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In this issue:
A World Map of Scientific Collaboration
Software Spring Cleaning
Seen Around SLAC: A Highly Efficient Attention-grabbing Device

SLAC Today

Wednesday - March 9, 2011

A World Map of Scientific Collaboration

World map of scientific collaboration based on data from journal aggregators. (Image: Olivier Beauchesne, Science Metrix.)

The Large Hadron Collider is the current poster child for international  collaborations in the world of high-energy physics, but it's hardly the first installation to require the resources of multiple laboratories, institutions or even countries.  High-energy physics—whether pursued using active particle smashers such as Babar, passive detectors like Ice Cube or out-of-this-world telescopes like XMM-Newton—is an expensive business.  Each of these projects required multi-national, multi-institutional, multi-organizational teams to plan them, build them, run them, and analyze the data. 

Read more in Symmetry Breaking...

Software Spring Cleaning

This week in Vancouver is CanSecWest, one of the premier events drawing cyber security researchers from all over the world. Last year the contests at the conference demonstrated attacks on iPhones, Safari, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox (among other targets). In advance of this year's conference, we in Computer Security are seeing a flood of security patches being released to popular programs.

It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain computer systems. We strongly suggest you uninstall any software you are not actively using to avoid extra work to keep it updated. The desktop support staff at SLAC will be working exceptionally hard over the next few weeks to keep your machines safe; you can help by uninstalling software on your machine that you don't really use.  Read more...

This gong is used to keep order at the MCC. (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

Seen Around SLAC: A Highly Efficient Attention-grabbing Device

The Accelerator Operations group must run a tight ship in SLAC's Main Control Center. Any threat to the prompt start of a meeting is occasion to sound the brass gong that hangs at the front of the MCC conference room.

The gong appeared after accelerator physicist Joe Frisch and LCLS (now LCLS-II) project director John Galayda came back from a business trip. Galayda points to Frisch, who in turn implicates Galayda.

"I wish there was a better story involving mysterious monasteries and chases thought the Seoul streets," Frisch said, "but John and I were returning from a meeting in Korea about a year ago when we saw it in an airport shop and decided it would make an amusing replacement for the bell normally used to start meetings."

A bell, too? Trust the folks running the linac to build redundancy into the system.

"I don't know the history of the bell," Frisch admitted. "But I think people like it more—the gong can be rather loud."

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