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Science

Higgs Data Could Spell Trouble For Leading Big Bang Theory 259

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it's-a-simulation-anyway dept.
ananyo writes "Paul Steinhardt, an astrophysicist at Princeton University in New Jersey, and colleagues have posted a controversial paper on ArXiv arguing, based on the latest Higgs data and the cosmic microwave background map from the Planck mission, that the leading theory explaining the first moments of the Big Bang ('inflation') is fatally flawed. In short, Steinhardt says that the models that best fit the Planck data — known as 'plateau models' because their potential-energy profiles level off at relatively low energies — are far less likely to occur naturally than the models that Planck ruled out. Secondly, he says, the news for these plateau models gets dramatically worse when the results are analyzed in conjunction with the latest results about the Higgs field coming from CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Particle physicists working at the LHC have calculated that the Higgs field is likely to have started out in a high-energy, 'metastable' state rather than in a stable, low-energy configuration. Steinhardt likens the odds of the Higgs field initially being perched in the precarious metastable state as to those of dropping out of the sky over the Matterhorn and conveniently landing in a 'dimple near the top,' rather than crashing down to the mountain's base."
Businesses

+ - Pandora Shares Artist Payment Figures->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today in a blog post, Pandora has shared some details of the fees they pay to musical artists for playing songs over their music streaming service. Over 2,000 different artists pull in $10,000 or more in the next year, and 800 will get paid over $50,000. They provided a few specific examples as well. Grupo Bryndis, who has a sales rank on Amazon of 183,187, is on track to receive $114,192. A few earners are getting over $1 million annually, such as Coldplay and Adele. 'Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.' The post segues into a broader point about the age of internet radio: 'It's hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio presents an incredible opportunity to build a better future for artists. Not only is it bringing tens of millions of listeners back to music, across hundreds of genres, but it is also enabling musicians to earn a living. It's also hard to look at these numbers, knowing Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S., and not come away thinking something is wrong. ... Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.'"
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week-> 1

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.

The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. ET Friday."

Link to Original Source
Graphics

+ - Free program makes computer graphics more realistic->

Submitted by wazlaf
wazlaf (681158) writes "Computer-generated images can be a little more realistic — and a lot cheaper to make — with an open-source rendering program created by Cornell graduate student Wenzel Jakob. A major new version of Mitsuba was just released. "What really is new is that Mitsuba implements a group of rendering algorithms that traditionally have been horribly complicated," Jakob said. Together with improvements developed at Cornell University, these can simulate the complex behavior of light traveling through glossy materials such as brushed metal or glass."
Link to Original Source

+ - Major redesign of the Mitsuba renderer goes public

Submitted by wazlaf
wazlaf (681158) writes "After a two years of internal development and a whopping 5MB source code diff, a completely redesigned version of the Mitsuba renderer was just released to the public.

Mitsuba is a modular physically-based rendering engine which features an interactive preview and many state-of-the art rendering algorithms that can be tweaked and combined in endless ways. One of the highlights of this release is that it includes the first openly available implementation of the original Metropolis Light Transport algorithm that works correctly. The release announcement contains a full listing of all new features. Example scenes, the source, and binaries for all major platforms are provided on the download page."

Comment: Re:Picture Quality... (Score 3, Informative) 221

by wazlaf (#10286823) Attached to: Irrlicht - Fast Realtime 3D Engine
I don't understand all the excitement about Irrlicht - wile it is surely an OK 3D Engine, it lags just so much behind in terms of what's possible with current 3D Hardware. If you are looking for something more advanced, have a look at OGRE. It does decent stencil shadows, is also independent of the underlying rendering API and it is used in many commercial and open source games.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.

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