Thursday, May 04, 2006 | By: Dusty Taylor

Your Computer..yes yours..can help solve the mysteries of disease.

I recently discovered Bob's blog..its over on the side bar with a long-assed name of "Bobs News,Weather, Mozart,Sports,Restaurant Guide & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron"..sweet jesus Bob..brevity isn't your strong suit eh dear? But I digress..

I was reading his latest post yesterday and I was amazed to find another scientific endeavor that utilizes home computers ala SETI@home from those fine folks at Stanford University. The way it works is this:

You download a "workload" for your computer to process when its not doing anything..which, if you think about it..is most of the time. It takes a nano second to process your request to find a web page or open a link, or look for porn..computers are amazingly quick and usually just idle,waiting for your next command. Its called FOLDING@home. I have been using my un-used CPU for years looking for little green men in outerspace for SETI@home. I want to be the one to find the intelligent life..its always been a hope that I would see my name in lights: DUSTY FINDS INTELLIGENT LIFE IN OUTERSPACE,FILM AT 11.

Anyways..Bob can explain it far better than I can..the link to his post is here. But if you want to help scientists find cures or better understand the following diseases:

Alzheimer's Disease
Cancer
Huntington's Disease
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Parkinson's Disease
Ribosome & antibiotics
Then go read Bob's post and download Folding@home. The linkage to Folding@home is here. If you are planning to participate, let me know..we can do it as a group! My handle in this project is "dusty1215". You can join me or do it solo and anonymously if you wish...just do it. I can attest to the fact that SETI@home doesn't slow down my computer one iota. And so far, doing BOTH of them has no impact on my CPU usage either.

11 people gave us their .02 cents:

Queen of Ass said...

Dusty: First Contact.

lecram sinun said...

Yup, a friend of mine has his hooked up to SETI.

Bruce said...

Leave it to you to be looking for encounters of the weird kind...

dusty said...

Now I am also looking to solve some of medical sciences mysterys B :)

Sonicrusk said...

Can you hook your computer up to meet skeezy chicks?

dusty said...

sonic..you can do that without a computer..its called a "bar".

jagular said...

Not me. I try to get MONEY.
http://www.mersenne.org/
By searching for excessively large prime numbers.

dusty said...

Jag..you so disappoint me..I figured you for the "save the world" type :P

And I hate math w/every fiber of my being.

jagular said...

Well, I'm not AGAINST saving the world, you know. I just really like math. Besides, if you were to discover life on another planet, who would REALLY remember it in twenty years? :)

Oh, and just so you know, someone did a post one time about the dangers of trying to figure me out. Imagine that. Little ole me?
http://sevenbates.blogspot.com/2006/04/its-alive.html

Bob Merkin said...

yeah money money yeah money from finding the world's largest Prime Numbers yeah money money money

searching for big Prime Numbers, as a Hobby for Meganerds, was invented by the ancient Greeks. Its Upergeeks were Euclid, who PROVED that there will always be a Bigger Prime Number than the one you got -- in other words, There Is An Infinite Number of Prime Numbers -- and Eratosthenes, the Librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt, who invented the Prime Number Sieve, still used by supercomputers today. (Cause it still works better than most anything else.)

Apollo gave Prime Numbers to Humanity with this ironclad sacred promise: It is impossible ever to make ten cents off this stuff. There will never be a Practical Application for Large Prime Numbers.

Around 1970 2 or 3 (accounts differ) Smart Guys figured out that if you take a pair of huge prime numbers, you can encode computer information in such a way that it would take the world's largest supercomputer more than a century to decode the coded message.

The coding / decoding system is Boy Scout Merit Badge Simple (if you know the 2 prime numbers). You and the other scouts can e-mail one another till the cows come home and no Supercomputer will ever have a clue what you're saying.

Big Primes are now worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to governments, banks, industry, spies. It could even be possible that a nerd or two has been murdered to get a couple of large prime numbers.

Apollo lied to us.

The National Security Agency is, I think, the world's largest single employer of professional Mathematicians. My best guess is, they spend most of their time looking for faster ways to factor huge Integers -- so they can see which ones are Very Large Primes in uhhhh less than a century.

Bob Merkin said...

please stop me before i post about very large prime numbers again

Factorization -- the problem of figuring out which whole numbers are Primes, and which aren't (Composites, they can be evenly divided by some smaller whole number, a Prime can't) -- is currently pretty much universally regarded as The Hardest Problem in Mathematics.

Whatever the heck is going on in the Secret Life of Numbers, they don't want us to know much about what's going on in there. For a Guy who really could apparently see into The Secret Life of Numbers, check out the self-taught Indian mathematician Ramanujan. ("Every positive integer was one of his personal friends," a math colleague recalled.)

I don't really know who exactly is writing Big Checks to buy Big Prime Numbers. But it's certain billions of dollars worth of computer hardware and time and software has been purchased to snag them Big Prime Numbers in a hurry.

But there is no Hurry to the Factorization Problem. Hurry Is Still Not An Option.

mersenne.org was my first Loitering CPU project. Hypnotic. Entrancing. And just like you can get on the Letterman Show for being the first person to Make Contact With Them, you can get on the Letterman Show for finding The World's Biggest Prime Number -- or at least get a gazillion webpages with your name on each of them.

Before the USA entered World War One, President Woodrow Wilson wouldn't let the War Department try to intercept and decode foreign diplomatic telegrams. "Gentlemen," he explained, "do not open other gentlemen's mail." (We did it anyway, and decoded The Zimmerman Telegram, and a couple of months later we declared war against Kaiser Wilhelm's Imperial Germany. The book is by Barbara Tuchman.)