This is certainly an interesting story. CNN.com is running an article about how business has noticed the success of SETI@home. In case you're not familiar, SETI is a distributed processing project that runs in the background on your computer and basically uses it when you're not using it. In the case of SETI, it looks for patterns in radio telescope data that might indicate intelligent life in outer space.
The project has been so successful that companies are looking to get their software onto people's PC's and then offer up their massive processing power to clients. One company named ProcessTree is speculating that they might pay $10 to $20 per month to convince you to put their software on your computer. They've already assembled 70,000 machines into their "network."
The article goes into some detail about how distributed computing works, and also discusses several of the hurdles facing businesses in the area, such as security and the need for the data to be in manageable, independent pieces.
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