A Third of the Nation’s Honeybee Colonies Died Last Year

A third of the honeybees in the United States were lost over the last year, part of a decade-long die-off experts said may threaten our food supply. USA Today reports: The annual survey of roughly 5,000 beekeepers showed the 33% dip from April 2016 to April 2017. The decrease is small compared to the survey’s previous 10 years, when the decrease hovered at roughly 40%. From 2012 to 2013, nearly half of the nation’s colonies died. The death of a colony doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of bees, explains vanEngelsdorp, a project director at the Bee Informed Partnership. A beekeeper can salvage a dead colony, but doing so comes at labor and productivity costs. That causes beekeepers to charge farmers more for pollinating crops and creates a scarcity of bees available for pollination. It’s a trend that threatens beekeepers trying to make a living and could lead to a drop-off in fruits and nuts reliant on pollination, vanEngelsdor said. So what’s killing the honeybees? Parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, and pesticides among many others. The chief killer is the varroa mite, a “lethal parasite,” which researchers said spreads among colonies.

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Oracle Named Database of the Year, MongoDB Comes In Second

An anonymous reader writes: Oracle’s database management system has seen the biggest rise in terms of popularity in the past year. Oracle didn’t only see a rise in the number of deployed instances, job offerings and mentions on LinkedIn profiles, but for the first time also became a popular topic on Twitter and a constant mention on StackOverflow, a popular Q&A support forum for developers. Second on DB-Engine’s popularity list was MongoDB, which barely missed winning the DBMS of the Year award for the third time in a row.

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Four Year Sentence For Running Piracy Streaming Site

An anonymous reader writes: A 29-year-old man from Northern Ireland has been sentenced to two years in jail and another two “on license” for running a website from his bedroom that streamed pirated content. (Being on license is similar to a strict parole in the U.S.) Police say the man made over £280,000 from ads on the site . Law enforcement was put on the case by an anti-piracy group in the UK. Between 2008 and 2013, users of the site streamed approximately 12 million movies, which prosecutors say caused £12 million in damages. The judge in the case said time in jail was necessary “to show that behavior of this nature does not go unpunished.”

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“Father Time” Gets Another Year At NTP From Linux Foundation

dkatana writes: Harlan Stenn, Father Time to some and beleaguered maintainer of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to others, will stay working for the NTP another year. But there is concern that support will decline as more people believe that NTP works just fine and doesn’t need any supervision. NTP is the preeminent time synchronization system for Macs, Windows, and Linux computers and most servers on networks. According to IW, for the last three-and-a-half years, Stenn said he’s worked 100-plus hours a week answering emails, accepting patches, rewriting patches to work across multiple operating systems, piecing together new releases, and administering the NTP mailing list. If NTP should get hacked or for some reason stop functioning, hundreds of thousands of systems would feel the consequences. “If that happened, all the critics would say, ‘See, you can’t trust open source code,'” said Stenn.

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Legal Scholars Warn Against 10 Year Prison For Online Pirates

An anonymous reader writes: The UK Government wants to increase the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement from two years to ten. A number legal experts and activists are pushing back against the plan. One such group, The British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA) has concluded that changes to the current law are not needed. “legitimate means to tackle large-scale commercial scale online copyright infringement are already available and currently being used, and the suggested sentence of 10 years seems disproportionate,” the group writes.

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Off-Grid Home Ecocapsule To Hit the Market This Year

Kristine Lofgren writes: If you dream of living totally off-the-grid anywhere in the world, you need to get your hands on this home. Nice Architects just unveiled their incredible egg-shaped Ecocapsule, and announced that the tiny solar and wind-powered dwelling will be available for sale later this year, with units shipping in spring 2016. From the website: “Despite its small form each Ecocapsule is fitted with all essentials necessary for a comfortable prolonged stay without a need to recharge or re-supply. Ecocapsule is powered by a built-in wind turbine complemented with an array of solar cells. Dual power system and a high-capacity battery ensures that you will have enough power during periods of reduced solar or wind activity. Spherical shape is optimized for the collection of rainwater and dew and the built-in water filters allow you to utilize any water source.

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'Thrift Shop' Star Wanz Returns To Software Testing Job After 'Surreal' Year On Tour With Macklemore

The last three years have been a whirlwind for Wansley, and much of it a musician’s dream come true. It started inside a recording studio, where Macklemore and Lewis invited Wansley to record the “Thrift Shop” chorus one fateful evening in Seattle. The entire session took 45 minutes, and the rest, well, is history.
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In Windows 10, Ad-Free Solitaire Will Cost You $10 — Every Year

Wired UK reports that the pre-installed Solitaire on Windows 10 capitalizes on the long-cultivated addiction that some users have to the game with an interesting bargain: rather than being an ordinary included application like it used to be, what may be the world’s most pervasive on-screen office time-sink of a game now comes with ads, unless a user wants to pay (by the month, or by the year) to remove those ads. Notes the linked piece: “To be entirely fair, this is the same as on the Windows 8 version, which wasn’t installed by default but could be downloaded from the Windows Store.”

At $ 1.49/month or $ 10/year, this might be enough to drive some people who otherwise would not to check out some of the free, open-source games out there; PySolitaire is one of many in this incomplete list.

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