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Yahoo to Expand BOSS Dev Tools, Boost Cloud Research

Yahoo is adding new developer tools to its service for building custom search engines, BOSS, and expanding its efforts to foster cloud computing research in academia.

Yahoo will announce on Thursday that BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) developers can now access content from the company's popular Delicious social bookmarking site, such as saved site links and descriptive tags for these links.

Another new feature is the filtering of results by language, as well as the ability for the BOSS news search component to sort results by date or by a specific date range.

Separately, Yahoo will also announce a partnership with three major universities for research into cloud computing systems and applications.

The schools are the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

They join existing partner Carnegie Mellon University. In the project, Yahoo makes cloud computing resources available to universities so they can conduct research on large-scale systems and applications.

Carnegie Mellon has been using Yahoo's M45 cluster for more than a year. It has approximately 4,000 processor cores and 1.5 petabytes of disk storage and runs Hadoop, an open-source implementation of the MapReduce programming model for processing large data sets in processor clusters.

Yahoo officials have said that the company believes academia will play a crucial part in developing the "next generation" of cloud infrastructure and Web applications.

In July 2008, Yahoo partnered with Hewlett-Packard and Intel for cloud computing research and education. The three vendors at the time said they wanted to help advance the development and adoption of large-scale, data-intensive, Internet-hosted applications and related IT infrastructure.

The initiative with HP and Intel, called Cloud Computing Test Bed, also counts among its participants the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Science Foundation and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

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