Computer Time Shares?

Shared Couputers.  Good Idea??

A Long Row of Radio Telescopes
Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

I’m seeing more and more of the “Make Money from Your Computer When It’s Idle” pitches in the Traffic Exchanges.  Lots More.  I know you are hurting for cash, I know that your computer sits still for hours at a time, I know.  I’m certainly not going to tell you what you should do, but I would like you to think about this specific situation before you try it.  There are more than a few things that can go wrong.  And we all remember Mr. Murphy’s law, I suspect.

Pssst.  Borrow your Computer??

I’m not making comment on any specific ad, I have not checked any of them out.  But I’m seeing quite a few of the “Make Money with Your Computer While It’s Sitting Still” ads out and about.  I am very skeptical about these.  Very.  Is somebody just wanting to rent my computer and ip address to post spam and illegal activity?  That’s my first thought.

Far as I know, the practice of using your computer in idle time goes back to SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) in the 90s.  Their pitch was to use your CPU when you were offline to run the mammoth calculations that they need to monitor the entire Galaxy.  I actually bought into it for a short amount of time, it felt like I was helping a legitimate scientific project in some small way…

You used my Computer for WHAT??

The problem with the SETI project, from my point of view, was the time and effort it took to get my computer back to normal after they had used it.  Processors were (much) smaller, internet was (much) slower, it just took too much out of my day to ‘help out’.

Of course, there were abuses.  Viruses implanted, porn sites promoted, etc.  I didn’t get any of that, but it’s what killed the project.  With today’s offers, I don’t see any oversight at all, at least SETI tried to do the right thing.

Downside Possibilities

How would you feel if your computer were the one used by a child porn ring??  Think about that for a minute.

Idle access to your computer would be a perfect time to install a Trojan Horse that would allow the controllers to use your IP address for whatever they want.  I know that 50% of the spam that hits my website comes from legitimate IPs that have been conscripted.

How good are your passwords?  Could somebody with 8 hours and dedicated software crack them?  How would that feel?  How much could that cost??

I’m just really suggesting that you think this process through before you try it.  There is a LOT of things that can go wrong.

I’m just sayin’


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