Grid computing (interconnected computer processing, thinking if you will, directed at a common goal) continues to grow. The technology is proving out, and large scale projects appear to be the classic “benefit to mankind” applications. Of course, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security can probably afford all the CPUs they need.
“World Community Grid’s mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity.” Projects include the Human Proteome Project, mapping the proteins made from the genes mapped by the Human Genome Project. Partners donating computing resources include IBM and the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Grid.org is a single destination site for large-scale, non-profit research projects of global significance.
This last one is interestingly self-reflexive, the Internet studying itself. Self-consciousness is said to be the defining characteristic of the human.
“DIMES is a distributed scientific research project, aimed to study the structure and topology of the Internet, with the help of a volunteer community (similar in spirit to projects such as SETI@Home). The DIMES project is part of EVERGROW – a research consortium comprising more then 20 universities and research institutes from various countries. The DIMES headquarters are situated in Tel-Aviv University ‘s EE-Systems department.”