Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

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Ageless
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Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Ageless » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:52 pm

I asked my co-writers through email what we should do with true commercial projects, like Shoft and Gridfinity, should they be visible in amongst the list of projects, or be ignored (as I have done so far).

Answers thus far:
Jakob Creutzfeld wrote:Well, my first thought was (and still is): No. But on a second view, I think it's necessary to inform (and warn) other volunteers of a commercial mis-use of BOINC software. I would put them in a special category, something like "WARNING! Commercial use projects ahead! Use at your own risk!", so it's there as a kind of warning for those who doesn't know that these projects are of commercial content (or abuse).

On the other hand, how can one be sure that e.g. rosetta doesn't turn into a commercial project, as soon as they have found a cure against e.g. cancer? Will those gravitational waves occasionally found by [email protected] turn into a top secret army thingy when detected? Is it save to upload my placemark to [email protected] or will they come and plunder my gold?

AFAIC, putting them in a special category is ok, by only as a short warning, no detailed infos about those projects needed.
David wrote:I think BOINC was made to support research that have no economic support, such as basic research (proteins folding, gravitational wave search, ...). I think it is very important and has not been seen before, now scientists can do research with BOINC huge computer, and most of them could not be done without this supercomputer. But there are a part of research made by companies that is made to obtain profit, but also benefit everybody. For example, farmaceutical companies which do not do research on some diseases because it is not profitable, companies related to the green energy, ... By other side I think research about things like how win money in stock changes, ..., which are only profitable to the company should not be shown.

I also think people who see a project in Boinc Faqs has to be able to see if the proyect is for profit or not (in BOINC survey most of people say they are linked to it because have public results an is for public interest), so they can choose if link or not, and if it is a company proyect what makes for people to crunch their workunits.
Logan wrote:My personal opinion is that one should not show the projects that get richer
thanks to the free work of the volunteers.

If they are earning money thanks to the volunteers, this projects should spend a little of their profits make their own FAQ services, advertising and marketing to attract volunteers and assume it as a cost.

If we included them, I think we will be doing free advertising and marketing.

This is just my personal opinion. I gladly accept any decision taken at last.
What do you think?

Logan
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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Logan » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:25 pm

David wrote:... For example, farmaceutical companies which do not do research on some diseases because it is not profitable...
David I disagree in that point... I was working these last 8,5 years for a pharmaceutical company as IT consultor (from a IT services company). It's like your example of a stock exchange company searching for profits... The owner, has a lot of money to do that investigation, and if he had it for free, anyway, he will make a patent over it and then sell us the resultant products at gold price.

Who crunchs the research data? Volunteers…(for free…)
Who makes the patent? Pharmaceutical’s owner.
Who gets the final product? Only who can pay the gold price of that orphan products…
Who gets profit? The Pharmaceutical's owner and the little elite of the world who can pay these orphan and expensive products.

I know what I say, believe me...

But I still disposed to crunch for any pharmaceutical project what specify by contract that the results will be for free and not under his own patent.

Best regards.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by David » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:32 pm

Logan. You know much more than I do about pharmaceutical companies. I agree with you.

I think every project which is in BOIC Faqs should be to obtain results for free.

BOINC community and the free projects joined to it do the hard work, they make discoveries (or maybe make them). This is the most important and more difficult part. But many of these projects want results, to obtain things that are profitable for everybody. I think many people working in BOINC for free would like for example to know that a BOINC project have made possible cheap and efficient solar cells for every home in the world. This things have to be manufactured and sold. So with these free discoveries, any company in every country could manufacture the related products, without need to pay for a patent, and nobody would have exclusive wrights to manufacture them, and no company would have wrights to sell these products with speculative prices. I think companies would be interested to do research for free. BOINC supercomputer has had a huge growth. BOINC have reached 1,209 TFLOPS as published on Boincstats, and the fastest supercomputer in the world have reached "a sustained processing rate of 1.026 PFLOPS" as publised on en.wikipedia.

Best regards,

David M

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Logan » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:23 am

David wrote:Logan. You know much more than I do about pharmaceutical companies. I agree with you.

I think every project which is in BOIC Faqs should be to obtain results for free.

BOINC community and the free projects joined to it do the hard work, they make discoveries (or maybe make them). This is the most important and more difficult part. But many of these projects want results, to obtain things that are profitable for everybody. I think many people working in BOINC for free would like for example to know that a BOINC project have made possible cheap and efficient solar cells for every home in the world. This things have to be manufactured and sold. So with these free discoveries, any company in every country could manufacture the related products, without need to pay for a patent, and nobody would have exclusive wrights to manufacture them, and no company would have wrights to sell these products with speculative prices. I think companies would be interested to do research for free. BOINC supercomputer has had a huge growth. BOINC have reached 1,209 TFLOPS as published on Boincstats, and the fastest supercomputer in the world have reached "a sustained processing rate of 1.026 PFLOPS" as publised on en.wikipedia.

Best regards,

David M
Well....

In a few words, you are saying that if I make a water engine, my life is pending of about 3, 2 ,1 seconds...? :)

Ah...! the solar cells are not profitable. The making cost is over the profit that can you obtain in they active life... Try with the wind generators... Now its the best option.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Ageless » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:34 am

Look, I understand that some of the projects out there will eventually find cures to the strangest of diseases and that the medicines resulting from this will cost money, or that they find a good, safe and cheap way to store hydrogen into fuel cells. That's not the problem I personally have with those projects. It's projects that do it only for the money, but are too skinny to pay for a super computer. Projects who won't ever release any information on what they've found through work we have done, unless it pays them big bucks.

I like Jakob's approach though. Just have one thread in the FAQs that lists these projects with a big warning at the top and bottom. If only we could use colours in the FAQs. ;)

We're not in a hurry to decide, though. So if you have another opinion, do tell.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by John McLeod VII » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:56 am

My opinion is that we should have a standard header with some relevant information in it. For example:

Area: (astronomy, physics, mathematics, games, unknown, ...)
Hosting roganization or individual: (name of the university, company, individual, unknown, ...)
The results are going to be: (public domain, for a for profit company, ...)
Status: (Rumored, Pre Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Production, Ceased, Off line for a long time, Unknown)
URL:
Contact: (email, phone, BLOG link, forum link, none, ...)

...

I am certain that we can figure out more things that can be in a standardized header.

I believe that we should display the for profit projects with a warning that they are for profit. iF we are not going t post the warning, we should not add the for profit projects.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Logan » Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:07 am

John McLeod VII wrote:My opinion is that we should have a standard header with some relevant information in it. For example:

Area: (astronomy, physics, mathematics, games, unknown, ...)
Hosting roganization or individual: (name of the university, company, individual, unknown, ...)
The results are going to be: (public domain, for a for profit company, ...)
Status: (Rumored, Pre Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Production, Ceased, Off line for a long time, Unknown)
URL:
Contact: (email, phone, BLOG link, forum link, none, ...)

...

I am certain that we can figure out more things that can be in a standardized header.

I believe that we should display the for profit projects with a warning that they are for profit. iF we are not going t post the warning, we should not add the for profit projects.

Something like the project clasification in the BOINC wiki.. But with more informatión.. Isn´t bad...

But, do you think that we can find all this information for anyone of the projects?

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Neil » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:06 am

Ageless wrote:I like Jakob's approach though. Just have one thread in the FAQs that lists these projects with a big warning at the top and bottom. If only we could use colours in the FAQs. ;)
It's coming, hopefully sometime this week ;-)

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by John McLeod VII » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:02 pm

Logan wrote:
John McLeod VII wrote:My opinion is that we should have a standard header with some relevant information in it. For example:

Area: (astronomy, physics, mathematics, games, unknown, ...)
Hosting roganization or individual: (name of the university, company, individual, unknown, ...)
The results are going to be: (public domain, for a for profit company, ...)
Status: (Rumored, Pre Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Production, Ceased, Off line for a long time, Unknown)
URL:
Contact: (email, phone, BLOG link, forum link, none, ...)

...

I am certain that we can figure out more things that can be in a standardized header.

I believe that we should display the for profit projects with a warning that they are for profit. iF we are not going t post the warning, we should not add the for profit projects.

Something like the project clasification in the BOINC wiki.. But with more informatión.. Isn´t bad...

But, do you think that we can find all this information for anyone of the projects?
No. That is why "Unknown" appears in many of the options. Including some that should always be available. Also, Contact may have multiple entries.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Ageless » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:58 pm

For the writers, I have a test FAQ open. It's not to be published. You can add to it, work with it, change it etc. You will need to be logged in on the BOINC FAQ Service before you click the link. Non writers can't see it.

http://boincfaq.mundayweb.com/faqAdmin.php?view=427

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Neil » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:42 pm

Hi all,

Slightly off topic, colours have been added - see the Colours added! thread for more info.

Neil.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Ageless » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:12 am

mo.v wrote:This is an interesting question. It's also important because Google searches show that the FAQ Service must be getting a lot of hits.

I would say that purely commercial projects should only be included if all or almost all the current FAQ contributors agree. As the FAQ website's hosted on Neil Munday's server, Neil should also agree.

If commercial projects decided to put some of its profits into helping finance the costs of volunteers, it might be easier to include them. For example, if a commercial project offered to pay some of the ongoing costs of Neil Munday's server. Or offered Jorden a free extra computer to enable him carry to out even more BOINC tests(!). Or sponsored BOINC meetings, or subsidised the cost of volunteers travelling to them. I think such scenarios are unlikely in the near future.

The documentation we produce is of course freely available to everyone, including commercial projects. But should we actively advertise commercial products or services, which is what the inclusion of commercial projects would mean? We would be offering free web space that's already high in Google rankings - quite a valuable commodity.

The inclusion of commercial projects might alienate ordinary BOINC crunchers/FAQ readers who think they belong to a community of volunteers.

I think we should only include in the listing those projects (even volunteer projects) whose website makes it clear where the project is, who's running it, and what the purpose of the workunits is. In every case the people running the project should be contactable
by email or on a forum. The BFS doesn't have to include every project and should err on the side of caution. I see no value in the BFS effectively advertising crunching that as far as we know may have no useful purpose.

In one sense BOINC is supposed to be value-free ie usable by anyone for any purpose. Even if we restrict the projects the FAQ website effectively advertises, we'd still be offering free advice and value-free to every project. But as we know that generally speaking electricity use increases CO2 emissions I think we have some responsibility to direct BOINC crunchers towards useful crunching.

So my reservations are not only about commercial projects but also about some of the volunteer ones.

Thanks for collecting contributors' views on this topic.

Mo

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by Neil » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:31 pm

Hi all,

In my opinion, the BFS should be unbiased where possible and should not advocate one project over another. If commercial projects are to be included, they should be clearly identifiable to the user. They should not be slated for being a commercial project either - both volunteer and commercial projects could potentially lead to some sort of scientific break through.

Projects (whether they be commercial or volunteer based) that have no scientific benefit and are effectively wasting CPU cycles should be highlighted in some way for the user so that they can make an informed decision about which projects to crunch for.

Ultimately, we must all agree or come to some sort of compromise.

Either way, I will go with the majority opinion and continue to provide hosting and software support.

Just my five cents... ;-)

Neil.

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Re: Discussion on what to do with commerical projects in the BFS

Post by David » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:54 am

I think BOINC FAQs are to help people to join BOINC. Other is help choose which projects to join, giving the necessary information to people can choose the proyects they want to join. Each choose is as a vote. To do this I think the example format is very good. As we are with color monitors I propose this visual improvements.

Type of project: Area
Sponsoring organization: university name
Results will be: Public Domain
Results will be: Kept by a for profit company
Results will be: Unknown
Project Status: Alpha

I did not choose red but orange, because I think this should be caution, not danger. I do not know if they mean the same all around the world, that is the meaning in Spain.

I also propose to add a second level to the BOINC FAQ categories. For example:

11. Proyects
11.1 Phisics
11.2 Biology

because there are a lot of proyects and this way they would be organized. This would help with translating BOINC FAQs Terminology also.

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