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In this issue:
Powering the LCLS
Steward of the Environment
Discarding SPAM E-mail Rated at 100%

SLAC Today

Friday - September 21, 2007

One of many new LCLS controller modules created by a team that included Antonio de Lira, Briant Lam, Dave MacNair and Paul Bellomo.

Powering the LCLS

When the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) turns on in 2009, it will pack one trillion x-ray photons into a single pulse of the needle-thin beam. Shaping, focusing and directing the beam is a complex task requiring hundreds of magnets of various shapes and sizes. And each of those magnets must be powered and controlled with precision of within 0.001 percent. To accomplish this task, a team of SLAC engineers including Antonio de Lira, Briant Lam, Dave MacNair and Paul Bellomo have created a controller for the hundreds of power supplies required by the LCLS.

The controller is a newly designed upgrade of an older model. It uses Ethernet technology, which is both 250 times faster and cheaper than the Bitbus system it replaced, and offers more protection from magnet-destroying shorts and hot-spots. The SLAC-designed controller is the result of thousands of hard-worked hours.

"From concept to reality, building a controller like this takes a long time," said Dave MacNair, the engineer that led the controller's development. "I've been living with it for years."  Read more...

Steward of the Environment

SLAC's new Energy and Water Conservation Manager, John Steward, is implementing a new initiative to reduce the lab's energy and water consumption.

Steward will focus on meeting the goals set out in the Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) initiative announced by Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last month and in the Presidential Environmental Executive Order signed early this year. The program calls for all DOE facilities and laboratories to cut energy consumption by 30 percent in administrative buildings, reduce water usage by 16 percent, and use sustainable practices in new building construction and major renovations.

Applied across the entire DOE complex, the measures are expected to save approximately $90 million dollars per year, after projects are paid for.

"I'm excited about doing something good for SLAC and performing work I consider socially redeemable," said Steward, formerly a facilities manager at Lockheed Martin. "We will be announcing new conservation and energy efficiency plans in the coming months, and we're looking forward to working with the SLAC community to help reduce energy costs and preserve the natural environment that makes SLAC such a spectacular site."

The lab will also focus on sustainability practices, such as buying paper with at least 30 percent post-consumer recycled fiber content. This limits the number of trees cut for pulp, and the amount of chlorine—dangerous to people and wildlife—used in paper processing.

That's music to Steward's ears. In addition to playing and composing music, he enjoys outdoor activities such as bird watching, fishing, backpacking and surfing.

Discarding SPAM E-mail
Rated at 100%

A few years ago, Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) implemented anti-spam filtering in an effort to combat spam e-mail. Since then, anti-spam vendors have been making progress in their fight against spammers. However, they will have a tough time making the problem go away completely since criminals are always changing tactics to get emails through anti-spam filters. It's in effect a constant cat-and-mouse battle between the good guys and the bad guys.

Despite the noticeable increase in the amount of spam messages received overall, the detection methods used by SLAC's anti-spam vendor have nonetheless improved over time. Spam messages that are now rated 100% by the lab's spam filters are certain to be unsolicited and/or fraudulent e-mail.

Spam rated at 100% indeed represents the bulk of the spam caught by our filters and placed in quarantine. Therefore they don't even make it into inboxes at SLAC.

SCCS has decided to discard the spam messages rated 100% in order to reduce storage and costs that are associated with the retention of such wasteful items. As a result, the daily spam digests sent to e-mail accounts will be much smaller. This change will become effective on October 1st, 2007.

After this date, spam digests will include only spam messages rated 50-99%. Those users who have opted-out of spam tagging are not affected by this change.

More information about SLAC's anti-spam software is available on the SCCS website.

Photos from Thanking Jonathan Event Online

Click on image to see more photos.

Thanks to SLAC Photographer Diana Rogers, photos from last week's Thanking Jonathan Dorfan event are now available online.

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