Let me explain a bit more here. Primecoin is an important strategic move directly targeted toward the developing bitcoin/litecoin duopoly. Currently ppcoin does not have enough strength to weaken this trend by itself. Even though now ppcoin has many forks, the total PoS market share is about 0.3%, while litecoin's market share is over 5%.
The issue is that even though a large section of the market is now uncertain about bitcoin's continued monopoly due to the rise of litecoin, most folks are still convinced that proof-of-work is going to continue domination, likely in the form of bitcoin/litecoin duopoly.
I believe this thesis is not correct. Litecoin's success was not purely due to its marketing prowess or development capability (from a technical standpoint it's a copycat coin, nothing original by itself as its scrypt implementation was copied from Tenebrix/Artfortz), it's mainly because it has the right property at the right time in the market.
So it dawns on me that it's in fact a weakness in pure proof-of-work systems in general, that their dominant positions will inevitably weaken. Litecoin's rise is closely linked to two major events, bitcoin's first halving last year and bitcoin's mining specialization this year. This point will become more clear when litcoin halves in about two years and bitcoin halves again in about three years.
But the market needs a little push here, without the technology of primecoin, I don't see any of the new hashcash variations challenging this duopoly mentality any time soon. If primecoin is successful, there will be new types of proof-of-work designed by other developers following primecoin's footstep, breaking the myth that a SHA-256/scrypt duopoly should last.
How does it help ppcoin? Once people are over their obsession of the unrealistic promises of proof-of-work, they will start looking at the alternatives more seriously. Also, the users of primecoin will gradually be acquainted with ppcoin technology and this helps ppcoin to gain audience.
The design of prime proof-of-work in primecoin is a small feat by itself. Smart people are asking me how it is designed, it will be revealed in due time with a design paper. This is because designing a prime proof-of-work for cryptocurrency is not an easy task, in fact designing any non-hashcash proof-of-work is probably not easy, and that's why hashcash remained the only type of proof-of-work in cryptocurrency for over 4 years.
1) amazon ec2. In my experience, the market price of a cpu coin is typically below the cost of renting ec2 computing units for mining, so it is generally not profitable for miners to do so. But of course there are exceptions, at time of steep rise of market price of the coin it would be profitable. primecoin has 1 minute block spacing, so it should be able to accommodate up to a couple thousand miners without the help of pools.
2) how will mining work initially? it's the same with bitcoin's built-in cpu miner, you just open the client, go to debug window, type in command 'set generate true'. Or you can add 'gen=1' to configurations.