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CERN, the Big Bang and Impact On the IT Industry

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things dept.

IT 169

whencanistop writes "ComputerWeekly have put together a nice short guide (with lots of links) of what is going on at CERN. They've got a nice slant though on what this big bang experiment is going to mean for the IT Industry. Interesting slant on the world's largest grid and the database clustering technology that they are using. They have also picked up on the amusing rap video by CERN's scientists that has been wandering around YouTube."

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We need more evil scientists (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961011)

Mad scientists are way too nice and sweet-natured these days. We need more evil geniuses [today.com] . Who'll do things like run the Large Hardon Collider on Vista [today.com] .

(Okay, that's too evil. They can run it on Google Chrome.)

Re:We need more evil scientists (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961165)

man, can we ever escape the microsoft bash? it's stale. really stale. i guess it sucks not to have an imagination.

Re:We need more evil scientists (0, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961257)

Nah, a bully on the way down is always great comedy material. Gimme some for Apple and I'll see what I can do.

Re:We need more evil scientists (3, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962009)

There's a difference between "great comedy material" and repeating the same damn joke 18,000 times a day. Of course since this site is populated by nerds, the social skills needed to understand that are lacking.

Re:We need more evil scientists (0, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962547)

Are you saying Linux w33n0rs smell faintly of cat piss and have a nerdy, braying laugh?

Re:We need more evil scientists (2, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963159)

Yes, because stereotyping a whole website's pool of users is 100% accurate. Asshole, I happen to have a sense of humor, cleanse regularly, and hell I even go outside and do things with non-nerds!

Re:We need more evil scientists (2)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961353)

People bash Microsoft for one simple reason... They have an amazing ability to find truly new and unique ways of screwing up on a daily basis, and then telling the world "that isn't a bug, that is a feature." They have taken the act of writing software, elevated it to an artform, got cocky with the whole elitist attitude that comes with wold domination and now finds it's glory days a distant memory. More and more often, their products wind up being stripped of highly touted functionality, is horribly rushed to the point that quality suffers drastically, subject to random crashes and failures that are impossible for your average user to repair, and in turn is only fixed months if not years after the fact through major redesigns. Of course there is something to be said for being first to market, but they have lost consumer good will making their purchases more a matter of necessity of immediacy instead of legitimate desire, even by Microsoft's own admission through their discussions on the 360 and Vista's launch failures.

Re:We need more evil scientists (0, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961451)

Sucka MC. My Zune Hadron weighs a ton!

Re:We need more evil scientists (2, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962977)

Nope...
I have to deal with morons trying to run big business critical databases on Windows on almost daily basis and the OS is so badly unsuited for the task that there should be a bounty on those who sold them the solution.

Re:We need more evil scientists (2, Funny)

exley (221867) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964145)

man, can we ever escape the microsoft bash? it's stale. really stale. i guess it sucks not to have an imagination.

I'm with ya, AC. Most of the MS jokes are lame indeed, but unfortunately that nonsense is here to stay because there are far too many people here who get a huge hadron when they bash MS.

Best source for evil scientist news (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961239)

The Register's coverage of the LHC is a lot more, well, entertaining than the coverage by other newspapers. Same news, but a little more energy in the presentation...

Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe [theregister.co.uk]

Boffinry bitchslap brouhaha: Higgs and Hawking head to head [theregister.co.uk] .

...and they also answer important questions, like So, what's the velocity of a sheep in a vacuum? Plus, the size of Wales in cubic furlongs [theregister.co.uk]

...anyway, getting back on topic, they also tell us, in Today is not Hadron Collider Day [theregister.co.uk] ,
"Only a year or more from now will the colliding protons be disintegrated with sufficient violence to produce the various treats we have been promised. Strangely perhaps, by then it seems a racing cert that the broadcasters will all have gone home, and the scribblers will mostly have ceased to file copy. Once the insane laughs begin to truly ring out in the LHC's underground caverns, once the mad scientists wipe the foam from their lips, roll up their sleeves, lock and load their outrageous particle guns and really start to show what they can do, the chances are that nobody will be watching.
"But there will be at least one exception. The Reg hereby pledges to stay on the story, bringing you all the humonguous subterranean cavern magno-doughnut beam cannon news hot off the wires - perhaps with a garnish of hysterical rip-in-the-very-fabric-of-spacetime dimension portal angle here and there. As long as there's a universe to report from, we will continue to follow the Quest for the Big Answers (TM)"

Re:Best source for evil scientist news (1)

cyberwench (10225) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964249)

I love The Register. My favorite part...

That would be bad: but even if the LHC guys manage to avoid it, there are other ways in which their meddling might destroy the world.

A particularly violent game of proton billiards, for instance, of the very sort the LHC's superpowered seven trillion electron-volt atomic cues are designed to play, might lead to all sorts of trouble. Quarks might get mixed up into "negatively-charged strangelets" which would turn everything else they touched into strangelets as well. The Earth, and then perhaps the entire universe, could be turned into a fearful strangelet soup; or perhaps custard.

A related worry is that overly vigorous particle-punishing tomfoolery at the LHC could produce "magnetic monopoles", which are dicey freaks of nature. Monopoles could trigger a runaway reaction not unlike the quark-strangelet scenario, in which everything gets changed into something else. This could lead to a turn-up for the books, in which the Moon remained made of moon but the Earth was abruptly converted into cheese.

Man, I wish I could write like that.

Re:We need more evil scientists (1)

phantomAI (750299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961281)

I'm not looking forward to being sucked into the Black Space of Death.

Re:We need more evil scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961365)

Mad scientists are way too nice and sweet-natured these days. We need more evil geniuses [today.com] .

Ah, brilliant idea. Who else here would like to see what Dr. Horrible [drhorrible.com] could do with the LHC...? C'mon, hands up, one... two... three... four...

Obama is self-destructing before our very eyes... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961419)

I guess he isn't the second-coming of Jesus after all. Chicago mayor Richard Daley's little puppet is going to bring change? The guy who sat in Jeremiah Wright's pew for 20 yrs listening to Black Revenge Theology is going to bring healing? The guy who knocked on William Ayers the self-admitted terrorist's door to seek his permission to run for office in Chicago is going to bring peace? Obama - the guy who's been campaigning nonstop for President since the day he set foot in the U.S. Senate. I'll bet you Kum Ba Yah motherfuckers are having some serious buyer's remorse right now and were wishing that Hillary was on the ticket instead of Joe Biden, the guy who called Obama clean and well-spoken for a negro as if he were surprised by that.

Re:We need more evil scientists (5, Funny)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961935)

Do you want to destroy the world?
-ACCEPT- -DENY-

Re:We need more evil scientists (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963117)

-Accept-

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Here is a good evil scientist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962431)

Dr. Horrible [drhorrible.com]

Its an entertaining 45 minutes. It starts out kind of weak though.

Re:We need more evil scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962773)

My large HARD-ON collider only runs on big (m)asses.

Re:We need more evil scientists (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962931)

My large hardon collider [today.com] pushes large, energised hardons through a ring repeatedly, faster and faster, as smoothly and tightly as possible, until they clash and spray matter in all directions.

... What?

Re:We need more evil scientists (1)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964079)

I believe you have something in common with Sir Mixalot.

Re:We need more evil scientists (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963939)

Mad scientists are way too nice and sweet-natured these days. We need more evil geniuses [today.com] . Who'll do things like run the Large Hardon Collider on Vista [today.com] .

Is that why the world hasn't ended yet? Is the LHC still waiting for someone to click "Unblock"?

Sys Admin at CERN (1)

bgibby9 (614547) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961047)

What a sweet posting that would be. "OK people, we need another Terawatt of power, let's kick in the batteries!"

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (5, Interesting)

Gromius (677157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961261)

trust me its not fun. Physicists are demanding, require unreasonable ungodly amounts of storage and computing power and will do whater the hell they like with it, usally fecking up the system in new and interesting ways. Even the grid isnt enough, we could use more cpu. I'm a physicist at cern (posting from the CMS control room, was there yestarday, twas exciting) and I wouldnt want to be my sys admin ;)

Incidently offtopic, the LHC is down at the moment and has been all day. Apparently its something about a lost patrol.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961493)

And sysadminning for scientists is a goddamn nightmare. I'd just like you to imagine expert Fortran programmers who can't actually work a computer. And are way smarter than you in every way except ones that involve communicating with humans.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961757)

And sysadminning for scientists is a goddamn nightmare. I'd just like you to imagine expert Fortran programmers who can't actually work a computer. And are way smarter than you in every way except ones that involve communicating with humans.

Wow, when a sysadmin complains about someone else being bad at communicating with humans, that's saying something.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (4, Interesting)

Gromius (677157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962291)

I think you now start to see the extent of the problem. Seriously the sys admins are the outgoing ones at my work :)

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (4, Informative)

Tsunayoshi (789351) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961637)

I concur...where I work our 5 man unix team supports about 400 engineers of various types (mechanical, electrical, computer scientists, aerospace, etc.) and they are a needy little bunch.

never want to follow the processes, always want it now, refuse to let us do any IT analysis of their computing needs, refuse to use the ticketing system.

Frustrating to say the least.

Another place I worked one of the VMS computer operators told me a story where she was fixing a problem for a scientist and paused for a few seconds to review what she was doing in her mind before typing in a command..the scientist looked her in the eye and told her "you just wasted 13 seconds of my time." Her response was she would have wasted his entire day if her command had taken down the cluster...

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961719)

Oh dear, another trumped up admin that thinks he owns the company. You are there to provide services to the business / research people. You are supposed to facilitate their needs, however dumb.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961899)

Everyone is there to provide services to the business - the admins, the scientists, engineers, HR personnel, janitors, CEO, everyone.

In this case, it sounds like the admins are trying to do a professional job while up against some prima-donna users.

Oh, and admins are generally not there to service any need, however dumb. You must work in a strange place my friend, a very strange place indeed.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0, Flamebait)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962093)

I laugh at admins. It's always amusing to see someone abuse such a tiny amount of power.

It all stems from the lack of understanding that the servers are not an end unto themselves - but if admins were capable of abstract understanding, they wouldn't be script monkeys whose sole purpose in life is to restart computers every now and again.

Yeah, that's mean, but I stand by it. There are approximately 15 admins in the world who actually do their job the way it should be done. The rest are busy building their little air conditioned fiefdoms so they can lord at least one thing over somebody else in their lives.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962303)

There are approximately 15 admins in the world who actually do their job the way it should be done.

I didn't know we employed the whole world supply of competent admins here!

Here's why admins get stroppy. Explaining to the Vice Chancellor (or CEO) why the main website went down for 2 days is never easy, and when the explanation comes down to some lowly physics grad student wanting things done without heed for consequences, the experience is excruciating. Hence admins tend to prefer very strongly to keep things working that are currently working, and they dislike that most users have absolutely no idea what actually constitutes a "small change" on a highly-shared system.

OTOH, most users aren't a problem. If you're getting strop in your direction, maybe just maybe it's you that ought to reconsider?

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963719)

I worked for a number of years as a net/sys admin (several jobs, all 1000+ users, heterogenous networks, 1 admin) and a number of years as a scientist.

The GPP has it exactly right. Most admins are prima donnas with ego's out of all proportion to their abilities who are in denial about the fact that they are often not very smart (smart IT people tend to go into development) and in a low level service industry. I've met a few competent net/sys/db/web admin's. The majority however are incompetents who create vast amounts of unnecessary work for themselves, and waste the time of the people around them, in large part by failing to use all the forms of computer automation and security available. In particular, if you think it's significantly harder to admin 100 desktops instead of 10 desktops then you're not competent.

Your 'web site down' scenario is laughable; I can think of at least a dozen ways to insure the integrity of a main website while still allowing users to get things done immediately and without wasting time on useless paperwork, everything from having a hot clone to swap to if the main web site goes down to putting the user's part of the web site on a separate box to defining privileges so the user can't touch/harm the main part of the website.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962635)

This is, sadly, mostly true. However there arent only 15 good admins: we are a minority, but we arent that few.

Actually, the more entrenched one is with the FOSS comunity, the more contact one has had with experienced older bofhs and, as a general rule, the better admin one is.

Now.... the only other point Ill have to disagree in is your saying that sysadmining somehow requires no creativity or is not a valuable skill. Neither of those are true: its a challenging intelectual activity and a fun thing to be doing in any case.

Getting software systems to work together (properly) towards an end is good engineering. The best place where youll see that is in performance anlysis: most DBAs cant tell a bit from a byte and have no idea about how is data stored in a hardrive: they do performance-by-magazzione, in which they go ahead and purchase whatever oracle tells them to and call that "creative colaborative thinking".

A good sysadmin, on the other hand, should be able to tell you exactly where you need to put your buck to get an X performance increase: thats not easy at all, wildly it changes depending on the app and nobody even thinks about going ahead and doing it anymore (they go out and buy bigger iron and if THAT wont work, then they think they need a "better" DB, when the problem can perfectly be related to the ammount of memory, ammount of processor, poor use of this or that library...etc.

Hey... even librarians have fun.... if they are any good.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (5, Interesting)

Gromius (677157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962561)

No I'm with the parent. And I'm coming for the user/scientist side. The admins at scientific labs like CERN are basically doing a heroic job despite the best efforts of their users to be as awkward as possible.

He's right, its almost impossible to get physicists to do what you want and by god if it goes down theres hell to pay, even if it *them* who brought it down doing something the admins told them not to. Admins cant really lock anything down and if they try to its circumvented and/or bitterly complained about. Plus they have to allow the user to run whatever programs they want as they mainly use (very poorly written) custom code. It all boils down to physicists being obsessed about their research to the point that getting it done is the *most important* thing and all else pales into significance.

Again I mention that I'm physicist and I know I'm guilty of this, I've taken down the UK particle physics cluter farm (the tier 1 in grid speak) but these days I usually buy them a beer afterwards to make up for it.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963355)

I'm physicist and I know I'm guilty of this, I've taken down the UK particle physics cluter farm (the tier 1 in grid speak) but these days I usually buy them a beer afterwards to make up for it.

And that's why they drink with you, and not the other people posting in this thread!

You almost certainly get more and better service from the IT department, too. Nobody likes being treated like their work isn't important.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963955)

Admins cant really lock anything down

That's what hot clones/backups are for. Sure, it goes down, but with a competent admin it will be up again 5 minutes later.

Locking down things that people need to get their work done (not the things they don't need) is a strong sign that the admin is not competent. It's likely the admin doesn't have a good understanding of how to organize the security available and as a result locks down far too much, or occasionally, too little.

If physicists are breaking systems it's because those systems weren't organized to serve their needs in the first place. Yes, physicists, and chemists, often have ancient and messy programs that must be run. Doesn't mean it should have any impact on overall system reliability. I say this having been on both sides of the fence.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962951)

never want to follow the processes, always want it now, refuse to let us do any IT analysis of their computing needs, refuse to use the ticketing system.

I fail to see the difference between your (l)users and the vast majority of non-technical users out there.

The only difference I've ever seen supporting PHDs is they seem to: think they know how to solve the issue themselves and think fixing any computing problem should be easy.

Though, even those traits aren't entirely unique to the egghead crowd.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963417)

Another place I worked one of the VMS computer operators told me a story where she was fixing a problem for a scientist and paused for a few seconds to review what she was doing in her mind before typing in a command..the scientist looked her in the eye and told her "you just wasted 13 seconds of my time." Her response was she would have wasted his entire day if her command had taken down the cluster...

The proper response to the scientist is "This would affect me how?" followed up by "I'd like to get back to unscrewing your foul-up if that's okay."

I've worked with scientists, medical doctors, and lawyers, and they can all be complete bastards. There are ways to get under the skin of each and every one of them while doing your job. Just make sure they don't have sufficient juice to get you summarily dismissed.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961699)

So did they turn up in WWII? Or have they been launched into a parallel Kazula & Klien dimension? That being said have you decided upon a nomenclature for these extra dimensions that are just laying around? Personally I like rainbows.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961815)

You should buy more super computer clusters.

Disclaimer: I may work for a company who already built some of the clusters at CERN...

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962611)

Apparently its something about a lost patrol.

Maybe the ninjas have infiltrated.

Back on topic, the job of a sysadmin is never easy. There's a very little difference between developers and scientists, the big being that developers tend to know what they're doing so that they don't create small fuck ups, but since they know what they're doing, they end up creating big ones when it does happen. Developers are equally as demanding resource-wise, especially doing database development.

Re:Sys Admin at CERN (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963733)

Just remember, use your crowbar on the Headcrabs, shooting them is just a waste of ammo.

Terrabytes (5, Funny)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961049)

a massive Linux-based storage system supplying many terrabytes of disk storage

Clearly the effect of being buried 100m underground.

Re:Terrabytes (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961557)

Maybe we should call it the wine-cellar effect. At any rate, I find it surprising that they're only using one storage system, and only "many" terabytes after considering it creates 15PB per year [cdsmedia.cern.ch] , unless "terrabytes" are a newly named unit of measure.

Re:Terrabytes (1)

Icarium (1109647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964433)

Not that surprising, given that in the long run it's only temporary. Once that data has been distributed, had multiple redundant backups made and cataloged, it will be wiped.

It is very much a way station - just because data will initially get dumped there doesn't mean it's going to live there very long.

Im also sceptical and feel that the use of terabytes is largely to keep the article(s) understandable to non geeks, and that the actual storage capacity is probably in the PB range anyway.

Re:Terrabytes (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961729)

-ducks-And the trolls only come out at night-runs-

geek viagra (4, Funny)

einer (459199) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961071)

10 Gigabit Wan

I'll be in my bunk

Re:geek viagra (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961749)

Now all you need is a brain jack and they could stream all of p0rn directly to your bunk.

Re:geek viagra (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961759)

Are we gunna explode? I don't want to explode.

Excellent rap! (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961111)

The video is too funny - and very well done. Send a link to your kids and they'll finally understand what CERN and LHC do. Maybe we should do more science education like this.

Re:Excellent rap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961793)

The video is too funny - and very well done. Send a link to your kids and they'll finally understand what CERN and LHC do. Maybe we should do more science education like this.

Actually that sounds like a good way to make sure your kids hate Physics, Scientists and Rap music all in one blow :)

Any one else nervous that people like this are the ones who make nukes?

Re:Excellent rap! (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962057)

I would almost risk having them hate science, as long as they also can't stand rap music.

Re:Excellent rap! (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963325)

No.

Re:Excellent rap! (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962095)

My kids were dancing around the room doing the "funky physicist".

Re:Excellent rap! (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963573)

"Maybe we should do more science education like this."

No, we should not.

What it means to IT. (0, Flamebait)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961149)

They've got a nice slant though on what this big bang experiment is going to mean for the IT Industry.

Here's the short, short version: NOTHING.
Yes, there are lots of computers in use, but is there anything particularly unusual going on here or an brand new way of organizing IT? No? OK, then.

Re:What it means to IT. (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961283)

Er, yes there is - goddamn gigafirehoses of data coming out the damn thing and all needing to be saved for later scrutiny.

Re:What it means to IT. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961323)

But how exactly does this impact the IT industry? My company will need to upgrade its backup systems soon. This does not translate into new technology for IT as a whole. CERN = my company * 10^9, but are new technologies coming out of this?

Re:What it means to IT. (3, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961513)

It'll certainly result in new technologies for dealing with this stuff becoming cheaper. It's the people who have to do goddamn ridiculous things this year and have billions lying around to do so who push things forward for us cheapskates.

Re:What it means to IT. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961855)

That is fine. But when I read an article about what CERN will do for IT, I expect there to be some specific improvements. Not simply "well, it has some really big challenges, so I suppose something will come as a result".

Re:What it means to IT. (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961983)

Well, that's pretty much their answer when people ask what the heck's the practical use of spending billions to smash protons together ;-)

Re:What it means to IT. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963211)

Ya know what? I can accept that. We know that this is theoretical physics. Who would have guessed that understanding the atom would have resulted in the type of electronics breakthroughs that we take for granted today? I don't know what will come out of understanding particle physics, but I would bet a lot of money that we will see some serious breakthroughs in 30 or 40 years that will make it worthwhile.

Now, IT isn't theoretical. If there is an article written about how IT will change because of this, then I want to know how IT will change because of this. I don't think that is unreasonable.

Re:What it means to IT. (3, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963419)

You'll destroy the world of IT journalism with an attitude like that!

cnet.com: "Nothing happened today."
zdnet.com: "Nope, nothing here either."
networkweek: "It's Patch Tuesday ... no, we don't care either."
theregister.co.uk: "Tits! Beer! Football!"

Ahem (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961335)

Here's the short, short version: NOTHING. Yes, there are lots of computers in use, but is there anything particularly unusual going on here or an brand new way of organizing IT? No? OK, then

From TFA:

Analysts have said financial firms will deal with gigabytes of data per second within the next five years. So the sorts of grid processing, networking and storage technologies that Cern is pioneering will soon become relevant to many technology users.

I really don't get the "I'm to cool to RTFA" thing myself, I find willful ignorance kinda undesirable.

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963193)

"Analysts have said financial firms will deal with gigabytes of data per second within the next five years. So the sorts of grid processing, networking and storage technologies that Cern is pioneering will soon become relevant to many technology users."

Umm... financial firms won't have any money left for the equipment and engineers in five years. :)

Re:What it means to IT. (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961465)

The physical properties they will prove, disprove or discover will undoubtedly find practical applications. How about being able to communicate at speeds that don't decrease rapidly with the density of the medium, like light through fiber does? Or perhaps being able to tap vacuum for power? Or the holy grail of being able to reliably create mass from energy? Or things we haven't even thought of?

Whatever they come up with, I'm sure that the repercussions for all industries, and perhaps especially the IT industry will be huge.

Re:What it means to IT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961851)

Here's the short, short version: NOTHING. Yes, there are lots of computers in use, but is there anything particularly unusual going on here or an brand new way of organizing IT? No? OK, then.

Well IT people like to consider themselves on the forefront of science, even though they're not.

nice summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961185)

"the amusing rap video by CERN's scientists that hase been wandering around Youtube."

I hase a seekrut!

Is there some kind of unwritten law that states: "the more advanced the subject, the more retarded the writing has to be?"

Re:nice summary (3, Interesting)

whencanistop (1224156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961351)

It is so that people with too puny a mind to understand the subject can comment on the spelling rather than the subject matter.

Weapons to maximum (0)

rktechhead (1348421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961193)

It is certainly an exciting time to be alive, what we are witnessing here will probably be considered one of those points in our history in which we make a huge leap in our collective knowledge.

I can't wait for the day where a small portion of our population's work day will consist of sitting in a leather chair in a ship and saying "Weapons to maximum"

If CERN fails (3, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961207)

Look at it this way: if they fail to find the God particle, at least they can make a really affordable subway system.

Please please! (5, Interesting)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961315)

Don't call it the "god particle" (Peter Higgs is an atheist just like his hero Paul Dirac).

(Apparently it was originally "goddammned particle" but someone edited a manuscript...).

Andy

Re:Please please! (2, Insightful)

hobbit (5915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964309)

Calling it the "god particle" makes a mockery of religion, and so is completely compatible with atheism.

Re:If CERN fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961479)

"if they fail to find the God particle, at least they can make a really affordable subway system."

It runs in a big circle, under pretty much open space... would that be the "subway to nowhere"? Will we be reading the news articles about how Palin voted for the "subway to nowhere" before she voted against it?

Re:If CERN fails (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961787)

The Glasgow Subway [wikipedia.org] runs in a big circle, so it's not without precedent.

It would be cool if they could re-use the electromagnets to drive the trains.

Re:If CERN fails (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963831)

My favorite tidbit about the Glasgow Subway is that they apparently have to occasionally flip the trains around, because the wheels on the "inner" side of the train wear down much faster than the ones on the outside.

Re:If CERN fails (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964337)

Why that way round? I'd have thought that centrifugal force would cause the outer wheels to wear faster.

Re:If CERN fails (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963521)

Good way to bring US Election politics completely the fuck out to left field. Go away.

Re:If CERN fails (4, Funny)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961779)

I for one would not want to ride on the "Large Subway Collider"!

creators, the big flash, & what it means to yo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24961385)

there's no doubt that some intervention is in order.

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

A suggestion ... (0, Redundant)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961745)

I think it might be a good idea to limit the size of AC posts, which would hopefully prevent these types of screeds from infecting every discussion.

Re:A suggestion ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962249)

A good idea would be to tell YOU how very ridiculously & easily trackable you are here on slashdot, because you are a "registered user": Ever considered that 'take' on it, you name tossing wannabe "elitist" (your kind makes myself & others laugh hugely, because you apparently don't realize YOU made YOURSELF, another easily tracked /. sheep in the herd of registered users here)? You're obviously not intelligent enough to even realize that you made yourself an easily tracked target here if need be on the part of someone that may take offense to your name tossing & use of profanities + snide little elitist comments, etc.

Re:A suggestion ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963491)

LaughingCoder:
That's the whole point of the moderation system. If someone doesn't like registering but has some long, but well written, insight on a subject they can post it, and it may get moderated up. Crap like what you responded to gets moderated down, usually pretty quickly.

You'd think the Scientific angle... (1)

S7urm (126547) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961429)

would be more newsworthy, Especially considering that this experiment will either A. Destroy the world, B. prove the Higgs Boson and other crazy particulate theory, C. prove(disprove) the existence of....GOD D. all of the above

Who cares about the IT angle when I could walk away from this experiment saying "See, I TOLD YOU, God doesn't exist, the Higgs Boson is your new God" ..........and then create a new religion and be rich, RICH I TELLS YA!

Re:You'd think the Scientific angle... (2, Insightful)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962599)

The scientific advances from the LHC won't be coming for another few years. The IT impacts are happening now. I'm sure we'll get a new news blitz when the LHC starts to actually collide particles at high energies (when it breaks Fermi Labs records in a year or so) and then yet another when the first import preliminary results come in (preliminary because it will take another year after that to accumulate the statistics for definite results).

The LHC has been in construction for what, 15 years now? It is about time they get to have a party. Actually, we had parties for pretty much every tiny milestone, champagne is cheap there. But this is a bit bigger.

The Black Hole and Big Bang (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961503)

The other day, someone was watching a movie on his iPod Touch and walking on the road. He didn't see the black hole in front of him, and fell down. He got a glimpse of what the Big Bang was about [beewulf.com] !

Bigger Computing Grid At SETI (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961597)

While I find the grid at Cern impressive with their claim that "Cern will be using one of the biggest computer grids this summer to pool the processing power of about 100,000 CPUs worldwide", I find the SETI project [berkeley.edu] even more impressive, which according to Berkley boasts "Currently the largest distributed computing effort with over 3 million users".

Granted, Cern claims that it processing its information at 1Gbps, I wonder how that stacks up against SETI

Re:Bigger Computing Grid At SETI (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964035)

CERN (and their collaborators) use fully Open Source grid software. I've added a few of the more interesting projects to Freshmeat. Before we get all cynical, let's exploit the hell out of what they've made available.

Impact... (1)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961751)

Please don't mention LHC and "Impact" in the same sentence. It's bad enough that I have to worry about invisible black holes (worse than cancer! And twice as hard to cure!), but now I have to worry about giant lifeforms crashing into Antarctica.

What have they ever done (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24961853)

What has CERN ever done for the IT industry? [hitmill.com]

Comments from BBC Readers... enjoy! (-1, Flamebait)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962155)

no doubt this has been a very worthwhile experiment, pushing forward the boundaries of science, enhancing our understanding of how the cosmos was created... but surely these massive brains could have been put to better use figuring out how we can now avoid destroying it all? seems like a teensy waste of money if you ask me... just a good job they didn't create a great big black hole and obliterate us after all! "OOOOPS! sorry about that..."

Fairly important, I'd say. As it appears to have set off earthquakes in Japan and Indonesia later the same day. Coincidence or something far sinister ? Conclusion: "don't do it again ?"

"I think that scientist must do their experiment"..... but they shouldn't be do it against nature.Let these things remains in hands of God.....Ok

What a colossal waste of money - who cares how the universe started - if we had applied the cash used to construct this geek's dream gadget to something like AIDS research or some of the huge environmental problems threatening to detroy our planet it would have been far better spent.

isnt the big bang still a theory?
the way these scientists are describing the LHC you'd think it was a proven scientific fact!
i'm sure it will be excellent value for money - a handful of scientists get paid hansomely for doing a hobby based on supposition.
forget poverty, starvation and disease - this purposeless experiment is far more important(!)

I have always believed that it is "gravity" that makes mass and not the reverse. I also believe that the universe is like a ballon, and each piece of matter, regardless of size, leaves a foot print that extends throughout the universe. The foot print is made of "waves" that we cannot see or measure. If the LHC works, it will radically change our way of life, making space travel and even the tele-transporation of matter possible. Dease and illness could become a state of the past.

All good to test things. But not at the financial cost they spend on somthing 90% of the population of the world do not under stand. I.
Science can't proof the the beginning as it has one flaw in the big bang theory. "In the beginning there was nothing" Nothing can't creat any thing. The Bible say "that the earth was here and it describe how the eath looked before God spoke a few word to create what we see now. God rules! Science?

They have spent £5 bn pounds on the experiment just to know the past. They should have thought about the future instead and sent the same amount to the areas where this money was much needed. People in Africa and Asia are dying of hunger, cold, and diseases. They need the money and our support rather than few experiments about the planet's past. Some of them don't even know that these experiments are happening.

I cant believe they would put our lives at danger!
They could have had a world wide vote to see what everyone thought just like they did for england with terminal 5.They put billions of lives at risk more lives then how much money they spent one the experiment in the first place ? Why the world is gonna stop anyway so whats the point on spending the money when other people need that money to survive.What went through their heads i do not know but next time is there is one STOP & THINK AGAIN!

It's very interesting, but it's about as important as the colour of my underpants. £5billion could be spent a lot more wisely.

I think the experiment is total waste of time and money. I don't care if the earth is gonna blow up or not, but, you know, just think about the starving people in Africa. We can help them a lot by not to spending on that experiment. Advancement in science is good. But the tiny particle cannot provide them a life. That's what I thought when I heard that the supermassive amount of money were spent to them.

When all the hype has died down and when the project leaders and contractors are all happily retired on the fees they have raked in, I suspect this expensive machine will be regarded as the European Millenium Dome. A complete waste of money and a white elephant. Should the experiment fail miserably to reveal anything remotely useful except that things disintegrate when they collide (wow) - what other use is there for a 27Km tunnel full of magnets - a 5 Billion Pound mushroom farm maybe ?

The big bang will never be proved - what kind of idiots believe in something so dumb!

£5bn seems an awfull lot of money when science has already shown that when an explosion takes place all life is destroyed. All life contains water. If you have an explosion nothing will grow as there is no water to sustain life at all. I think the experiment is a massive engineering achievement but if it is to find out more about the big bang theory, it appears a very expensive excuse to look at a simple problem. That money could have fed very hungry people in the world!

http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?sortBy=1&forumID=5325&start=0&tstart=0&edition=2&ttl=20080911151431#paginator [bbc.co.uk]

It means nothing for IT (1)

pdq332 (849982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962317)

It means absolutely nothing for the wider IT industry. LHC Computing is engineered to distribute very large volumes of data (in the Petabytes/year range) around the world to scientists in an open and agreed upon format. It is paid for out of the science budgets of participating governments. The complementary challenges in the IT industry revolve around how to fairly distribute commercially available bandwidth and how to secure data and maintain privacy. In terms of open structure and intended use, LHC computing resembles the friendly collegial atmosphere of the early ARPANET, which is widely credited creating many of the bandwith and security problems IT is currently struggling with today.

am i the only one angry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962337)

...at the amount of tax money that's been collected at gunpoint (all taxes are collected at gunpoint) to fund this project? For those outside the European Union, many member states give a yearly funding to CERN.

I hate the EU, and when I see all those scientists dancing around like asses because of money that someone has forced me to pay them, I lose the motivation to work.

"Science" benefits mankind in the same way guns benefit mankind - if they're used in the right way. You can't just throw billions of euros at some problem and consider it worthy just because it employs the scientific method. Even if you're of meek build and wearing a lab coat, you can still be a thug and a thief who expects everyone else to fund your pet project.

This is why I am a mathematician and not a scientist. So much science is high priced sensationalist bullcrap, whereas advanced mathematics is just as cheap to do as basic mathematics. I'm never going to become a celebrity with global headlines just because I could afford to jack about with a huge toy but I am trying to help as many people as I can with numeracy to help them get further.

And before I hear a "oh oh oh but the web was invented at CERN", what is your point? (1) The invention had nothing to do with CERN itself; (2) the majority of ingredients already existed in not quite the same form, and it's rather irritating that TBL gets so much credit for a creation that involved a whole host more people.

EOR.

Re:am i the only one angry... (4, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#24962631)

This is why I am a mathematician and not a scientist. So much science is high priced sensationalist bullcrap....

Silly question: If you're NOT a scientist, how can you tell it's high-priced sensationalist bullcrap, especially the more esoteric work?

Re:am i the only one angry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24963307)

Yes, it is a silly question. Except for the extreme amount of indirection taking place, it's akin to a mugger holding a gun to your head and shouting, "give me $200, it's essential!" When you deny the request they respond that, since you're not an [insert random title here], you wouldn't understand - then take it anyway.

Now for a more detailed response:

1. I think we're all agreed that it's high priced, yes?

2. Sensationalism in the everyday sense - remembering that my OP was motivated by a bloody rap video - comes from the fact that they built the biggest, most expensive structure evar, made no big deal about it until soon before launch, and are now milking the press time. In the philosophical sense, the whole thing is sensationalist by putting so much emphasis on experiencing xome aspect of the sub-microscopic world to derive knowledge about it.

3. I can't say whether "more esoteric work" is bullcrap, and I'm not saying it's all bad science either - but see point (2) above. I'm not enough of an egotist to assume that undergraduate physics gives me enough to judge worth - indeed, many scientists don't even realise the full value of their work in their own lifetimes.

What I am saying is that the framework for justifying funding of much so-called academic work is fucked. Hell, go back to ancient Greece and you have Eratosthenes writing bullshit to Ptolemy on some machine for calculating proportionals (and yes, for anyone interested in the history of science, I am aware of the uncertainty over the letter's origins), pretending that it has way more practical value than it really does. It's regular human behaviour, it's just rare to see it on this horrendous scale.

Hmmmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24962581)

So they want to recreate "The Big Bang".

I have no doubts that they will learn something from this study (they'd better considering the price of this thing!)

BUT it seems foolish to promote this study around the concept of the Big Bang when that is a HIGHLY contested theory that is statistically and conceptually almost impossible to have occurred and resulted in our current society at total random chance.

Why don't they instead promote the study around many of the other important things they have the potential to discover?

And their video is LAME. I prefer to stereotype the scientists on this project as ultra serious super-intelligent researchers, not a bunch of Youtube dorks, thank you very much.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24963161)

BUT it seems foolish to promote this study around the concept of the Big Bang when that is a HIGHLY contested theory

It gains more support through gathered evidence with each passing year. Who's going to supply a better theoretical framework which is supported by the same evidence ?

Since when did CERN only use a database? (1)

VisionMaster.NL (1131151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24964283)

How interesting... Just a 10Gbit/s WAN? How about, 11x that to each (combined) Tier-1 center via an optical private network to get the load of the data onto the Grid. How about the solutions created to get so much data spread out, indexed, replicated, and distributed. Perhaps that ain't that interesting. Perhaps the total capacity of the Grid being about 30 PB ain't that impressive. Perhaps the concept of more then 200 clusters big and small across different administrative domains at your finger tips might be not that challenging as it may seem. Ow well, let's focus on the database. Since that holds the least amount of actual data. Being it still is the biggest Oracle instance according to Oracle.
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