Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Using Nanotechnology To Build Thinner, Stronger Condoms 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-it-better dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Discovery Magazine reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted $100,000 to Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) to develop a nanoparticle coating for condoms that will make them more comfortable and stronger while simultaneously keeping them thin to preserve – and increase – sensation in order to make them more appealing to use. According to the Gates Foundation, in the time that condoms have been in use, not much has changed: '[Condoms] have undergone very little technological improvement in the past 50 years. The primary improvement has been the use of latex as the primary material and quality-control measures, which allow for quality testing of each individual condom. Material science and our understanding of neurobiology has undergone revolutionary transformation in the last decade, yet that knowledge has not been applied to improve the product attributes of one of the most ubiquitous and potentially underutilized products on earth.' The nanotechnology that the Boston doctors intend to use for their improved condoms will be superhydrophillic nanoparticles that coat the condom and trap water to make them more resilient and easier to use. 'We believe that by altering the mechanical forces experienced by the condom, we may ultimately be able to make a thinner condom which reduces friction, thereby reducing discomfort associated with friction increases pleasure, thereby increasing condom use and decreases rates of unwanted pregnancy and infection transmission.'"

First Bay Trail Windows 8.1 Convertible To Start At $349 151

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-not-half-bad dept.
crookedvulture writes "Bay Trail has its first convertible design win. Intel's newest SoC will be available in Asus' Transformer Book T100, which combines a 10.1" Windows 8.1 tablet with a keyboard dock that includes a gesture-friendly touchpad and USB 3.0 connectivity. The tablet is powered by an Atom Z3740 processor with quad cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz—600MHz slower than the Z3770 chip benchmarked by the press. The screen has a relatively low 1366x768 resolution, but at least the IPS panel delivers wide viewing angles. Asus clearly intends the T100 to be an entry level device; the 32GB version is slated to sell for just $349, and the 64GB one will cost only 50 bucks more. Those prices include the keyboard dock and a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. They also bring Windows 8 convertibles down to truly budget territory, completing the collision between tablets and netbooks."

Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-still-want-my-jet-pack dept.
MistrX writes "The Dutch company PAL-V completed its first series of test flights with its flying car, the PAL-V One, successfully. The PAL-V One flies like a gyrocopter, with a minimal runway length of 165 meters, and drives around like a trike on the road. Furthermore it offers 2 passengers a maximum speed of 180km/h both on land and in the air. The company aims with the PAL-V One at usage within the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, because private flying is more commonplace."

Tennessee Passes Bill That Allows "Teaching the Controversy" of Evolution 1108

Posted by samzenpus
from the inherit-the-wind-II dept.
Layzej writes "The Tennessee Senate has passed a bill that allows teachers to 'teach the controversy' on evolution, global warming and other scientific subjects. Critics have called it a 'monkey bill' that promotes creationism in classrooms. In a statement sent to legislators, eight members of the National Academy of Science said that, in practice, the bill will likely lead to 'scientifically unwarranted criticisms of evolution.' and that 'By undermining the teaching of evolution in Tennessee's public schools, HB368 and SB893 would miseducate students, harm the state's national reputation, and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy.'"

Nomad Planets: Stepping Stones To Interstellar Space? 244

Posted by Soulskill
from the cold-dark-rocks-make-good-stepping-stones dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ian O'Neill suggests in an opinion piece at Al Jazeera that brown dwarves and nomad planets (planets not orbiting any star) could be a much needed stepping stone on our way to foreign stars. Quoting the article: 'In February, a fascinating paper was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society detailing calculations on how many "nomad planets" the Milky Way must contain after estimating our galaxy's mass from how much gravity it exerts on surrounding space. Scientists from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) had uncovered something surprising — there are likely many more planets in the Milky Way than stars. ... Louis Strigari and his Kavli team calculated that there must be 100,000 planets for every star in the Milky Way (PDF). That's a lot of planets! But how can this be? Every star can't have tens of thousands of planets ranging from Pluto-sized to Jupiter-sized. This planetary "excess" actually suggests the existence of planets that were born without a star — nomad planets. ... we need all the help we can get if we are to venture to another star, so these ultracool brown dwarfs could become much-needed "stepping stones" for future starships to refuel on their light-years of journey time. There may be the possibility that these sub-stellar objects may even become more desirable targets for interstellar travellers. After all, there may be dozens of these invisible objects between here and Proxima just waiting to be uncovered by the sophisticated infrared telescopes of the future; they'd certainly make for more accessible scientific curiosities.'"

Tenative Ruling Against Kaleidescape in DVD CCA Case 150

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the your-license-means-what-we-say-it-means dept.
An anonymous reader wrote in with an update in the long drawn out legal proceedings between the DVD CCA and Kaleidescape, a manufacturer of a video jukeboxes. Despite a victory by Kaleidescape in 2007, they ended up back in court in November 2011. The DVD CCA insisted that ripping a DVD was in violation of the license granted to Kaleidescape; Kaleidescape disagreed since their jukebox made a bit-for-bit copy of the disc rather than first decrypting the contents. Unfortunately, in a preliminary ruling, the court agrees with the DVD CCA. Kaleidescape has released a statement.

DNA-Less 'Red Rain' Cells Reproduce At 121 C 149

Posted by timothy
from the that-beats-most-hot-tubs dept.
eldavojohn writes "A new paper up for prepublication from the controversial solid-state physicist Godfrey Louis claims that the cells Louis collected from a Keralan red rain incident divide and produce daughter cells at 121 degrees Celsius. While unusual, this is not unheard of as the paper recalls cells cultivated from hydrothermal vents are known to reproduce at 121 C as well. Of course, caution is exercised when dealing with the possible explanation surrounding the theory of panspermia but the MIT Technology Review says researchers 'examined the way these fluoresce when bombarded with light and say it is remarkably similar to various unexplained emission spectra seen in various parts of the galaxy. One such place is the Red Rectangle, a cloud of dust and gas around a young star in the Monocerous constellation.'"

Researchers Create 4nm Transistor With Seven Atoms 120

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the xanthir-has-almost-70k-hp dept.
EmagGeek writes "University researchers have created a transistor by replacing just seven atoms of silicon with phosphorous. The seven-atom transistor has hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications. 'The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope,' says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled 'Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots'."

Design Starting For Matter-Antimatter Collider 191

Posted by samzenpus
from the dump-the-warp-core dept.
couch_warrior writes "The Register is carrying a story on the early design efforts for the next generation of high-energy particle accelerators. They will be linear, and will collide matter and antimatter in the form of electrons and positrons. The obvious question will be: once we have a matter-antimatter reactor, how long till we have warp drive, and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?"

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan