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- - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2012-05-15 18:10
Owners of a Fritz 13 license and serial number respectively, have now the opportunity to participate in a beta test of a new, amazing Fritz feature:

The Engine Cloud

http://www.engine-cloud.com/

The download page (free download but requires a Fritz 13 license number to work) has the current file date, so you can see if a new beta is available. I was testing the version from May 14th today, and despite some minor details, it works fine. As for now, I saw that cloud engines can be used for analysis (incl. Let's Check analyses), and even in the machine room at Playchess.com. They appear in your GUI just like local engines.

The installation does not overwrite your Fritz 13 but creates an additional installation of that beta interface version.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-15 18:17
This is a very interesting new concept. I wonder if Vas and his Cloud Rybka concept will be tightly coupled with this? I really like the concept of reselling hardware resources from the user base. This will make things much more viable than the alternative, where Chessbase has to buy and sell time on its own hardware resources.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2012-05-15 22:24
Would be even more interesting if ducats could be converted to euros. Selling hardware resources, when you're being paid in a currency that is only accepted in one shop, doesn't sound very appealing.
Parent - By Barnard (Bronze) Date 2012-05-15 22:40
agree...you give your hardware resources only for ducats,and that cant be converted to 'real money'
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-15 23:24
One would think that when they start selling your hardware and engine time to someone else, they would be willing to compensate you with a portion of their proceeds. Oh wait, I forgot I was talking about Chessbase. :lol:
Parent - - By NATIONAL12 (Gold) Date 2012-05-16 00:54
load of coblers IMHO,who in their right mind is going to tell an opinion  of a position which is way beyond any engines horizon.I can give a link if you wish. A good book maker got stuffed in this position.
Parent - - By Master Om (Bronze) Date 2012-05-20 01:47
Link please ?
Parent - - By NATIONAL12 (Gold) Date 2012-05-20 07:21
i wasnt thinking about specific game showing in link above,but about steph-ruben game.
Parent - By Master Om (Bronze) Date 2012-05-20 07:28
Ah ok.
Parent - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-16 01:30

>Use your office computers from home and integrate them seamlessy as local chess engines...


I can see the  building  maintenance guy coming in to find all of-say the counties computers in Environmental Management  logged in and cranking away on ChessBase-that should go over big in the morning.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2012-05-16 14:38
It is a beta test, still. In principle, converting ducats back to real money is possible according to the Playchess client's F1 help information. But up to now, it looks like it was limited to registered trainers with contracts:

"How to convert Ducats into real-world value: Registered trainers can conclude a contract with ChessBase to convert Ducats into money, especially if they organize private training and simuls. ChessBase does not guarantee this contract automatically. Other players can buy all ChessBase products at www.chessbase.com/shop at a rate of 10 Ducats for 1 Euro."

We do not know yet, if CB. will or won't equip cloud engine providers with that "back conversion" possibility.
Parent - - By M ANSARI (*****) Date 2012-05-16 17:17
I think if they do a conversion to cash, then you will see a tremendous increase in hardware on the Playchess engine room as people finally find a good excuse to upgrade hardware.  By good excuse I mean giving a good story to the wife or gf on why upgrading hardware is a necessity :razz:
Parent - - By Hurnavich (Bronze) Date 2012-05-16 20:36
Hi,

2 problems i see with your thoughts! the server may have to much load and bottle kneck it.2nd the wife or gf may agree that hard where change is nessasary and they will upgrade the husband or boy friened for a better model :lol:

Hurnavich
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2012-05-17 07:43
Nice one.
Parent - - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2012-05-17 13:02
Furthermore, Robert Houdart has already stated you can't use Houdini 2 with this service, other commercial engines won't be available either.
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2012-05-17 13:10
Where can I find that statement of Robert?
Parent - - By Shaun (****) Date 2012-05-17 13:12
I just checked the licence..

'You may not rent, lease, assign, transfer or re-distribute to the public the Software'

Shaun
Attachment: license.txt - Complete licence (1k)
Parent - - By Fulcrum2000 (****) Date 2012-05-17 13:25
Ok, but what if the person using the engine in the cloud bought his own copy of Houdini, but just want to use the extra hardware available. Is that allowed?.
Hmmm, legal minefield indeed.
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 14:29 Edited 2012-05-17 14:33
When you register Houdini-you have to specify your email address and that registration and serial gets logged into your  registry. Without it in the registry the engine does not function- conceivably if you have a license your copy of Houdini will be matched with that in the cloud and function. However, if you don't have a license for Houdini pro then I would just as well imagine that you would not be able to access Houdini Pro in the cloud. I don't see an issue.
Parent - - By Shaun (****) Date 2012-05-17 14:51
The engine is running on the remote machine and any registry check will also be on the remote machine...
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 15:02 Edited 2012-05-17 15:09
Bear with me here! Why would CheseBase promote a product that would possibly exploit Hiarcs' or any other chess engine that has license restrictions attached to it? I'm just asking the question -not challenging you for an answer. After all these are products that they promote.

p.s.
This is not an end-user issue -I would venture that this falls on ChessBase to deal with.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 18:02
:lol: Come on Robert, you can figure this out.

While Chessbase is exploiting their engine developers, they are making money from the end users. Maybe they will kick back a percentage to the developers of the engines being used (but only if they feel they have to). If they do, they may claim that the additional revenue from this sharing exceeds the loss of revenue from lost sales.
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 18:56 Edited 2012-05-17 19:05
Wouldn't they be libel for licensing issues? Unless, I suppose , when you sign on to use THE CHESS ENGINE CLOUD the end user takes on the responsibility of any third party licensing issues. But somehow I think they would still end up in murky water.
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 19:04
If I paid you to analyze some positions on your machine using your copy of H2.0c, would that be OK? Answer, yes. If Chessbase pays you to analyze some positions on your machine using your copy of H2.0c, is that OK? I think it is. Maybe new laws will be put in place to deal with this situation, but as far as I know, they haven't yet arrived...
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 19:09
So_Robert Houdart could end up suing Chessbase for starting a business that exploits his licensing agreement? And, potential creates illegal use of his chess engine? Just a question!
Parent - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 19:20
He could sue them of course. I'm not sure he could win though...
Parent - - By Dr.Wael Deeb (***) Date 2012-05-17 20:09
Houdini will be surpased real soon and no....I am not speculating....

Robert is counting his last days as the king of the computer chess universe....
Dr.D
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-17 20:27
You're think in terms of Strelka? I'm looking forward to seeing a MP x 64 bit version.
Parent - By Dr.Wael Deeb (***) Date 2012-05-18 15:17
I think in terms of many things :wink:
Parent - - By Carl Bicknell (*****) Date 2012-05-18 07:20
I'll bet Houdini won't be surpassed soon. It's only serious competitor is Rybka IMO, and only the cloud version will have all the improvements.
Parent - By Ozymandias (****) Date 2012-05-18 09:05
+1
Parent - By Dr.Wael Deeb (***) Date 2012-05-18 15:16
We'll live and see :cool:
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-18 16:37

> and only the cloud version will have all the improvements.


Cloud Rybka holds some interest as a spectator sport, but beyond that I have little to no interest. It is like, occasionally,  looking through catalogs at expensive tools when I'm looking for a needed odd size socket to complete a job I started.

I am ambivalent toward Robert Houdart and his reasoning for not competing at Leiden. I credit Richard Vita for his participation-but, then Richard has only to gain from the experience.
Parent - - By Permanent Brain (*****) Date 2012-05-18 17:10
You guys make me sick. Has anyone of you actually TESTED the Fritz 13 engine cloud?? It is FREE for Fritz 13 owners.

And pls stop the bullshit talk about which engine may be allowed in this system etc. etc. THAT is a topic between ChessBase and the programmers respectively, and none of your business. What are you, computer chess fans or jurisdiction fans??

But if you are not capable of anything useful, ok, go on with that bullshit and miss one of the greatest innovations in computer chess. Congratulations idiots!

Disgusted.
Parent - By Shaun (****) Date 2012-05-18 17:23
Well I am testing it...

SxB
Parent - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-18 18:14 Edited 2012-05-18 18:19
First, of all my comment was strictly regarding Cloud Rybka not the Chessbase project. My initial reactions were in response to others concerns and speculations. Your outrage is misdirected and rather abusive. I see open discussion taking place on this topic that you were so studious in bringing to the fore.
Parent - By Regularuser (***) Date 2012-05-18 19:04
Actaully it probably isn't a question between Chessbase and the programmers if someone makes their copy of the software available to others via the service and the licence prohibits it.    The programmer probably couldn't sue Chessbase but they could definitely sue the individual.   Whether it would make economic sense is another matter.

But this is important to us all.   If we want sustained and innovative chess engine development (as opposed to cloning and tweaking) then it is important that programmers can make a living out of it or at least significantly supplement their income through it.   It will not help us in the long run if someone buys one copy of their software and illegally makes it available to 100 people with no consequences attached.   Software sales will be destroyed and a lot of innovation with it.  

I am a believer in the cloud model and this innivation is helpful.   But it must be harnessed correctly or it will do more harm than good.
Parent - By ppipper (*****) Date 2012-05-20 00:40
Yes, I have
Parent - By Carl Bicknell (*****) Date 2012-05-29 20:48

> Has anyone of you actually TESTED the Fritz 13 engine cloud??


I tested it. It's excellent. Now that Cluster Rybka is coming for it things just got a whole lot better. Shame I'll probably have to fork out a fortune for DF13 in order to use it though.
Parent - By Harvey Williamson (*****) Date 2012-05-18 18:40

> I credit Richard Vita for his participation-but, then Richard has only to gain from the experience.


Richard was not there. The CSVN who were short of players asked if his engine could play if they provided an operator.
Parent - - By Stonehenge (***) Date 2012-05-18 17:30

> If I paid you to analyze some positions on your machine using your copy of H2.0c, would that be OK? Answer, yes. If Chessbase pays you to analyze some positions on your machine using your copy of H2.0c, is that OK? I think it is.


Can Chessbase buy one (1) copy of Houdini, Rybka, Komodo, Hiarcs, Junior, Shredder or any other commercial engine, install it on a cloud server with an unlimited number of virtual machines, and then advertise Fritz 13 with the slogan: "Buy Fritz 13, you can run any other commerical engine you want"?
Parent - - By Banned for Life (Gold) Date 2012-05-18 18:46
At some point, the answer may be no, but I'm pretty sure we haven't reached that point yet. The cloud stuff is relatively new, and the legal system moves slowly.

Part of the problem though is the way that chess engines have traditionally been sold. I.e. buy one copy, and use as many instantiations as you desire. Don't try this with Microsoft's stuff! The solution (which chess users will not be happy about) may be to limit the use of one license to use on a single machine by a single user. This is all supported by precedent going back many years, and would make it harder to abuse this model (although it might still allow for people to effectively rent out their engine to others while they are not using their computer for chess analysis).
Parent - - By Stonehenge (***) Date 2012-05-18 18:56
I will be following all this with a lot of attention.
I'm glad this stuff happens now, if things work out badly I'll have to change the licensing model for Houdini 3...
Parent - By Regularuser (***) Date 2012-05-18 19:22 Edited 2012-05-18 19:29
Assuming your licence always contains 'You may not rent, lease, assign, transfer or re-distribute to the public the Software' as Shaun above indicated then in theory I don't think you have a problem becasue this should prohbit a licence holder making Houdini available to someone else via this service.   This would certainly hold up in an English court of law (I am not a lawyer but have dealt with a lot of software and service provision contracts over many years), and my guess is it would hold up under French law too.

In practice you may have two problems.   1) Finding who is doing it and getting damages from them one at a time.    2) Unless your licence makes it clear you may have to fight legal battles in different countries (I would recommend your licence states something like "this licence is governed by French Law and disputes will be settled in French courts", assuming that French law protects you OK).

You might be able to challenge Chessbase if they allowed people to provide Houdini to others in this way, but that is legally far less clear and they could reasonably argue that they are not providing Houdini just a standard interface etc etc.   And you would probably have to challenge them through a German court just to make things a little more difficult.

Of course you have the option of a different typoe of licence that would allow this type of usage.   You could limit the number of simultaneous users that it could be provided to, or the number of cores it could run on if multiple images are being run.   The pricing model for this would be interesting.   How much would you charge for 40 simultaneous users or 640 simultaneous cores?
Parent - By Regularuser (***) Date 2012-08-03 08:03
Oops, sorry.   I have since discovered you are Belgian, not French.   My apologies.
Parent - By oudheusa (*****) Date 2012-08-06 06:56
You better talk to CB about providing your own Houdini cloud version/license instead of following/fighting this. Seems a new development which will not be stopped. Better jump on the bandwagon and make some money with it.
Parent - - By Lukas Cimiotti (Bronze) Date 2012-05-18 19:00
Basically the question is: can anyone who bought an engine host it on one ( not many) computer and ask for a payment.
Parent - - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-18 19:14
Essentially what you are doing is buying a copy of a software and then re-selling it for a profit.
Parent - - By kgburcham (***) Date 2012-05-18 19:51
this discussion reminds me of:
Example #1: a cable pay event was aired Saturday night. The store owner had it showing on his TV in the small store for anyone to see, it was drawing a crowd.
The cable company told him they would not sell him another paid event at that store.
Example #2: the same event by the same cable company was aired at a large sporting arena on several large screens for paying customers.

I assume the cable company would charge a normal monthly fee for the store in example #1
and in example #2 there would be a percentage of the Gate or so much a person paid to the cable company.
It seems to me that if chessbase were to use the top five programs  and charging a cloud fee, then the program owners (cough) would be entitled to a share of the income.
kgburcham
Parent - By RFK (Gold) Date 2012-05-18 20:44
I cannot imagine Chessbase being stupid on this. My only assumption is that they can see a legal licensing  loop hole some where in all this?!
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