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Protons Collide At 13 TeV For the First Time At the LHC 52

An anonymous reader writes to let everyone know the LHC has now smashed protons together at 13 TeV, the highest energy level yet achieved. They've posted the first images captured from the collisions, and explained the testing process as well. Jorg Wenninger of the LHC Operations team says, "When we start to bring the beams into collision at a new energy, they often miss each other. The beams are tiny – only about 20 microns in diameter at 6.5 TeV; more than 10 times smaller than at 450 GeV. So we have to scan around – adjusting the orbit of each beam until collision rates provided by the experiments tell us that they are colliding properly." Spokesperson Tiziano Camporesi adds, "The collisions at 13 TeV will allow us to further test all improvements that have been made to the trigger and reconstruction systems, and check the synchronisation of all the components of our detector."

Fighting Zombies? Chevrolet Reveals New "Black Ops" Concept Truck 220

cartechboy writes "Whether its the Mayan calendar, a rough economy, or a fear of zombies, there are people who are currently preparing for the end of the world, coming, like, soon. And they can attract some fringe elements. So maybe those elements are worth a little truck marketing. Yesterday at the Texas State Fair, Chevrolet unveiled a "Black Ops" concept truck that it says will "explore the extremes of preparedness." The truck comes with a vault storage unit, solar power pack, gas masks, gloves, a military first aid kit, a folding shovel, a generator and some rope. Twinkies apparently not included."

You've Got 25 Years Until UNIX Time Overflows 492

CowboyRobot writes "In 25 years, an odd thing will happen to some of the no doubt very large number of computing devices in our world: an old, well-known and well-understood bug will cause their calculation of time to fail. The problem springs from the use of a 32-bit signed integer to store a time value, as a number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on Thursday, 1 January 1970, a practice begun in early UNIX systems with the standard C library data structure time_t. On January 19, 2038, at 03:14:08 UTC that integer will overflow. It's not difficult to come up with cases where the problem could be real today. Imagine a mortgage amortization program projecting payments out into the future for a 30-year mortgage. Or imagine those phony programs politicians use to project government expenditures, or demographic software, and so on. It's too early for panic, but those of us in the early parts of their careers will be the ones who have to deal with the problem."

$1 Billion Mission To Reach the Earth's Mantle 267

black6host writes "Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples."

Orangutans To Skype Between Zoos With iPads 149

MrSeb writes "For the last six months, orangutans — those great, hairy, orange apes that go 'ook' a lot — at Milwaukee Zoo have been playing games and watching videos on Apple's iPad, but now their keepers and the charity Orangutan Outreach want to go one step further and enable ape-to-ape video chat via Skype or FaceTime. 'The orangutans loved seeing videos of themselves — so there is a little vanity going on — and they like seeing videos of the orangutans who are in the other end of the enclosure,' Richard Zimmerman of Orangutan Outreach said. 'So if we incorporate cameras, they can watch each other.' And thus the idea of WiFi video chat between orangutans — and eventually between zoos — was born. It might seem like folly, but putting (ruggedized!) iPads into the hands of apes could really revolutionize our understanding of great ape behavior."

Malaysia Releases Genetically Modified Mosquitoes 140

Blessed_by_the_Cow writes "Apparently, Malaysian scientists have released 6,000 genetically modified male mosquitoes into the the wild. These bloodsuckers have been altered to have shorter lifespans. The basic idea behind it is to help slow down the spread of Dengue fever by killing off the mosquitoes faster."

Microsoft Seeks Do-Let-The-Bed-Bugs-Bite Patent 176

theodp writes "In its just-published patent application for Adapting Parasites to Combat Disease, Microsoft lays out plans to unleash 'altered parasitic organisms' on humans, including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, leeches, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, heart worms, roundworms, lice (head, body, and pubic), and the like. 'Irradiated mosquitoes can be used to deliver damaged Plasmodium to individuals,' explains Microsoft. 'Instead of contracting malaria, an individual receiving the damaged Plasmodium develops an immune response that renders the individual resistant to contracting malaria.' Don't worry about runaway breeding, advises Microsoft — 'a termination feature [that] can include programmed death' makes this impossible. As David Spade might say, I liked this movie the first time I saw it — when it was called Jurassic Park."

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Generates a 'Mini-Big Bang' 570

buildslave writes "The Large Hadron Collider has successfully created a 'mini-Big Bang' by smashing together lead ions instead of protons. The scientists working at the enormous machine on the Franco-Swiss border achieved the unique conditions on 7 November. The experiment created temperatures a million times hotter than the center of the Sun."

CERN LHC Reaches Its Goals For 2010 90

Anonymous Dupaeur writes "The goals for the first run of the most powerful particle collider (and the most energetic storage ring since ISR) were recently surpassing the 10^32 level of luminosity, with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam. This is a significant milestone, opening the way to collect more and more data. The current plan is to stop the proton collisions soon, and provide an ion (Pb) beam and conclude this year with a X-mass break. The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data, which is achievable with such beam power. After that, the entire accelerator complex will be shut down for a year, due to budget costs for science in Europe."

LHC Spies Hints of Infant Universe 311

techbeat writes "The big bang machine may already be living up to its nickname, writes New Scientist. Researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds."

Google Caffeine Drops MapReduce, Adds "Colossus" 65

An anonymous reader writes "With its new Caffeine search indexing system, Google has moved away from its MapReduce distributed number crunching platform in favor of a setup that mirrors database programming. The index is stored in Google's BigTable distributed database, and Caffeine allows for incremental changes to the database itself. The system also uses an update to the Google File System codenamed 'Colossus.'"

First LHC Data Hint At New Particle 124

Anonymous Dupeur writes "Only 12 hours after the start of operation of the Large Hardon Collider at an unprecedentedly high energy level, a discovery had been made. Today, in its press release, CERN disclosed the observation of a new class — paleoparticles. 'It's awful,' explains Alain Grand, still shocked by the discovery. 'It left horrible tracks inside the detector that made the physicists on duty at the time feel quite sick.' No wonder. The particle consists of two strange quarks and one top quark but no beauty or charm quark. The physicists have nicknamed it the 'neutrinosaurus.' This marks a first success of the — finally — started experiment."

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]