Saturday, August 23, 2008

Computers DO dream of Electric Sheep

|MG| electric sheep 2.6.7b9 Beta
This software owes its name to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It realizes the collective dream of sleeping computers from all over the internet.

When the screen-saver is activated, the screen goes black and an animated 'sheep' appears. Behind the scenes, the screen-saver contacts a server and joins the parallel computation of new sheep. Every fifteen minutes 24/7 a new sheep is born and distributed to all clients for display. Each sheep is an animated fractal flame.

Each sheep is about 4 seconds long. Its shape, motion, and color are specified by a genetic code, a long string of numbers. If a user sees a sheep they like, they may press the up arrow key to vote for it. Sheep that receive more votes live longer and are more likely to reproduce. These votes form a fitness function for the esthetic evolution of the flock. Users can also download software to manually design genomes and post them to the server where they join the flock.

Well, that could be a totally pointless program, but it does sound like fun. No, I'm not going to down load it, but if you feel like something should be occupying your computer when you are not, give it a shot.
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