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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
Anyone participates at TopCoder's matchs?

http://www.topcoder.com/
Post 14 Dec 2005, 01:34
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
what's that (sorry, too much managementy overhead there to read it)
Post 14 Dec 2005, 02:11
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
TopCoder is a site in which you participate in challenges in these areas: "Algorithm Competitions", "Software Competitions" and maybe another more but I can't remember.

In the case of algorithm competitions you must log-in to the site at a defined time and make an algorithm that solves the proposed problem in a limited time (an hour, I think). Your algorithm is compiled and tested at TopCoder's server and if it compiles and pass the input tests you win. The algorithm must finish the work in less than 2 seconds (if I remember well but I'm sure that the execution limit is some seconds only) and if the algorithm pass the input tests but a competitor detects an special case in which your algo doesn't work properly you loose your points and the competitor wins extra points. You can also check the code of your opponents and win extra points by discovering errors of your opponents but if you send an input which the opponent's algo process succesfully you will loose points so be carefull with that. Of course you can't see the code of your opponents until the match finishes, once it finish you have some minutes to find bugs in competitors algos.

I don't know how works the other competition.

Also note that I never participated at this site, I need to know C++, C# or VB.Net first Sad
All I'm telling is what 2 guys of my university plus 2 other guys from other university told in a meeting (they participated in these challenges and won some prizes).
Post 14 Dec 2005, 03:04
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
I wonder who owns the rights to any "cleaver" software hacks submitted to this site Question Question Better check the "fine print" on the website to make sure someone doesn't lay copyright claim to your algorithms.


Last edited by HyperVista on 14 Dec 2005, 17:14; edited 1 time in total
Post 14 Dec 2005, 13:27
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
Suppose they effectively own your algos, it does matter? Note that the problems proposed in there are the same that you can find in a programming course. They will not ask you for make a super sofisticated compression algo or a new super secure hash algorithm or encryption algorithm. They ask for do things that can be solved in an hour.

However in the other competition (Software Competition) I agree with you to check the "fine print". http://www.topcoder.com/?t=development&c=comp_projects you have days to do something, not an hour.
Post 14 Dec 2005, 14:16
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
it seems to me these guys are accumulating intellectual property from folks like us. sure the code challenges are the kind you will find in a lot of computer science courses, but the fact is by entering the contest you relenquish all future rights to your code (source code included).
according to the rules for submitting code "fine print" from their website, you must:

Quote:
(vi) assign to TopCoder all rights to all information submitted during the contest (including rights to source code and other executables)


while it may not matter to you now, suppose you start your own company in a few years, or work for a software development company and you need to write a fast compression routine, or something else of general use. you recall the TopCode submission you sent in a few years back, dust it off and include it in your next build .... but wait, TopCode owns that intellectual propery now (they paid you a couple of hundred bucks for it) and could sue you or your company if you include it in your product. That little piece of code you received a couple of hundreds bucks for back then could now be worth much more than that in the context of what you're trying to build.

it just seems to me these guys are getting a lot of intellectual horse power for very little cost. don't get me wrong, i'm not totally driven by the profit motive, but we should all be cautious about giving our creativity away for a few bucks to someone who will turn it around and make a lot of money on our backs and our willingness to "share" our ideas with the community.
Post 14 Dec 2005, 16:52
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Matrix



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 1171
Location: Overflow
Matrix
i whouldn't accept such rules,

who doens't like it does not have to register.
Post 15 Dec 2005, 09:28
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
I agree, but in the case of algorithms competitios I don't thing that could be a big problem if they own your code later but after that you saying I will think more than one before entering in such competitions.

Regards,
LocoDelAssembly
Post 15 Dec 2005, 15:03
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rugxulo



Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 2341
Location: Usono (aka, USA)
rugxulo
I am not a lawyer, but it doesn't say "exclusive" rights, only that they apparently will have permission (license) to use such code for (obvious) purposes. I've heard people say you can't patent algorithms but there is some debate on that. Like locodelassembly said, this isn't your life's work you're submitting, only something you whipped up in an hour.

Hypervista, the closest I could find to your above quote was this:

Quote:

(f) licenses to TopCoder rights to all information submitted during the tournament (including rights to designs, source code and other executables)


I would e-mail them with any questions first, just to be certain, if I were you. Personally, I'm not even close to smart enough (unlike most of you) to enter something like this. Smile
Post 15 Dec 2005, 18:12
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
Hi rugxulo,

TopCoder must have similar "fine print" for the various types of contests. The quote I listed was from the software development contest - see section (vi) highlighted in the quote below.

Quote:
Conditions of Participation
By participating in the Contest, you agree to be bound by these rules and to all decisions of TopCoder, which are final, binding and conclusive in all matters. Contestants must not cheat. All ideas for any component design or development solution submitted must be the contestant's alone. All decisions relating to the viability of submissions, the ranking of submissions and all other matters pertaining to the Contest shall be within the sole discretion of TopCoder or its designee and shall be final and binding in all respects.

As a condition of participation in the Contest, all information provided in each competitor's TopCoder member profile must be comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. TopCoder may require each competitor to complete an additional registration form to register for the contest. In order to be eligible to participate in the Contest, each competitor must have completed any and all registration forms required by TopCoder.

As a condition of winning and redeeming a cash prize, winners will be required to return a completed (i) Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release, and (ii) IRS Form W-9, W-8BEN, or W-8ECI, as appropriate, if one is not already on file with TopCoder. In completing the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release (notarized if one is not already on file with TopCoder), a winner (i) confirms his/her eligibility, (ii) represents and warrants that he/she has not cheated; that the idea for the component design and/or development solution submitted is his/hers alone, (iii) verifies the accuracy of the demographic information submitted to, and contained in, the TopCoder member database, (iv) authorizes TopCoder to publicize the contest's results, (v) agrees to sign any applicable forms required by tax authorities, (vi) assigns to TopCoder all rights to all information submitted during the contest (including rights to source code and other executables), and (vii) releases TopCoder from liability arising out of any prize won. TopCoder requires contestants to complete the Form W-9, W-8BEN, or W-8ECI for tax reporting purposes. If prize notification is returned as undeliverable, or if the winner fails to return the Affidavit, or the appropriate tax form, the winner will be disqualified and the prize money won by the disqualified winner will be forfeited. Providing false information in the registration process or in the required forms described in this paragraph will disqualify a winner.



Sure, they're small project contests and not one's life work, but I believe they are searching for a unique and effecient solution to general software requirements which they can patent or lay claim to for major profit. Call me a cynic, but these guys aren't running these contests for fun or out of a sense of altruism.

I agree with you that one should be cautious enough to seek clarification before submitting. I disagree with your comment that you're not smart enough to participate in such contests.... I've seen many of your posts and I believe you're top notch!
Post 15 Dec 2005, 21:32
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
As the guys at my university said, you don't need to be a guru to participate in the contests, however they said we will effectively loose our first participations because some training is needed but after a few contest we will be able to win points.

Of course they don't do this contest for charity, they have sponsored all competitions and the sponsors usually contacts participants to offer jobs (again, this is what the guys said). Actually the sponsors are interested in find "smart" people but that TopCoder is insterested in own your code is a possibility too.

Regards,
LocoDelAssembly
Post 15 Dec 2005, 22:19
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