Category Archive: Technology

How to communicate when the world goes silent

So how would you communicate with your family or get help if communications go down? If you found yourself in the middle of a wide-scale disaster such as a hurricane or other catastrophe and you had no government coming to help for a while, how would you communicate with your family or others? What if the power grid went down?

You won’t be able to rely on your cell phone. There are alternatives, however. This is a pretty long article that goes into some good detail, but if you want the short answer, this is what you need.

I’ll go over the basics of some emergency communication methods but if you want more detail, check out Personal Emergency Communications: Staying in Touch Post-Disaster: Technology, Gear and Planning.

Short-term emergencies have shown the limitations of using cell phones to coordinate with each other. Even if the towers are operational, they can’t handle the added traffic of millions of people trying to get a hold of loved ones – or help. Ever had trouble calling your mother on the morning of Mother’s Day?

During many recent events, cell phone service wasn’t an option for many for days. The system became seriously overloaded on 9/11 so calls wouldn’t go through, 70% of the towers went down during Katrina and were down for days, and most areas haven’t been adequately improved across the US.

These won’t be isolated events. Don’t think that because you live in a large metropolitan area that you’re safer. A quick look at some of the things that went on during Hurricane Sandy in NY will show that the government has a lot to deal with in addition to just trying to get your cell phone service back up so even though that was a pretty short-term event, it caused a lot of problems.

Here are just a few issues that would affect you being able to pull out your iPhone to call up people:

  • Cell phone communication has a lot of vulnerabilities that make it a poor solution for widespread or long-term emergencies.
  • Heavy winds or flooding can disrupt the cables between towers such as during Hurricane Sandy.
  • Cell towers require AC power to operate so if they don’t have an automatic backup system, they stop. Keep in mind that a lot of towers are just glorified antennas on the tops of buildings or mountains and backup power, such as an emergency generator, is a very short-term solution. Generators require fuel and that fuel has to be replenished quite often. In a lot of cases, the only backup power available is a bank of batteries that stop charging when the main power system stops.
  • Backhaul systems (essentially the system that connects and/or allows overflow from outer systems to the core, often including other carriers) aren’t always reliable. A lot of this system is wired but has been expanded to microwave and other systems.
  • Most cell phones will only stay charged for a day or three. If you don’t have local power to keep it up, when the system does come back up, you won’t be able to talk to it.
  • Cell phones require satellites, which are vulnerable to hackers, physical attack, or solar storms.

Now don’t get me wrong, for day-to-day emergencies, such as getting a flat tire, a cell phone usually works pretty well. It’s just a crappy solution for big emergencies. They’ll be pretty useless if the national grid goes down due to a cyber attack, EMP or CME, which is actually a lot more likely than you might think.

One cool idea that’s coming out is the goTenna cell phone radio antenna system. Your cell phone connects to it via Bluetooth and an app, and the signal is sent and received through an encrypted radio signal. How awesome is that? It won’t be able to reach to the other side of a city but you should be able to locate your family if they’re in the area and maybe even communicate with others if they have the system.

So if you can’t rely on cell phone service, what other options do you have?

CB radio for emergency comms

A lot of people grew up watching BJ and the Bear and they remember seeing all the truckers talking over the air with each other. CB radio is definitely more available during an emergency but they have a lot of limitations.

For one, not a lot of people are on CB. You might be able to find someone in a truck but even that’s harder to find. The problem isn’t just the lack of people who use it, it’s the lack of people in your range that use it.

One of the big reasons your range is very limited with CB vs other systems is that they’re limited to 5 watts input which is about 4 watt out. That may be just some vague notion but more power means more distance. At the frequencies that CB radios use, you can only expect to get between 1 and 10 miles or so, depending on the terrain. There could be a million people in the US with their CB’s all on the same channel at the same time, but if they’re not within range, you won’t be talking.

You might think that you could just hack into your ham radio and pump out more power, but the FCC goes after people who do that (just a few examples). Obviously if SHTF, you’re not gonna really care about that but remember that adding more power to transmit and receive farther doesn’t do anything to help you hear the other guy with a normal CB transmitter.

How good are satellite phones in an emergency?

For a lot of emergency situations, satellite phones are pretty good. The first problem with them though is cost. They’re mighty expensive. Not only do you have to shell out for the phone, you have to pay for service and minutes. If you’re stranded somewhere though, it may be worth the cost.

They don’t always work though. I had one with me at all times when I was in Uganda, and it came in hella handy at times. They don’t like jungles though due to the trees blocking the satellites and contrary to what every freaking movie shows, they don’t work indoors or inside a ship like they kept showing in World War Z (which was a decent movie but movie mistakes like that drive me crazy).

The real problem is that it’s highly unlikely you’d need it in a normal household so they’re ONLY good for emergencies and probably not worth the cost.

Another big problem is that just like cell phones, they rely on the satellites to function so if the satellites stop working, then so do the satellite phones. Obviously. Solar storms and CMEs have taken out satellites in the past. They will do it again.

GMRS/FRS/MURS radios

For local communication, GMRS, FRS and MURS radios are pretty good. They don’t require an FCC license for FRS and MURS, they’re cheap, and easy to use. They’ve pretty much replaced CB radios for a lot of families. As such, even though they’re an improvement, they have a lot of the same limitation on power and range.

If you have a true GMRS radio, you may be able to tap into a repeater, which will expand your range to possibly hundreds of miles, but the repeater obviously has to be running, and you have to be within range of the repeater for your radio to hit it. GMRS radios are also allowed to operate at higher power than a lot of other radios. You also need a license to use GMRS frequencies.

Basically, if you’re considering one of these radio systems for emergency use, go with a true GMRS radio and get the license.

Amateur radio (ham radio): the best emergency communication system

I have one of these – AWESOME radio!

So now that I’ve gone through several options that you could choose, but obviously from the title I don’t recommend, let’s look at ham radio.

Ham radio is the go-to communication system for pretty much every emergency response system and is what MARS (the Military Auxiliary Radio System) and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) both use, as well as many search and rescue and other emergency groups.

One of the nice things is that a lot of ham radios can reach the national weather system (NOAA) frequencies. That means that if you have a radio, you can find out what’s going on in the area. If you have a radio scanner, you can listen to what’s going on with emergency frequencies as well as any other that the scanner can reach, and you don’t have to know which one they’re transmitting on. That’s why they call it a scanner. It goes in a loop up through whatever frequencies you tell it to and it stops if it hears someone transmitting.

Here is a list of emergency radio frequencies that you should keep in mind when both looking for radios and coming up with your emergency communications plan. Just to pacify all the know-it-alls who keep telling me this list is crap because you can’t transmit on them – keep in mind that they’re useful to monitor in emergencies even if you can’t send anything out, and I wanted to make as complete a list as I could for everyone:

34.90:      Used nationwide by the National Guard during emergencies.

39.46:      Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces.

47.42:      Used across the United States by the Red Cross for relief operations.

52.525:    Calling frequency used by ham radio operators in FM on their six-meter band.

121.50:     International aeronautical emergency frequency.

138.225: Disaster relief operations channel used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; it is active during earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophic events.

146.52:    Used by ham radio operators for non-repeater communications on the two-meter band; it is very busy in many parts of the country.

151.625:  Used by “itinerant” businesses, or those that travel about the country. Circuses, exhibitions, trade shows, and sports teams are some of the users you can hear. Other widely used itinerant channels are 154.57 and 154.60.

154.28:   Used for inter-department emergency communications by local fire departments; 154.265 and 154.295 also used.

155.160: Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state agencies during search and rescue operations.

155.475: Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces.

156.75:    Used internationally for broadcasts of maritime weather alerts.

156.80:   International maritime distress, calling, and safety channel. All ships must monitor this frequency while at sea. It is also heavily used on rivers, lakes, etc.

162.40:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.425: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.45:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.475: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.50:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.525: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.55:    NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

163.275: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

163.4875: Used nationwide by the National Guard during emergencies.

 

163.5125: The national disaster preparedness frequency used jointly by the armed forces.

164.50: National communications channel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

168.55: National channel used by civilian agencies of the federal government for communications during emergencies and disasters.

243.00: Used during military aviation emergencies.

259.70: Used by the Space Shuttle during re-entry and landing.

296.80: Used by the Space Shuttle during re-entry and landing.

311.00: Flight channel used by the U.S. Air Force.

317.70: Used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.

317.80: Used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.

319.40: Used by the U.S. Air Force.

340.20: Used by U.S. Navy aviators.

409.20: National communications channel for the Interstate Commerce Commission.

409.625: National communications channel for the Department of State.

462.675: Used for emergency communications and traveler assistance in the General Mobile Radio Service.

Here is a large list of different frequencies that you could use to put together a list of channels to follow during an emergency or other times.

Ham radio operation requires a license, but as you can see in this article, they’re easy to get. This isn’t quite as daunting as it seems, especially considering you don’t need to learn Morse code anymore, but it still requires some studying.

There are three main levels of licensing: Technician, General and Extra. The higher license you get, the more frequencies you can use. This is important. The lower license will get you started but you really need the higher licenses if you want to communicate around the world.

Amateur Radio Frequencies as of 5 March 2012

So why is it important to get a license? In non-emergency life, you have to be concerned that the FCC will go after you if you transmit on a frequency that you’re not allowed to operate. For you to be ready for a SHTF scenario, you need to have the equipment and practice with it in order to make sure you’ll be able to get through.

Just like with FCC investigators and volunteers who track down offenders (you have to call out your FCC callsign every 10 minute on the air or you’ll probably get some unwanted attention), if you find yourself in martial law and don’t want to be found, they can track you down pretty easily.

So why does it matter about what frequencies? Just like with CB radios and the others, the frequency will affect how far you can transmit/receive a signal. This can be pretty complicated so it’s best to get a good book on antennas and propagation, and work with more experienced people to help you get going.

There are a LOT of people around the world who use amateur radio. These people are typically in tune with dealing with emergencies or working with communicating with people in different scenarios. Because of the range ham radios can get, it’s a LOT easier to get a hold of someone during an emergency. These people are also extremely resourceful so even if they don’t have a working radio (such as after an EMP pulse), they can make one.

I currently have three ham radios. An inexpensive Baofeng UV-5R handheldthat I keep on my Harley, a great Yaesu VX-6R waterproof handheld with an upgraded antenna that I keep in my bug out bag, and a portable Yaesu FT-857d radio that I can run off a 12v battery. I’m seriously considering upgrading to the Yaesu VX-8DR though because it’s pretty awesome. You might prefer the VX-8GR though.

Here’s a video that shows the difference and some of the cool features, btw:

 

 

A big part of getting your signal out and hearing others is the antenna so if you get a handheld, I’d suggest upgrading the antenna like I mentioned above. Keep in mind also that if you get a Baofeng that their antenna connections are different so you’ll need an adapter in some cases.

Repeaters:

There are a lot of repeaters around the world that can help you transmit long distances with just a little radio. Basically, a repeater will listen to the little radios in its immediate surroundings and then blast the signal out for hundreds, or thousands, of miles. Obviously the repeaters need to be functioning to do this but people who have repeaters are usually up on emergency communication and will have backup power systems. If they go down, they usually know how to fix it.

There are even repeaters that use the internet so if you tap into a repeater and type in the address of a remote repeater in another country, what you say on your little radio will blast out to that point on the other side of the world. I talked to a guy in Australia on the first day I got my Yaesu handheld that way.

Using stealth to operate an amateur radio:

Because ham radio people are crafty lot (and some places don’t allow antennas), there is a whole sub-genre of ways to make antennas so they can’t be detected (by sight, not by signal). Antennas can be made out of flagpoles, ladders, fences, railings, and a lot of other things in plain sight. They can also be hidden inside things or buried.

There are several books such as Low Profile Amateur Radio: Operating a Ham Station from Almost Anywhere that can show you how to do these (which is a great book, by the way but good luck finding a copy of it).

Here are a couple more:

With the proper knowledge (which you can pretty much only get with practice), you can make a radio out of stuff you can find pretty much anywhere that will transmit on frequencies that you can reach other people. Not only is this useful to hide your antennas, it could seriously come in handy if you had to make an antenna in an emergency.

Obviously, the more experience you have with radios, the easier it’ll be for you to do something like this.

The Ham radio community:

As I’ve mentioned, amateur radio operators are not only creative and resourceful, they’re very in tune with handling emergency situations. There are several groups that use ham radio for dealing with disasters or for search and rescue. The two biggest are Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).

If you want to get started learning about ham radio as an effective emergency communications system for you or your family, check out the Prepared Ham Forum. My buddy AD owns the site, and it’s great for learning and asking questions. Lots of helpful people on there to help out.

 

Creative ways to communicate with ham frequencies:

With the right equipment and some practice, you can easily get around the world. And, you don’t have to actually buy a radio to do it. That’s one of the greatest things about learning and using ham radio. You can literally make a working radio out of scrap. There will always be scrap. You will always be able to make a radio.

In addition to the plethora of ham radio equipment and information available, a good basis of theory can get you talking to people even if all electricity and electronics are taken out. Here are some examples of what you can do with a little knowledge:

The Foxhole Radio

A foxhole radio was used by GI’s during WWII and beyond. The cool thing is that it doesn’t require a power source and is made from simple parts like a pencil and razor blade. It’s only a receiver though.

 

 

Crystal Radios

There are many, many, many ways to make a radio out of household items. Way too many to list them here. Suffice it to say that with all the wires and old electronics laying around, making a simple radio receiver is pretty simple. Just like the foxhole radio, these pretty much only receive. They can also be made to use power from the signal itself so they don’t all need anything else to power them.

Homemade AM transmitter?

Fear not dudes and dudettes, you can still make a transmitter out of stuff you can find in a lot of homes or junkyards:

 

 

The spark-gap transmitter

Spark-gap transmitters are pretty simple to make. The good thing is that they transmit over a HUGE frequency range so pretty much anyone nearby is gonna hear it.

The bad things are that they’re illegal (for the same reason) and can zap the heck out of you if you’re not careful. You also have to learn Morse code or create your own in order to have anyone have any idea what you’re trying to say.

 

 

If you don’t have a ham radio license yet (or actually, even if you do), you should look at getting an emergency shortwave radio so you can listen into weather bulletins etc. The Safe-T-Proof radio is a great little one to have because you can charge it with a hand crank or the solar panel, it has a flashlight and a cell phone charger outlet on it too.

It won’t have the range of a ham radio with a good antenna, but it could be really useful in an emergency, and you don’t have to worry about running out of power.

So, there are many different ways to communicate during a disaster situation or if society collapses but for the most flexible and effective way, you should seriously look into getting your ham radio license and start playing with it. It’s a great hobby and one that could be the difference between finding your family in an emergency or losing them.

Either way, make sure whatever you do that you come up with an emergency communications plan beforehand.

 

Other articles to review:

Reliable Ham Radio Post-Disaster Security Communications

Currently Available QRP Radio Kits (ham radio)

Ham Radio Show on TWiT.tv

Emergency Communications

 

Something else to consider:

The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

via:  graywolfsurvival


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TSA MAY EXTEND BAN ON LAPTOPS TO DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

‘The Department of Homeland Security is currently considering the possible expansion of that laptop ban,’ says TSA spox.

The rash of terror attacks in Great Britain come as the summer travel season is beginning. That means security measures, especially at airports, will see increased work loads, and passengers longer waits.

Finding and removing the everyday items that terrorists have turned into threats is a huge challenge, WJZ’s Alex DeMetrick reports.

And between now and Labor Day, a lot of Americans will spend time coming and going by air.

Since 9/11, passenger planes have been a high priority target for terrorists, with bombs bringing down a Russian airliner in Egypt, and blowing a hole in a Somali jet last year.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  infowars


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The Best Driveway Alarm With No False Alarms


If you are wondering what is the best driveway alarm (always subjective and dependent upon your requirements), let me offer my years of experience having installed and used all sorts of different wireless devices for my own home security – devices (e.g motion sensors / alarms) that are designed to alert you inside your home that a vehicle is approaching and/or coming down your driveway or private road…

I have finally installed what I believe is the best driveway alarm (that I currently am aware of), at least one that will not require lots of money or a professional installer – and it actually works for its intended purpose – to alert you that a vehicle is approaching.

The key word is ‘vehicle’, because this driveway alarm does not (thankfully) issue false alarms for animals, blowing tree branches, or any old thing that ‘moves’ in front of it, etc… I just want to be alerted for vehicles for this particular purpose.

The product that I’m talking about is:

Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm (FM231)



The ‘Mighty Mule’ company (no affiliation with this blog) designs devices for automatic gate openers. They also design a driveway alarm using their same sensor technology.


No False Alarms
The reason that their driveway alarm does not issue false alarms for non-vehicles (e.g. animals that happen to pass by or the wind blowing tree branches or bushes, etc…) is because they do not use the type of sensor that throws ‘a beam’ that simply gets interrupted or one that senses a thermal heat signature (infrared) when something passes in front of it.


Sensor Detects Surrounding Magnetic Field
Instead, the Mighty Mule utilizes a sensor ‘wand’ that is specially designed to ‘sense’ its surrounding magnetic field and any disturbances to that magnetic field. The sensor wand is designed to be buried out of sight – several inches deep, up to 12 inches deep – alongside the roadway or driveway, and is connected (via a weatherproof cable) to a transmitter device (also weather proof).



Driveway Alarm Transmitter
The transmitter utilizes two ‘AA’ batteries (use Lithium batteries for best performance) to send its signal to the receiver which is located inside the home.


How It Works
When a vehicle passes by within 15 feet of the electromagnetic sensor, the disturbance in the magnetic field (via the metal of the vehicle) triggers the transmitter to send an alert / alarm back to the receiver.


Driveway Alarm Indoor Receiver
An alarm sounds from the indoor receiver which has an adjustable volume control – letting you know that a vehicle has passed by the sensor.

There is also a low-battery indicator on the indoor receiver which lets you know when the transmitter batteries need to be replaced (a nice feature).

The receiver also has an LED that lets you know that the device has been triggered (in case you missed the audible alarm due to being somewhere else), and it will remain lit until you press a ‘reset’ button. This is another nice feature letting you know that a vehicle has passed by the sensor when you were away.


Great Security For Private Driveway Or Private Road
I happen to live at the end of a private road. It’s nice to know when a vehicle is coming down the road. Having this driveway alarm is especially comforting for ‘the middle of the night’ when there certainly should be no vehicle approaching. If the alarm is ever triggered in the wee hours of the morning, it will ‘buy time’ to get prepared for whatever may be heading this way…


Driveway Alarm Distance
The ‘Mighty Mule’ specification indicates that the driveway alarm will transmit up to 400 feet (ideal conditions). My own installation is at a distance of 330 feet including a number of trees in the way, and it works solid from there. I tried further, but the road dips down and becomes out of ‘the line of sight’ with the receiver (and there are lots more trees in the way) at the 400 foot mark. When I tested the distances (do this before digging the trench!) the 400 foot distance was marginal so I brought it in closer to be assured of a consistent signal.


Mighty Mule Installation Tips
When you insert the ‘AA’ batteries into the transmitter, it ‘takes a snapshot’ of the surrounding magnetic field via the sensor wand’s current position. It uses this reference ‘snapshot’ to detect subsequent differences in the magnetic field which will trigger the alarm. So, when inserting the batteries for testing (and when inserting the batteries for the last time after you’ve completed the installation) be sure that the environment within a 15 foot radius does not include ‘non-typical’ metal objects. For example, a shovel setting nearby, etc…).

Orient the sensor wand parallel with (in line with) the driveway.

Try to get best ‘line of sight’ between the transmitter location and the receiver. The more trees, buildings, walls, the less effective distance. For example, my receiver is setting on the bedroom window sill which faces the general direction of the transmitter.

Once I had determined the location for the transmitter and after I dug the trench for the wand, cable, and support post, I set the plastic support post (of the transmitter) in a shallow dug hole filled with a puddle of concrete for longevity and support, then threw some dirt on top for the grass to grow.

Paint the support post and the transmitter cover to match your surroundings. I used a ‘forest green’ spray paint.


CONCLUSION
An important aspect of overall preparedness is security. Depending on where you live and the layout of your property, this driveway alarm might be something that helps with yours.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: modernsurvivalblog


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How to Successfully Still Get the Internet Even When You’re Living Off the Map: Off the Grid Internet

Living off the grid is a dream for a growing segment of Americans, especially as civilization goes to crap before our eyes. The one thing keeping most people from realizing this dream is the fear of losing the internet. Fear not! There are a few simple ways you can get the web even when you’re hundreds of miles from civilization.

Going off grid doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties to civilization. In fact, thanks to modern technology you can still live your off the grid dreams, while still staying connected to the rest of the world.
One of the questions that I receive most from people looking to go off-the-grid is how they can access the internet when living in remote areas of the country. This is especially important for those of us that rely on the internet for our jobs.
Offered Internet Options:
1) Cell phone connections

There are plenty of rural off the grid locations that still have accessible cell towers within reach of the land. If you live within range of one of these towers, you can use a data-capable cell phone to stay connected and surf the web. While these connections are usually pretty slow, they are one of the cheapest options on the market, and can be a good option for those that are not going to require a lot of bandwidth.

2) Your own hotspot

Depending on how remote you live, using a wireless provider for internet access can help keep you connected 24/7. Most Cell Phone companies and even some newer specialized companies offer wireless Internet services designed specifically for laptops and tablets.
3) Satellite Internet

For travelers and people who have decided to live in remote areas of the world, satellite internet is now a real possibility. Companies like HughesNet and WildBlue now provide fast, affordable service to almost anywhere in the country.

From personal experience I can tell you to avoid HughesNet. Horrible service, bad support, they charge a fortune to keep it working, hidden fees. Might better avoid it unless no other option, and then there’s always Ham Radio for good basic service.
4) Internet via Ham Radio

Although not really practical for large downloads or streaming large files, it is possible to build a repeater network that allows you to access the internet through a ham radio. In fact, during emergency situations ham radios can be used quite successfully to send email, data, and documents when all other forms of communication have gone down.

Even before the internet, Ham radio operators were using an internet of their own called Packet Radio. Packet Radio allows Hams to send files, update bulletin board systems, send text messages and even control remote systems and networks via their radios. Should some catastrophic event ever occur that takes out the internet, Packet Radio technology can still be used to link remote stations and form an ad hoc network — or emergency internet of sorts.

Today, through worldwide radio messaging systems like DStar and Winlink, Ham radio operators can send email with attachments, send emergency relief communications and message relays, and even access the internet. Although the legality of using it to access certain parts of the internet is still in question, and one would not want to transmit personal data or passwords via these technologies, it is a viable option for accessing the internet during emergency situations.

Here is a good video from Amateur Radio Operator Chris Matthieu showing that it is possible to access the internet with a Ham Radio.


5) Connect Via Dial-Up Internet. Remember dial-up? Yep, it’s still available, even though it has its limits (such as not being able easily to watch videos).  More than 2 million Americans are still using dial-up, saving lots of money along the way. Dial-up would work for a while when the electricity is out because landlines would still be working. Landlines are “powered” by the phone company, allowing them to operate when, for instance, a storm knocks out electricity to your town.

For most off-the-grid homes, a favorite choice and growing segment is the option of running a mobile hotspot. Of course, there are still many places in which this option doesn’t work due to the lack of a mobile signal, but those spaces are filling in daily, and until then, satellite internet is an option.

A surprising option, if you happen to be proficient at using a Ham radio, is using a repeater to get some basic internet. It’s not much, but for those of us who want to live off-the-grid, anyways, maybe it’s just what we need.

Internet Connections of the Future

One of the many projects of our wireless companies and Internet service providers is to develop a true nationwide Wi-Fi network. There have been reports that they intend to use every wireless device in every home as a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing true coast-to-coast mobile coverage. Of course, there be will many privacy concerns with such a system.

Another experimental program is being developed by Space X, the private space flight company. They have just received government approval to install a constellation of low altitude satellites, specifically for providing worldwide Internet access.

This isn’t the first time that something like this has been proposed. Other companies have either looked at the possibility or even made some strides towards launching a satellite. But in all cases, the program has failed. Developers say the big difference this time is that the plan is being fostered by a company that sends rockets up into space regularly. Then there’s the possible health issues they are coming out on this type of service.

Don’t give up on the Internet, even if off grid or even in a crisis situation. There are ways of connecting and there will probably be service available to use. The key is to have the right sort of equipment and connections available for what you will need.

This is a really good basic look at the options for internet away from the lights of the cities.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: offthegridnews,
offgridsurvival,
diehardsurvivor


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How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack: ‘These Systems Could Be Completely Inoperable or Breached’

Guest post by Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper.



There is a lot of debate on whether recent computer issues that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal, and United Airlines were just a very strange coincidence (very strange) or a deliberate cyber attack.

This isn’t the first possible cyber attack on the United States this year. Heck, it’s not even the first one this summer. On June 5, Reuters reported a breach occurred that compromised the personal information of millions of federal employees, both current and former. This breach was traced back to a “foreign entity or government.”

Regardless of the origin of the so-called computer “glitches” that shut down Wall Street and a major airline, the events of Wednesday gave us just a tiny glimpse at how serious a cyber attack could be.

What exactly is a cyber attack?

A cyber attack is more than just shutting down the computer systems of a specified entity. It is defined as “deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises and networks. Cyberattacks use malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data and lead to cybercrimes, such as information and identity theft.”

Technopedia lists the following consequences of a cyber attack:

  • Identity theft, fraud, extortion
  • Malware, pharming, phishing, spamming, spoofing, spyware, Trojans and viruses
  • Stolen hardware, such as laptops or mobile devices
  • Denial-of-service and distributed denial-of-service attacks
  • Breach of access
  • Password sniffing
  • System infiltration
  • Website defacement
  • Private and public Web browser exploits
  • Instant messaging abuse
  • Intellectual property (IP) theft or unauthorized access

Cyber attacks happen far more frequently than you might think. Check out this real-time map for a look at the almost constant seige.

How does a cyber attack affect you?

You may think that if you don’t spend your day working online, that an attack on our computer infrastructure isn’t that big of a deal. You may feel like it wouldn’t affect you at all.

Unfortunately, there are very few people in the country that would remain completely unaffected in the event of a major cyber attack. Our economy, our utility grids, and our transportation systems are all heavily reliant upon computers. This makes us very vulnerable to such an attack.

And by vulnerable, I mean that if it was done on a big enough scale, it could essentially paralyze the entire country.

Here are some of the systems that are reliant on computers.

In the event of a widespread cyber attack, the following could be either completely inoperable or breached. Keep in mind that a domino effect could occur that effects systems beyond the original target.

  • Gas stations (most of the pumps are now digital and connect right to your bank)
  • Banks (all of the records are online) would not be able to process electronic transactions. ATM machines would not function to allow customers access to cash.
  • Utility systems (most power stations are run by computers)
  • Water treatment facilities (these are automated too)
  • Protection of personal information, including data about your finances, medical records, physical location, and academic records – everything a person would need to steal your identity
  • Government operations, including dangerous identifying information about federal employees or members of the military
  • Transportation systems (trains, subways, and planes are heavily reliant upon computers)
  • Traffic management systems like stoplights, crosswalks, etc.
  • Air traffic control
  • Everyday trade – most business have a computerized cash register that communicates directly with banks. Many business are also reliant on scanning bar codes for inventory control and pricing. Point-of-sale systems would be down and people would not be able to pay using credit or debit cards.
  • Telecommunications systems can be affected if cell towers are disabled or if the landline system were directly attacked. As more people rely on VOIP, taking down internet service would serve a dual purpose.
  • SMART systems could be shut down or manipulated. All of those gadgets that automate climate control, use of utilities, or appliances through SMART technology are vulnerable.

Here’s a video from NATO that explains a little bit more about the dangers of cyber attacks.

Prepping to survive a cyber attack

Prepping for a cyber attack is not that different from prepping for other types of disasters that affect the grid. You want to be able to operate independently of public utilities, stores, or public transportation.

Click each item to learn more details.

  1. Have a supply of water stored in case municipal supplies are tainted or shut down
  2. Be prepared for an extended power outage.
  3. Have a food supply on hand, as well as a way to prepare your food without the grid.
  4. Keep cash in small denominations on hand in the event that credit cars, debit cards, and ATMs are inoperable.
  5. Keep vehicles above half way full of fuel, and store extra gasoline.
  6. Be prepared for off-grid sanitation needs.
  7. Invest in some communications devices like ham radio or one of these other options.
  8. Be ready to hunker down at home to avoid the chaos that could come in the aftermath of a massive cyber attackBe prepared to defend your home if necessary.
  9. Remember that your prepper supplies and skills will see you through this disaster just like any other.
  10. Protect your identity with a service like LifeLock (which will alert you to suspicious activity once things return to normal). Use some of these tips to keep your information locked down.

     

     

    Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

     

    The article has been contributed by the ever insightful and always informative Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the author of several books, including her latest The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget.

    Via: theorganicprepper


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Ecocapsule: Off-grid Living Anywhere in the World

Maybe your dream is to live off the grid on a beach. The ecocapsule is a small egg-shaped low-energy home for exactly that! This is an ultra-portable housing, designed by Nice Architects based in Bratislava, is completely self-contained. This capsule can collect energy from solar panels lining the top and a wind turbine that can be attached through a connection on the roof of the capsule. It also has a rainwater collection and filtration system set up.



Ecocapsule is a low-energy house packed into a compact form. It merges an energy efficient shape, compact volume and off-grid capabilities with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water and a hot meal.



The ecocapsule home is fitted with “all essentials necessary for a comfortable prolonged stay without a need to recharge or re-supply.” It has a tiny kitchen, bathroom with a toilet and shower, and even a flushing toilet. In total, the Ecocapsule is about 86 square feet.

Ecocapsule gets all of its power from solar panels in the roof and a 750 Watt wind turbine. Both feed a 4200 Wh battery, which supplies all the necessary energy. It also has a rainwater collector that filters it for use.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: survivalist

Source: HigherPerspectives


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21 Homeschool Resources For All Ages

From our frinds at thesurvivalmom

When my parents first pulled my brother and me out of private school to educate us at home in 1994, we were on the very fringe of an often misunderstood movement. We knew only two other families who homeschooled their kids. We heard rumors that there were others, but had no way to get in touch with them. It was nearly impossible to find resources, so my mother used a lot of the same curriculum that had been used by our last school. My mother often said that she wished she had pulled us out to homeschool earlier, but she had no way of knowing where to purchase materials or curricula. Obviously this was before the internet became widely used.

The homeschooling landscape has changed a lot in the last twenty years. Negative stereotypes that hounded us in 1994 have largely been proven ridiculous. When I started homeschooling my kindergartener last year, I was up to my eyeballs in resources, many of them free. My parents spent $1000 on curricula the first year they taught us at home. In 2014 I spent less than $100.

Here’s a selection of my favorite articles and homeschool resources for all ages, and they’re all free.

Homeschool Philosophy/ Homeschool Tips

1) Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Burnout is the #1 problem homeschoolers face, which is why I listed it as the very first link. How many of us start the year with glorious expectations of our children’s academic success, only to find, six weeks in, that we are living an unsustainable model? Read Avoiding Homeschool Burnout for tips from experienced homeschooling parents.

2) Using Netflix in Homeschool Curriculum

I confess I do not have a Netflix account, but I use YouTube in a similar fashion in my own home school. Read Homeschooling with Netflix Documentaries and Using Netflix in Our Homeschooling.

3)  “The Baby IS the Lesson

Many families homeschool for moral or religious reasons. Moral instruction is an important part of a child’s upbringing but sometimes gets lost in the busy-ness that is homeschooling. Read The Baby IS The Lesson for inspiration.

Resources for Teaching Art

4) Harrington Harmonies

The author of this blog regularly posts fun and useful art projects around a theme, perfect for younger children who love to explore.

5) Drawspace

Simple, step-by-step instruction on the more technical side of drawing. Topics include line, value, shape, perspective, and color. Some lessons are free, others require a paid subscription.Browse here for all kinds of lessons in art.

6) Metropolitan Museum of Art – books with full text

You know those giant coffee-table books with all the pictures that they sell at museums? The Metropolitain Museum of Art has published a couple hundred of these over the years, and many of them are now available as free pdf downloads. Not only a good resource for art, but history as well.

7) Google Cultural Institute

Will the wonders of Google never cease? The cultural institute is a searchable image database of museum collections from all over the world, along with item descriptions.

Resources for Teaching Literacy

8) This Reading Mama

Lots and lots of free printable worksheets and emergent readers to inspire literacy in young children. The author of This Reading Mama blog also has products for sale.

9) The Amazing-Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker

My kindergartner is not inspired by his handwriting workbook, which encourages him to write, “Grey Goose,” and “The band can play,” dozens of times. He is very interested, however, in writing about things that interest him, so I regularly print up worksheets for things that say, “Space Shuttle,” and “Jupiter,” and “Kuiper Belt.” This site lets you choose from print manuscript, D’nealian, and cursive handwriting fonts.

Resources for Teaching Math and Science

10) Khan Academy

What started with a guy sharing simple videos on how to do a variety of math problems has evolved into a sophisticated online system of courses on a variety of subjects. Khan Academy math classes range from elementary-level mathematics to differential equations and linear algebra. Also offered are video lectures on history, art history, science, economics, and preparation for college entrance exams. The math section is Common Core Aligned.

11) Physics Animations

Sometimes you have to see a scientific principle in action before you understand it. These short animations of physics concepts are clear and concise.

Resources for Teaching History

12) BBC’s Primary History

This BBC website includes information on a wide cross-section of time periods – colorful illustrations and clear, easy-to-read text.

For Advanced Students: Open Courseware

Open courseware is a term that describes recordings and materials from actual university courses now available for free. Subjects vary from technical fields to history and social science.

13) Yale

14) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For Special Needs Students

15) Homeschooling with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is often misunderstood, and can really throw a wrench in one’s educational plans. Some homeschool philosophies proclaim, “reading is easy, don’t sweat it.” Ha. (As a dyslexic, myself, I ought to know!) This site, Homeschooling with Dyslexia, probably would have been nice to have when I was growing up.

16) Homeschooling Autism.

This Homeschooling Autism blog has a lot of valuable information, though it hasn’t been updated in a few months.

Free! Homeschooling Resources for All Ages

17) Homeschool Giveaways

If you are looking for a site that does all the work for you in compiling lists of free worksheets and print-out activities on nearly every subject you can think of, here it is. This site primarily provides outside links to other sites, some of which require that you sign up for their email newsletter before you can access the material.

18) Homeschool Share.

This site has hundreds of free lapbooks, for a variety of age levels. Each download includes both the activities and the research required to complete it. If you have children in the younger elementary grades, they will love these cut-and-past activities.

Still lost?

If you need to begin homeschooling immediately either by desire or necessity but still don’t know quite where to start, there are several sites that include entire online curricula from kindergarten to high school.

19) Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool

A complete curriculum for all subjects that can be done by a student entirely on the computer.

20) Ambleside Online

Comes with the Survival Mom Stamp of Approval.

21) Discovery K12

Another complete online curriculum.

There are as many different approaches to homeschooling as there are children to be homeschooled. When I first began our homeschool year with my kindergartner, I had a very clear, structured idea of what we would be doing. Our reality became quite different as I decided to pull from a variety of different approaches instead of following one set curriculum, choosing to follow my child’s interests in lieu of a predetermined syllabus. Having the ability to access free homeschool resources for all ages has been a definite help.

Whether you are already homeschooling, or just thinking about it, I hope this short list (because this could have been much, much longer) will be of use.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via:  thesurvivalmom

 


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Use Plants To Charge Your phone – E-Kaia

 

Did you know that you can charge your phone whether you have an outlet near you or not? No, I’m not talking about lugging a battery around to keep your phone charged. I’m talking about the soil. You can use energy from plants in the soil to charge your phone or other low energy products. In Chile, three engineering students have developed a new device to charge your phone by simply plugging your the terminals of a handheld device directly into the soil. This could be a monumental change for developing countries around the world.

So many do not have electricity readily available to them like we do here in the United States. Rather than bringing the energy to those areas, this device could simply allow them to harvest the energy that is available right beneath their feet all the time.

Three engineers in Chile have invented a smartphone charger that is able to harness energy from plants in order to charge a phone, removing the need for an electrical power supply.


E-Kaia is the brainchild of Evelyn Aravena, Camila Rupcich and Carolina Guerrero, three engineering students who came up with the idea for an electricity-free smartphone charger when they were in university at the Duoc UC in Valparaíso and the Andrés Bello National University in 2009.

In the Netherlands, there is a solution called Plant-e that involves harnessing electricity from living plants, but many plants are required to create the energy needed. Instead, E-Kaia only needs one healthy plant.

A biocircuit is buried in a plant pot with a plant, with outputs leading out of the soil, and 5 volts and 600 milliamps can be harvested and converted into electrical energy without causing any damage to the plant. This amount of power can charge a smartphone in one and a half hours, according to the creators.

The portable ergonomic charging device prototype is still patent-pending, and the creators say that it is not just limited to charging phones– the technology can harvest enough electricity to charge LED lamps, fans, speakers and any type of low-power product that recharges its batteries using a USB port.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: survivalist


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GridCrash: Instant Chaos, Just Add Code

Guest post by By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

—————–

With all the recent attention about cyberterrorism flowing from the popular media’s kitchen sink approach to journalism, I thought it an appropriate time to address the very real possibility of an instantaneous GridCrash. And what makes a GridCrash so frightening is that it can happen without any warning, under a clear blue sky, in the middle of any day, and carries with it an unlimited supply of unpredictable downstream events. One second there is power and water and information. Then next second you’re Dark, Dry, and Dumb.

What Normal Is

Today’s “normal” is housed in little more than a constant stream of ones and zeros that every computer everywhere consumes at a record rate even if the source of the numbers is highly questionable.  Add to that the massive arrogance and overconfidence held by those at the top of the computing food chain and you can easily see that this recipe for disaster is already in the oven baking away on broil.  The magnitude of this threat is so mind boggling that the shear weight of the implications are paralyzing to the point of indifference.  Ladies and gentlemen, we are so far down this rabbit hole that even if it does not cave in on us through malice, it will cave in under its own weight no matter what.

Sony’s recent woes are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but they are also a useful wake up call to prepare for the most sudden kind of crash that produces no sound. Even worse, a crash might actually be a safer stop than what is likely to happen where we are terrorized first then we crash. The vast underestimation of North Korea’s cyber-capabilities, regardless of who is truly behind the wheel, is evidence enough to worry that this current ‘beta test’ is a dry run for all potentially malicious digital actions whether directly related or not.

Data breaches like those of Target, Home Depot, AOL, the US Government, and just about everyone else whether you were informed about it or not, are child’s play in the big picture. Got a pile of SS numbers and bank info? Well goodie for you. Lost personal data is like graffiti.  But when the keys to modern civilization’s kingdom go missing, we know it’s not a drill.

The Scary Parts

First, like identity theft the only way cyber trespassing is detected is after it happened. I can rattle off a pile of statistics, but since you are the likely recipient of  letter informing you of a data breach involving your personal information, you already know this is both real and out of control not to mention seemingly without any punishment to those who collected and then lost our data.

Second, if you heard about it, then its no longer internally contained and thus raging so far out of control that the PR nightmare and stock price drop will no longer deter the silence.

Third, the victim is at the mercy of the criminal’s word when it comes to the extent of the damage, and there is no way the criminal is going to show his complete hand. Instead, that fist full of aces will be thrown down over time and as needed. All we can do is watch and wait.

Consider North Korea’s threats. If they pulled off the biggest cyber-coup since the dawn of the microchip, then pretending their threats are idle is foolish at best.  Strange thing about N. Korea, it is so far behind in all our measures of progress that of all the places on this planet, it is the one that seems the most contradictory when it comes to cyber-crime. It’s almost as if the mild mannered owner of the local burger joint runs the biggest meth dealership west of the Mississippi.

And forth, the downstream implications of a massive and malicious cyber-takeover are literally unimaginable due to the infinite number of combinations of outcomes. The forest of fault-trees has never been logged so we have absolutely no idea how this will play out. And no doubt the sugar coated outcomes delivered to Congress have made this sound like a vote-able choice was involved somewhere.  Making matters worse is that those who are paid the big bucks to think about this stuff have won’t share much info with us peasants. Not that it will make much difference, but it would certainly help.

Remember the big push to outfit all Americans with duct tape, bottled water, and plastic sheeting?  Well, that list should have included some additional items like tax breaks for preppers, survivalist literature displays at the post office and DMV, city council meeting updates on public survival education and supply channel backups, and most importantly, a candid and honest assessment of the risks given our current infrastructure. Since we are all relying on each other to do the job right the first time, and we know that rarely happens, we should build into our GridCrash plans the fact that things will be much worse much faster than what the red three-ring binder sitting on the shelf would lead you to believe. This will not be a slow whimper into darkness. It will be an instantaneous cyber shock wave that will leave everyone with their mouth open and their ears ringing.

So take a moment right now and think Boom! It’s over.  It’s not an EMP so your car will run through the gas you have on hand. Anything not relying on the water/electric/gas/financial/communication/medical/logistics grid will continue to function for a while, but that’s only the stuff you can touch with a 10-foot pole.  The rest is gone.  Vaporized.  Or worse.

The physical world is still here and just the same as two seconds ago.  What is different is that our modern society is not only held together with ones and zeros, but so much of our collective knowledge base is kept in those weightless digits as well.  The announcement from the White House stating that the Sony data breach is a national security issue means we are officially one small step behind North Korea, and one giant leap away from being able to do anything about it.

Well of course its a national security issue. What isn’t? But this is so much different than a traditional physical threat. This current “issue” is like a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. The time for threat is gone. That ship sailed when Sony sin’s went public. The truth is we have no idea how, where, when, exactly who, why, and the biggest question of what. Chasing hope in a crime scene is not encouraging.  So on to plan B.

Regret Will Be Expensive

Make no mistake.  This is big.  When cell phones and computers go dark, we will be shocked and confused.  When water, power and food stop flowing, we will be scared and angry.  When the bullets start flying, we will be on our own. Remember all those good intentions of forming a neighborhood network of like-minds, all those survival items sitting in your Amazon shopping cart, all those additional cans of food you were going to buy soon?  Guess what?   You blew it. Yup, you screwed the pooch. May I ask why? Not that it matters now, but I’m just curious. Did you really believe that you would have any more of head start on this then you do now? The alarms have gone off. The lights are flashing. The doors are slowly closing. And its all in the headlines.

Look in the mirror. And then fish or cut bait. If you are waiting for someone to tell you what to do, well then I will right now. Follow this simple list:

  1. Get scared.
  2. Get food.
  3. Get water.
  4. Get protection.
  5. Get a clue.

This website, shtfblog.com and Survivalcache.com are jam packed with advice, gear, perspectives, solutions, and of course clues for unfriendly times.  But none of it matters if you don’t pull your head and your family out of the sand and do something. Anything is better than nothing, and you are much smarter than the average bear since you’ve read this far.  It’s time to do some serious preparation.

Let’s, for a moment, let our imaginations run amok with near-Sci Fi scenarios of cyber-terrorism that, unbelievably, are actually already in play.  Consider for a moment what would happen if many of the cheap home wireless routers, internet TV appliances, and cheap no-name computers had malicious code baked into them at point of manufacture. Hardly a stretch. In fact there are cases where network devices were contaminated right out of the box.  The moment it was plugged in, it began its nefarious activities.  Now consider how many consumers could care less where the electronic device came from as long as its cheap or a Black Friday blowout sale.

Or how about data storage devices with on-board malicious code that automatically writes bad stuff to any media inserted into it. Or the very media (CD, DVD, USB, Etc.) that are shipped infected.  Maybe the code is dormant until a certain date, or maybe personal info is captured and sent to who knows where, never detected for years.  Even if we suddenly wanted to protect our grid, we can’t. That train left the station the moment you plugged in the cord.

Finally, imagine if a black market outpost was not full of arms dealers, but instead packed with a clean-cut suit-wearing business types selling stolen and mutated computer viruses.  When a virus, worm or operating system vulnerability is created or discovered, it could be worth millions of dollars. But unlike actual weapons made of molecules, digital weapons can be shared instantaneously all over the world, and an infinite number of perfect copies can be made from just one.  What if one AK47 could be instantly transformed into thousands or millions of AKs.  All you need is one gun and you can outfit an army. Oh, and that AK can be emailed.

Given the swift response the US made to N. Korea, I imagine that much of our current grid and network protection comes from a old-school MAD mentality rather than perfect security.  MAD, if you recall is a nuclear annihilation model where you assure the destruction of your enemy if they are so stupid to annihilate you.  Perhaps those in the top-floor offices believe that nobody is dumb enough to destroy another country’s grid because it will result in the immediate destruction of their own grid.  Hmm.  I don’t think I’ll hold my breath for that to work very much longer.  Finding a digital-suicide bomber is only a matter of time.

However, if it’s any consolation, I offer this one-time opportunity to our readers.  Should you find yourself in a GridCrash, just head Montana ward  Should you happen to stumble upon my land, I will welcome you with open arms.  You see most of the essentials of modern life are still just interesting conveniences out here in wild Montana.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: shtfblog


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Sony Hackers Make New Demands… This Is What Happens When You Negotiate With Terrorists

Though the U.S. government’s official position is that North Korea is to blame, it’s not clear exactly who has hacked Sony and one could argue that it is nothing more than a propaganda show designed to distract the American public from more important matters like a collapsing global economy, problems in Russia or the fact that our Congress just passed a spending bill padded with all sorts of goodies for banking behemoths.

But it has nonetheless been interesting to observe.

So much so that even the President of the United States has now gotten involved. After Sony reportedly pulled ‘The Interview’ from theater distribution earlier this week in response to threats of a “9/11-style attack” from the hacking collective that calls itself the Guardians of Peace, the President said in a press conference that Sony executives made a mistake.

“I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced,” Obama said. “Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”

“I wish they’d spoken to me first [before canceling the release of the film],” Obama said later.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” Obama said. “If somebody’s able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don’t like, or news reports they don’t like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.”

Indeed, that’s one statement from the President we can agree with.

Sony supposedly pulled the movie because theaters that were going to show the flick were threatened with terrorist attacks. That, of course, is an easy out for executives at the firm, because just a couple of days earlier the ‘GOP’ hackers warned Sony of a Christmas surprise. Specifically, they said that if the movie opened as scheduled they would release even more damning evidence and information against the company. In fact, they even released a massive digital file named after the CEO of Sony, Michael Lynton, and said it would be decrypted for the public if Sony didn’t back off.

Given what we saw from the previous Sony hack, Lynton must have realized that failing to heed the hackers’ warnings would be a career ender for him. So, in the interests of self preservation, Lynton jumped on board with ‘The Interview’ ban in the hopes that all of his problems would go away.

But as you might have expected, when you negotiate with terrorists, it will only lead to more demands.

Appeasement was a failed policy under Neville Chamberlain that allowed Hitler to continue to Blitzkrieg Europe, and as noted by well known Hollywood actor Rob Lowe, it is a failed policy for Sony.

In the spirit of Kim Jong Il, Un and the rest of the world’s dictators, the hackers now want all traces of the movie’s existence removed from the annals of history… or else.

“It’s very wise that you have made the decision to cancel the release of The Interview. It will be very useful for you,” CNN reports the message as reading. The email concludes, “We will ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble.

Unfortunately for Sony, that “trouble” includes a laundry list of perceived issues: “Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” the message reportedly says. It also says, “And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.

But why stop there?

Why not force all American movie companies to simply submit all of their scripts and production plans to the hacking collective for approval?

We understand Sony’s decision was based on the self preservation of its executives in this matter. But from public relations perspective the company completely fumbled the ball on this one.

They could have taken the short-term pain and went with the release of the film. The hackers would have released the emails. More than likely heads would have rolled at the executive management levels of the company. But the company would have, at the very least, been seen as an organization that is prepared to do as they said, which is to “stand behind the free expression” of the artists involved in their films.

Now they are seen by the American public as weak and spineless.

And guess what? Chances are that all that sensitive data is going to be released anyway.

This is what happens when you cave in to the demands from terrorists. Moreover, Sony just sent a clear signal to the rest of the world that American companies are more than willing to negotiate.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via :  shtfplan


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