Yesterday, TechWorthy posted about a fantastic opportunity for you to get involved with scientific research taking place around the globe- and all you need is a Facebook account and a minute to download a new application. You can choose from among several scientific endeavors to lend your computing power to, and there appears to be no downside. The program only uses processing capabilities that you aren’t accessing, and your own needs will always come first. The moment you need all of your computer’s power, you’ll have it- the processor sharing application will run quietly in the background, and you’ll never know that it’s there.
I would have downloaded it right away except for one concern: security. While I’m no IA expert, it seems to me that if another computer is being allowed to access my processing power, someone could easily conduct a man-in-the-middle type attack to take over my computer, and the post I’d read did little to address my worries.
This morning, however, I found an article on Wired.com which claims that Progress through Processors creates a folder on your computer which is incapable of accessing the rest of your hard drive, so all of your files are safe. Furthermore, there is a one way interaction: “No third party site contacts your computer. It’s only your computer that reaches out.”
I’m not entirely sure how that’s possible, but I’m willing to trust that until I learn anything to the contrary. I’ll begin donating my processing power tonight.