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In this issue:
Computer Security is Everyone's Job
Colloquim Today: Laser Plasma Accelerators—From Dream Toward Reality

SLAC Today

Monday - May 16, 2011

Computer Security is Everyone's Job

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The SLAC computer security team needs everyone take an active part in protecting the lab from the type of attack that can wreak havoc at on computer systems, according to SLAC computer security specialist Marilyn Cariola. She offers a list of tips for computer use that can help keep individual computers—and by extension, the entire lab's systems—more secure.

Cariola's number one tip: Don't read e-mail or surf the Web while logged into a Windows computer with what is called "admin rights" or "admin privileges."

"I try not to run with admin rights unless I absolutely have to," she said. Admin rights give a user extended capabilities, for example, the ability to install software applications, and thus carry extra risks. Clicking on one forged link in what's called a "phishing" e-mail—an e-mail purporting to be from a trusted entity—can expose your computer to a piece of malware, malignant computer code that could take advantage of your admin privileges to install itself. From there, an attacker can use your computer to eventually gain access to and control some of the lab's most important computer systems. 

Cariola recommended that if you currently have admin rights on Windows XP, don't request them when you upgrade to Windows 7.


Colloquim Today: Laser Plasma Accelerators—From Dream Toward Reality

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Today at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, physicist Wim Leemans of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will present "Laser plasma accelerators: From dream toward reality."

Accelerators are essential tools of discovery and have many practical uses. More than three decades ago, lasers were proposed as power sources for driving novel accelerators based on plasmas as the accelerating medium. Leemans will present an overview of the basic principles of laser plasma accelerators and of current research at LBNL. This includes the demonstration in 2004 of high-quality electron beams; the demonstration in 2006 of GeV-class beams from a 3-cm-long accelerating structure; recent work on controlled injection; staging of modules; and the BELLA project, which aims at a 10-GeV per meter scale accelerator.

Wim Leemans earned his doctorate from UCLA in 1991. He has been at LBNL since then and is currently a senior scientist and head of the Lasers, Optical Accelerator Systems Integrated Studies Program at LBNL, director of the BELLA Project, research physicist at UC Berkeley and adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research interests include laser plasma accelerator science and hyperspectral radiation sources. He is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and IEEE.




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