Nowadays, computing power is practically free for trading. It does not take much processing power to trade or chart on your computer. The situation is even more wasteful for many mechanical traders obligated to keep their computers on all the time. So what can you do with all that idling power? Through World Community Grid (non-profit), you can help develop new cures for diseases or discover affordable solar energy. According to Wikipedia, "World Community Grid (WCG) is an effort to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle scientific research projects that benefit humanity." By joining WCG and installing an open-source software, you are enabling your computer's idling cycles to process data from various research projects as part of a cluster of computers. From the WCG statistics page, over half a million users have signed up. It is one of the three biggest non-profit grid computing efforts in the world (the other being SETI@home and folding@home). I tried SETI@home almost a decade ago to help search for E.T. But it wasn't until the folding@home project started when grid computing gained popularity. Tell people that you're leaving your computer on to search for E.T. and people couldn't hold their laughs at you. But telling people that you're leaving your computer on to find cures for diseases ... then all of a sudden, it's philanthropic. The reasons why I chose to devote my computer resources to WCG instead of the other two are simple.
- It offers more than one projects to choose. You can fold proteins, find energy efficient material, simulate climate change, etc.
- The projects offered have specific, realistic goals.
- Projects do get completed (unlike SETI@home, for example, since no E.T. has been found yet after 10 years).
- New projects are added as older ones finish.
In any case, that's just my personal choice. Take a look at the three projects mentioned for more information. In addition, there's an interview with a researcher using WCG. If you decide that WCG is right for you, feel free to join Team Traders and start data crunching together. (Warning: Like any software, use at your own risk)