Thursday, January 22, 2009

World Community Grid

So lately I have been crusading for the World Community Grid. The Grid is a program that links computers all over the globe to form supercomputers to conduct nonprofit research on topics like cancer, AIDS, and outer space research. It's a really cool program that was originally constructed by IBM for their own supercomputer research. They decided it was so cool that they maintain it for free for the Grid and have every single computer they own hooked up to it. The World Community Grid is guided by a board of directors who accept bids for Grid time from various nonprofit research agencies around the globe, in pretty much the same manner as a company would bid for supercomputer time.
The Grid works by detecting when the computer is idle, and then using its processing power to help perform research. In this way it won’t slow computers down while they are being used, merely use the computers’ downtime more efficiently. It doesn't even need that much downtime. Say you are checking your e-mail, but decide that you want a glass of water. Those couple of minutes that it takes you to go downstairs, fill up a glass, and come back, are all used by the Grid to conduct scientific experiments. So really, you don't even need to leave your computer on all night and rack up huge electricity bills; any time you give it, it will use, thereby maximizing the amount of work that your computer gets done per day.
The website for the Grid can be found here, and here is a podcast made by IBM that details how the Grid works. For those of you IT superninjas out there, I assure you that the Grid is in fact safe; I'll have a link to their safety concerns section up later tonight.

In other news, some wacky websites!
Daily Street Art
Myna Bird Chat
New languages
Magic 8-Ball Dissection

Until next time...

"In the laboratory there are no fustian ranks, no brummagem aristocracies; the domain of Science is a republic, and all its citizens are brothers and equals, its princes of Monaco and its stonemasons of Cromarty meeting, barren of man-made gauds and meretricious decoractions, upon the one majestic level!"
- "Three Thousand Years among the Microbes" by Mark Twain

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