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Screensavers these days are decorative more than anything else, but rather than the usual fare of beautiful images which can be used as screensavers, here are 7 screensavers which actually do something useful:
1. A Screensaver That Can Help Cure Cancer
Folding@home is a distributed computing project — people from throughout the world download and run software to band together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world. By participating, your PC will download a small chunk of cancer research data, processes it, and send it back to the Stanford University, and it repeats the process for as long as your PC is idle which makes this the most altruistic screensaver around. When you step away for a cup of coffee, you’re actually saving the world :)
2. A Screensaver That Helps You Learn from Wikipedia
Discover new things every day with Wikipedia screensaver. The Wikipedia screensaver loads random pages from Wikipedia every 30 seconds or so so you’ll be treated to an interesting tidbit of information when you return to you PC. On top of its Wikipedia features, it can be configured to kill any program on activation (for example documents or browsers) to ensure complete privacy while you’re away from your desk.
3. A Screensaver That Helps You Get the Hottest News
Digg.com is one of the best places to read the absolute hottest news out there today. What they also do is create visualization models which allow you to quickly discern and pickup hot pieces of news. All of which can be found in their Digg Labs section. Pick one of the visualization tools, and you’ll be able to download a screensaver version there as well, so now your screensaver will show hot news stories flashing up on your screen in real time.
4. A Screensaver That Stumbles Across Awesome Photos
Slickr is a Flickr screen saver that you can set up to show images by:
- User – Favorites, Set, Tags, Contacts
- Everyone – Tags, Recent, Interestingness
- Local files/directories (So you can use your own images on your hard drive)
5. A Screensaver That Shows You Breaking News Happening Around the World
MappedUp is an application that tracks a large number of RSS news sources and displays their latest items on a world map so you can see where the breaking news is originating from. Very elegant in design and a joy to watch.
6. A Screensaver That Helps You Understand Geography
Cities of Earth is a free 3D screensaver wich shows biggest cities of our planet as you can see it from the space. Many of cities with information about its population and country names. So it’s a good educational content. The positions of all cities corresponds to its real world coordinates. You can also adjust camera positions.
7. A Screensaver That Acts as a Feedreader
RSSMore is a free screensaver that lets you subscribe to any number of RSS feeds and view them as a screen saver. You can even display web pages in their original form, so you can include non-RSS sites in your playlist!
8. A Screensaver That Shows You Global Blog Activity
Twingly screensaver is visualizing the global blog activity in real time. Forget RSS readers where you see only what you’re interested in. With Twingly screensaver you get a 24/7 stream of all (viewer discretion advised) blog activity, straight to your screen. Check out the video for a quick preview.
9. A Screensaver That Visualizes Twitter Messages Across the Globe
Twittearth is an interesting app which taps into Twitter’s live stream to show you tweets from all over the globe while showing you which part of the world it came from. An absolutely beautiful piece of eye candy.