Monthly Archives: July 2011

Software developed at Los Alamos National Lab touted by President Obama, available via OSTI

A software package developed at Los Alamos National Lab was recently touted by President Obama in his remarks at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center. President Obama said that a team of researchers at LANL teamed with Procter and Gamble “to adapt software developed for war … to dramatically boost the performance of diapers.”

“Yes, diapers,” said the President. “Folks chuckle, but those who’ve been parents — (laughter) — are always on the lookout for indestructible, military-grade diapers.”

President Obama noted that “federal agencies are working with private companies to make powerful, often unaffordable modeling and simulation software easier to access.” The software package, Computational Fluid Dynamics Library, is available at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Science and Technology Software Center, hosted at OSTI.

Software packages in the OSTI collection can be used for a variety of applications, and in many cases are available in multiple platforms, such as PC, workstation, or supercomputer.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging James and Julia Norton, a couple who owns rental property in Brown County, Wisconsin, with violating the Fair Housing Act for allegedly establishing different terms for a single mother’s tenancy, including requiring her to be at home when her teenage son had visitors.

Research begets research, look to 1940s for today’s state-of- the-art innovation

To get exquisitely detailed imaging of the inside of the human body, today’s medical practitioners turn to the MRI. To get to the roots of the MRI, researchers turn to I.I. Rabi and his ground-breaking exploration of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in the 1940s. Rabi’s work led to the 1944 Nobel Prize in Physics and supported not only the development of the MRI, but the atomic clock and the laser as well. To top off his legacy, Rabi was known for his love for and ability to teach younger generations of physicists. Find resources with additional information at the OSTI DOE R&D Accomplishments website. DOE R&D Accomplishments is a central forum for information about significant outcomes of past DOE R&D widely recognized as remarkable advancements in science.

EDUconnections releases its Summer Feature: learn about the U.S. DOE Workforce Development for Teachers & Scientists

Learn about U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) fellowships, internships, competitions and more at the Workforce Development for Teachers & Scientists (WDTS), a program within the DOE Office of Science. WDTS provides a continuum of opportunities to the Nation’s students and teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more about these opportunities.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technologies Available for Licensing; read more patents news at DOepatents

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has a multitude of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that are available for licensing. Opportunities are available to both small and large businesses — from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Get more DOepatents news and read about the Department’s considerable contribution to scientific progress from the 1940s to today at the DOepatents website.

ST04-024: Understanding ISPs

Original release date: July 06, 2011 | Last revised: February 06, 2013

ISPs offer services like email and internet access. In addition to availability, you may want to consider other factors so that you find an ISP that supports all of your needs.

What is an ISP?

An ISP, or internet service provider, is a company that provides its customers access to the internet and other web services. In addition to maintaining a direct line to the internet, the company usually maintains web servers. By supplying necessary software, a password-protected user account, and a way to connect to the internet (e.g., modem), ISPs offer their customers the capability to browse the web and exchange email with other people. Some ISPs also offer additional services. With the development of smart phones, many cell phone providers are also ISPs.

ISPs can vary in size—some are operated by one individual, while others are large corporations. They may also vary in scope—some only support users in a particular city, while others have regional or national capabilities.

What services do ISPs provide?

Almost all ISPs offer email and web browsing capabilities. They also offer varying degrees of user support, usually in the form of an email address or customer support hotline. Most ISPs also offer web hosting capabilities, allowing users to create and maintain personal web pages; and some may even offer the service of developing the pages for you. Some ISPs bundle internet service with other services, such as television and telephone service. Many ISPs offer a wireless modem as part of their service so that customers can use devices equipped with Wi-Fi.

As part of normal operation, most ISPs perform backups of email and web files. If the ability to recover email and web files is important to you, check with your ISP to see if they back up the data; it might not be advertised as a service. Additionally, most ISPs implement firewalls to block some portion of incoming traffic, although you should consider this a supplement to your own security precautions, not a replacement (see Understanding Firewalls for more information).

How do you choose an ISP?

Traditional, broadband ISPs typically offer internet access through cable, DSL, or fiberoptic options. The availability of these options may depend where you live. In addition to the type of access, there are other factors that you may want to consider:

  • security – Do you feel that the ISP is concerned about security? Does it use encryption and SSL (see Protecting Your Privacy for more information) to protect any information you submit (e.g., user name, password)? If the ISP provides a wireless modem, what wireless security standards does it support, and are those standards compatible with your existing devices?
  • privacy – Does the ISP have a published privacy policy? Are you comfortable with who has access to your information and how it is being handled and used?
  • services – Does your ISP offer the services you want? Do they meet your requirements? Is there adequate support for the services? If the ISP provides a wireless modem, are its wireless standards compatible with your existing devices?
  • cost – Are the ISP’s costs affordable? Are they reasonable for the number of services you receive, as well as the level of those services? Are you sacrificing quality and security to get the lowest price?
  • reliability – Are the services your ISP provides reliable, or are they frequently unavailable due to maintenance, security problems, a high volume of users, or other reasons? If the ISP knows that services will be unavailable for a particular reason, does it adequately communicate that information?
  • user support – Are there published methods for contacting customer support? Do you receive prompt and friendly service? Do their hours of availability accommodate your needs? Do the consultants have the appropriate level of knowledge?
  • speed – How fast is your ISP’s connection? Is it sufficient for accessing your email or navigating the internet?
  • recommendations – Have you heard or seen positive reviews about the ISP? Were they from trusted sources? Does the ISP serve your geographic area? If you’ve uncovered negative points, are they factors you are concerned about?

Author: Mindi McDowell

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