An anonymous reader writes "Water has always been the bane of electronics, however American company Liquipel just announced that they have developed a way to completely waterproof any device against the elements. Using a revolutionary process, Liquipel applies a hydrophobic nanocoating to phones, computers, and other devices that completely waterproofs them and protects them against accidental exposure to liquids."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader writes "CNN is running an opinion article that talks about Michael Bloomberg's taking part in CodeAdacemy's CodeYear program, which aims to teach average people to learn enough to work as a Software Developer by year end. I'm trying to not be elitist in judging this article and those involved, but I'm curious as to what /. thinks of this questionable plan."
mspohr writes "On Thursday, Google launched Android Design, a website created specifically to help aid developers in the creation of applications for ICS. The site offers a comprehensive visual to third-party application developers, giving suggestions on everything from how to implement different visual elements to overall back-end patterns for the OS itself. In theory, it will help developers better understand just how the Android team thinks about layout and implementation, while simultaneously giving suggestions to interaction designers on how to maintain visual integrity. Basically, it will help both first-time developers and Android veterans make apps look less crappy. 'We haven't really had a style guide,' Duarte says. 'We haven't really given you a lot of guidance on how to migrate your application from a phone, perhaps, to a tablet. We've done so only by example.'"
Zothecula writes "We may be closer to the day when United States Marines will, within a matter of minutes, use a handheld app to summon robotic helicopters to deliver battlefield supplies. On Tuesday, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced its five-year, US$98 million Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) program, with the specific aim of developing 'sensors and control technologies for robotic vertical take-off and landing aircraft.'" Last month we covered NATO's robotic helicopter, the K-MAX.
Hugh Pickens writes "Chad Brooks reports that a steady stream of research over the past year reveals that Americans aren't taking vacations and it's because they are afraid to take time off from work for fear of appearing less than dedicated to their employer with one survey showing that 70 percent of employees said they weren't using all their earned vacation days in 2011. 'You have this kind of fear of not wanting to be seen as a slacker,' says John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time, an organization focused on challenging the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine facing society. De Graaf adds that while some companies are good about encouraging employees to use earned time off, there also are some that aren't worried about the potential repercussions that may come from that nose-to-the-grindstone approach. 'They think, "If I burn someone out, I can always find someone else,"' says de Graaf. 'They think [employees] are expendable.' Even when they do take vacation, research shows many employees aren't leaving their work behind. In one study, 66 percent of surveyed employees said they would check and respond to email during their time off, and 29 percent expect to attend meetings virtually while on vacation. De Graaf is not optimistic anything will ever get done to free employees of their fear of taking time off. 'This is the only wealthy country in the world that does not guarantee any paid vacation time,' says de Graaf. 'Every other country understands that this makes people healthier and creates a better workforce.'"
An anonymous reader writes "FreeBSD 9.0 has been released. A few highlights include: A new installer, bsdinstall(8) has been added and is the installer used by the ISO images provided as part of this release, The Fast Filesystem now supports softupdates journaling, and Kernel support for Capsicum Capability Mode, an experimental set of features for sandboxing support."
alphadogg writes "Google, joining forces with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, has announced the 2012 Google Science Fair, an online competition open to 13-to-18-year-olds around the world. Prizes include a $50,000 college scholarship, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands and more. Judges include Google VP and Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf, CERN Director Steve Myers, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and others."
Lucas123 writes "IBM researchers say they've been able to shrink the number of iron atoms it takes to store a bit of data from about one million to 12, which could pave the way for storage devices with capacities that are orders of magnitude greater than today's devices. Andreas Heinrich, who led the IBM Research team on the project for five years, said the team used the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope and unconventional antiferromagnetism to change the bits from zeros to ones. By combining 96 of the atoms, the researchers were able to create bytes — spelling out the word THINK. That solved a theoretical problem of how few atoms it could take to store a bit; now comes the engineering challenge: how to make a mass storage device perform the same feat as scanning tunneling microscope."
itwbennett writes "The Consumer Electronics Association stopped letting actual consumers attend the gadget extravaganza years ago, but even so, plenty of attendees can't exactly be described 'industry affiliates'. IDG News Service turned up a motorcycle stuntman, a restorer of 8-track tapes, and a lot of folks who were there just for fun."
NicknamesAreStupid writes "Over the past twenty years, car theft has declined as new models incorporated electronic security methods that thwarted simple hot-wiring. The tide may now be turning, as cars become the next Windows PC. The Center for Automobile Embedded Systems Security has posted an interesting paper from UCSD and UW that describes how modern cars can be cracked (PDF). Unlike the old days of window jimmies, these exploits range from attacks through the CD or iPod port to cellular attacks that take inventory of thousands of cars and offer roaming thieves Yelp-like choices ('our favorite is mint green with leather') with unlocked doors and running engines."
adeelarshad82 writes "Eric Schmidt took issue with the idea that the Android mobile operating system is fragmented, arguing that it's a differentiation between devices rather than a fragmentation. The difference, as he explains it, is that differentiation means manufacturers have a choice, they're going to compete on their view of innovation, and try to convince consumers that their innovation is better than somebody elses whereas fragmentation is quite the opposite. Not surprisingly, some company analysts beg to differ, pointing out the ever increasing incompatibilities between OS and apps across different Android devices and other problems with Android."
ananyo writes "Adding to its already long roster of firsts, NASA's Kepler spacecraft has found the three smallest extrasolar planets ever detected — all of them smaller than Earth, and the most diminutive no larger than Mars. The newly discovered trio forms a miniature planetary system orbiting a cool, dim red dwarf star called KOI-961. Because they are so close to their star, the three exoplanets are too hot to support life. But unlike most previously known exoplanets, the vast majority of which are Jupiter-scale gas giants, all three are thought to be rocky worlds like Earth and the other worlds of the inner Solar System."
snydeq writes "Canonical CEO Jane Silber discusses the Ubuntu maker's ambitions in the mobile market, saying there is plenty of room for a new player in tablets, TVs, and maybe even smartphones. 'There is a real demand for an alternative platform. We believe Ubuntu has all the characteristics that are needed to become that platform,' Silber says, adding that she expects to see Ubuntu on tablets later this year. 'And we think we can do that effectively because of characteristics of Ubuntu as a platform, industry dynamics, and an increased wariness around the walled gardens of Apple and to some extent Google and even Amazon, as they are increasingly in this game as well.' Silber cites openness, open governance, collaboration, and a strong developer ecosystem as key for Ubuntu as a tablet platform, when compared with Android and iOS."
Back in May, we heard about Qualcomm's plans to hammer out details for an X PRIZE competition to invent a Star Trek-style tricorder. Now, reader Sven-Erik sends word that the requirements have been finalized and the competition has launched. "As envisioned for this competition, the device will be a tool capable of capturing key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases. Metrics for health could include such elements as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Ultimately, this tool will collect large volumes of data from ongoing measurement of health states through a combination of wireless sensors, imaging technologies, and portable, non-invasive laboratory replacements. Given that each team will take its own approach to design and functionality, the device's physical appearance and functionality may vary immensely from team to team. Indeed, the only stated limit on form is that the mass of its components together must be no greater than five pounds."
PerlJedi writes "InformationWeek reports that LG is the latest in a string of companies who have been bullied into paying 'license fees' to Microsoft for the use of Android on their products. 'Microsoft said the deal with LG means that 70% of Android-based smartphones sold in the U.S. are now covered by its licensing program. ... Microsoft does not disclose how much revenue it's obtaining from Android, Chrome, and Linux licenses, but some analysts believe it may be substantial, to the point where the company is making significant profits from the mobile revolution even though its own offering, Windows Phone, commands a market share of less than 2%, according to Gartner.'"