JKT7 writes: A group of researchers from Stanford and Princeton are recruiting World of Warcraft players to help them study application-level messaging in today's largest virtual environments. With results from this study, the researchers hope to continue enhancing their open, scalable virtual environment called Sirikata, which is being designed for the virtual world applications of the future. Some preliminary results are available, but more data is needed to make meaningful conclusions, so if you are a World of Warcraft player, please consider collecting and submitting some anonymous data.
MojoKid writes: With the help of wireless sensors, Stanford researchers confirmed what most of us suspected. When it comes to infectious viruses, human beings are toast. The researchers outfitted an entire high school population with IEEE 802.15.4 sensors for one day to model what they call a "human contact network." The devices tracked how often people came within the infection-spreading range of other individuals during a typical height-of-flu-season January day. The devices logged more than 760,000 incidents when two people were within 10 feet of each other, roughly the maximum distance that a disease can be transmitted through a cough or sneeze, according to a Stanford report on the project. The researchers ran thousands of simulations of a flu outbreak trying to determine infection rates under various circumstances.
ihaque writes: A Stanford researcher, Philip Guo, has developed a tool called cde to automatically package up a Linux program and all its dependencies (including system-level libraries, fonts, etc!) so that it can be run out of the box on another Linux machine without a lot of complicated work setting up libraries and program versions or dealing with dependency version hell. He's got binaries, source code, and a screencast up. Looks to be really useful for large cluster/cloud deployments as well as program sharing.
CDE is a tool that automatically packages up the Code, Data, and Environment involved in running any Linux command so that it can execute identically on another computer without any installation or configuration. The only requirement is that the other computer have the same hardware architecture (e.g., x86) and major kernel version (e.g., 2.6.X) as yours. CDE allows you to easily run programs without the dependency hell that inevitably occurs when attempting to install software or libraries. You can use CDE to allow your colleagues to reproduce and build upon your computational experiments, to quickly deploy prototype software to a compute cluster, and to submit executable bug reports.