Intel boosts Facebook users power for research

August 4, 2009
Intel unveiled a software program that lets Facebook users devote spare computer processing power to researching diseases or climate change.

Intel unveiled a software program that lets Facebook users devote spare computer processing power to researching diseases or climate change.

The world's largest computer chip company teamed with nonprofit group GridRepublic to create a "Progress Thru Processors" application based on the popular online service's operating platform.

The application enables users to allot idle to work on projects for Rosetta@home, or Africa@home.

Rosetta@home uses donated computing power to seek cures for cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's and other diseases. seeks to enhance understanding of climate change by predicting and testing weather models.

Africa@home is focused on finding effective ways to combat malaria by studying simulation models of disease transmission and the potential impact of new drugs and vaccines.

"The social and scientific utility of volunteer computing is a function of the number of participants; the more people we sign up, the greater the good we can collectively do," said GridRepublic executive director Matt Blumberg.

He said the relationships "will help bring large numbers of new people into volunteer computing, enabling research and discovery which would otherwise be impossible."

In July, Facebook reported that it passed the 250-million-member mark.

Volunteers taking part in Progress Thru Processors essentially provide researchers with an online pool of computing power that can be used to work on complex tasks that would be daunting for a single machine.

"Small contributions made by individuals can collectively have a far-reaching impact on our world," said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager of corporate marketing.

"By simply running an application on your computer, which uses very little incremental resources, you can expand computing resources to researchers working to make the world a better place."

A beta, or test, version of the application was launched online at

The application is designed to run unnoticed as a background process on computers, according to .

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Facebook opens core to outside developers

Related Stories

Facebook opens core to outside developers

April 27, 2009

Facebook on Monday cleared the way for outside developers to craft software applications that do clever, creative or useful things with data streamed as updates at the social-networking service.

Social networking aggregator sues Facebook

July 10, 2009

(AP) -- In a counter-punch to the world's biggest online hangout, a small Web company called has sued Facebook, saying it doesn't follow its own policy of giving users control over their content.

Facebook claims 250 million users

July 16, 2009

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the number of people using the online social networking service has climbed to 250 million.

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Aug 04, 2009
The only thing I use facebook for anymore is the games....

And now that Zygna has made every attempt to make them more crappy, I'm not even going there to do that anymore.

I don't understand why anyone uses facebook.
not rated yet Aug 04, 2009
Public Opinion changes faster than the Climate. There is hope yet! ;-)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.