Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Intel Taps Facebook Multitudes for Massive Research Efforts in Volunteer Computing

According to, Intel has built an application that will connect Facebook's More about Facebook masses to a volunteer computing application designed to boost the research efforts of three nonprofit organizations.

Progress Thru Processors is launching as a public beta and is available to all Facebook users. It runs as a background process on the computer, automatically directing idle processing power to the researchers' computational efforts. When the user's computer needs the processor performance, the application shifts into idle mode.

Progress Thru Processors' desktop client and application are based on software developed by the National Science Foundation-funded BOINC project at the University of California, Berkeley.

The process utilizes volunteer computing, which according to the report, has been around for a long time.

Progress Thru Processors is starting out with only three research endeavors:

* Rosetta@home, which uses computing power to help find cures for cancer and other diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer's;
*, dedicated to understanding global climate change by predicting the Earth's climate and testing the accuracy of climate models; and
* Africa@home, which is currently focused on identifying strategies to combat malaria by studying simulation models of disease transmission and the potential impact of new antimalarial drugs and vaccines.

What do you think about utilizing volunteer computing for the greater good? Would you like to implement or join this effort with your business? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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