PCs of the World, Unite!

Startup Entropia, and others, hope to solve vexing problems by pooling millions of underused computers into powerful networks

If you're a computer user, chances are your machine is standing idle most of the time while you're yakking on the phone, grabbing a latte, or schmoozing at the water cooler. And that's a shame, because all that unused computing power is a tremendous resource that charities and businesses would love to tap into. Using a technology called distributed computing, all those spare CPU cycles on your PC can be channeled into "supercomputing" networks that can be set to work on hugely complex data-analysis problems.

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