Of interest & Links: FAS’ intern site on Preparing for a disaster

Last year I blogged about being prepared for a disaster. Tonight a reader sent me a link to on boingboing’s entry on the new ReallyReady web site (created by a summer intern at the Federation of American Scientists) which “beats the Department of Homeland Security’s site.”

“The Federation of American Scientists hopes to achieve two purposes with

  • To provide clear and correct information to citizens interested in preparing themselves and their families for an emergency

  • To persuade the Department of Homeland Security to take a serious look at and their policy on the accuracy of information and to make important changes that will help Americans to prepare for terrorist attacks or natural disasters.”

I have to agree: it’s clear, concise and easy to understand. 

There are links to three sep sites: ReallyReady America, ReallyReady Business and ReallyReady Disabilities (self explanatory).

I also like their really useful links:

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Gigabit Internet at 5x the cost of 6Mbps? Yes, in Asia

If you’re in North America, you may see speeds for high speed data approaching 8Mbps as Comcast recently announced. And with the average cost for HSD coming in around $40-50 per month these days, wouldn’t it be great to find faster access?


If you live in Hong Kong, you can find 1 Gigabit residential internet access for about four times what we see in the States. That would map to about 200Mbps for $40. 

“Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN), a wholly owned subsidiary of City Telecom (HK) Limited announced the official launch of its bb1000 service, a symmetric 1Gbps for the Residential market.


bb1000 is the fastest Internet access service in Hong Kong, being up to 166x faster downstream and 1,950x faster upstream than the advertised bandwidth by the leading Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) deployment in Hong Kong. Priced at HK$1,680/month (US$215) for unlimited access, bb1000 targets premium residential users, such as Home Office or Remote Office access applications. As an introductory offer, HKBN is offering a three-month rebate for the first 200 customers who commit to 15 months contracts.”

The company estimates that about a third of the more than 2 million households in the Hong Kong market are close enough to the Fibre-to-the-Home infrastructure to get the 1Gbps service. If you’re looking for a comparable priced high-speed data service, Om reported earlier this year in Business 2.0 that HK’s City Telecom offers 100Mbps service for about US$25 a month.


The challenge for most areas is that these low-cost/ high-peed packages are available where you have high-density apartment developments in the city that can leverage a high-speed connection. Which is why we see some of the fastest broadband services that are also the least expensive in the world in major cities:

Cities with the lowest monthly cost per megabit per second (lowest to highest, according to Business 2.0’s research)

Hong Kong — City Telecom
Tokyo — Yahoo BB
Seoul — KT Megapass
Paris — France Telecom
New York — Verizon Fios
San Francisco — Comcast High-Speed Internet

There have been a number of announcements rolling out more and more FiOS (FIOS) services video service in a selected community. FiOS service includes Internet access at speeds up to 30 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream. (PDF linkAccording to the Wiki, here’s an example of three tiers of residential Internet service available now in the States:

  • 5 Mbit/s Downstream/2 Mbit/s Up Price: $34.95 or $39.95/month
  • 15 Mbit/s Downstream/2Mbit/s Up Price: $44.95 or $49.95/month
  • 30 Mbit/s Downstream/5 Mbit/s Up Price: $179.95 or $199.95/month (note that this tier is offered at $55-60 in some markets)

So, for the same price as 1Gbit access in HK, you can have up to 30Mbps in New Jersey and other major markets. In Japan, you can find Ethernet and FTTH up to 30Mbps of bandwidth: last year, analysts estimated that these high-speed lines are used by 22% of subscribers.


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Cybersafety and staying safe online

I’m clearing out the email that I missed this week due to a number of big reviews and meetings (apologies), and one was from a reader and associate who noted that my entry on creating strong passwords (and passphrases) was quickly followed by a couple of similar stories in the press. Or was it that I was following up on the press reporting a number of cybersafety stories?

First, she points out, there is this article in the Seattle Times on cybersafety which noted that the AARP reported that…

• About half of Washington computer users don’t recognize phishing scams — 49 percent said they were unaware that banks don’t send e-mails to customers asking them to click a link to verify account information.

• About three-quarters of Washington Internet users didn’t know that a Web site’s privacy policy does not prevent the company from sharing customers’ personal information with others.

• Six in 10 computer users believe incorrectly that, by law, a Web site comparing prices of products or services must include the lowest available price.

I particularly appreciated the sidebar on six tips for staying safe online:

  1. Protect your privacy and personal information
  2. Be alert online
  3. Delete junk e-mail
  4. Use strong passwords
  5. Use antivirus software and a firewall
  6. Be smart about downloading

More info:

  • Free AARP Cyber Safety Seminars Offered: AARP teams with Microsoft, the Attorney General’s Office and the FTC to launch online safety campaign.
  • Stay Safer on the Internet: AARP Washington’s Cyber Safety Toolkit is available to help you stay safer on the Internet.
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