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CERN To Tap Unused Desktop Power To Help Find Higgs Boson

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the god-particle-the-home-game dept.

Science 118

hypnosec writes "Research institute CERN has launched a new project to tap into the extra computing power from the public for its Large Hadron Collider atom smashing project. According to the organization, the LHC@home project will, for the first time, allow volunteers to aid in high-energy collisions of protons in CERN's Large Hadron Collider and in turn helping physicists to unravel the mysteries of the origin of the universe"

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default (2)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | about 3 years ago | (#37046378)

Am I the only one who thinks programs like this and/or folding@home and/or seti@home should be installed by the manufacture and enabled by default?

Re:default (1)

cruff (171569) | about 3 years ago | (#37046410)

Am I the only one who thinks programs like this and/or folding@home and/or seti@home should be installed by the manufacture and enabled by default?

Yes. How would this be any different than any other virus?

Re:default (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about 3 years ago | (#37046546)

I think you mean any other bloatware, which is exactly what it would be.

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046754)

Distributed computing projects are not viruses, dumbass.
This would be just more bloatware for end users to disable anyway.

Then there's the issue of how to identify a particular client, as most would require an account tied to an email address.

Re:default (5, Informative)

piripiri (1476949) | about 3 years ago | (#37046422)

*@home uses processing power. Processing power uses electricity. Electricity costs money.

Re:default (1)

kermyt (99494) | about 3 years ago | (#37046432)

Long answer: YES!
TLDR: no.

Re:default (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37046448)

Only if they also create a portal to the deposit window at my bank and start pumping their profits into it.

I only work for free when I enable it.

Re:default (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046706)

They already give you their profit: they further knowledge _and share it freely_. Do you think CERN is a profit-driven organization? It's funded by fees from its member states, about 1G CHF worth a year.

Re:default (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37047512)

You mean they give me the knowledge I paid $14 billion for them to get. Ain't no "freely" about that. And someone ended up with that $14 billion, and will get the knowledge as well. If I'm not deliberately volunteering to effort the discovery, then I want my cut of both. But if I choose, I can download the program and run it for shits 'n giggles. If that's all the value I find in it.

Re:default (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37047910)

You mean they give me the knowledge I paid $14 billion for them to get.

You personally paid them $14 billion?

Re:default (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 3 years ago | (#37046468)

Installed by default, sure, as I'm sure there's some people who wouldn't mind using it that just don't know about it.
Enabled by default? No, I'd rather the user know what they're getting into.

Re:default (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 3 years ago | (#37046486)

The first builder that does that will be the first builder I boycott. My CPU time, my electricity bill, my choice.

Re:default (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37050298)

SO I assume you are current boycotting every PC manufacturer? They all install shit on the computer...except for maybe Apple. I haven't owned an apple computer since the Apple IIc so I won't comment on whether or not the install bloatware.

Re:default (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 3 years ago | (#37046568)

Do you work for Dell by any chance?

Re:default (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | about 3 years ago | (#37046580)

Only if they agree to pay my electricity bill.

Re:default (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 3 years ago | (#37046664)

Yeah, everyone should have to pay for the privilege to support these projects instead of just those that want to. Energy is free, after all.

Re:default (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 3 years ago | (#37046868)

Energy is free, after all.

That's because energy comes from magic. And it will be even more magical when we find the Higgs-Boson! The Higgs-Boson will help us find the cure for cancer & alien life forms, so we won't need Folding or SETI @ home!

Re:default (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 3 years ago | (#37048052)

Good, 'cause I've been waiting for the cure to alien life forms since Alien came out.

Re:default (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 3 years ago | (#37049004)

I thought those films already proved that guns were the cure to alien life forms.

Re:default (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37050310)

Energy is free. The service of getting it to you in controlled regular amounts costs.

Re:default (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#37046690)

It probably wouldn't slow your machine down as much as the other shovelware the put on there that only add bloat.

That said I would prefer they didn't install any of that crap and give you the OS and drivers pre-installed. Then they could give you a disk with what ever other crap they want to bundle, much like ISPs do. You get your modem and then a disk with a bunch of crap that you don't need and in my case sits in a box in my desk drawer with all the other disks of crap in case I need to look at the owners manual offline.

Re:default (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 years ago | (#37046824)

It probably wouldn't slow your machine down as much as the other shovelware the put on there that only add bloat.

Probably slow your machine down a lot less actually as it tends to be fairly well written to go dormant when you are using the computer for other stuff.

However the shovelware bloat isn't designed to run your CPU at 100% load on all cores so the actual $ cost of it in electricity is substantially lower.

Re:default (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | about 3 years ago | (#37047130)

It probably wouldn't slow your machine down as much as the other shovelware the put on there that only add bloat.

Apart from the whole power consumption issue you'll get a very noisy computer; any program that'll keep your CPU pegged at 100%, no matter how nice the process is, will probably also keep your fan running at max rpm. On second thought, it would be a lot less invasive than a lot of other pre-installed crap which also tend to give your fans a workout.

Your second idea would be good for consumers (and for those of us who help them) to the detriment of manufacturers, which certainly means it'll never happen. I would be interested in knowing how many Norton customers are actually scared into being so by their FUD. The dialog nagging my father to buy a subscription on a Gigabyte semi-tablet didn't even *have* any kind of option to decline, he called me upon seeing it because he thought his machine was infected with something :)

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37050518)

Your father was right, he was infected with a case of Norton. Hopefully you helped him remedy the situation.

Re:default (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 years ago | (#37046702)

Am I the only one who thinks programs like this and/or folding@home and/or seti@home should be installed by the manufacture and enabled by default?

Those @home projects cost between roughly $3 and $30/month per unit to run depending on what equipment you are using (celeron laptop vs i7 gaming rig vs ps3 vs old pentium 4 vs SLI GPUs...) , what the electricity rates are, and whether you end up running running air conditioning more to offset the extra heat you are unknowingly generating.

Me... I have 4 computers always on, but I live in a cooler part of Canada where the heat isn't a huge problem and the electricity is pretty cheap... but they are performance oriented hardware and it would still cost me over $25/month to run @home on all 4.

In some American state's and several european countries electricity is triple or quadruple what I pay. And the extra heat would have to be countered by running the air conditioning more in some places. (In others it might let you run the heater less).

But the point is, there is a very real hidden cost to this stuff, and without full disclosure of the actual cost, these projects are a bit offensive to me.

I have no issue with someone running the software with informed consent, but the true value in dollars that is actually being contributed unwittingly on these projects is appalling.

They are often installed by "kids" or "employees" who do not know the cost, and do not pay it. And the cost is passed on to the parent or employer who have little ability to detect it... its not like a line item on their credit card. Its just a higher kwH reading which is pretty inscrutable.

Preinstalled and enabled by the manufacturers would be tantamount to theft. Why not just subscribe them to World of Warcraft and AOL, and then roll the monthly charges into their property taxes lump sum assessement? Its about as honest.

Re:default (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 3 years ago | (#37046842)

Yeah, because we don't immediately reformat the OEM windows install to blow away all the shovel-ware.

Re:default (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37047372)

You don't buy Dell of HP then. as they DON'T give you a reinstall CD/DVD anymore to discourage this unpatriotic behavior.

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047658)

Yes they do. Order from the small business page, not the home user page.

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047182)

Yes. Yes you are.

Re:default (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 years ago | (#37047412)

Am I the only one who thinks programs like this and/or folding@home and/or seti@home should be installed by the manufacture and enabled by default?

Quite possibly ... I kind of insist that my manufacturer doesn't decide what I'm going to do with my machines and when.

Those of us with computers in corporate or government environments would not be willing to accept this any more than a keylogger being installed by default.

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047742)

Yes.

Re:default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047816)

Am I the only one who thinks programs like this and/or folding@home and/or seti@home should be installed by the manufacture and enabled by default?

Fucking socialist.

Re:default (1)

jensend (71114) | about 3 years ago | (#37048156)

Back when computers had very poor power management, that might have been borderline reasonable. But it's been almost a decade since dynamic frequency and voltage scaling became mainstream, and to do it now would be basically criminal (stealing considerable amounts of electricity for your own purposes, shortening folks' component lifespans due to higher temperature etc while you're at it).

Re:default (1)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37048658)

Maybe not, but i think its a stupid idea. For 99% of the people the best would be a 1W thin client with no computational power. The computing centers will be more efficient in using the "unused" computational power.

No scoreboard? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 3 years ago | (#37046392)

That's one of the things that's awesome about F@H.
Totally useless, yes, but they're still fun statistics. :)

Better than SETI@home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046406)

This is a way more productive use of computing power

Re:Better than SETI@home (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37047370)

No, because the Higgs can and will be discovered or disproved without any such home user aid. the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere would be a more profound one than the final piece of the Standard Model.

Save the Planet! (1)

wsxyz (543068) | about 3 years ago | (#37046412)

This will prevent PCs worldwide from sleeping, thus requiring new fossil-fuel power plants to be brought online, thus accelerating global warming, thus destroying the Earth.
I hope it's worth it.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37046466)

If we find a single Higgs Boson, it will be.

Re:Save the Planet! (3, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37046512)

If we find a single Higgs Boson, it will be.

If we find a married one, it would be even more awesome.

Re:Save the Planet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37048258)

and soon afterwards they'll discover the LGBT Higgs Bosons

Scientists like you .. (0)

roguegramma (982660) | about 3 years ago | (#37046540)

Scientists like you should be locked up.

Finding the Higgs is not worth anything, if the planet goes bust, especially since there is no plan B, say a Mars colony or transmitting the find or our genome to aliens(like in Species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_(film) [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Save the Planet! (3, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | about 3 years ago | (#37046578)

You don't really find a single Higgs boson. You can't detect the Higgs directly. You have to detect its decay processes (usually, a pair of taus or photons), which can also be produced by other processes. You find it statistically: if you get more of those pairs than is accounted for by understood processes, and if the amount of the excess corresponds to the mount of excesses you'd expect from the Higgs, AND if the machine is running at an energy that you'd expect to produce the Higgs, you get to call it a detection.

So you can count up how many Higgs events you thought there were, and then repeat the experiments focusing on the energy range you think the Higgs has. So, it's not quite the "eureka" moment you might hope for, but it's good enough to confirm the Standard Model.

Whether all of that was really "worth it"... well, that's something else altogether.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 3 years ago | (#37048862)

You don't really find a single Higgs boson. You can't detect the Higgs directly. You have to detect its decay processes (usually, a pair of taus or photons), which can also be produced by other processes. You find it statistically: if you get more of those pairs than is accounted for by understood processes, and if the amount of the excess corresponds to the mount of excesses you'd expect from the Higgs, AND if the machine is running at an energy that you'd expect to produce the Higgs, you get to call it a detection.

So you can count up how many Higgs events you thought there were, and then repeat the experiments focusing on the energy range you think the Higgs has. So, it's not quite the "eureka" moment you might hope for, but it's good enough to confirm the Standard Model.

Whether all of that was really "worth it"... well, that's something else altogether.

So what is the actual benefit in finding this theorized particle? So we "find" it by actually only seeing it's after effects, what then? What practical application will it serve or will it just be a stepping stone to finding the next sub atomic particle or some answer to an abstract theory? Wikipedia didn't help much as I'm a typical layman and only took physics in college.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

jfengel (409917) | about 3 years ago | (#37049214)

The benefit from finding it is that you know that your model works. This is a particularly crucial piece of the model: it explains why mass happens. The model predicts a number of particles responsible for things like atoms holding together and neutrons occasionally decaying into protons. We found all those particles.

It also explains why mass works, and clearly it's important to get that right. We'll know if it's right if we can find the particle. If we don't find it, we have to go back to the drawing board. Which would be too bad, because it means radically changing a theory that works really, really well.

Nothing actually changes the day we find the Higgs. Most physicists assume that it's right and are doing work already. Knowing the actual mass of the Higgs will help them, but mostly it'll help them to know that they're not building their future work on shifting sand.

There aren't any practical applications, either immediate or long-term. I'm personally a little dubious about spending this much money on it. Basic research has occasionally paid vast, vast dividends: quantum mechanics yielded computers and lasers, among other things, and we had no idea it would go there. But at least quantum mechanics was relatively cheap, especially at the beginning, when it was a paper-and-pencil exercise.

I believe people pursue this more because of the philosophical implications than the expectation of practical value. Everybody wants to know where the universe came from, and this is an important clue in that direction. But it doesn't solve that problem, and even if it did, it can't be expected to produce any value besides the satisfaction of knowing. Maybe something will come of it, but I'm skeptical.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37050334)

Studying a particle that create the mass in the universe may allow us to control the creation of mass in the universe.

It also confirms are current model; which is useful.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 3 years ago | (#37048136)

I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to the claims about the Higgs Boson. How would finding it make my life better? Would it's existence help us generate cheap and plentiful energy?

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | about 3 years ago | (#37046490)

How do PCs being on create more volcanic activity and forest fires? Oh, that's right, we're still on that 70's kick that the world is ending... Still not sure of the date? I thought not.

Re:Save the Planet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047138)

the world has been ending since the beginning... of time.

Re:Save the Planet! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37047400)

Wait, I though I was supposed to go set fires for every PC I saw on... are we not supposed to be doing that anymore? Why dont people tell me these things?

pay for by burns power co! You Nuclear friend (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37046494)

pay for by burns power co! You Nuclear friend

Re:pay for by burns power co! You Nuclear friend (1)

dkf (304284) | about 3 years ago | (#37047298)

pay for by burns power co! You Nuclear friend

And the Peabody Energy Corporation, a supporter of coal for a wetter, hotter tomorrow!

Looks good, but... (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37046440)

Have to use Oracle VirtualBox? Have to run with 32-bit compatibility libraries? Sorry, those are showstoppers.
Let me run it in the sandbox of my choice, and I'll invest electricity in running this. Otherwise, no.

Re:Looks good, but... (4, Informative)

Temkin (112574) | about 3 years ago | (#37046516)

Has to run as a privileged user... That's the show stopper for me. Clearly, someone hasn't done their homework. So I'm afraid I will not be joining.

Re:Looks good, but... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 years ago | (#37047552)

Has to run as a privileged user... That's the show stopper for me.

WTF? Why do people still write software that requires a privileged user login? You're downloading a chunk of data and performing math on it ... what do you need escalated access for?

That's incredibly stupid.

Re:Looks good, but... (1)

mrops (927562) | about 3 years ago | (#37046584)

yup, thats a bummer. In this day and age of Web 2.0 and javascript, wonder why none of these @home have a web client so even a kid can do it. Just go to a link, stay there, let the javascript do the work. No installation, nothing native, just works.

Re:Looks good, but... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37046778)

In this day and age of Web 2.0 and javascript, wonder why none of these @home have a web client so even a kid can do it. Just go to a link, stay there, let the javascript do the work. No installation, nothing native, just works.

Because javascript is orders of magnitude slower?

The max bang for the buck is why I want a native 64-bit client.

Re:Looks good, but... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | about 3 years ago | (#37047630)

Better yet, BOINC has already solved those issues. Strange that they aren't using it...

CUDA support? (1)

matthiasvegh (1800634) | about 3 years ago | (#37046456)

While I see that it will be running BOINC, will it be one of the CUDA/OPENCL running variants?

Re:CUDA support? (1)

matthiasvegh (1800634) | about 3 years ago | (#37046484)

The FAQ states: Not yet. Interestingly enough, it seems to be working through a virtualbox. I'm not a BOINC regular so I don't understand why this is. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

Re:CUDA support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046598)

The page states that they make use of the CERN Scientific Linux distro and instead of making everyone install that OS they just make everyone run it in virtualbox.

Re:CUDA support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046600)

Well, if you would keep reading the FAQ you'd see:

Why do we need a virtualization application?

This project runs very large CERN software packages with complex dependencies that cannot be easily ported to all the volunteers' operating systems (Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X). For this reason, we use a virtualization solution, which enables us to run complex codes independently of your platform. Additionally, using virtualization adds an extra layer of security, as if something goes wrong in the code execution this will not affect your computer.

Re:CUDA support? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37046860)

But why does it have to be Oracle Virtualbox?
Those of us that already run other VMs (Xen, KVM, VMware, VirtualPC) are not welcome - why, exactly?

As for dependencies, just bundle them and use a wrapper script at start-up to make sure that the bundled libraries and binaries get used. It's what dozens of other projects do.

Re:CUDA support? (1)

JamesP (688957) | about 3 years ago | (#37047142)

Exactly!

Having to run Virtualbox (or any other virtualizer) is a waste of time and computing resources

HOWEVER, UML (or a chroot) would be very interesting

Still, not good

LHC@Home, you're doing it wrong!!

Another @home project? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37046562)

Do they really expect that many people to take part? There is already SETI@Home, Folding@Home, and a few others I can't think of ATM. IMO Folding@home is most useful of these (huge potential medical usefulness), so they've got that down, and SETI is, well, kinda cool. I can understand if you're a huge physics buff, but I don't know too many people like that. And I'm not sure why you want to do simulations of particle collisions when you can do the real thing and get real results.

Re:Another @home project? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 years ago | (#37046710)

Create you own mini-black-hole @ home? Whats not to like??

Re:Another @home project? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#37046782)

There area a couple of other ones like GIMPS and Tiles@Home but again both of those fall into a category like LHC@Home where you are a buff and probably have a smaller following. Usually things like this get an initial following since it is new and then it falls off since people lose interest. I have run a number of the @Home projects at one time or another and I eventually discovered I can come up with a better use for the cpu cycles and electrons I pay for.

Re:Another @home project? (2)

jovius (974690) | about 3 years ago | (#37046822)

LHC@home has been around for years (They used to run simulations but the project wasn't awfully active in the construction phase).

There are actually multitude of projects available.

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.php [berkeley.edu]

That list doesn't include projects like http://renderfarm.fi/ [renderfarm.fi] and probably many others.

Re:Another @home project? (1)

nickersonm (1646933) | about 3 years ago | (#37050712)

Yeah. I've had LHC@Home on my [boincstats.com] specific BOINC project manager [boincstats.com] since 2004. It hasn't had much available work [boincstats.com] , though. Mostly I work on Einstein@Home [uwm.edu] (processes LIGO [caltech.edu] and other gravitational wave observatory data).

Re:Another @home project? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 3 years ago | (#37047456)

i'm not a huge physics buff (only did advanced high school level physics, no quantum/relativity stuff or anything), but i would probably run LHC before SETI, if only because i hope we as a race get more advanced.

Not sure about Folding though, that seems like a very noble goal as well, although somehow intuitively i sort of expected it to turn up some significant stuff by now already

Re:Another @home project? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37047540)

You act like particle physics has no practical applications. It may be hard to see what the practical applications of finding the Higg's boson would be, but it's like Faraday said when asked what use electricity had. His response? "Madam, of what use is a new born child?"

Re:Another @home project? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37047690)

I'm more questioning if the effort put into designing this program will be worth the return based on the number of people who actually use it. I love physics, but I know lots of people don't. If it's hard to see the practical usage, a lot of people won't dedicate their CPU time to it. I might, as might some on /., but I can't imagine many beyond that will. Maybe that's all they need.

Priorities, people (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 years ago | (#37046646)

This should be a seriously distant second to any similar projects in the medical sector (i.e., Folding@Home). Yes, this stuff could result in things like superconductors or the holy grail of sustainable power-producing nuclear fusion. Maybe. Someday. A far distant third place would be helping to find alien civilizations (Don Henley: "They're not here, they're not coming").

Re:Priorities, people (1)

dvice_null (981029) | about 3 years ago | (#37047570)

Because of science like this, we had knowledge about quantum physics and we knew what electrons are and how they work. Because of that we have transistors and computers. Because of computers we have modern medical equipment and Folding@Home.

Also "holy grail of sustainable power-producing nuclear fusion" could help getting rid of air pollution and save 2 million people every year[1].

1) http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2006/2006-10-06-01.html [ens-newswire.com]

Re:Priorities, people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37048736)

Also "holy grail of sustainable power-producing nuclear fusion" could help getting rid of air pollution and save 2 million people every year[1].

1) http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2006/2006-10-06-01.html [ens-newswire.com]

Yeah, that's just what we need, an extra 2 million people around every year consuming resources and multiplying. The earth is still a ways away from not being able to sustain the living but I don't want to get there any faster.

Re:Priorities, people (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37050374)

"There not here, there not coming" how flawed.

failing the (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 years ago | (#37046732)

massive power afforded to it by desktops across the globe, CERN may finally break-down and ask its wife, who will most certainly know where the higgs boson was the last time she saw it in multidimensional timespace.

Most disappointing name ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046734)

Seriously. When I see something called LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at Home, I want hadron-smashing hardware, not some lame piece of software.

Will they load the PCs into the atom smasher? (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | about 3 years ago | (#37046772)

That would be pretty awesome to see. Hopefully they'll use one of those Compaq computers from the late 80's. They had a steel chassis and were heavy as hell. Throw one in with an Osborne Luggable. If you accelerate those bad boys to the speed of light & smash 'em together, any spare Higgs Bosons stuck inside will be sure to come flying out.

Re:Will they load the PCs into the atom smasher? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 3 years ago | (#37047448)

Hopefully they'll use one of those Compaq computers from the late 80's. They had a steel chassis and were heavy as hell. Throw one in with an Osborne Luggable. If you accelerate those bad boys to the speed of light & smash 'em together, any spare Higgs Bosons stuck inside will be sure to come flying out.

They'll come flying out alright. Probably land somewhere in texas. Along with whatever parts of the LHC don't end up in China or Australia.

They finded it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37046830)

Teh Higgs! [benchside.com]

Re:They finded it! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37047492)

I have a suggestion for an addition to their product line, for a "degenerate matter" stuffed toy shaped like Ted Kennedy.

Funny (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 3 years ago | (#37046898)

I always find it funny that the same folks who are advocating stuff like this are also advocating using less power at home. I think organizations that are going to ask folks to engage in distributed computing projects should be required to meed some equivalent carbon footprint goals (carbon credits or whatever) as they would if they were doing the same level of processing in their own data center.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047172)

You find it funny?

I live in a place where the house have to be heated every day of the year. (Well, perhaps not in the daytime during summer but you get the idea.)
If my computer does not heat up the room then the radiator has to do it.
Guess what! The environmentalists around here still tells me to use LED-lights and turn off the TV with the switch instead of using the remote.

More retarded than funny.

Re:Funny (1)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#37047406)

If my computer does not heat up the room then the radiator has to do it.

Still, a radiator run by a natural gas furnace is more efficient than an electric heater. Where I live, electricity is about 4x more expensive per kWh compared to gas. Of course, if you live in an area with cheap hydro power, and no gas lines, things are different.

It's not... (1)

aikodude (734998) | about 3 years ago | (#37047058)

in the stove!

HO HO! It's hidin' in the stove, eh?

Where Higgs is hiding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047096)

is now suspected to be in a PC at home!

Don't you believe it!!! (1)

JSC (9187) | about 3 years ago | (#37047120)

They're just SAYING they're looking for the Higgs. But what they're actually trying to do is corner the world BitCoin market! With the U.S's Credit Rating being downgraded they're anticipating BitCoin becoming the new international currency standard.

Wasted energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37047186)

So for the peace of mind of some theorist we need to churn fossil fuels? And who is going to pay for the kwh?

I an not a fan of this type of activities..

Thought it would be fun to participate (1)

graveyhead (210996) | about 3 years ago | (#37047376)

So, I went through and installed all the software, click add project, LHC@home. Lo and behold:

"This project is not currently accepting new accounts. You can add it only if you have an account."

I feel alienated. How does this help ... anyone? Weird. Uninstalled.

Re:Thought it would be fun to participate (1)

mojo-raisin (223411) | about 3 years ago | (#37050042)

I already had VirtualBox 4.1.0 installed, so I installed the Boinc client, attached to http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory [boinc01.cern.ch] and created an account without problem - I haven't done any @home projects since some SETI units about 10 years ago.

The Boinc client spent several minutes downloading a linux virtual machine (boinc_vm) for VirtualBox, which booted automagically. Then boinc_vm started "..fetching input files for job..." for a minute, "started a child process", downloaded some more data, and started burning CPU. The Boinc client takes up ~13M and the VM around 45M. Not bad. The work unit will take 1mil GFLOPS of processing, and my machine does 2.28GFLOP/sec, so it will be about 5 days of CPU time. It updates progress in 1% increments, so I am at 1.000% done.

I went to my webpage account and set my pref to 100% CPU, otherwise the VM pauses a lot.

Higgs Boson!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37048008)

Great, a bright flash, a 60KT equivalent explosion, and a gate opens up from another world!

Someone call John Ringo.. :)

Hououin Kyouma (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37048022)

Don't trust the organization. Don't fall for it! KHAAA HAHAHAAAA when I Hououin Kyouma the greatest mad scientist of all time discover something of worth by accident or by design they will track me down, laid claims to my discovery, and raid my research lab. Why would the organization involve me in the first place? MyLHC? Is it about saving electricity? No! Harnessing the computing power of the Internets? No! Cease my naive assistance to the dystopia that the LHC will eventually help create; I detest the atomic bomb; I too will bare the consequences of such dystopia. El Psy Congroo

Why not an option to do it natively? (1)

jensend (71114) | about 3 years ago | (#37048340)

Of course this question would probably be better directed to one of the CERN folks, but...

Apparently the apps which actually do the work use a Scientific Linux base system with a bunch of software installed, and they don't want to try to port this whole stack so they're having people use VirtualBox and a VM image. But what about people who are already using Scientific Linux, people who'd be willing to run SL, or people who would be interested in dedicating a machine to the task? Wouldn't the speedups involved in removing the VM layer be significant enough to merit allowing this option?

(In addition, that would make it much simpler if they wanted to utilize GPGPU type resources in the future, since using a GPU under a VM can be pretty painful.)

Re:Why not an option to do it natively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37049612)

Yeah, but cost versus purpose..

Read: Talk with your grandpa over dinner, and if he's interested in contributing to computational physics or whatever,
you can just by 2-3 clicks install a free vm, that just.. runs. On his computer that'd only sit in the basement anyway.
Instead of getting 4-5 dedicated so and so servers.. you get 4-500 basement desktops.
I dunno. Simplicity is the cost for mass distribution i guess.

Speculating freely, ofc

Paradox (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 3 years ago | (#37048564)

I bet they could find it easy with a super-powerful Higgs-Boson powered quantum computer.

No VMWare support (1)

rarose (36450) | about 3 years ago | (#37048924)

I'd love to help them out (as I look at 6 cores sitting idle right now), but I just won't do VirtualBox.

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