Peer-to-peer networks could help detect the undersea earthquakes that cause tsunamis. No, this doesn’t mean there’s a link between how many teenagers are illegally downloading My Chemical Romance MP3s, and geological movements of the Earth’s crust. Although it is a postgraduate thesis in the making.
Instead, it’s something called the Tsunami Harddisk Detector, which was demonstrated earlier this week at the Ars Electronica exhibition in Austria. Once people sign up to take part, the system takes readings of how much their hard disks are vibrating, and analyses the data to figure out if there’s an undersea earth tremour happening.
And don’t worry, the system doesn’t get thrown off if you accidentally kick your PC, or if it’s a clattery old vibrating dinosaur like mine. THD is still in development, but it could provide valuable early warnings once it’s finished.