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In this issue:
Taking a Break
Science Today: ILC to Support Two Complementary Detectors
Increasing Security One Computer at a Time

SLAC Today

Thursday - November 30, 2006

(Image - Jonathan)

Taking a Break

Starting next week, I will be taking a two month sabbatical, the first extended break that I have had in my seven-plus years as Director. As hard as it is for me to face not experiencing, for two months, the excitement of coming to SLAC each day, I know that I must replenish myself so that I can continue to serve you and laboratory with the vigor and effectiveness that my responsibilities demand.

There is never a "convenient" time to take a break, so why now? It was imperative these past six months for us to make a series of strategic decisions and to crystallize plans for the transition to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) operations era. The successful outcome of three major reviews resulted from this careful planning. Two important safety-related reviews, the Environment, Safety, and Health Advisory Committee (ESHAC) and the Office of Independent Oversight Integrated Safety Management System (OIO ISMS) Review, took place over the past two months. The SLAC Policy Committee meets this week. I wanted to actively do my part in all of these endeavors. The next two months, however, have no high-level reviews and include the holiday shutdown, which is why I chose this period for my sabbatical. I do this knowing that the stewardship of the laboratory is in the capable hands of Persis Drell, Keith Hodgson and John Cornuelle. My thanks go to Keith who will be Acting Director during my absence.

It is a great privilege to serve as Director of SLAC, most especially because it allows me to work with, and on behalf of, such a remarkably talented, dedicated and devoted staff. I look forward to returning in February, rejuvenated and "supercharged."

(Daily Column - Science Today)

ILC to Support Two Complementary Detectors

Over the last year, the ILC Global Design Effort (GDE) has concentrated on developing a complete design and cost estimate for the ILC. These designs and numbers will be released in early 2007 as part of the ILC Reference Design Report. For this report, numerous design changes have been adopted to take advantage of recent R&D results and to make the project more affordable, and more changes are yet to come.

In the last few months, significant changes have already been approved to improve performance, reduce cost, or shorten the construction schedule. One of these was to plan for the experimental detectors to be assembled on the surface, and then lowered into the collider hall as large pre-commissioned slices. A similar scheme was adopted for the CMS detector at CERN's Large Hadron Collider and allowed major detector assembly to start years before the experimental hall was ready. Such a change has a major impact on the detector design and needed to be carefully considered by the physicists.  Read more...

Increasing Security
One Computer at a Time

Today, November 30th, is Computer Security Day. The SLAC Computer Security team is joining in on this day by explaining what you can do to help make SLAC computer use less risky.

The individual user is SLAC's greatest security asset. No matter how much you know about computer security, you can play a part in making computing safer here at the lab.

What Can You Do To Help at SLAC and at Home?
• Screen Locks: SLAC computers can be set to automatically lock whenever they're not in use for a few minutes. We encourage you to set up the automatic screen lock feature. (To view instructions for Windows XP, click here.) If you see someone's screen unlocked and they are not around then please remind them to either lock by hand or set up the automatic feature.

• Lower Your Privs: If you normally are logged into your computer with an account with administrator privileges, we suggest that you switch to using a non-privileged account except when installing software. Often times the security holes we inevitably have on our systems (which the bad guys try to exploit) will give intruders the same rights you currently have. By making yourself an unprivileged user most of the time, it really limits what the criminal can do if he or she does break in to your system. Read more...

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