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Grand Theft Research
November 24, 2006 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Blu-ray discs, video games, and a cure for cancer... Too bad PS3 owners are a bunch of "know-not" idiots... More here and here.
posted by disgustipated (21 comments total)

 
Sorry, first (maybe last) FPP. I somehow missed getting this link in there: Too bad PS3 owners are "know-not" idiots.
posted by disgustipated at 8:04 AM on November 24, 2006


Previous know-nots.
posted by furtive at 8:19 AM on November 24, 2006


Welcome, disgustipated. Always glad to see another Tool fan in these parts.

We talked about O'RLY the other day, but I don't think we've discussed the distributed computing aspect of the PS3.

As a longtime donor in Stanford's Folding@HOME, I think it's great that Sony's doing this, but I can't help but think it's fodder for the Sony PR hype machine, like someone who just made an embarrassingly public racist outburst donating money to help the offended community.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:23 AM on November 24, 2006


The story reads like a PS3 press release to me.
posted by drezdn at 8:25 AM on November 24, 2006


I am fired, cause I totally boned up the FPP. Aside from that, I couldn't find the original article I read about this. It may be some over-promotion by Sony, but the computing power of this machine is phenomenal. Maybe lots of people will participate, and more people will participate in the "supercomputer" research already going on with PCs.

And hello to you, too BeerFilter. We are, after all, part of one conciousness, experiencing itself subjectively.
posted by disgustipated at 8:42 AM on November 24, 2006


Interesting PR move by Sony.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:51 AM on November 24, 2006


I'm not trying to defend Sony's motives, but PR interest aside, is this not a good idea? I was not familiar with folding@home or any such distributed computing that was used to achieve research. I thought it was kind of cool.
posted by disgustipated at 8:56 AM on November 24, 2006


It's pretty questionable whether many folks will leave their PS3s on for the idle cycles, however. The thing about Seti@home and other such PC-based spare-cycle apps is that folks already have the computer on. Folks turn on their console systems when they want to play a game, and off again when they're done.
posted by cortex at 9:08 AM on November 24, 2006


Since we're talking about Folding@HOME, which is what Sony's Cure@Playstation3 thing hooks into, I think it's also worth noting that they've recently ported the folding software to GPUs, and are getting phenomenal results, with the 500 or so GPUs generating more TFLOPS than the 17 thousand Linux boxes.

(Of course the GPUs are all new top-o-the-line models, and I imagine out in the Linux cloud there's a few old 90 MHz Pentiums and the like.)
posted by BeerFilter at 9:33 AM on November 24, 2006


cortex does bring up a good point. Though the trend with gaming consoles is to turn them simply into little game oriented PCs, this does not mean that the etiquette surrounding PC usage will translate. The reason so many people love consoles is because it isn't a multi-application environment which requires the caching and saving of lots of data.

You turn the game on... play for a bit... turn the game off. No 'work state' that you wish to keep locked into memory by leaving the system on.

For computer clusters working in tandem trying to communicate over the internet, it could be quite damaging.

Still... cancer... it's better than nothing.
posted by thanatogenous at 9:42 AM on November 24, 2006


I was actually just looking at those GPU numbers yesterday. If I remember correctly, the linux boxes were averaging a respectable yield of 1.6 GFLOPS per, and the GPUs were averaging 59 GFLOPS. Turns out each of the X1900's 48 pixel shaders is a 1.5ghz cpu or something.

The thing I really don't like about this story is that they took the honestly named folding@home and turned it into the PR BS "Cure@PS3". Cure for what? Yeah, maybe something someday. Isn't doing science good enough on its own?
posted by pinespree at 9:45 AM on November 24, 2006


semi relevant youtube (semi nsfw, if you happen to be working black Friday)
posted by delmoi at 9:51 AM on November 24, 2006


Metafilter: cancer... it's better than nothing.
posted by interrobang at 11:25 AM on November 24, 2006


Seems like a good time to point out that MetaFilter has a folding team. If you'd like to join, the team number is 48034. Check out their FAQ for more info about what it is they're doing.
posted by knave at 2:07 PM on November 24, 2006


The new nVidia parts (the G80 in the 8800GTX) have even more mojo on them specifically for massively parallel scientific computing, backed by a 'C' compiler (linky). Of course, this is all probably headed toward the 're' unification of CPUs and GPUs onto a single chip (c.f. the 'Wheel of Reincarnation' phenomenon).

Oh, and I propose the Coulter treatment for Papa Bear. (i.e., ignore him and he'll go away.)
posted by blenderfish at 2:14 PM on November 24, 2006


blenderfish: The new nVidia parts (the G80 in the 8800GTX) have even more mojo on them specifically for massively parallel scientific computing, backed by a 'C' compiler (linky). Of course, this is all probably headed toward the 're' unification of CPUs and GPUs onto a single chip (c.f. the 'Wheel of Reincarnation' phenomenon).

Does anyone know if there are any distributed applications out for these yet? I have one, and I'd love to put it to some kind of useful work when it's not gaming. My friend has one as well, and he wants to use it for video encoding up the road when it becomes available.
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:56 PM on November 24, 2006


So like the PSP, the PS3 is totally badass if you're main concern isn't actually playing games. Hm. Still a more sensible pitch than the Virtual Boy.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:24 PM on November 24, 2006


I think my favorite thing about this post is the play on the GTA franchise, considering that GTA4 is set to be a Three Siddy exclusive.
posted by sparkletone at 8:38 PM on November 24, 2006


considering that GTA4 is set to be a Three Siddy exclusive

No. GTA4 is planned for 360 and PS3. The news at E3 was that it would be available on day one for the 360.. in other words, there wouldn't be a lengthy delay between the PS3 and 360 versions, as there has been with other GTA franchise games.

I know you won't believe me, so look at the logos on the bottom of this page.
posted by blenderfish at 9:59 PM on November 24, 2006


I know you won't believe me

Oh, I believe you. I didn't Google to double check my memory before posting. I was confusing the two 360-exclusive GTA4 "episodes" that are planned with the same-day release (the two things being frequently reported in one story, or at least in stories in close temporal proximity to one another).

I would rephrase my above post and state that GTA4 is no longer one of the Big Three Playstation exclusives (the others being main-line Final Fantasy games, and the Metal Gear Solid games).
posted by sparkletone at 10:40 PM on November 24, 2006


Oh, I believe you.
Sorry, that was a bit defensive of me.

Apparently, though, there's going to be some kind of PS3 exclusive content, too... so they both get exclusive content. Weird, eh?
posted by blenderfish at 12:03 AM on November 25, 2006


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