Interesting example of using the Cloud for the collective good-
Harvard University and IBM have launched a project to harness the computing muscle of thousands of computers to discover cheap solar energy materials.
The initiative, announced Monday, is part of the IBM-sponsored World Community Grid, which seeks to speed up research on humanitarian challenges with a grid of connected computers.
The idea is that people and organizations donate computing time to these efforts. A grid server doles out tasks to disparate machines to speed up computational jobs.
IBM also said that it will test running the grid software on an internal compute cloud to tap idle time.
Existing World Community Grid projects are aimed at developing a more nutritious rice as well as conducting cancer and AIDS research. The Harvard project wants to test the chemical properties of a number of organic materials with the aim of determining which are most promising for use as solar cells.