Manure powers UK

Chicken manure to help power U.K. homes

Source (Cnet)

The picturesque Cotswolds of England will soon be using those lovely animals dotting its hillsides to provide power to some of its homes.

A turnkey biogas station made by Alfagy plans to convert agricultural waste, including both feedstock and manure, into electricity.

The plant, which is scheduled to open November 1, is located on the southern outskirts of Cirencester, an ancient Cotswolds town famous for being a thriving mercantile city during the Roman Empire. But Alfagy says the station could reduce at least two of the area’s current imports by using what its people have on hand.

While there have been several projects over the years looking at cow manure as an energy source, this Alfagy plant will use the manure of smaller farm animals, as well as agricultural feedstock.

Participating farmers will deliver corn, wheat, agricultural-plant waste, chicken litter, and pig manure to the station. The farmers will be paid for the biomass and also receive heat for their animal barns, grain-drying bins, and homes.

The agricultural waste is converted into biogas in an anaerobic digester. The station will use a combined heat and power (CHP) system in which one 260-kilowatt CHP unit can perform at a 42.9 percent electrical efficiency, according to Alfagy.

The station is expected to produce about 1 megawatt of electricity per year, enough to power about 350 Cotswolds homes (Cirencester’s population is about 19,000). The station will also create digestate fertilizer.

“This ‘digestate’ is a powerful fertilizer that decreases the average fertilizer costs by up to 100 percent, which is a major cost to farmers and the environment. Normal fertilizer production uses large amounts of fossil fuel [and emits] significant quantities of carbon dioxide, and the finished product is transported over great distances to farmers. Whereas [if] the fertilizer is produced locally at the power plant, there is no necessity in importing it from the U.S.,” Alfagy said in a statement.

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Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying – not just a school problem

Social networking is a modern phenomenon that can enrich communication and build friendships globally that were unimaginable 20 years ago – let alone the growing impact for business. But it has a dark potential.

I was told recently by a Headteacher of a large secondary school that whilst social networking was largely under control at school, it was the misuse at home (or out of school) that caused the most upset during school. Hours were spent trying to investigate comments and claims involving incidents that rarely occurred or began during school hours. Controlling this serious form of so called cyber bullying when it’s enacted over the Ethernet, as cowardly as ever, with the bullies hiding behind cruel lies, insinuation and gossip against their helpless victims is not easy

How can we prevent this long lasting damage before the legacy is left to fester on its victims?  It’s not possible to stop it all, but like traditional bullying, awareness and effort will go a long way.  Involving and raising understanding with parents is more than ever a key requirement. 

Bullies need to be shown how and what impact their actions have, innocent or not.  Parents must take responsibility for actions and not rely on the school to discover and solve the bullying.

Support of parents, teachers and friends by following the wealth of advice is all part of reducing this social crime.

There is loads of good advice to circulate and read by clicking on the links below and making the first step to helping a victim feel less alone and afraid by something they feel is beyond support.

Looking for free stuff online can be Dangerous

Source ( CNET News )

 Source ( McAfee )

It’s common knowledge that you can catch computer viruses on porn Web sites. But did you know it’s also risky to surf the Web searching for free movies or music?

A study from McAfee to be released on Tuesday finds that adding the word “free” when looking for entertainment content in search engines greatly increases the chances of landing on a site hosting malware.

For instance, searching for free music ringtones increases the chances of hitting a malicious site by 300 percent, according to the report, “Digital Music & Movies Report: The True Cost of Free Entertainment.”

Searching for “lyrics” for a particular artist is twice as risky on average as searching for “ringtones” for the same artist for the first five pages of results, the report found.

And including the term “MP3” increases the riskiness of music searches in general. There has been a 40 percent increase in the number of Web sites that are delivering infected MP3 files or that seem to be built for purposes of financial fraud or delivering malware, according to the report.

Meanwhile, McAfee found malware associated with a number of Web sites around the world advertising free downloads of sports games, movies, and TV shows.

Twelve percent of sites that distribute unauthorized content are distributing malware, and 7 percent of sites offering unauthorized content have associations with cybercrime organizations, the report concluded.

“The sites often look very professional and attempt to lure the user with the idea of a ‘trial period’ or even some nominal fee that is much less than what may ultimately be charged,” the report says. “Once the user agrees, they have to authorize their computer to access and interact with computers that are involved in a wide range of schemes–from money laundering to stealing credentials such as user names and passwords. In addition, with this access, your computer is profiled–with all of its software versions, user agents, and any other date–and this information can be provided to third parties for malicious purposes. (This is often called ‘fingerprinting.’)”

To reduce the chances of landing on malicious sites, McAfee recommends avoiding the use of the word “free” in searches for entertainment content, avoiding clicking on links in banner ads on content sites that aren’t well established, not clicking on links posted in forums and on fan pages, keeping security software up to date, and using safe search plug-ins like McAfee Site Advisor that warns of potentially risky sites.

Also pay for the content you want from reliable sources itunes is a good one to start you can find music and films on there and they are not over priced.

How many ways can you use a ceiling mounted projector and screen in a school hall?

One of the biggest impacts that I’ve seen technology make on a school this year is the installation of a simple but powerful projector and electric screen in the school hall.

The hardware depends on the size of the hall but the application is similar for Secondary and Primary schools. We usually do a demonstration on completing the install and I love to see the faces of the staff as its potential begins to dawn. The gasps and smiles alone as the electric screen descends almost make it worthwhile. (I even had a round of applause from a hall full of children seeing it for the first time – we hadn’t even switched the projector on!)The sound system has got to be good and blowing the roof off is often the aim.

The installation must result in easy use for the staff and (dare I suggest) pupils and so complicated mixer desks and permanent connections are out.So imagine a multi media cabinet with high quality components that can be wheeled in and out of the hall. Put in a mixture of hardware

  • CD and/or tape player for assemblies, discos, dance
  • A DVD for showing cinema style to more than one class
  • PC or laptop for powerpoints to governors, parents or classes
  • Visualiser for quickly displaying hymns or ‘Top work’ to the whole school
  • School plays might need a microphone and backdrop
  • A Wii for use in Breakfast Clubs and after school clubs
  • etc
  • As the teachers begin to discuss and see the impact that this presentation system can have on learning we soon see it used every minute of the day. Now we need a solution for the booking sheet!What do you use yours for?please leave your comments here

    What we recommend from a supplier:

    High lumen projector, Automatic Screen, Lockable AV cupboard, AV equipment, High quality audio system,Projector security, Education aware installation, training session for staffSolutions from under £2000 at or

    ‘Free schools’ likely to remain tiny minority

    Source; (Mike Baker)
    Michael Gove tried to sound upbeat about his prediction that some 16 ‘free’ schools will open over the coming year.
    Opponents have rightly pointed out that this falls far short of the earlier rhetoric. It also raises serious questions about the programmes that have been cut to release money for this experimental policy. Read more of this post

    What really sets the FizzBook Spin 10.1 apart from all the rest

    What really sets the FizzBook Spin 10.1 apart from all the rest is its endless functionality in the classroom. If you buy enough (currently 18) SMART have licensed a range of their best selling classroom packages to be included and pre installed.

    Imagine creating the lesson framework in Word or Notebook that you send out over Wi-fi to all the FizzBooks in the classroom. Read more of this post

    The Fizzbook Spin

    The Fizzbook Spin was always going to be a hit with teachers and particularly pupils – water and drop resistant, versatility as a laptop, eBook or tablet and with the best classroom software suite ever seen for a classroom.

    The latest version FizzBook Spin 10.1 eliminates all of the remaining concerns. The price is reasonable and starts at £369 up to about £489 for the professional version with a 3 year warranty ( Read more of this post

    After-school clubs too expensive, poll suggests


    Nearly two-thirds of UK parents cannot afford after-school activities for their children, a poll suggests.

    This rises to nearly three-quarters of those parents below the poverty line, the online poll of 854 parents for Save the Children indicated. Read more of this post

    ViewSonic Europe has announced the launch of five new projectors in its already extensive projector range, directly targeting the education and training sectors

    (Source: hexus)

    The interactive PJD7383i and the PJD7583wi negate the need for costly interactive white boards as teachers are able to write directly onto the projected image with the included interactive pen without the need for alignment or calibrationAn additional teacher-friendly feature is evident in the 7 Series’ “short throw” projection, allowing 80-inch images to be projected from less than one metre away. This will put an end to teachers being blinded by the Projector Lamp. Read more of this post

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