Today marks the end of "Life with Playstation".

#1 Edited by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Life with Playstation (Formally known as Folding@Home) was an app that you find on your PS3, It has been their for since March the 22nd 2007. With the recent patch that went through, Life with Playstation is no longer on the system. An official statement was released from the website.

Dear valued PlayStation®3 customers,

By the beginning of November, 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will terminate the services available through Life with PlayStation® application which enable users to enjoy content on the internet centering on two themes, “place” and “time.” Prior to the termination, SCEI will also stop offering of the application to new users on October 24th.

Life with PlayStation has also helped Stanford University's Folding@home, a distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and studying the causes of a variety of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancers.*

More than 15 million PS3® users has participated in the program in total and more than 100 million computation hours have been donated to the Folding@Home project to date. As a result of discussions with Stanford University, SCEI decided the termination considering that the PS3® system has made a significant contribution to the project.

“The PS3 system was a game changer for Folding@home, as it opened the door for new methods and new processors, eventually also leading to the use of GPUs.” said Vijay Pande, Folding@home research lead, Stanford University. “We have had numerous successes in recent years. Specifically, in a paper just published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, we report on tests of predictions from earlier Folding@home simulations, and how these predictions have led to a new strategy to fight Alzheimer's Disease. The next steps, now underway at Stanford, are to take this lead compound and help push it towards a viable drug. 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).”

We would like to thank all the PS3® users for their support to “Life with PlayStation”.

I never used it much, like many I forgot that it was still there, I remember logging on to it when I got my PS3 and just being impressed by the globe. When you loaded it up you would see a 3D version of Earth, there would be a small golden dot on multiple parts of the earth, each one of those dots would be people using Life with Playstation. It's sad to see it go, I hope they try something with the PS4.

#2 Posted by AmatureIdiot (1062 posts) -

God dammit, I would of totally checked the protein folding stuff out if I had heard of this earlier.

#3 Edited by MB (11906 posts) -

@Hizang said:

What the app did was quite amazing if you really think about it, it provided electricty to a university in stanford that helped fight diseses like alzhimers and parkinsons.

I'm going to assume that just didn't come out quite the way you intended it to...but...provided electricity? I guess that's true in a certain manner of speaking since everyone is paying for their own electricity when running the folding client...

Anyway, there is a Giant Bomb folding team if anyone wants to join it and contribute with either their PS3's now, or the desktop applications available from Stanford. Be careful before just letting one or more computers fold 24 hours a day though, your electricity bill could increase drastically.

http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=138884

Personally, I'm more interested in SETI@home since I was tangentially involved with SETI when working at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Anyway, check it out as well if you're interested in distributed computing.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

Wait, it provided electricity? I thought it was a game thing where people tried to fold proteins to make the smallest form or something. For some reason, computers couldn't do it very well so they did that good ol' crowd sourcing.

#5 Posted by Panpipe (472 posts) -

I folded a couple a few days ago as a farewell to this crazy idea.

It's amazing that it takes a PS3 5 hours to complete one workload, no wonder they needed to outsource the project.

I'm pretty sure the one I folded cured cancer by the way.

#6 Posted by Genkkaku (732 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

Wait, it provided electricity? I thought it was a game thing where people tried to fold proteins to make the smallest form or something. For some reason, computers couldn't do it very well so they did that good ol' crowd sourcing.

Yeah just like Noby Noby boy but with folding protein and outputting electricity.. that sounds right

#7 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

@MB: Isn't that what are role was? Sending some electricity over to them?

#8 Posted by Phatmac (5720 posts) -

A shame I never heard about it. :/

#9 Posted by Dave_442 (52 posts) -

They are simulating protein folding with the aim of better understanding diseases such as alzheimers. To perform the simulations themselves would require an extremely large computing cluster and a ton of computing time. Instead of building their own computing cluster and running the simulations themselves, they have written a piece of software that you can install on your system. This software runs in the background and makes use of otherwise unused processing power to contribute to their simulations (i.e. when your PC is sitting idle it is actually being used to simulate protein folding).

Essentially, they have crowd-sourced their computing requirements. Instead of performing their own simulations, they have hundreds of thousands of people worldwide performing their simulations for them. This way they get much more work done in a much shorter amount of time.

#10 Posted by crazyleaves (637 posts) -
@Hizang it was using the processor to virtually fold the proteins, the sending the data to Stanford.
#11 Posted by Nightriff (4871 posts) -

I did this for like 20 minutes when it first launched....maybe early 2008. I would've been fine doing it but my PS3 was near my bed in my apartment and it is loud as fuck so I never tried it again....and that was my experience with Life

Online
#12 Posted by mosespippy (3984 posts) -

I used to see maybe 75% of my friends list using it when it was called Folding@Home. When they switched it to Life with Playstation I only ever saw one person use it. SSuch a shame.

#13 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -
@Hizang: It does maths and science homework n sends them the results.
 
Also yea it's weird that they changed the name. They probably wanted to have "PlayStation" in it.
#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

So why are they discontinuing support for Life? (discontinuing Life support lulz)

@Hizang said:

@MB: Isn't that what are role was? Sending some electricity over to them?

Please be joking.

#15 Posted by yoshisaur (2612 posts) -

I never took the time to figure out what this "folding" stuff is. Sad to see, what seemed like, a great service get shut down.

#16 Edited by Gamer_152 (14051 posts) -

Whoa boy, there's a whole lot of inaccurate and missing information here. Firstly, the app was ever called "FoldingHome", it was called "Folding@home", and Folding@home was never just a PS3 app, the PS3 app accounted in 2011 for 74% of the processing done on Folding@home, but a PC version has existed, still does, and I urge people to install it. Secondly, even if it's gone now, the details of how it worked are not pointless in the least, they're entirely relevant to this story, interesting in general, and important for application to future technology.

Thirdly, the "university in Stanford" was Stanford University and what the app was doing was simulating protein folding. Proteins are absolutely essential to just about everything our bodies do, but before the body can use proteins it has to fold them into very complex shapes. Sometimes the proteins fold wrongly and this causes all sorts of problems which can lead to conditions like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, mad cow disease, etc. Simulating protein folding allows the scientists to better understand it and how it can go wrong, and from that they can learn how to better combat these conditions.

Lastly, the app was not "Sending them electricity", you can't just send someone electricity over the internet. Even using a supercomputer, running all the necessary protein folding simulations that the university needs to would take a ridiculous amount of time. Therefore they've been using what's known as distributed computing. They split the simulations up into small bits, send the bits out to peoples PS3s and PCs via the app, the peoples' machines run those bits of the simulations and then send the resulting data back. Utilising a little processing power on millions of average machines in this way allows the university to run the simulations they need much faster than using all the processing power of one very, very powerful machine.

Please, make sure you're aware of what you're talking about before you post this kind of thing, and if you're not then do some research. Anywho, it's sad to see this thing disappear off of the PS3, it was a real source of good in the world.

Moderator
#17 Posted by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

I wonder how much support Folding@Home could get if they made a deal with Microsoft to include it with every copy of Windows. Not even on by default. I know Gates doesn't run the show anymore, but he's a huge philanthropist so this sounds like a good combo. Also, doing it now would make Sony look like big jerks.

#18 Posted by churrific (473 posts) -

I actually used it for awhile just as a standby app. Plus I got to feel mildly good for contributing something to research. Double win.

#19 Edited by Ghostiet (5209 posts) -

I contributed in it semi-regularly.

@Hizang said:

@MB: Isn't that what are role was? Sending some electricity over to them?

What.

#20 Posted by Hailinel (23707 posts) -
@Hizang

@MB: Isn't that what are role was? Sending some electricity over to them?

I want you to think about this statement carefully and ask yourself how a PS3 could transmit electricity to another computer.
#21 Posted by rickyyo (122 posts) -

I almost exclusively used my PS3 for folding because I had an xbox 360. So, seeing it go means my ps3 is deadweight at this point with a broken blu-ray drive. Really disappointed sony sacked it. I did something like 300 work units on that thing.

#22 Posted by Solh0und (1753 posts) -

It was definitely neat while it lasted.

#23 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

@Gamer_152: Sorry about that, I was rushing to get the story here before anybody else. I shall be more careful next time.

#24 Posted by 49th (2670 posts) -

I never understood what that thing did even after reading up about it. I still don't really know.

Online
#25 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

What the sideways fuck. Why are they doing this? What is the point of shutting off Folding@Home and removing it? Who does this benefit? What possible resource could it save Sony? This is ridiculous.

Online
#26 Posted by Ghostiet (5209 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

What the sideways fuck. Why are they doing this? What is the point of shutting off Folding@Home and removing it? Who does this benefit? What possible resource could it save Sony? This is ridiculous.

I wouldn't be surprised if they simply had some sort of 5 year deal that expired by now.

#27 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (725 posts) -

In PAL territories, they also got rid of this, and replaced it with a SingStar icon that takes priority over the disc icon for games.

It sits in the games tab, it opens on SingStar by default if you turn it on with no disc in the drive, and you cannot move the icon at all.

The EU blog is EXPLODING over it: http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2012/10/23/get-ready-for-singstar-on-the-xmb It didn't help that SingStar PR's response was "You'll like it!" to early complaints, descending into patronising and sarcasm as the thread went on.

#28 Posted by Dixavd (1294 posts) -

What they should do is on the PS4 when playing not-as-intensive games* you have the option to lower the resolution/frames-per-second and the saved processing power can go into doing this system in the background (this way you can still use it without having to keep your machine on wasting electricity - or if it is loud then also just being mildly annoying - to use this surface). I currently use the World Community Gridwhich uses processing power when my computer goes to screensaver to help go to fixing problems the world over - it would be so cool to do the same kind of thing when actually playing games.

*(like PS3 games if there is backwards compatability, or downloadble games - maybe they can make something useful out of the Mini's category just for this)

#29 Posted by Fattony12000 (6970 posts) -

God. Damn.

@dekkadekkadekka said:

In PAL territories, they also got rid of this, and replaced it with a SingStar icon that takes priority over the disc icon for games.

It sits in the games tab, it opens on SingStar by default if you turn it on with no disc in the drive, and you cannot move the icon at all.

The EU blog is EXPLODING over it: http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2012/10/23/get-ready-for-singstar-on-the-xmb It didn't help that SingStar PR's response was "You'll like it!" to early complaints, descending into patronising and sarcasm as the thread went on.

Posted on 24 October, 2012 at 3:04 am by Dark-Twisted

Oh god, NO. NO. NO.
I don’t care if it’s anywhere on the XMB just not under Game. Do you even comprehend how many people you’re going to [DELETED] off? I understand moving the trophy collection but a pointless icon in the way of games I actually want to play is NOT the way to go. You must scrap those plans ASAP or people will be moaning about it at every chance for months to come.

[DELETED] were you thinking?

    Posted on 24 October, 2012 at 10:22 am by Nina Scherer

    I guess the moderated bits mean you are really pleased about it. Thanks, we’re really proud of it.

#30 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1506 posts) -

I never used it since, when you really cost it out, it would the better part of $200/year to run a PS3 full-time (especially during the summer, when it's $0.12/kWh during peak hours here). That's not to mention the potential wear and tear of running the PS3 full-tilt all the time.

The PS3, being based on 2005 tech, also can't be all that efficient computationally compared to what we have now. I suspect this move has had a lot more thought put into it than some of us are assuming.

#31 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4328 posts) -

So that's what that was.

#32 Posted by HulkHanson (72 posts) -

Yeah, never really understood it either. I heard my PS3 could help cure diseases through it, and was instantly confuddled about how my time spent shouting at people down a headset could possibly benefit anyone. Oh well.

#33 Posted by laserbolts (5310 posts) -

This is the first I have ever heard of this.

#34 Posted by xyzygy (9871 posts) -

I still have no idea what this is.

#35 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -
@xyzygy The future!
#36 Posted by c_rakestraw (818 posts) -

That's a shame. Never used it myself (forgot it was under that Life with PlayStation thing), but it seemed to be doing pretty well.

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