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iSGTW 12 August 2009

Feature - BOINC gets social with Facebook

A screen shot of Progress Thru Processors.

For the first time, Facebook users are signing on to volunteer grid computing, thanks to a new application called Progress thru Processors.
“For all the promise of volunteer computing, the problem is that no one’s ever heard of it,” said Matt Blumberg, executive director of Grid Republic, “and that’s a big deal for a technology where the utility of the thing is a function of the number of people who participate.”
Progress thru Processors could change all that. The project was developed jointly by Intel, Grid Republic, and the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing. BOINC, which was originally created at University of California at Berkeley to assist in analyzing data in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), is the platform on which Grid Republic’s software is based. Progress thru Processors is an adaptation of Grid Republic’s so

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Opinion - New funding for new ideas

Image courtesy owaisk_4u, stock.xchng

A common complaint heard in Europe is that funding for research and development lags far behind that of the United States. In particular, the US public sector spends $50 billion per year in procurement for R&D, which is 20 times higher than in Europe, and accounts for 50% of the investment gap between the US and Europe. Even taking into account large investments in defense, the US expenditure in R&D is still four times higher than that of Europe.One of the engines behind this R&D expenditure in the US is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR, established in 1982, reserves 2.5% of federal funds from the research budgets of 11 different federal agencies for use in encouraging small businesses to maximize their technological potential. These projects comprise feasibility studies and early prototype development — often the riskiest and most expensive stage of a start-up or

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Feature - Academia Sinica watches global carbon

Chi-Lan Flux Tower is located on one of the long-term ecological research sites in Taiwan, in the northeast part of the island and close to Yuan-Yang Lake nature preserve. At 1400 - 1800 m above sea level, the area of the Chi-Lan Mountain site covers approximately 310 hectares, with a high frequency of fog and cloud year-round. The climate is temperate, heavy and moist, and the trees are mainly Taiwan Cypress. Image courtesy Jia-ying Jiang, Chi-Lan Mountain
Front page: Polarized light reveals the state of the atmosphere thousands of years ago, in a slice of glacial ice containing bubbles of atmospheric gases trapped eons ago. Image courtesy UCAR

With the help of data standards and computing resources, Academia Sinica Grid Computing Center (ASGC) has developed an innovative, grid-enabled approach to tackle carbon flux observation.
The carbon cycle — in which the carbon from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) travels fro

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