A Better Tomorrow With Remote Dba}

May 26th, 2017

Submitted by: Kashif Mukhtar

With the advent of globalization, outsourcing IT operations has become ubiquitous. Outsourcing involves relocating a process or a project of work outside the corporate boundaries, often to a third party vendor. Companies today want to make use of outsourcing to cut costs, streamline operations and maintain competitive advantage. A large number of organizations seeking to focus their management, workforce, capital, and other resources on their core competencies examine their business processes for work that can be performed effectively and cost advantageously outside the company.

Databases provide a convenient means of storing vast amounts of information, allowing the information to be sorted, searched, viewed, and manipulated according to the business needs and goals. A substantial amount of time spent by a database administrator is focused on low-level repetitive production tasks such as monitoring, backups, patching, and troubleshooting. The increasing realization of the importance of database up time and hazards of downtime has led to the sharp rise in database outsourcing, and the evolution of remote database administration. Companies outsource their database administration mainly for the following reasons:

Protection of business-critical data with the highest level of DBA expertise Return of focus to company’s core competency rather than recruiting and retaining DBA staff 24×7 application support and coverage Considerable cost savings, while benefitting from economies of scale Access to specialized or task-dedicated talent Access to remote managed services are not vulnerable to internal IT turnover Highly structured level of information technology management and support

Remote database administration is an especially attractive option for smaller companies or businesses located in places where talent can be hard to find. There are some highly-experienced remote DBA vendors like Bluewolf who have a global pack of experts providing continued optimization of the data storage infrastructure for clients. Bluewolf Remote DBA offers unique advantages:

Bluewolf Remote DBA uses world-class remote database management tools, and their own proprietary monitoring systems to track all issues and their solutions Bluewolf Remote DBA allows companies to focus their resources on core business functions, while saving up to 40% cost of an in-house resource Bluewolf remote database administrators are US-based, onshore and on-demand for customers on a 24×7 basis These experts have enormous experience of handling multiple platforms, such as Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, Sybase, and DB2 database administration Bluewolf manages and protects the security issues that are critical to businesses

Organizations are experiencing incredible gains, financial and operational, by turning to remote DBAs like Bluewolf Remote DBA.

Businesses are taking advantage of the upsurge in applications to gain a competitive advantage. The result is that todays DBAs are facing many challenges including multi-tier architectures, distributed data and applications, data warehousing, replication and transformation of data, cloud-based/internet-enabled databases, and the need to store and manipulate complex multimedia data. All these factors are placing an incredible strain on database administrators, and drifting them from more strategic functions. With such changes in the industry and market place, global businesses are turning to Remote Database Administration (remote DBA) to prevent DBA burnout and staff turnover, reduce system vulnerability and increase productivity.

About the Author: Kashif Mukhtar is Director of Professional Services at Bluewolf global headquarters in New York City. Bluewolf is the leading provider of US-based managed services for remote DBA and cloud computing consulting for


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Canada’s Toronto Centre (Ward 28) city council candidates speak

May 26th, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Toronto residents will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Toronto Centre (Ward 28). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Howard Bortenstein, Holly Cartmell, Baquie Ghazi, Connie Harrison, Yaqoob Khan, Pam McConnell (incumbent), and Catherina Perez.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Suicide bombers close Pakistani schools

May 26th, 2017

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Schools and universities throughout Pakistan have been closed a day after suicide attacks at the International Islamic University in Islamabad. The two bombings by suspected militants killed eight people and injured at last eighteen, creating fear amidst a major offensive against the Taliban. All but one of the deceased were students.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the bombings—the first since the current assault in South Waziristan—and said that the violence would continue until the army ends its operations in the region. Interior Minister Rehman Malik called the nation to unify when the country was in a state of war.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Rashid Mazari, said that all schools, colleges and universities would remain closed until the end of the week to prevent further suicide bombings and improve security measures; they may reopen next week provided the risk to security reduces. This follows the week-long closure of army and government-run schools, as well as some public schools, due to the current offensive in South Waziristan.

18,000 attend the International Islamic University, with almost 2,000 international students, many of which are from China. Whilst it is a major centre for Islamic studies, most choose subjects such as computing or management.

Not all accept that the Taliban were responsible for the bombings, suggesting instead anti-Islamic groups. “It shows clearly that anti-Islamic elements are involved in these attacks,” said Abul Hassan, a student in economics.

Garage The Car And Use A Baltimore Limo To Enjoy Genuinely Luxurious Transportation}

May 24th, 2017

Submitted by: Friee David

For the moments in life when taking your personal car isnt the best choice, due to the status of the situation or practical necessities, a Baltimore Limo will provide affordable and convenient transportation which is also all-occasion appropriate and suitable for any size group.

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Make Traveling with Family Easy

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If you have experience traveling with children, you understand that its often frustrating when driving prevents you from focusing on their needs. Our professionally trained, vetted, and evaluated drivers will take care of the road, so you can take care of your family and enjoy the ride. Enjoy them while theyre young; choose transportation services that facilitate the making of memories.

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For the moments in life when taking your personal car isnt the best choice, due to the status of the situation or practical necessities, a Baltimore Limo will provide affordable and convenient transportation which is also all-occasion appropriate and suitable for any size group.

Not Just for the Wealthy

The stereotype of the limousine being tied to the wealthy is false. We offer affordable and practical services. Whether you need a Baltimore Airport Limo or a reliable ride when your schedule is hectic, our chauffeurs are skilled and our vehicles are reliable and immaculate. We make airport pickup and drop off easy, and we specialize in service for multiple meeting points. With our service, youll enjoy the practical benefits of never missing a flight or a scheduled meeting in addition to avoiding the usual headaches of parking, traffic, and lines.

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Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running

May 24th, 2017

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The interview below was conducted by Pingswept over the phone with Emily Levan on April 21, 2005. Levan lives in Wiscasset, Maine, with her husband and daughter, and she ran in the Boston Marathon women’s race on April 18, 2005.

To summarize for our readers, you recently came in 12th in the Boston Marathon, right?

That is correct.

You were the first American finisher.


There was also a Russian woman who lives in the US who finished ahead of you.

You know, I believe it is, I’m not actually positive, but I think you’re right. There’s often a lot of foreign runners that live and train in different parts of the US for a variety of reasons. Some live in Colorado and might train at high altitude, or they might have coaches in the US.

OK, but as far as you know, for straight up Americans, people who were born here, who have lived here for long periods of time and are not going anywhere special to train, you were the first finisher.

That is correct.

So congratulations, that’s very impressive. In the rest of your life, my understanding is that you are going to nursing school.

I am. I’m at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. and I have been going to nursing school for a couple years now. I’m just going part time right now because of the baby and other things going on in my world.

Your baby is currently one and a half?

She’s fifteen months.

Fifteen months, so one and one quarter. 1.25, sure.

Hopefully I’ll finish up nursing school in December. That is the tentative plan.

So you’re almost done.

I just have a couple classes left. I’ll take one class this summer and two classes in the fall.

You ran the Boston Marathon originally two years ago?

Actually, I ran it for the first time in 99. I’ve run it four times. I did run it two years ago as well.

You ran it two years ago, and you also came in twelfth then, if not the top American finisher then. You were the fourth?

I think third or fourth. I can’t remember exactly.

How long were you actually training for this marathon in particular?

I’d say about 4 months. I typically try to train about four months for each race. It depends a little bit on what kind of shape I’m in leading up to the training. Four months is usually the time frame I shoot for.

And how many miles a week were you doing–I assume you peaked somewhere right before the marathon.

At the peak, I have a month or six week period where I’ve built up to my peak training, and I was probably doing between 90 to 100 miles a week.

Was there a lot of variation in your day to day mileage, or was it pretty much you’re doing 1/7th of that mileage every day?

There’s definitely variation, probably more so in the type of workout that i did each day. For example two days a week I would do a speed workout, so I might be doing mile repeats, which just means that I do a mile in a specific time, and then I might jog for a couple minutes and then another one and another one. I’d do a series of eight mile repeats on that specific workout day. My other speed workout would be a marathon pace run, so I might run 8 or 10 miles at my marathon pace. If my marathon pace is 6 minute miles, I’d do a two mile jog warm up, and then I might do 8 or 10 miles at a six minute pace, and then a two mile cool down.

So you maybe end up running 14?

Sometimes what I would do on those speed workout days– on those days I might end up with about 14 miles. On some other days, I might run twice during the course of the day. Say in the morning, I might run eight miles, and then in the afternoon I might do six or eight more miles.


Those days tend to be a little bit more mellow. More of kind of a maintenance run, a little bit of a recovery day. I try to have a recovery day after every hard workout.

Do you think that all of your training could fit into four hours a day? Do you think that’s true?

You mean the workouts for a specific day? Probably even less than that. Depending on the day a little bit, probably between 2 or 3 hours. Usually on Sunday I would go out and do a long run, and that would be a 20 or 22 mile run, all in one fell swoop and that usually takes two and a half hours.

So that explains how you’re able to do this, as well as go to nursing school, as well as have an extremely young child. I assume you talk to your friends occasionally.

I try to at least– have some sort of social life. This is not a job, so it’s not something that I do 8 hours a day. It’s something that I fit in with all the other obligations, things that I like to do too. I like to be able to pursue other interests as well.

You live on a road with no one else near by. Do you pretty much just run from your house every day?

The winter is harder because with the baby, I often end up running with a treadmill down in the basement. Brad, my husband, has pretty long hours at the farm, and especially in the winter months, it’s hard to find daylight when he’s able to watch Maddy, so I ended up running a lot on the treadmill this winter, as opposed to last summer, I would take her with me. I have one of those baby joggers, and that was great. I could just leave right from the house, and I could take her. She would be pretty happy to go eight or ten miles with me. Typically what I do when I go outside, I just go right from the house. The roads are so pretty around here. We’re pretty secluded, so I don’t have to worry too much about crazy drivers.

Do you ever try to go find big hills to run up and down?

I do. In the past, I have done a hill workout as a part of my training, usually early on in the training during the first six weeks or 2 months of the training I do a hill workout and I would find some place close by that I could find a warm up jog and run to and then do a hill workout. If I couldn’t find one within a couple miles, I would drive to it. It’s a little bit harder now with Maddy because I don’t have as much leeway and freedom with when I go running and where I go running. I’m a little more limited.

You’d have to load up the cart, er, the carriage into the car.

I’ve done that sometimes. Sometimes it’s easier to go straight from home. Running with the jogger up hills is not an easy thing to do.

When you’re in the race, you feel like, “Hey, I’m not even pushing a kid anymore.” Heartbreak Hill without the kid is substantially easier, I suppose.


Do you know most of the elite runners in the race? You know who they are, but are you friends with them, or not really?

It’s funny–I know who people are, but I don’t run that many races to really get to know that many of the runners. If you’re a professional runner, and that’s your job, a lot of those people travel in the same circles. They run the same races and they have the same schedules in terms of when they compete. I pick out a couple of races each year to focus on and because of that, I don’t get to know as many of the runners. As time goes on, you do get a little bit you do get a little more familiar with people.

During the race, do you talk to the other runners, or do you just run along and think things like, “I wish I were at the end right now”?

I think that really depends I find that if I’m feeling good and the run is going well, then it’s easier for me to talk to people, just because you’re feeling strong, and you’re not focusing so much on “I’m not doing so great.” I might talk to some folks along the way. Sometimes if someone passes me, I’ll encourage them and say “Good job, go get them,” and just stuff like that. I certainly find I’m not carrying on lengthy conversations with people because you’re expending energy that should be focused on the race itself. I enjoy getting to know folks along the way and knowing what pace they’re hoping to run.

In races other than the Boston Marathon do you find that you have good competition? I don’t really know what the running scene in Wiscasset, Maine, is like at all, but I imagine that being the fastest female marathon runner in the United States, you might not find a whole lot of competition. You say that you encourage people when they pass you, but having read some of the other interviews with you on the web, it doesn’t seem like people pass you very often.

It definitely depends on the race. Like I said before, I don’t run that many races. At this point, what I’m trying to do is to find races that are competitive so I can be pushed by competition. For example, when I ran the Maine Marathon last fall, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition. That just gets hard. I ran alone for most of the race. Running 26 miles at a fast pace all by yourself without anyone around you to help push you and motivate you, can be pretty hard. Because of that, as I’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about which races I want to do, I’ve been targeting races that will have a little more competition. That’s why Boston was one that I wanted to shoot for and I’m thinking about in the fall going to Chicago because they’ve got a pretty competitive marathon. It’s also a pretty flat course, so people tend to run pretty fast times there.

Most people run a couple of minutes faster in Chicago, right?

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve heard good things about the race too, so I’m looking forward to that.

Have you thought about running internationally?

Not at this point, no. It’s hard to find the time to travel to races, and It gets expensive too. A lot of my family members say, “Wouldn’t it be great to do the London Marathon or the Paris Marathon,” because they like coming to watch. At this point, I think I’m going to stick closer to home. I’ve got a few races, like I was mentioning Chicago, here in the States that I’d really like to do. Maybe once I’ve done those, I might think about something else, it really just depends. A lot of it’s a time issue, because I have other things that I’m pursuing and it gets hard to spend too much time traveling off doing different races.

Do you know Alan Culpepper?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You at least know of him, right?

Yes, exactly.

Have you ever been in any races against him?

This was the first race that I had run in that he ran in. He was the fourth overall male finisher. That’s a really good showing for an American male. I’ve read a lot about him in different running magazines and just heard a lot about him through running circles. But this was the first time that I’ve actually seen him run. It was neat because in this particular race, they start the women’s elite group about 25 minutes ahead of the rest of the start.

29 minutes actually, I believe.

That’s right, 29 minutes. So, I didn’t see a male runner until pretty close to the end, so it was really neat to see–I think I saw the top five male finishers because they passed me in the last couple miles. It was really interesting–there’s all these cars and press and motorcycles, policemen, so I could tell when the first male was coming up behind me because there was a lot more going on on the course. Alan Culpepper was one of the ones that passed me in the last mile or two. It was pretty neat to see him finishing strong.

You might not be able to beat him in a race but do you think you could maybe, I don’t know, beat him in a fist fight? He’s pretty skinny, right? He only weighs 130 pounds.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wouldn’t make any bets on it at this point.



OK. Have you thought about doing things longer than a marathon? Like a 50 K or a 100 K?

At this point, I haven’t because I’ve gotten into the marathon, and I’ve really been enjoying that so far. I feel like I still have some room to improve and grow in the marathon, but I think at some point I’d really like to do one of those ultra-type races. For the next several years, I’ll stick towards the marathon distances. Once that competitive part of my life is over, I might move on to something different.

Based on your age, are you likely to peak around now, or you maybe have a few years to go before your legs start to fall off?

Before I can’t walk anymore? I don’t know. It’s really interesting because for marathoning you’ve got a longer life span than in a lot of competitive sports. The fifth place female finisher in Boston this year was over forty. You can still be competitive into your forties. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it that long– at least another 3 years or so. One thing in the back of my mind looking at is the Olympic Trials for 2008. I’m looking at that time frame right now. If I want to keep running competitively after that, then I’ll assess things from there.

That sounds good. When you came in as the first American finisher, did you get any certificates or cash or a medal or anything like that?

Yeah, actually, I won $2100.

Oh, great– two thousand bucks!

Which is pretty nice.

That’s a lot of baby clothes.

I know– or a lot of shoes. The shoe expense is pretty expensive, and I’ve been trying to find a shoe company that might give me some shoes.

I would think–couldn’t you just call up New Balance and say, “Hey, look, I’m pretty good, why don’t you give me some shoes?”

Well, this past November, after I ran New York– I usually wear Asics or New Balance– I wrote to both of those companies. I sent them a little running resume. I said I’d be interested in pursuing some sort of sponsorship opportunity, and they both wrote back and said, “Sorry, we don’t have any space or funds available at this time.” I was a little disappointed by that, because I was hoping to at least get someone to help me out with my shoes.

Yeah, at least some sneakers.

But in addition at Boston, they do have these crystal vases that they give out for the top 15 finishers, so I got a little piece of hardware there too.

So you get to put flowers in that.

I had some flowers in it; they’ve wilted so I decided to compost them.

Oh, that’s good.

Yeah, send them back to the earth, you know.

Has anyone else tried to interview you? Local paparazzi following you?

I hide in my car for most of the day. I did some local interviews–with the local NBC affiliate, and I’m going to do an interview tomorrow with the ABC affiliate in Portland, and some affiliated newspaper interviews as well.

You’re officially famous, then.

I don’t know. I guess. It’s been pretty busy.

Has anyone asked you for an autograph yet?

No. No autograph seekers yet, no.

Maybe in the Yellowfront Grocery in Wiscasset? “Hey, I know you!”

“I saw you on TV!” No, not yet.

That’s surely coming. The Chewonki Foundation, which is where you live, recently had Eaton Farm donated to it.


And they’re planning on making a 12 mile long trail that runs from approximately your house to Wiscasset.

Oh, you know more about this than I do, that’s great.

I don’t know if it’s going to start right at your front door; you might have to cut through the woods a little bit.

That’s OK, I can do that.

Have you run on trails at all, or is it just, “I want to run on the pavement because I don’t want to twist an ankle”?

I’m not a big trail runner. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running on trails. Now it would be much more difficult, because I have the baby with me. The baby jogger has some nice wheels on it, but I don’t know if it could handle trail running.


It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while. I don’t worry too much about twisting an ankle–you just have to be careful. I figure I can walk out my door and step in a pothole and twist my ankle, so I don’t worry too much about that. That goes along with being alive in our world. We’ll see. I’m going to have to look into that 12 mile trail.

Because 12 miles, you do that there and back, you’ve got a marathon on your hands.

There you go.

What’s your next target? Can you walk right now?

If I train well, I’m usually not sore. Especially on the long runs, my body gets used to running for that length of time and sure, I’m running faster during the marathon than I do on my long runs, but I think my body tends to adjust to the rigors. It’s usually a good sign if a few days afterwards I don’t have any major soreness. I certainly feel like I’ve done something significant.

Yeah, I can imagine feeling too.

No major aches or pains.

That’s great. What’s your next race? Do you have one targeted? Is it Chicago?

Yeah, I think the next marathon will be Chicago in the fall. there’s a 10 K race, the Beach to Beacon, you may have heard of it.

In Portland?

It’s actually in Cape Elizabeth. It’s put on by Joan Benoit Samuelson. It’s in August, so I’ll probably do that one and then shoot for the fall marathon.

Well, I think that’s all my questions.

Nice, well, thanks for calling. I appreciate it.

Sure, well, thanks for running so fast.

No problem.

Why A Good Camp Grill Is Important}

May 19th, 2017

Why a Good Camp Grill is Important


Shannon Becki

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Camping is a fun outdoor family activity. Taking your family camping can create memories that they will never forget. However, before you go, you want to make sure that you have all of the necessary camping equipment that you will need to have a great camping trip. One of the best parts of camping is the food that you get to enjoy and do not eat all the time at home. Having a camp grill

that is easy to use as well as made for the outdoors is a huge plus for any outdoor camping adventure.Camp grills come in all shapes and sizes, as well as price ranges.Using a grill that is easy to set up can make your trip so much better. The Quad Pod grill is one that offers these features and so much more. This grill has four sturdy legs that will make cooking on an open fire a breeze.Weighing in at 13 pounds, this grill is very portable and easy to carry, which is great if you have to carry supplies at any distance.Setting up the Quad Pod camp grill is easy. There are no tools required. You can adjust the grill to the height that is needed for your fire, which makes this grill even more versatile. With an extra side table, you have the ability to prepare your food or you can use it for extra cooking space on the grill. Most portable grills are not easy to clean, however this one makes clean up very easy. Because you can break the grill down to the racks, you will not be spending all night cleaning it. The Quad Pod grill is chrome plated, which helps prevent food from sticking. Camping trips should be fun and memorable. Making sure that you have a good camp grill is part of being ready for your camping trip. The Quad Pod is affordable and a campers’ dream grill. After using it once you will wonder how you ever camped without it. Make sure that your next camping trip is one that is remembered with good food and fun times by your family.

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US interrogators complain of “sickening” pressure for evidence on Iran

May 19th, 2017

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

US interrogators have claimed that they are under pressure to find incriminating evidence against Iran when they interview Iraqi insurgents, The Observer reported on Sunday.

Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for the US military in Iraq, told the British newspaper that information about Iran is “gold”.

“They push a lot for us to establish a link with Iran (when interrogating prisoners)”, he claimed in the interview, adding that “it feels a lot like, if you get something and Iran’s not involved, it’s a let down.” He further claimed that people have said to him that “they’re really pushing the Iran thing”. Brose denied being asked to manufacture evidence, but stated that “if a detainee wants to tell me what I want to hear so he can get out of jail … you know what I’m saying.”

The US government accuses Iran of arming insurgents in neighbouring Iraq, and refuses to rule out military action against Iran for its alleged attempts to build nuclear weapons. In the past the US has been accused of using exaggerated and fabricated evidence to build its case against Iraq prior to the war.

The Observer article, which has not been picked up by any other mainstream news agency (but reported in Iran), also quoted a military intelligence officer as saying that “The message is, ‘Got to find a link with Iran, got to find a link with Iran.’ It’s sickening.”

American comedian Mitch Hedberg dies on tour at 37

May 19th, 2017

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg was found dead Wednesday in his hotel room in New Jersey. The comedian, originally from the St. Paul, Minnesota region, was on an east coast tour of the USA. Hedberg started his career in South Florida, and later worked in Seattle.

While the cause of Hedberg’s death is yet unconfirmed, Hedberg’s performance at a show in Portland, Maine in October 2004 suggested he might have a problem with drug use. According to Steve Kolowich of the Bowdoin Orient, “Hedberg, who was clearly intoxicated, was falling down all over the stage that night. At one point, he lay down behind the back curtain and told jokes for approximately ten minutes before rolling back into sight. He also asked the audience where the best bar in town was, and invited them to join him there after the show.”

According to an AP report on KLTV.com, Hedberg’s mother, Mary Hedberg, claimed speculation that her son’s death was drug-related was “gossip.” The same report notes that services will be held in Woodbury, Minnesota on Tuesday, April 5.

Hedberg, a frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman, had released two CDs titled Strategic Grill Locations and Mitch All Together. He also directed a movie, “Los Enchiladas!” The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Lower Cost Of Solar Panels Helps To Make Solar Power A Reality.

May 17th, 2017

By Christopher Lollini

The most important/expensive part of most modern home solar power systems is the solar panel itself; thus the solar panels price drives the cost of the system. This single component handles the conversion of sunlight to power and choosing the right model for your home can have a huge impact on your systems efficiency. These panels have become less expensive and more efficient in recent years and offer a much better value over the long term than ever before. Understanding the differences between panels can help you also understand the reason for a particular solar panels price. Even though most models of panels for homes are less expensive than ever before, trying to balance the cost of solar panels with their efficiency will help you make the right decision.

Standard Sizes, Varying Output Voltages

Modern panels are available in a standard physical size and are typically offered at several different output voltages. Normally the higher voltage panels allow you to harvest more of the power they produce because they suffer less losses in the conversion process. This is a good thing to keep in mind when shopping for a home solar power system since it can allow you to generate more power for your home from a given panel.

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Output Power’s Importance

The other factor you need to consider is the output power a given panel can produce. Because these modern solar panels are much more efficient in their conversion of sunlight to power, they can typically produce far more power than older models from a given amount of sunlight. In some cases this can be several times more power than panels sold even a few years ago were able to provide. This is important because even though the cost of solar panels that are more efficient may be higher, you will need less of them to produce the power your home requires and the overall system price will be less as a result. The smaller the number of panels means less roof space is required for mounting as well as a simpler installation overall. All of this leads to reductions in cost for your home solar power system. Bear in mind that when comparing the various choices for solar panels for your home since your first thought might be to choose the least expensive panel available; in the long run choosing a more efficient solar panel would be a better decision, even if it costs a little more initially.

Check the Warranty

Another consideration that affects the cost of solar panels is their warranty. Most modern solar modules are guaranteed for 10 years or more against defects and failure. Even though this may seem like a good warranty, most panels don’t fail completely. Failure in a solar panel typically happens gradually over time and will slowly lower the output power that the panels produce for the home. This slow decay in their output power means that they haven’t actually failed, they’re just producing less power. Some of the newer solar panels for homes provide a basic warranty that covers any failures to the panel itself as well as an additional warranty to ensure it continues to produce a given amount of power over its useful life. This type of double warranty is important since it will typically ensure the replacement of a panel that falls below a certain percentage of output power over time. Even though solar panels that offer this type of warranty may be more expensive than others without the warranty, this peace of mind can easily justify the solar panels price.

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UN summit results in pledge to mitigate food crisis

May 17th, 2017

Friday, June 6, 2008

A three-day United Nations (UN) summit, bringing together leaders from 181 countries, has wrapped up with a pledge by all attending countries to address the global food shortage crisis. Key actions cited include doubling the world’s food production by 2030, providing resources for farmers in poor countries and increasing humanitarian aid in times of crisis.

Protests and violent riots have resulted in parts of the world in recent months due to increasing unaffordability, and sometimes unavailability, of food. It is estimated that 862 million people, or just over one eighth of the world’s population, are malnourished.

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, up to US$20 billion will be required annually to avert crises in the most hard-hit areas. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has put the figure closer to US$30 billion. Pledges made just at the summit amounted to more than US$5 billion, according to the UN.

Despite the largely positively-received outcome of the summit, held in Rome, Italy, there were some who felt that the proceedings could have gone better. Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) pointed to the fact that they were not invited to partake in the discussions. Food and hunger policy adviser Magda Kropiwnicka of ActionAid commented on the strength of the final pledge: “There were no quantifiable financial commitments. Apart from the existing UN Food and Agriculture Organisation funds, no money has been given to address the key problem of boosting capacity.”

While most delegates agreed that biofuels have been one of the causes of the food crisis, no actions were agreed upon to address this hot topic. Biofuels have been increasingly in demand in recent years, meaning that many crops that would have previously been used for food are now being used as fuel.

The impact that biofuels has goes further than simply increasing the demand of food crops. As fuel prices increase, so do the costs of fertilisers, farm vehicle use and the transport of foods. All of this adds up to a large increase in the cost of food.

Some UN officials say that biofuel use has caused up to 30% of the global food price inflation of late. The United States estimates that figure to be closer to just 3%. The Globe and Mail newspaper indicates that some estimates go as high as 60%. The only consensus that could be reached on biofuels is that they provide both “challenges and opportunities”, and need to be looked into further for a conclusive analysis on their impact on food production.

Other factors increasing food prices are increased consumption of meat and dairy products in developing nations like China and India. Argentina noted that subsidies granted to farmers from the US, the European Union and other Western countries have also been a major player in the increase.