Eco First Can Help Against Summer S Worst Pest: Mosquitoes

EcoFirst Can Help Against Summer s Worst Pest: Mosquitoes

by

David Royce

One of the most unpleasant things associated with summer is the mosquito. Mosquitoes are notorious for a whole host of irritating, and in some cases, downright dangerous problems. Most creatures on the planet have to deal with mosquitoes at some point and while many members of the animal kingdom have no choice but to deal with them, humans do have several ways to eliminate them.

Mosquitoes have puncturing-sucking mouthparts that most of us are all too familiar with. They land on our skin and then proceed to suck blood for nourishment. This action is not only annoying but can often be painful. They result in an itchy red welt that can take anywhere from days to weeks to disappear. Some people may even have more adverse allergic reactions resulting in welts.

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Mosquitoes have also always been carriers of disease. These diseases can include yellow fever, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, and the West Nile virus. All of these diseases are dangerous and can lead to death if left untreated. Some like malaria have no known cure, thus leaving the person to treat the illness the rest of his or her life. Although catching diseases like malaria is much less common than long ago, it is still a possibility which makes keeping mosquitoes away from your family a good idea.

Mosquitoes tend to make their home around standing water where their young can hatch. This is why clearing out gutters or old plant pots is important. Locations that have nearby lakes, ponds, or other similar breeding spots can also lead to infestation.

If you have a problem with mosquitoes, don t hesitate to call EcoFirst Pest Control. EcoFirst aims to keep you and your family safe from all pests, and can provide you with suggestions and solutions to ensure your mosquitoes are kept in check.

EcoFirst has partnered with the Nothing But Nets campaign to help stop the spread of the deadly disease Malaria, transmitted by the mosquito bite. Nothing But Nets is a non-profit group dedicated to saving lives in Africa and third world countries. As a proud sponsor, EcoFirst dedicates a portion of company profits annually to Nothing But Nets to provide insecticide-treated bed nets to countries with the greatest need.

When someone signs up for EcoFirst’s Four Seasons Protection Plan service, we will donate a portion of all company profits to Nothing But Nets. You can also donate funds directly to Nothing But Nets to send a net and save a life. Every net helps prevent malaria by creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, which is when the vast majority of transmissions occur.

Together with EcoFirst and Nothing But Nets, we can help save the lives of millions from this deadly killer.

Article Source:

EcoFirst Pest Control Blog

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Gamespy, IGN award Galactic Civilizations II expansion Editors’ Choice

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Plymouth, Michigan, United States – This week, independent software developer Stardock released Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar, an expansion to their PC turn-based strategy game Dread Lords. Industry websites IGN and GameSpy responded with Editors’ Choice awards, while UGO gave it an A. The expansion had previously been named as one of GameSpy’s Most Wanted Games of 2007.

Reviewers cited the significant increase in customization options, better artificial intelligence, and an improvement in graphics quality as decisive factors. UGO’s Adam Swiderski noted that “if creating a fleet of death-dealing starships sounds like fun to you (and it really should), this is your dream playground,” while GameSpy’s reviewer suggested that “after a week of playing Dark Avatar, you may forget Master of Orion altogether.” Criticism mostly revolved around “uninspired” ground combat, a too-generic tech tree, and the continued lack of multiplayer support.

The original game received some publicity for its lack of copy protection, but gained far more by the actions of a StarForce forum administrator, who made a post linking to an illegal BitTorrent download of the game. StarForce developer Protection Technology later claimed this to be a poorly-considered attempt to demonstrate the result of not using their software, which is designed to prevent software piracy. The result was a media backlash against the company, including satirical commentary by gaming webcomic/blog Penny Arcade describing the action as “extortion.” Its writer, Jerry Holkins, asked that “publishers distance themselves from a company that has shown such contempt for their industry.”

The expansion is available as an online purchase in CD or digital download form through Stardock’s gaming subsidiary, TotalGaming.net. A compilation of the original and expansion has also been released as Galactic Civilizations II: Gold Edition and is available in stores, say Stardock. Their retail game releases still contain no copy protection, but online activation is required to download updates.

NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

Saturday, April 21, 2018

On Wednesday at 6:51 p.m. local time (2251 UTC), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida, United States, carrying, as a payload for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). NASA designed TESS to search for exoplanets circling stars mostly within 300 light-years of the Sun.

Officially a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission, much of the TESS program is to be run from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in cooperation with the Goddard Space Flight Center. “One of the biggest questions in exoplanet exploration is: If an astronomer finds a planet in a star’s habitable zone, will it be interesting from a biologist’s point of view?” TESS principal investigator George Ricker told the press, “We expect TESS will discover a number of planets whose atmospheric compositions, which hold potential clues to the presence of life, could be precisely measured by future observers.”

A little more than an hour after launch, NASA and SpaceX teams announced the satellite was up and functioning and had deployed its solar panels. Most launches have a roughly two-hour period during which the mission can be executed, but this one had a window of only thirty seconds because this satellite must use the Moon’s gravity to reach the desired orbit.

TESS is slated to enter a high orbit distinct from the geosynchronous orbits used by many other satellites. TESS instrument scientist Joel Villasenor, also of MIT, explained, “The Moon and the satellite are in a sort of dance. The Moon pulls the satellite on one side, and by the time TESS completes one orbit, the Moon is on the other side tugging in the opposite direction. The overall effect is the Moon’s pull is evened out, and it’s a very stable configuration over many years. Nobody’s done this before, and I suspect other programs will try to use this orbit later on.”

If all goes according to plan, TESS will circle the Earth for 60 days to establish its 13.7-day orbit and test its machinery before beginning its mission: using its four cameras to analyze stars for decreases in brightness that may be caused by a planet passing between us and them, a technique called the transit method. TESS’s launch comes just as the Kepler space telescope, launched into orbit around the Sun 2009, is about to run out of fuel. Scientists used Kepler to identify at least over 2300, perhaps over 4500 planets and gather data on stars and black holes. TESS is designed to cover 400 times as much of the sky as Kepler, and is capable of viewing 85% of the sky. Scientists expect it to find 1500 planets during its two-year mission, 300 Earth-like, but believe it may find many more.

Because TESS’s cameras can cover a wide range of radiant energy, including infrared, scientists believe it may be able to detect planets orbiting red dwarf stars, which scientists consider likely to host rocky, Earth-like planets with the right mass for an atmosphere and the right temperature to host liquid water, a range called the habitable zone.

The data collected by TESS are to be publicly accessible so anyone who wishes may participate in the search. NASA plans to process the data, about 27 gigabytes collected per day, using a supercomputer called Pleiades.

The original schedule had launch at 6:32 p.m. on Monday evening but it was postponed so the SpaceX team could perform more guidance navigation control tests before launch.

SpaceX is a private company that has partnered with NASA before on such missions as resupplying the International Space Station.

South African prosecutors charge ANC leader Jacob Zuma with corruption

Saturday, December 29, 2007File:JacobZuma.jpg

Corruption-related charges have been brought against Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC), according to his lawyer. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 14, 2008.

The charges stem from an arms deal with a French company, which is alleged to have involved bribes and fraud. Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Shaik, was convicted in 2005 of attempting to solicit a bribe of US$72,500 per year from the arms company on Zuma’s behalf and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zuma was fired as deputy president in 2005 by South African President Thabo Mbeki due to the scandal.

Two-term ANC leader Mbeki recently lost an ANC leadership contest to Jacob Zuma, who garnered about 60 percent of delegate votes in his win.

Zuma had been charged with corruption in 2005, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Michael Hulley, Zuma’s defence lawyer, indicated that they will strongly contest the new charges in court. Hulley also suggested that the South African government’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its anti-organised crime division known as The Scorpions, have carried out a smear campaign against Zuma.

“These charges will be vigorously defended, in the context of the belief that the Scorpions (NPA) have acted wrongly and with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he play no leadership role in the political future of our country,” said Michael Hulley in a statement.

Given that the ANC has been the governing party in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, it is likely that Jacob Zuma could become the next president after general elections in 2009. Zuma has said, however, that he would resign if he was found guilty by the courts.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service found guilty in suspected suicide bomber case

Thursday, November 1, 2007

London’s Metropolitan police force has been found guilty of endangering the public during an anti-terrorism operation that lead to the death of an innocent Brazilian man in July of 2005.

The British jury at Old Bailey convicted the police force of violating the Health & Safety legislation because the operation was deemed an excessive threat to the public. They also stressed that no individual culpability should be placed on Cressida Dick, the officer in charge of the operation. The police force was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £385,000 for legal expenses.

“This was very much an isolated breach brought about by quite extraordinary circumstances,” said Justice Henriques. “One person died and many others were placed in potential danger.”

Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, was at Old Bailey to hear the verdict. He said he plans to “continue leading the Metropolitan police.” Len Duvall, chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said it “fully supported” Blair. A spokesperson for Gordon Brown said that Blair continues to have the confidence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

However, Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the victim’s family, called for Blair’s resignation. “Whilst it was a difficult day, that does not mean that procedure and the Metropolitan Police did not fail,” he said.

Electrician Jean Charles de Menezes died in the Stockwell Tube Station after being shot in the head by police officers seven times. They mistook him for another man, Hamdi Adus Isaac (aka Osman Hussain), who failed in the July 21, 2005 attack on the London underground one day before.

SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

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United States: Berkeley, California declares itself a sanctuary city for recreational cannabis

Friday, February 16, 2018

On Tuesday, the city council of Berkeley, California adopted by unanimous vote a resolution declaring their city a “sanctuary” for adult recreational cannabis use and sale. The resolution by the Berkeley council “declared [the City of Berkeley] to be a sanctuary for recreational cannabis customers, providers, and landlords.”

The resolution bars city employees including police from assisting federal law enforcement officials, namely the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in enforcing federal laws relating to cannabis. The city’s measure includes protection for cannabis, but not other substances controlled and regulated by the federal government. California voters approved a referendum in 2016 that legalized cannabis production and sale in the state. That law took effect on January 1 this year.

The resolution was drafted by Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Councilmembers Ben Bartlett and Cheryl Davila.

While cannabis became legal for adults at least 21 years old under California state law, it remains a prohibited substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Under the U.S. Constitution, federal law is given supremacy to contradictory state and local law.

In 2008, the city previously declared itself a sanctuary city for medical cannabis, opposing federal officials seeking to shutter legal-in-California cannabis dispensaries.

In a tweet following the vote, the Berkeley mayor wrote, “In light of threats by Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions regarding a misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis, we have become what may be the first city in the country to declare ourselves a sanctuary city for cannabis.” The attorney general is the top federal law enforcement official in the U.S.

Last month, Sessions repealed a policy from the previous presidential administration providing legal shelter to states that legalized recreational cannabis. A January 4 memo from Sessions called for Justice Department prosecutors to enforce the federal ban on cannabis use and sale.

By another vote during the same meeting the city council reduced the sales tax on cannabis from 10 percent to 5 percent in a bid to draw more business.

Thaksin ordered back to Thailand on stock-sale charges

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ousted and living in exile, with assets frozen in Thailand, former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ordered today by the Royal Thai Police to appear on charges related to the sale of some of his family’s stock holdings.

The order adds to mounting, increasingly complex legal troubles for Thaksin, the telecommunications billionaire who led Thailand until he was unseated in a coup last year.

Thaksin and his wife, Potjaman Shinawatra, who are both outside of Thailand, were both ordered to present themselves to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) by June 29 at the latest. A relative of Potjaman’s, Busaba Damapong, was also ordered to appear.

“If they intentionally fail to appear, we must issue an arrest warrant,” DSI chief Sunai Manomai-udom was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse.

Noppadol Pattama, Thaksin’s lawyer and spokesman in Thailand, could not say when his client would return.

“We will have to seek legal consultations among the lawyers. His security is only one factor. We will have to see what our options are and consult with him as well,” Noppadol was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

Last week, interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and the junta’s leader, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, both said Thaksin could return to Thailand of his own free will, in order to appeal the seizure of his assets. But later, Sonthi said Thaksin might face harm if he returned too soon.

The latest charges relate to the transfer of shares in 2000 in a real-estate company called SC Asset to a British Virgin Islands-owned company called Win Mark. Police say the Shinwatras’ controlling ownership of SC Asset was illegally concealed through nominees. Potjaman’s relative, Busaba Damapong, served as executive director of SC Asset.

Through nominee companies and disclosed shares, Sunai said, the Shinawatra family owned 79.87 percent of SC Asset. “Not only did they have control of a majority stake but also control over board decisions,” Sunai told Associated Press.

They broke the law in failing to report their ownership in SC Asset and failing to report the transfer of the shares, Sunai said. They could face five years in prison and fined at least 500,000 baht (about US$15,000), Sunai added.

Thaksin is also supected of violating the prohibition on Cabinet members holding shares in publicly traded companies, and could face up to ten years in prison and a 1 million baht fine for that.

Potjaman and Thaksin were also charged yesterday over the purchase of a 13-acre tract of land along Ratchadaphisek Road near the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok.

The Office of the Attorney General says Potjaman purchased the land in an auction that was possibly rigged. Valued at 2.1 billion baht before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and 870 million baht after, Potjaman purchased the land in 2003 for 772 million baht.

The Attorney General’s office is recommending to the Supreme Court that the land be confiscated by the government.

Potjaman is also sought in Thailand to testify before the Assets Examination Committee (AEC) on the sales of her family’s Shin Corporation stock to Singapore-owned Temasek Holdings.

She sent word today that she is seeking medical treatment for headache and irregular heartbeat in Raffles Hospital in Singapore, and that she asked the AEC to delay the hearing.

Potjaman appeared in court last month to plead not guilty to charges of tax evasion in the sale of Shin Corp. stock to Temasek.

The AEC yesterday ordered an additional seven bank accounts seized after it was discovered that the accounts are controlled by the Shinawatra and Damapong families. The accounts contain 8 million baht that was feared missing last week after the AEC ordered 21 of Thaksin’s bank accounts frozen. The 8 million baht had been transferred just before the AEC’s order, to the other seven accounts.

Authorities have frozen a total of 52 billion baht, or about US$1.6 billion, frozen, money they say came from the Shinawatra family’s sale of Shin Corp. stock to Temasek. The stock sale prompted mass protests against Thaksin last year and was one of the factors in the coup that overthrew his government. The authorities also believe that the Shinawatras and the Damapongs have 73 billion baht from the stock sale remaining in Thailand, and officials are still hunting for another 21 billion baht to seize.

Digital security researchers publicly reveal vulnerability in WPA2 WiFi protocol

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On Monday, digital security researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of Belgium’s KU Leuven university publicly disclosed a security vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi (wireless local-area networking) protocol, which they called KRACK (for Key Reinstallation Attack). Their study claimed KRACK affects every modern device using Wi-Fi; it can be fixed by a software update, researchers said.

Vanhoef wrote, “Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and so on.” Vanhoef notified vendors about the flaw in July, including UNIX-like operating system OpenBSD. “If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected. […] In general, any data or information that the victim transmits can be decrypted”, he wrote.

The study papers, which were submitted for review on May 19, were kept in confidence allowing companies to fix the security flaw. The United States-based Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) informed vendors on August 28. The Wi-Fi Alliance said it “could be resolved through a straightforward software update.” OpenBSD released their software patch on August 30.

Exploring the flaw which affected every device the researchers had tested, National Cyber Security Centre of the UK said “the attacker would have to be physically close to the target”. But due to this flaw, an attacker can send malware or ransomware on the websites, Vanhoef claimed.

Linux-based operating systems including Android v6.0 and higher are especially affected by this flaw, while Windows and iOS are not as vulnerable as Android by this flaw as they do not fully implement WPA2.

Microsoft reportedly has released security patches for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Google said Android operating systems would receive the updates in the software update scheduled to be made available on November 6. Apple has implemented the patch in the beta versions of their operating system iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS, however it is yet to roll out patches for stable operating systems.

WPA2 protocol has been used for more than a decade, and has been compulsory for Wi-Fi since 2006. KRACK would also affect various home appliances which can be controlled over Wi-Fi, within the so-called “Internet of things”. Andrew Martin from Oxford University said, “We can be sure a lot of these devices won’t be patched[…] Whether that matters for this attack or only for some future attack is yet to be seen.”

The study and its findings are scheduled for presentation at the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Computer and Communications Security conference on November 1.