Feeds

CPU initiative wasted on extra terrestrials

Forget SETI, why not the public genome project?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

People's processors on their machines at work and at home are being wasted finding out whether there is intelligent life off-planet, while on this planet, the public genome project does not have as many clock cycles as a US corporation. (Well, we suppose that some people believe the Roswell story that all CPUs were discovered when some alien dead bodies turned up close to Albuquerque -- we know quite a lot of people seem to be.) SETI, which stands for the search for extraterrestrial life, has successfully persuaded a large number of people to participate by contributing spare CPU time in order to make an attempt to interpret a massive amount of radio noise emanating from the universe. Celera, which uses Alpha Wildfire technology, is on the verge of finally cracking the human genome, it announced at the end of last week. A joint project sponsored by the UK and US government is lagging behind Celera's efforts. But CPUs all over the planet could be used by the UK and US government to accelerate the public genome effort. It is a massive number crunching job and all it needs is for the boffins who designed the SETI project to contribute their programming skills and use spare microprocessor time. One reader commented: "A public distributed CPU system wouldn't really work as well as the SETI system because, although the SETI data packets can be processed independently, genomics relies on having access to larger datasets to search against, which means lots of downloading. "Only really appropriate for machines on a permanent Internet connection and spare bandwidth. Still a nice idea though." Another reader commented: "I don't think it's a question of whether or not the public would get involved, it has more to do with industry and government opening up to new ideas. BTW, what's more of a waste, SETI@Home or idle CPU cycles?" That one, even we cannot answer. But we also thought that maybe it's a great idea to start using idle CPU cycles to start churning through ancient databases, so people can find out about their family roots...® RegiStroid .18µ The National Security Agency (NSA) has 1500 acres of computing space and even its own .13µ semiconductor fabrication fab, according to extraordinarily reliable sources. Now we'd just love some of those idle CPU cycles... See also Alpha chip powers Celera genome burst Readers solve Pentium III laws of physics dilemma

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.