World Community Grid

SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) was the first popular distributed computing scheme, letting “just anyone” help do the massive crunching of data to help solve a big problem. Pretty cool, but these days the idea has been greatly expanded. The mission of the World Community Grid is to tackle other big data projects that benefit humanity, such as helping to cure Muscular Dystrophy and cancer. You load a piece of software on your computer and register it. The WCG then feeds out some data that needs processing to your computer, which works on the problem when it would otherwise be idle (for example: do you leave your computer on all day — or all night?) Maybe your computer will be the one that finds a breakthrough that defeats AIDS. Cooooooooool.

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