Skynet Could Use a Hand Jumpstarting This Whole Robot Apocalypse Thing

By Rob Bricken in Tech
Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:31 am
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Idle home computers are being sought to help search through mountains of astronomical data.

The Skynet project involves using the spare processing capacity of computers as a giant, distributed supercomputer.

PCs joining Skynet will scour the data for sources of radiation that reveal stars, galaxies and other cosmic structures.


"As we design, develop and switch on the next generation of radio telescopes, the supercomputing resources processing this deluge of data will be in increasingly high demand," said Professor Peter Quinn, director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in a statement.

"SkyNet aims to complement the work already being done by creating a citizen science computing resource that radio astronomers can tap into and process data in ways and for purposes that otherwise might not be possible," he added.


Those signing up to help will download a small program that will get a computer looking through data when that PC is not being used for anything else.

ICRAR said the Skynet program was small and should not slow down any PC it is running on. Also, it said, data would be split into small packets to ensure it did not swamp a participant's net connection.

So this guy wants to insert a program onto every computer in the world, linking them all together for something called "Skynet"? Yeah, that'll end well. Thanks to Paul F. for the tip.
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