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InTheLoop | 10.01.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

October 1, 2007

September NERSC News Is Now Online

The latest issue of NERSC News is here, with articles including:
* Seaborg’s retirement after seven years of service
* NERSC gets high marks from the first Operational Assessment Review
* PNNL researchers’ work on fuel cell membranes lands on the cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B
* More NERSC users now have access to the Open Science Grid
* NERSC staff demo new services and tools during the NERSC Users Group meeting.

NERSC News can be found at http://www.nersc.gov/news/nerscnews/NERSCNews_2007_09.pdf.

Electrical Safety Device Recall Notice and Monthly Testing

A recent recall announcement highlights the need to test ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) monthly. GFCIs — electrical outlets with TEST and RESET buttons — are designed to prevent electrical shock by shutting off the electricity in a circuit if current leakage is detected. Here at the Lab, all exterior receptacles should be GFCIs; they are also commonly found in mechanical rooms, kitchenettes, near sinks and water coolers, and may be found elsewhere. Computer systems engineers probably see them every day, and the rest of us can see what a GFCI looks like at http://www.hubbell-wiring.com/gfcinotification/GFCI%20Product%20Notification.pdf (but note that most GFCIs at the Lab are dark brown).

If you have a GFCI in your work area, you can do the monthly test quickly and easily. Just verify that the power is on and press the TEST button. The RESET button should pop out, and the power should be cut off. Press the RESET button to restore power. If the RESET button does not pop out, stop using that outlet and immediately contact John Hutchings at x7505, William Iles at x5785, or the CS Facilities Office at x4965.

CITRIS Talk to Discuss Using the Web for Social Change

The CITRIS Research Exchange at UC Berkeley will present “Web 2015: Design and Collaboration for Social Change” from noon to 1 pm on Wednesday, October 3 at 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building, the Maria & Dado Banatao Conference Room, on campus. The speaker will be Paul Braund, co-founder of the RIOS Institute (http://www.riosinstitute.org/). The presentation will also be broadcast live online at mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast.

Here is the abstract:

“Improved Access, Connectivity and Education in ICT for development is an often stated mantra for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, for bringing the ‘benefits of technology for all people of the world.’ However, without improved design and culturally relevant, locally developed, new content it could become a technology fix in search of a solution.

“Paul Braund will explore some of the best new uses of web content and media for social change with some award winning examples, that shows the possibilities and the challenges ahead.”

Mitch Kapor Discusses the Impact of the Personal Computer

Mitch Kapor, chair of the Open Source Applications Foundation (http://www.osafoundation.org/) and founder of Lotus Development Corporation, will speak about the personal computer, the Internet, and virtual worlds in the lecture series “Disruptive Innovations I Have Known and Loved,” a comparative look at the origins, development, and impact of major information technology platforms of the past three decades. The first talk, on the personal computer, will be presented Wednesday, October 3, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in South Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.

Kapor is widely known as founder of Lotus Development Corporation and the designer of Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” that made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He has been at the forefront of the information technology revolution for a generation as an entrepreneur, investor, social activist, and philanthropist. His three-part lecture series will also discuss the Internet and the World Wide Web on November 14, and Virtual Worlds on November 28.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.