genina.com
Follow GeninaDotCom on Twitter Follow Genina on Facebook Sign in Register
search | recent topics | hottest topics
Timer exploit
 
Forum Index » Sudoku » Timer exploit  XML
Author Message
Argle



Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Messages: 4
Offline

There is obvious cheating going on. The real question should be, what is Genina going to do about it? I have seen read some of their response, and it seems like their response is just deal with it. I would not care if people cheated, I just would like to know how I really compared to the other players. And yes, you can complete an "Extreme" puzzle under 4 minutes. Sorry if you haven't been able to yet.
lampshade



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Messages: 16
Offline

Argle wrote:There is obvious cheating going on. The real question should be, what is Genina going to do about it? I have seen read some of their response, and it seems like their response is just deal with it. I would not care if people cheated, I just would like to know how I really compared to the other players. And yes, you can complete an "Extreme" puzzle under 4 minutes. Sorry if you haven't been able to yet.


So, what is your proof that there is cheating? I am, honestly, really interested to see the evidence.

As I have stated many times, I can reproduce times that are consistent with the top-100 times without cheating, so either cheaters are going to a great deal of trouble to mask the results with something statistically believable, or the cheaters aren't very good at cheating. In the TWO methods I am personally familiar with, BOTH are capable of producing times as low as one second, and NEITHER could realistically be prevented by Genina. To be clear, these cheating methods have nothing to do with taking an unsolved puzzle, pausing, solving elsewhere, then populating results within the Genina Sudoku app. I don't consider this to be a form of effective cheating, since IT IS MUCH FASTER FOR A GOOD PLAYER TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE THAN DOING THIS.

What are the methods I know about for cheating? I'm not going to disclose them in this forum, as I don't wish to educate people on these techniques. I will say that I have experience in software vulnerability assessments and reverse engineering. I am also intimately familiar with the methods used to discover, investigate, and prosecute matters like voting fraud, as well as how to mathematically demonstrate, to a level acceptable in court, that alleged voting fraud has not occurred. The same techniques can be used to investigate matters like cheating. There are many similarities, one of which is that, very often, people believe that some wrongdoing has taken place because they do not like, or are unfamiliar with patterns found in results. Also similar is the fact that when wrongdoing does occur, the effects are not only very obvious in the statistics, but also very different than what most people would expect.

When dealing with computer crime, I have also found that more than 99% of the time, when someone thinks their computer has been hacked, it has not. Alternately, in more than 99% of the cases in which someone has been hacked, they were completely unaware. Humans love patterns. We find patterns where there are none, yet many patterns that occur in nature do not align well with what we expect to see. This is most obvious when dealing with randomness. Ask a person to write out a 1000 count random sequence of 1's and 0's, then flip a coin 1000 times, recording heads as 1 and tails as 0. Two things always happen: most humans will think that the coin flip sequence is the human forgery, but there will be much lower entropy (the mathematical measurement of randomness) in the human sequence. That's just one of hundreds of tests that have been conducted over the last few hundred years that show how bad humans are at "sensing" the difference between a naturally occurring distribution, and one that is the result of human manipulation. It is also natural for people to jump to the conclusion that these mathematics are flawed after hearing the results of these studies. I am satisfied with the math, based on what I know about where it is used, and what we have been able to accomplish based on the use of this branch of mathematics. For one thing, much of the technology that is used to power the digital radios used by satellites and cell phones wouldn't work without it. So whether or not you believe that it works, you rely on the fact that it does (without knowing so) all the time. Luckily, it all works without you having to believe it does. The only technology that only works when you believe in it is Peter Pan's magic pixie dust. Ironically, the game of sudoku can continue to be played with this app with no cheating, no matter how much you believe that something else is happening.

And yes, you can complete an "Extreme" puzzle in under one minute. Sorry if you haven't been able to do that.

Personal best times:
Easy 0:34
Medium 0:54
Hard 1:15
Extreme 1:39
Argle



Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Messages: 4
Offline

Lampshade, you ramble too much, but if it is possible to produce an extreme puzzle in under a minute the burden of proof lies on you. I want to see the evidence of that! Besides my post was not for you but the administrators. P.S- Stop being a forum bully by insulting people.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 15 Feb 2015 07:51:20

Argle



Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Messages: 4
Offline

Just FYI- According to Guinness World Records, "The fastest time to complete an Easy Sudoku puzzle is 2 min 8.53 sec by Thomas Snyder (USA) at BookExpo America, Washington DC, USA on 20 May 2006. The attempt was carried out under the auspices of the International Sudoku Organisation and the puzzles were created by Sudoku Grand Master Mike Mepham. Thomas Snyder is American champion and was the second-place finisher at the first World Sudoku Championships in Lucca, Italy in March 2006." Once again, there is obvious cheating occurring on the extreme level of Sudoku. And again, what are the administrators going to do about it?
gold



Joined: 15 Feb 2015
Messages: 1
Offline

where can I find the timings of my past played games on the mobile in the site
jeka
(Forum Admin)



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Messages: 242
Offline

gold wrote:where can I find the timings of my past played games on the mobile in the site


http://genina.com/apps/sudoku/stats.jsf - look under the last tab.
jeka
(Forum Admin)



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Messages: 242
Offline

Argle wrote:Just FYI- According to Guinness World Records, "The fastest time to complete an Easy Sudoku puzzle is 2 min 8.53 sec by Thomas Snyder (USA) at BookExpo America, Washington DC, USA on 20 May 2006. The attempt was carried out under the auspices of the International Sudoku Organisation and the puzzles were created by Sudoku Grand Master Mike Mepham. Thomas Snyder is American champion and was the second-place finisher at the first World Sudoku Championships in Lucca, Italy in March 2006." Once again, there is obvious cheating occurring on the extreme level of Sudoku.

GWR confirms its results in a controlled environment, which solving a puzzle on one's phone (tablet) is not, clearly. But just because GWR wasn't around to record / confirm the results of those in our top "charts" does not prove that there is cheating occurring.


Argle wrote:And again, what are the administrators going to do about it?

We've addressed the issue of cheating on a number of occasions. Feel free to browse through this forum to read our comments. Our position hasn't changed. I'll add that if you are able to point out a time on our leaderboards that you are able to prove is a result of cheating, we'll be happy to take it down. Until such time we are going with the mantra of "innocent until proven guilty".



Now let me close with a question of my own: why would anyone go into trouble of cheating in this game, when there is nothing to be gained by it? (the top lists are on 24 hour rolling basis, so whatever fame there is to be gained is fleeting)

jameelf@hotmail.com



Joined: 8 Mar 2015
Messages: 2
Location: New Zealand
Offline

Its very frustrating to see scores under 1 minute for the extreme level because its just impossible . My best score was just under 4 minutes after 100s , if not thousands, of times playing this level, many times I cant solve the puzzle without gussing.. I suggest to make 2 types of scores on the website one with pausing the game and one without, this way people will not cheat because no one bothers to check the results of paused games
[Email] [Yahoo!] [MSN]
lampshade



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Messages: 16
Offline

Since I had nothing better to do this evening, I decided to find a free android screen video capture app and record myself playing a few extreme games. The app isn't that great, and crashed that phone a couple times, then on the first take, I recorded a 2:20 time (ties my 10th best)... at least I thought I had. (Like I said, the app isn't great.) On the second attempt, I captured a 2:35. I've never uploaded a video to YouTube, but I may get this one up. I'd like to get some audio commentary added before I post.

A couple things I note, based on watching the replay:
- I got a time that ranks in the top-100, but there are several excruciatingly long pauses between moves. Some of those were for yelling at my dog (for barking -- it was after 11pm, and I have neighbors), but many were scanning the board, looking for a next move that seems obvious as an observer.
- Tonight's extreme puzzles were pretty easy, compared to many. Play enough puzzles in this app, and you start to encounter vastly different difficulties writhing the same chosen level. I can't blame the app, or it's developers, for failing to provide Guinness book competition quality puzzles every one of the hundreds of times per day, every day. They cannot vet all of them. It was sheer luck that I started recording when I got a couple slow pitch lobs right over the plate.
- I play this game enough that I really should just buy the no-ad version. This is the best sudoku app I've tried.
- While not the form of cheating this thread seems to be focused on, I do use a number of "aides" provided by the app. These include digit-first, pencil marks, cell highlighting, etc. These are all considered cheating by some, and absolutely assist in keeping up speed and quickly finding solutions. Also, none are allowed when trying to record a time for Guinness. What is relevant is that everyone who plays sudoku with this app has access to all the same features. If you don't use then, you're making a choice to disadvantage yourself against the other competitors.
- When I went online to look at my time, only my 2:20 was there. Not a problem: only the best time from each player shows up in the top-100 lists. Also, the very top time was 1:35. This is fast, even for typical top-100 extreme times, but still not sub-minute. A sub-minute time does occasionally show up in extreme, but very rarely, and still isn't down at the times posted in the easy list. That's not statistically consistent with cheating.

I'll post the link to the video when I get around to posting. Keep in mind that I am lazy, and spend much more time playing sudoku that doing stuff I should be doing. I've got a sink full of dishes to do, for one.

Edit: spelling

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 5 Apr 2015 16:11:04


Personal best times:
Easy 0:34
Medium 0:54
Hard 1:15
Extreme 1:39
jo



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Messages: 2
Offline

I realized how easy it was to cheat as soon as I found out that you can pause, so I have learned to except 50_60% as being a decent score.
jo



Joined: 15 Apr 2015
Messages: 2
Offline

P.s. I don't use any kind of aid including pencil marks. I see no purpose in aids, unless a hostages life depends on my time.
lampshade



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Messages: 16
Offline

jo wrote:P.s. I don't use any kind of aid including pencil marks. I see no purpose in aids, unless a hostages life depends on my time.


But you're perfectly fine playing a puzzle game, on your phone, without aids? I'm pretty sure those hostages aren't going to care about whether you're using pencil marks while you're playing a computer game.

Pencil marks are an option to use in this application. I could play golf using only a putter, but unless it's mini golf, my bad score would only be my fault for not using the tools available.

I don't have a problem playing this game however you like. It's just a game! But this thread in entitled "timer exploits." There are quite a few people convinced that there is a great deal of "cheating" going on in this game, based on the observation that there are better times being posted then they have been able to achieve, and that they think the use of pausing enables offline solving. This upsets me because I have never worked a puzzle while paused, and I can consistently post scores to the top-100 lists. It's another matter to claim that legitimately using the features of the game the way they are intended to be used is cheating as well. The fact is that very few hard and extreme puzzle times in the top-100 list are from solving without pencil marks. If you want to be competitive with those times, you can choose to play however you like, but keep in mind that the decision to opt out of using pencil marks is purely a choice. It doesn't change the fact that others can use them, and it is not cheating.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 18 Apr 2015 14:10:31


Personal best times:
Easy 0:34
Medium 0:54
Hard 1:15
Extreme 1:39
taticapelli



Joined: 23 Apr 2015
Messages: 3
Offline

Hello, I was trying to check my scores online when I came across this forum and I was kind of shocked.
I've never cheated in my life on this game, I have no idea how to.
I only play on extreme mode and my scores are usually somewhere around 3 minutes, my top score being 2 minutes and 30 seconds and my 10th top score is 2'57". I never even thought it was that good, though I'm usually in the 100% best scores.
Do you really think it's that impossible and that people who get those scores are probably cheating?
Should I be proud or that's a normal thing like I always thought?
Can someone help me understand all this discussion?
ElricE



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Messages: 5
Offline

Having looked in dismay (like many here) at the fantastical times displayed for the "extreme" level, I decided to run a test of my own. Loaded a new game (kept reloading until I had a game with a reasonable percentage of the board filled out, so less typing required), took a screenshot and paused the game (3 seconds on the counter at that point).

Next, jumped on the desktop and ran the puzzle through an online sudoku solver. Now with the solution right in front of me, the best I could achieve was 1:29 (and that was pausing any time the adrenaline finger jitters kicked in which would slow my typing).

Now granted, many of us have those "greased lightening" moments when a puzzle almost solves itself... fingers barely keeping up with the brain and all. I also get that there will be a few savants in the user pool for whom the puzzle provides little or no challenge. But looking at the sheer number of ridiculously low times (and the number of people repeatedly - apparently - achieving such low times), logic can't help but scream that there is some patent cheating going on.

* statistically speaking, the number of people who would be even capable of consistently and repeatedly knocking over the extreme level in sub two and a half minutes would be very small. Spread that number over the many sudoku apps available and the amount of such people playing this particular version drops even further.

* then one has to ask... if someone is consistently knocking over even the extreme level in such monumentally miniscule times, why would they continue to play this game day after day? If the game poses such little mental difficulty, wouldn't said person move on to a game or puzzle which poses a far greater challenge for them?

Sorry, but something ain't smelling right. Segregate the scores into two sections... one for those pausing the game (which enables one to cheat) and one which only ranks games which haven't been paused.

For most of us, the ranking had much less to do with bragging rights... rather we simply want to see how our own times are comparing with others. Having the only mechanism we can use as a reference being clogged up with obvious cheats (I'm not saying ALL have cheated, but it is nigh on statistically impossible for all those times to be legit) makes it a worthless tool.

Oh, and to those who claim they are quite legitimately and consistently achieving those scores: put your money where your mouth is, so to speak and prove it. There's this wonderful thing called YouTube... easy enough to record and upload the evidence with a link posted here. Let's see if anyone can back up their claims once and for all
jeka
(Forum Admin)



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Messages: 242
Offline

@ElricE: you really should read through the forum you are posting to before posting. Every single point you raise had been addressed in this forum before, including someone posting a YouTube video of them solving a puzzle in about 30 seconds.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 29 Apr 2015 14:47:57

 
Forum Index » Sudoku
Go to:   
Powered by JForum 2.1.8 © JForum Team
© 2009 genina.com Home Privacy Policy Contact Us