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Submission + - Patriot Missile shoots down $300 quadcopter drone (bbc.co.uk)

maroberts writes: In a stunning display of the capability of Patriot or a demonstration of massive overkill, depending on your point of view, a US ally has used a Patriot missile to successfully shoot down a quadcopter drone, reports BBC News

The party responsible was described by Gen Perkins, a United States General with responsibility for training, as "a very close ally", leaving it up to the general public to guess which of the 12 allies using Patriot batteries would commit such an awesome demonstration of asymmetric warfare.

Submission + - Electromagnetic Propulsion Engine may give us Star Trek Impulse Drive (telegraph.co.uk)

maroberts writes: The Telegraph reports that NASA and other bodies have confirmed that an Electromagnetic Propulsion Drive (EM Drive) invented by a British scientist, Roger Shawyer, actually does deliver on its claims and is likely to provide an engine capable of Earth to Moon transport in 4 hours and Earth to Pluto flight in 18 months. It even brings into possible reality the prospect of interstellar flight, although at 100 years to the closest star, I wouldn't be booking your seats just yet.
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?

Submission + - Do you want to play a wee game? (bbc.co.uk)

maroberts writes: "No, the spelling isn't a mistake; you can now play games when you're in the toilet/ john/ bathroom (delete as applicable). The only question is whether a large "joystick" or a small one makes a better game controller....."
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!)

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