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After the success of the non-profit Folding@home project, Sony is interested in leasing out computing power to companies willing to pay

Sony is interested in offering discounts and other incentives to have PlayStation 3 owners create a type of supercomputer grid that can be utilized by businesses.  A number of companies -- especially those working in the medical and pharmaceutical industries -- are interested in harnessing the power from PS3s instead of paying outright for a supercomputer.  Sony would likely have to pay users to keep the PS3 running all the time for the benefit of paying businesses.

Sony is unsure how many PS3 owners will be interested in having someone utilize the computer power of their PS3.  Sony spokespeople said the plan is still in the research stage, so types of incentives and which companies are interested have not been announced.  Discounts on products, free downloads, exclusive content, and points are all possible incentives PS3 owners might receive.

The PlayStation 3 is the main choice for supercomputing since Sony's next-generation console has so much processing power, courtesy of the IBM Cell processor.  A newtork of 10,000 PS3s has the power equivalent to 200,000 home PCs, Sony claims.  

Reports were published last month that showed PlayStation 3 game consoles would be able to participate in Stanford University's Folding@ home program -- a popular distributed computing project that uses the processing power for biomedical research.

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Seeing as little as you care to
By TheGreek on 4/13/2007 10:21:09 AM , Rating: 2
The monetary profits and motives have all be discussed. What is missing is the "pay it forward" type of action and the ramifications of such. So you're healthy today and don't kick a shxx about those diseases. Who's to say whether you will or won't get one of them in the future? You can ignore Alzheimers, but really, shouldn't it scare the hell out of you? Won't the consequences of treating millions of baby boomers for Alzheimers before you get old put a huge strain on our economy? Did you consider the economic benefits of being able to push back Alzheimers just 5 years per patient on average?

By Kuroyama on 4/13/2007 12:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
If you're a regular blood donor and there's a shortage then you get to go to the front of the line when you need it. Likewise, let's say if you donate your PS3 time and there's a trial for an Alzheimer's drug developed using the PS3 network then let's say you get to have priority. OK, not realistic because medical trials need something approximating a random sample (for instance, blood donors and PS3 donors may be more altruistic and healthier people than the average population), but it sounds like such a bizarre idea I couldn't resist suggesting it.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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