Someplace to stash my stuff
and no, this is not a game.
Published on March 25, 2011 By starkers In Personal Computing

I just found this piece and thought it a rather interesting use of Playstation 3 game consoles.  The USAF has literally joined a 1000 or more of them together to create a supercomputer for imaging purposes and problem solving.

See the linked article and let us know your thoughts.


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 25, 2011

     Viewing a shuttle in orbit with such clarity is no mean feat and being able to 'see' in real time over even that small an area has got to be a boon. Especially for those on the front lines. Not necessarily in combat though. Think of the advantage during disasters like the one in Japan a couple of weeks ago or the earthquake in New Zealand. Not to mention the possibility of one or more of the active volcanoes erupting. Imagine having one of those monitoring a fault zone recording an earthquake as it happens in real time and if its out at sea being able to track a tsunami and provide advanced warning to those in harms way.

on Mar 25, 2011
Amusingly enough, Sony removed the capability to do this. That act is what inspired hackers to finally put some effort into breaking Sony's security measures.
on Mar 25, 2011

What the Air Force is doing isn't really all that original:

"SETI@home
SETI@home is the program and the project that involves millions of at home users from around the world in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Since 1999, volunteers have been able to recycle their unused computing cycles in helping to analyze data collected from radio telescopes in search of signals from other worlds. This unprecedented network of over 5 million independent SETI@home volunteers constitutes the world’s largest supercomputer."


 

on Mar 25, 2011

True enough Doc. I had the opportunity to get involved with seti@Home about a year ago. Would have too if I didn't lose my computer. Did you know that using this setup has actually gotten them at least one unexplained signal. Too bad they were unable to locate it again. In order to authenticate one they have to move their telescopes away from the source for a time then return  and see if it is still there.

on Mar 25, 2011

I actually worked on something similar over the summer at a two-week-long advanced computer science program. Some elements in the Ohio Supercomputer Center's GLENN mainframe use similar technology, but I think there are PS2 processors instead of PS3 (largely because PS3s weren't around when that portion of the computer was added). They use it for large scientific simulations and bulk image processing- the application I saw hunted for comets in telescope pictures. It's not particularly new technology.

on Mar 25, 2011

No ... not new but used differently. Anytime you put that much processing power together, I'm assuming the processors are in parallel, you increase their capabilities exponentially. That's why they're able to get the kind of return and don't forget the original purpose was to study radar. Think of it as a precursor to a sensor array.

on Mar 26, 2011

This would truly be a great boon to many fields. Sadly, I'll bet it won't be long until the governments of the world start turning this kind of surveillance against it's own people en'mass. Right now, London England is the most heavily watched city in the world, followed by either New York or Paris, not sure which, but one of those two is in second place. Of course this kind of surveillance has it's advantages, like seeing a car accident and knowing who was truly at fault when the case goes to court, but, some people in London are currently trying to fight the system because they say it's a blatant invasion of their privacy.

I remember seeing a video a while back where a guy in London played a joke on local law enforcement by dressing up as an alien and pretending to "invade" the town to see how long it would take the cops to notice what was going on with their video surveillance and get to the scene. The reason he did it and is against the video surveillance is because he's proven that one of the street cameras sees Directly Into His Window when they pan the camera in his direction. If I was him I'd be pissed too and I'd definitely want the camera, at least that particular camera, removed.

on Mar 26, 2011

I'm kinda hoping it'll be used for what its supposedly intended for. Like viewing our immediate neighborhood for unseen rocks that might decide that now is a good time to come crashing down on our heads. That's one. Monitoring fault zones for activity. That's another. They use ground penetrating radar for that. This system could go several steps further. Coupled with seismic detectors, EM sensors and such they'd be able to 'sense' tectonic shifts and maybe even predict when an earthquake is likely to occur. The applications are far ranging.

on Mar 26, 2011

RavenX
If I was him I'd be pissed too and I'd definitely want the camera, at least that particular camera, removed.

Sorry. No can do. Belongs to Google.

on Mar 26, 2011

on Mar 26, 2011

RavenX
The reason he did it and is against the video surveillance is because he's proven that one of the street cameras sees Directly Into His Window when they pan the camera in his direction. If I was him I'd be pissed too and I'd definitely want the camera, at least that particular camera, removed.

 

It would be great if normal people (or a hacker) could take control of the cameras and record stuff themselves. Think about it Raven!   It would be like "Big Brother: RavenX edition"

on Mar 26, 2011

Oh jeez.

on Mar 26, 2011

There is a link to another story here in this post  ->http://forums.stardock.com/374820

on Mar 27, 2011

Random thought: One could buy a decent PC cheaper than the PS3 and a few games. Why not just connect a bunch of low end PCs that are more powerful than the PS3?

on Mar 27, 2011

Campaigner

It would be great if normal people (or a hacker) could take control of the cameras and record stuff themselves. Think about it Raven!   It would be like "Big Brother: RavenX edition"

LoL that would be cool

I think what I'd do though is aim the camera at a women's rest room or shower door or something, then blame the cops for doing it, then call all the local TV stations. That should put a stop to all this "City Surveillance" non-sense.