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Comment Railgun Power Scramjet? (Score -1) 615

I thought someone might have mentioned this by now, but what about a railgun-assisted scramjet engine?

A scramjet engine only becomes effective at mach 5, which is practically impossible to achieve with traditional jet engines, but well within reach of the mach 8 velocities of these new railguns.

Of course, then you're opening the door for ubercruise missles that go from 0 to mach 25 in a fraction of the time it takes now.(Before they melt, of course.)

Submission + - Last-Minute Senate Amendment to appease RIAA

Rodrigo writes: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has found the time to forget about fighting that pesty Iraq War and focus on the issues that really matter: making the influence of the RIAA and MPAA a mainstay in our college campuses. The EFF has put a call to arms against the proposed Senate amendment to the Higher Education Act. The amendment aims to force certain schools to police their network or risk losing federal funding for student aid. Naturally, this policing will come at the school's expense and through "technology-based deterrents," which raise privacy concerns. Please call your representatives and make sure they know what they're voting for under Senate Amendment 2314.

Submission + - MS Patents Offline Economies for Digital Media (freepatentsonline.com)

morlock_man writes: "Microsoft has patented a novel platform for building off-line markets for digital content. The key technology enables an arbitrary user of specific digital content to resell their purchased media to other users in an off-line P2P manner so that part of the proceeds goes to content's copyright holder. More importantly, one part of the revenues is retained by the seller as an incentive for participating in the distributed economy. (United States Patent 20070136608)"

Submission + - Microsoft Patents Digital Money (blogspot.com)

morlock_man writes: "Microsoft has sucessfully patented a sharable digital media economy that would allow the average consumer to buy and sell digital media. United States Patent 20070136608: Off-line economies for digital media Having finally secured a patent for money, the root of all evil, Bill Gates can rest easy with the knowledge that Microsoft is truly, and for all time, the Evil Empire."

Submission + - Whistle Blowing on SOX Violations

An anonymous reader writes: Hello slashdotters,
I work in an IT division in a major US based investment firm. It has recently come to my attention that my organization is regularly and intentionally lying to/decieving our internal auditors, as well as those from the SEC, in regards to several articles of the sarbanes oxley act, most blatantly the ones concerning electronic mail/messages.

The real problem is that everyone (right up to the CIO) is aware of it, yet they all seem content with the lies. Without getting into specifics, the auditors have little understanding of technology and blindly accept what they are told, even though it is far from the truth.

While [I hope] it hasn't lead to anything as terrible as Enron [yet?], it still doesn't sit right with me, but I am not sure what would be the best course of action.

I realize my employment would most likely be terminated for alerting the SEC, but what rights [if any] does a virtual whistle blower have these days? Would this brand me for life hindering future employment?
Input Devices

Submission + - One eReader Per Child?

morlock_man writes: "Why is there a big push towards providing laptop-style access for children in developing countries? It seems to be overkill to be putting such a high power draw device in the hands of children. An eReader style interface with touch capabilities would seem better suited to the task. Textbooks could be uploaded to the device instead of printed. Notes could be taken directly on the device. Homework could be completed and passed in through the device. The benefits of moving to a low power paperless classroom would help pay for the system in terms of it's environmental impact, besides providing easier access to educational materials. And if it were possible to incorporate a solar cell behind the eReader's e-ink screen, the device could recharge itself while being used. This would be a significant improvement over the high power requirements currently envisioned by the OLPC concept."

Submission + - Canadian Non-Profit Public DRM breaks the Mold

morlock_man writes: "A new Digital Rights Management system may soon be available to Independent Artists worldwide interested in selling their artwork from their own websites. Being based in Canada, the company is exempt from royalties in regards to American patents. As such service can be offered with an infinitesimal overhead cost in comparison. The company is planning on using DRM as a delivery system, with the ability to export DRM-Free versions of purchased media to ensure cross-platform compatibility. Read more."

Submission + - How DRM can save your local Music Store

morlock_man writes: "Music stores have traditionally been repositories for older formats of media as well as featuring new artists. Using these new distribution formats, these stores can now stock over 10 times as many artists in the same volume of space. And where a customer would previously purchase 1 album for $20, the can now purchase 10 full compilation albums for preview at the same price. Full article."

Submission + - The Reg: Windows Media Player smokes Weed

morlock_man writes: "From the Register: A music-sharing site popular with small and independent artists is suspending operations because of incompatibilities with Microsoft's latest version of Windows Media Player. Weedshare, home to 10,000 musicians and 100,000 tracks, will go offline next week after four years because Windows Media Player 11 does not play music files that have been updated to enable operators to charge consumers." Read the full article."

Submission + - Microsoft Unlevels the Playing Field

morlock_man writes: "I'm a former content provider for Shared Media Licensing Inc. I have since cut my ties with this agency. Since the rollout of the Zune distribution model and the release of Vista, it has become obvious to a number of us (ICPs) that Microsoft is attempting to close down the Weedshare network in favor of it's own network. It was recently announced that Shared Media would be disabling its licensing system as of April 9th, 2007. This closure will mean the end of a fair and equal distribution system. Under this system independent artists need no longer deal directly with record labels to profit from their work and consumers were given the ability to trade media at a profit for themselves. This closure represents the end of the world's first digital media marketplace where everyone existed on a level playing field. Disabling this format is an attempt by Microsoft to gain a monopoly over the patent that allows this form of distribution to take place. An online petition is available for signers, and a more detailed information regarding what is taking place is available at the Digital Dark Age blog."

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