The Extreme Light Infrastructure Project: Powerful enough tear apart the vacuum of space-time

The European Commission is about to begin construction on three of the most powerful lasers ever built. The Extreme Light Infrastructure Project or (ELI) will use ten individual beams to create a single laser pulse measuring in the 200 petawatt range. The goal according to project scientists; is to “tear apart the vacuum of space-time itself revealing the matter and antimatter underneath.” Source : New Scientist It is hoped that once researchers open up a tear they will gain greater understanding in to the nature of what are called virtual particles by literally pulling them from the vacuum of space-time. “These so-called “virtual particles” normally annihilate one another too quickly for us to notice them. But physicists predicted in the 1930s that a very strong electric field would transform virtual particles into real ones that we can observe. The field pushes them in opposite directions because they have opposite electric charges, separating them so that they cannot destroy one another. Lasers are ideally suited to this task because their light boasts strong electric fields.” Source : New Scientist The project could be completed by 2015. You can read the project report here on the Grand Challenges of this project as well as the report of the ELI scientific Advisory Committee.

Job Seekers – Beware of the Mystery Company…

by associate contributor tmhwriter ~

Over the last decade, finding a job has become a pretty tough task, but within the last few years have you noticed companies are increasingly vague about what  they are looking for and what they are actually willing to pay.  Have you seen  jobs listings that show the company, the location, and nothing else?  Now companies  don’t even bother to provide a contact person, so good luck trying to find out more information.  If you are fortunate enough to get called back, the recruiter won’t reveal the company name or how much the position pays unless you are selected for an interview.  If you are not selected,  your information is added to “the database” which is essentially  a “Black Hole” because you will never get a call back or feedback.

Too bad we can’t just automate the job screening  process with a voice response system.  The staffing company or recruiter calls your hotline number and listens to your pre-recorded responses.  If selected,  they  press #2 to receive an updated version of your resume and salary requirements.  In the second stage, the company’s representative will  access an website  to view a web cast of your answers to the most common interview questions.  The third stage is the in-person interview  but the company must comply with your interview constraints, the two most critical:

1.  They must pay a flat rate for your time.
2.  There will only be one in-person interview
tmhwriter ~

Is Hotmail making a comeback?

by associate contributor tmhwriter ~

Today, while many universities are rebranding Gmail as their corporate email,  public companies are looking for ways to eliminate client-based mail.  Is Hotmail a viable option? Hotmail is a component of Windows live; Microsoft’s answer to cloud-based computing.
In a recent talk on Tech Nation,  Aladdin Nassar, program manager for Hotmail, talks about Hotmail and how the company measures performance. Listen here and view the presentation