Disaster Tech

quake.jpg

Like many of you, I’ve been watching the events in Japan continue to unfold, and perhaps thinking to myself, “I’m glad something that devastating didn’t happen here”.

But what if it did, would you be prepared? I like to think that I am, but sadly, I’m probably not.

Yes, I have a first aid kit, and I’ve got some camping supplies, but it’s not organized nor is it handy. And it’s likely not enough, which is why the Canadian Red Cross created these handy plans.

Getting Prepared
The Canadian Red Cross has this excellent resource for building and maintaining an Emergency Preparedness Kit listing what you need to survive for 72 hours or more.

rc1.jpg

Ok, step one is taken care of…or is it.
In my case, I’ve got pets so I need to extend my kit and plans a bit with this Emergency Pet Plan & Kit

rc2.jpg

Now I’m set, except for some of the tech. Usually tech is the last thing you want in your kit; it requires power, isn’t easy to fix when it breaks, and doesn’t fare well when wet. Yet there are some exceptions.

Gearing up
These plans and kits all call for a battery or hand-crank flashlight and radio. And I’ve found one that suits my needs perfectly.

photo1.jpg

The Etón FR160 self-powered safety radio uses hand crank or solar power to re-charge the internal nickel metal-hydride battery and features AM/FM radio and Environmental Canada weather band channels to provide emergency weather information/public alerts. In addition, the FR160 has an integrated LED flashlight, 3.5 mm headphone output and a USB port for charging cell phones.

photo2.jpg

The unit is small, lightweight, and won’t take up valuable space in any emergency kit.

Of course, I tried it out, and yes, it does work well. Radio reception was fine, and the crank, while a bit noisy, did charge well.

And as a bonus, Etón Corporation contributes a portion of every Canadian Red Cross branded unit sold to support the mission of the Canadian Red Cross.

If you’re looking for more information on the FR160, you can check out the manual here (pdf).

And yes, this will find a home in my soon-to-be-complete emergency kit.

But I’m sure you’ve got some tech-thoughts on additions to my kit — what tech would you pack in your kit?

[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]

A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

sw1.jpg

Three exciting games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established computer and console development juggernaut. One was from a (now) blockbuster company that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respected Canadian design house, is currently taking the iTunes App store by storm – becoming Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re planning to pick up an iPad 2 tomorrow, you might want to make these your first downloads :smileyhappy:
Continue reading “A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer”

Canuck going to South by South West (SXSW)?

If you’re going to South by South West (SXSW) in March, then consider checking in to the Maple Leaf Digital Lounge — a new concept that helps promote and highlight Canadian technology to SXSW attendees.

We are creating a cluster of Canadian technology that will be promoted at this event.  This is a unique concept and Canada is the only country to host a lounge at this conference. It will act as a catalyst in promoting Canadian innovation to a large technology and media audience.

The MLDL will feature Canada’s top Interactive digital media technology companies from the following industries: social media, mobile, marketing, multi-media, game development, web development or any related IT areas. At the event, each company will have a table set up/booth to showcase their technology over a two-day period.

So if you’re heading down to SXSW, the Maple Leaf Digital Lounge should be on your must-see list. And if you’re a Canadian tech. company, you may want to look at partnering.