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Finally Stranger

The Exo Stranger finally returns in Destiny 2 expansion Beyond Light – Eurogamer.net

Bungie has revealed the next big expansion for Destiny 2 – and it marks the return of a character players haven’t seen since the Destiny 1 campaign.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light, due out on 22nd September 2020, revolves around the arrival of the mysterious Darkness via a fleet of Pyramid ships that is heading towards Earth.

Destiny 2’s Season of Arrivals, which begins today, sees the arrival of the first Pyramid ship on the moon of Io. This sets off a chain of events that will unfold throughout the season and tie into Beyond Light.

Beyond Light adds a new destination, Jupiter’s frozen moon Europa, and above it an ancient Pyramid ship. You get to infiltrate the Golden Age Braytech facility there and uncover secrets under the ice.

Beyond Light also adds Destiny’s first new element ever, dubbed Stasis. Here’s the official blurb:

“Rooted in Darkness, Guardians will wield this new elemental power alongside Arc, Solar, and Void to summon epic supers and control the battlefield. Titans, Warlocks and Hunters will each use Stasis in a different way. More details on Stasis to come later this summer.”

There’s a new raid, as you’d expect, called the Deep Stone Crypt. This lies underneath the frozen tundra of Europa. Also on Europa is the Fallen, whose splintered houses have rallied and built a new empire under the banner of the Fallen Kell of Darkness, Eramis. “Abandoned by the Traveler and left by the Light, Eramis is on her own journey into the Darkness, and towards a collision course with Guardians,” Bungie says.

Of particular interest to fans will be the return of the Exo Stranger. This character was last seen making little sense in the Destiny 1 campaign, where the ghost-less Exo disappeared after aiding the player Guardian. The Exo Stranger is infamous within the Destiny community for the “I don’t even have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain” line of dialogue, which became a meme and a metaphor for the nonsensical, Frankenstein story Bungie pieced together last minute for Destiny 1’s September 2014 launch. Back in May 2018, Destiny fans reckoned they’d worked out the identity of the Exo Stranger, but this remains unconfirmed. Perhaps now, six years after Destiny came out, we’ll find out.

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The Exo Stranger returns with an odd-looking creature in-tow. Some sort of organic Ghost?

As Bungie had already announced, Destiny 2 is coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Purchases of Destiny 2: Beyond Light on Xbox One will transfer to Xbox Series X for free via Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program. Purchases on PlayStation 4 will upgrade to PlayStation 5 for free, Bungie said. Expect more on the next-gen versions of Destiny 2 in the coming months.

Back to Destiny 2’s Season of Arrivals, and Bungie noted throughout the season, Messages of Darkness will be found on Io. Players can go to the Cradle on Io and uncover these hidden communications. Also on Io is a new public event under the newly arrived Pyramid ship, “where an untapped power has summoned the enemies of humanity.”

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Finally Spotify

Spotify is finally kicking its 10000 song library cap to the curb – Android Authority

Spotify menu on a smartphone on a bed of rocks

Anyone who is addicted to Spotify knows the 10,000 song library limit is ridiculous and infuriating. Finally, the massive music streaming service is ditching that limit in favor of an uncapped library.

Users will be able to save as many songs and albums to their collection as they want. This will be a welcome change for anyone who found themselves having to meticulously manage which songs they store to their library.

related article

YouTube Music vs Spotify: Can Google even compete?

Services like Spotify and YouTube Music allow you to stream music, create playlists, discover new songs, and more. Although they all seem pretty much the same at first glance, there are a lot of differences …

This doesn’t remove the offline listening limit, so anyone who frequently finds themselves without service on their device will still have to work within the 10,000 download limit. Additionally, playlists are still limited to 10,000 songs.

Some users have reported still seeing the error message popping up, and Spotify notes that it’ll be a gradual rollout. It could take some time before the limitless Spotify library is enabled for everyone.

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Ethan Finally

Ask Ethan: Have We Finally Found Evidence For A Parallel Universe? – Forbes

Jaime Salcido/simulations by the EAGLE Collaboration

For some of us, the idea of parallel Universes spark our wildest dreams. If there are other Universes where certain events had different outcomes — where just one crucial decision went a different way — perhaps there could be some way to access them. Perhaps particles, fields, or even people could be transported from one to the other, enabling us to live in a Universe that’s better, in some ways, than our own. These ideas have a foothold in theoretical physics as well, from the myriad of possible outcomes from quantum mechanics as well as ideas of the multiverse. But do they have anything to do with observable, measurable reality? Recently, a claim has surfaced asserting that we’ve found evidence for parallel Universes, and Jordan Colby Cox wants to know what it means, asking:

There is an article floating around that claims that physicists in Antarctica have found evidence for a parallel universe. I find this highly unlikely, but I wanted to be sure by asking you to address the veracity of the story.

Let’s take a look and find out.

Ozytive / Public domain

From a physics point of view, parallel Universes are one of those intriguing ideas that’s imaginative, compelling, but very difficult to test. They first arose in the context of quantum physics, which is notorious for having unpredictable outcomes even if you know everything possible about how you set up your system. If you take a single electron and shoot it through a double slit, you can only know the probabilities of where it will land; you cannot predict exactly where it will show up.

One remarkable idea — known as the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics — postulates that all the outcomes that can possibly occur actually do happen, but only one outcome can happen in each Universe. It takes an infinite number of parallel Universes to account for all the possibilities, but this interpretation is just as valid as any other. There are no experiments or observations that rule it out.

Christian Schirm

A second place where parallel Universes arise in physics is from the idea of the multiverse. Our observable Universe began 13.8 billion years ago with the hot Big Bang, but the Big Bang itself wasn’t the very beginning. There was a very different phase of the Universe that occurred previously to set up and give rise to the Big Bang: cosmological inflation. When and where inflation ends, a Big Bang occurs.

But inflation doesn’t end everywhere at once, and the places where inflation doesn’t end continue to inflate, giving rise to more space and more potential Big Bangs. Once inflation begins, in fact, it’s virtually impossible to stop inflation from occurring in perpetuity at least somewhere. As time goes on, more Big Bangs — all disconnected from one another — occur, giving rise to an uncountably large number of independent Universes: a multiverse.

Karen46 / FreeImages

The big problem for both of these ideas is that there’s no way to test or constrain the prediction of these parallel Universes. After all, if we’re stuck in our own Universe, how can we ever hope to access another one? We have our own laws of physics, but they come along with a whole host of quantities that are always conserved.

Particles don’t simply appear, disappear, or transform; they can only interact with other quanta of matter and energy, and the outcomes of those interactions are similarly governed by the laws of physics.

In all the experiments we’ve ever performed, all the observations we’ve ever recorded, and all the measurements ever made, we’ve never yet discovered an interaction that demands the existence of something beyond our own, isolated Universe to explain.

Contemporary Physics Education Project / DOE / NSF / LBNL

Unless, of course, you’ve read the headlines that came out this week, reporting that scientists in Antarctica have discovered evidence for the existence of parallel Universes. If this were true, it would be absolutely revolutionary. It’s a grandiose claim that would show us that the Universe as we currently conceive of it is inadequate, and there’s much more out there to learn about and discover than we ever thought possible.

Not only would these other Universes be out there, but matter and energy from them would have the capability to cross over to and interact with matter and energy in our own Universe. Perhaps, if this claim were correct, some of our wildest science fiction dreams would be possible. Perhaps you could travel to a Universe:

  • Where you chose the job overseas instead of the one that kept you in your country?
  • Where you stood up to the bully instead of letting yourself be taken advantage of?
  • Where you kissed the one-who-got-away at the end of the night, instead of letting them go?
  • Or where the life-or-death event that you or your loved one faced at some point in the past had a different outcome?

Public domain

So what was the remarkable evidence that demonstrates the existence of a parallel Universe? What observation or measurement was made that brought us to this remarkable and unexpected conclusion?

The ANITA (ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna) experiment — a balloon-borne experiment that’s sensitive to radio waves — detected radio waves of a particular set of energies and directions coming from beneath the Antarctic ice. This is good; it’s what the experiment was designed to do! In both theory and in practice, we have all sorts of cosmic particles traveling through space, including the ghostly neutrino. While many of the neutrinos that pass through us come from the Sun, stars, or the Big Bang, some of them come from colossally energetic astrophysical sources like pulsars, black holes, or even mysterious, unidentified objects.

NASA

These neutrinos also come in a variety of energies, with the most energetic ones (unsurprisingly) being the rarest and, to many physicists, the most interesting. Neutrinos are mostly invisible to normal matter — it would take about a light-year’s worth of lead to have a 50/50 shot of stopping one — so they can realistically come from any direction.

However, most of the high-energy neutrinos that we see aren’t produced from far away, but are produced when other cosmic particles (also of extremely high energies) strike the upper atmosphere, producing cascades of particles that also result in neutrinos. Some of these neutrinos will pass through the Earth almost completely, only interacting with the final layers of Earth’s crust (or ice), where they can produce a signal that our detectors are sensitive to.

Alberto Izquierdo; courtesy of Francisco Barradas Solas

The rare events that ANITA saw were consistent with a neutrino coming up through the Earth and producing radio waves, but at energies that should be so high that passing through the Earth uninhibited should not be possible.

How many events like this did they see? Three.

Did they have to come through the Earth? No. The first two could have been normal air-shower tau neutrinos (one of the three types of neutrino allowed), while the third was probably just part of the experimental background.

In fact, there’s an extraordinary piece of evidence that disfavors them coming through the Earth: the IceCube neutrino detector exists, and if high-energy tau neutrinos are regularly passing through the Earth (and the Antarctic ice), IceCube would have definitively seen a signal. And, quite unambiguously, they have not.

Nicolle R. Fuller/NSF/IceCube

Scientifically, this means that:

  • ANITA saw radio signals that it could not explain,
  • their leading hypothesis was that high-energy tau neutrinos are traveling upwards through the Earth,
  • and that hypothesis was refuted by IceCube observations,
  • teaching us there is no astrophysical point source out there that is creating the particles that ANITA is indirectly seeing.

So where, in all of this, do the parallel Universes come in?

Because there were only three explanations for what ANITA saw: either there was an astrophysical source for these particles, there’s a flaw in their detector or their interpretation of the detector data, or something very exotic, remarkable, and beyond the Standard Model (known as CPT violation) is happening. Some very good science ruled out the first option (back in January), which means it’s almost certainly the second option. The third? Well, if our Universe cannot violate CPT, maybe this comes from a parallel Universe where CPT is reversed: an explanation that’s as unlikely as it is poorly reasoned.

E. Siegel, derivative from Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason

Remember: in science, we must always rule out all the conventional explanations that don’t involve new physics before we resort to a game-breaking explanation. Over the past decade, a number of remarkable claims have been made that have disintegrated upon further investigation. Neutrinos don’t travel faster-than-light; we haven’t found dark matter or sterile neutrinos; cold fusion isn’t real; the impossible “reactionless engine” was a failure.

There’s a remarkable story here that’s all about good science. An experiment (ANITA) saw something unexpected, and published their results. A much better experiment (IceCube) followed it up, and ruled out their leading interpretation. It strongly suggested something is amiss with the first experiment, and more science will help us uncover what’s truly occurring. For now, based on the scientific evidence we have, parallel Universes will have to remain a science fiction dream.


Send in your Ask Ethan questions to startswithabang at gmail dot com!

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