Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Lockster Story About Locks

When you are hoping to maximize your travel security, one of the most obvious places to start is with buying a lock. But how secure are luggage locks? The disturbing truth is that luggage locks are terribly insecure.

What does the insecurity of these locks mean for your luggage security? How does that affect the protection of your property? In order to investigate these issues, we will have to venture deep into the terrifying truth about luggage locks.

What security do TSA locks offer your luggage?
TSA locks are not secure. The shackles can be cut by most low-quality diagonal cutting pliers, the lock cylinders can be picked open with very little skill, and the schematics for the master keys have been revealed to the public. If you are using a TSA lock, you are getting the illusion of security.

The biggest benefit to using TSA locks is that the TSA can open your bag without having to lock repair service. This still might not keep your lock from being cut off, as many travelers report having TSA cut locks off regardless of having been TSA approved. But at least there is a chance that your insecure lock will not be broken open.

A TSA approved padlock is the next step up from a zip tie. It provides the same amount of initial security if you are worried about criminal tampering. However, a TSA lock can potentially be taken off and relocked on the bag, where a zip tie cannot be reattached once removed. With a TSA approved lock, after a lawful search, there is a chance that your luggage can maintain its same level of “security”.

1. The TSA Can Remove Any Luggage Lock Without Cause
If you are checking luggage, the TSA reserves the right to open your baggage by the means required to properly carry out the search. In case you have not received a “Notice Of Baggage Inspection” letter in your checked luggage, it reads as follows:

To Protect you and your fellow passengers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required by law to inspect all checked baggage. As part of this process, some bags are opened and physically inspected. Your bag was among those selected for physical inspection.

During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items. At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.

If the TSA security officer was unable to open our bag for inspection because it was locked, the officer may have been forced to break the locks on your bag. TSA sincerely regrets having to do this, however TSA is not liable for the damage to your locks resulting from this necessary security precaution.

The note goes on to suggest that the recipient of the inspection notice refer to to find “packing tips and suggestions on how to secure your baggage during your next trip…” Is it ironic for a note telling you what you just read to recommend that you use better security next time you fly? It may seem that way, but the spirit in which it is intended is that locks are not security, knowing what is going to get your bag flagged is the security you need for avoiding TSA attention.

2. Every Luggage Lock Can Be Opened
It is true that every lock can be picked, even locks that have not been picked yet can still be opened. Opening methods that travel security professionals use are almost always destructive. There is no lock that exists that can withstand every type destructive entry method given an unlimited amount of time with the lock.

Not even the best padlocks in existence can hold up to the highest level of pressure that can be applied to them. Do not expect that your security can keep out any law enforcement. Even though you may be hoping to avoid criminally minded baggage checkers, they are within their right to open your luggage at all costs.

Though there are documented cases where strong enough security has been enough to have TSA give up on trying to open it. I don’t fully understand the implications of security that has law enforcement give up, but I would not expect to be the exception to the rule that if the opening of your bag a legally sanctioned it will be carried out.

In terms of criminal threats without the full force of the law behind them, your locks can still be opened. However, when it comes to standard criminals you have to consider every aspect of luggage security and not just the security of your luggage locks.

3. No Luggage Lock Can Protect a Zipper
Any luggage lock that is placed to secure a zipper is completely useless. Anyone with a ballpoint pen can puncture the zipper track (aka teeth). This gives anyone access to the contents of your bag in seconds. Once a person has rooted around in your belongings, they can then move the zipper’s pull tab over the open teeth and reseal the bag without any sign of entry.

If you have an anti-puncture zipper, then your zipper is safe, but a lock can never protect the zipper. When you want a lock to matter at all, you have to use luggage that has hasps, not a zipper. Hasps are common on hard shell cases, which are intended to protect the contents of the luggage.

It is also unlikely that you will end up with a bag that has an anti-puncture zipper if you do not go out of your way to purchase one. This feature is not common, in spite of the fact that the method of entry is extremely popular for criminals all over the world.

4. Your Bag Undermines the Security of a Luggage Lock
Security is not the main concern for standard baggage manufactures. Unless the luggage has been designed with security in mind, the lock you place on it is not going to matter much at all. Besides zipper protection, you have to be concerned about more brash criminals that will not care about surreptitiously or even covertly open your bag.

A very common method of entry that criminals will use is to cut your bag. You made need something like a Pelican case. With a light slice from a sharp knife, a thief now has access to everything in your luggage. Unless your bag can resist cutting, having a lock on your bag is not going to truly protect the property inside.

Most likely your bag is always going to be easier to break than an incredibly strong lock. It does not make sense to have an extremely powerful lock if the case it is securing is itself insecure. Be aware of the level of protection provided by the bag before you make any investment in a lock.

5. Built-in Luggage Locks Are Not Secure
Built In Luggage Lock

This is a guiding principle more than a hard and fast rule, but it is important to think about the fact that almost any piece of luggage you buy is not going to have high-security locks. This might be something that the case claims, but you need to know better than to believe the advertising.

Even if the brand of security being used is not notorious for manufacturing subpar locks, it might still be something cheap and ineffective. A lot of times locks on cases and luggage will claim to be high-security, but they are just using a novel lock type. Such lock types that are used as built-in luggage locks include tubular locks, cruciform locks, and disk detainer locks.

If a lock is poorly made, it does not matter what kind of internal components it has. Poorly made locks are not secure. They break easier because of the lower quality metal, and that means they can be broken open easier. Mass production required to place them on luggage also lost bedroom key very simple to the point where most of these locks can be opened with bypasses or improvised keys.

What is the best way to protect luggage?
As you may have learned from the article about protecting your beach bag, the best possible way to protect any luggage is to keep your eyes on it. This is not going to be possible at every point of your trip, especially if you have to check your bags. The important thing is to take advantage of the instances where you can watch over your property.

Your locks need to take as long to open without permission as the average time you will leave them unmonitored. As has already been established, flying in the United States will be the exception to this rule. Law enforcement will have too much time with your luggage, and they will have the authority to open the lock. But for deterring criminals, this type of security assessment is a must.

Final Thoughts
It doesn’t matter if you are in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, or you are sleeping over at a friends house in the next town over, when you have luggage, you will attract the attention of criminals. Luggage locks are not going to do much to protect your bag. You need to consider a lot more than just luggage locks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gear Review: SunJack Waterproof Lightstick

Gear Review SunJack Waterproof Lightstick - Backdoor Survival

For the technically inclined, the output is 5V 2Amp and the maximum output wattage is 3.5W.
Practical Uses for the SunJack Lightstick

Given its slim profile, the SUNJACK CAMPLIGHT is ideal for bug out bags, get home kits, and vehicle emergency kits. I find that it fits neatly in my pack, right along side a LifeStraw which is are similar in size.

At the full power setting, and even at low and medium power, this is a very bright light. Impressive, actually, given its compact form factor.

If kept in a vehicle, it can be used as a trouble light when checking under the hood or as a spot of bright light when changing a tire. It can also be used as a flashing signal requesting help if stranded by the roadway. It would definitely light up a campsite at night with the added advantage that it can be charged with a portable solar panel during the day while not in use.

Another practical use is to use it as a beacon when traveling with a group. The leader can raise it above his or head in strobe mode to signal to the pack of followers. Being totally waterproof, using the Lightstick out in the bush or on the trails would be no problem at all.

Speaking of waterproof, I took the SunJack Lightstick down to the shoreline and set it afloat in salt water. I left the light on. The only problem I had is that it started to float away! My fault totally but the good news is that it floats, making it difficult to lose if suddenly tossed in the water during a flood or storm.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sunjack Camp Light - USB Bulb - Preview

Today we are previewing the Sunjack CampLight USB Bulb.

Super bright 8 LED USB light bulb
340 lumens, equivalent to a 40W incandescent bulb
7 foot long USB cord
270 degree beam angle
Powered by any USB source
This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. A fraction of the weight and size of traditional heavy lanterns, use it for camping, reading, or any task that requires an even distribution of light. Highly durable - shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source - compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.

When it comes to finding a good quality, low energy source of light, you are bound to think of all kinds of things that will work in a survival situation, yet they will also have some serious limitations.

For example, candles may be cheap and easy to make, but they will also have to be constantly replaced. Incandescent bulbs take too much power, and also create a heat signature that can give your position away to electronic devices that seek certain levels of heat or light emission characteristics.

If you are interested in cutting edge light sources that can be applied to survival situations, learning more about USB lighting will be of immense benefit. These bulbs use very little power, produce large quantities of light, and have very low heat signatures.

No matter whether it comes to providing light for an indoor aquaponics farm or living in an underground setting, products such as the SunJack Camp Light USB Bulb can offer plenty of light for your needs.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Aukey Quick Charge 3.0 accessories review

As the name suggests, this AUKEY QUICK CHARGE 3.0 allows you to recharge your phone in a fraction of the time of standard charging practices, largely through allowing higher voltage charging. Quick Charge 4.0 models will be able to go from 0% to 50% capacity in just fifteen minutes of charging; earlier versions of the standard offer nearly the same. Quick Charge is found on many Android phones with higher-end Qualcomm chips, including models from Samsung, LG, HTC and others.

Let’s start with the PB-T10. This power bank is a big one, rated at 20,000mAh, so it should be able to fully recharge most smartphones almost half a dozen times before needing a recharge itself*.
* If we (generously) assume that we need 125% of a smartphone’s rated capacity to recharge it fully (given in power bank charging), we can calculate how many full recharges we should get before needing to charge the power bank itself. We can recharge our hypothetical 3200mAh smartphone five times (20,000 / (3200 * 1.25) = 5).
The power bank has two full-size USB output ports.
The orange-coloured one is Quick Charge 3.0 enabled and allows for rapid charging for compatible smartphones; your phone will automatically choose from up to 6.5V @ 3A, up to 9V @ 2A or up to 12V @ 1.5A depending on its capabilities. Meanwhile, the green-coloured port provides a standard 5V @ 2.4A recharging source.
That means the majority of Apple and Android devices will be recharged at their maximum speed, and we can even recharge two devices at once — awesome.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Garmin Forerunner 735XT

Key Features
Review Price: £360.00
Five-day battery life
Built-in GPS
Built-in heart rate monitor
iOS and Android app support
5 ATM waterproof rating

What is the Garmin Forerunner 735XT?

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a hardcore fitness tracker designed for triathletes and those who become excited by the prospect of a Tough Mudder challenge.

It can be bought as a standalone unit (£360) or as a Tri Bundle (£450), which includes Garmin’s advanced HRM Tri and HRM Swim chest straps.

The Tri Bundle turns the Forerunner into one of the most powerful and comprehensive fitness-tracking packages available, but even on its own, the watch is powerful enough to offer great performance monitoring and coaching.

However, the watch’s high price alongside complexities with its advanced functions make it overkill for anyone but the most hardcore of fitness fanatics.

Related: Best Fitness racker

Garmin Forerunner 735XT – Design and Setup

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT has a no-frills design that puts function over fashion. The watch has chunky physical buttons protruding from its sides and a rather garish rubber strap. This combination puts it as far from a fashionable wearable, such as the Withings Activité, as is possible It’s available in two colour options, either Midnight Blue/Frost Blue or Black/Grey finishes. At 11.7 mm thick, the Forerunner isn’t the slimmest tracker out there.

Luckily, Garmin has taken advantage of the generous space by cramming the Forerunner 735XT with plenty of useful tech. Inside its chunky main unit you’ll find GPS, an optical heart rate monitor and a 1-inch colour screen.

Those who haven’t known a world without iPhones will be surprised to discover that the screen isn’t touch-enabled. Instead, the watch is controlled via physical buttons, which is in keeping with Garmin’s design rationale of making the unit as tough as possible.

The Forerunner 735XT is one of the most rugged trackers I’ve tested. The watch has a 5 ATM rating, which means it can survive depths of up to 50m. It even survived an accidental collision with one of my dumbbells during a free-weights session.

My only minor quibble with the Forerunner 735XT’s functionality is its use of a proprietary charger. I’m not a fan of any device that opts for a proprietary charging cable, since it’s too easy to misplace them or forget to pack them when travelling. Being fair to Garmin, nearly all the trackers I’ve reviewed have custom chargers. Nevertheless, it’s frustrating that the industry hasn’t yet migrated to a standard, such as USB Type-C.

The Forerunner 735XT’s stellar battery life helped to alleviate my annoyance at having to use a proprietary cable. Following a solid three weeks of wear, I found that the Garmin Forerunner 735XT lasted 5-7 days with moderate use. This involved wearing it 24/7, constantly tracking my sleep and steps, plus a 5k run in a park, or 7k session on an exercise bike each morning.

The setup process is easy. Simply download Garmin’s Connect app (available on iOS and Android) and follow a series of on-screen prompts to connect the watch, via Bluetooth, to your phone.

Related: Best Smartwatch 2016


Garmin Forerunner 735XT – Tracking and Software

In the past, Forerunner watches have offered superbly accurate exercise and sleep-tracking services. This trend continues with the 735XT, which is one of the most powerful trackers I’ve tested – to the point that it’s complete overkill for anyone but the most committed of athletes.

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On my first run with the Forerunner, I was amazed at how reactive the GPS is. Throughout testing, the GPS consistently managed to find its signal more than a minute faster than the Microsoft Band 2and Basis Peak.

The Forerunner also proved incredibly reliable at distance tracking. On a track I know is roughly 5.2km the results between the Basis Peak and Forerunner were consistent, and at most only 10-20m out of sync. The Band 2 threw up a few anomalies and on occasion was 0.4km out of sync with the other two trackers.

The same proved true with cycling, where I found the built-in heart rate monitor to be one of the best I’ve used. The Garmin watch presented realistic figures time and again, never once indicating that I was in cardiac arrest, or had the heartbeat of a hummingbird – which I experience occasionally on both the Basis and Band 2.

The Forerunner’s multi-sport functionality is also seriously impressive. The Forerunner can be used to track running, swimming and cycling individually. It also has a custom triathlon setting that lets you smoothly transition between the three using a button on the watch’s right-hand side, which means you can concentrate on your time and not the watch. The process works a treat and made it easy for me to track multi-sport exercises without interrupting my flow.

The watch offers access to Garmin’s bespoke app store, too, from where you can add new functionality to the tracker and create bespoke multi-sport workout regimes – handy for people taking part in non-traditional activities, such as Tough Mudder challenges.

Also available is a solid notifications service, which can be set to push alerts for incoming messages from all the services you’d expect, including Gmail, Twitter and Facebook. When paired with your smartphone, the Forerunner 735XT can display weather information and upcoming calendar appointments, too.

Notifications, distance and heart rate tracking is only a fraction of what the Forerunner is capable of. The Forerunner 735XT offers in-depth real-time data and post-exercise performance analytics, which can help you plan and optimise your workout regime.

Unlike cheaper trackers, the Forerunner offers a variety of real-time data throughout your workout. These include your current lap times, duration and heart rate, plus a useful “Training Effect” score. Training Effect is a score out of five that gauges how much you’re getting out of your workout. It’s a popular statistic with serious athletes, who commonly use it to gauge how much each training session will improve their strength and overall fitness.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What is Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, which is also referred to as SEO company New York, is the practice of increasing the volume and quality of visitors to a website from search engines via organic or search success. The higher your company's website ranks on Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the more searchers will probably visit your website.

As a promotion strategy for increasing website's significance, SEO New York company consider how search algorithms work and what people search for. A search engine optimization process may involve a website's coding and structure, content and copywriting, site presentation, as well as fixing other problems that can prevent search engines from indexing your business site. If your institution's website is not indexed by search engines, there'll be no chance whatsoever for your site to get high visibility positions on search engines. Therefore, it's extremely important for companies to take note of SEO services New York and make certain that their sites are correctly indexed by search engines.
seo company new york

The word "best local SEO services" may also refer to "Search Engine Optimizer". This is an industry term that identifies agencies and consultants who carry out search engine marketing procedure on behalf of their clients and by workers who perform SEO company NY in-house. Every agency and consultant have their own local SEO nyc methodology; hence they may use unique procedures to accomplish high organic positions for sites. Typically, in order to have successful SEO new york NY, it may require changes to the HTML source code of a website, best local SEO tactics will probably be incorporated into site design and development. That's the reason almost all credible search engine optimization agencies and consultants will first examine the plan and back-end architecture of a site before beginning any local SEO agencies procedure. This will make sure that best local SEO company is carried out effectively.

Search Engine Optimization as a Marketing Strategy for Businesses

So how should companies use best SEO company New York as a marketing strategy? The primary objective of implementing NY SEO services to your company's website would be to drive targeted visitors to it. Eye tracking studies have proven that searchers scan a search result from top to bottom and left to right, searching for relevant results. Therefore, if your website is close to the very top of organic listings positions (organic listings refer to the net results that are recorded on the left-hand side of their SERP), then it will probably increase the number of searchers who will visit your website.

A successful internet advertising campaign may generally involve best affordable SEO company, but additionally, it comprises the utilization of paid advertisements on search engines, building top quality websites to engage and persuade site visitors to do it either through enquiries or internet sales, setting up analytic applications to allow site owners to measure their successes and improving a site's conversion rate.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Renewable Energy Not a Threat to Grid, Draft of US Study Finds

Wind and solar power GOAL ZERO NOMAD 13  don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid, U.S. Department of Energy staff members said in a draft report, contradicting statements by their leader Rick Perry.

"The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards," according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg.

The findings — which are still under review by the department’s leadership — contrast with Perry’s arguments that "baseload" sources such as coal and nuclear power that provide constant power are jeopardized by Obama-era incentives for renewable energy, making the grid unreliable.

“I’ve asked the staff of the Department of Energy to undertake a critical review of regulatory burdens placed by the previous administration on baseload generators,” Perry said last month. “Over the last several years, grid experts have expressed concern about the erosion of critical baseload resources.”

Two people familiar with the report, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, confirmed the early conclusions though cautioned they were subject to change. It is customary for administration officials to put their own stamp on reports prepared by career staff at federal agencies.

"Those statements as written are not in the current draft," Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. She wouldn’t say they are incorrect, just the draft is "constantly evolving."

The report, which is overdue, could be released as soon as next week.

In April, Perry launched the grid study with an eye to examining whether policies that favor wind and solar energy are accelerating the retirement of coal and nuclear plants critical to ensuring reliable power supplies. With President Donald Trump pledging to reverse regulations that have harmed coal, the study was viewed by critics as a way the administration would justify curtailing the surging expansion of wind and solar power and provide help to coal plants.

But the draft report concludes: "Grid operators are using technologies, standards and practices to assure that they can continue operating the grid reliably."

Plant Retirements

"Costly environmental regulations and subsidized renewable generation have exacerbated base-load power plant retirements," the draft says. "However, those factors played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability."

A separate, six-page draft outline prepared by Energy Department staff in May and also obtained by Bloomberg says that the aging coal and nuclear fleet is under stress from competitive electricity markets, weak demand and rising maintenance costs.

The career officials at the department found that energy efficiency, battery storage and demand response were helping the reliability of the grid, changing it from the way it had operated in the past, but not endangering the provision of electricity, the May draft showed.

Aging coal and nuclear plants have higher maintenance costs and are getting lower payments because of expiring contracts, making them less profitable, the May document says. The profitability of coal plants built in the 1970s and 1980s declined after electricity markets were opened to competition, it said.

Backers of the renewable industry said they were heartened that Perry tapped Alison Silverstein, a Texas consultant and former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staffer who has championed energy efficiency, to play a key role in writing the study.

Tom Pyle, who led President Donald Trump’s Energy Department transition team, was quick to tamp down expectations for the study, which has been watched closely by power producers and utilities.

"I think there has been way too much build up," he said in a phone interview. "The study has been built up to the point no matter what it says it is likely to disappoint everybody."

©2017 Bloomberg News

Lockster Story About Locks

When you are hoping to maximize your travel security, one of the most obvious places to start is with buying a lock. But how secure are lugg...