Saturn's Hexagon and PS3 Protein Folding

Possible the strangest piece of news I've heard in a little while, is that Saturn has a large hexagon at it's North pole. I don't understand whether this is an object, or a wind formation, but it's wierd. Click. Forerunner architecture? AND!

Protein folding. Ever heard of Folding@Home? It's a distributed computing project that's been around for a while. You install a small application on your computer, it connects to Stanford's Folding servers, and picks up work units to compute. It uses your idle CPU resources, crunches some numbers, and returns the results to Stanford. It's a cool project that has a lot of potential for other things, as well as the benefit of helping people understand protein folding, which I suppose is a worthwhile endeavour.

Well, they recently released a client for the Playstation 3. It'll use whatever cell-powered CPU resources are available when you're not gaming the hell out of it. And check out these numbers!

That's crazyness. That means, roughly, here's a list of how useful the various platforms are for this experiment, and my observations:

GPU = 59 Gflops per client (very impressive, but makes sense given the massive bandwidth required by graphics processing) PS3 = 13 Gflops per client (I'm shocked and appalled how powerful this system is) Mac Intel = 3 Gflops per client (Makes sense, any Intels Mac is at most 15 months old, and thus is fast and new) Linux = 1.7 Gflops per client (I'm impressed and surprised by this, I figured many Linux installs would be running on older hardware) Windows PCs = 0.9 Gflops per client (Follows, given the vast array of configurable systems, and the fact that many people end up with Celerons) Mac PowerPC = 0.7 Gflops per client (Haha)