Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Fly part way. (Score 1) 177

"Wing Flying" (using air resistance on wings to gain altitude) is not a particularly efficient way to gain altitude. We do it for human transportation because the altitudes we are talking about are negligible when compared to the lateral distance we want to cover. We might fly to 10,000 feet when covering 200 miles, for example, and possibly as much as 50,000 feet to cover a thousand miles. Using wings for lift are really only practical because flights are largely about covering horizontal distance, and the wings are really about covering horizontal distance as efficiently as possible. Not to mention wings are a really cheap and handy way to control descent so the aircraft can be reused (one would hope).

But any sort of rocket is going to need to go UP over 200 miles to develop any sort of orbit. The Space Shuttle is in "Low Orbit" which is around 200-350 miles. 250 miles equates to 1,320,000 feet. Even a transcontinental flight on an airplane never reaches a significant percentage of that altitude.

To get up to escape velocity, the most efficient way up is the one in which you encounter the least atmosphere and resistance. In other words, pretty much "straight up" for as long as you can with as few drag-inducing bits sticking out of the unit as possible. When you reach an altitude were wind resistance is not an issue, you can start adjusting your horizontal speed for an orbital entry.

But you don't want to waste a lot of time noodling around in low atmosphere because you'd burn up all of your fuel in aerodynamic drag, and you'd never have enough fuel to reach escape velocity.


After Columbine, Eric Holder Advocated Internet "Restrictions" 430

ErikTheRed writes "In an audio clip discovered by NewsBusters, then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder advocated federal censorship of the Internet. This was in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. From the clip: 'The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at.'" Holder is reported to be Barack Obama's choice for Attorney General of the United States.

Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign 1601

narcberry writes "After complaints of one-sided reporting, the Washington Post checked their own articles and agreed. Obama was clearly favored, throughout his campaign, in terms of more favorable articles, less criticism, better page real-estate, more pictures, and total disregard for problems such as his drug use. 'Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics. The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that. McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, three months before Obama won his. From June 4 to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both.'"
Internet Explorer

Submission + - Internet Explorer Drops WGA Requirement (

Kelson writes: "The Internet Explorer team has updated the installer for IE7. Mostly they've adjusted a few defaults and updated their tutorials, but one change stands out: The installer no longer requires Windows Genuine Advantage validation. Almost a year after its release, IE7 has yet to overtake its predecessor. Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?"

Submission + - Money, Ron Paul & Environment: A New Look (

IConrad01 writes: "Functionalism In Action: Revising Ron Paul: Libertarianism Meets Environmentalism is a commentary by a technophile libertarian (yours truly) which attempts to make the case for a not-so-radical change within the libertarian movement: let go the pet cause of "Gold-Standard Money!" and replace it with "Energy-backed Money!""

Slashdot Top Deals

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama