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Want to help search for aliens and fight diseases right from your home computer?

A cornucopia of "volunteer computing" projects let you do that and more by donating some of the spare computational power on your desktop or laptop.

With these projects, rather than a giant, booked-up supercomputer crunching on a massive data set, thousands of regular ol' computers tackle a scientific problem that is broken up into piecemeal "jobs."

"Volunteer computing doesn’t get a single job done any faster [than a supercomputer], but it gets a whole lot of jobs done faster in a given time," said David Anderson, a research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "These projects encourage people to think more and learn more about science."

Source

Has a few interesting projects if you like to contribute.
 

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woot SETI
 

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^, yeah, SETI is effectively a complete waste of CPU cycles; even most scientists agree that the project's goal is a pipe dream.
IMO, if you're going to crunch data, do it for something likely to produce results that can be acted on Now to improve the world in some way ([email protected] for example).
 

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@ Trigunflame,

I wouldn't knock it, you never know what may come of it at some point in time. You do realize just how immense the skies are right?
 

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I wish they wouldn't use the term "spare computational cycles". It's anything but spare cycles.

1. If you fold on all threads/cores, your computer's general responsiveness slows down considerably. Playing a game is generally sluggish and laggy, despite folding taking up only the "spare" cycles.
2. An idling CPU and a 100% usage CPU are very different in energy consumption. Spare makes it sound like that electricity would be used anyway, but this is not the case.

BTW, I think folding is awesome. I just wish they would stop calling it using your "spare" computational power. It's really misleading.
 

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... The article says there are more than 200 000 "active" computers folding for [email protected] when there was already more than 400 000 in 2009... cool article but some inaccuracies...
 

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Originally Posted by GanjaSMK
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@ Trigunflame,

I wouldn't knock it, you never know what may come of it at some point in time. You do realize just how immense the skies are right?

That's precisely the problem; the universe is an immensely large place.
Using an analogy like "finding a needle in a haystack" doesn't properly convey the difference in scale & the enormity of the task they're seeking to accomplish.

I believe it's logical to assume that there is life elsewhere in our universe, but I don't think it's practical to go looking for them with a series of radio telescopes & hoping to find a "Ping" amongst a mass of background noise.
Especially when those same CPU cycles could be contributed to more meaningful (likely to achieve result) causes.
 

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Meaningful to you differs from that of others.


I think it's definitely worth keeping up with. There is the possibility that a civilization someone nearby has distinct radio signals that we just haven't heard yet. I call searching for that very meaningful.
 

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Well, I am doing Aqua, Malariacontrol, POEM and folding.

Never got the point of einstein and seti.

Climateprediction looks interesting.
 

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Originally Posted by blupupher
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Well, I am doing Aqua, Malariacontrol, POEM and folding.

Never got the point of einstein and seti.

Climateprediction looks interesting.

I was thinking the same thing. I might have to check that out.
 

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Not exactly news (BOINC has been around for a few years), but nice to see an article about it. In my opinion, BOINC > [email protected], because of the variety of projects (protein folding isn't the be-all-and-end-all of medical research), and you get nice screensavers with some of the projects
 

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Originally Posted by chemicalfan
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Not exactly news (BOINC has been around for a few years), but nice to see an article about it. In my opinion, BOINC > [email protected], because of the variety of projects (protein folding isn't the be-all-and-end-all of medical research), and you get nice screensavers with some of the projects


Its not just about BOINC.


Also includes other non related BOINC projects.
 

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Originally Posted by Trigunflame
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^, yeah, SETI is effectively a complete waste of CPU cycles; even most scientists agree that the project's goal is a pipe dream.
IMO, if you're going to crunch data, do it for something likely to produce results that can be acted on Now to improve the world in some way ([email protected] for example).

I feel exactly the same way. It's nothing personal to anyone that runs SETI. I just feel my computers time could be better spent doing something that yields immediate results.

Can't believe they missed off [email protected] That's one of the coolest scientific experiments of our generation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Originally Posted by Setzer View Post
Cool list, I already knew what [email protected] was, but I still think [email protected] is more helpfull to humanity
Me to, I just wish their were better applications to run it. I cant for the life of me get my rig to fold on cpu and GPU w/o getting hung on the cpu


Maybe Im just being ignorant.
 
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