That's why it's a good idea to encrypt data over Tor whenever possible - it's really only there to anonymize. If you're careful and stick to SSL-capable sites for things like email and banking, you should be fine. Otherwise, yes, assume someone will sniff your password.
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Could you elaborate? What other equipment are you talking about?
This is not simply hooking you into the grid. This is also putting in equipment to allow you to push power BACK to the grid. That's neither inexpensive, nor trivial.
What equipment on the grid are you referring to here, aside from maybe meters that are asble to sense power moving in either direction?
Many people do not realize that solar installs will go dark during a blackout with out these very large and uber expensive battery systems.
In most cases this is true, the invereters designed to work in pure grid-tied systems won't supply power without a battery. SMA however has an inverter that can supply some power (up to 1500 watts) during a grid outage, while the sun is up. Obviously it doesn't work at night, but in the event of some kind of disaster at the very least you can charge cell phones, laptops, or whatever when there's sun. Hopefully this is something that starts showing up in other inverters.
On the other hand, if you have something that would require a UPS anyways, a hybrid inverter and battery might just be the way to go.
Anyone have experience with non-root tether apps on Android?
If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty with adb and OpenVPN, you can take a look at azilink. It basically runs a Java-based NAT on your phone, which communicates with OpenVPN on your computer. I had some issues with the app on the phone crashing once in a while, but for the most part it works. It might work better for you.
I would second this. I've got a 2d3 I run OpenBSD on for a firewall, and it works pretty well.
Just add enough enough worcestershire sauce and it'll be fine.
Out of curiosity, what are your feelings with encryption regarding HSMM-MESH? I mean in terms of controlling other nodes - if I have a router set up in a remote location, I want to be sure that no one else can take control of it unless I allow them. This is especially an issue as the hardware is fairly ubiquitous and well-known outside the ham community, so I would be concerned with security regarding outsiders.
The proposal mentions encryption in the case of controlling an unattended station. I don't think this is a bad idea (so, in the case of HSMM-MESH you could use SSH or HTTPS to manage a node), although I do understand the general objection toward encrypting general traffic. I suppose too that as long as the node could verify your identity you wouldn't need to necessarily encrypt, as long as it was done so that no one could tamper with the signal.
The other thing is that it's not like one person would have to tie a charging slot up for two hours while their phone charged. If people with dead phones plugged in for a few minutes a lot of them could get just enough of a boost in for a quick phone call or some text messaging. It's not a lot, but for a lot of people it could be great for getting a word out to friends and family. It doesn't have to fully charge everyone's phone to be effective.
This really depends on how they're built, and where they're sited. If they pay attention to those details there's a good chance that something that would take out the power would leave the kiosks usable. Strengthening the infrastructure is good and should also be done, but then it's still a major point of failure. At leas this is some additional redundancy.
There's actually an amateur radio project to create a mesh network, as WiFi channels 1-6 actually fall into the ham bands. It's not very widespread in that you can just set up a node and get on, but it is pretty easy to deploy at events or in emergencies - just take the router out and plug it in. The site is hsmm-mesh.org.
A lot of the visual effects companies tend to run Linux on workstations (except for things like Photoshop, obviously), as well as on the servers. Not sure what Pixar's using on their workstations, but either way 3D modeling and compositing are different beasts than editing.
That said, there are a few commercial video editors that seem to support Linux; I found out about Mistika on Wikipedia. I'm not sure how widely systems like that are used, though.
Another option is to take a normal car and add a couple deep cycle batteries and charge them from a battery isolator. These are used in RVs, and let you charge the other batteries from the alternator along with the starting battery while not letting both banks drain all the way down (so you can still start your car). Then get a big inverter and hook it to the deep cycle batteries. Of course, if you need a lot of power a dedicated generator may be easier.
If/When this comes to market, it will hopefully have some protection built in. In part, if their circuit sensed existing voltage on the output, it should shut off. Sort of similar to photovoltaic intertie inverters, though they're meant to run in phase with the grid and then detect when its down. Basically, the problem you refer to is called islanding, and there are some methods to avoid it. And of course, you can't always outsmart a fool, but some protection is better than nothing.
A decent quality inverter should be able to handle the startup, but sizing it to be a bit bigger than you need is a good idea, as is making sure you don't skimp on inverter-to-battery cabling. Even better, if you are going to set up a bit of a larger backup system, is if you can use a 24 or 48 volt battery and inverter instead of 12. (Then maybe you'd charge it from a generator, or some solar panels if you want.) Less DC amps makes it easier to start bigger things.