[Beowulf] Is Crowd Computing the Next Big Thing?

David Mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Wed Nov 27 11:55:21 PST 2019

On 2019-11-27 11:23, beowulf-request at beowulf.org wrote:
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>    1. Re: Is Crowd Computing the Next Big Thing? (Chuck Petras)
>    2. Re: Is Crowd Computing the Next Big Thing? (Alexander Antoniades)
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> Message: 1
On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 18:19:20, Chuck Petras wrote:
> My question re financial viability was prompted by this statement in
> the Neocortix article:
> “And phone owners could be paid for the service to rent out their
> phones’ computing capacity. Neocortix claims on their website that top
> users can earn up to $80 a year for a phone that’s engaged in
> computing for 8 hours a day; if available for 24 hours, it can earn up
> to $240 a year.”
> So that works out to around US$0.023/hour.

Whatever payment they make must also be weighed against the phone 
battery running down much faster than it otherwise would.  Seems like 
the sort of background application which, if one forgot to turn it off, 
could easily result in a dead phone just when it was needed at the end 
of the work day.

The idea that unused cycles are somehow "free" I think dates way back to 
the time when computers had fixed clock speeds and the amount of power 
the CPU used was nearly independent of what they were doing.  These days 
unless set otherwise ("max performance" or the like) most machines turn 
their clocks way down when they are not busy.  So burning all of those 
"free" cycles will result in substantially higher power consumption.  
Phones do that even more than other computers.  It seems likely that if 
the application was only running when the phone was plugged into its 
charger that level of payment could cover those extra electricity costs.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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