Facebook users who acquiesce to an Intel application that operates on idle computer power are helping researchers conduct models on climate change and other global problems.
The Progress Through Processors application essentially takes a Facebook user’s unused computing power at any given moment to help run the researchers’ climate models at ClimatePrediction.net, as well as separate research on battling cancer and malaria.
Worldwide, the connected personal computers form a sort of supercomputer to help perform complex calculations. While participants are using their computers, the Facebook software sits idle, according to InformationWeek.
Folding@home is the world’s largest project to take advantage of users’ computing down time. That particular medical research project, which is run by Stanford University, taps into the computing power of Playstation3 video-game consoles.
Another project is SETI@home, which searches for extraterrestrial radio signals throughout space.