SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”.
The governments of the world continue their march towards robotic weapons. It really only makes sense. A robot is considerably less expensive to replace than a trained person if it is a casualty of a battle. Robots can also make decisions much faster than humans can. The danger, of course, is that a robot has no conscience and no sense of right and wrong. If you make a robot designed to kill, it will be an efficient killing machine. The U.S. has pledged to keep a human in the decision loop, but other countries have not, mostly due to the advantage that gives them on the battlefield. The robots are also getting quite good at things. I’m embarrassed that this robot from Boston Dynamics has more moves than me on the dance floor.
On a serious note, the main battle tank as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. Reader G.P. sent in this article on how smaller robotic vehicles are being armed with the Javelin anti-tank missile (and a .50-caliber machine gun) turns the 1.6 ton, 8 foot long robot into a lethal tank killer. This robot, made by Milrem Robotics of Estonia. The thinking is that tank killing is such serious business that they become high priority targets making it a dangerous job. So why not put a remote console on it to remove the operator from the majority of danger. Again, Milrem promises to always have a human in the loop, but I wonder how quickly that would be removed if the operators are on the losing side of a battle.
Reader P. sent in this article showing why you should be responsible for your own safety and not depend on authorities. In Everett, a couple of window cleaners were assaulted, beaten, and robbed at gun point in front of a bank and no police officer ever showed up in response to the 911 calls. After waiting for over an hour and a half, the workers had to physically go to a police station to fill out a report, but no officer ever even showed up to the scene to look at video surveillance or pull fingerprints. This is apparently the result of the location of the bank and there seems to be some confusion as to who’s jurisdiction it was. How are bank patrons supposed to know this? As the saying goes: “When seconds count, authorities are only minutes away” (or in this case, nonexistent.)
Body Cameras Pulled
According to this article sent in by reader DSV, the New York Police Department is down nearly 3,000 body cameras. This particular brand and type of camera apparent has an issue with its internal battery. One officer, on a midnight shift, noticed that his camera had started smoking. The officer took it off and within a few minutes, the camera caught fire and exploded. Thankfully, no one was injured. That reduces the number of body cameras used by the police department by nearly a third. Given that the cameras exonerate police officers far more than they indite them, we hope that they are quick to replace the cameras.
Have you ever installed an app on your smart phone only to discover it really didn’t do what you wanted so you uninstalled it. Then, suddenly, everything you do on your phone is inundated with ads for that app? It would appear that programmers have figured out how to game the operating systems of both iOS and Android, enabling companies to figure out which users have uninstalled their app and allowing them to focus ads on these users to attempt to win them back. This article lists several companies that offer uninstall trackers as part of a set of developer tools and their users include companies like T-mobile, Spotify and Yelp. Yet another reason to assess whether you really need a smart phone or not and if you have one, whether you really need that app or not. Companies seem to no longer even pretend to care about your privacy.
Reader DSV sent in this article on the usefulness of reloading manuals. Every reloader should have several of them. Bullet manufacturers and powder manufacturers always have reloading data for their products and there are lots of independent publishers that have them as well. While I personally have an entire shelf of them, I tend to use Load Data, an online service more than anything else right now. This is an online reloading database that is constantly updated with recommended load data. I’ve yet to find a load that they don’t have something on and they’ve had many that I didn’t expect. I still keep my manuals around though for the same reason I keep books around.
Yeast Storage Live
Reader SH in TX wrote in:
I just proof-tested some yeast that I bought from a wholesale club in July, 2012. I had placed it in my freezer immediately after purchase. The product is Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast, in a 1 lb vacuum-packed brick, product #2139. Today (10/22) I retrieved it from the freezer, added 1 heaping tbsp yeast, and 1 heaping tbsp sugar to about 2/3 cup of 115 degree (F) water and mixed. Within 5 minutes a beautiful, fragrant, bubbly head had formed above the liquid that almost doubled the volume! I immediately re-vacuum-packed the yeast, added today’s test date, a placed it back in its corner of the freezer. Thought y’all would like to know!
The migrant caravan encouraged by the liberal/progressive machine is steadily marching north. They’ve recently overrun the Guatemalan border and are expected to hit the U.S. border right around election time in two weeks. That is awful convenient. President Trump has promised to bolster the border with military troops to stop them, but I suspect we will start seeing reports of starving babies and crippled children right about then in the news media. Somebody is feeding this horde right now and there have been no reports in the news media of who is supporting it. I expect that support to be withdrawn right about the time they reach the border causing the migrants to be desperate and hurting.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!