Supposedly when my grandad got a 3-day weekend, he would "visit" Texas -- starting in Seattle, passing through California for the heck of it, and making it home in time for work. He had a massive Cadillac that got 13mpg at any speed, so he'd set cruise control for 110 and drive until he had to pull over and take a nap.
I don't know how much of the story is true, but I guess roads were way more open back in the 70's, gas was cheaper, and we have pictures of the Cadillac...
Yesterday I installed the latest version of Skype on my laptop. It turned on my webcam, took my picture, and tried to set it as the profile image for my Skype account.
Of course, it's crazy to expect to be pseudonymous on skype but that was still a little unsettling.
You can tell pretty easily from the MAC address, which is broadcasted in the clear even on an encrypted network. You *can* change that on most routers, but most people have no reason to.
Mine was "linksys" for a long time -- not actually the default on my router but it was an open network and I figured most people's computers would already be configured to automatically connect to it.
Now I live in a denser city, everyone secures their networks here and if you don't you'll be hammered with torrent traffic all day.
No, your laptop by itself couldn't, but the protocol is certainly capable of handling the distance if you tweak the timeout settings and have a powerful radio and a good antenna setup.
They probably wouldn't actually use wifi though, some of the cellphone-based standards are more suitable for this type of system.
To use this you would probably need an antenna and modem set up on your house, much like satellite Internet. It would still be a challenge though, I've streamed data off a balloon before and we were tracking it manually with a high gain antenna and used extremely slow data rates. They're going to be limited to solar power too, which limits their radio output power a lot.
I only noticed jitter once or twice. It was less severe than jitter I've experienced through normal cell connections (and even on landlines), although I'm sure it could get way worse with bad network conditions.
In any case, that phone is broken and the carrier doesn't offer any UMA-capable phones for almost free with a contract anymore. I don't like talking on the phone anyway so meh.
If you do a search for "Texas police tank" you'll see that some police department does have a small armored vehicle. I suppose it might technically qualify as a tank but it has road tires and no gun on top. From what I've heard, they didn't use it much and eventually stopped driving it due to fuel costs. I don't have a source on that, is was some random guy on the Internet
And it turns out that it's much cheaper to buy bullets by the ton. I certainly hope our tax money doesn't go into buying bullets at Walmart prices.
Utility knife for opening boxes and stuff.
A cheapo multimeter. You're working with electronics, having one of these is a requirement even though many people in IT try to get by without them.
Perhaps a soldering iron and solder sucker. Hopefully you'll never need them but weird shit happens.
A set of precision screwdrivers is sometimes needed for taking stuff apart, and can be pushed into extra duty as pin extractors or whatever else.
A dedicated Ethernet tester can be pretty handy too. And get a crimper for these if you don't have one already.