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Four short links: 4 May 2010

Software vs Biology, Virtual Keyboards, Massive Sensor Network Scheme, and MTurk via JavaScript

  1. Comparing genomes to computer operating systems in terms of the topology and evolution of their regulatory control networks (PNAS) — paper comparing structure and evolution of software design (exemplified by the Linux operating system) against biological systems (in the form of the e. coli bacterium). They found software has a lot more “middle manager” functions (functions that are called and then in turn call) as opposed to biology, where “workers” predominate (genes that make something, but which don’t trigger other genes). They also quantified how software and biology value different things (as measured what persists across generations of organisms, or versions of software): Reuse and persistence are negatively correlated in the E. coli regulatory network but positively correlated in the Linux call graph[...]. In other words, specialized nodes are more likely to be preserved in the regulatory network, but generic or reusable functions are persistent in the Linux call graph. (via Hacker News)
  2. Virtual Keyboards in Google Search — rolling out virtual keyboards across all Google searches. Very nice solution to the problem of “how the heck do I enter that character on this keyboard?”. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
  3. Information and Quantum Systems Lab at HP — working on the mathematical and physical foundations for the technologies that will form a new information ecosystem, the Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE), consisting of a trillion nanoscale sensors and actuators embedded in the environment and connected via an array of networks with computing systems, software and services to exchange their information among analysis engines, storage systems and end users. (via dcarli on Twitter)
  4. Turkit Java/JavaScript API for running iterative tasks on Mechanical Turk. (via chrismessina on Twitter)
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