Category: Disaster Preparedness

Giant Waves

Chandler Howell has a great post about giant waves. He quotes extensively from “Monster Rogue Waves” at Damninteresting:

More recently, satellite photos and radar imagery have documented the existence of numerous rogue waves, and it turns out that they are far more common than previously thought. During a three-week study in 2001, radar scanning detected ten monster waves in a 1.5 million square kilometer area. Satellites and direct observations have also established that rogue waves can happen anywhere, but they are most numerous in the North Atlantic and off the western shore of South Africa. In spite of their frequency, monster waves rarely meet with sea vessels because they are so short-lived.

He has interesting things to say about the waves and risk management, and I’d like to tie in my current thinking on breach analysis. The wave of reports about how people lose control of data entrusted to them is rocking some boats, and sinking a very few. As we get more and more data, we’ll be able to better analyze it, and focus our risk management techniques better on what matters most.

Speaking of the effects of naval risk management, don’t miss Nick Szabo on Genoa.

Google's Video "Store"

google-video-beta.jpgJustin Mason has some thoughts in “Google DRM and WON Authentication:”

That’s interesting. In my opinion, given that quote, I’ll bet Google’s DRM is something similar to the copy-protection systems used for many games since about id’s Quake 3 and Valve’s Half-Life; an online “key server” which validates codes, tracks player IDs, and who’s viewing what, “live”, as the video is cued up and played.
Anyway, that’s speculation. It remains to be seen if they’ve come up with something along the lines of WON authentication — and if it’s still easily subvertable or not.

I think Justin (unusually) is missing the point here. Google is famous for being even more tight-lipped than Apple about what they’re doing, but that doesn’t work in contract-land. If I’m paying for a service, I need to understand what that service is, or I won’t contract for it. With Apple, at least they tell you each time they enhance itunes for your enjoyment. Google has, to date, not offered many paid services at all, and none to consumers. Peoples expectations are different when they give you money, and Google is going to need to talk about the restrictions they’re putting in place.

Then again, maybe I’m just bitter.

Disaster Planning

Since Katrina, I’ve been trying to spend about $25 a week on disaster preparedness. Fortunately, I already own some basic camping gear, so I’m starting out by storing more food and water. My pantry tends to be thin on food that can be eaten without preparations. I have powerbars and snack bars so I’ve been adding canned foods, trail mixes, and I’m going to get a couple of army “meals-ready-to eat.” Each of those tastes about as good as a brick, but is far more nutritious: Each has about 2,000 calories, which is a day’s eating.

Eric Rescorla has two excellent posts on the water side of things: “Arranging for a supply of water” and “Kevin Dick on water preparedness.” I’m guessing that Kevin lives in California, and is concerned with earthquakes. This causes him to have supplies in the car. My disaster model is a little more hurricane focused, and so I expect to have warning. Not that I’ll leave my car empty, but my focus is a five day stay at home.

One of the things I learned from Eric’s posts is to think about water not only as hydration, but also sanitization, and so bought a few 8 oz jugs of hand sanitizer. Another thing I learned, as I was storing the trail mix: Check the ‘best by’ date on it. It turns out that one jar I got has a ‘best by’ date in January 06. And it looked so dehydrated and up-appealing.

The final food question is caffeine. I don’t want to be stressed out, and have withdrawl symptoms at the same time. Nor do I want to be munching coffee beans raw. I did get some ground coffee, which can be made to work if I have heat. I could assume that my (gas) stove will work, and get a French press. I could get a camp stove, or a camp coffee maker. I could get chocolate-covered espresso beans. None of these seem really satisfactory.