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Bees!
pets : by Tommy - December 2nd 2007, 08:36PM
pets
After reading about them for several months and an overall curiosity in the subject, I have finally purchased some honey bees. (thus adding to my collection of rather disjointed interests.)

Rather than bore you with all the details, in short, I began reading and studying beekeeping for the past few months and found them truly fascinating. There's still alot that is unknown about the honey bee, but their behavior has been documented for centuries. Most recently is the plague of the mysterious CCD (colony collapse disorder). To help fight this, Burt's Bees is giving away free wildflower seed so you can aid the dwindling honey bee population. To read more on the art/science of beekeeping, here's the link to the Beekeeping article on Wikipedia.

For some pictures of my setup and me in a goofy hat, I've created a thread in the forums. I'll probably post future pictures in the forums, and post any updates to the project here on the main page.

update: Pictures are here.

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
As seen in spam.
humor : by Corey - November 14th 2007, 06:45PM
humor
"If your warrior of love is too small, you will lose this war."

Spam is, if anything, just as prevalent as it ever was. However, instead of the random strings of characters, someone is apparently trying to insert some humor into the equation. I received a spam message this morning with the above phrase as the subject.

Effective or not, at least it is slightly more entertaining. Post some of your favorites in the comments.

Update: "Banana Necklace Kitchen Paintbrush Rifle" - I gotta get me one of those!

( Comments : 13 | Full article )

 
Wishlists
programming : by Tommy - November 14th 2007, 01:55AM
programming
I was rolling the idea around in my head how I'd do it (database structure, features, etc.), but I was considering making a Christmas wishlist that you could log into and edit/update, etc.Sure, Amazon does wishlists, but you can only link to items sold on Amazon, what if I want something they don't carry? Yeah, how about that? So, as all real programmers do, I started coding before I had a finished concept. I didn't get too far into it before I got distracted and hassled with schoolwork.

So, I stalled out. One day, whilst on Digg, I came across this lovely site: wishlistr.com. I guess they're trying to stay with the whole Web2.0 naming convention wherein you drop the "e" from an "-er" name, ala Flickr. Anywho, the site does just what I was planning to do. You create an account and start in on your list, you can reorder the list and add/remove as you wish. (here's my list)

One notion that I'm not sure if they captured is to scan the users' URL, if it links to Amazon or some other site that gives referral bonuses (like 10% of the sale), then pass the user through your referral link transparently, therein resulting in a nice pull for your time/effort. That's the only thing lacking in their design, that and no ability to include a thumbnail of the item on your list. Otherwise it's a solid site, wish I'd thought of it sooner ...or is it spelled "soonr"?

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
Call of Duty 4
news : by Greg - November 13th 2007, 02:37PM
news
Ok, so I broke down and got a copy of CoD4, I wasn't sure about it given the BF franchise and how they did modern warfare. Well so far I've been really impressed with the game, it's a modern setting but the mechanics and feel of the game are very similar to the CoD we've all played before, in a good way. So far I've only had time for a couple of the single player missions but I plan to jump into the multiplayer laster this week. The graphics are amazing and I'm sure they'd look even better with a high end vid card. I think I've finally found a modern era shooter I enjoy.

( Comments : 4 | Full article )

 
Finally! A Cell Signal!
radio : by Paul - November 10th 2007, 12:43AM
radio
When I bought my new house in April, one of the most annoying things I discovered was that I got virtually zero cell service inside the house. The house is down in a valley and thus has no good line-of-sight to any cell towers. Inside the house I'd get 0-1 bar, and outside on the front lawn I'd occasionally get 2.

To try and remedy this situation, I had two choices: get a landline (with yet another phone number and at least $20/mo) or I could go with a "smarter" solution and get a cell repeater/booster. I found this gem after doing some research online: the YX510 dual-band cell repeater.

So for just over $300 I got this fairly large box containing an 18" external antenna, 35' of high-grade coax cable, and a chunky little box for inside with a little 6" antenna.

I went up on the roof of the house and found that I got 4 bars near the back of the house. So I mounted the external antenna at the top of an 8' 2x4 that I strapped to the side of the house. Then I ran the provided coax around the house into the attic, where I mounted the interior box.

I should note that I took care to put as many physical barriers as possible between the interior and exterior antennas, to prevent feedback loops. In my case, I was able to get 2 sets of shingles and 3 walls in between the antennas.

Finally, I found a good place to plug in the provided wall-wart, then spliced in an extension into the power cable (the provided one was only 4' long). Then I plugged the base unit in, and voila! I now get 4-5 bars all over the house. No more dropped calls, no more "are you there?" when talking to somebody.

Continue reading...

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
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