Below are answers to questions asked by you. We intend to update this list as the questions build up.
What ARE you talking about?
Recently Google announced a developing contest for their new mobile devices Android operating system. Participants were asked to create whatever applications they like, that would be original, appealing, indispensable and would take good use of the system's resources and features.
We joined the contest and chose to bring existing programs named BOINC and SETI to the new Android OS. BOINC is a platform for running distributed-computation projects like SETI. This means that if a certain project has a lot of information to process, individuals could offer their spare CPU time for project processing through the internet, thus contributing their idle computer hours to science.
Many projects have been built on top of the BOINC platform, and you can find some good examples under the Links section in the main page. We're hoping that one of the humanitarian projects will become popular on the Android devices, and many phone owners would thus share their computing resources with the community.
But won't a mobile device be low on energy/battery/resources etc.?
Yes, it would. But there are many factors which make the use of BOINC on mobile devices appealing. Following is a partial list, updated from time to time as readers contirbute their ideas:
How will the information be sent? Will I need to pay for it?
Work to process and results to report will be carried over HTTP via the Internet from and to main scheduling servers. While the exact billing details may depend on your cellular provider, many new devices that come out these days are enforced to join some pre-paid surfing packages. Moreover, Google has specified for the Android devices that they will support always-on networking, meaning the internet is accessible and available as it is to home computers today.
Having said that, future versions could support connecting to the internet only if free connections are available, like WiFi or laptop infra-red connections. The client will recognize these connections by itself, and will initiate communications for as long as the connection is available. Thus the application will work at zero connectivity costs (where available).
The original BOINC and SETI projects are open-sourced, can we see your code?
We certainly intend to keep the open-source model, and feel obliged to share our code, as it is based on the code of many respectable others. The code for the project can be found and browsed on SourceForge:
But wait! if you've ported to Java then you can run BOINC on any device, not just Android!
This is virtually true. We are very excited at the possibility of running BOINC on every java supporting platform. Currently only Android has a Graphical User Interface implemented, but already we can run the core client from personal phones. We have yet to do this, but will share screenshots once it works.
In an ideal future, every computer, cellular and refridgerator will contribute to major science projects, propelling us to new computing era, with computing capabilities unknown today. Science will florish, and all will be well.
Where can I express my opinion?
Please use SourceForge's forums of this project, to raise whatever issue you have on your mind. We will be participating frequently.
You can use the following link to read and/or post messages http://sourceforge.net/forum/?group_id=225139.