I'm a sucker for even more statistics.
So what is it?
BeWeS is a combination website (http://bmt.bewes.be/) and downloadable program. The program is small (about 12K in size) and has a tiny memory footprint (about 5K), and it performs one very simple task: It measures how far you move your mouse, and how many times you click the buttons.
It's kind of neat to know that, in the last hour, I've moved my mouse 666 meters. Woah. That little ball goes quite the distance! The client program uploads these statistics to a website, which collects, organizes, and displays the accumulated data in various forms... Such as by team, by country, or just simply by user.
BeWeS differs from other mouse-tracking programs in the fact that it's completely free, with no banner ads or tracking software, and it also gives away prizes for reaching a pre-determined goal first!
What about cheaters?
The last time a major hack was released on the internet, a complete reset of all the stats occured. But as the developers learn more and more and implement new security features, the chances of this happening decrease - and even cheaters hate to see their numbers drop!
In the end, BeWeS is more about fun than, really, anything else. Comparing your stats, helping out Team E2, and other such fun stuff. The prizes are merely an added bonus, and the cheaters an annoyance.
How much bandwidth does it use?
Very little! The client program you download can be set to upload a very small statistics file once per hour, once per day, or only when you tell it to. Most people use the once-per-hour setting, to keep the website stats more current.
Blah blah blah conspiracy theory. Blah blah blah, you're paranoid.
I want to join! How can I make a difference?
Again, Team E2 exists! As far as I know, there is no password system and anyone is free to join Team E2. For instructions on joining (if you can't figure it out yourself), simply /msg me. In fact - after you join up, /msg me anyway! I'd love to add you to the following list.
Who has joined, so far?
Well, we've just started up the team, and we are currently (October 31, 2003) in position...
... which, sadly, is dead last. But we can turn it around! WE NEED YOU! Join today!
I decided that just my own personal text wasn't enough. Here's some straight from the horse's mouth (the horse would be Andy, designer and main coder of the BeWeS project).
Why did you create this mouse tracking program?
Being unemployed and trying various other kinds of websites , me and my cousin never really got any site off the ground. We tried a chat-website , a programmers hangout and some other stuff. While we designed small bussiness websites and taking part in various distributed computing projects, i had the idea of making a stats website for all projects , but that idea switched into making a distributed project of my own. As I take part in Project Dolphin i did not want to make another keycounter , but something similar , without copying ideas. So i chose for the mouse , as i found no other website doing so.
What did you hope to accomplish with this program? Since there is no fees involved, profit can't be an option! (or can it?)
First off all i hoped to attract the interest of many people for one time in our career (not considering the fact we are still young (22 and 17). When our main site is finished we already have a userbase which can prove usefull because sites with no userbase often can't get a lift-off. Second , by doing such a project you gain an immense amount of knowledge as i learned things i never knew before. Third, profit has never been a goal for us, we do this in our free time and hope to give people something fun.
Speaking of no-profit, how do you pay for prizes?
When i do not find a sponsor for my prize i will pay it with my own money. The prize will most likely be a hosting package or something like that. No cash prizes as this has a lot of complications and loss in international bank transfers + taxes. So the prize and the goal to win the prize has yet to be set.
Was this project inspired by anybody or anything?
Yes , in fact it was inspired by most distributed projects. As i joined a lot of projects , starting with UD to fight cancer (that one got me interested in DC) ranging from searching primes to mapping animals and counting my keys.
What are your future plans for the project? Upgrades? By-country stats tracking?
Future plans for the project are to tighten the security even more, increase the amount of visible stats (including by-country-stats and average mouse speed), add extra functions to the client, and other things my brain has to spit out yet or people send in. This project is for the people so they can choose what they like to see.
Is there any interesting tidbits you have to share about the creation of the software, or trials and tribulations of running such a project?
Actually there is , one can never know how many details you face when building such a project , that has an exploding start. I never expected so many users in such a short amount of time. And last but not least you have the people that do not read the Terms And Conditions and blatantly try to reverse-engineer your software. While i have nothing against people learning stuff from programs they find , it is annoying when they abuse their knowledge to break stuff and ruining other peoples fun. One good side of this 'behaviour' is you can find your security flaws fast. Last but not least i would like to encourage people that are not yet participating in any DC project to join at least one , not pointing to mine as it has little scientific value , your PC can save a life. I feel the world has a lot of computing power just wasted as only a small fraction of PC owners is active in DC projects. And this is not because they don't want to join , but because many people do not know the existance of such projects.
What does BeWeS stand for?
BeWeS stands for BElgian WEb Services. It will be a collection of services offered on the web , including design and coding.