Light stopped in its tracks.
Now this is flat amazing. The scientist whose group last year
slowed light to a
saunter has now stopped it dead. (Another group of scientists,
also in Cambridge, MA independently achieved the same result.)
Frozen light. Turn on the laser and it starts up again. You could
even pick it up and carry it across town, if your supercooling rig
and laser setup were portable.
coverage is good, but the
outdoes the Beeb with a handy illustration of how you encode a
light beam in the spins of chilled rubidium atoms.
The research is to be published in forthcoming issues of the journal
Nature (Lene Vestergaard Hau et al., Rowland Institute for Science,
Cambridge) and the Physical Review Letters (Ronald L. Walsworth et
al., Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge). The
Times piece quotes extensively from the work of Walsworth's group;
Hau refused to discuss her work in detail because of restrictions
imposed by Nature.
Time to dump NSI.
Been waiting for the right moment to transfer your domain names out
of the control of Network Solutions? It may have arrived. This
morning I moved the last two domains in my stable to
Until Feb. 18 this registrar is offering free transfers and a
one-year extension on the registration of any (.com, .net, .org)
domain name for $11.95 US.
The last time I transferred a domain name, 6 months ago to the day,
the process involved faxing a registration form with a copy of my
driver's license. Today's transfers were initiated entirely online.
I already had a name registered with Dotster, so the process
required only 5 steps and 5 minutes. If you need to set up a new
account, add another 5 minutes.
agreement is middle-of-the-road. Like all ICANN-affiliate
agreements, it binds you to the Uniform Dispute
Resolution Policy. Unlike some, it names you as the "owner" of the
domain name, not its lessor. Dotster's prices are very good, but
bargain shoppers can find lower (for example at
Go here to
initiate a domain-name transfer. I get no consideration if you do. I
looked into Dotster's affiliate program, but they use something
called Commission Junction, which
asked for my Social Security number and bank information (!) and had
affiliate marketing. Life is too short. If you want to support TBTF,
please visit the Benefactors
page, and thanks.
How many horseman?
Salon runs a piece by Katharine Mieszkowski called
Off the Internet! in which she explores the tangled reasoning
and shoddy statistics behind the latest rap pinned on the Internet
In addition to taking the heat for everything from kiddie porn to
the gentrification of urban neighborhoods, the Net is now at fault
for overloading our national power infrastructure.
The blame-the-Internet meme seems to have originated with Mark Mills
and Peter Huber, two right-wing energy consultants frequently in the
pay of the coal industry. Their exaggerated numbers began seeping
into the mainstream with a
last spring in which they claimed that 8% of the nation's energy
goes to power Internet computers and infrastructure. This
(note: PDF file)
by two UC Berkeley scientists says that Mills and Huber's numbers
are high by nearly an order of magnitude.
Mieszkowski reports that energy usage went up by 2% a year in the
late 90s, but by 3.3% during the go-go late 80s. Paul Krugman recently
that California's energy woes can be laid solidly at the feet of
the state's flawed deregulation scheme.