UPDATE September 8th 2013 – CPUsage ended their partner program which offered computer owners the ability to get paid for their idle computer processing power. They are no longer supporting the software or accepting signups.
CPUsage offers computer owners the ability to get paid for use of their computer processing power. The process is pretty straight forward. You simply install a small program on your computer. When your computer is running but is not in use, CPUsage sends small computational tasks and you are given points for the amount of time it takes your computer to process these tasks successfully. You can then redeem your points for cash or rewards (i.e. gift cards, a new computer, etc).
The small computational tasks actually serve a larger purpose. Institutions that would have otherwise rented an expensive supercomputer for their computer processing needs now have a new and rather economical alternative that scales beautifully. The power of your home computer and millions of others across the world can now be utilized to find a cure for cancer, crawl the web for compilations of important information, or even encode video for a Hollywood movie. Pretty neat stuff!
Don’t get too excited yet. I signed up for CPUsage on September 30th and have yet to be accepted into the program. Here is the canned email response I received shortly after registering:
“Thank you for your request for a partner invite!
In order to best serve our customers, we must maintain a delicate balance between the number of partners or “Compute Providers” we have with the customer demand. Your request is in our system and we will send you an invitation as soon as we are ready to take on more partners.
This means one of two things. Either CPUsage can not find companies interested in their offering of public computer processing power, or they simply can’t keep up with the demand of people who want to get paid for neglecting their computer.
Either way, CPUsage has definitely created a buzz with their concept of public shared computer processing power and I’m sure they will continue to grow as their business model gains popularity. What do you think?