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Comment Re:I've read the internal note (Score 1) 225

If the content of the paper is deemed acceptable by the ATLAS Collaboration after significant scrutiny, which will be at least a month if I had to guess, then yes, we should be really excited about this. It's not just an anomaly, it's a pretty clear bump in the data over the background. Even if it's not a Higgs, it's still a sign of interesting new physics if everything gets approved.

But again, that's only if the ATLAS Collaboration approves the result. It takes time to verify

Comment Re:I've read the internal note (Score 1) 225

Very nice summary. IIRC, they're using the same continuous background estimate that is recommended by the official ATLAS Higgs group. Of course, I could be wrong, but that's why the note is undergoing review (like all notes do) before it's approved as an ATLAS internal note.

My hope is that the group did actually find the Higgs. There's not much meat in the paper, but they do provide a lot of references to official Higgs group notes, so there's a chance that they did everything properly and made a real discovery. The paper is under review, and the normal timeline for that is maybe a couple of weeks or more, so we just need to wait and see.

Comment Re:It's little more than speculation (Score 5, Interesting) 225

It's the first time that such a clear Higgs result has been found. This case is interesting for a few reasons

1) It's in the mass-range that was excluded by LEP and Fermilab
2) The cross section is ~30x higher than the Standard Model prediction
3) It was produced as an internal communication (ie it was posted Wednesday so that the ATLAS Higgs group could look at it), but then ATLAS physicists posted and talked about by ATLAS physicists in departments around the country and on blogs around the internet. This indicates that all of the secrecy and careful step-by-step approval processes in order to prevent embarrassing false-positives is meaningless; if there's a really exciting bump in the data, then physicists will want to talk about it before all of the details have been checked over by other experts. This is both good and bad; it's good because these are scientists who are clearly very interested in their craft, but it's bad because now if the paper turns out to be wrong then it's going to make the entire ATLAS Collaboration look bad because the information was not meant to be shown publicly yet (ie if there's a mistake in some code somewhere and it gets caught during the coming weeks of review before the paper is even approved for internal ATLAS distribution, and months before it's approved for public consumption, then the ATLAS conveners will look stupid simply because a lot of scientists got a little too excited and jumped the gun)

Comment Article provides no evidence, a worthless opinion (Score 1) 362

The author obviously doesn't own a Wii or hasn't bothered to check the number of games with local coop released today versus the number of games with local coop released 10 years ago. The average number of local coop games released per year seems about constant to me. Off the top of my head, this year on the PS3 alone we saw Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Rock Band 3, Army of Two: The 40th Day, and a bunch of other cheap PSN games like Scott Pilgrim. Last year we saw the release of Borderlands and Resident Evil 5, both games that were practically made for local coop.

Comment Re:Don't do it (Score 1) 606

This is not true, most corporations keep countless outdated computers and generally won't purchase new hardware until old hardware breaks or a large number of users need an upgrade. Government is in the same boat most of the time, but since funding is often a matter of "use it or lose it" they can sometimes upgrade more quickly, meaning users get computers when they need them rather than whenever the boss says that it's okay.

In general, generic corporate PCs are way too old.

Comment EA, you've missed the point (Score 4, Insightful) 313

The point of a demo is to convince people to purchase your game. If you force people to also purchase the demo, then they'll likely not bother purchasing anything.

The only effect this can have is a decrease in revenue for EA followed by some long-winded rants about "piracy is decreasing our revenue" when in actuality it's EA releasing poor-quality games and making boneheaded decisions like this one that are causing them to lose revenue.

Comment Re:If both beams are 3.5 TeV (Score 5, Informative) 149

LHC physicist checking in - yes, that will make the collisions 7 TeV. Note that there are no collisions yet, we're still doing work to make sure that the beams are stable and focused properly. Once we have collisions, we'll run at this energy for about a year and a half before shutting down for a year to perform maintenance.

The LHC never produced 14 TeV collisions, the highest collision it will perform this year is 7 TeV. It is designed to produce 14 TeV collisions, and it will hopefully do that after we finish taking data at 7 TeV. It is true, however, that cosmic ray collisions completely kill the "LHC will destroy the world" bullshit.

Comment Re:Here's what I don't get (Score 2, Informative) 194

Because the two machines operate at different collision energies. The Higgs cross section is going to be different at each collider due to this energy difference, so when you go to measure this cross section you're going to get different results.

You can perform a meta-analysis, whereby you make a "best measurement" at different colliders and energies in order to better understand the measurements. However, that's not what you're proposing; you're proposing that they combine data in order to get a result in the first place, which you can't do.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.