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Two fool for school: Headmaster, vice principal busted for mining crypto-coins in dorms, classrooms

Sandtitz Silver badge

I once had a small biomedical client whose fully incompetent IT guy used to run Seti@Home in every workstation and server. Some workstations were overclocked, of course.

d3vy Silver badge

I used to work in a small computer shop where the two workshop managers had been competing to see who had the best home PC by running seti at home.. it then escalated to installing the seti service on every machine they built or fixed... There's probably still a school in Blackpool with a room full of seti churning PCs....

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Makes you wonder how much cumulative energy has been wasted by computers running SETI.

On a related note, did the crowd-compute schemes for protein folding ever produce anything worthwhile, relative to the energy used?

IceC0ld Bronze badge

On a related note, did the crowd-compute schemes for protein folding ever produce anything worthwhile, relative to the energy used?


the conspiracy types will tell you that everything that was found to be usefu lhas been stashed down the back of various couches until there is a decent reason [ read $$$$ ] for it to be 'discovered' :oP

defiler Silver badge

Heh. I used to run SETI@Home on the office desktops. Not the servers, though. It was nip and tuck between me and the guy who had installed it all over Richer Sounds.

At least we were trying to do something productive. Crypto coins? Pfft.

Daedalus Silver badge

SETI is old hat

The cool kids now run Einstein@Home to process gravitational wave detector data.

Spazturtle Silver badge

"On a related note, did the crowd-compute schemes for protein folding ever produce anything worthwhile, relative to the energy used?"

Yes. Super computers don't get replaced often and they can only be upgraded by adding more of the same hardware. With distributed computing the computers in the network continually get replaced with more efficient and more powerful ones.


Makes you wonder how much cumulative energy has been wasted by computers running SETI.

On a related note, did the crowd-compute schemes for protein folding ever produce anything worthwhile, relative to the energy used?

Whilst the value of SETI@Home's goals can be debated till the cows come home, SETI pioneered the practical application of grid computing at scale, which is worth something. BOINC has a list of papers published by BOINC Projects.

Perhaps those results could have been found more efficiently in a purpose-built supercomputer rather than random people's computers (some running more efficiently than others), but if you don't have time allocated on a supercomputer, then it's a valuable resource compared to nothing.

Anonymous C0ward

2K in bills

But how much did he earn in crypto coins?

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: 2K in bills

I was wondering that too. The whole point of any mining or manufacturing process is to make a profit, whether that be cash or strategic advantage. So why was he so worried about the cost of the 'leccy? Is it maybe that the hype over cryptocurrency has outstripped the actual value of the currency. If the currency costs more to produce that it's worth, then it's just a bubble waiting to burst.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: 2K in bills

I read that the current Bitcoin price of $6000 is just above the average cost to mine one.

Of course, that depends a lot on how much you pay for electricity. The fact that miners are agressively looking into places where power is cheap is a pretty solid hint that they don't get a huge margin.

Simon B-52


1. "The headmaster in China"

2. "authorities found he and vice principal Wang Zhipeng were found to be running"

3. "the operation began at"

4. "Zhipeng, for his part, was issued a formal warning."

Daedalus Silver badge

Re: Proofreading......

Chinese names being what they are, I suspect that the perps' family names are respectively Lei and Wang, and the article is doing the equivalent of calling them Fred and Barney instead of Thompson and Thomson (or Dupond and Dupont for originalists).


I was working at a university when it was discovered that more than half of the university's hard drive space was open to filesharing services and filled with media files. What do you expect when you build a high speed pipeline to the nearest hub and give students and underpaid science staff unfettered access to it? Just for the sciences, my ass!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

When I was at uni, home broadband hadn't really happened properly yet. It was home 56K modem if you were lucky. The university had some stupendous speed line (100Mbps or so leased line was AMAZING for the day). They also issued accounts with quota'd storage, but the quota was huge.

It was a common thing to go in on Saturday (remote access wasn't really a thing at modem speeds) and just download a ton of shite, and stick it on ZIP disks (the PCs all had ZIP drives) or even floppies (showing my age) and take it home. Literally, sneakernet via the London Underground had a greater bandwidth than anything I could achieve at home. It wasn't unusual for me to come back with a 50-floppy spanned ZIP file. I got to know the command line version of PKZIP very well.

At home, I did have a 1 x CD-recorder, so it was all kept for posterity too.

But I never once flagged on any quota audit or got discovered, despite the fact that there was a regular name-and-shame email that if you appeared on three times, you got a talking to and account restrictions. The reason I didn't get caught was mainly that the script that calculated home-folder sizes ran on Sunday and emailed you on Monday morning. I'd spend Mon-Fri downloading and then took it all home on Saturday.

The other reason I never got flagged is that I had an older brother who had been to the same university. His account was still active years after he left with the same password, and he had unlimited storage (as he had started on a PhD). I even went to the IT department and asked if it was okay for me to use, and they literally couldn't find the account, but then I just tried logging in and there it was. Even had full FTP access too, so it wasn't unusual to give it to friends at other places for them to upload / download stuff to it.

But I never bothered with "media" of any kind (not even that naughty stuff). There just wasn't much of it back then, and an MP3 or two was about it.

Now I admin networks (which, fittingly, have 100Mbps leased lines). Literally, I don't see how what I was doing was allowed or went unnoticed given the expense and rarity of that resource back then, or how they didn't pick up on the storage fluxing, or how people could just store tons of shite. But I probably have it better now that everyone has a connection. The worst I have now is a folder of MP3s or a rogue "sync all my Google Drive to my home folder".

600 users. 2Tb of active storage. That includes EVERYTHING, even email, for every user. That kind of space could only be dreamed of back then, but it's positively miniscule by today's standards.

Voland's right hand Silver badge

In addition to being fired from his headmaster position, Hua was apparently kicked out of China's Communist party.

Which is the REAL punishment in this case.

Peter Clarke 1

As well as his and (indirectly) family members Social Score being reset to zero

DropBear Silver badge

Yes yes but is it stored as signed or unsigned...? It would be pretty important to know in order to decide whether forcing the loss of one more point would be a good or bad idea...

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