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In this issue:
Standing on the Shoulders of Robots
Profile Today: Richard Swent: The Zen of Bicycle Riding
Plain Text Assists in Identifying Phishing

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 5, 2006

A macromolecular protein crystallography experimental hutch with an automated robotic arm. Samples remain in cold storage in the dispensing dewar. (Click on image for
larger version.)

Standing on the Shoulders of Robots

Over the past three years, the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at SSRL have enjoyed a spike in scientific popularity, with more and more users from around the world taking advantage of the technologies available for determining the structure of molecules. And increasingly, those users are doing that work without stepping foot into a laboratory.

For many years, the growing demand for beamtime placed a premium on getting more done in less time. To figure out the structure of a protein molecule, researchers first screen numerous and often hundreds of samples of specially prepared crystals, each no bigger than a grain of salt, to find one suitable for closer x-ray study. Cycling through those hundreds of samples can take an enormous amount of time, a problem that SSRL engineers have solved by automating the process with robots. Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Richard Swent:
The Zen of Bicyle Riding

(Photo - Richard Swent)SLAC physicist Richard Swent not only knows how to make Linear Colliders, but he also knows how to avoid collisions. Swent is currently working on the International Linear Collider (ILC), which, if built, will collide electrons and positrons. Yet afterhours, Swent dons a helmet and tries to prevent a very different type of collision.

A bicycle safety instructor in his off-time, Swent was recently profiled by the Palo Alto Weekly (article here) for his dedication to teaching 10- to 14-year olds how to cycle safely. He teaches his students everything from how to properly size a helmet to signaling a left turn. After proper training, he takes his students out on the road for hands-on experience.

"Bicycling is a great way for children to get exercise and become familiar with their neighborhoods," said Swent. "Powering themselves to school is a source of great self-esteem for children, and they arrive wide awake and ready to learn."

Swent has been in love with bicycling since his graduate years at Stanford University, when he learned proper bicycling etiquette as team captain of the bicycle racing team. He says he hopes to help younger generations safely enjoy the sport as much as he does.

More information about Richard Swent's Bicycle Safety program is available here.

Plain Text Assists in Identifying Phishing

Our SPAM quarantine system can usually prevent the phishing emails from making it into your Inbox but it doesn't catch everything. Plus, what if you looked at your SPAM Digest message and you saw a message from service@irs.gov and the Subject was "refund of $63.80"? Would you release it? And if you did and it arrived in your Inbox would it display in HTML?

(Image - HTML Email)

Email displayed as HTML. (Click image for larger version.)

Or do you have your email set up to show all emails in Plain Text?

Email displayed as plain text. (Click image for larger version.)


Can you see how it would be much easier to notice that the link to the "form" is not going to take you to irs.gov web site? It is taking you to an IP address instead of irs.gov. Read more...

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