Wired: Bell Labs Kills Fundamental Physics Research

Another shitty move by (Alcatel-)Lucent, who wrecked Bell Labs and blew all of my stock money…


Bell Labs Kills Fundamental Physics Research

By Priya Ganapati

After six Nobel Prizes, the invention of the transistor, laser and countless contributions to computer science and technology, it is the end of the road for Bell Labs’ fundamental physics research lab.

Alcatel-Lucent, the parent company of Bell Labs, is pulling out of basic science, material physics and semiconductor research and will instead be focusing on more immediately marketable areas such as networking, high-speed electronics, wireless, nanotechnology and software.

The idea is to align the research work in the Lab closer to areas that the parent company is focusing on, says Peter Benedict, spokesperson for Bell Labs and Alcatel-Lucent Ventures.

“In the new innovation model, research needs to keep addressing the need of the mother company,” he says.

That view is shortsighted and may drastically curtail the Labs’ ability to come up with truly innovative discoveries, respond critics.

“Fundamental physics is absolutely crucial to computing,” says Mike Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society. “Say in the case of integrated circuits, there were many, many small steps that occurred along the way resulting from decades worth of work in matters of physics.”

(continued at http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/08/bell-labs-kills.html)

In case you weren’t previously aware, here’s a list of some of the great inventions to come out of Bell Labs in the past:

At its peak, Bell Laboratories was the premier facility of its type, developing a wide range of revolutionary technologies, including radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, information theory, the UNIX operating system, and the C programming language. There have been six Nobel Prizes awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories. [1]


Yes, that’s the transistor, the laser, UNIX, and the C programming language, let alone everything else they invented.

Thanks again, (Alcatel-)Lucent. Great job. 😦

Ridiculous Subversion Behavior

Damn SVN

Yesterday, I attempted to move some of our content from a local filestore into our main subversion repository. I copied the files to my computer, all 22472.67 megabytes of it, and used TortoiseSVN to import the data to our repository.

Being that it was over 22GB of data, I expected it to take a very long time, and it did, 310 minutes and 3 seconds (approx. 5.2 hours). What I didn’t expect was that TortoiseSVN neglected to check for commit/import requirements *before* the import process and waited 5.2 hours, after all the data had been transferred, to tell me:

Error: WHOOPS! Insufficient Log Message. Must be greater than 10 characters.

Wow. Whoops, I just wasted 5 hours of my computing time and network bandwidth to import 22GB of data that was immediately reverted *after* the whole process should have been completed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Subversion to death, and TortoiseSVN is an awesome client. This behavior, though, seems pretty ridiculous to me.

What do you think?

Visual Studio 2008 SP1


I’ve seen a *lot* of hits on my post “Visual Studio 2008 Is Pretty Damn Slow…“, which means that a lot of you are probably still experiencing speed issues with Visual Studio 2008. In regard to this, I thought it might be prudent to post information about the recently released Service Pack 1 for VS2008 and where to find it:


Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Downloads

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 significantly improve the developer experience during the development process, and at runtime. These improvements address top issues reported by customers. For more information, see Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.


Additionally, the original hotfix which was intended to fix the speed issue (and is probably integrated into VS2008SP1) is available here:


Here are all my posts related to this Visual Studio 2008:

dPS: How to Win Friends and Influence People – A Guide to Commenting on Other People’s Photos

Great post about how to effectively comment on Flickr photos. (I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the two-word-comment myself, so this is good advice for me, personally.)

One of the ten things I hate about Flickr is people who don’t know how to comment on photos. In a recent post to my blog, I lamented the number of comments I receive on my photos which consist of only one or two words: “Frankly, I don’t care if you think my photo’s “Awesome!”, I care even less if you think it’s a “Cool photo”. I’ve put a lot of work into it, I’d genuinely like to know what you think of it and why. If you’re going to comment, why not take the extra 30 seconds, engage your brain, and say something insightful.”

In the lively discussion that followed, it occurred to me that these commenters may not just be lazy. Some said they don’t feel confident enough, or have enough knowledge to feel worthy of making a comment. Others said they have a hard time expressing their feelings. And some simply don’t know what to say. I want to help fix that.

Even though a discussion about Flickr prompted this guide, and the examples I use are all from Flickr, it applies equally well to any online photography or art community, where people comment on the works uploaded by others.

(continued at digital Photography School)

Brilliant Packaging (Packaging FAIL)

Packaging Fail

I can’t quite convey how sarcastic I am when I say “Brilliant Packaging”. This is the shit we had to deal with when we ordered a replacement hard drive for my laptop from NewEgg.com. I just opened the worthless packaging and found my *dented* hard drive, ready to go.

When we called the NewEgg.com customer service line to demand a replacement, they said they couldn’t guarantee proper packaging on the next shipment.

Needless to say, we took our business elsewhere and so should you.

Screw NewEgg.