shamebear (shamebear) wrote in algorithms,

Contributing without even knowing

Flash animations on webpages consume a surprisingly large amount of CPU time, especially if you keep many pages open at once. When you think about it, this is a very fast and efficient way to distribute some software onto a lot of computers. Put up a banner on a major news site and you have your code ticking along on thousands of computers within minutes, and with no user interaction.

It's strange that distributed computing has not leapt onto this. Granted, it's a narrow nieche, with the program running only for a few minutes and with a limited size, but there are still plenty of cases where it could work. I've only found This proof of concept of distributed flash computing. This example require some user interaction and fills a whole screen, but there seems to be no reason why it couldn't run as a banner ad.

Why isn't this more widespread?

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