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InTheLoop | 12.03.2001

The Weekly Electronic Newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees.

December 3, 2001

John Dawson, NERSC User and Computer Simulation Pioneer, Dies


John Dawson, a leading authority on plasma physics and a pioneer in the
use of computers to simulate plasma models, died Nov. 17. Dawson, a
professor of physics and electrical engineering at UCLA, was also one of
the top users of NERSC's supercomputers. You can read his obituary at
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/12/01/MN187332.DTL.


Bill Johnston Offers His Perspective on Grids in On-Line Interview


Bill Johnston, a leading expert in the development of computing grids
and head of NERSC's Distributed Systems Department, was recently
interviewed by Steve Fisher of the Supercomputing Online newsletter.
Bill describes the motivation behind grids and tells how 10 years of
experience at LBNL is now helping to shape the DOE Science Grid. You can
read the interview at
http://www.supercomputingonline.com/article.php?sid=988.

Also in Supercomputing Online, NERSC Division Director Horst Simon talks
about the future of NERSC and the center's role in the DOE Science Grid.
You can read the article by Scott Nance at
http://www.supercomputingonline.com/article.php?sid=1141.


New Badtrans.B Worm Leaves Computer Back Door Open for Remote Hacker Access


Outlook and Outlook Express users--- a new worm, Badtrans.B, is
spreading around the Internet. It exploits a vulnerability in Outlook
and Outlook Express that allows it to run its malicious code whenever
someone opens a message that contains it. The message's subject line
looks like a reply to a previously sent message, making it more likely
that unsuspecting users will infect their systems. After sending itself
to users in the Outlook or Outlook Express address book, Badtrans.B
leaves a back door program that allows an attacker to remotely control
the victim machine. It also plants a keystroke logging program that
allows an attacker to capture every keystroke that each user enters on
the victim machine. The LBNL Computer Protection Program site contains
information concerning how to prevent infections by this new, dangerous
worm. See
http://www.lbl.gov/ITSD/Security/vulnerabilities/virus-alert.html.


Fusion Modeling Results from NERSC Make News at Physics Conference


At the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society, Division of
Plasma Physics, which concluded last month in Long Beach, Calif., one of
the APS news bulletins was headlined "Supercomputer Provides Encouraging
News For Commercial-Scale Fusion Reactors" and describes recent
calculations performed at NERSC.

According to the news release, Zhihong Lin of the Princeton Plasma
Physics Laboratory and his colleagues have discovered that future
large-scale fusion reactors may be able to trap or "confine" hot plasma
fuel more efficiently than previously projected. The deleterious effects
of heat loss resulting from the turbulence within the plasma seem to be
reduced as one scales up from present day experimental devices to a
bigger, commercial-reactor-scale machine." Read more at
http://www.aps.org/meet/DPP01/baps/press/press2.html.


Annual CS Holiday Party to Be Held Thursday, Dec. 20


Computing Science's 2001 Holiday Party will take place from 4-7 p.m.
Thursday, December 20, at Beckett's Irish Pub & Restaurant, located at
2271 Shattuck Avenue (between Bancroft and Kittredge) in downtown
Berkeley. The event will feature tasty hors d'oeuvres, soft drinks and
plenty of good cheer. Additionally, the no-host bar offers a wide
selection of premium beer on tap. The cost is $5 per person to help
defray the costs and guests are welcome. If you would like to attend,
please RSVP no later than c.o.b. Wednesday, December 12. Payment can be
made by either cash or check (payable Yeen Mankin). Please mail to
MS:50B-4230 or hand deliver to Yeen's office at 50B-2215D.


Argonne to Host Globus Toolkit Tutorials on January 28 - February 1


Grid computing has emerged as an important new field, distinguished from
conventional distributed computing by its focus on large-scale resource
sharing, innovative applications, and, in some cases, high-performance
orientation. The Globus Project is leading the definition of standard
Grid protocols and APIs, in such areas as security, resource management,
data management, and information discovery. The open source Globus
Toolkit, which provides a reference implementation of these Grid
protocols and APIs, has been adopted my most of the major Grid projects
worldwide, to provide a common, robust infrastructure for building
applications that exploit distributed, heterogeneous, Grid-enabled
resources.

On January 28 - February 1, 2002, the Globus Project will present an
in-depth tutorial on Grid computing and the Globus Toolkit. The first
day is a standalone "Introduction to Grid Computing and the Globus
Toolkit." Starting on day two, the program will split into two tracks --
one for developers (ending at noon Friday), and one for systems
administrators (ending at noon Thursday).

There will be ample time for questions and discussions, but due to the
size of the expected audience, organizers do not intend for these to be
"hands-on" tutorials.

Additional information, including registration details, can be found at
http://www.globus.org/about/events/US_tutorial/index.html.


Final Notice - Still Time to Sign Up for Dec. 5 UNIX Security Workshop


UNIX system administrators and users--is your UNIX system secure enough
to be able to withstand the many kinds of attacks that are launched
against UNIX systems? To help you in your effort to achieve security in
UNIX systems, the LBNL Computer Protection Program is sponsoring a
full-day course on UNIX security. This course will be held in the
Building 66 auditorium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.
The instructors will be Jim Mellander and Gene Schultz. There is no
charge for attending, but pre-registration is required. To register,
send email to cp-seminar@lbl.gov and eeschultz@lbl.gov.


About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Area provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) 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 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (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 Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Berkeley Lab 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.

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