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Old 2008-09-22, 19:28   #1
ixfd64
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Default slow news week?

OK, it's been almost a week since the new primes were announced, but we're still not getting much coverage at all. A few major websites (like Slashdot) did publish articles when the primes were reported, but nobody knew what the exponents were then. (I guess the fake residues had hidden them quite well this time.) However, they published no further articles after the exponents were announced. I guess the editors thought their job was done. (This is why I personally don't like the GIMPS home page yelling "nth known Mersenne prime found!" until it has actually been verified and announced.) By the time the new primes were announced, people have already lost interest. To make matters worse, many news websites disallow comments after a few days, so we can't go back to those articles and post what those exponents are.

It seems there is actually less coverage than the previous discoveries. In fact, a Google search for "43112609" mostly returns low traffic websites, such as forums and personal blogs. So far, no major news sources have announced the recent discoveries.

One would expect the recent finds to gain much more coverage due to the $100k EFF prize, but it seems like we're getting the opposite. Are we doing something wrong, or is this just a slow news week?

On the bright side, GIMPS' throughput did increase by several TFLOPS over the last few days!

Last fiddled with by ixfd64 on 2008-09-22 at 19:29 Reason: typo
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Old 2008-09-22, 19:38   #2
cheesehead
 
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Perhaps those of you out in California haven't noticed, because your state is ahead of most of the rest of us in this respect :-), but the rest of the country has been going through "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression". A couple of exotic quiche-eating French numbers ... just can't compete.
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Old 2008-09-23, 02:12   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
the rest of the country
Make that world and I'll agree.
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Old 2008-09-23, 07:28   #4
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Perhaps those of you out in California haven't noticed, because your state is ahead of most of the rest of us in this respect :-), but the rest of the country has been going through "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression". A couple of exotic quiche-eating French numbers ... just can't compete.
California --- same continent, different planet.

Paul
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Old 2008-09-23, 10:17   #5
jinydu
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfd64 View Post
On the bright side, GIMPS' throughput did increase by several TFLOPS over the last few days!
I don't think that could have been caused by an influx of new participants; there just hasn't been enough time for all but the fastest computers to finish a first LL test. Still, the timing is curious...

Last fiddled with by jinydu on 2008-09-23 at 10:17
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Old 2008-09-23, 12:25   #6
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfd64 View Post
It seems there is actually less coverage than the previous discoveries. In fact, a Google search for "43112609" mostly returns low traffic websites, such as forums and personal blogs. So far, no major news sources have announced the recent discoveries.
I think in general the new media are not bothered about details. The fact that some big primes were discovered will be enough to satisfy most John and Jane Doe's. Coming back later in another announcement with some seemingly useless numbers with complicated raised powers to typeset properly and that pesky "-1" is just too much trouble.
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Old 2008-09-23, 20:53   #7
only_human
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfd64 View Post
One would expect the recent finds to gain much more coverage due to the $100k EFF prize, but it seems like we're getting the opposite. Are we doing something wrong, or is this just a slow news week?
Maybe a better approach would be an underemphasis of the mathematics and an emphasis on the EFF prize. EFF Cooperative Computing Awards
Quote:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the first civil liberties group dedicated to protecting the health and growth of the Internet, is sponsoring cooperative computing awards, with over half a million dollars in prize money, to encourage ordinary Internet users to contribute to solving huge scientific problems.

Through the EFF Cooperative Computing Awards, EFF will confer prizes of:

* $50,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000 decimal digits (awarded Apr. 6, 2000)
* $100,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 10,000,000 decimal digits
* $150,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 100,000,000 decimal digits
* $250,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000,000 decimal digits

(Prize money comes from a special donation provided by an individual EFF supporter, earmarked specifically for this project. Prize money does NOT come from EFF membership dues, corporate or foundation grants, or other general EFF funds.)

EFF hopes to spur the technology of cooperative networking and encourage Internet users worldwide to join together in solving scientific problems involving massive computation. EFF is uniquely situated to sponsor these awards, since part of its mission is to encourage the harmonious integration of Internet innovations into the whole of society.

"The EFF awards are about cooperation," said John Gilmore, EFF co-founder and project leader for the awards. "Prime numbers are important in mathematics and encryption, but the real message is that many other problems can be solved by similar methods."

Finding these prime numbers will be no simple task, given today's computational power. It has taken mathematicians years to uncover and confirm new largest known primes. However, the computer industry produces millions of new computers each year, which sit idle much of the time, running screen savers or waiting for the user to do something. EFF is encouraging people to pool their computing power over the Internet, to work together to share this massive resource. In the process, EFF hopes to inspire experts to apply collaborative computing to large problems, and thereby foster new technologies and opportunities for everyone.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2008-09-23 at 21:02 Reason: added link title. increased quote size. added emphasis
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Old 2008-09-24, 02:53   #8
cheesehead
 
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Perhaps next time the press release title should be something like:

"Harmonious Cooperation Preserves Civil Liberties by Finding Largest Prime"

"Big Numbers + Big Cooperation = Largest Prime + Big Money + Electronic Liberties"

"Big Money for Big Collaboration on Big Numbers = Largest Prime + Electronic Freedom"

1. Ask the EFF for ideas.

2. Let's have a press-release-titling contest to pick good headlines for future record-primes!

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-09-24 at 03:04
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Old 2008-09-24, 02:57   #9
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World Record Prime Number Find Causes Financial Market to Stumble.
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Old 2008-09-24, 03:05   #10
cheesehead
 
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FBI Probes Numbers Racket Tie to Civil Liberties; Has Prime Suspects

Prime Suspects in International Numbers Collaboration for Big Money

Bush Administration Claims No Knowledge of Numbers-Racket Money; Attorney General 'Does Not Compute'

Senator: Are NSA Computers Participating in International Numbers Collaboration?

Record Prime Finds Shut Down LHC for Winter

IRS Eyes Numbers Money

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-09-24 at 03:32
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Old 2008-09-25, 05:50   #11
ixfd64
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How many news outlets did George and Scott send the press releases to?

I'm guessing AP rejected it because no major news websites has covered the recent discoveries.
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