Sunnyvale-based Yahoo is partnering up with four universities to advance cloud computing technology, the firm disclosed this morning. Yahoo said that Carnegie Mellon, The University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, are all involved in an effort to use Yahoo's cloud computing cluster for large-scale systems software research. Yahoo said that the effort gives the four universities access to its M45 Hadoop cluster, a 4,000-processor and 1.5 petabyte cluster used for massively parallel processing. The firm said the educational institutions will use the cluster for new applications for analyzing Internet-scale data sets, including looking at voting records and online news. Hadoop is an open source, Apache project for managing distribution of parallel processing tasks. The new effort comes just a few days after Amazon.com said it would open up a new Hadoop-based service called Amazon Elastic MapReduce.