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September 21st, 2002

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11:00 pm - Top of the taps
I'm going to make this post now while it remains current.

Back on the fourth, I posted about "Project Dolphin", a project to count the number of keystrokes performed by its participants. Seventeen days in, my 510,683 keystrokes have advanced me to 7,923rd place out of 24,164 (just into the top third) and the LiveJournal team to 461st place out of 1,746 (nearly into the top quarter).

The reason why this is particularly timely at the moment is that within seventeen days, I have become the most prolific contributor to the LiveJournal team. Of course, the statistics change frequently, but I shall cut-and-paste the stats chart that I saw in here:

The LiveJournal Typing Team

Click on a user's name to find out more about that user. (F) = Founder  
RankAccount NameCountryContributionTotal KeysLast Pulse
7920jiggery_pokeryUnited Kingdom510,680510,683Sep 21 at 4:41:36pm
7692viggles5788United States506,665532,881Sep 21 at 12:39:00pm
8067xHyperboyUnited States495,010495,330Sep 18 at 12:53:28pm
8711sysop073United States436,458436,458Sep 21 at 4:41:11pm
10577skuna421United States298,732298,732Sep 21 at 3:44:16pm
10993PiranhaExMachinaUnited States275,262275,286Sep 21 at 2:55:49pm
11090vanityboyUnited States264,187270,021Sep 21 at 2:42:57pm
11185HighWizardUnited States262,566263,815Sep 21 at 10:46:38am
11477SpooMastaUnited States245,893245,893Sep 21 at 02:23:13am
12402the_man_stephenUnited Kingdom197,246197,246Sep 21 at 4:13:34pm
12632subbesUnited States186,747186,747Sep 20 at 3:24:01pm
12152alyziaUnited States169,749210,031Sep 21 at 2:31:31pm
13217eternallynumbUnited States160,745160,745Sep 21 at 4:31:11pm
10602ripewithdecayUnited States125,246297,265Sep 20 at 1:46:14pm
14275strandistUnited States116,959116,959Sep 13 at 3:30:07pm
3784Leko (F)United States112,7461,225,358Sep 09 at 7:47:19pm
18426bearcamUnited States7,6248,423Sep 03 at 6:08:17pm
(F) = Founder  

What can we conclude from this? Well, I write fairly extensively in my LiveJournal, I have moderately expensive USENET and Yahoo! Groups habits and I've even been in a number of web chats recently, which is rather unlike me. On the downside, I haven't got in touch with any of the other Project Dolphin participants yet, so the project does not have the great social side that it might. Perhaps it might be fun to start a LJPD team community, for instance.

However, I am not convinced that all 510,000+ keystrokes recorded are valid. Looking at the count from time to time, I think there have been a few cases where my client and the Project Dolphin servers are not properly co-ordinated. Specifically, my client registers (say) 20,000 keystrokes and sends a pulse. The master server receives the pulse. My client does not acknowledge that the server has received it; instead of zeroing the count, it assumes that the pulse has not been correctly received and continues to count onwards from 20,000. The next time the pulse is sent, the server will have effectively counted those 20,000 keystrokes twice. I would estimate that such double-counting is repsonsible for possibly 40,000 of my 63,000 Tuesday 10th keystrokes, 20,000 of my Wednesday 11th keystrokes and 11,000 of my Friday 20th keystrokes. I'm still happy enough about perhaps 440,000 of the half-million recorded. (However, I haven't been deliberately doing anything to cause the client-server interaction to malfunction, so I would expect that there is an element of this in all the participants' totals. Perhaps those who know more about how to get said interaction to malfunction could be racking up huge totals this way.)

If all Project Dolphin does is to register keystrokes and it does not do that single job reliably, why participate in it at all? For now, at least, it remains the only game in town.
Current Mood: geeky - yes, very geeky
Current Music: tappity tappity tappity on the keyboard...

(1 comment | Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2002 07:36 pm (UTC)
Very good point. There is a page on exactly this topic with their privacy policy. However, you have reminded me that I took it very much at face value and haven't been too thoughtful about it at all. Poor practice indeed. I count myself reminded.

I guess that part of my thinking on the matter is that the project is so geeky that if there were anything suspicious going on then some geek somewhere would have cried "shenanigans" about it now. Not exactly the most logical or rigorous sort of analysis when you think about it, really...

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