals do not advertise their charges, not do they advertise what rates the insurers are paying. The only way to find out what a hospital charges is to get billed.

3. There is no fair market for doctors. The insurers dictate which doctor you see. They artificially limit the pool of eligible doctors to in order to reduce the rates they pay. That's why it's impossible to find a specialist or even a primary care physician who is taking on new patients.

4. People don't know how much they are currently paying for insurance. Employers don't put it on your pay stub. The cost should be mandated to be on the paycheck. When people opt out* their gross pay should be increased by that amount. When people see how much they are already "taxed" for their health care they might not be so happy with their current plan.

* I am currently opted out of the UC's health insurance because I am covered under Angela's. It saves the project money. But beyond that, I get no benefit for refusing coverage.
839) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : If fire insurance were like health insurance. (Message 920815)
Posted 23 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
People from the rest of the world may have noticed that we're having arguments about health care in this country. Some people say the current system is broken. Others are afraid to lose what health care they have. Some say that providing health care for the uninsured will be too expensive. Others say that we already are providing health care for the uninsured, but doing it in the most expensive way possible.

People outside of the U.S. probably don't understand what the difficulty is. So I'll provide a little analogy. Here's what fire insurance would be like if it ran like the U.S. health care system. I am basing this on my experiences with my own health insurance, which is considered to be a very good insurance plan.

Under this system fire insurance is provided by your employer, who gets a group discount from the insurance companies. Neither your employer nor the insurance company is allowed to disclose how much the insurance costs, because they both consider it a trade secret. Once a year, in November, you get the chance to change your fire insurance company if you are unhappy with them. But since you probably haven't had a fire, what is there to be unhappy about?

If you lose your job, you lose your fire insurance but the insurance company is required by law to allow you to pay an exorbitant sum to continue your insurance for 6 months. They will also allow you to buy a cheaper plan, which will replace your house with a tent if it burns down. By the way, the most common way to lose your job is to have a house fire.

If you are self employed or unemployed, you might be able to buy insurance. It will be much more expensive than the group plans that employers get. You will also be disqualified if you have had a fire in the past, smoke, or have been seen with matches or a cigarette lighter.

The way the fire insurance system works is that your insurance company will provide you a list of twenty fire inspectors. You are required to have a fire inspector in order to get access to a fire station. You will call all twenty and their secretaries will tell you that they aren't taking any new clients. You will eventually get taken on by one of them because your mother is one of his clients.

The inspector is paid a flat fee per year per client by the insurance company. He gets paid this amount whether he inspects your home or not. Each time he does inspect your home he might get a small payment from the insurance company, but you need to give him a $20 additional payment. This is to encourage you not to get your home inspected. If your home has apparent problems that need further investigation, the inspector does not get additional payments from the insurance company. If your home needs repairs to prevent a fire, the insurance company will pay for them, but the inspector might get charged a fee for referring you to a contractor. This is to encourage your fire inspector not to refer you to a contractor to perform repairs.

The fire inspector contracts with a fire station to handle emergencies. It might not be the closest fire station to your home. None of the firefighters working at the fire station are employees of the fire station. They are all independent contractors who are paid by the person who has a fire, or by the insurance company. The only employees at the fire station are the 35 people they have on staff to handle billing the 65 insurance companies that they contract with.

If you have a fire, the first thing you do is call your fire inspector. If he agrees that there is a fire, he will call the insurance company to get authorization to call the fire station. Some fraction of the time these authorizations will be denied.

When the fire station gets the call they will also call the insurance company for authorization. When each fireman gets to the house, they will ask for a copy of your insurance card before putting out the fire. If any of the people involved forgets to get authorization, they won't be paid by the insurance company. They will either bill you, or eat the expenses.

Fortunately it was just a minor fire entirely contained in a frying pan. After the fire has been put out, and a contractor has started repairs, you will receive a bunch of bills that have "THIS IS NOT A BILL" written on them. You will get one from each fireman, one from the fire station, one from your fire inspector, one from the contractor who is repairing your house and one from each of the construction workers the contractor has hired. They will come with a reply envelope for sending in a payment. This is to encourage you to accidentally pay them. The bills will be for outrageous amounts that represent several years of your salary. Even the construction workers will be billing you several hundred dollars per hour. The fire station will be billing you ten thousand dollars for the water that came out of the fire hose from the public fire hydrant and a thousand dollars for the initial phone call.

If you belong to one of the group fire insurance plans offered by your employer, you are lucky. After about 6 months you will get notice that they have paid all of the bills for about 30% of the billed amount. Some items they will disallow, like the bill for fire hydrant water. You aren't responsible for paying those, either. Some of the time, the insurance company will decide to de-authorize the fire fighting. Usually it involves the insurance company not having evidence that the fire wasn't caused by an alien death ray. Alien death rays are not a covered benefit.

If you are unlucky enough to have an individual plan and it's not a bad fire, that will probably happen as well. If it's a bad fire, the insurance company will claim you were never insured, that the fire call wasn't pre-authorized, or that on your "fire history" form you forgot to mention that your grandfather smoked.

If you are uninsured, or if your insurance company refuses to pay, you'll have to pay those exorbitant bills, skip town and use an alias, or go bankrupt.

Why were the bills so high to begin with? There are a few reasons for that. There's a lot of overhead to running a fire station. You need to pay those 35 people who handle billing. Since there are 65 contracts each with different rates of payment, you need 35 people to handle billing. Every firefighter is also paying two or more people to handle billing. It's important to have these people since the insurance companies are trying to underpay you and you are trying to get them to overpay. Every dollar they save is a dollar in profit for them. Every extra dollar they pay is a profit for the fire station. In addition the fire fighters salary comes out of charge, so if they handle 50 fires a year and want a $200k income, that's $4000 per fire in salary alone. Add another $3000 for a secretary and two billing clerks, and that's $7000 per fire before overhead.

By law, a fire station needs to respond to fires of the uninsured. Most of those bills don't get paid, so the unpaid charges are worked into the billing rates. That boost the bills further. The amounts billed might even be different depending upon your insurance company. How much it really costs to provide these services is considered a trade secret by the fire station. The amounts the insurance company pays is considered to be a trade secret by both the insurance company and by the fire station.

So now there is talk of reforming the fire insurance system because it's gotten more expensive to buy the insurance than it is to buy the house it protects. Of course huge profits are made in fire insurance, so the insurance companies don't want that. The opponents are raising the usual talk about not being able to choose your fire inspector, and how we wouldn't want fire departments run by the government because government can't do anything right. That would be socialism, and we all know socialism leads to totalitarianism. We wouldn't want the government telling us how to fight fires and what construction materials were safe to use. Of course, the U.S. fire fighting system is the best in the world and there's no need for improvement. And it would be too expensive to provide fire fighting services to everyone. It's not like a government mandate to have fire insurance before you could buy a house would ever be practical. And people wouldn't be able to contract with fire stations that put out fires with xenon gas to avoid water damage because the government will think it's too expensive.

But somehow the rest of the world is able to provide low cost fire fighting at reasonable cost without slipping into totalitarianism. The major problem the opponents of government sponsored fire fighting have is that it might work. And if it works, it will necessarily cut the profits of the insurance companies, the fire stations, and firefighters might have to become salaried employees rather than contractors.
840) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 920440)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Probably not before Monday when Matt and Jeff get back.

P.S. I should just stop saying we're working. We're maxed out again.
841) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 920424)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
In theory the dam has broken. Only half of the upload connection slots are currently in use.

Eric
842) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 920349)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Well, that appears to have worked for about 10 minutes. :(
843) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 920335)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Apparently apache ignores the fcgi configuration settings if you use <VirtualHost> and resets them to the defualt. So you need to replicate all of the fcgi configuration options within the <VirtualHost> environment.

This is contrary to what the documentation indicates.

844) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 920330)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Three days of fiddling with apache configuration settings, and maybe, just maybe I've found something that will help uploads. Cross your fingers and toes...
845) Message boards : Number crunching : Server problems (Message 919567)
Posted 20 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Upload server is back up. Still diagnosing mysql problem.
846) Message boards : Number crunching : Server problems (Message 919562)
Posted 20 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Looks like another mysql brain fart, although that's a preliminary diagnosis.
847) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (21) Server problems (Message 919559)
Posted 20 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Had other things to deal with today, but I'm back on it.
848) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (20) Server problems (Message 918297)
Posted 16 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I made a small change that tripled our upload bandwidth. The change is to quickly drop excess connections rather than let them wait in the TCP queue.



We were doing this last week, but apparently Matt turned it off. IDK why. Matt is on vaca now.
849) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption XII (Message 917214)
Posted 12 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've got something on my mind, but I don't quite know what it is.
850) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption XII (Message 915210)
Posted 7 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Just add water and you've got yourself a boat!
851) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday Eric Korpela July 3'th... (Message 914575)
Posted 6 Jul 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Thanks all for the Birthday wishes! It's been a long and difficult weekend, and I'm looking forward to getting back to the simplicity of work.

Eric
852) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Galaxy evolution and supermassive black holes. Warning: potentially educational (Message 903278)
Posted 3 Jun 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Ellipical galaxies have been stripped of all of their gas and dust, so there is little or no new star formation in them. The stars they contain tend to be old and faint. Since (we think) planet formation requires a high abundance of heavy elements that are made in stars, whether there are planets depends on how long ago the gas and dust was stripped.

Spiral galaxies have lots of gas and dust and star formation is still going on in most of them, so the heave element abundance tends to be higher. So you're probably more likely to find planets in spirals. And if planets are necessary for life, that would make spiral galaxies a better place to look.

853) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Galaxy evolution and supermassive black holes. Warning: potentially educational (Message 903037)
Posted 3 Jun 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
You never know what's going to show up in your inbox. Today, out of nowhere, someone sent me a question about the relationship between elliptical and spiral galaxies and whether one turns into the other. Since it's a good question and the response shows the interrelatedness of different parts of astronomy, I figured I'd post the response.

As a refresher to the average SETIzen, a spiral galaxy looks like this:



and an elliptical galaxy looks like this:



There are a lot of differences between elliptical galaxies and spirals, but I'm only going to discuss one here. And, of course, what I'm saying isn't exactly accurate because I'm using a language besides math.

Here's the question:

... if the energy levels of [stars in] elliptical galaxies were generally higher than those of a spiral galaxies, could ellipticals "decay" to become spirals?


Here's my answer:

We do think about galaxies in terms of energy, but a better analogy might be temperature. An elliptical galaxy is "hot", all the stars are orbiting in random directions the way atoms in a hot gas move. A spiral is "cold", with most of the stars orbiting in the same direction at roughly the same speed. In the current epoch, galaxies tend to evolve from "cold" to "hot." When galaxies merge, the energy of the collision tends to go toward randomizing the orbits of the stars, and so you will probably end up with an elliptical galaxy after you've had a bunch of mergers. The centers of dense galaxy clusters tend to contain giant elliptical galaxies that are probably the result of mergers of hundreds of galaxies. These processes are often the subject of supercomputer modeling efforts.

If the Milkyway and the Andromeda galaxy merge, the result will probably be an elliptical galaxy.

It's harder for galaxies to evolve the other direction, because it's hard to get rid of the accumulated energy. An atom with an electron in a high energy level can emit a photon in order to get rid of the energy, but the only thing a galaxy can emit in order to get rid of excess energy is stars. And they do emit stars, but it's hard to put very much energy into a single star so the process is fairly slow. It's similar to evaporation. In an evaporating liquid, the fast moving atoms in the liquid can escape, which removes energy from the liquid, causing it to cool. In an elliptical galaxy, if three or more stars make a close approach to one another, one of the stars might get accelerated to high speed, while the remaining ones slow down.

If the fast star is fast enough, it might be moving at a speed greater than the galaxy's escape velocity. If it escapes, it'll take its kinetic energy with it, which will "cool" the galaxy slightly. Because the remaining stars aren't moving as quickly the galaxy will shrink slightly.

Because this process requires close approaches between stars, it happens most quickly where the stars are the closest together, which is in the center of the galaxy (the core). This causes the core to lose energy rapidly, which causes it to shrink, and if the remaining stars get close enough together, you might form a supermassive black hole. We do tend to find supermassive black holes in the
centers of most every galaxy large, and this may be how they form.

Given enough time (hundreds or thousands of times the current age of the universe), you'll probably end up with a large fraction of the stars having fallen into the black hole, and the rest scattered throughout intergalactic space.
854) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Crazy Raccoon Lady B'day Thread (Message 899069)
Posted 24 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This one takes the cake.
855) Message boards : Cafe SETI : ustream.tv SETI Anniversary webcast (Message 898316)
Posted 22 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
But my talk was the best part! Especially when I brought out what's left of the bodies. It's amazing what 62 years will do to a body, but most of the distinguishing features are still there.
856) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 897639)
Posted 21 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I haven't examined her as closely as Ashton Kutcher has, but from a distance she always struck me as female.
857) Message boards : Cafe SETI : 10th anniversary T-shirts (How to order) (Message 897638)
Posted 21 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Be sure to save an a couple XLs for me. I'll ask the rest of the crew to make their desires known.
858) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 897399)
Posted 20 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's not even hard! I can think of two links. Kevin Bacon was in "A Few Good Men" with Tom Cruise, a known alien, who jumped up and down on Oprah's sofa. Demi Moore, who is apparently an immortal, was also in "A Few Good Men."
859) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 897040)
Posted 19 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
She'll have Mr. T on her show discuss it alright. But unfortunately, Oprah herself is a Cyberdyne Systems Model T675 terminator that was sent back in time to kill Mr. T, because Mr. T is capable of preventing Skynet from coming on line.
860) Message boards : Cafe SETI : 10th anniversary T-shirts (How to order) (Message 896832)
Posted 19 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I've talked it over with Uli, and the best way to pay for the T-shirts is via Paypal to my paypal account. I think the only info you need, in order to pay, is my email address. korpela -AT- ssl.berkeley.edu

To order, you should PM Uli with your shipping address, she'll give you a total including shipping and paypal fees (2.9% + $0.30 USD). Then send funds via paypal to me, and I'll let Uli know that you've paid.

Anything you send beyond the cost of the shirts+shipping+fees will be donated to the project.

P.S. Everyone should send a big thank you to Uli for arranging this and getting the shirts printed and handling the shipping.
861) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 895808)
Posted 17 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
But the Matrix was just a holosuite simulation run at Quark's bar.
862) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 895729)
Posted 17 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think that's clear evidence that Amanda and Elizabeth Graycen are the same person, and that a 22nd century warp field experiment was responsible for sending her back to about 840AD where she took the place of a non-immortal named Amanda, whom she closely resembled. That doesn't explain how she came to be immortal or how she managed to live to the 22nd century with her head still attached while all the other immortals were killed. Maybe she hadn't died the first time before the warp field experiment sent her back in time to become Amanda.

Doesn't seem to be much of a genetic explanation for the immortality seen in the Highlander series, so the immortality is probably unrelated to her Vulcan heritage.
863) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 895506)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Obviously the actress is related to Spock and Tarzan. Do we know Amanda's original family name? Is it possible she is playing herself, and that she ended up in the past due to a time travel accident?
864) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mark your calendar for the Seti 10th Anniversary Party (Message 895313)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
OK, as soon as we get enough donations to afford wallets.
865) Message boards : Cafe SETI : TLPTPW (The V Club) #85 (Message 895303)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Admin FTW!
866) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 895234)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
What year was she born, and what year did she first suffer a "fatal" injury?
867) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mark your calendar for the Seti 10th Anniversary Party (Message 895198)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Soon as we get enough donations to afford the greens fees.
868) Message boards : Team Recruitment Center : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895197)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
869) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895195)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
870) Message boards : Politics : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895194)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
871) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895190)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
872) Message boards : Number crunching : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895188)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
873) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Directions to Anniversary Picnic, May 23, 2009 (Message 895179)
Posted 16 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
The SETI@home Anniversary Picnic/BBQ will be Saturday, May 23, from 11am to 3pm at the Willows Picnic Area in Tilden Park.

Uli is making her world famous potato salad. I'm BBQing sausages. Bob is bringing jerked pork. Angela is baking cookies ... lots of cookies.

The Willows Picnic Area is on South Park Drive in Orinda, CA according to Google Maps. You can get directions here. Click on "Entrance" and then select "Get Directions". That will take you to the intersection South Park Drive and Grizzly Peak Blvd. Head down South Park Drive. Take the second left off of South Park Drive to find the Willows Picnic Area.

Beware, if you ask for directions to the BBQ Pit or Rest Rooms, Google Maps will expect you to walk a couple miles cross country.

If you're planning to attend, be sure to RSVP in this thread.
874) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 894710)
Posted 14 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
No points for Vulcan spies inhabiting the Earth before "First Contact?"
875) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Astronomical Jury Duty (Message 894312)
Posted 13 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
It is a struggle, but I would like to think that serious scientists (like you) would be better at that sort of thing than filthy capitalists and their lackey running dogs (like me).


Scientists are humans, too. Well, most of the ones I know are.

The rules are set up pretty well to avoid conflicts of interest. Proposers can name people who they don't want to review the proposal which can help avoid true enemies from killing each other's work. In addition, nobody reviewing the proposal is competing for a share of the same pot of money, and you aren't allowed to review proposals from your own institution or those of recent collaborators.

876) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update (Message 894132)
Posted 13 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
That's Thing One in the background, staying out of Cilantro's way.
877) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : How Spock and Sylar are related. (Message 894009)
Posted 12 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Spock's mother's name is Amanda Grayson. She is a direct descendant of Richard Grayson, noted acrobat and crime fighter, ward of Bruce Wayne. Richard Grayson was a descendant of the famed John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke, via a grandson named William Grayson (nee Clayton) who dropped the Clayton name to avoid the notoriety that would come from being a descendant of Tarzan. William's brother Henry did the same, but chose the name Gray. Henry is the great grandfather of Gabriel Gray aka Sylar.

What is not commonly known is that the "John Clayton" found living the jungle among the apes was not, in fact, the child of the prior Viscount Greystoke, but in fact a marooned Vulcan named Stoek. The people who found Stoek mistakenly assumed that by pointing at himself and identifying himself (in Vulcan) as "Stoek, son of T'zan" he was identifying himself as Tarzan of the house of Greystoke. Stoek found this a convenient fiction to allow him the resources to attempt to contact Vulcan. By the time he did so, he was quite involved in a personal relationship and the politics of Earth, and was requested by the Vulcan science academy to remain on earth as an observer prior to eventual first contact.

And people say I'm losing touch with reality...
878) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mark your calendar for the Seti 10th Anniversary Party (Message 893735)
Posted 11 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Bob is in, and is bringing some of his famous jerked pork.

So now we've got the entire staff with the exception of Jeff and Josh.

Eric
879) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Astronomical Jury Duty (Message 892761)
Posted 8 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
A few weeks back, I got a jury duty notice. But I had to reschedule for the fall because I had already committed to jury duty of a different kind: Astronomical Jury Duty.

The way government funding of the sciences works in the U.S. might not be the way most people think it does. You don't typically call up your congress people and ask them to insert a line item into the federal budget. Although that can be lucrative if done right, it won't earn you to many friends among your colleagues. There are still hard feelings about such an event that happened a few years ago and ended up threatening funding to a lot of worthwhile programs; our beloved Arecibo was among them and is still threatened.

The more typical way is to submit proposals to the agencies that fund the sort of science you want to do. In our case those agencies are NSF and NASA. One way that NSF and NASA evaluate which proposals to fund is to assemble a review committee of scientific peers. In essence it's a jury, and part of the unpaid duties of a scientist (in addition to reviewing papers before publication) is to serve on these committees. So I was sent a pile of proposals and summoned to Washington. I can't tell you which committee I was on, or what the subject matter was, but that I was on a committee is considered public knowledge and is subject to FOIA requests.

It makes sense that people who understand the field are the best ones to evaluate proposals. But in some ways it's a little strange. The people you are reviewing are competitors to some extent. Imagine if you made doohickeys and wanted to sell some to the government. Would you be happy if the government flew all the other doohickey manufacturers to DC so they could give their opinions of your doohickeys? Well it's strange, but it seems to work.

Typically, it seems, that the agency is able to fund 20% of the proposals to the program I was reviewing. Last year was bad, only 15% of the proposals we funded. This year, with some help from the economic stimulus package, they're hoping to do much better.

Oh, and one of our proposals(*) was funded, which will help make up for some of the reduced level of donations we've been getting. Won't make up for all of it, so we'll still be operating with the same level of personnel.



(*) Different government agency. It's not like they let us review our own proposals. ;)
880) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mark your calendar for the Seti 10th Anniversary Party (Message 892410)
Posted 7 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

So far David is a yes, and I assume he's bringing Erica and Noah.
Dan will be there with Mary Kate and Will.
Matt will be there probably with Jenya.


Don't know about Bob yet.

881) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update (Message 890704)
Posted 3 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Unlike space-astrophysicists, wild speech pathologists are great. Just don't let your wife catch you with one.
882) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update (Message 890335)
Posted 1 May 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Please do not encourage the crazy raccoon lady.

883) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mark your calendar for the Seti 10th Anniversary Party (Message 885730)
Posted 16 Apr 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Angela and I will be there. David says he's in. I'll let you know about the rest of the crew.
884) Questions and Answers : Preferences : Removing background image (Message 883421)
Posted 8 Apr 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think you may need to set it to blank and then go into your BOINC/projects/setiathome.berkeley.edu/ directory and erase the background_1239204464 file.

Resetting the project would also probably do the job.

Eric
885) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Anniversary stuff (Message 881562)
Posted 2 Apr 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Took me a bit more than a week to post again. It's been a long one. Tomorrow I get dressed in a suit, because a NASA review panel is here. Not for SETI@home, but for the Neutral Ion Coupling Explorer, a small satellite project I've been working on for the last 6 months or so. It's part of the down-select process for this opportunity, so I hope we get the thumbs up.

On to the SETI@home 10th anniversary. On that front, there's good news and potentially bad news. The good news is that there will be an anniversary event. We're going to have a 1 day seminar here at the Space Sciences Lab. One bit of bad news is that it will be on Thursday, May 21.

Another bit of potentially bad news is that we're having it in a room that seats forty eight. The first round of invitations is going out and includes people who worked on SETI@home, people who work on SETI elsewhere, some other astronomers, maybe some reporters, people at companies that have provided equipment, and, of course, very large donors of equipment and funds.

Of course there will be video, but it won't necessarily be real time. We will be accepting some questions for the speakers/panel via email. I'm sure there will be an announcement about that later.

I informed Dan and David that there would be complaints about this (small) format. Feel free to send them directly to Dan and David.

Angela and I are having a picnic/party in a local park on Saturday, May 23. Everyone is invited to help us celebrate SETI@home's anniversary. If you would like to attend, send a PM to Angela. The more the merrier.
886) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Fun with 618,813 pulses... (Message 877279)
Posted 19 Mar 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi again everyone. Looks like I've broken my promise of weekly blog entries by 41 days or so. Oh well, nobody's perfect (except Angela, of course). Anyway, you know those times when you get so involved in your work that you do things like forget to eat or go home? It's been like that. (That and, unfortunately, I can't really bring myself to believe that posting to a web site is really part of what I get paid to do.)

This week I've been busy thinking about how to remove radio frequency interference (RFI) from the Astropulse database. As you may recall, Astropulse has a big problem with radar. There's a radar blanking system at the observatory, but that only tracks the FAA radar. There are about 6 other radar systems that we see in our data, and the radar blanking system does nothing about them. Matt's working on a way to remove the rest of them, but until then we need to figure out a way to work around them.

This is a waterfall plot of 618,813 pulses we've gotten back from Astropulse version 5.03 (as of yesterday). Rather than the usual spectrogram type waterfall which would be a plot of frequency versus time, this is a plot of dispersion measure (DM) versus time. DM in this case is how much sooner the high frequencies arrived than the low frequencies did. A dispersion measure of 15000 means that the 1.42125GHz radiation arrived 15000 samples (6 milliseconds) before the 1.41875GHz radiation did. I've compressed the time axis to get rid of the spaces between different observations.



The regions that are radar contaminated are pretty obvious. Anyplace that doesn't look smooth and random is radar. The easiest way is just to throw out any workunit where Astropulse says it detects multiple pulses that saturate the amplifiers. That's shown in the next plot.



That does a pretty good job of removing the worst times. But it leave behind some vertical RFI features, one at a DM of -14,200, another at a DM of 5,600, another at a DM of 11,000, etc. But we have other ways to remove RFI. RFI tends to show up at specific dispersion measures. One way is if the signal stays around when you are looking at another part of the sky. So I threw together a program (written in IDL) that grabs 10,000 pulses from around the same time, but from different parts of the sky from a signal I want to check, and then calculates the probability than that many signals would occur at that dispersion measure due to random noise. If the probability is less than 1 in a thousand, I consider it to be RFI. If there were no RFI, it would still remove one out of every thousand signals, but that's an acceptable loss. The next image is the signals that this algorithm determined to be RFI (25% of the total) the first time it was run.



And here's what it didn't think was RFI...



It's got some problems left in the radar region, but it got rid of a few of the leftovers that the previous method left. Best of all, I can run it multiple times on what didn't get flagged the first time. The second time I ran it, it removed 4% more of the signals. I'm running it a third time right now, but I haven't made images of those runs.

If we use both methods, we've got a pretty good system. Here's what's left over if I combine the first run of the RFI rejecter with rejecting the signals from workunits where there were multiple amplifier saturation events.



Now all that's left in the short term is to port the algorithm to C++ and have it write the results back into the database. I'd also like to know what that splat is at an index of 70 and a DM of 300 is. But that's a story for another time...

I'll try to make my next post in less than a week to make up for my missing time.
887) Message boards : Number crunching : Confusing results for old AP workunit. (Message 877226)
Posted 19 Mar 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Looks like there's bug in the validator that marked an unvalidated result as validated. Fortunately the workunit itself isn't considered validated until a canonical result is identified.

I'm looking for the source of the problem.
888) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption IX..... (Message 877109)
Posted 19 Mar 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Yo quiero diving bell.
889) Message boards : Number crunching : Completed, can't validate (Message 876307)
Posted 16 Mar 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
We used to run a script daily to grant credit for cases where a workunit errors out, but it appears that was disabled some time ago. I'll re-enable it temporarily and ask Matt and Jeff why we disabled it. Probably because of database speed issue.

Eric
890) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What do you know, it's a brand new year... (Message 876242)
Posted 16 Mar 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Eric, just wanna remind you of something... :-)


My bad. Bad bad Eric.
891) Message boards : Number crunching : AP WUs - when will they ever be available again? (Message 864540)
Posted 12 Feb 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
FYI, Astropulse 5.03 was released and workunit generation is back on. However, because the results are not compatible with 5.02, it was added as a new application (astropulse_v5).

892) Message boards : Number crunching : Seti@Home Cuda Sluggishness (Message 862354)
Posted 5 Feb 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
GPUs aren't really built for task switching, and as far as I know a CUDA code snippet occupies the entire GPU pipeline for the duration of its run, which could be as long as a couple seconds. I don't think the GPU drivers include anything that could be considered preemptive task switching. There isn't a lot that an app can do if a GPU task can't be broken into a bunch of small code snippets.

We have always recommended that you turn off background processing if you run CUDA apps. Eventually, according to David, there will be a separate option to turn off background processing for CUDA. But that could be months away.

Eric
893) Message boards : Number crunching : AMD testers needed (Message 862351)
Posted 5 Feb 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Contacted David a couple of times before I started this. He said this is way to complicated..


<yoda>Always with him it cannot be done.</yoda>

I sometimes do it anyway, too. :)
894) Message boards : Number crunching : AMD testers needed (Message 862151)
Posted 5 Feb 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Hi Fred,

Any chance you'd be willing to donate the code to BOINC? It'd be nice to have this in the BOINC client, even if it won't work on every platform.

Eric
895) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : I finally got my Sith name... (Message 857970)
Posted 26 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I finally got my Sith name. Unfortunately, it's Darth Flammable.

I was hoping my Master would break with tradition and give me a decent name. I guess not.

Way back in the days of Darth Bane, a Sith Lord's name just needed to sound menacing. And that tradition carried forth through to the most famous of the Sith Lords, Darth Sidious. After a couple of disappointing students, Lord Sidious decided that the formula used for his name was best, and thus Lord Vader was born.

Following the tragedy at Endor, the Sith Lords decided to follow this new process of dropping a prefix when generating new names. But given the tragic end of Darth Plosion and the embarrassment that was Darth Hibitionist, they eventually decided that only the prefix "in-" need apply.

For a while it worked. Darth Visible worked his clever plans without interference, and no jail could hold Darth Nocent. But despite those early successes, no one was sure what Darth Coherent was talking about. And Darth Continent left nothing but a mess in his wake. To quote Yoda (that $#&*%@!) Darth Complete never finished what he began. We won't even mention Darth Ept.

I was hoping for Darth Comparable or Darth Genious, but no, I get stuck with Darth Flammable. I guess I need to give up smoking and stay away from gas stations. I'll need to develop a form of light saber that isn't capable of burning holes in things. That kind of defeats the purpose.

If I survive to have apprentices of my own, I'm going to go back to the old style naming conventions. Darth Flammable... But then again, what should I expect from a Master named Darth Competent.
896) Message boards : Number crunching : Version 6.08 in Main (Message 856056)
Posted 21 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I think I've solved the problem... Does it work now?

When generating our cryptographics signatures on the executable files, the files get copied from our workstations to a USB drive. That drive gets connected to a secure machine (no network, locked up in a cage) which contains our signing key. The files are signed and the files and signatures are copied to the download server. Apparently in that final copy a single bit error crept into the file "cudart.dll". I've overwritten it with a clean copy.

Eric
897) Message boards : Number crunching : Version 6.08 in Main (Message 856041)
Posted 21 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Is anyone successfully able to download 6.08?
898) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Payola... (Don't I wish!) (Message 854526)
Posted 17 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Because of simultanously MB/AP on CPU and MB (AP?*) on GPU..
The devs are on this, that it'll be possible in future?
(also with optimized apps?)


That's the plan...


[* We'll see in future an AP-CUDA-app also?]


That is definitely the plan. At least one volunteer is working on it.
899) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Payola... (Don't I wish!) (Message 854301)
Posted 16 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Q. Is David Anderson trying to get a job at NVIDIA?

A. I highly doubt it. It's not really his area of expertise, so I don't know what he would do there. So far he's got enough grant money to pay his salary here. I don't see a reason for him to leave.

On a related note, someone mentioned that we wouldn't want to jeopardize our "tenured" positions here. Nobody on the SETI@home or BOINC staffs are tenured. We're research scientists, not teaching faculty. We jump through the same hoops that the faculty does to get tenure, but at the end of that process we don't get a guaranteed job/paycheck.

The process I went through to go from "Assistant Research Astronomer" to "Associate Research Astronomer" was similar to that an "Assistant Professor" goes through to become a tenured "Associate Professor." But at the end of it my paycheck is smaller than a Professors and I'm required to bring in enough grant and donation money to fund my own salary. If I don't I won't get fired, but I also won't get paid.

Q. How badly was the science damaged by the problems with the CUDA app?

A. About 3% of our results are generated by machines running CUDA and about 0.1% were from cuda results validated against cuda results. About 20% (by my survey of CUDA a fraction of CUDA results) of those were bad overflows (although they come in bunches that make the problem look worse than it is.), so we've lost about 0.02% [edited because of typo] of our science. Compared to our problems with radar leaking through, it's minor. But we may decide to reanalyze all of the overflow workunits from these dates if we start catching up the the rate data is coming in from the telescope. We also may want to do that for a lot of tapes when/if we are able to improve our radar rejection.

Q. If my GPU gets bad results or locks up my system, will it be replaced under warranty?

That's up to the company that made the graphics board. If it were my GPU I would certainly try to get it replaced. If it gets bad results in SETI@home, it might hang when you are doing something important like pwning n00bz.

Q. Was the release rushed through beta?

Yes. I thought I made that point in the original post. I underestimated the problems that were encountered in beta. Hopefully most of those are fixed in 6.08.
900) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Payola... (Don't I wish!) (Message 854107)
Posted 16 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
This week I'm taking a request. I'll be talking about the release of the SETI@home/BOINC CUDA applications and some of the backlash it has caused. Let's do this interview style, for clarity's sake.

Q. Well that didn't go quite the way you planned, did it?

A. Well, no, it didn't. But I have to admit I've seen worse software rollouts. The initial release of SETI@home comes to mind. I still hear complaints about that one.

Q. Then why did you do it?

A. For years we've been under pressure from various sources to get out a GPU version of SETI@home. When NVIDIA offered to do the port we jumped at the chance. The timing could have been better, though. We felt pressure to release when we did, partially because we had prearranged the date to coincide with the press release.

Q. NVIDIA gave you a big pile of cash to do it during the holiday season, right?

A. No. NVIDIA's total donations to SETI@home in the last year have been two graphics cards, with total value less than $500. Even if they had, my understanding of the University rules is that we cannot agree to provide specific services in exchange for a donation. If we did, it would stop being a donation and become a contract, which is subject to entirely different rules. The big thing NVIDIA did was to develop the application. If someone from another graphics card manufacturer were to do the same for their cards, we would work with them.

To be completely honest, ATI donated a graphics card in 2007, but couldn't donate any resources to the porting effort. So an ATI port didn't happen at that time. If they've got a programmer with the time now ....

Q. Did you ask NVIDIA to make a donation?

A. Not in exchange for any work we did. Dan did query a contact of his at NVIDIA (unassociated with the porting effors) and was informed that current economic conditions made a donation unlikely.

NVIDIA has donated to SETI@home in the past. (IIRC, the last donation was in about 2003, although I would have to do a lot of digging to find out exactly when). It was around the time we had a student working with porting the preliminary version of Astropulse to GPUs. At that time we decided the limited graphics card memory and the asymmetric nature of the AGP bus limited the performance of GPUs to be less than that of CPUs. Things have changed since then.

Q. How do I know that NVIDIA didn't pay you under the table?

A. That's really a ridiculous accusation. They wouldn't be dumb enough to offer it, and we wouldn't be dumb enough to take it. They could have made an above-board donation, gotten a tax deduction for it, and additional accolades for being a good corporate citizen.

What it comes down to is that people at NVIDIA thought this release and the effort they put into it was valuable to NVIDIA. David felt that it was valuable to BOINC and the BOINC community. And I felt that, after years of being asked to develop a GPU application, it wasn't a bad thing for SETI@home. In hindsight I could have pushed back on the release date. It's too late to do that now. I could have also pushed David to have CUDA be an "opt-in" system, with CPU apps being the default. That can be fixed, and I'll probably push on it in the future.

Q. Are you going to fix the bugs?

A. NVIDIA's developer (and Jorden and Raistmer (thanks guys)) have been working on it since the release. If seti_cuda 6.08 works out in beta overnight, we'll probably release it late tomorrow. It should fix a lot of the problems.

Q. Can I ask more questions?

A. Feel free. But it's late, and I have to take Angela to a conference in Burlingame in the morning. I'll answer some of them tomorrow.

In support of full disclosure, I own a small number of NVIDIA shares, which I purchased in 1999. The total dollar value is far below the threshold that the University and the State of California have for reporting a conflict of interest. In fact when we did do a matching grant proposal for the NVIDIA donations (also circa 2003), I got laughed at for reporting it as a potential conflict of interest. Somehow I don't think SETI@home affects NVIDIA's stock price much.
901) Message boards : Number crunching : Open question for Eric..... (Message 854056)
Posted 16 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Midnight Pacific that is. It's 7:41pm and I have to pick up Angela at 8:05, which should give me enough time to get home, eat dinner, and post something before Midnight.
902) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What do you know, it's a brand new year... (Message 854052)
Posted 16 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
My avatar will change again on Monday.
903) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What do you know, it's a brand new year... (Message 852817)
Posted 13 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

Eric, looking here and here might be a good occasion for being pontificate...

Especially the why (was it released early) and if (it affects science) are of great interest - at least to cool down the rumor mill.


That's what I'll blog about this week.... Not today though. Have an app to get into beta.
904) Message boards : Technical News : Blanding (Jan 12 2009) (Message 852806)
Posted 13 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Definitely two different bugs. New app is going into beta shortly.

Eric
905) Message boards : Number crunching : Open question for Eric..... (Message 852801)
Posted 13 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
I will post my insights on the CUDA issue on Thursday in the Staff Blog.
906) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What do you know, it's a brand new year... (Message 851359)
Posted 9 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

One suggestion to make these updates easier is to keep them short.


Yeah, I think the problem is that I felt that I needed to say something informative, educational, funny, interesting and important all at once which made blogging more difficult than it should have been.

I still may pontificate on occasion, but most postings will be shorter than that.
907) Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : What do you know, it's a brand new year... (Message 851100)
Posted 9 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
And it's only been 9 months since my last blog entry. And as some of you may know the last year sucked in a major way. One of our cats died and it kind of went down hill from there. Angela was sick for most of it, and was totally out of commission for the last 7 weeks of the year. To top it all off Angela may have proven that her raccoons can out-think me. But that year is over, and we're going to forget all about it.

So once again, I'm going to commit myself to trying to improve communication between the project staff and the volunteers. And this time I mean it. A posting a week, at least. I'll even try to keep some of them interesting, although as usual I won't promise to stick to SETI@home, Astronomy, or even life in the universe. Matt does a pretty good job of explaining the day to day challenges we face, so I'll spend time discussing broader topics.

Catch you next week.
908) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Validation although result is not correct (Message 850245)
Posted 6 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Jeff said that he found the bug that was causing this. Don't know if he has put the fix into production yet.

Eric
909) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Snow on the screen ? (Message 849860)
Posted 5 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:

I now feel that the release of CUDA was premature. There should be built in temp monitoring of the GPU and fan control on the GPU.


According to NVIDIA temperature monitoring and fan control are built into the driver. It seems that some cards aren't living up to their specs or there are things missing from the drivers.
910) Questions and Answers : GPU applications : Cuda running much better when GPU under 60 C (Message 849859)
Posted 5 Jan 2009 by Eric Korpela Project Donor
Post:
Supposidly, the GPU can take temps up to 110c (cuda forum at nvidia) and I am running 57c (no load) - 63c (full load)


That depends. I've seen earlier generation GPUs (not necessarily NVIDIA GPUs) that needed to be underclocked straight out of the box in order to function properly. If a GPU consistently fails at what should be a normal operating temperature, and if underclocking or boosting the fan from the auto setting solves the problem, you might have a problem card, or a problem with the heat sink mounting. It's also possible that the automatic fan setting isn't speeding up the fan soon enough.

Try out some 3D benchmarks. See if they operate properly at the same temperatures. That's not necessarily proof that numerics should work, since most 3D benchmarks don't check w