Friday, February 24, 2012

Home Front: Outages, news and contact

As you may have heard (or been affected by) there was a widespread internet outage in Australia yesterday which hammered home one clear message. I need a radio. With all my technological toys, and EDC kit, all stashed away, it took the plug being pulled to remind me that without data, I was just sitting in my office, wondering where the flash was. Of course, the power was on, the phones and cellular networks were still functioning, and some national sites were still active, so I wasn't worried about an immediate, local situation, but when the internet dries up ... I sat up and paid attention.

So, a radio. I was thinking a lightweight, world-band battery powered one, as it could also be charged by one of my solar chargers and would give me the potential for listening out to further reaches than just FM or AM reception, which is why I favour this over the hand-cranked emergency radios I've seen, even though they have a range of good functionality as well.

I'm of two minds on what to equip myself with, but the message was clear, when the internet went out, I was cut off from all news-sources I currently had available. Web-cast radio was offline, as was Google, Twitter, Facebook and so on. There were plenty of jokes about the Arab Spring going around, and even about current Australian political cat-fighting being to blame (a petulant cable-pulling was mentioned).

I really didn't like not being able to get the news. I'm glad I got that wake-up now, when it doesn't matter.

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