Teaching Trending Tech Topics since 1996!



Chris Pirillo is here to help his Gnomies learn with a daily podcast! To get full access to The LockerGnome Daily Report, you can quickly become one of the Super Gnomies! If you have a question, contact us!

Large Hadron Collider – Will It End The World?

There is a small possibility it could happen. Of course, there is about the same chance that ‘W’ will wake up and see the error of his ways, and beg forgiveness from the nation he has shafted for the last seven and a half years.

Now that we have that over with, it is interesting to know that there are many people who have tried vigorously to get the LHC project shut down. I don’t think Enrico Fermi had this much trouble, when he built the atomic pile under the grandstands at the University of Chicago. But then that was ostensibly a secret, and the LHC has gotten a lot of press.

from whatsnextintech.com

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is about to be turned on in a little over a day now, and we will soon find out whether or not it will open up a black hole an swallow our beloved Earth along with a large chunk of our solar system with it. For all those that haven’t heard of the LHC or its doomsday theories I am serious. Some people are even trying to take it through the courts and stop its activation until more safety tests have been completed.  An excerpt from lhcdefence.org, a website dedicated to trying to stop the LHC experiments is as follows:

scientists concede that there is a real possibility of creating destructive theoretical anomalies such as miniature black holes, strangelets and deSitter space transitions. These events have the potential to fundamentally alter matter and destroy our planet.”

However it fails to say the number of those scientists, which is a pretty small number. So below is a list of the most commonly asked questions about the Large Hadron Collider and there answers compiled here.

so

What is the LHC, or Large Hadron Collider?

The Large Hadron Collider is a particle accelerator complex spanning the border between Switzerland and France near Geneva. LHC will smash together opposing beams of either protons or lead ions inside a massive circular accelerator.

Will the LHC form a black hole or end the world?

Short answer, No the Large Hadron Collider will not destroy the world. Here is an excellent excerpt from the CERN website describing how this is not possible

“Speculations about microscopic black holes at the LHC refer to particles produced in the collisions of pairs of protons, each of which has an energy comparable to that of a mosquito in flight. Astronomical black holes are much heavier than anything that could be produced at the LHC.

According to the well-established properties of gravity, described by Einstein’s relativity, it is impossible for microscopic black holes to be produced at the LHC. There are, however, some speculative theories that predict the production of such particles at the LHC. All these theories predict that these particles would disintegrate immediately. Black holes, therefore, would have no time to start accreting matter and to cause macroscopic effects.
Although stable microscopic black holes are not expected in theory, study of the consequences of their production by cosmic rays shows that they would be harmless.”[Source: CERN]

What is the purpose of the Large Hadron Collider?

The LHC was built to help scientists answer unresolved questions in particle physics and to recreate the conditions just after the big bang. It is theorized that when activated it will produce the elusive Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson will help us better understand the origins of the universe, Which is what the LHC is all about, it’s about solving the mysteries physicists and scientists alike have been plagued with for centuries.

“Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward, challenging those who seek confirmation of established knowledge, and those who dare to dream beyond the paradigm.”[Source:CERN]

For a live countdown until LHC is activated, you can find one at lhcountdown

I have been following this project since the first we hear of the idea to build an LHC. I have been fascinated with nuclear physics since I was about 8 and I was given ‘The How and Why Book of The Atom’. This stuff is the study of what makes up the universe at the very smallest level. It tells us about interactions that seem ridiculous to most people, yet have to be accounted for in the realm of the exceedingly small. (Just try explaining the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to anyone who has no grounding in physics – they look at you like you’re putting them on, or have gone mad.)

As I write this, I am trying to check the countdown timer, but I keep getting 503 errors, which usually means there are too many hits. It means that lots of people are interested in this type of research, although probably few from this country. We, as a nation, seem to have lost our love of learning. That was shown when our own Super Collider project was cancelled. It was underway in Texas, and then funding dried up – it just was not important enough.

What a pity. Quest for knowledge is what got this nation as far as it has come. Also, science doesn’t fare as well in school as it once did. It makes it harder to compete in the world, and one reason why so many companies cry out for those extra H-1B visas.

More tomorrow. Or maybe not. (g)

Quote of the day:

Character is what you have left when you’ve lost everything you can lose. – Evan Esar

Technorati Tags:

 

Is That Web Site Down Or Is It Just Me?

It has happened to all of us. We try to get on a web site and receive an error message. So we keep trying until we get frustrated. But in the back of our minds remains this question. Is it the web site that is down or is it just me and my computer?

There is a web site you can go to to test a web site to confirm what you may already suspect. Called ‘Down for everyone or just me?’, you can check the site you are trying to connect to and confirm the good or bad news.  This also gives you the chance to check and see if your firewall may be blocking a trusted site you wish to view.

You can use this hand tool from the below Source:

Source.

The author of the site, Alex Payne, was recently interviewed by the NY Times and what he has to say about Internet down time is a very interesting read. He states that:

 “I had seen that question posed so often,” said Mr. Payne, who perhaps not coincidentally works at Twitter, a Web messaging and social networking site that is itself known for frequent downtime. “Technology companies have branded the Internet as a place that is always on and where information is always available. People are disappointed and looking for answers when it turns out not to be true.”

Isn’t that the truth. We always expect the Internet to be perfect and often forget that there are forces that are always at work trying to mess up the works. Couple this with your ISP and the problems they have, your hardware and your computer, it is sometimes difficult to isolate what the heck is causing the problem.

Comments welcome.

Times article here.

Security Updates As Of July 06, 2008

Make sure your system is up to date and has the latest protections in place.

  1. AVG anti-virus: 07/06/08
  2. Avast: 07/04/08
  3. Norton anti-virus: 07/02/08
  4. McAfee anti-virus: 07/02/08
  5. Lavasoft Ad-Aware: 07/03/08
  6. Spybot Search and Destroy: 07/02/08
  7. Microsoft Windows Defender: 07/02/08
  8. Nod32: 07/03/08

Updates as of July 06, 2008 6:00am CDT.

Please Note: AVG has a new update for version 8 available for download.  Get it here.

How to add Twitter Feeds to your blog

I have been asked this before and just recently I was asked by a fellow Gnomie so I figured I would answer it good. Well with my recent adoption f screen casting I thought well why not do a video tutorial so here it is. I am not going to write very much on this because the video does a better job so just sit back and enjoy the 640 x 480 majesty.

Twittering

Twittering is a big deal in “Web 2.0”.  Everyone is using it, from Barack Obama to Kevin Rose to Me.  But in the past few months, my twitter page has been flooded with people spamming their twitter clients.  Now, I have kept an open mind, but what the fuck is going on!! I will talk about 3 different twitter cliants which I have used, I have used several others but now I will only talk about these 3.  They are Twhirl, Hahlo, and ping.fm.

First up is Twhirl.  Twhirl is on the adobe air platform, meaning it is a program on your desktop.  It can be found here, and it is free. I have used it for 3 months, but I stopped using it a month ago.  Do not get me wrong, it is an excellent program, especially since it is free, but i had many problems with it.  First off, it kept getting overloaded with tweets, which made me very very frustrated.  Second, it almost never loaded the first time, I had to keep clicking the icon…then after a few tries it opens.  Twhirl is a great twitter cliant, but it was not for me, but I recommend you try it.  I would give it a 92%.

Next up is Hahlo.  This site is basicly like the twitter page, but a way nicer user-interface.  You can go here to test it out. I used Hahlo for about a month, but then, like twhirl, I stopped using it. I first got hahlo on my rader by Chris Pirillo.  I tried it out, and it was terrific!…for the first month.  As of the last few weeks, the replies has not been working, and some other features did not work.  If you want a good twitter cliant online, with a nice user-interface, choose hahlo.  I am going to give Hahlo a 84%

Last is ping.fm.  I heard about this by, again, Chris Pirillo.  He made a video about it, which can be found here, and I thought, OMG that is ingenious! You can post to twitter, pownce, jaiku (which twhirl can do), and many a many more.  I got an invite, then got it all ready.  I had ten different sited synced to my account. I signed up for gtalk bot.  It was all working smoothly..except two things.  One, I was using Opera, so the site was not very compatable with the browser.  Second, I could not see my replies and friends’ posts on twitter, pownce, and plurk.  ping.fm is great if have more than two site you update to a lot.  I give ping.fm a 86%.

Right now I am using the twitter site.  I am hoping some other GOOD twitter cliants would show up.  I have my hopes on  TweetDeck.  I have heard good things about it. In the mean time, this is Bryan, saying see ya later.

Opinion – Attack Iran, How’s $300 a Barrel Oil Sound

One writer’s opinion, shown on Yahoo, originally on ‘The Nation’ makes the case that with the current trend of the right wing of our government, led by Mr. Bush, to consider attacking Iran has the consequence of pushing up oil prices.

You don’t have to be an economics major to figure that one out.

But then some other information not easily gotten, is given-

Last week the Middle East Policy Council held an interesting and important discussion of what to do about Iran. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend it, but the MEPC has helpfully posted the transcript of that event. Led by the astute Chas Freeman, a former American ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the discussion was a very thoughtful effort to analyze the consequences of an American and/or Israeli attack on Iran. If you have the time, read it.

An important aspect of the idea of war with Iran is how it would be viewed by the Arab Gulf states and Iraq. Freeman, who is well connected in the Arab Gulf, made this rather scary point, which I haven’t heard anywhere else:

Because logistics require cooperation from countries in the region, they cannot avoid a measure of complicity with a U.S. operation against Iran, and the word in the region is that Iran has already told Qatar, for example, that if there is such an attack, the Qatari regime is toast.

This is clearly bad, for the secular world, a war is a terrible thing, causing suffering for many not involved on the battlefield itself. For the Christian world, it is another sign of the end times – not as though this would be Armageddon, but Biblical scholars tell us that the Revelation of John puts the beginning of the final war in the middle-east – where it all started.

Qatar, of course, is where the U.S. Central Command has its local headquarters.

Jean-Francois Seznec, a professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, goes on to suggest a point of possible conflict between Iran and Qatar involving huge gas fields. Qatar and Iran are two of the world’s largest powers in natural gas. Says Seznec:

The Iranians are very worried about the enormous development on the Qatar North Dome Field. You know, it’s the largest gas field in the world. Qataris are developing it like crazy right now. And the Iranians are upset by that because they own half of that field, and they feel that the Qataris are really stealing their gas at this point. And they’ve mentioned that, because they have not been able to develop that field for lack of money, mostly, and lack of technology from overseas.

Seznec suggests that oil would go to $300 a barrel if Iran is attacked, and gasoline to $10 a gallon here at home.

Concludes Freeman:

It’s fairly obvious that [military] strikes won’t solve the problem, will create additional problems, would lead to a wider threat against American and other interests, and would lead to a war with no obvious end. But aside from that, a military strike on Iran is a splendid idea. There is a chance in the next six months that we will find out just how splendid it is. For my part, I hope not.

Yes, hopefully, ‘W’ et al, champions of ‘justice’, deliverers of ‘freedom’ that they are, will not get any more ideas that will urge us into another needless, costly, and unwageable war. Yes, I said unwageable, because we have not got the manpower to wage another war, unless ‘W’ and Dick are ready to go over and lead a battalion of stalwart freedom fighters on their own (doubtlessly made up of friends from Haliburton.and other cronies) Barring that, the only answer would be nuclear attack, and though it might be over for the Iranians, several of their neighbors might get a tad riled, as their neighborhood would be tough to live in for a few thousand years.

The article doesn’t make the point that everyone knows, but is unwilling to acknowledge at the front of consciousness. The Iraq war is what started the crude going up in price, as much caused by the purveyors of oil as any speculators. It was, and is, perhaps the best revenge for our thoughtless attacks on a neighboring country of theirs. One that, while suffering under a dictator, with delusions of grandeur, was no worse off than today – and thousands of Iraqis would gladly attest to that if they could, but they’re dead.

All this, over some black goo in the ground.

Technorati Tags:

 

Do You Read Arabic?

In 1991 I was an Army Combat Medic serving in Desert Storm.  As we were moving into Iraq, after the infantry cleared the way, we began seeing these fliers all over the ground.  Curious, I picked one up, and yes, that is a BAD thing to do.  Anyone who has served in a combat area knows you should never, ever pick anything up, especially in an area that has recently been taken by allies.  This is because anything can be rigged to blow up when lifted.

Anyway, I was curious, picked it up and thankfully did not get blown to kingdom come.  It is one of thousands of fliers that were dropped by the allies telling the Iraqi soldiers if they surrender we will feed them.  Seems kind of pointless on the surface I know, but you have to understand that all but the elite Royal Guard were starving, with no kind of supply line they could not get any food or water and most had to resort to hunting the desert animals such as scorpions, cyotes, etc.

While I know what the fliers were for, I do not know what it says on the reverse.  I can guess, but I would like to know for sure what it means translated into English.  If anyone reads Arabic, would you please leave me a comment with the translation?  It can be the literal translation or not, I don’t care.  I just want to know what it says.  I’ve been curious for a very long time now.  They look a little warped here in the blog but click on them to see them the correct size.

Thanks in advance!

Here’s the front:
desertstormflyerfront

Here’s the back:
scan0001

232 Years Still Not Enough For Some

The nation celebrated its 232nd birthday yesterday. Still it is not old enough to have removed many stupid laws enacted in its ‘youth’.

Some of them –

Alabama
Dominoes may not be played on Sunday
You must have windshield wipers on your car

Alaska
No one may tie their pet dog to the roof of a car (City law in Anchorage)
It is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose (City law in Fairbanks)

Arizona
There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.
One must be 18 years old to buy spray paint (City law in Tempe)

Arkansas
Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs
Honking one’s car horn at a sandwich shop after 9 PM is against the law (City Law in Little Rock)

California
No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour
Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship

and

Florida
It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit
Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown

Kansas
No one may catch fish with his bare hands
Rabbits may not be shot from motorboats

Maryland
It is illegal to take a lion to the movies (City law in Baltimore)
It is a park rule violation to be in a public park with a sleeveless shirt (City law in Baltimore)

Massachusetts
It is illegal to give beer to hospital patients
It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath

Nevada
It is illegal to lie down on the sidewalk (City law in Reno)
Benches may not be placed in the middle of any street (City of Reno)

Texas
It is illegal to sell ones eyes
One must acknowledge a supreme being before being able to hold public office

Utah
A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence.
It is against the law to fish from horseback.

Not only does this show that stupidity abounds, and  nowhere has zoned against it, it shows what must have been important at one time or another to different people, no doubt affected by their surroundings.

The full listing can be found here. Imagine the benefits to streamlining the books, eliminating all the nonsense from them – then we could work on the national system.

Technorati Tags:

 

Pandora Online Radio

The other day I stumbled on a site that creates radio stations for you based on the artists you search. Signing up for a free account allows you to make as many stations as you want for no charge. For people who love to find new music, this site may be the key. By searching a certain artist, Pandora will go through its library and find similar tracks and artists. After searching your artists you control your station and what it plays based on a rating system. Thumbs up the song if you like it or, thumbs down if you don’t want to hear it again. Hear a song to often? Tell Pandora and they won’t play that song for a month. I personally have enjoyed using it, and have found a few new artists I like.  Give it a go, I bet you like it.

Pandora Radio

have a good one,

Tyler

Googlers Take On Company Day Care Costs

Is some of the magic at Google starting to fade? Is the company who’s motto is ‘Do No Evil’ starting to falter? You decide after reading this story. It seems that one of the perks of working at Google is the fact that day care is provided on Google’s property by trained staff. Cost for the pro care is a whopping $1,425 a month. But the price hit a not so ‘do no evil’ price of $2,500 a month.

I am sure we all agree that Google pays their people well. But $2,500 a month sounds just a little high to me.  The Google employees staged a min revolt over the increase and win a semi win in which the price will be tiered over a period of time but will still hit the high number down the road. In the story it states:

 Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000.

At the first of the three focus groups, parents wept openly. As word leaked out about the company’s plan, the Google parents began to fight back. They came up with ideas to save money, used the company’s T.G.I.F. sessions — a weekly meeting for anyone who wanted to ask questions of Google’s top executives — to plead their case, and conducted surveys showing that most parents with children in Google day care would have to leave Google’s facilities and find less expensive child care.

Do you think you know how this story ends? You’re probably guessing that because it involves “do no evil” Google, Fortune magazine’s “Best Company to Work For” the past two years, this is a heart-warming tale of a good company reversing a dumb decision.

Also this:

“There are many things about Google that are not great, and merit improvement,” blogged Sergey Solyanik, who recently returned to Microsoft after a stint at Google. “There are plenty of silly politics, under performance, inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, and things that are plain stupid.” Starting, it would appear, with day care.

Excuse me. $57k for two kids? I know it’s the SF Bay Area but that sounds just a little high. The kids are not going to Stanford. It is day care. I think Google should really take a hard look at the pricing and come up with a pricing that is fair for the company and parents.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source.