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El Reg saves Los Alamos lab web site from hooligans

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Forget managing a $2.2bn weapons lab, Los Alamos National Security is struggling just to keep its web site up.

LANS - the new manager of the famed Los Alamos National Laboratory - allowed the registration of its web site to lapse last week and didn't fix the problem until being contacted about it by The Register. The site lansllc.com tossed up a Go Daddy expiration page for days. Ever the alert citizens, we looked to purchase the site in order to hand it over to Los Alamos. Go Daddy, however, said that its fantastic customer service results in clients receiving a 92-day grace period for site renewals.

Hoping LANS would take care of the matter itself, we then called the company to let it know about the problem. A LANS official said the downed web site had gone unnoticed. She then added that management would debate what to do with the site next and might leave it down to save money.

Tellingly, the site went live again with a new registration about an hour after we called.

The incident has comic elements on a couple of fronts.

Shot of expired registrationLANS - a consortium composed of Bechtel, the University of California (UC) and government contractors Washington Group International and BWX - took over Los Alamos from UC in June. The for profit company has been tasked by the government with restoring order and safety at one of the US's top research centers.

The new management, however, already faces some daunting problems such as hefty expenses. The Register earlier this week was the first to report on the $200m in extra costs that LANS must deal with despite having a flat budget. Lab director Michael Anastasio has called on staff to use "efficiencies" and "creativity" to solve the lab's budget crisis.

Expired LANS page

While not renewing a web site might fit under the "creativity" banner, it seems like a bad idea overall given that any Tom, Dick or Harry could put up a mock LANS site. That said, we're sure the lab personnel are poised to handle more crucial issues with alarming speed. ®

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