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Cell Phones For Science: BOINC Now Available For Android 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-your-phone-do-something-more-productive-than-angry-birds dept.
Luyseyal writes "BOINC is now available on Android. Many of you may not know, but the Slashdot Users team makes a decent showing on World Community Grid. WCG supports research on AIDS, schistoma, cancer, clean energy, and more. Now is your chance to put your idle charge cycles to good use. Let's do some science!"
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Cell Phones For Science: BOINC Now Available For Android

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  • Battery (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:44PM (#44439103)

    Like I'm not already fighting to keep my battery last a day? :(

    • Re:Battery (Score:5, Informative)

      by Saethan (2725367) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:47PM (#44439147)
      From the app description: 'BOINC computes only when your device is plugged in and charged, so it won't run down your battery'
      • Re:Battery (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:54PM (#44439267) Homepage

        It will burn a hole in your table though.
        Ever noticed how hot smartphones get when left running at full capacity for a while?

        • by Saethan (2725367)
          Yeah I just threw it on two cores on my Galaxy S2 and it started getting -really hot- -really fast- ... so, one core it is.
        • Actually, another nice thing about Android clients is that they suspend at certain CPU temperatures. The official android client suspends at 40 C

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          My phone overheats using Boinc as well. Given that lithium-ion performance is directly tied to the max temperature ever reached by the battery, this does concern me. Well, it would, except work paid for the phone and I have a feeling that if the battery goes out that they'll just pitch me a new phone rather than a new battery. Convenient!

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          It will burn a hole in your table though.
          Ever noticed how hot smartphones get when left running at full capacity for a while?

          This is especially true on the A15-based smartphones and the "octacore". Truth is, they hit their max temperature (around 125C) after a few minutes if you peg all 4 high-powered (A15) cores in around 5 minutes.

          From an analysis I saw, the software had to modulate at that point two of the cores to be around 50% utilization (so 2 going 100%, the other 2 at 50%) in order to maintain 125C

      • by Anonymous Coward

        i know my phone runs off battery even when plugged in.. when low, and plugged in to extend a call... it still runs out of juice.. just takes longer... the charge rate is slower than the power consumption of the device.

        such a stupid fucking idea.. perfect example of: just because you can (do something) doesn't mean you should.

      • I would estimate that the average user would be able to do one result a day. That would require about 8 hours of charging time since a lot of the fa@h work units require over 8 hours of computing time. IBM has already contributed over 49 million results and over 119 thousand yesterday alone. There are 6 members that have contributed around 10 million or more results so there is some series money involved here. There are over 900,000 results yesterday so even if WCG managed to get 100,000 new android use
        • by Luyseyal (3154)

          And the other thing is that if PCs start getting less popular (phone + KVM + RDP to the cloud or similar), BOINC will shrink. They're trying to cover their bets with this phone stuff. While I, the submitter, think it's cool and important, I seriously doubt people will want to spend much effort on it -- especially if PC ownership shrinks overall.

          Also, you're talking about AIDS and other high profile projects. There are plenty of low profile, tiny projects that benefit a great deal from BOINC at a price point

    • Re:Battery (Score:4, Informative)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:48PM (#44439169) Homepage Journal

      out of the box configuration is to not do calculations on battery... but I know we have 20k more battery comments coming.

      Also, it is also set up out of the box so that if the battery gets below 90% it doesn't do calculations at any time. This allow the battery to charge up properly on most devices. Having said that, there are a lot of devices (like the Nexus 7 with four cores) that have problems because the battery drains *EVEN IF* it is on the battery. I have to set mine so that it only uses 2 cores otherwise the thing never charges.

      • Re:Battery (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:49PM (#44439185) Homepage Journal

        aw.. crap... ...redo

          Having said that, there are a lot of devices (like the Nexus 7 with four cores) that have problems because the battery drains *EVEN IF* it is on the charger. I have to set mine so that it only uses 2 cores otherwise the thing never charges.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I suspect you need a higher-amperage charger, and not one marked higher amperage but made for iThings. If you do have an Apple charger, you need a special "charging" cable for most Android devices, though I think there is a hack to force some into high-current mode without such a beast.

          • I actually have a solar-based charging system and charge off of a 12v storage battery, so this isn't really relevant for me.

            Boinc is the lower priority for me, really, so if I had to I would get rid of it.

            However, for most people your advice is straight on right.

            • The phone communicates with the charger - if the phone can't do it, it'll max the charging at 500mA. My phone charges at a different rate when connected to different chargers. I'm sure you already know this, but just in case...

        • by Luyseyal (3154)

          My Galaxy S4 loses power while on a computer USB port but charges correctly on a wall wart. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation but haven't bothered to look into it seeing as how I'm full to the brim with warts of various sizes and colors.

          NARF,
          -l

          • A USB port on a computer generally supplies 500mA of power. A wall wart is likely to supply double that amount or more. If your phone is draining its battery faster than the external power supply is charging it, the predictable thing happens.
            • by Luyseyal (3154)

              Yeah, that makes sense. I just wondered if I had a buggy phone or too much crap running. I did put it into developer mode and kill just about everything on a regular basis. My last phone was a Nokia E75 so all this USB charging is new to me.

              -l

      • silly to risk doing anything to battery on phone when most of have multiple computers at home including a workstation with multiple cores. project wants to borrow my kid's plastic beach sand shovel when I have a bulldozer or three around the house.

  • NativeBOINC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SecretSquirrel33 (1857738) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:46PM (#44439129)
    I have been using the Android port NativeBOINC [nativeboinc.org] for quite a while now. Just recently they even added support to my favorite program, Einstein@Home.
    • I use NativeBOINC for my android devices that don't have batteries... it is actually a much better client than the new official client, but it has more problems with batteries.

    • by Velex (120469)

      That's pretty neat! Mod parent up. Einstein@Home and SETI@Home here.

      I just installed it on my phone (Tegra 3) and will be putting it on my tablet (Tegra 2) later, so I'll see how it goes.

  • rather find primes with primecoin, and get paid while doing it :-)
  • by koan (80826)

    Why not tie this sort of crowd sourcing to Bitcoin or the equivalent, where in the work (blocks) being done for the Bitcoin are actual research blocks.

    Not sure if it's technically possible, but it would be interesting.

  • ...that cause every Windows system to crash and have to be powered-off to resume...I'll consider putting it on my phone! --CAO
    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      I've never had BOINC crash Windows. Were you using the GPU? Nvidia or AMD?

      -l

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      ...that cause every Windows system to crash and have to be powered-off to resume...I'll consider putting it on my phone!

      --CAO

      That was my concern also, and was the reason I very reluctantly stopped contributing to SETI when they switched to BOINC. Every once in awhile they plead with me to rejoin, and every time I say "still using BOINC? Then no." Once bitten, etc etc.

      On my phone? Freaking kidding me. The phone is unstable enough as it is.

  • by macraig (621737)

    If we had clean-as-in-free energy or I had a better income then I'd still be crunching for WCG. I stopped because I couldn't afford the extra 150W it caused my system to draw 24/7. I don't have a cellphone now because of the monthly cost, so they can't get my contribution that way either.

    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      Been there and don't sweat it. Thank you for the time you were able to contribute.

      -l

  • by Seumas (6865)

    Gladly... how much am I going to get paid?

    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      Nothing. It's a donation. If you don't want to donate, it's your choice. :)

      -l

  • I'd be very interested to hear how the performance on a variety of smartphones compares to Intel/AMD CPUs.

    Anybody got some benchmarks to share?

  • Scientific progress goes BOINC?

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