Where should I land my Virtual Infrastructure ?

first_imgOther factors to take into consideration are that MP servers typically have a higher level of built-in RAS ( reliability, availability & serviceability ) features than DP servers and when hosting multiple VMs on a single server the overall reliability of a servers and its ability to be serviced without shutting down all the hosted VMs becomes very important to the overall efficiency of the Data Centre.As I said at the beginning – there is no simple answer and a lots depends on the approach you want to take in architecting your solution. Intel’s own IT department has done lots of work in this area and have posted many of their results here for others to learn from their experiences.The only thing that is for certain is that whatever decision is made on form factor the performance of the processors you specify has a direct impact on the number of VMs a server can host – the higher the CPU performance the more VMs that can be hosted and the lower the impact of the hypervisor overhead on the overall system performance, check out the latest virtualisation performance data here and here How many virtual machines ( VMs ) are you prepared to host onto a single server – MP servers can host substantially more VMs than DP – over 2x more depending on the workload within the VMs – this is down to the better memory capacity and larger number of I/O slots that MP servers typically support compared to DP servers. Against this using a DP server may be a better solution as 2 DP servers may cost less than an MP server, and combined host as many VM’s whilst not having as many VMs hosted onto a single server. Blades vs Rack – there is significant momentum building behind the move to bladed servers, mostly driven by the fact that the density achievable using blades is far higher than that possible use rack mount servers. Also the shared resources of a blade solution ( power supplies, cooling, network switches etc ) can lead to cost and power savings in high density configurations. The challenge with hosting a virtualised infrastructure on blade servers however is that blades tend to be limited in the amount of memory and I/O that they can support. The trade off of course is that with the increased density of a blade solution its possible with fewer VMs/Blade but more Blades/rack the overall number of VMs that can be hosted within a given data centre is greater using blades than rack mount servers. I often get asked what type of server a customer should use when landing their virtualised infrastructure, the immediate response is an obvious one, given I work for Intel – an Intel based server ! But beyond this the answer is a little more complex and to some extent depends on the philosophical approach the data centre manager wants to take to architecting their data centre.There are a number of choices that can be made when using standard Intel based server hardware – ignoring the obvious decision as to the hypervisor vendor – DP ( 2-way ) vs MP ( 4-way ) servers, rack mount vs blade. Ultimately any server decision is the right one ( so long as its an Intel based solution ) but some of the factors that will influence the decision are :- Density & Form factor – DP servers typically have a higher density form factor than MP servers – at the expense of less I/O & memory capability. But you need to take into consideration that an MP server can host more VMs than a DP server so within a given rack space use of a lower number of MP servers may well enable hosting of more VMs than using more DP servers.last_img read more

Use “Duster Spray Can” to hack the disk encryption keys

first_imgComputer Scientists at Princeton University have shown some very easy and creative methods to hackcryptographic key material with physical access to an encryptedmachine. Watch the video embedded below to find out how existingtechnology is really vulnerable against Cold Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys. All you need is a Duster spray can, if that, to cool the DRAM and extract the keys. The paper publishedalong with the video clearly outlines techniques for finding keysresiding in memory.The really cool part is that this technique doesn’treally hack into the encryption directly. Rather, it depends onscanning the encryption keys by accessing the contents of the RAM andthen extracting the data either by directly tampering with the RAM orby simply booting the computer from a USB drive. You can also read theindustry response and more details on these findings in the news.com article.It is not all bad news … Intel is planning on releasing atechnology code named “Danbury” which drastically reduces exposure tothe Cold boot attacks. Please note that Danbury technology will be part of the Intel vPro processor technology to be released later this year. Danbury uses dedicated platform hardware toprovide full disk encryption and the actual data encryption keys arenot kept in the DRAM. Although, Intermediate, or ‘wrapping’, keys usedto unlock data encryption keys are stored in DRAM temporarily,when the user is physically present or while remote IT operation hascontrol of the platform. These keys are subsequently deleted once nolonger needed, thus reducing the exposure significantly.I am also very happy to announce that Danbury SDK that can leveragedby software vendors to enhance encryption software will be made on the manageability developer communitylater this year. If you are interested to find out more about thistechnology or are interested in developing encryption software usingthis technology then feel free to leave a comment on this post.last_img read more

The Social IT Professional

first_imgThe role of the CIO and IT professionals has significantly changed in the last decade. In today’s professional landscape, an IT professional is poised to lead the charge for technological innovation. As David A. Bray, CIO of the Federal Communications Commission, said in a interview with The Washington Post, “We need leaders who do more than keep the trains running on time. CIOs and CEOs can work together to digitally transform how an enterprise operates.”But, according to CIO magazine’s 2015 State of the CIO survey, CIOs were viewed as business leaders by just 13 percent of colleagues outside of IT and only 30 percent of line-of-business leaders. Obviously, there’s still a significant gap in the C-suite perception of IT. But there’s also a significant opportunity. As any digital professional will tell you, the best way to solve a perception problem is to be more visible. Say goodbye to the IT professional tucked away in the basement and say hello to the age of the social techie.Teaching Techies to be SocialitesIt’s been clear for some time that social media is essential to successful businesses, providing the opportunity to not only serve their customers better, but to learn from them. The same is true for the social IT professional. Through social media, an IT professional is able to engage in and help shape the changing conversation around IT. They’re able to expand their knowledge and skills through peer collaboration and partnerships born online. And, by adopting a more open and collaborative mindset, the social IT professional is able to begin to solve their perception problem.One CIO leading the charge to bring IT out of the shadows and into the social spotlight is Intel’s very own Kim Stevenson. Ranked as one of the most social CIOs by the Huffington Post in 2015, Kim has long been an advocate of shaking up the IT department and what’s expected of it. As she stated in a Forbes interview, “On the leadership front, I challenged IT to take bigger risks and to move beyond ‘what you know’ to ‘what’s possible.’ IT had gotten into a comfort zone taking small risks and only solving problems we knew how to solve, which yielded incremental improvements. If we were going to meet the needs of the business, we needed to be operating at a higher level of risk.”Beyond changing the perception of IT, becoming social can provide hungry IT professionals with a personal classroom for learning and innovation, helping them to stay on the cutting edge of the latest technology.Now that you now why you should get social, it’s time to learn how to get social. In my next blog, I’ll go into how you can kickstart your social persona.Until then, check out this list of the most social CIOs in 2015. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the benefits of the social CIO and the hurdles that are preventing more CIOs from jumping in. Leave your comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter @jen_aust and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferaust.last_img read more

HPE Discover: Internet of Things, Workplace Transformation and the Future of the Datacenter

first_imgThe Future of the Internet of ThingsKicking off The Intel sessions was Intel GM Christian Morales alongside of HP’s GM Bill Mannel. The two talked about the future of technology and how the Internet of Things will be at the forefront of this growth. Moores Law keeps redefining what computing can be. Smart homes, smart cars and smart cities are the next wave of the future. Morales spoke about smart cities and how the London Living Labs project, powered by Intel and HP, is helping London with their congestion problems. By putting sensors all over the city, commuters can see timely direction tradeoffs if an area of the city is congested. The sensors are also helping with the environment and monitoring the air pollution. Now it’s easier than ever for runners, walkers and bikers to view the most polluted areas and change their routes based on this info. With the amounts of data that the Internet of Things brings, it’s no wonder why analytics is a big part of this solution. According to Bill Mannel, IoT is about building a data-centric foundation, achieving superior business outcomes with big data by uncovering meaningful patterns, integrating insights and delivering on those insights to accelerate time to value.Workplace TransformationImagining an office setting with no wires and the ability to connect to a meeting without having to have the right dongle or cable? This was exactly what was shown at HP Discover. I sat down with Claudio Maniscalco, Senior Technology Manager at Intel and he quickly gave me a demo of Intel Unite. I said quickly because in a matter of seconds he was connected and displaying directly on the screen, this is much faster than the average eight minutes it takes to set up. This type of conference room efficiency will save the organization in time and money wasted trying to locate a cable and connect to the screen. It’s a wrap! HPE Discover London is now over but the information gathered, ideas shared and partnerships gained will remain for a long time. The theme throughout Discover this year was speed. Speed to deploy solutions, speed to implement security in the enterprise and speed to enable the Internet of Things. Meg Whitman, CEO of HP Enterprises even said in her opening keynote that “success favors companies that can reinvent at warp speed.”Check out a few of the highlights from the 2015 HPE Discover London event: Future of the Data CenterPatrick Buddenbaum, Intel’s GM of Enterprise IT, spoke about how Intel and HP Enterprises are working together with forward-thinking organizations to embrace the datacenter as the new center of possibility, bringing ideas to life using technology to move businesses into the next decade of profitability. Pat spoke about Intel’s Cloud For All Initiative and how you must have a strategy in place to truly and effectively compete in today’s landscape. Intel is at the heart of helping businesses use data to quickly adapt to the changes around them. A great example is our partnership with the Michael J Fox Foundation.  They have moved from suggestive diagnosis and measurement to more accurate patient monitoring by gathering data in real time through wearable devices.After three days of seeing amazing technology, innovation and ideas it’s clear that technology is accelerating the frequency and speed of disruption of business. It’s a fast world out there and it’s getting even faster. Just like this year’s HP Discover, it was over in a blink of an eye!Check out these social resources for more info:IT Center You Tube@InteIITCenterlast_img read more

Top Five Reasons Your Business Needs a NAS Device

first_imgWhether you’re managing a retail store, a dental practice, an accounting firm, or a boutique bakery, your business runs on data. At minimum, you must keep track of sensitive employee and payroll records, making sure they’re accessible when you need them—and private when you don’t. You may also have years’ worth of sales transactions, patient information subject to HIPAA regulations or valuable intellectual property that you couldn’t do your work without.However, as much as we rely on data, too many businesses overlook how important it is to keep it safe, available, and secure. One common practice is to keep data on a PC or external hard drive, but if the device fails, you’ll spend thousands to recover your data—if you’re lucky enough to recover it at all. Other businesses use the cloud for data storage, but depending on how much capacity you need, this can quickly become expensive.A network-attached storage (NAS) device gives businesses a simple solution for backing up and protecting their data. Think of NAS as a sweet spot between a hard drive and a server. While servers can do more, they’re costlier and more complicated to set up and manage. They also require more effort to manage potential security vulnerabilities.Because NAS devices have a defined purpose with software and applications designed for simplicity, they are easier to set up and use. The installation process offers step-by-step guidance with customer support available for extra help. That means you won’t have to call your IT specialist.If you’ve never before considered NAS, here are the top five reasons your business should have one.It keeps what’s private privateIf you’re dealing with financial transactions, employee Social Security numbers, patient data, or other sensitive information, you need to keep it protected. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. don’t use data protection for company and customer information.1 This is bad news. According to a recent survey from the Ponemon Institute, 54% of small- and medium-sized businesses have experienced a data breach involving customer or employee information in the previous 12 months.2NAS can help you safeguard data and avoid the high costs of a breach. When you use a NAS device, your data stays in your office. This is especially helpful when the cloud is not an option due to business restrictions or other concerns. In this way, a NAS device can help you comply with industry regulations for data privacy, like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).In addition, a NAS device with Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT) gives you a simple way to quickly encrypt and decrypt data.Your data is always there for youEvery business has certain types of information it needs immediate access to, no matter what. Think calendars for appointment scheduling, patient medical records or inventory pricing.If this data is stored in the cloud and you lose your internet connection, your business could come screeching to a halt. Similarly, waiting for large files to download from the cloud can consume valuable employee time. With a NAS device, your data is on-site and ready to be accessed whenever you need it.Everything is backed up—seamlesslyYour data is priceless. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you can quickly recover all the data saved from your PCs, mobile devices and other systems in the event of a failure. You can set up NAS devices to automatically sync with and upload data so that it’s backed up regularly—without you or your employees having to think about it.You can support video surveillanceVideo surveillance systems can help keep your business safe, but they demand an incredible amount of computing performance and storage capacity. Select NAS devices give you robust performance and connectivity for video surveillance and transcoding. This means you can quickly and securely access your camera views from any device, any time. Look for NAS solutions with support for video surveillance if this is important for your business.You’ll save money over the long runToday’s businesses have a growing number of PCs, mobile devices, cameras, point-of-sale devices, and other systems. As your data needs grow, so do your costs for cloud storage. Sending everything to the cloud can get expensive, especially considering the extra demand on your internet bandwidth. Using a NAS device to store critical, sensitive, or large files will help reduce some of the cost.NAS devices are designed to balance performance, power and cost, giving you an optimized solution that fits both your CapEx and OpEx budgets, while working in tandem with the cloud storage you already use. Given that you could pay hundreds or thousands each year for cloud storage costs, a NAS device can quickly pay for itself.Find the right NAS solution for your businessEventually, most businesses will have a problem with data, whether it’s loss or a security breach. By being proactive about secure data storage, you can protect yourself before data becomes a problem. One of the most important assets for a business is its data—so ensuring that it’s available, protected and backed up is critical to your success.As you research NAS devices, look for solutions that use Intel processors, which give you fast file transfer speeds, exceptional performance, amazing graphics and robust encryption to help keep your data secure. We recommend solutions from Synology, QNAP, ASUSTOR, NETGEAR, and QSAN.1. “Cybercrime and hacking are even bigger worries for small business owners,” The Guardian, January 2015, com/business/2015/jan/21/cybersecurity-small-business-thwarting-hackers-obama-cameron.2. “2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB),” Ponemon Institute, September 2017, ma/IMG/pdf/2017_state_of_cybersecurity_in_small_medium-sized_businesses.pdf.last_img read more

Indian Court Ignores Nobelists’ Plea to Release Physician-Activist

first_imgAn appeal by 45 of the world’s top scientists to release an Indian doctor accused of helping Maoist insurgents has failed to sway a state supreme court. On Thursday, the High Court in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh rejected an appeal for the release on bail of Binayak Sen, a doctor and human rights activist.Sen, the vice president of India’s People’s Union for Civil Liberties, was arrested in 2007 and accused of aiding Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh, known as Naxalites, by smuggling notes from one of them being held in jail. He was released on bail in May 2009 but was convicted of sedition and sentenced to life in prison on 24 December 2010. His lawyers have said that they will appeal to India’s Supreme Court.In their petition (below), the Nobelists express their “astonishment and dismay at the unjust life sentence.” They ask that Sen be released on bail and that “his appeal is heard without delay under the highest standards of Indian law.” Sen is an “exceptional, courageous, and selfless colleague, dedicated to helping those in India who are least able to help themselves,” the statement says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The petition was authored by chemistry Nobel laureate and Rice University professor emeritus Robert Curl and released to the Indian media on Monday, says Carol Corillon, the executive director of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. Curl and Corillon visited Sen in prison in 2008.Corillon says that Sen is suffering from heart problems and that his wife and two daughters are living in very difficult circumstances. Sen has “really sacrificed a lot,” she says.February 8, 2011Appeal for Indian Medical Doctor, Binayak SenWe, the [45] undersigned Nobel Laureates, respectfully express our astonishment and dismay at the unjust life sentence handed down last month in India to a fellow scientist and human rights advocate, 61-year-old Dr. Binayak Sen.We note that, when Dr. Sen was on trial in 2008 and many of us appealed for his release on bail, a year later the Supreme Court of India concurred with our opinion and ordered his immediate release. Several months after voicing our concern about Dr. Sen’s detention, one of us traveled to Chhattisgarh; met government officials; consulted Dr. Sen’s family, lawyers, and colleagues; visited his remote clinic to learn more about his selfless work with the Adivasis; and, after a few days and many hours spent waiting in the Raipur prison yard, finally met with Dr. Sen himself in the presence of the prison warden.We have seen that Dr. Sen is an exceptional, courageous, and selfless colleague, dedicated to helping those in India who are least able to help themselves. Yet his recompense has been two years in prison under difficult conditions, a blatantly unfair trial lasting two years in the so-called “Fast Track” Sessions Court, an unjust conviction of sedition and conspiracy, and condemnation to life imprisonment.We earnestly hope that our renewed appeal is heard. We know that there are leaders in India who have the power, humanity, patriotism, and decency to speak out against this injustice. We entreat those leaders to act now, to urge Dr. Sen’s immediate release on bail, and insist that this time his appeal is heard without delay under the highest standards of Indian law. Surely, those who would see the largest democracy in the world survive and thrive can do no less at this crucial time for both Dr. Sen and for the future of justice in India.Respectfully,Peter Agre, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1972Richard Axel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2004David Baltimore, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1975Baruch S. Blumberg, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1976Martin Chalfie, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2008Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1997Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995Robert Curl, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996Johann Deisenhofer, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1988Richard R. Ernst, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1991Edmond H. Fischer, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1992Walter Gilbert, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980Roy J. Glauber, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2005Paul Greengard, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000David J. Gross, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004Roger Guillemin, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986Antony Hewish, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1974H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2002David H. Hubel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981François Jacob, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1965Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2002Eric R. Kandel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000Lawrence R. Klein, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1980Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2006Sir Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996Finn E. Kydland, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2004 Yuan T. Lee, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2003Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986Roderick MacKinnon, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003Sir James Mirrlees, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1996Joseph E. Murray, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1990Douglas D. Osheroff, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1996John C. Polanyi, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986V. Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2009Sir Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1993Jens C. Skou, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1998Jack Steinberger, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1988Sir John Sulston, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2002Charles H. Townes, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1964 Harold E. Varmus, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1989Klaus von Klitzing, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1985Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981last_img read more

Europe Nudges Top Scientists to Market

first_imgSome of Europe’s top scientists will get financial help to see whether the results of their research could succeed in the marketplace. The European Research Council (ERC), the European Union’s funding program for frontier research, said today that it will offer the individual scientists it already funds the chance to apply for €150,000 “Proof of Concept” grants to give potential innovations a boost on their way to the marketplace. Researchers can use the funds to clarify intellectual property questions, do market research, or investigate commercial opportunities, according to today’s announcement. The aim is to enable ERC-chosen scientists to present their ideas to venture capitalist or companies that could then take their ideas to market. The idea grew out of the ERC Scientific Council’s efforts to build better relations with industry, says ERC President and Scientific Council Chair Helga Nowotny. Although ERC grants are open to company scientists, “We have very, very few apply,” she says—no ERC grants have yet been awarded to an industry researcher. Industry representatives have been “curious but reluctant” about applying for ERC funds, Nowotny says. The Proof of Concept grants “came up as something we could offer to our ERC grantees, and hopefully where the potential is there, someone [from industry] will pick up on it,” she says. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) “Some people might wonder if this is mission creep for the ERC,” says Peter Tindemans, a Dutch physicist and E.U. science policy expert. “But I don’t think it is,” he says. The money set aside for the program is roughly 1% of the ERC’s budget, he notes. “The combination of the ERC focusing on very high scientific originality and quality—and stimulating people to think about what it might mean for society? I think it’s a very good development.”last_img read more

Mine Fire That Threatened Physics Lab Doused

first_imgFirefighters have almost completely snuffed out a fire that was threatening an underground physics lab. The fire broke out Thursday in the shaft to the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northern Minnesota. The state’s oldest, largest mine is home to the Soudan Underground Laboratory, host to a half-dozen physics experiments, including a 5400 metric ton detector to field neutrinos fired through the earth from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. On Sunday, firefighters with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center reported that the fire appeared to be out after they poured thousands of gallons of water and foam down the shaft, according to a release on the Fermilab Web site. Workers also descended down the shaft and restarted some of the pumps needed to keep ground water from entering the lab. Firefighters won’t declare the fire out until they’ve verified its origins, according to the release, but their quick work appears to have saved the $50 million lab, which has been hosting scientific experiments for 3 decades. “The immediate crisis has been resolved,” says Marvin Marshak, a physicist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and director of the lab. He notes, however, that workers must still clean up the foam and make repairs to the shaft. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Hotly Disputed Life Sciences Award Back on UNESCO’s Agenda

first_imgA year ago, human rights activists thought they had squashed a proposed United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) prize in the life sciences that would honor Teodoro Obiang, the longtime dictator of Equatorial Guinea. But that celebration may have been premature. The controversial award is back on the agenda of UNESCO’s Executive Board, which will meet in Paris next week—and this time, Obiang has the backing of the entire African Union (A.U.). In 2009, UNESCO’s Executive Board—on which 58 member states have a seatvoted in favor of the award, funded by a $3 million grant from Obiang. An international jury had already selected the first recipients, when human rights organization and celebrities—including Desmond Tutu and several other Nobel laureates—publicized Obiang’s abysmal record on human rights. In the wake of an international uproar, UNESCO’s board decided in October 2010 to “suspend” the prize pending a consensus. Opponents concluded that it had been postponed “until never.” The Equatoguinean government blamed the decision on “a hidden racist, arrogant, and neocolonial attitude.” In June, however, Obiang hosted a meeting of the African Union in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, at which the union called on UNESCO to go ahead with the award. At the request of Congo and Ivory Coast, the issue has been put before the Executive Board again. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) The A.U. resolution appears to have been adopted “at the last minute, late in the day,” at the Malabo meeting, says Joseph Kraus, program and development director of EG Justice, a human rights group focusing on Equatorial Guinea. Although the vote was unanimous, Kraus believes that some African countries may not support awarding the prize. Nonetheless, its adoption may make it harder for UNESCO to keep the award on ice, he says. EG Justice, the Open Society Justice Initiative, and several other groups have started a last-minute campaign to stop UNESCO’s board from issuing the award.last_img read more

Government ‘Exams’ for Italian Scientists Trigger Outcry

first_imgROME—An unprecedented government effort to shore up the quality of Italian science by reviewing the work of individual scientists and institutions has triggered a firestorm of protest. Critics say the government review, coordinated by the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR) at the Ministry of Education, University and Research is using flawed criteria and will do little to reward the best Italian scientists. The issue has been furiously debated on an online forum called Return On Academic Research (ROARS) in recent months, and has led to official protests by several scientific and legal associations, including the Mathematics Union and the Association of Psychologists. But the government is going ahead with the scheme anyway. In 2011, ANVUR started pushing back nepotism, still rife in the Italian academic world, and rewarding excellence. The agency evaluates individual researchers, who, if they meet certain criteria, can get a government stamp of approval that allows them to apply for higher academic positions; it also rates universities and public institutions, who can expect to get more funding if they are among the best. But the criteria used are too crude, scientists say. “It’s like judging the bottles in a wine contest by the labels only without tasting their content,” says Alberto Baccini, a professor of political economics at the University of Siena. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) By late November, more than 65,000 researchers had applied for the individual evaluations; they will know the official outcome in a few months. But many have already calculated their expected score themselves. For researchers in fields where good bibliometric data are available, ANVUR uses three criteria: the number of papers published in the past 10 years, the number of citations, and the so-called h-index, a measure that takes into account both output and impact. The law governing ANVUR prescribes that only applicants who score above the national median in their field on two of the three criteria can be admitted to the next stage of evaluation, a more quality-based scrutiny by committees. Many scientific groups have protested against what they see as a mindless and unjust application of numbers, and some suggest it may violate Italy’s constitution. ANVUR President Stefano Fantoni tells ScienceInsider that the criteria will be used only as indicators, and that the committees can still pass researchers who fail to meet quantitative criteria — although they will have to justify their decision. But commentators on ROARS say the law does not provide that escape, and it’s not clear what criteria the committees would use. ANVUR’s Web site does not describe the process clearly, critics say; on the homepage, Fantoni acknowledges that the site is still under construction, and that ANVUR is not completely transparent as a result. In order to get the full picture, scientists have to download a series of documents and check for recent changes. The National University Council recently asked research minister Francesco Profumo in an open letter to clarify the median-based criteria. (Profumo declined to talk to ScienceInsider.) The way that ANVUR gathers bibliometric data is under fire as well. The agency has relied on the Web site of Cineca, a center providing software and computing services to universities. ANVUR has asked researchers to upload the references to their papers to Cineca’s Web site; Cineca has also computed the medians and researchers’ individual scores. But according to Francesco Sylos Labini, a physicist at the National Research Council, Cineca’s database is “untrustworthy.” Nobody checks the data entered by researchers, he says, and they can put in nonexistant papers. Even if the scores are calculated correctly, critics say that they aren’t always a measure of quality. It’s a public secret in Italy that some lab leaders co-author dozens of papers every year for which they did very little work. ANVUR’s methodology does not ferret them out but rewards them with very high scores, which some have now listed on their Web sites. Meanwhile, some younger but more creative researchers have trouble making the median, says Piergiorgio Strata, president of the National Institute of Neuroscience. Even prominent historic figures like mathematician Ettore Majorana would have lost out, according to ScienzaInRete, a researchers’ group. For human and social sciences, which aren’t adequately covered by bibliometric databases, ANVUR compiled lists of 16,000 journals whose papers are included in the evaluation. Those lists have been heavily criticized because they include around 200 titles whose scientific credentials are questionable—including glamorous publications like Yacht Capital, religious journals, magazines about food and drink, a trade journal for pig breeders, and supplements of broadsheet newspapers like Il Sole 24 Ore. ANVUR’s other arm, the evaluation process of universities and research institutions, is under fire for similar reasons. Next year, that evaluation will lead to a ranking that will partly determine the allocation of Italy’s public funding. Not everyone thinks ANVUR’s methods are so bad. “I agree with the idea of ANVUR itself and with the idea of using tight numerical criteria for the first screening, especially for the evaluation of Universities,” says Giancarlo Ruocco, the director of the physics faculty at the University of Rome La Sapienza. “For individuals, it’s more problematic, but using minimum thresholds, which medians are, is a correct approach.” But others say ANVUR should look abroad, for instance at the United Kingdom’s Research Excellence Framework, for its evaluations, or use expert evaluators rather than metrics. “We need to look at what people are doing in those countries that have a long evaluation’s tradition, such as the U.K. and the U.S., if we want to set up clear and effective rules the majority of scientists will be prepared to accept and share,” says Francesca Pasinelli, the director-general of Telethon, a nonprofit foundation that screens about 450 research proposals in medicine and biology every year.last_img read more

DOE Science Chief to Step Down

first_img D. Malakoff/Science William Brinkman testifies before a Congressional committee earlier this year. More change is in store atop the Department of Energy (DOE). On 15 March, William Brinkman, head of DOE’s Office of Science, announced that he will resign his post on 12 April. Brinkman says he decided to leave DOE for personal reasons. “My wife and I have plans on what we’d like to do that we’ve put off for 4 years,” Brinkman says. Most immediately, Brinkman says he plans to spend part of the summer working with his wife to restore their summer home in Loveladies, New Jersey, which was damaged in Superstorm Sandy. The Obama administration has yet to announce Brinkman’s successor, who must be confirmed by the Senate. Brinkman joined DOE in June 2009. Prior to taking command of the Office of Science, Brinkman was a senior research physicist at Princeton University. Before that, Brinkman worked at Bell Laboratories where he served as the head of the physics research division, and later as vice president of research. In a 15 March e-mail to DOE staff members (see below), Brinkman detailed a number the Office of Science’s achievements in recent years, including the establishment of DOE’s 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers, which were selected in 2009 to push the research boundaries on clean energy topics, such as solar power, electricity storage, carbon sequestration, and nuclear power. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) At the same time, Brinkman made it clear that Washington’s budget battles are beginning to take their toll on the nation’s R&D. “As I leave office, my biggest concern remains the erosion of science funding in the United States when most of the industrialized countries of the world are increasing funding,” he wrote. In a testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies on 5 March, Brinkman expanded on his concerns, noting that the recently enacted across-the-board cuts known as the sequester will mean cuts of $215 million for the Office of Science. Those cuts, he said, will force cancellation of the FastForward initiative designed to accelerate progress toward the next generation of supercomputers; elimination of up to 60 graduate student awards at universities; a delay of planned upgrades at the Linac Coherent Light Source in California; cancellation of three funding calls in the biological and environmental research program; and a likely slowdown of the delivery of hardware slated for ITER, the international fusion reactor. “Sequestration greatly endangers the scope of our scientific program, as well as our ability to keep our construction projects on time and on budget,” Brinkman concluded. Mark Ratner, a materials chemist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a member of DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, says that Brinkman’s leadership will be missed. “Bill brought insight, creativity, hard work and a stellar history as a physicist to the Office of Science,” Ratner writes in an e-mail. “He has led the Office with brilliance and with creativity. The sequester has made the job more difficult, since it was designed to be irrational (and not to be implemented).” News of Brinkman’s departure brought a wistful reaction from some staff members on Capitol Hill who dealt with him regularly. He had earned a reputation as a trustworthy and down-to-earth advocate for DOE’s science programs. But he also became known for his soft-spoken demeanor; during hearings, lawmakers routinely had to remind Brinkman to speak up or get closer to the microphone, so that they could understand what he was saying. The exchanges even earned him a moniker form one science lobbyist: “Dr. Mumbles.” Brinkman says that he’s open to returning to Princeton University or the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he and his wife intend to move after leaving Washington. Here is the full text of Brinkman’s farewell e-mail: From: SCCAST Sent: Friday, March 15, 2013 11:39 AM Subject: Moving On It’s time for me to move on! Now that the new DOE leadership team is taking shape, I am writing to let you know I will be moving on. My last day at DOE will be Friday, April 12. Between now and then, I will be transitioning and taking some personal time and will be away from the office much of the time between March 22 and April 12. As I leave office, my biggest concern remains the erosion of science funding in the United States when most of the industrialized countries of the world are increasing funding. When I came to DOE, I started with a principle that I have used when I changed positions in the past, namely, that I should assume that all the people in my organization are good at their jobs. There is no question that the staff in SC has lived up to that initial expectation. We have made some changes but, overall, I believe SC is a very sound organization today. So what did we accomplish? Actually a lot. Many new, exciting scientific advances have occurred: the first X-ray FEL, the Higgs particle was discovered, strongly enhanced use of simulation in materials science, discovery of new aspects of the nature of the quark-gluon plasma, and a host of new results on possible energy technologies have been discovered, to mention just a few. ITER has a new leadership team in place and construction is well on its way. Overall, our international collaborations have increased and we have sharpened our focus on making these strategically important. Probably the largest changes have occurred in our approach to science relevant to energy technologies. The Energy Frontier Research Centers, two hubs, and the biofuels centers are established and are working effectively. I believe we have made considerable progress in getting our climate program integrated into the broader US government effort and I look forward to the next IPCC report in which our modeling will surely play a major role. We have established “tech teams” to coordinate applied and basic science activities in technology areas important to the DOE energy mission that, I believe, will continue to have an important role, as they already have, in fostering funding opportunity announcements that are collaborative among the applied and basic science offices. On the lab management side much has changed. We have a new, strong leadership team in place that is making many changes. The processing of grants through our Chicago office has been greatly improved and is much more user friendly than in the past, the organization at Oak Ridge has been moved forward more toward what we expect of a service center, and several new site office leaders have been appointed. It continues to be important to exploit modern communications and data systems to improve operational effectiveness and we are on a path to consolidate IT functions as an important element of this strategy. I congratulate the PAMS team for the dedication and leadership they have shown in making PAMS a reality. In our internal SC headquarters organization, we have recruited new leadership for and have greatly improved our public relations and human resources organizations. The national laboratories have grown stronger over the last four years. The multipurpose labs are not only doing excellent science but also are broadening their impact on the country through increasing coupling to American industry and greater involvement in national security. We continue to manage these laboratories through our annual strategic plan reviews and the grading system, which has received praise from within the Department and in external reviews. We have made careful judgments on whether to renew or compete lab contracts and have been successful in a number of cases. I look forward to interacting with many of you as a function of time and wish the entire organization and all of DOE great success. Sincerely, Dr. W. F. Brinkman Director, Office of Sciencelast_img read more

Federal Inquiry Into Indian Firm Puts a Focus on Widespread Visa Abuses

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Can Narendra Modi Do a 21st Century Ashoka?

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Measuring the mobs

first_imgHow many marchers made up the Million Man March? We will never know for sure. Controversy swirled in the wake of the 1995 event, with estimates based on photos and video of the crowd ranging from 400,000 to 2 million people. Getting accurate head counts for massive events, be they peaceful protests or destructive riots, isn’t much easier today. The number of people protesting during the Arab Spring in 2011 on the streets in Yemen (above), for example, is impossible to know. It doesn’t matter how powerful the cameras are in satellites or drones overhead if it is dark or smoky or if the crowds are moving in and out of cover. Rather than visually counting heads, it might be possible to count the streams of digital data flowing from the mobile phones in everyone’s pocket: phone calls, tweets, and Web browsing, all of which can be geolocated. The problem is that no one knows how reliable those streams are for estimating the head count. When you have a million people in one place, what proportion can be expected to use their phones in various ways over a given time period? Now, researchers have made a stab at that calibration. Using crowds of known sizes—at an airport and a stadium in Milan, Italy—a study published in Royal Society Open Science reports that mobile phone data predicted the actual number of people on the ground with an average error rate of just 13%. It wouldn’t have worked on the Million Man March, when the Internet was a novelty and smart phones just a dream, but we’ll be ready for the next one.last_img read more