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Comment Chromebooks in K-12 education (Score 1) 250

Chromebooks will be HUGE in K-12 education in the next year. Over the past year chromebooks were hard to acquire and I had to resort to ordering them in batches of 5s and 10s from various suppliers as they were backordered. The supply problem seems to be resolved as of about February and my district will be purchasing hundreds of them after July 1. Other districts in my area are as well, in total I am aware of about 4,000 chromebooks that will be purchased this Summer. More importantly I see K-12 student computer use trending in this direction. The support costs for a device like this are minimal and for most students these limited devices are sufficient.

Comment I have a bee hive in my bedroom! (Score 1) 252

I love this idea and it does work when done correctly. Imagine the ant farm you had as a kid. Now replace the ants with bees. Now make it so the whole thing doesn't die after a month. That's what you have when this is done correctly!

Like many slashdotters (apparently) I am a beekeeper. I go a step closer to this particular type of insanity though in that I construct hives similar to what this article features. Well, actually not that similar because mine actually work and this one is wrong in more than a few ways. I've constructed a few that didn't work and I've made some that do work and from my failures I can tell you that the following things are wrong with this design:
1) The hive is stationary and it is inside of your house.
Expecting the caretaker to work on the hive inside of their house is a bad idea. For this to work the hive must have the ability to be taken outside
2) Releasing calming smoke into the hive.
This is just a bad idea. In a hive as small as this smoke does little good and releasing smoke in the wrong area of the hive actually has the opposite effect.
3) Pull a cord to collect honey.
I could see this working actually, the queen will only lay eggs in cells with specific properties so having a spring or something with a cord attached to it could allow a pull of that cord to release honey to drip down. Unfortunately that drip would be covered in bees attempting to repair the damage within seconds. The larger problem is that the few cells that were damaged to retrieve this honey would not be immediately filled, it would take a few weeks to be able to pull the cord again to get honey.
5) Allow in orange light so the bees can see.
What? Seriously? The bees prefer a dark hive, no light. They communicate by scent and touch. Tinted glass allows us to see the bees, not allowing the bees to see each other. The glass isn't a problem though, bees do fine in a glass hive as long as they are not in direct sunlight and they can still find their way out of the hive by walking towards the brightest source of light they can see.

There are more problems but I can forgive the rest because this is an artistic representation of a sexy design. An observation hive in your house is great and it works well with little maintenance when done correctly and this hive may convince some to give it a try.


Submission + - Sony Suffers Third Breach, PSN Still Down (

Orome1 writes: Sony's troubles seem to have no end as the company confirms a third breach of their network and fails to set a date for the restoration of services. This last breach resulted in a theft of names, partial addresses and three unconfirmed email addresses belonging to some 2,500 contestants that participated in a sweepstakes the company organized back in 2001. And to add insult to injury, the attackers published all that information on a Sony web server.

Comment Re:Yeah i was thinking about that. (Score 1) 620

If I'm forced to make my electric vehicle loud I will do two things:
1) Play some ANNOYING sound VERY LOUD
2) Add a message which reads "Don't like what you hear? Repeal the ‘Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010’."

I bike or walk whenever I can, I detest the vehicle noise my city is drowning in.

Submission + - Was the Wheel of Fortune 'Miracle' Really a Hack? (

mattnyc99 writes: By now everyone's seen the video of Caitlin Burke's one-letter solve on Wheel of Fortune last Friday. But not everyone knows how easy it is to game the system of game shows, how easy it is for an addicted viewer to prepare for a big on-air win. Esquire writer Chris Jones pulled back the curtain a bit on the Price Is Right's perfect showcase, but now he's got something of an investigation into America's latest gamebreaker. From the article: "At a remarkably fast rate — "I wanted to show everyone what I've got," Burke says — she can cycle through her shortened lists of possibility. As more letters are guessed and either lit up or discarded, she can permanently drop those from contention, too. Her brain has a one-way valve built into it. Eventually, everything gets distilled, each puzzle boiled down to its most likely combination — two-letter words, three-letter words, and so on. Burke has trained her brain so that the impossible falls away, never to return, and eventually, out of the crowded ether, only a handful of solutions emerge."

Comment Re:Nice study, now what? (Score 1) 347

I have three Langstroth hives that I don't use foundation in. This gives the natural (vairable) cell size which I believe is beneficial. These are also some of the hives I don't treat for Varroa in since I produce treatment free honey in addition to regular honey. I think this is my last year going completely without foundation, even though I start a box with a few drawn frames as guides it takes longer for them to be filled with usable comb. I've noticed that when conditions aren't perfect the bees will still draw new comb from foundation but they will only draw new foundation when they have a strong nectar flow or they are from a recent swarm.

Comment Nice study, now what? (Score 5, Informative) 347

As a practical beekeeper I feel it is my duty to take this one step further and speculate on how to apply this finding to saving my bees. Virus transmission should be kept to a minimum, I can't think of much else to do to keep a virus like this in check. The primary vector for honeybee viruses is the varroa mite and this pest continues to be the primary killer of honeybees despite all of the hubub about this "Colony Collapse Disorder". Finding that this mite has a hand in CCD is no surprise to me. Nosema is not new to the beekeeping world although N. ceranae is a bigger problem than the tamer N. apis that we're used to dealing with. The treatment is the same though, feed Fumidil B. The bad news is that there isn't much new here so there won't be a silver bullet cure. Keep the bees healthy as best we can, that's about all I can see here.

College Student Finds GPS On Car, FBI Retrieves It 851

mngdih writes with this excerpt from Wired: "A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do. It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back ... His discovery comes in the wake of a recent ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals saying it's legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect's car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway. ... 'We have all the information we needed,' they told him. 'You don't need to call your lawyer. Don't worry, you're boring.'"
Classic Games (Games)

Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era 186

harrymcc writes "Long before the Web came along, people were playing online games — on BBSes, on services such as Prodigy and CompuServe, and elsewhere. Gaming historian Benj Edwards has rounded up a dozen RPGs, MUDs, and other fascinating curiosities from the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s — and the cool part is: they're all playable on the Web today." What old games were good enough for you to watch them scroll by on your 300 baud modem?

Comment Thanks Billy! (Score 1) 127

I agree that Billy Mitchell seemed like a villain in the movie. Without a villain there aren't heroes though, and without Billy Mitchell there wouldn't be a "King of Kong" and hardly anyone would care who holds the high score in a game from 1981. Where would professional wrestling be without guys like Billy Mitchell? I don't know, but no one would care.

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