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Comment Camping gear comes in handy... (Score 2) 191

I would suggest reading up on if you haven't already.

One piece of advice is that if you collect portable camping gear, you'll find yourself decently prepared, since many of the items you need for camping also assume that you don't have regular infrastructure. Camping food/water also have 5+ year shelf life, so you can go camping and use up your old supply, as well as get practice using all your gear. No point waiting 20+ years to find out you have no idea how to use it.

So... between a month of food/water, a tent, sleeping bags, portable lanterns, wood/gasoline stoves, portable cookware, water filtration kits, solar power stations, hand-crank radio/light/chargers, steel-bottom/tip shoes, kevlar gloves, household tools (hammer, nails, wrenches, etc), outdoor tools (shovel, hand-operated chainsaw, etc), real first aid kits, etc, you find yourself decently prepared.

An added luxury would be a generator... Though costly, that would help keep your fridge alive, and there's usually a week+ worth of food in there, and you don't need your generator running 24-7 to prevent the contents from spoiling. Having enough fuel (or siphon from your car), extension cables, and a safe place to safely deploy it without concentrating CO or attracting too much attention might be a challenge, though. In a pinch, you can do this without a generator by using your running car and a 120V inverter, but that means leaving your car on, and again, we run into the same issues mentioned above.

If you're concerned about personal mobility, it's worth noting that you can buy solid (but heavy) mountain bike tires that cannot have flats, and it's something I've considered, but have not acted on yet.

All in all, I hope we all can get a bit more prepared and increase our chances at making it through these challenging events...

Comment You're on the right track... (Score 2, Insightful) 289

Have you considered getting a T-Mobile phone with UMA? It's certainly not the cheapest option with standard mobile pricing of ~$30/mo and ~$5 of various taxes, but you have the added advantage of being able to have a "normal" phone when you're outside of Wi-Fi coverage.

If you're looking for the best value, you can get an Ipevo Wi-Fi Skype phone for ~$140 (a bit less than Netgear/Belkin; works fine). Add $3/mo unlimited US calling and $30 for SkypeIn so landlines can call you, and your total cost is $66/yr... That's tough to beat, and what I would do if I were you. The only downside is that the batteries for these devices may be a challenge to source, and as far as the phone, it's certainly no-frills.

The iPod Touch is not a solution I can recommend due to the lack of on-device microphone -- not to mention its battery on Wi-Fi being rather poor.

Good luck, and way to go on saving some cash! ;)

Comment Re:2006? (Score 5, Informative) 82

As the article on Slashdot indicates, the 2006 ruling was overturned recently, which is why it's news.

You can google for more info, but many articles fail to convey how incredibly popular this program was in Japan. In 2006, it was reported that 1 in 3 computers had this program installed. Add that to the fact that most folks in Japan had very fast Broadband speeds even in 2006, you can imagine the amount of files that exchanged hands.

I'm glad to see that the correct ruling has been made, finally...

Comment Re:Encryption (Score 5, Interesting) 459

On N270 Atoms, whole-disk AES encryption works perfectly fine, and the only time I notice a slow-down is when I'm running a benchmark program side-by-side with a model that has an unencrypted drive. For regular browsing and e-mail (which is what the person asking the question listed as a qualification), it's a non-issue.

As some others have posted, and what my local police have told me, the laptop will likely have been sold for cash in less than 24 hours. Unless you are being targeted specifically for something of significant value such as corporate IP, it's unlikely that anyone is going to spend the time to try to unencrypt your drive.

But other threats still loom...

If you plan on connecting to any network, you will expose your machine to any network-based threat, so you ought to harden your machine accordingly.

Make sure you still have a strong password for your account login. If your machine is in hibernate, the crypto authentication prompt will stop them, but if your machine was sleeping, it'll return to the OS prompt.

The one scenario where you're not protected at all is if the machine is powered on, logged in, and someone grabs it by force. I realize there are proximity-based USB dongles that will lock the screen when the remote adapter is beyond range, but this may be far too impractical to use. A USB security dongle sticking out the side is a quick recipe for a broken USB port...

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