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Attention Span 2009.05.02

What caught my attention today... actually, I tried to stay OFF the web today, and focus on writing. So, not too much:

Number Crunching Made Easy

Newsweek calls out the use of the OSS emanating from Argonne. Globus' Nimbus makes the mainstream press.

The cloud is already making high-performance computing more readily available to researchers in the developed world. The Nimbus project at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois has developed open-source software that can launch a virtual supercomputer within minutes on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. Earlier this month, nuclear physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York used the service to rush through a set of new simulations on data from the lab's Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider—set up to give a glimpse into what the universe may have looked like in its first few moments—rather than waiting weeks or months for a slot to open up on the lab's big computers. The innovation could have a profound effect: simplifying and speeding up research in everything from renewable energies to drug testing.

Neo4j - the graph database

This, to me, sounds so appropriate for a number of projects I've been contemplating. I'm hoping that the skills curve is not so steep that I can't chip away at it.

Neo4j is a graph database. It is an embedded, disk-based, fully transactional Java persistence engine that stores data structured in graphs rather than in tables. A graph (mathematical lingo for a network) is a flexible data structure that allows a more agile and rapid style of development.

You can think of Neo4j as a high-performance graph engine with all the features of a mature and robust database. The programmer works with an object-oriented, flexible network structure rather than with strict and static tables — yet enjoys all the benefits of a fully transactional, enterprise-strength database.

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