Apparently the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York took a look at available cheap computing power and decided that the PS3 with Linux was the way to go -- until Sony removed the ability to install the OS with their latest firmware update. Now the Air Force is stuck with a lot of PS3s that can't be repaired if they break -- because Sony will update the firmware to remove the option to install Linux.
(One can only imagine what happened to those 2,000 PS3 controllers and other unneeded accessories.)
Wait a minute, how comes PS3 is cheaper than dedicated node without pretty boxes, casing, controllers, GPU (PS3 blocks Linux from accessing GPU), and such? Economics of scale? No. Sony is simply selling PS3s at loss, recovering the costs of hardware from game sales! Most notably, NOT recovering costs of hardware sold to Air Force.
I say, it's great news. Maybe next time Air Force won't try to be too clever, and will order nodes from a honest manufacturer, rather than, so to say, taking free pens from the conferences in unusual numbers. Smaller carbon footprint too, without all the unused hardware and casing.
And good riddance to Linux on PS3, as well. When you get PS3 to run Linux, it means that a lot of resources were wasted making the GPU, which you cannot use on PS3 under Linux.
It would've been best if Sony simply sold PS3 at it's manufacturing price, but I doubt anyone would want to buy PS3 then.