first_imgWE all remember meeting our heroes when the rare occasion happened to come our way.But Brazilian footballer Pele will probably remember more than most the details about the day he met Garrett and Johnny Harte from Raphoe.Their eyes met across a crowded room but Pele instantly recognised the two Donegal men, who if chance had come their way, could possibly have played for Raphoe Town! That chance passed both lads by but they got the opportunity to share a field with Pele this week at the launch of Goals For Life – a charity which raises funds for children’s hospital including Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin.As the station editor with radio station Newstalk 106 – 108, Garrett met Pele as he acted as media sponsor for the event.In his role as Garrett’s older brother, Johnny said he just couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet Pele – unlike the many opportunities he missed from six yards for St.Eunan’s.The principal fundraising initiative is the sale of gold, silver and bronze medals representing each of the 1,283 goals Pele scored during his career. It took organisers more than an hour to cater for the crowds looking for an autograph from their heroes.And yes, Pele signed a few as well.© Copyright donegaldaily.comTHE DAY THE BOY FROM BRAZIL MET THE BOYS FROM RAPHOE was last modified: March 13th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Al Gore slams investor short-sightedness

first_img22 September 2011Investors’ increasingly short-term outlooks are bad for the ability of markets to create value and of economies to recover from recessions, former US vice-president Al Gore said at the Discovery Investec Leadership Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday.“I think we really do need to work for change in capital markets and not be so focused on the short term,” he told a Discovery leadership summit in Johannesburg.“The increasing short-term focus for investment decisions and business planning has been harmful to creating sustainable value.”This could be the reason it was taking longer for economies to recover from recessions.He said the period of time taken after recessions to restore the economy and jobs had been stretching out considerably.It changed from about six months after World War II to the over two years, or more, of today.Investors used to retain stocks for six to seven years, but now they sold them after less than a year, he said.“As it happens, the average period for 75 percent to 80 percent of real building up of value is six to seven years,” Gore said.“But, if investors are getting in and out of stock in just a few months, that does not synchronise with the long-term build-up of value.”There was now an increasing focus on even shorter investment time-periods.“On many exchanges in the world today, 50 to 60 percent of trades are high-speed, high-frequency,” Gore said.This led to “flash crashes” on stock exchanges, where the value of the market dropped significantly and recovered in a very short time period.“One of the proposed remedies to flash crashes was a new rule that caught my attention … an offer to buy or sell has to remain open for one second. The reaction to this proposal was, ‘Oh no, the whole system will collapse’.”Although these short-term trades could serve a purpose, they caused more harm.“I don’t think the value they add is anywhere close to the risk that they cause,” he said.Sapalast_img read more

Parsing DEMOFall 08 for Trends – Less Valley, More Biz

first_imgTags:#Events Guide#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting bernard lunn Related Posts We’ve done an analysis of the 72 start-ups launching at Demo Fall 08, to categorize them by both location and focus. The location story: 28% from Silicon Valley, but only 3% more than East Coast at 25%. It is still US centric at 40%, with Europe at 10% and Asia at 8%. The focus: over 50% is broadly in the Business category. Without looking at past Demo years, that looks like a shift: less Valley, more Biz.Here are the location numbers:Silicon Valley 20 (28%)East Coast US 18 (25%)West Coast US 10 (14%)Central US 9 (13%)Europe 7 (10%)Asia 6 (8%)Other 2 (3%)Total: 72The US focus (79%) is clearly self-selecting. A conference in London or Shanghai would look different. To have nearly the same number from East Coast than from the Valley looks like a shift. The Other West Coast (e.g. Southern California, Seattle) is not surprising as Demo is in San Diego.The focus categorization was a bit more open to question. This was based on a quick look at the site’s front page. Initially we were looking at two categories only – Consumer or Business. Within Business we then saw two interesting sub-categories – Infrastructure (a product that becomes part of another product) and Professional (selling to individuals or very small businesses but with a primary purpose of making money). Lumping both Infrastructure and Professional into Business gives us 54% for Business:Consumer 32 (44%)Business 25 (35%)Professional 7 (10%)Infrastructure 7 (10%)As Consumer services are mostly ad funded and advertising gets cut in a recession (and we clearly have a consumer recession in the US) this shift makes sense.Doing this 30 seconds per site look at 72 brave new start-ups is totally unfair. They each deserve a rigorous analysis. However 30 seconds is often what you get to make an impression. Most sites failed that test. Many had me totally puzzled figuring out what they were offering. The following got marked as “take another look”. This is purely a quirky look based on personal interests: • Usable – really, security that is user friendly? Sounds impossible, but worth a look. Great URL• ffwd. Great URL for video site. But yet another video service?• BeeTV. The only service I have actually used. (I thought Demo was launch only i.e. no existing services?)• BestBuy – what are they doing that hits the innovation radar?• Rudder – personal finance space is ripe for innovation.What do you think? Is the nexus of innovation shifting from the Valley and from Consumer to Business? And if anyone has done a similar analysis for TC50, please share in the comments.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Breaking News in the Industry: August 11, 2017

first_imgAlmost $50,000 in gift cards bought with stolen identitiesJefferson Parish Louisiana Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested five people accused of using stolen personal information to buy almost $50,000 worth of gift cards at local stores. The suspects involved fraudulently bought gift cards using customer accounts at Best Buy, in Harvey, and Sears, in Metairie, Louisiana, according to arrest and incident reports. Other than the similarities in how the suspects allegedly executed the thefts, detectives don’t think the two cases are connected, said Lt. Jason Rivarde, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. The first investigation began on July 13 when a loss prevention associate for Sears contacted the Sheriff’s Office after noticing that a woman had been coming to the store and using stolen customer account information to buy gift cards, an incident report said. Using surveillance video, the officer identified the woman as Kyandria Wimbush, 18, of Harvey, arrest reports said. Wimbush is accused of recruiting store cashiers Darius Barrow, 18, and Ronald Rankins, 22, both of New Orleans, to look up customers’ Sears accounts using stolen social security numbers, the arrest reports said.Wimbush then used the account information to buy $21,352 worth of gift cards, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The loss prevention associates prevented her from buying another $5,080 worth when she, Rankin and Barrow were taken into custody on July 15, the incident reports state. Wimbush was booked with identity theft valued over $1,000, computer fraud, access device fraud and attempted access device fraud, arrest reports show. Rankins and Barrow were booked with one count of computer fraud. On July 18, the assistant manager of Best Buy in Harvey contacted the Sheriff’s Office after confronting a 17-year-old cashier about the purchase of $28,103 worth of gift cards using stolen personal information, according to Rivarde. | The Times-Picayune is not identifying the 17-year-old girl because she is a minor. The teen told investigators a woman approached her in the store and asked if she wanted to make some extra money, the incident report said. The woman paid the teen $1,000 to access customer Best Buy accounts to buy Visa and Best Buy gift cards. The pair used five customer accounts to make the purchases in 18 transactions between June 3 and July 13, arrest reports state.  [Source: The Times Picayune]Washington man hits store employees after shoplifting attempt foiledTwo grocery employees in Lynwood, Washington, were injured over the weekend when an angry shoplifting suspect struck them with a shovel handle, according to police. The incident began when a 44-year-old man walked into the QFC store and attempted to steal some sandwiches, police said. The man left the store when an employee spotted the theft attempt and told the man he needed to pay for the sandwiches. About four hours later, the man returned to the store armed with a stick that appeared to be the handle of a gardening tool like a shovel. The man went up to the employee who had confronted him earlier and hit him in the head with the stick, police said. As the suspect fled, another employee tried to detain him. The suspect struck that employee with the stick as well. The suspect was captured nearby by a K-9 police dog that was brought to the scene. Both of the store employees were treated for cuts to the head and one also had a bruise to his arm. [Source: KOMO News]- Sponsor – Cashier steals $5,000 in his only month on the jobA  Wisconsin Macy’s employee turned himself in after he was caught stealing more than $5,000 in cash in the one month he worked there. On June 29 Wauwatosa police officers responded to Macy’s for a report on employee theft. Officers spoke with the loss prevention associate, who informed police of more than $5,000 in cash register money shortages linked to an employee by the name of Dion Spears, 20, Milwaukee, according to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County. According to police, they located 10 incidents where Spears’ register came up short – several of which were caught on surveillance video. In the video, Spears is seen opening the register, removing money and putting it into deposit bags and putting it into his pocket. According to investigators, there are ten incidences on video when the defendant is on video. The total amount of money stolen without consent from Macy’s between May 24, 2017, and June 21, 2017, was $5,163.65.  [Source: Wauwatosa Patch]Under Armour wins $300,000 in lawsuit against Chinese knockoff brandA Chinese knockoff brand known as Uncle Martian is being ordered to pay Under Armour a large sum for copyright infringement. Popular sports brand Under Armour has been tenacious in taking legal action against the Chinese sportswear startup whose logo is uncannily similar. Since last year, Under Armour has been targeting a brand they deem as a “serious concern” and “blatant infringement,” according to Shanghaiist. “Under Armour is aware of the Uncle Martian launch event,” said in a statement back in May 2016. “Uncle Martian’s uses of Under Armour’s famous logo, name, and other intellectual property are a serious concern and blatant infringement. Under Armour will vigorously pursue all business and legal courses of action.”  The legal battle between Under Armour and Uncle Martian has now come to a conclusion.Uncle Martian’s parent company, Tingfeilong Sporting Goods, has been ordered to pay Under Armour 2 million yuan ($300,000), according to a court ruling in Fujian. In addition, the Chinese knockoff brand was ordered to destroy all infringing products. To top off Under Armour’s victory, Uncle Martian is also ordered to release a statement to “eliminate the adverse effect” of the brand’s infringement. Tingfeilong Sporting Goods is a 26-year-old shoe manufacturer that hoped to take advantage of Under Armour’s success in China. The company launched their Uncle Martian brand, which featured a logo that clearly resembles Under Armour’s famous emblem, in the hopes of capturing the sports market in their region as well.   [Source: NextShark][text_ad use_post=’128086′]Shots fired during pursuit of suspected shoplifter in Delaware CountySeveral Ohio police agencies are investigating after a shoplifting incident led to a deputy firing at the suspect. According to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, it started around 8pm Tuesday with a shoplifting call at the OshKosh B’gosh store at the Tanger Outlet Mall. Deputies on bike patrol found the suspect in her vehicle in the back of the parking lot. When deputies tried to talk to her, the Sheriff’s office said she began to pull away, knocking one of the officers over in the process.One deputy believed she was driving at them and fired at least one shot at the vehicle, puncturing a tire. The driver got away and started heading east, away from the mall. That’s when a nearby deputy started chasing the suspect. The Sheriff’s office said the suspect crashed about a mile away at the intersection of Berkshire Road and 3 Bs and K. The driver was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries. A deputy was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Ohio BCI is investigating the shooting, the Ohio State Highway patrol is investigating the crash and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shoplifting. No charges have been filed yet, but they are expected.  [Source: NBC4i News]Cargo thefts decline sharply in second quarter, but $17.2M worth of freight still stolenThieves stole $17.2 million worth of cargo in the United States and Canada during the second quarter of 2017, down from $35.1 million in the year-ago period, data tracking firm CargoNet reported. The number of thefts also declined, to 296 from 375 in the second quarter of 2016, according to CargoNet. While California and Texas remain first and second as the most popular states for thieves, both recorded drops in the number and value of thefts, with declines of 53% and 51%, respectively. California had the most thefts among states at 24%, followed by Texas at 15%, Tennessee at 11%, Florida at 8% and New Jersey at 6%. CargoNet’s data includes thefts in trucking, rail, warehousing, vehicle theft and fraud. CargoNet said that the food and beverage category remains the most active, accounting for 20% of thefts. While that is a decline of 5% versus year-ago levels, thefts of second-place household goods rose 4%, accounting for 19% of thefts. Electronics lands in third place, with 11% of thefts, versus nearly 15% for the second quarter of 2016.While the reported declines are welcome news, Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist at The Travelers Companies Inc., noted that reporting and enforcement can affect the numbers. CargoNet’s members report voluntarily, and sometimes that means underreporting of thefts, he said. “I’m not saying all of the decrease is due to a lack of reporting, though,” he noted. “I think a big part is due to the arrests, and [to] some [extent] the underreporting or change in reporting, the fluctuation.” In terms of enforcement, high-profile busts can raise alarm among thieves. Cornell said that from 2016 into early 2017, “there were a ton of arrests made for cargo theft” such as in Georgia, California and Florida. “Florida and Georgia worked very well together, with the Miami Dade and Georgia task forces making numerous arrests. In Southern California, the [Los Angeles Police Department] made numerous arrests and that will reduce cargo thefts.” The numbers of trucks and trailers stolen in the United States and Canada also declined last quarter, with thieves snagging 110 tractors and 109 trailers. Thefts of tractors were down 17% and thefts of trailers declined 29% compared with year-ago levels. More intermodal chassis and containers were stolen, 25 in the second quarter this year compared with 21 in the same period in 2016. [Source: Transport Topics]More than 100 Applebee’s, IHOP restaurants to closeThe parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP could close as many as 135 Applebee’s restaurants, and 25 IHOP restaurants this year due to poor sales, according to a statement released Thursday. DineEquity’s interim CEO Richard J. Dahl said in the release that 2017 will be a “transitional year” for Applebee’s, adding, “we are making the necessary investments for overall long-term brand health and expect to see improvement over the next year.” DineEquity noted that the numbers are revised expectations – the number of Applebee’s restaurants set to close is more than double what was previously expected.  The number of expected IHOP closures is between two and seven more locations. “IHOP remains on solid ground, despite soft sales this quarter,” Dahl said. “I am optimistic about the growth in both effective franchise restaurants and system-wide sales.” Company officials said in the release that “the expected closures will be based on several criteria, including franchisee profitability, operational results and meeting our brand quality standards.” The press release notes a 7 percent decline in sales for Applebee’s during the first six months of 2017.Additionally, IHOP’s sales declined 2.6 percent for the second quarter of 2017. Applebee’s sales declined 6.2 percent for the second quarter of 2017. The announcement boosted DineEquity’s stock 4 percent Thursday morning. [Source: WGN9 News] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

So That’s What The Feds Are Doing With Seized Bitcoins

first_imgWhat are the Feds doing with all that Bitcoin they seized from Silk Road last year? Auctioning it off to interested parties, as it turns out. The US Marshals Service announced Monday that it’d be auctioning off 50,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $19 million, on Dec. 4. It is a silent auction, where potential bidders must submit their bids in advance with no prior knowledge of other bidders’ offers. This is the US Marshals Service’s second Bitcoin auction, about five months after it first began to sell off the assets seized in last October’s Silk Road raid. (Last time, venture capitalist Tim Draper was the auction’s sole winner, taking home an amount of Bitcoin worth $19 million at the time.) This latest auction is for bitcoins the Feds found on a computer belonging to alleged Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht and prosecutors reached a deal in January that would allow these Bitcoins to be sold. See also: Former Bitcoin Exchange CEO Arrested In Silk Road Drug Trafficking SchemeIt’s a powerful reminder that, while Bitcoin may be a pseudonymous currency, there is nothing anonymous about it, and the Feds can find and charge any user they need to. Though the black market site Silk Road was located on the Dark Web and extremely covert, the Feds were able to find its creators by following the trail of the bitcoins exchanged. There will be no concern, however, about tracing the bidders on these particular bitcoins up for auction. All bidders are required to register and prove their identities before being allowed to make an offer. They must also vow that they are not affiliated with Silk Road or its alleged creator in any way.Photo by fdecomite on Flickr A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… lauren orsini Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Related Posts Tags:#bitcoin#Cryptocurrency#Ross Ulbricht#Silk Road 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Shipping out: How Docker could scale up massively

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Tags:#CERN#containers#data management#Docker#featured#IoT#machine language#Mesos#Mesosphere What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img The world is rushing to embrace Docker containers as the new, easy way to package applications. As cool as it is to package applications with containers, as I have written before, the biggest challenge companies face is actually deploying their Docker containers – especially at scale. Well, nothing spells scale in computing quite like CERN, the particle and nuclear physics research institute outside Geneva, Switzerland. It’s the home of the Large Hadron Collider and some 8,000 scientists from 500 universities. CERN and Mesosphere, whose pioneering concept of a data center operating system (DCOS) I wrote about in 2014, are working on a clever approach to solving the problem of scaling Docker containers in production. I recently spoke with Mesosphere co-founder and Apache Mesos creator, Benjamin Hindman to learn more.ReadWrite: What’s so challenging about storing and shipping Docker containers in production?Benjamin Hindman: One of the beauties of containers as a way to package applications is that you don’t need to include an operating system, unlike with a virtual machine image, which means you can keep them small. The smaller the image, the less that you need to store and the less that you need to send around the network. But it’s easy for container images to get huge; as you include all the dependent libraries and supporting files into the container’s file system the containers can get very big. And sometimes without even knowing it you end up adding things you don’t actually need. Docker uses what it calls layers to help reuse parts of the file system between containers. Using layers can help the containers stay small, assuming all of the containers properly build on top of preexisting layers. But accomplishing this takes diligence, and from what I’ve seen in practice, this rarely is the case.RW: Explain to me why Docker’s layers don’t work in production.BH: From what I’ve seen in practice it’s pretty rare that developers diligently build on top of each other’s layers. In fact, it’s almost too easy to create a layer that diverges in such a way that another developer won’t want to build on top of your layer because that will actually bring in unnecessary stuff for your application.The consequences of this can be pretty severe though.For example, consider two cases, one where everyone ends up adding some library to their container image independently and another where they build on top of a layer that includes the library. In the world where the library is contained within the layer you’ll only have to download the layer the first time you launch a container which uses that layer, and all subsequent containers will get to reuse that layer.In the world where each container image includes the library independently you’ll have to re-download the bits for the library every single time. This can be extremely wasteful, both on repository storage and the network. Repository sizes explode, choking network traffic with gigabytes of Docker downloads and storage requirements go through the roof.At Mesosphere we see customers struggling with this problem in production. We tested a number of alternative solutions.One approach was basically doing something where you pushed containers out to a few nodes and then they self-propagated using peer-to-peer technologies. That led to the insight that we should really just be looking inside the container image and shipping only the data that we haven’t previously shipped in the past. That is to say, focus on and address the content that we need within the container rather than focusing on layers which contain the content.RW: How did integrating CVMFS from CERN come about to solve this problem?BH: I was in Switzerland giving a talk at CERN and I got to meet with some of the team that had built CernVM-FS (CVMFS), a technology originally developed by CERN back in 2008.  At the time, CERN was looking into hardware virtualization in a similar way that people are trying out containers today — how best to deploy applications. Instead of creating images or packages, CERN wanted to use a globally distributed file system. This would allow scientists to install their software once on a web server, and then access it from anywhere in the world. When I was in Geneva their team gave me a demo of CVMFS and I could immediately see that it was a perfect match for containers and would solve our problem. CVMFS is perfect for propagating containers because it uses a combination of extensive indexing, de-duplication, caching and geographic distribution to minimize the number of components associated with individual downloads, and it’s all automated. This significantly reduces the amount of duplicate data that needs to be transferred and greatly speeds up the transfer of files that share data. We realized that if we integrated CVMFS with Apache Mesos and the Mesosphere DCOS we could massively reduce the redundant data transfers and make container distribution very fast. That was our ah-hah moment!RW: How does Apache Mesos and the Mesosphere DCOS deal with containers?BH: Mesos and the DCOS rely on what we call “containerizers.” Containerizers are responsible for isolating running tasks from one another, as well as for limiting the resources (such as CPU, memory, disk and network) available to each task.  A containerizer also provides a runtime environment for the task which we call a container. A container itself is not a primitive or first class object from Linux, it’s more of an abstract thing using control groups (cgroups) and namespaces. The Mesos containerizer supports all the different image formats that exist today, including Docker and appc.RW: How far do you think this integration of Apache Mesos and CVMFS can scale?BH: Theoretically it should scale to millions of containers. We’re testing now. The good news is that we already know that Mesos and DCOS can scale and that CVMFS can scale. And the actual integration work was straightforward. The way it works is that instead of downloading the entire image up front, our integration uses the CVMFS client to mount the remote image root directory locally. It takes as its input the name of the CVMFS repository (which internally is mapped to the URL of the CVMFS server) as well as a path within the repository that needs to be used as container image root.So now you can have multiple container images published within the same CVMFS repository. From the point of view of the containerizer, nothing changes. It is still dealing with the local directory that contains the image directory tree, on top of which it needs to start the container.The big advantage, however, is that the fine-grained deduplication of CVMFS (based on files or chunks rather than layers with Docker) means we now can start a container without actually having to download the entire image. Once the container starts, CVMFS downloads the files necessary to run the task on the fly. Because CVMFS uses content addressable storage, we never need to download the same file twice. The end result is a much more efficient way to deploy Docker containers at massive scale without blowing up storage capacity and choking network bandwidth. Matt Asay Related Posts last_img read more

Tiny black holes could trigger collapse of universe—except that they don’t

first_imgIf you like classic two-for-one monster movies such as King Kong vs. Godzilla, then a new paper combining two bêtes noires of pseudoscientific scaremongers—mini black holes and the collapse of the vacuum—may appeal to you. Physicists working with the world’s biggest atom-smasher—Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—have had to reassure the public that, even if they can make them, mini black holes, infinitesimal versions of the ones that form when jumbo stars implode, won’t consume the planet. They’ve also had to dispel fears that blasting out a particle called the Higgs boson will cause the vacuum of empty space to collapse. Now, however, three theorists calculate that in a chain reaction, a mini black hole could trigger such collapse after all.Come out from under the bed; there’s a big caveat. If this could have happened, it would have long before humans evolved. “The thing you mustn’t say is, ‘Shock, horror! We’re going to destroy the universe!’” says Ian Moss, a theoretical cosmologist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and an author of the paper explaining the result. Rather, he says, the message is that some unknown physics must enter to stabilize the vacuum—encouraging news for physicists searching for something new. Still, Moss acknowledges that the paper could be taken the wrong way: “I’m sort of afraid that I’m going to have [prominent theorist] John Ellis calling me up and accusing me of scaremongering.”Stability of the vacuum is a real issue. Ever since the discovery of the long-predicted Higgs boson in 2012, physicists have known that empty space contains a “Higgs field,” a bit like an electric field, that is made of Higgs bosons lurking “virtually” in the vacuum. Other fundamental particles such as the electron and quarks interact with the field to gain their mass. However, particle physicists have calculated that, given their current standard model of the known particles and the Higgs boson’s measured mass, the Higgs field may not be in its stable, lowest energy state. Rather, it could achieve a much lower energy by taking on much higher strength. That energy-saving transition should inevitably cause the vacuum to collapse and wipe out the universe.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So why hasn’t that collapse happened? It turns out that to get to the lower energy “true vacuum” state, the Higgs field would have to get through an enormous energy barrier through a process known as quantum tunneling. That barrier is so big that it would likely take many, many times the age of the universe for the transition to occur. So, theorists generally agreed that the Higgs field is “metastable,” temporarily stuck in a “false vacuum” state, and that although the collapse is a problem in principle, practically it’s nothing to worry about.But now, Moss and theoretical physicists Philipp Burda and Ruth Gregory of Durham University in the United Kingdom contend that argument falls apart when you mix in mini black holes—microscopic regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. That’s because a mini black hole acts like a “seed” that can trigger formation of a bubble of true vacuum in a sea of false vacuum, just as a bit of grit can trigger the formation of a bubble of steam in boiling water, as they explain in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters.Without such a seed, a bubble of true vacuum would inevitably shrink. That’s because, even though the vacuum within the bubble has lower energy than the vacuum outside the bubble, the bubble wall at which the two meet has very high energy. So the bubble can lower its total energy by growing smaller and disappearing. For a bubble with a tiny black hole inside, however, it’s a different story. The black hole’s gravity can shift the energy balance, Moss explains, so that any bubble beyond a certain very small size could instead lower its energy by growing. Within a fraction of a second, the bubble would then expand to consume the entire visible universe, Moss says.Those black holes have to be small, Moss and colleagues argue, and they could conceivably come from two sources. They could be “primordial” black holes lingering since the birth of the universe. Or they could be microscopic black holes created within particle collisions such as those at the LHC.So should we worry? No, Moss says. The fact that the universe has been around 13.8 billion years shows that primordial black holes will not trigger such a collapse, he says. As for black holes at the LHC, even if they can be created they also won’t create havoc, he says. The proof of that comes from cosmic rays, which crash into the atmosphere and create even higher energy particle collisions than the LHC can. So even if such collisions spawn black holes, the black holes don’t trigger vacuum collapse, Moss says, or the cosmos would have vanished long ago.The real point, Moss says, is that theorists can no longer shrug off the problem by assuming that the collapse of the vacuum would take a hugely long time. By showing that—according to the standard model—the collapse should happen quickly, the paper suggests that some new physics must kick in to stabilize the vacuum.Others aren’t so sure the argument is persuasive. The theorists make a number of questionable assumptions in their mathematics, says Vincenzo Branchina, a theorist with Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics at the University of Catania. John Ellis, a theorist at King’s College London, questions the consistency of the calculation. For example, he says, it assumes that the standard model holds true to very high energy scales. However, he notes, the only way the LHC can make a mini black hole is if the standard model conks out and space opens up new dimensions at much lower energy, he says. Still, both Branchina and Ellis say that based on other arguments, they suspect that something does make the vacuum stable.As for the presentation of the argument in the new paper, Ellis says he has some misgivings that it will whip up unfounded fears about the safety of the LHC once again. For example, the preprint of the paper doesn’t mention that cosmic-ray data essentially prove that the LHC cannot trigger the collapse of the vacuum—”because we [physicists] all knew that,” Moss says. The final version mentions it on the fourth of five pages. Still, Ellis, who served on a panel to examine the LHC’s safety, says he doesn’t think it’s possible to stop theorists from presenting such arguments in tendentious ways. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it,” Ellis says. “If someone asks me, I’m going to say it’s so much theoretical noise.” Which may not be the most reassuring answer, either.last_img read more