Makezine’s Door-top stash

Door top Stash 1 Makezines Door top stash (more…)

Gear, Guides, Make » No Comments

5 tips for surviving an economic disaster

OK, so this guy’s five tips really boil down to “have important stuff and keep it safe.” Having plenty of important stuff is important for dealing with serious stuff. Gotcha.

But as a survivor of an economic crisis and witness to others of late he makes one strong point: have cash money. Make it rain.

Hyperinflation is one possible result of economic meltdown, but it’s not necessarily the result, and even after it starts, having a supply of cash on-hand is a good idea. Cash, even in an economic disaster, has value for a time.

If you don’t have twenty minutes to listen to the guy ramble, the types important stuff to have in case of serious stuff are pretty straight-forward and can be classified as a couple of things:

  • Have safe stuff: high ground, shelter, layered security, and safes for your important stuff,
  • Have important stuff: money, money alternatives, water, food, ammo, etc.

That’s pretty much it. His suggested money alternatives are get an offshore bank account and get some precious metal currency. There are still limits to gold and silver, but if you have that, cash, and stuff to barter with, well, you won’t die.

Also, be wary of any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After the collapse, they go evil.

Features, Guides, Live » No Comments

AK-47 Army Manual

AK 47 Army Manual 450x663 AK 47 Army Manual

Everyone should know how to use an AK-47. Because they’re neato. That’s a tactical term, neato.

Anyhow, the Aftermath Gun Club has .pdeffed the US Army’s operator’s manual and have it available for download for zero monies. Go get it already.

Gear, Guides, Know » No Comments

‘IT for Oppression’

Unit 61398 Chinese Army Hacking Jobs With Great Benefits 450x337 IT for Oppression

Bruce Schneier’s a security specialist with his own Internet meme. And while most people believe that technology elevates, improves things, Schneier holds that technology magnifies, makes things bigger, good and bad:

Whether it’s Syria using Facebook to help identify and arrest dissidents or China using its “Great Firewall” to limit access to international news throughout the country, repressive regimes all over the world are using the Internet to more efficiently implement surveillance, censorship, propaganda, and control. They’re getting really good at it, and the IT industry is helping. We’re helping by creating business applications — categories of applications, really — that are being repurposed by oppressive governments for their own use:

  • What is called censorship when practiced by a government is content filtering when practiced by an organization. Many companies want to keep their employees from viewing porn or updating their Facebook pages while at work. In the other direction, data loss prevention software keeps employees from sending proprietary corporate information outside the network and also serves as a censorship tool. Governments can use these products for their own ends.
  • Propaganda is really just another name for marketing. All sorts of companies offer social media-based marketing services designed to fool consumers into believing there is “buzz” around a product or brand. The only thing different in a government propaganda campaign is the content of the messages.
  • Surveillance is necessary for personalized marketing, the primary profit stream of the Internet. Companies have built massive Internet surveillance systems designed to track users’ behavior all over the Internet and closely monitor their habits. These systems track not only individuals but also relationships between individuals, to deduce their interests so as to advertise to them more effectively. It’s a totalitarian’s dream.
  • Control is how companies protect their business models by limiting what people can do with their computers. These same technologies can easily be co-opted by governments that want to ensure that only certain computer programs are run inside their countries or that their citizens never see particular news programs.

What goes unsaid in his essay is that the leader of the tech industry, and the most heavily-equipped to use IT — and therefor IT for oppression — is a lot closer to home. (more…)

Features, Fight, Guides » No Comments

How to turn a shovel into an AK-47

01 450x600 How to turn a shovel into an AK 47

Time to shovel some bitches.

Some people are worried that you might be able to one day 3D print a gun. I wonder how they feel about this.

Because fo’ sho’, this dude turned a shovel into a rifle. This rifle:

54 450x299 How to turn a shovel into an AK 47

Vodka necessary for making rails look straight.

Now I have a couple of qualms, like it doesn’t have a real handguard and that’s gonna be a problem, and he didn’t heat-treat the shovelreceiver after he stamped it.

But seeing how he pretty much did it with an angle grinder and a hammer, I gotta cut slack where it’s due.

You can read the whole log here, it’s entertaining.

Gear, Guides, Know, Make » No Comments

Manage your projects Mythbusters style

adam savage 2 Manage your projects Mythbusters style

Adam Savage has an interesting piece over at Wired explaining how he manages his projects. It made me happy to see that I use a pretty similar system.

Eventually I’ll create a folder called Adam’s Progress. As I chug along, I take photos with my phone and drop them into this folder for a quick reference of how far I’ve come. These images provide inspiration and momentum. A list of what I’ve already done makes the list of what’s left to do a bit more manageable. And when I’m finished, this folder will be my diary of the entire project. It’s something I’ll keep forever.

Lists help me organize the entire project; from sequencing tasks within the project, to getting materials, to tracking progress. I recently I realized I need enact some media discipline; I can’t have notes in note books, on scrap paper, and in computer files. So I end up emailing myself notes pretty frequently, that way Google owns my ideas they are always saved in my searchable email box.

Do, Fight, Guides, Make » No Comments