The Daily Upside: Google Patent Could Track Users Based on Wi-Fi Connection 

While Google’s patent indicates that this tech could automatically activate devices based on user presence, physical sensors have long filled that gap, so it’s unclear how this kind of tech offers anything different from a motion-activated porch light, said Sara Geoghegan, counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  

With a lot of innovations in consumer tech, the common case is that companies will ask for more and more personal data, and in return users get more convenient and useful features. This leaves the consumer to decide how much trust they’re willing to put into these tech firms for the sake of convenience.  

But with this tech, Geoghegan said, “It seems that the potential benefits that this software service could provide already exist with significantly less privacy-invasive services. Like a lot of things in our space, I think that there is often this idea that there is some sort of convenience or benefit. But if you really look at it, it’s quite minimal.”  

Google, meanwhile, gains access to continue growing its “troves of personal information,” said Geoghegan. And while Google does make the caveat that these systems may come with privacy-preserving identifiers for the users it tracks, the fact that this system may be operated through a cloud-based system presents its own risks. 

Read more here.

How To Grow Wheat In Your Garden

Under the blazing summer sun, I squatted in our family’s garden amidst the swaying wheat. As I harvested, the steady snipping of my shears mixed with the soft, almost musical sound of wheat straw. The airy touch of the awns brushed against my face, bringing to mind Ruth gathering barley in Israel ages ago.

On that summer day, I was in a wheat patch in our large garden—a plot measuring 100 feet long and 4 feet wide, or 400 square feet, about a hundredth of an acre.

You might be wondering about the practicality of growing such a small amount of wheat. “Why not just buy flour from the store? Why bother with this tiny wheat patch?” you might ask. This is what you could call a small-scale wheat production, and it’s not just a theoretical thing for me.

In our family, we regularly grind and bake with whole wheat. Having my own wheat in the garden, where I can see each growth stage, participate in the harvest, and process it myself, adds something extra to the experience of eating bread.

From childhood memories to daily reality

From childhood recollections to everyday life, the idea of making bread from scratch has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Ever come across the tale of the Little Red Hen?

In this story, she diligently sets out to grow wheat for her own bread, persistently seeking help from farm mates at each stage of the process. However, no one shows interest in lending a hand until the aroma of the freshly baked loaf fills the air. Suddenly, everyone wants a slice. Yet, at this point, the Little Red Hen decides that since she did all the work solo, she’ll savor her bread solo too.

This children’s story vividly illustrates the value of hard work, and in my youth, I relished reading our version. The vibrant illustrations traced the journey of wheat, from seed to golden crop, and through the processes of harvesting, milling, and baking into a mouthwatering loaf. I could almost taste it myself!

Now, as an experienced farmer managing my own projects, possessing the Little Red Hen’s knack for cultivating wheat for my family with minimal equipment has become a valuable skill. Wheat serves as an excellent cover crop in an established garden, even if you have no plans to harvest the grain.

In our region, winter wheat forms a robust green cover during the colder months. Come spring, we either plow it into the soil or mow it down, readying the ground for planting. Wheat naturally suppresses weeds, and its roots enhance soil structure, creating an ideal environment for beneficial soil-dwelling creatures.

Wheat cultivation

wheat cultivation

Experimenting with wheat cultivation began in my family’s garden several years ago. Curiosity led me to grab some wheat from our storage buckets, sow it onto the ground with anticipation, and lightly cover the area with…

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Boston Globe: Amazon abandons plan to purchase Bedford-based iRobot; Roomba maker cuts 350 jobs

The proposed iRobot acquisition has also alarmed privacy advocates. Calli Schroeder, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, pointed out that Amazon has a roster of electronic products that collect household data, including Echo smart speakers and Ring security cameras. “They already have a bunch of technology that is privy to very, very personal information, because it’s focused on our home,” she said. 

Schroeder believes Amazon wanted iRobot because its advanced Roomba machines use cameras to create maps of the rooms it cleans. This would give Amazon even deeper insights into the habits of its customers. But it could also violate users’ privacy, if the collected data was stolen or abused. For instance, MIT Technology Review reported in 2022 that images captured by prototype Roomba machines wound up on Facebook after iRobot shared them with a business partner that helped train the Roomba’s artificial intelligence software. 

Schroeder celebrated the collapse of the deal on Monday. “It looks like the privacy side won,” she said. “We’ve got to take those victories anywhere we can get them.” 

Read more here.

NextGov: TSA uses ‘minimum’ data to fine-tune its facial recognition, but some experts still worry 

Jeramie Scott — senior counsel and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Project on Surveillance Oversight — called facial recognition “an invasive and dangerous surveillance technology,” adding that TSA’s use of it “basically endorses the use of facial recognition for identity verification.”  

“That will ultimately accelerate the use of our faces as our ID, and that has some very important implications for privacy, civil liberties, civil rights and our democracy,” he said, adding that the lack of federal regulations around facial recognition’s use means that — despite TSA’s current privacy requirements — “what may be the safeguards today does not mean they will be the safeguards tomorrow.” 

He also pushed back on TSA’s claim that it conducts “independent analysis” of collected data, since the agency falls under DHS’s authority. 

“You can’t say just because we handed it to a different part of the agency that that’s an independent test in any meaningful way,” Scott said. 

Read more here.

Recipe: Chicken & Rice with Golden Sauce. Copyright 1925.

The following simple recipe for Chicken & Rice with Golden Sauce is from Good HouseKeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (253 pages, copyright 1925, now in public domain). That is one of the 11 new bonus books included in the new 2005-2023 edition of the SurvivalBlog Archive USB stick.

  • 1 fowl
  • 1 cupful milk
  • 1 cupful chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoonfuls butter
  • 2 tablespoonfuls flour
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoonful pepper
  • 1 egg-yolk
  • 1 teaspoooful lemon-juice
  • 1 cupful rice
  • Minced parsley

Cook the fowl until very tender aud. cut into neat attractive servings, rather small, using only the white meat for this dish if you wish it particularly delicate in appearance.

Meanwhile, prepare the Golden Sauee as follows: Melt the butter, add the flour and when bubbling, stir in milk and chicken broth gradually. Cook until smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Add the pepper and salt as needed, this depending upon the seasoning in the stock. Just before removing from the fire, add the egg-yolk beaten and the lemon juice, stirring rapidly.

Reheat the chicken in a little of the sauce placed in a double-boiler. Arrange it on a hot deep platter
or chop plate, and surround it with a ring of the rice cooked until tender and flaky in plenty of boiling salted water.


Pour more of the sauce over the chicken and serve with minced parsley sprinkled over the rice.

Do you have a well-tested recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long-term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven recipes, slow cooker recipes, and any recipes that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!

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Storing Valuable “How to” Digital Data, by Slate Creek.

I am constantly collecting data from the web and I save it to several USB memory sticks that I carry with me daily. If I’m in the office and happen to run across something of value I often pull the USB stick out of my pocket and save a copy. I have sub-directories organized on my stick such as “Food Storage”, “Water Supply”, “Topo Maps” or “Ham radio related” and then sub-category that into say “Antenna Builds”, “Local Repeaters” or “Radio Manuals”. I’m not advocating saving everything on a USB stick because nothing beats having the piece of paper in your hand explaining what to do. I still will hard copy print important papers like  radio manuals, the AmRRON SOP manual, recipes, engine manuals, and medical manuals.

I typically create USB archives of good books I have run across online such as one that I recently read about “The Great Taking”, or The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson” (which both can be found for no cost on the web) or just any good prepper books. If you web search “Good Prepper Manuals PDF” the search results will give you a plethora of free manuals such as Nuclear survival, first aid, and military survival guides. Once you begin finding and saving PDF references and files you will be surprised all of the resources available on the web for your library.

I never store personal information or data records on this device, it’s an everyday carry USB stick to grab something that might be useful in the future. Every week or two I copy its contents up to a backup drive at home in case it gets lost and all of that hard work is gone. Believe me, I’ve done it as I had a small hole in my pocket and one slipped out of my pants to be lost forever. Luckily I had backed it up two months earlier. But since then back up more often. I now mini-carabiner clip it to my key chain so it’s no longer a small object in my pocket.

Once a month, I take my memory stick and download the data off of my storage drive and duplicate it to a second memory stick that is EMP-safe. These are sticks that are typically shielded in a metal case with a metal cap — like the ones sold by SurvivalBlog each year with a full archive of blog files and hundreds of books and manuals. These types of waterproof USB sticks are often hard to acquire or require ordering a large quantity of them, to purchase. An alternative to this type of USB storage is to use a couple of static type bags used for electronics, and store them in your Faraday container. Another method is wrap the memory stick in a nonconductive foam and place it in a small tin in essence creating a mini Faraday cage. Do a web search and study how to safely store electronics in an EMP / CME for…

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Apollo-1: On January 27th, 1967, a launch pad fire killed three astronauts.

A news update and constitutional law analysis, related through a video commentary from Mark W. Smith of The Four Boxes Diner:  BORDER WARS: The Constitutional Issues you need to know about in Texas v. Biden Admin. Two days ago, it was 11 states, but now, 25 states have signaled support for Texas Governor Abbott’s position. And at least 10 of those States have now pledged to send National Guard or State Guard/Militia troops to Texas, to assist. Tucker Carlson interviewed Abbott, on Friday.

On January 27th, 1967, a launch pad fire during Apollo program tests at Cape Canaveral, Florida, killed astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee. An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo 1 command module was the probable cause of the fire. The astronauts, the first Americans to die in a spacecraft, had been participating in a simulation of the Apollo 1 launch scheduled for the next month.

January 27th, 1945 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Army.  January 27th is commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Today is the birthday of singer-songwriter Kate Wolf. (Born 1942, died December 10, 1986.) Her untimely death at age 44 cut short an amazing career and robbed America of a great songwriting talent.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 110 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  5. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC.
  4. Montana Survival Seed is providing a $225 gift code for any items on its website, including organic non-GMO seeds, fossils, 1812-1964 US silver, jewelry, botany books, and Montana beeswax.
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms…

10 Mega-Popular Trends that Preppers Have Brought Back from the Brink of Extinction

In a world intoxicated with convenience and technology, preppers are taking the reins in reviving forgotten survival skills nearly lost to time.

These 10 trends, once deeply rooted in our history, now bind together survival enthusiasts who aren’t just regaining lost arts but shaping a new narrative of resilience and self-sufficiency for the future.

1. Pickling Frenzy

When you’ve got a survival garden, you also need a way to preserve your bounty.  Enter the DIY pickling craze, which preppers are trailblazing. 

Whether it’s traditional lacto-fermentation or vinegar pickling, these avant-garde survivalists are preserving their edibles with probiotic flair, creating a gastronomic arsenal with a shelf life that rivals the ages.

2. Ancient Navigation Techniques

Bid farewell to GPS! Preppers are embracing the art of ancient navigation. Whether it’s making sure they always have a paper map in case their phone dies or knowing how to find north without a compass, preppers are making sure they know how to find their way regardless of the circumstances.

find north with sticksfind north with sticks

3. Primitive Shelter-Building

Making shelters is something that allowed our earliest ancestors to survive in an inhospitable, dangerous world. This essential knowledge was lost over time as people outsourced their habitats to suburban developers and city planners. Not for preppers, though! They consider shelter-making one of the most essential survival skills should they ever need to bug out.

4. Ethnobotany Mastery

Forget traditional foraging; preppers are delving deep into ethnobotany. Whether it’s making glue from pine sap or painkillers out of garden weeds, they’ve unearthed the forgotten uses of indigenous plants.

5. Aquaponics Alchemy

Over 1,000 years ago, the ancient Aztecs mastered the art of aquaponics by cultivating symbiotic relationships between fish and plants.  Now preppers have brought this back so they can create self-sustaining ecosystems that yield nourishment.

6. Wild Yeast Crafting

In a time before commercial yeast packets, bakers harnessed the magic of wild yeast. Preppers are reviving this lost art, fermenting doughs and concocting sourdough starters with an alchemical touch that modern baking has almost forgotten.

7. Canning: A Lost Culinary Art

Our great-grandparents relied on canning to preserve the bounty of the harvest. Preppers are reviving this tradition, shunning store-bought convenience for the satisfaction of preserving their own fruits and vegetables in jars—a skill nearly lost to the aisles of the modern supermarket.

8. Handcrafted Survival Tools

In the age of mass production, the art of crafting one’s tools was nearly forgotten. Preppers are rediscovering the satisfaction of handcrafting survival tools, from knives and bows to traps and fishing gear.

Embracing the self-sufficiency of their forebearers, these enthusiasts are ensuring they…

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EPIC Calls On DOJ and DHS to Create Robust Framework of Safeguards for Surveillance Tech

EPIC submitted comments in response to DOJ and DHS’ Request for Written Submissions on Sec. 13e of Executive Order 14074 urging DOJ and DHS to center vulnerable communities in its crafting of new guidance on the use of facial recognition, predictive policing technologies, social media surveillance tools, and DNA analysis tools. EPIC argued that DOJ, DHS, and other law enforcement agencies should cease to use some of the most privacy-invasive and dangerous surveillance technologies—like facial recognition—because of their systemic issues, severe effects on vulnerable populations such as racial minorities, and threat to our democracy. However, EPIC also provided recommendations to create a robust framework of safeguards to protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. EPIC continues to advocate for a set of principles that would adequately assess the risks of these technologies and shape the policy on how law enforcement officials use them. In brief, these include:

  • prohibiting mass surveillance;
  • protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties;
  • protecting constitutional rights;
  • proving that the technology and its implementation do not result in a disparate impact for protected classes; 
  • requiring adequate evaluation of the purpose, objectives, benefits, and risks of the technology;
  • adopting stricter data minimization procedures; 
  • ensuring adequate security for retained data;
  • regular independent auditing;
  • strengthening accountability and oversight; and
  • advancing public trust, prioritizing transparency, and requiring substantiation for claims relating to the technology, especially related to its effectiveness. 

EPIC runs a robust surveillance oversight program with several areas of focus. EPIC opposes the spread of facial recognition in both the public and private sector. For many years, EPIC has worked to end TSA’s use of facial recognition at airports. Over the last year, EPIC has helped lead a yearlong coalition campaign to fundamentally reform FISA § 702 as it nears its sunset date. EPIC also regularly calls for increased transparency and oversight of automated decision-making and predictive policing. EPIC has filed complaints with the Attorney General, submitted several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and engaged in extensive research to map DHS’ web of databases to shine light on law enforcement use of overbroad surveillance technology. 

Boost Flower Farm Sales with Better Business Ideas

To boost your flower farm sales, you’ll need to come up with some business ideas beyond growing beautiful flowers. Once you have buckets and buckets of flowers, you need to figure out how on earth to sell them. You’ve been trying to put yourself out there, and get people interested, but you just can’t seem to sell all those flowers.

The truth is that it can be challenging. It’s a competitive market. It’s a fast-growing agricultural sector, and your little flower farm is competing with massive flower importers that have had decades to perfect the craft of growing cheap and beautiful flowers.

Don’t get discouraged. Plenty of opportunities exist to turn a profit on a flower farm; it just might require a bit of innovation, so I have compiled some tips and tricks that could help elevate your flower farm to the next level.

Leverage and Build Your Network

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it often seems to get overlooked. A critical part of any business venture is to leverage and build a network. Odds are that your network will be family and friends starting out, and those will make up your first few buyers. That’s great! You’re making a few sales now, but let’s take it a step further.

It’s way easier to meet 10 people that each have a network of 10 people than it is to develop a relationship of 100 people. Take free flowers to local businesses, just set them out, share with business owners what you’re doing, win them over. This way has no strings attached, but it begins building advocates with large networks in your community. Watch your orders start rolling in quickly!

Extend Your Growing Season

Perhaps one of the best ways to up your sales as a flower farmer is to simply beat the competition to market. During summer months you will notice market gardeners and vegetable farmers also typically have an influx of blooms at the farmers market. More flower farmers show up in summer when the easier varieties such as zinnias and sunflowers begin to bloom.

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By planting heavily for spring flowers, using season extension methods, biennial flowers and even forcing tulip blooms, you’ll be able to beat a large number of flower farmers to market and capitalize on strong spring sales that can help carry you through a slower summer.

Start a Flower CSA or Subscription

Flower community-supported-agriculture programs, aka CSAs, and subscription models are great ways to help ensure your flowers aren’t going to waste. Begin selling them in winter. I like to offer them as holiday gifts available for purchase.

I find folks don’t hesitate to spend a little extra on bringing joy to a loved one, and these subscriptions do just that. Yes, you must manage the fund up front and fulfill each order, but if you do a good job, you’ll also likely begin earning more custom orders and opportunities.

Hotel Florist and Gift Shop Contracts

While not widely known, many hotels regularly have fresh flower installations…

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