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Re: A comment on using CPU resources
From: "Security" <security () sustainedhits com>
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2005 14:12:42 -0400

I had an issue with my Firefox browser. The browser was static, yet it was
using 70% or 80% of the CPU of the system.
It got me to thinking. Java is a programming language. What would prevent companies from running a java script on your computer while you are viewing
their page that uses your CPU to do some computing for them?  Instead of
selling (or in addition to selling) advertising the company could also sell
CPU to other companies.

I was thinking something along these same lines the other day.

The only drawbacks I could figure (and possible solutions to) are:

- Not all clients will be executing the java (security problems, lack of java, etc.) - Not all clients will complete the execution of the java (could be avoided by having smaller code blocks executed in series or parallel with a push/pull on the clientside when the block completes.) This would occur if the user hits back or closes the browser, and utilizing a onclose() or onblur() or whatnot will help although not all clients will honor these. - Not all users will like this, should they find out you are doing it what kind of legal trouble could you get into (if any)?

You'd need a lot of people running this for any reasonable amount of CPU cycles being available to you, and some very intuitive code to deal with running for an unknown amount of time (before the user clicks something).

Another thing to think of, flash animation clicks that are handled by the movie won't stop java. The user can click an item in the flash movie without changing the current document's href, which will leave your java threads running. This is a way to ensure your code is executed for at least as long as it takes to load the flash, if the user waits at least that long.

Just my $0.02, as I said I was putting some thought into this just the other day, although I hadn't considered selling the CPU cycles.

Chris @ Sustained Hits


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