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PlayStation 3 - The Cure for Cancer?






Will you donate your PS3?
Yes.
23%
 23%  [ 7 ]
No.
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
I won't be buying one.
70%
 70%  [ 21 ]
Total Votes : 30

rhathar
The new next-generation consoles coming out have some powerful technology behind them. The PS3, with its Cell processors, has teraflop computing speeds that rivals it with the supercomputers of years past.

US Biologists have started a project called folding@home (FAH) that would allow PS3 users to download software to their console that would enable FAH to tap into unused processors when the gamers are off doing other things. The hope is that with this technology, a network of supercomputers could be enabled that not only rivals are current best technology, but surpasses it four times over.

Quote:
With 10,000 machines joined together the researchers calculate they should be able to do a thousand trillion calculations per second.

If that was achieved it would be nearly four times as fast as the world's most powerful supercomputer, IBM's BlueGene/L System, capable of 280.6 trillion calculations per second.


What do you think about this technology? This really is the first time the average person has been able to contribute something other than dollars to a cause like cancer. Furthermore, assuming you had a PS3 (or will), would you download this software?

Sources:
http://www.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=75443&cat_id=585

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5287254.stm
rhathar
To clarify a bit, I want to say WHY the PS3s are useful.

The technology behind the polygons in video games is actually very intense number crunching. This same raw computing power can be used to map out proteins, and show their process of unfolding - a process which while it takes only 10 millionths of a second in the body, would take years for an average computer to display.

Scientists do not yet fully understand how the proteins in the body work, or how they tie into disease. For really, nearly every function of the body has proteins working behind it, and it is when proteins fold incorrectly that diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer can occur.

Quote:
An average PC would take all day just to simulate just one billionth of a second (one nanosecond) of protein folding, and 10,000 days to simulate a complete fold.
rightclickscott
That's some pretty powerful technology there. Could this be a ploy, though, so that Sony could sell their PS3's to the general public at a very steep price? The one thing that's really getting to me, though, is if this is the kind of technology that's being released to the general public, then what kind of technology is being held back? I mean, I've already heard about the first real holograms, which took alot of power to create, but could there be the existance of holograms that run off of so much power that they could be normal sized, and be programed with a learning AI? Still, it seems like kind of a waste that this system is going to be intended for use in gaming, even though I feel it would be completely worth it just to play Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
rhathar
It's not a ploy from Sony. As much as I would like to incriminate them of something, they've done a good enough job of cursing themselves in the past (Betamax, ATRAC3 and now BluRay?) The data has been fairly widely reported (search Google News for "PS3 supercomputer"), and seems to be sought after not by Sony, but US researchers for the treatment of diseases. Though not bad PR for Sony, by any stretch.

As for the steep price... well.. if you want a BluRay system this is as cheap as they'll come, but we'll see how popular that gets Smile

What I'm amazed with isn't the unit by itself, it's that by simply downloading software that lets /other people/ utilize the hardware, we can turn smaller individual systems into something really capable of something.

Keep in mind, also, that we DO have technology far surpassing this right now, in the hands of the government. It's just the potential for surpassing that we as a populace have. It takes 2,500 PS3s to equal IBM's BlueGene/L supercomputer.

HOWEVER! The PlayStation one sold over 100 million units, and was originally priced at $299. If the PS3 sells a third as well, at 33 million units, and just 1 in every 1000 people installs the software, that's still the equivalent of over 13 Bluegene/L computers!
izimngcubes15
Oops, I mean I won't be buying one, it's too expensive and I don't like anyway, it's kind of....too complicated? >.<
GameFreak
If I ever buy a PS3, I'll donate it for poor cancer victims. They also deserve a "life". It's not their fault that they are poor and it's not their fault they have cancer. Life has been unfair with hem. We must always remain sympathetic towards these people and donate as much as we can to them.
a.Bird
GameFreak wrote:
If I ever buy a PS3, I'll donate it for poor cancer victims. They also deserve a "life". It's not their fault that they are poor and it's not their fault they have cancer. Life has been unfair with hem. We must always remain sympathetic towards these people and donate as much as we can to them.
I agree that it's great to help cancer victims and research the aspects of the disease to find a cure, however I have a hard time understanding where you think the world has been unfair. If you want to talk about fairness, humans have been pretty unfair to many animals that are now completely extinct. We're a bigger disease than cancer, only with the potential to do something truly great with our planet. Nothing is fair my friend.

If I'm not on the PS3, I'll be on my computer using some heavy bandwidth so I really don't see how I could help out unless I'm asleep, which is only 7 hours or so generally. That's the most I could run the program.
rhathar
From what I understand of the program, once you install it basically 'kicks in' once the processor begins idling.

I'll have to look into how much bandwidth something like that would require, but I'd assume not TOO much, since it's basically number-crunching, and the Cell processor is doing that. But once again, we're getting into areas I don't know :/
poiko123
I do believe that something like this is going towards a great cause and I do believe once it gets off the ground it would continue to grow. Google has a similar program in which you can donate idle processing speed to their research, but I think with the type of processsing in the PS3 it would be even more advantagous. I do not believe this is a ploy by Sony, because they would try to make this a bigger deal and advertise this to the main stream, which I have not heard.
wsco
May God save us from Cancer and these dengerous deasease
i beleive that will be great idea
and i hope that help all human
Nameless
I don't plan on getting a PS3, but if I did I would definetly parttake in this. It would be kind of worrying knowing my gaming console was working away hard processing while I'm asleep (there's a horror hacker story just waiting to happen there) but if it's for a good cause, hell, I'd do it.
Vrythramax
wsco wrote:
May God save us from Cancer and these dengerous deasease
i beleive that will be great idea
and i hope that help all human


*sigh*...you may want to consult a dictionary, or at least a spellchecker before posting.
datter
No interest in the PS3 at all. The Wii however, looks worthwhile.
a.Bird
datter wrote:
No interest in the PS3 at all. The Wii however, looks worthwhile.
Why "at all". Sounds like you have some personal angst towards Sony.
Vrythramax
a.Bird wrote:
Why "at all". Sounds like you have some personal angst towards Sony.


And who doesn't now-a-days? Question
a.Bird
Vrythramax wrote:
a.Bird wrote:
Why "at all". Sounds like you have some personal angst towards Sony.


And who doesn't now-a-days? Question


Good point. I guess I just can't let go of the PSX. It was my first real introduction to the world of videogames.
kazikame
This cancer thing is a nice thing for sony to do, but it still doesn't justify the PS3's £425/$599 price.
Sava
I really don't like PlayStations ... if I have money I'd rather buy a desktop pc or a laptop. You can do much more with these than you can do with a PS.
Really now ....
rightclickscott
People, this is not a topic about how much you do/don't like Playstation, it's a topic about the power behind the PS3, and how it has the technology to cure cancer.
twisthigh
Hm... this is interesting, if I bought one I'd let them do that, but I'm not a video game junky, so I won't be getting one, lol
bdoneck
If I was buying one, I would easily donate it, but the biggest problem with this plan is it would be so easy for someone to hack the data and return false data. You'd have to have another computer somewhere to verify the data and that would not make it worth it to the researchers at all.
Billwaa
if that does work and I ever get one, I probably will (well at least, I shouldn't pay for the internet connection right? just kidding, I think their should arrange a discount for internet since I will be using the internet for their favor)
rhathar
I really don't think Sony "arranged" this, so much as the scientists already researching this technology went 'Heeeey... we can use this!'

As for security, I'm honestly not sure about that. And as I don't have an advanced degree in microbiology, I'm not really sure how protein folding even works, much less how to map it via number crunching.

Also, it would take a real ****** to f*** with the data going to cure cancer, especially with all the effort it would take cracking into it Evil or Very Mad

Although, discount internet would be nice... is there a reason you wouldn't be able to just plug it into a router, though, and go off your main internet connection? I'm not sure how Sony will do that, since this is much more open than previous internet-capable consoles. Something Gamespy-esque?

Anyone out there that can explain protein folding to me?
CyanEyed
i read about this on bbc news website. if they can link up all the processors withing the ps3, they can create the fastest computer in the world - faster than the current one by IBM.

from what i understood it was going to be used to speed up calculations for a cure for Alzheimer's.

but unfortunately, Sony have pushed the release date back to March 2007. which will delay the progress of the researchers.


CyanEyed
Prince Nukliya
sibbahz
Interesting idea. Think i used the PC version of this for a while. Wont be buying a PS3 for a long time after release though, will be well out of my budget Sad
rightclickscott
CyanEyed wrote:
i read about this on bbc news website. if they can link up all the processors withing the ps3, they can create the fastest computer in the world - faster than the current one by IBM.

from what i understood it was going to be used to speed up calculations for a cure for Alzheimer's.

but unfortunately, Sony have pushed the release date back to March 2007. which will delay the progress of the researchers.


CyanEyed
Prince Nukliya


The pushed it back some more? That's pretty bad, considering that they'll be way behind the competition. By the way, I love your location, Cyaneyed.
yaashop
why i have to donate PS3 when i need one myself XD anyway i have never heard that playing games and cure cancer but for sure playing games can help me wipe away the times. I got ps1 (got stolen too) and also having ps2 right now. it should have been a long time till i will buy ps3 (wait for price drop and more games) I still think sony is the best and xbox sux XD
Marston
If I ever buy one (which would never happen) I guess I'd do this.


Although I'd like it more if the software searched for aliens. Sad
jongoldsz
google already, has/had a program like this... so when you aren't using your computer, it can be used to do many things.
rhathar
Do you know what the name is/was of Google's program? This is the first time I've heard of a program like this, and I'd like to look into it if there's already an existing one.

Also, do you know what kind of research they do with it?
darkjoker
if it took them this long to get it out after countless set backs i know for sure there is gonna be alot problems with it when it finally comes out.
rightclickscott
darkjoker wrote:
if it took them this long to get it out after countless set backs i know for sure there is gonna be alot problems with it when it finally comes out.


Like I said, this isn't a normal PS3 thread, this thread is about how the technology in the PS3 can help cure cancer, and if you'll donate it to help cure cancer, so not only you, but everybody, stop making stupid comments like this!
[FuN]goku
jongoldsz wrote:
google already, has/had a program like this... so when you aren't using your computer, it can be used to do many things.
there are many programs like this, an example of this is SETI (search for extraterestrial intelligence) and theres also another called , ermmmm... i think its boinc but im not sure, but it can be used for something similar to seti.. it can like discover stars or summit. ne ways as far as the ps3 goes,, i probably will get one, but not for a while , until the price will go down i wont even think about it as im focused on a laptop at the moment. but if i somehow got a hold of one cheap yes i would do this.
SNES350
"Donating" your PS3's power isn't free - I'm guessing the power consumption is going to add up to quite the electric bill if you leave it crunching numbers every night. Not trying to downplay the project, but this does come at a cost to you.
wolfpack
I use my computer cycles for SETI and Folding@Home. I think if you can play on your PS3 and run cancer research app then by all means do it.
mhcjsquires
It's gonna come out and be sold out for like 2 months and then we will be able to buy one. Consoles are gay like that.
toughtrio
I dont understand this:
If everyone shares their PS3s processing power, then that means that the PS3 will remain switched on all the time these ruthless eaters use up our power, and what about the bandwidth they use? I mean, the bandwidth also does come in use while transferring right, so that would take more than that IBM's supercomputer if they wait for the data to get processed and sent back to the main computer.

These are jus some thoughts that I liked to share.

Warm Regards,
Slick
wont be getting a ps3 till the price gets reduced... £400 is way too much especially when the 360 is almost half that and can be softmoded!
aceflooder
I know a SETI program like this and i have installed it
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