PlayStation Life allows you to view simulated clouds all over the Earth and get news from various points on our planet while the Folding@home application runs in the background.
A very interesting way to get more people to use Folding@home, but thus far it has not been explained very well. From the confusing website (link at the bottom) to this very confusing press release, one has to wonder who gets put in charge of this stuff.
Lest I be misunderstood, I am a fan of Folding@home, and the PS3 in general, but this press release is so awkward that I couldn't resist reprinting it in its entirety. So here it is, directly from Sony:
September 18, 2008
Life With PlayStation® Comes to PLAYSTATION®3 on September 18, Worldwide
Proposing a New Life Style with PLAYSTATION®3
Tokyo, September 18, 2008 – Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) today announced that it would release Life with PlayStation® for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) today, September 18, 2008, worldwide simultaneously. Life with PlayStation is a new lifestyle service that offers users a new visual and interactive way to use their PS3 to access news and information from around the world, only possible on the PS3's feature-rich platform.
As the initial content, LIVE CHANNEL will be released for Life with PlayStation. Through network connected PS3, it delivers worldwide news and information centering on two themes, “place” and “time” on a world map interface. Some of the live content includes; cloud imagery (provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center), along with weather information (provided by The Weather Channel), news headlines (provided by Google News™), and live camera images (partially provided by The Earth Television Network) of nearly 60 cities around the globe. Through LIVE CHANNEL, PS3 users will be able to enjoy worldwide news and live information free of charge. In addition to LIVE CHANNEL, Life with PlayStation will continually deliver a wide variety of interactive content and channels to living rooms through network connected PS3s to further enhance the world of entertainment made possible by PS3.
PS3 users can easily join Life with PlayStation by simply clicking the Folding@home*1 icon on the network column of XMB ™ (XrossMediaBar) that will update to Life with PlayStation. With the latest update, Folding@home will support more advanced simulation of protein fold, and will also support PS3 unique Folding@home ranking system, which enable users to see where they stand among the worldwide contributors based on their level of contribution.
SCE will vigorously promote the expansion of the world of PS3 by introducing new services that will open up new possibilities and enjoyment in interactive entertainment.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Recognized as the global leader and the company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is an innovative handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer level processing power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.
For more information, please see the official website (http://www.playstation.com/life/).
*1 Folding@home is a distributed computing*2 project run by Stanford University which aims to understand protein folding and misfolding, and how these are related to diseases and many forms of cancer. PS3 provides approximately 74% (as of February 2008) of the computing power in Folding@home and over 1 million PS3 users has participated in this project.
*2 Distributed computing is an approach adopted by universities and research laboratories to utilize immense computing power without the use of central supercomputers. Small computing tasks are assigned to each user's computer and the results are collected after computation is complete.