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Author Topic: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?  (Read 3035 times)

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Offline pslblog

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2013, 01:53:47 AM »
I know you are.  That's why you'll be as shocked as everybody else if it actually occurs.  None of your remedies, by the way, will work.  Without power, there isn't power to move power.  You don't just plug a power cord into a dam's generator.

I can buy that the transformers on the dam might go into overload and volatilize some fluids best left fluid. But I don't see that kind of power making a serious dent on the turbine generators after they've opened the circuit at the transformer. Magic smoke goes out of the electricals and leaves them open, not closed, circuits. Either the transformers fail and stop transitioning power, or they keep working, but I don't believe the do both. This tends to leave intact generators encased in kilotons of grounded reinforced concrete. If that does not constitute "hardened", I don't know what does.

Transformers not connected to power during the event can then be put online for temporary, local fixes. I doubt very extremely that everybody gives up electrical power as a bad job without serious stupidity in play.

Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2013, 02:46:28 AM »
Heh!  I'd like to remind everybody, that unlike the Star Trek Universe, our technic society still has circuit breakers and fuses.  Some of them will work.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
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Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2013, 05:29:48 AM »


Some?

How many? What types?  How big?  Where?

I'll find out, but it may take a bit of time.  Gotta say though, they weren't the big ones.
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Offline Mr. Bingley

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2013, 06:27:12 AM »
Pardon my ignorance, but won't a emp/carrington event damage electrical devices even if they're offline or not plugged in? My limited understanding was that it induced current flow in unshielded devices, so to Bill's point you're hosed regardless and they become nice multi-ton paperweights?

Offline ND Martin

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« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:40:13 AM by ND Martin »

Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2013, 08:39:37 AM »
No, the power-lines, themselves would act as antennas, but only if they are hooked up.  Unless the transformers are somehow grounded, there shouldn't be complete circuits, on inactive transformers.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2013, 08:42:17 AM »
These guys keep talking about circuit breakers and off-line as if any of that protects against EMP.  We'll get some warning on a Carrington Event, but I'd be surprised if they shut down the national grid in advance.  And even if they did, yes, Mr. B., there would still be massive damage to the transformer net:

Severe Space Weather--Social and Economic Impacts - NASA Science
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Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2013, 08:59:16 AM »
Consider the NY-DC metro or LA areas without power for several months.   Let's consult a few of the available studies...

Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (2008)

The Late-Time (E3) High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid (2010)

Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid (2010)

Are shopping carts effective EMP shields?



Ummm, with the way LA is set up, they will also not have any drinking water, in no time.  At least NYC will just fall back to lower levels of available water, but some of the filtration systems will no longer be effective, so that's going to be a problem there, too.  Food transport will be problems in both areas.  Effective police and firefighting services, will basically be gone.  Too many problems....

DC has a lot of protected military facilities, but I can't guess how much of those facilities have been pillaged by the present administration. 

But the old TVA, should be able to restore quite a bit of the surrounding area, but it will take maybe years.

As for shopping carts, depends on the intensity of the EMP. <g>
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
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Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2013, 09:05:23 AM »
These guys keep talking about circuit breakers and off-line as if any of that protects against EMP.  We'll get some warning on a Carrington Event, but I'd be surprised if they shut down the national grid in advance.  And even if they did, yes, Mr. B., there would still be massive damage to the transformer net:

Severe Space Weather--Social and Economic Impacts - NASA Science

Yes, both eastern and western portions of the grid are too tied into the national grid to do a proper shutdown.  Texas (except the panhandle) is trying to implement some measures for protection, but I'm not sure how.much they will get into place.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Mr. Bingley

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2013, 09:24:09 AM »
One of the big problems for a city like NYC would be the elevators in all of these high-rise apartment buildings.

Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2013, 09:56:51 AM »
EMP attack on power grid could take down DOD systems, experts warn
By William Jackson
Sep 12, 2012
Defense systems that depend on the commercial electric grid are vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attacks and solar storms that could seriously damage the nation’s infrastructure, experts from the Homeland Security and Defense departments told a House Homeland Security subcommittee.

The likelihood and the effects of such an event have been the subject of debate, and legislation that would require defenses against them is stalled in the House.

Major military weapons systems and nuclear assets are hardened against EMP events, but “DOD is heavily dependent on the commercial electric grid,” Michael Aimone, director of DOD Business Enterprise Integration, told the subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

Related coverage:

DHS outlines goals for nation's critical infrastructure

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who testified as a witness at the Sept. 12 hearing, said Russia and several other countries are developing an offensive EMP capability, but there is little protection against such attacks on the commercial grid. He called for installing hardware protection for the most critical elements.

”The major vulnerability we have right now is damage to our major transformers,” which could put parts of the national grid out of operation for years, Franks said. Operational procedures cannot provide timely response, he added, but equipment called neutral phase blockers could provide cost-effective and automatic protection from surges that could cause damage.

Current regulations do not require this protection, however, and industry has been slow to adopt it, although Chris Beck, president of the Electric Infrastructure Security Council, said there are no significant technical or financial barriers to deploying it.

Electromagnetic pulse is an electrical disruption that can be caused by high-altitude nuclear explosions or naturally by solar activities such as flares. Studies by the congressionally established EMP Commission and by Oak Ridge National Laboratory have concluded that in a worst-case scenario a serious event could leave large portions of the nation’s power grid out of service for four to 10 years by causing physical damage to transformers and other equipment. Communications systems and individual electrical devices also could be at risk.

The likelihood of such an event has been questioned, however. The North American Electric Reliability Corp., which is charged with creating mandatory reliability standards for the U.S. bulk power distribution industry, believes it is more likely that there would be little physical damage and resulting problems would last only days.

Beck blamed the lack of preparedness on industry inertia and lack of awareness.

Current processes for creating industry standards are inadequate to address such threats to national security, said Joseph McClelland, director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Electric Reliability. NERC writes the standards, and FERC can only approve or reject them.

“The procedures used by NERC are appropriate for developing and approving routine reliability standards,” McClelland said. “However, it can be an impediment when measures or actions need to be taken to address threats to national security quickly and in a manner that protects against the disclosure of security-sensitive information.”

The SHIELD Act (H.R. 668), introduced last year by Franks, would enable FERC to establish reliability standards for the bulk power system to protect against EMP attacks. No action has been taken on the bill.

DOD currently relies on on-site and mobile back-up generators to protect against disruptions from outages in the commercial grid, and also is developing next-generation microgrids to enable local generation and storage of power on bases.

This could not only protect against outages but enable better local energy supplies and the balancing of supply and demand. DOD's Aimone said microgrid demonstration projects currently are under way at 29 Palms Marine Corps base in California and at Fort Bliss, Texas.

 

About the Author

William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2013, 10:57:16 AM »
Essentially, any widespread disruption to the grid will result in chaos.  As food and water supplies dwindle and disappear without hope of resupply for lack of adequate transportation, the social order will collapse and the worst nightmare of government desperately attempting to maintain control will become real.  The cities will burn.

To prepare for the worst, one must be able to envision it.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 11:21:43 AM by ND Martin »

Offline pslblog

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2013, 12:04:50 PM »
These guys keep talking about circuit breakers and off-line as if any of that protects against EMP.  We'll get some warning on a Carrington Event, but I'd be surprised if they shut down the national grid in advance.  And even if they did, yes, Mr. B., there would still be massive damage to the transformer net:
Severe Space Weather--Social and Economic Impacts - NASA Science

I'm speaking about it as somebody who has worked with electronics for over twenty-five years in some pretty extreme conditions. EMP is a measurable force event, not a malignant spirit that seeks out electronics to kill their first-born child.

My problem with EMP as a potential world-ender is that Occupy and Anonymous aren't using it. If EMP was the kind of amazing techno-death event frequently envisioned, even the lazy, useless sons of fifty fathers in Occupy and Anonymous and other nihilist obsessives would be be using it routinely to shut down police cars and other emergency service vehicles. Ex-boyfriend stalkers would be killing their former girlfriend's Prius and ex-girlfriend stalkers would be wiping out their former boyfriend's game console's. I believe EMP is a weak threat because human nature is weak and too many people with the knowledge to create EMP devices should be using them to inflict evil.

I've been to Halabja and seen the result of Saddam Hussein using chemical weapons on the Kurds because he was threatened by their independence. I've been to Dachau and seen the same kind of human evil using technology to cause massive harm. I've watched the same kind of self-centered obsessives protesting US Navy ships and I can not see them drawing the line on the use of EMP. If EMP were that threatening, it would be getting abused by selfish people who enshrine their own anger above all restraint. 

Offline lpdbw

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2013, 02:13:08 PM »
psl, are you intentionally missing the point?

You're talking about incompetent (in the case of Occupy) and unmovitated (in the case of Anonymous) actors in a retail application of EMP:  girlfriends, cars, game consoles.

The discussion here starts assuming  state actors, or religious actors with state participation, using nuclear devices at altitude to produce the EMP.

Not something even an Anonymous fucktard could whip together before his ADD kicks in.

Offline Drang

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2013, 06:00:56 PM »
Ummm, with the way LA is set up, they will also not have any drinking water, in no time. 
As we here in the Pacific Northwet often tell Angelenos when they try and claim they have some moral right to our water and electricity, that's what you get for living in a desert.
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Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »
The discussion here starts assuming  state actors, or religious actors with state participation, using nuclear devices at altitude to produce the EMP.

Or a solar event--a coronal mass ejection or other disturbance that causes a massive geomagnetic storm with effects similar and potentially worse than any man-made EMP.




Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2013, 11:15:53 PM »
Look, psi is welcome to his own opinions, but not to his own facts.  And he is a guy who seemed to think protections against lightning was somehow a protection against EMP.  I'm not at all convinced he even understands what EMP actually is.  Until he convinces me he understands the nature of HEMP, (and talking about Occupy doesn't tend to make me think he does) I'll continue to give his opinions the weight I think they deserve.
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Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2013, 11:47:24 PM »
These guys keep talking about circuit breakers and off-line as if any of that protects against EMP.  We'll get some warning on a Carrington Event, but I'd be surprised if they shut down the national grid in advance.  And even if they did, yes, Mr. B., there would still be massive damage to the transformer net:

Severe Space Weather--Social and Economic Impacts - NASA Science

Bill, if you have a transformer off-line or the circuit breaker has been properly tripped (fast enough) then a transformer simply won't work, as the circuit isn't complete.   IF you have a circuit breaker with a fast enough clamping speed, you MIGHT have a transformer survive, this also assume the circuit breaker is faster than the induced eddy currents.  The really big caveat is the the sheer cost of a circuit breaker with a fast enough clamping speed, they are possible, but the necessary alloys are expensive as heck.  And they are almost an art-form to make.

The key is that induced currents, inside the transformers, still take a finite amount of time to build up.  (It's very, very important at this point, of wether the EMP is acting as a particle or a wave)

Lots of even congresscritters, are fully cognizant of the need of such units, but lots more just flat out don't want pay for such units, just on the chance they might needed.

That's why the necessary warning from NOAA is as critical as the willingness to do the right thing, to act properly, on such warning.  Our Western Technic Civilization has the material technology, to give us a really good chance at surviving even a Major CME/Carrington Event, intact, but this assumes our fearless leaders pay for the technology to be in place, or set up the right response to such an event, and thus far things really aren't looking that good.  With an EMP bomb, you just flat out not have the time to have the grid prepared properly, but due to massive nature of a CME, you COULD set up the proper response ahead of time. (But then you would have to pay the political cost, if it wasn't needed)
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Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2013, 01:50:24 AM »
Psi is likely referencing this bit of tabloid-style misinformation from WND, which discusses small-scale EMP devices that could be accessed by terrorists.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Boeing and the USAF have introduced a non-nuclear EMP-generating bomb or drone.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/O-BukbpkOd8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/O-BukbpkOd8</a>

Offline Ken

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2013, 06:22:48 AM »
Psi is likely referencing this bit of tabloid-style misinformation from WND, which discusses small-scale EMP devices that could be accessed by terrorists.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Boeing and the USAF have introduced a non-nuclear EMP-generating bomb or drone.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/O-BukbpkOd8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/O-BukbpkOd8</a>

I'm afraid non-nuclear EMP bombs have been around, since the 1950's.  And microwave based EMP beam weapons have around nearly as long.  What the recent developments are referring to, are much more portable versions and drone mountable versions, and not necessarily using explosives.

Just a side note, you can use a laser beam as a conductive medium to focus either a EMP or a static charge......real nasty on electronics, in either case.  But they weren't very portable, or very rugged.
“If mankind is to survive, then throughout man’s history except for a very few years the word “ship” will mean “space ship.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2013, 09:17:42 AM »
What the recent developments are referring to, are much more portable versions and drone mountable versions, and not necessarily using explosives.

Ah...so the weapon has been 'weaponized'.  When can I have a pocket EMP to fry the rude and ubiquitous cells and 'pods that so many are compelled to carry?

[OT aside]Seriously, the laser focusing is interesting.  Could one modulate a low-power laser pointer with a frequency that would interrupt a cell-phone connection at 50 yards?  My neighbor sits on her porch for hours loudly jabbering nonsense.  I've looked at cellphone jammers, but they're more or less omnidirectional and not powerful enough to do the job.  Of course, this is just hypothetical as interrupting cellphone transmissions is against the law. [/OT]
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 09:49:52 AM by ND Martin »

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2013, 10:25:56 AM »
Quote
That's why the necessary warning from NOAA is as critical as the willingness to do the right thing, to act properly, on such warning.  Our Western Technic Civilization has the material technology, to give us a really good chance at surviving even a Major CME/Carrington Event, intact, but this assumes our fearless leaders pay for the technology to be in place, or set up the right response to such an event, and thus far things really aren't looking that good.  With an EMP bomb, you just flat out not have the time to have the grid prepared properly, but due to massive nature of a CME, you COULD set up the proper response ahead of time. (But then you would have to pay the political cost, if it wasn't needed)
Ken, nobody, least of all me, is arguing that there are not many things we could do to protect ourselves against HEMP, CME, Carrington Events, and other EM phenomena.  The problem is, we aren't doing those things!  And one of the reasons we aren't is that too many folks like Psi just don't seem to understand the nature of the threat - why prepare for something that is harmless or impossible?  If EMP isn't a threat, why do anything about it at all?

That's why I push back against the misinformation peddled by these folks, and why I'm writing a major two-book novel in order to raise awareness of the scope of the threat.

BTW, I haven't seen anything posted here from any of you that I wasn't already aware of, including all the portable non-nuke systems.  And you do know that such weapons were admittedly (by Don Rumsfeld) used against Saddam Hussein in 2003?

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Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2013, 10:48:17 AM »
Pardon my cynicism, Bill, but the most likely reason there is no state-funded prep for EMP disaster is that there's little profit in it for them.  They'd rather push the phoney AGW/carbon-as-pollutant agenda where they can create regulation/taxation to further their control of business and the population.

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2013, 11:04:08 AM »
Your cynicism is okay, nd, but here's something else for you to be cynical about:

EMP-warning pioneer in bitter fight
WASHINGTON – The congressman who first brought the potentially catastrophic effects of an electromagnetic pulse event to the nation’s attention is now under fire from the electric power industry that has fought voluntary efforts to protect the national grid with hardened transformers.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., is fighting for re-election against the influences of the powerful electric power industry lobby.

Bartlett recently won an initial victory with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which agreed with him on Oct. 18 that the electric power industry must be required to submit a plan to protect the national power grid from a catastrophic blackout that could be inflicted by a solar super storm.

The victory also comes at a time when the U.S. East coast is experiencing a “perfect storm”– this time on land – that could affect the lives of 60 million people in terms of electrical outages, floods and the massive destruction of property.

The FERC order now is subject to a comment period which will take debate over the order well into next year, when both the National Aeronautic and Space Administration and the National Academy of Sciences say solar storms that have been bombarding Earth will reach their highest intensity.

Bartlett is up against the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, which is supposed to be responsible for protecting the electric power grid but has mounted a well-funded lobby to oppose any new government regulation of the electric power industry.

Earlier this year, the NERC published a controversial report denying the threat from a solar super storm, claiming that even the most powerful such storm – similar to the 1859 Carrington Event – could cause a blackout lasting only hours or days, not months or years.

NERC further asserted that if another Carrington Event happened today, it would not be a national catastrophe – only an inconvenience.

However, the NERC is alone in such a judgment that a solar super storm would not be a potentially catastrophic event.

You're right, it's money again, but NERC is peddling the same kind of ignorant (and in their case, self-serving) BS that many others are pushing, solely to avoid having to upgrade their preparations against the well-documented possibility of such events.

"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline ND Martin

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Re: A Lot of Preppers Are Going to Die When the Lights Go Out?
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2013, 11:34:52 AM »
I s'pose that what we need is a close call...just enough of a solar event to knock out a few satellites and fry some transformers, but not so big that it throws us back a century.  Just as Sandy was a kind of wakeup for folks 'round here to the need for preps, a good EMP scare would create demand that might be loud enough to be heard.

As for the utility companies, one of these daze the hacktivists will target 'em and zero the smart meters. 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 11:44:19 AM by ND Martin »


 

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