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Science

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Was Sandy good for New York and the people? 4

maroberts writes: Whilst sadly more than 40 people have died as a result of Storm Sandy, my colleagues and I are debating whether the storm is actually beneficial in terms of employment and mortality rate. For instance, we argue that deaths from murders and traffic incidents will be way down, as will injuries from the same.

Similarly all the renovation work will be a source of jobs for less skilled manual workers, and we will genuinely witness income flowing from rich to poor. Insurance companies will pay out, reducing their dividends.

So overall, should the US be wishing for more or less bad weather?
Crime

Submission + - Violent Games reduce levels of Crime

maroberts writes: According to this paper produced from a collaboration between the University of Texas and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), violent video games may induce aggressive behavior, but the incapacitation effect outweighs this and produces a genuine reduction in violent crime. This paper was referenced in aBBC news story giving reasons why the US crime rates are falling (at least outside the prisons!)
Security

Submission + - MI5, British spy agency searches for real-life `Q' (yahoo.com)

suraj.sun writes: LONDON — He was James Bond's go-to guy for inventions that included dagger-embedded shoes, radioactive lint and a deadly sofa that swallowed people. Now, Britain's domestic spy agency — MI5 — is hunting for its very own "Q," of sorts.

MI6's sister organization, which carries out surveillance on terror suspects inside Britain and gives security advice to the government, is searching for someone to lead its scientific work. Projects could include everything from developing counterterrorism technology to tackling a biological or chemical attack.

"Looking for a chief scientific adviser to lead and coordinate the scientific work of the security service so that the service continues to be supported by excellent science and technology advice," MI5's Web site ad reads.

MI5 has long had a roster of scientific staff tasked with developing high-tech gadgets, but an official said the service now wants a high-profile figure to lead pioneering work in technology and science.

The adviser's work will focus chiefly on creating sophisticated new tools to help security service officers carry out surveillance and analysis work, said a government security official, who requested anonymity to discuss the work of MI5.

Y! News : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090418/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_quest_for_q

Programming

Submission + - 4kb ought to be enough for everyone (vizworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Vizworld.com writes about 'A spectacular youtube video making the rounds this week of some fantastic showy mountainous terrain. What you may not know is that this is completely CG scenery, created in a mere 4 kilobytes of code.' This 4kb intro was released this month by Rgba and TBC at the German demo party Breakpoint 2009 and not surprisingly won the 4kb intro competition. The file can be downloaded from Pouët.net http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=52938 (optimized for newer GPUs like 8800gtx or hd4850 according to the coder. Virus warnings are false positives caused by dynamic packing). Those with low end GPUs can watch it on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YWMGuh15nE

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