Product Review: Some Responses to Cyber Grid Worries

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The Energize EN2000 (the slender silver box in the background): perfect for building my shelter (shack?) in the woods.

Judging from my recent entries on smart home hacking and cyber security for the electrical grid, some might interpret this post as evidence of my mounting paranoia. It’s not (I’m not saying you won’t find evidence of that elsewhere, just that this post is not that evidence). Nevertheless, today I will review three products, two of which could useful when the grid fails. All are portable device charges and/or power sources. Read more

Hurricane Sandy Knocks Out Cellular Service to 25% of Nation’s Cellular Sites

Hurricane Sandy, which slammed much of the east coast of the United States October 28 and 29, crippled cellular communications throughout the region. As of 10:00 a.m. on October 30, it was estimated that 25% of the nation’s wireless companies’ cell sites in 10 states ranging from Virginia to Massachusetts were not operational.

A few days later, the situation was somewhat improved. By November 1, it was estimated that the number of cell site outages overall had fallen to approximately 19%. “This figure includes many cases where cell sites that are otherwise operational are effectively inoperable because of outages in other parts of the communications infrastructure, which is highly interdependent,” said David Turetsky, FCC Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau Chief. Read more