Via Stefan Merten:
You may have heard of `SETI@home`_. Several years ago this project
asked volunteers all over the Internet to donate their excess
computing power to search for signals from extraterrestrial life
Today there is BOINC_ which makes such `volunteer computing`_ projects
easy and gives them a common technical platform:
Use the idle time on your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to cure
diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other
types of scientific research.
It supports a number of projects among them also supporting some
experiments at the `Large Hadron Collider`_. Such projects are
typically scientific projects which need lots and lots of computing
power to calculate useful results but can not afford extremely
expensive super-computers for this task.
I'd consider volunteer computing another example of peer production.
In this case expensive calculation results are created by donations
from lots of peers.
.. _volunteer computing: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/VolunteerComputing
.. _SETI@home: http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/
.. _Large Hadron Collider: http://lhcathome.cern.ch/lhcathome/
.. _BOINC: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/