Sony Removes [email protected] From PlayStation 3

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Sony Removes [email protected] From PlayStation 3

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The PlayStation 3 withdraws from Stanford's distributed computing project after 100 million hours worth of protein folding.

[email protected] is a distributed computing project that lets you dedicate your idle processor cycles to fold protein structures, which provides useful data to researchers of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and various forms of cancer. The PlayStation 3 was used as a platform to contribute to the research, but a firmware update at the end of this month will remove the [email protected] client from all of Sony's systems, and users will no longer be able to crunch numbers for the project.

The 4.30 firmware update will remove the Life with PlayStation section from the dashboard, which houses the [email protected] client. Sony hasn't offered any explanation as to why it has chosen to remove the client, which has been present on PS3s since March 2007. More than 15 million users have contributed over 100 million hours of calculations for the project.

Vijay Pande, the research lead for [email protected] at Stanford University, said that the system was a "game changer" for the project in terms of using new methods and processors to perform calculations.

"We have had numerous successes in recent years," he says. "Specifically, in a paper just published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, we report on tests of predictions from earlier [email protected] simulations, and how these predictions have led to a new strategy to fight Alzheimer's disease."

Pande first considered the console as a viable means of distributed computing when it was released. He noted that the PlayStation 3's Cell processor provided a speed increase of 20 times more than PCs at the time. Its considerable processing power allowed researchers to run simulations that would have normally been considered impractical.

The project's next steps at Stanford are to develop a lead compound into a viable drug for Alzheimer's. "It's too early to report on our preliminary results there, but I'm very excited that the directions set out in this paper do appear to be bearing fruit in terms of a viable drug (not just a drug candidate)."

Source: PlayStation Blog

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oh hai there sony, watcha blockin today guyz?

Hackers? cheaters? people looking to save people from Alzheimer's disease?

grammar intentional.

Sony, why?
Doesn't cost you anything, does it?

Also:
There's a REALLY REALLY horrible joke I could make...but I forgot what it was.

Well that sucks. A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000), but every little helps. And 15 million littles is quite a big help. Wonder why they're getting rid of it.

So....this was helping old people and you cut it.....Geez you are not some stupid politicion Sony.

Why don't people have hearts anymore?

Maybe they removed the plug because of the results? I don't know, but might be the case.

I'm picturing a Sony PR guy weeping into his keyboard saying something like, "I can't take this anymore!" while the guys upstairs are saying, "Let's do what we always do, point the barrel at our toes and pull the trigger.".

There's got to be a reason for this, I just can't think of a reasonable one.

I hope they replace it with [email protected] or something like it. My PS3 broke a couple years ago, but I liked to stick [email protected] on now and again. It was relaxing.

That's a shame, I just heard about this folding thing for the first time yesterday, and now it's going away? =/

Kahani:
A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000)

What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

Hmm there has to be a good reason for this...

Either way they could always try moving the project to pc's. If they adapt it to also act as a continuous performance check, both parties get something out of it.

Mistermixmaster:
That's a shame, I just heard about this folding thing for the first time yesterday, and now it's going away? =/

Kahani:
A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000)

What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

He is talking about the GPU accelerated client that can be used on PC's. It uses the massively parallel capabilities of GPU processors to get some crazy PPD (points per day). There are entire sites and sections of magazines dedicated to looking at which GPU will give you the most PPD for power efficiency etc. A person serious about folding will get three or four of these in one PC and just have them running 24/7. The PS3 merely makes use of it's processor, which, while powerful, can't come close to touching a GPU accelerated setup.

bliebblob:
Hmm there has to be a good reason for this...

Yeah, it's the same reason the Jews always have an empty place at the table during Passover.

No Prophet

Griffolion:

Mistermixmaster:

Kahani:
A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000)

What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

He is talking about the GPU accelerated client that can be used on PC's. It uses the massively parallel capabilities of GPU processors to get some crazy PPD (points per day). There are entire sites and sections of magazines dedicated to looking at which GPU will give you the most PPD for power efficiency etc. A person serious about folding will get three or four of these in one PC and just have them running 24/7. The PS3 merely makes use of it's processor, which, while powerful, can't come close to touching a GPU accelerated setup.

Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Wow.... Are sony ever NOT going to make a dick move?

This is the first time I hear this. It's to bad they are going to remove this. I think it was a great way to get people that are normally less involved/interested in scientific research give a way to get the interest and directly see how they're helping.

Sony and Microsoft, seem to not want us to buy the PS4 or 720. I'm seriously getting tired of their faffing about with dashboards, faffing about with legalities and features that we daren't even get used to, because they could be gone with the next update. I always thought this was a pretty cool feature of the PS3, now the PS3 is decidedly less cool these days, Sony aren't even concerned about it, and I for one have no interest in encouraging such a company.

I think, I'll get a WiiU and upgrade my PC instead bothering with the next gen consoles, at least for the time being. Really I'm not bothered, I'll wait until there's a game on either of them that I really really want - frankly they shouldn't hold their breath for my hard earned cash, not when every dashboard update is like a trip to the dentist.

Griffolion:

Mistermixmaster:
That's a shame, I just heard about this folding thing for the first time yesterday, and now it's going away? =/

Kahani:
A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000)

What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

He is talking about the GPU accelerated client that can be used on PC's. It uses the massively parallel capabilities of GPU processors to get some crazy PPD (points per day). There are entire sites and sections of magazines dedicated to looking at which GPU will give you the most PPD for power efficiency etc. A person serious about folding will get three or four of these in one PC and just have them running 24/7. The PS3 merely makes use of it's processor, which, while powerful, can't come close to touching a GPU accelerated setup.

I think that the Cell processor, despite its limitations, is still more flexible than a given GPU even with GPGPU programming techniques. It's more difficult to program for GPU streams than it is to program for a general-purpose processor, even a highly asymmetrical one.

Sounds like they couldn't find a way to make money off it and so concluded it wasn't worth anything.

Geez guys, calm down.
You're all spoiling for a fight. Try reading the details before screaming about the devil.

The update removes Life With Playstation, which is primarily a combined world news/lounge app thing which is fairly useless and never gets used. [email protected] itself is a secondary client hidden away as a setting inside Life With Playstation. It used to be it's own completely separate client on the XMB until it was merged with Life With Playstation.

Stop crying about corporate evil. Sony's decision is to remove the redundant and barely used Life With Playstation. It's just a tragic chance of fate that [email protected] also happens to be located in the same place.
Separating the two clients, removing Life With Playstation, then re-doing and relauching [email protected] would probably require a few extra resources which, over half a decade after launch, probably wouldn't be worth it at this point.

Now stop pointing fingers. It's not the evil you think it is.

[darn double post. sorry]

Sony really has to stop removing things from the PS3, it just makes them worse the ninnys ¬_¬

GenGenners:
Geez guys, calm down.
You're all spoiling for a fight. Try reading the details before screaming about the devil.

The update removes Life With Playstation, which is primarily a combined world news/lounge app thing which is fairly useless and never gets used. [email protected] itself is a secondary client hidden away as a setting inside Life With Playstation. It used to be it's own completely separate client on the XMB until it was merged with Life With Playstation.

Stop crying about corporate evil. Sony's decision is to remove the redundant and barely used Life With Playstation. It's just a tragic chance of fate that [email protected] also happens to be located in the same place.
Separating the two clients, removing Life With Playstation, then re-doing and relauching [email protected] would probably require a few extra resources which, over half a decade after launch, probably wouldn't be worth it at this point.

Now stop pointing fingers. It's not the evil you think it is.

Yeah, I'd normally be happy to grab a pitchfork and torch, but I'm guessing you've hit the nail on the head. I'd bet that there just wasn't the level of use of this app to justify putting any resources towards updating or even just maintaining it. I used to boot it up before work back when I first bought my PS3, but it's been a least a good year or more since I've accessed the app. A pity it wasn't something you could set to automatically run when your system was idle (or if it was I didn't see the option).

GenGenners:
Geez guys, calm down.
You're all spoiling for a fight. Try reading the details before screaming about the devil.

The update removes Life With Playstation, which is primarily a combined world news/lounge app thing which is fairly useless and never gets used. [email protected] itself is a secondary client hidden away as a setting inside Life With Playstation. It used to be it's own completely separate client on the XMB until it was merged with Life With Playstation.

Stop crying about corporate evil. Sony's decision is to remove the redundant and barely used Life With Playstation. It's just a tragic chance of fate that [email protected] also happens to be located in the same place.
Separating the two clients, removing Life With Playstation, then re-doing and relauching [email protected] would probably require a few extra resources which, over half a decade after launch, probably wouldn't be worth it at this point.

Now stop pointing fingers. It's not the evil you think it is.

Oh... you took the wind out of the saild for the HMS Bitch about Sony.

You're no fun...

GenGenners:
Geez guys, calm down.
You're all spoiling for a fight. Try reading the details before screaming about the devil.

The update removes Life With Playstation, which is primarily a combined world news/lounge app thing which is fairly useless and never gets used. [email protected] itself is a secondary client hidden away as a setting inside Life With Playstation. It used to be it's own completely separate client on the XMB until it was merged with Life With Playstation.

Stop crying about corporate evil. Sony's decision is to remove the redundant and barely used Life With Playstation. It's just a tragic chance of fate that [email protected] also happens to be located in the same place.
Separating the two clients, removing Life With Playstation, then re-doing and relauching [email protected] would probably require a few extra resources which, over half a decade after launch, probably wouldn't be worth it at this point.

Now stop pointing fingers. It's not the evil you think it is.

But why remove anything? - why doesn't Sony let US, you know, it's customers decide if we want to keep the features, even if they'll never be updated. That basic choice is being denied, on a system that we paid for, our property. Do console manufacturer's even understand the concept of ownership!
If it's not the evil we think it is, then please explain why it's a good thing to remove these features?, are we getting better features instead?.... of course not!

We'll have an long and irritating dashboard update that does nothing but replace features with more profitable ones, and you know it.

The thing that sticks in our craw is that Folding is a good thing, it benefits valuable research, and everyone can help out a little, just by leaving it to run. How can the resulting removal of this feature be considered fair, or a good thing, or something that we aren't entitled to complain about?

Seriously, I'm sick of the 'get over it attitude' that this place has these days, not allowed to complain about Sony removing Folding, or MS removing Facebook etc, not allowed to complain about shitty Kickstarter projects that fail. When did you all turn into a bunch of maliable hippies - have an opinion and share it, otherwise stick the 'get over it' where you might have trouble getting over it. If we don't recognise and object to this stuff, the next generation of consoles will carry it all forward, all the shite that Sony and Microsoft wish they could pull on us will be fair play by then.

surg3n:

But why remove anything? - why doesn't Sony let US, you know, it's customers decide if we want to keep the features, even if they'll never be updated. That basic choice is being denied, on a system that we paid for, our property. Do console manufacturer's even understand the concept of ownership!

They certainly do.

They consider themselves the owners and we're just "renting" their hardware.

Just look at Apple.

surg3n:

But why remove anything? - why doesn't Sony let US, you know, it's customers decide if we want to keep the features, even if they'll never be updated.

It was the customer's choice. The vast majority of people chose not to use it, so it's getting pulled.

Griffolion:

Mistermixmaster:
That's a shame, I just heard about this folding thing for the first time yesterday, and now it's going away? =/

Kahani:
A PS3 can't touch a modern PC for folding (I think a PS3 will get around 1000 points per day, while my two year old PC can manage over 50,000)

What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

He is talking about the GPU accelerated client that can be used on PC's. It uses the massively parallel capabilities of GPU processors to get some crazy PPD (points per day). There are entire sites and sections of magazines dedicated to looking at which GPU will give you the most PPD for power efficiency etc. A person serious about folding will get three or four of these in one PC and just have them running 24/7. The PS3 merely makes use of it's processor, which, while powerful, can't come close to touching a GPU accelerated setup.

No serious folder will use GPUs to get lots of PPD. Just simply way too inefficient performance per watt. The thing to use are 4 CPU AMD G34 based opteron systems. Max of 64 cores in a single machine and the possibility for well over 1 million (yes, a thousand times more than a PS3) points per day. Next best thing are single i7 systems (for price/perf).

My rig can put out around 140 000 points per day from the CPU alone (using bigadv clients with corehack and native linux), 5ghz i7 3930K has its advantages. As for my GPU, in the v7 win7 client it'll do around 38 000 ppd at the maximum while drawing around 375W. Much less efficient than a 300W CPU doing well over 100K.

Personally I've got around 15 million points in [email protected] from the last year or so. Sad to see this go, every little bit helps.

GenGenners:
Geez guys, calm down.
You're all spoiling for a fight. Try reading the details before screaming about the devil.

The update removes Life With Playstation, which is primarily a combined world news/lounge app thing which is fairly useless and never gets used. [email protected] itself is a secondary client hidden away as a setting inside Life With Playstation. It used to be it's own completely separate client on the XMB until it was merged with Life With Playstation.

Stop crying about corporate evil. Sony's decision is to remove the redundant and barely used Life With Playstation. It's just a tragic chance of fate that [email protected] also happens to be located in the same place.
Separating the two clients, removing Life With Playstation, then re-doing and relauching [email protected] would probably require a few extra resources which, over half a decade after launch, probably wouldn't be worth it at this point.

Now stop pointing fingers. It's not the evil you think it is.

This is what I was thinking the whole time I was reading down through the comments.

People just love demonising things I guess...
(though the article itself is a little skewed to promote such a sheep mentality)

Mistermixmaster:
What? I'm just gonna quote this link that was in this article here. "There are several aspects which makes the PS3 well suited for this task. First, its main processor - the Cell Processor - is very powerful. In fact, we get a 20x speed increase over PC's. That's not 20%, but 20x, i.e. a 2,000% increase over a typical PC."

Either your 'old' PC is a processing-monster, or the site lies about the PS3 processor. I dunno.

Or the PS3 is 6 years old. I see Griffolion already explained, but basically the PS3 was impressive when it first came out because it was essentially a multicore CPU/GPU hybrid, at a time when [email protected] was mostly limited to single core CPU folding on PCs. But now with an improved folding client, multicore CPUs everywhere and GPU folding (although admittedly only on nVidia), the PS3 isn't anywhere near as good.

Richard A. Kiernan:
I think that the Cell processor, despite its limitations, is still more flexible than a given GPU even with GPGPU programming techniques. It's more difficult to program for GPU streams than it is to program for a general-purpose processor, even a highly asymmetrical one.

Yeah, they talk about this a bit in some of their documentation about how they assign points to different things. CPUs are flexible and GPUs are fast, so there could definitely be a place for something that has advantages of both. The problem is simply that the PS3 is old, and a modern CPU can do better even without those advantages. A new Cell processor could well be a folding force to be reckoned with, but the one in the PS3 just isn't any more.

Alatar The Red:
No serious folder

I see where you're going wrong there. Very few people are serious folders who base their computer purchases on what will get lots of points on an obscure bit of distributed computing. For the vast majority of us who simply feel like donating a bit of time to a good cause, GPU folding can be a very productive part of that without any worry about whether we're getting the best possible points/Watt.

Kahani:

I see where you're going wrong there. Very few people are serious folders who base their computer purchases on what will get lots of points on an obscure bit of distributed computing. For the vast majority of us who simply feel like donating a bit of time to a good cause, GPU folding can be a very productive part of that without any worry about whether we're getting the best possible points/Watt.

Well Griffolion was talking about serious folders. Or that's at least what I thought when he said this:

A person serious about folding will get three or four of these in one PC and just have them running 24/7.

So I was just kind of replying to him. I absolutely know that it's a really small majority that will buy systems based on [email protected] Even I don't do that, my rig is for benching with dry ice and LN2 mostly. Gaming too. I just like to help with [email protected] from time to time.

Sure GPUs are a fine way to increase your PPD on a normal machine but they're still much worse at producing points right now. That's most likely going to change actually since pande said that they can now run the same work units on GPUs as they can on CPUs. Should be interesting.

I only used this application once or twice. I never fully understood how it worked, but it sounds like it helped a lot with research at Stanford. Like others, I gotta believe there was a reasoning behind doing this. The article made it sound like a good amount of data was already collected through this. Maybe there is no more need for it?

I am sitting here pushing the massive red overreaction button I have taped to my computer screen, and guess what it's working, the over reaction is happening.

Re read the report

The 4.30 firmware update will remove the Life with PlayStation section from the dashboard, which houses the [email protected] client.

What you have there is Sony are removing a section from the PS3 menu ergo we assume 'everything' under that section is being removed, no where does it confirm that f[email protected] isn't being moved to a different sub menu or being made available for download for those that want to run it, speaking of which, of those that are de crying this menu juggling (and until we get confirmation otherwise, that's all it is) how many of you have actually spent any time running [email protected] on their PS3?

I'm getting a little tired of the consoles always giving us something to lure us in and then taking it away. I used to be a console gamer mainly, but now I'm starting to get irritated. When I install something on my PC it doesn't go away because HP has decided it's no longer worth having.

Laughing Man:
I am sitting here pushing the massive red overreaction button I have taped to my computer screen, and guess what it's working, the over reaction is happening.

Re read the report

The 4.30 firmware update will remove the Life with PlayStation section from the dashboard, which houses the [email protected] client.

What you have there is Sony are removing a section from the PS3 menu ergo we assume 'everything' under that section is being removed, no where does it confirm that [email protected] isn't being moved to a different sub menu or being made available for download for those that want to run it, speaking of which, of those that are de crying this menu juggling (and until we get confirmation otherwise, that's all it is) how many of you have actually spent any time running [email protected] on their PS3?

Good point, for all we know they might be making it a seperate thing.

When I first got my PS3 I used to run it all the time, I used it as a screensaver, because the TV I have for it is a fairly dated flatscreen that aquires a ghost image over time if left alone. Maybe if Sony added a screensavers option, and had it as a screensaver then we'd all be happy - that would be the ideal outcome I think, for everyone concerned.

Wow so much hatred before we even know the whole story, when did this become politics?

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