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British TV Show 'Blackout' Triggers Online LOLs

timothy posted 1 year,13 days | from the if-you-can-read-this-message-the-internet-is-down dept.

United Kingdom 222

judgecorp writes "Britain's Channel 4 screened Blackout, a drama about a cyber-attack which crashes the national power grid. The show was silly enough, with a strong message about the dangers of lighting candles in such a situation, but the Twitter responses were even better. The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid."

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222 comments

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hey stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808473)

don't put power grids on the open internet. DUH.

Re:hey stupid (1)

malacandrian (2145016) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808987)

How do you suggest the control room communicate with all the various power stations and electricity consumers across the country then?

Re:hey stupid (5, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809025)

How do you suggest the control room communicate with all the various power stations and electricity consumers across the country then?

Perhaps, I don't know, they could piggyback a communication network onto the physical power network they own, airgapped from the internet? Maybe they could call each other on the phone like they did for the first ~80 years of the grid's existence?

Re:hey stupid (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809193)

How do you suggest the control room communicate with all the various power stations and electricity consumers across the country then?

Perhaps, I don't know, they could piggyback a communication network onto the physical power network they own, airgapped from the internet?

Yes, that would be perfect. No one would be able to connect in RJ45 to that network. Excuse me while I plug in my laptop to charge it so I can look up what type of connector would be needed... ;-)

Re:hey stupid (1)

kernelistic (160323) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809351)

Uh, no. GP wasn't talking about BPL (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_over_power_lines [wikipedia.org] ), but stringing fiber along the same poles when reconducturing is performed.

Re:hey stupid (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809443)

Woosh.

How exactly do you protect a network when its endpoints are in untrusted locations? It starts looking an awful lot like the internet.

Re:hey stupid (1)

tnk1 (899206) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809609)

What you say is true, although if you air-gapped this network from the Internet, you'd need to gain access to a node that is on that network in order to compromise it or physical access to the lines themselves. The network nodes will likely be in controlled locations, and even if they aren't, they're at least going to be local to the country running them.

Obviously, gaining physical access to the network cables would be much simpler than that, but you'd have to get resources on the ground locally to tap that cable. Not impossible, but if you can do that, you almost might as well just start blowing up transmission towers yourself.

If it is running over the Internet, you could (theoretically) gain access from anywhere including overseas without special effort.

Re:hey stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809207)

They should not be directly connected to any control centre outside of the plant, that is a stupidity for the movies, none of the plants control should even count as Turing complete.

The control centres human operatives for each plant might be connected, by phone or email, but not the plant itself which should not have even the capacity for such contentions. To adapt to usage you need predicted usage and current usage. To get predicted usage patterns you should have to physically feed data to the machine, this should require human entry, probably every morning with weakly/monthly forecasts for fall-back. For the fine details of current usage the plant should just respond to voltage changes on the lines.

Of course this will be a significant cost increase on current systems but you cant reprogram it if it cant be reprogrammed... not that it will ever happen cost is king.

Re:hey stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809255)

Because humans never miss-type data. Human data entry is a horrible idea.

Re:hey stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809329)

Because an occasional single plant failure is so much worse than a network with a massively increased chance of everything failing at once....
So long as the inbuilt capacity to react exceeds the number of plants that might be expected to fail at the same time due to human failure it will be no more likely to go down. Even if it ends up more likely to fail any real cut will be lot more local, a local power cut is trivial to fix national not so much.

Punch cards or tape would work, it just cant be completely automated, so someone has to enter the data check the data see what is entered and go out of their way to physically say yes/no to a single purpose non remote access system.

Re:hey stupid (2)

Zcar (756484) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809409)

Um, yes. Remember the Northeast US blackout a decade ago? Ultimately caused by the failure of one transmission line and the resulting rerouting of power over the grid?

They're all interconnected anyway, so a plant going out can have major effects on the grid as a whole.

Re:hey stupid (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809355)

And when the internet goes down/out what is your _backup_ control plan??

Re:hey stupid (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809607)

Do we really need to explain that a network need not be connected to the Internet to be, you know, a network?

Re:hey stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809403)

And how do you expect me to pay my electricity bill if the power company isn't on the Internet? ;-)

LOL (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808495)

LOL, What?

Re:LOL (1)

glavenoid (636808) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808849)

I don't really get what's happening here: so there was some British TV show and a bunch of people tweeted about it... and then what? Or is this supposed to be some kind tongue in cheek bit?

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

glavenoid (636808) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808905)

Al right, joke's on us. I just read the /. submission title again:

"British TV Show 'Blackout' Triggers Online LOLs"

STOP THE PRESSES! SOME SHOW TRIGGERS LOLS!! I can see timothy scrambling like a madman to get this thread out of the submission queue and onto the front page. This in the running for the most ridiculous title I've ever seen here, even worse then the gloriously daft "OMG PONIES LOL!!!"

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809457)

What? Ponies? Where?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809137)

It wasn't just LOL, it was "Online LOL(s)" (and they were more than one). That's why you received down votes. Pay attention to the full word and plurals next time!

What's the meaning of "Online LOLs" by the way? Am I supposed to know?

Re:LOL (1)

GTRacer (234395) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809285)

What's the meaning of "Online LOLs" by the way?

Online Leagues of Legend, perhaps?

insensitive (1)

StripedCow (776465) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808517)

The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.

But... I have my own wind-power facility, you insensitive clod!

Fond memories of Threads (3, Interesting)

laejoh (648921) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808525)

In the eighties the BBC had http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threads [wikipedia.org] . It's on youtube, you won't enjoy it.

Re:Fond memories of Threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808657)

Threads was/is a genuinely terrifying program. I torrented it, so I can scare myself to death whenever I want.

Re:Fond memories of Threads (4, Funny)

rwise2112 (648849) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808857)

so I can scare myself to death whenever I want.

Surely that only works once!

Re:Fond memories of Threads (2)

polyp2000 (444682) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808777)

I own this film on DVD and while it is a harrowing piece. If you are a into apocalyptic scenarios or were a teenager in the 80's this film is a must view IMHO!

Re:Fond memories of Threads (0)

cusco (717999) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809061)

Not sure if it would be more horrifying than 'The Day After', released the year before 'Threads'. Remember that we had Ronnie Raygun, who had to be argued out of invading Cuba by the Joint Chiefs, for president at that point. I'm very surprised that civilization survived the 1980s.

Re:Fond memories of Threads (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809097)

Not sure if it would be more horrifying than 'The Day After'

The Day After is like Alice in Wonderland compared to Threads.

Re:Fond memories of Threads (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809163)

It is - I own "The Day After" which is saccharine by comparison. Still a I like this film too!

Re:Fond memories of Threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809167)

It was tremendously more terrifying than "The Day After".

Re:Fond memories of Threads (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809181)

I'm very surprised that civilization survived the 1980s.

Some people might argue that it didn't.

Re:Fond memories of Threads (1)

rk (6314) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809247)

Indeed [wikipedia.org] .

Luddites. (1)

Chas (5144) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808529)

Can't live with them.
And they scream too loud when you feed them to the chipper-shredder.

Re:Luddites. (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808621)

A true luddite wouldn't be watching the telly.

They are idiots (no relation).

These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

Re:Luddites. (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808685)

These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

When did all of those elderly Americans move to Britain and start using twitter?

Re:Luddites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808915)

A true luddite wouldn't be watching the telly.

They are idiots (no relation).

These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

You do realize that War of the Worlds was intentionally set up to make people believe it, right? And the technology of the time made it easy to do so, as the radio was the only source of information from the "outside world" that didn't involve driving for hours on end...

The people freaking out over Blackout are like 100th generation clones...there just isn't much left to work with at that point.

Re:Luddites. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809051)

They are idiots (no relation).

These are the same people that freaked out when War of the Worlds was first broadcast....

You know, in fairness to the people who went into panic with War of the Worlds ... it was 1938, and people had no context for something like this.

Audiences weren't exactly sophisticated by our standards back then.

I've known people who were alive back then, and while I don't think any of them heard the original broadcast, they've mostly confirmed that most people simply didn't know enough to realize it wasn't true.

In 1938 in much of the world, broadcast radio was still something relatively new. And since it was presented as a series of news items, people believed it.

I believe essentially the same thing happend in the 80s with that Red Dawn movie -- since everyone was already in a state of fear we were going to get nuked by the Soviets, so people thought it was real.

Hell, given the chronic amber alert status, with a little planning you could probably whip up a lot of modern people into a panic. Because it has the effect of keeping people in a heightened state of fear.

Let's face it, if someone in NYC said a plane had crashed into a building, you would see some pretty widespread panic.

Re:Luddites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809213)

No but at least in the War of the Worlds incident they KNEW the radio ran on power not magic.

Re:Luddites. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809629)

No one believed or should have believed Red Dawn. It was clearly a work of fiction in a movie theater, not a television broadcast formatted like the nightly news (with the same talking heads as the real news covering the story).

Re:Luddites. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808665)

The neighboring township to where I am is full of anti cell phone tower advocates. They managed to get the county's ordinances drafted in a way that makes it nearly impossible for any cell tower to be put in. They always cite the health risks of all things wireless.

I always find it amusing when they complain about their cell phone coverage and look for ways to add wireless to their houses.

Re:Luddites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808793)

In Indiana we are seeing the same thing happen with wind farms. We have actual people coming out and citing human health risk of wind farms. People complaining about "popping ears" and such.

We actually already have a county that has made wind farms illegal.

Re:Luddites. (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809013)

Even though it's much less satisfying, try feeding them into the chipper shredder head first.

None of those tweets are funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808553)

Nor are they interesting.

The British are completely humorless losers. Brush your fucking teeth, you ruddy wankers.

Re:None of those tweets are funny (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808607)

Of course they're humorless. They would much rather have humour.

Re:None of those tweets are funny (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808739)

Our humour is different from your humor.

A lot of it is based around deliberate understatement and irony.

Re:None of those tweets are funny (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808851)

Lose some weight you fat Colonial Fuckers

Re:None of those tweets are funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809231)

AC must be fat imperial fucker. Oh wait, no, that would require Britain to still be an empire. Maybe just a fat fucker.

Re:None of those tweets are funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809507)

maybe your imaginary friend Jeebuzz and his angels will tell you Americans what Always happen to empires including yours.

Re:None of those tweets are funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809031)

You mean popular US shows like "the office" and "shameless" which are British knockoffs?

Watch US Office season 1 and UK season 1. They drifted apart later, but the first few episodes are probably off the same script.

Some shows are terrible, but some are actually pretty good.

This is brilliant (2)

techprophet (1281752) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808577)

Thank God for morons. I needed a laugh!

Kind of reminds me of a story... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808581)

The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.
 
A friend of mine was getting ready to get in his car one day and noticed the neighbor woman was having an issue with her car. He stopped over and asked what was wrong and she said it wasn't doing anything when she turned the key. He tried and noticed she didn't have any dash lights or anything and explained that it may have been a dead battery. She said to him "I thought cars ran on gasoline?"

Re:Kind of reminds me of a story... (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808635)

I've encountered, on more than one occasion, people with the opposite misunderstanding. They don't think their cars will start because the power is out on their block. There's also a lot of people that don't realize corded phones will still work with no power (in most situations) - probably the biggest obstacle to VoIP adoption in my area.

Re:Kind of reminds me of a story... (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808725)

Somebody wrote a TV show about how it's dangerous to light candles in the dark. I think we've obviated how stupid people are. Really... a TV show about how dangerous candles are?

Re: Kind of reminds me of a story... (1)

techprophet (1281752) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808813)

Not about how dangerous candles are, but how dangerous careless people are with candles.

Re: Kind of reminds me of a story... (1)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808935)

I'm guessing the premise of the TV show is:
1. Power goes out
2. People light candles
3. Civilization burns down?

Frank no like fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809057)

Fran sez : fire BAD! [knowyourmeme.com]

Re: Kind of reminds me of a story... (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809297)

Don't forget pointy knives! Those are too dangerous for the subjects.

Re: Kind of reminds me of a story... (5, Funny)

Megane (129182) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809573)

But what about fresh fruit? What do I do if someone comes at me with a banana and I don't have a tiger to release at them?

Re:Kind of reminds me of a story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809555)

Well, in my area (Pacific Northwest), landlines never work when the power is out... but the only reason the power ever goes out is because trees have fallen across the lines, usually after a big storm.

Re:Kind of reminds me of a story... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809209)

I remember the time my old 74 nova stalled in the middle of the road and I thought it was because my alternator was bad and my battery lost charge. Anyway a woman and her family pulled into her house. I yelled over,"Hey lady, I need a jump. Can you give me a jump start?" She hurried her family into the house, and my friend was dying of laughter.

Why is this even on Slashdot? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808631)

Can somebody tell me why this submission should even be on Slashdot?

It'd be one thing if this had to do with an actual blackout, and the technological aspects of it. But this submission has absolutely nothing to do with that. It's about people reacting to a work of fiction. That's it. Nothing more.

The reactions mentioned in the article aren't interesting or insightful, and they aren't even funny.

Seriously, this is the kind of useless material I'd expect to be subjected to if I were in a goddamn college film studies course. This is not "news for nerds", this is not "stuff that matters", and it should not be wasting space here on Slashdot. Give us something actually related to computers, mathematics, science, or technology, damn it!

Re:Why is this even on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808869)

+1 let's-have-this-removed-from-slashdot

Re:Why is this even on Slashdot? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809035)

It's interesting to see the widespread sense-of-humour fail on /. this afternoon.

screw with their tv (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808661)

That'll get their attention.

Re:screw with their tv (1)

Megane (129182) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809599)

I want to see the BBC come up with a drama where the world is taken over by television detector vans. (In Soviet Cardiff, telly detect YOU!)

People (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808695)

The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid."

And ... these people vote .... usually for whomever tells the sweetest lies.

Re: Overzealous and incorrect "whom"-ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808929)

And ... these people vote .... usually for whomever tells the sweetest lies.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/who_vs_whom

Him tells lies? No.
He tells lies? Yes! Use who :)

And ... these people vote .... usually for whoever tells the sweetest lies.

There, FTFY.

Re: Overzealous and incorrect "whom"-ing (0, Offtopic)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809033)

Never use 'whom'. Simple rule that guarantees correct American English.

Re: Overzealous and incorrect "whom"-ing (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809185)

Never use 'whom'. Simple rule that guarantees correct American English.

From whom did you get that advice? ;-)

There's an infinite number of ways in which American English can be done wrong without the use of the word whom.

Re: Overzealous and incorrect "whom"-ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809411)

Never use 'whom'. Simple rule that guarantees correct American English.

Currently listening to: Metallica_-_For_<this_space_intentionally_left_blank>_The_Bell_Tolls.flac.

Re:People (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809091)

The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid."

And ... these people vote .... usually for whomever tells the sweetest lies.

Or whoever looks the best on TV.

Re:People (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809205)

Knock knock.

Who's there?

To.

To who?

No, "To whom".

I liked it. (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808709)

You need to adjust the time scale a bit - the drama showed the near-collapse of civilisation taking a matter of days.

And here come spoilers:

- One of the things I liked was the show of futility at the end. One of the characters, desperate for food and water for his child, resorts to looting a shop. He films and inventories everything, intending to repay once the crisis is over. Instead he finds another survivor huddling inside, one even more desperate and terrified than he is, who immediately goes into a confused panic and beats him to death - not because this unexpected lurker is trying to steal food himself, but because he is startled, paranoid and on a hair-trigger after the few days of hell he has just endured. The final shot of the scene is of the attacker's face as he realizes what he just did.

- The survival enthusiast, a prepper who treats the whole event with glee that his precautions were proven worthwhile, starts out by stockpiling water and checking food reserves - confident that he is ready. The drama here comes not from the survival efforts he takes, but how his family handle them. He's been irritating them for years with his 'freakish' behavior of keeping stockpiles, asking to move to the country and insisting on teaching them how to purify dirty water, and now he has a chance to shine. But far from becoming the hero he envisioned, his wife craves normalcy so much she can't stand his infuriating cheerfulness and efforts to help. She rejects all of his advice out of hand, tearing the family apart as all rationality is lost - even accusing him of poisoning their daughter with his home-sterilized water, and just shouting over him he explains he hasn't even opened that bottle yet. That's a family fight done well: There are two sides to the argument, and each one is incapable of even understanding why the other is upset.

This isn't a drama about the power cut. That's just a device. This is a drama about urban populations in crisis conditions, and it would be valid no matter what the crisis is - power cut, flooding, riots, collapse of government, even prolonged heavy snow. It's a story of human nature as sociary crumbles: Desperate, often irrational, the facade of morality gradually giving way to the simple instinctive need to protect one's self and one's family no matter the cost to others.

Re:I liked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808957)

How does it compare to Threads?

Re:I liked it. (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808973)

The middle-class survivalist, "generator man" as many have been calling him was the man who went to politely loot the supermarket at the end. And it was him who did the killing, climaxing at the moment the power came back on, with the now recording CCTV being shown capturing him at that moment with blood on his hands. Some noted the irony of capers and cous-cous being the only foods left there. It was a nice touch.

Er, yeah, 'spoiler alert' I guess :)

Re:I liked it. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809481)

Capers, cous-cous and dog food.

It was difficult to follow the fight, as it was shot in 'extreme shakeycam' form from the mobile phone POV. I probably misinterpreted the outcome.

What happened to Generator Man's wife? She seemed to disappear, probably around the point I left the room to make a cup of national-grid-heated tea.

From a script writer's imaginatoin (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809043)

This is a drama about urban populations in crisis conditions, and it would be valid no matter what the crisis is - power cut, flooding, riots, collapse of government, even prolonged heavy snow. It's a story of human nature as sociary crumbles: Desperate, often irrational, the facade of morality gradually giving way to the simple instinctive need to protect one's self and one's family no matter the cost to others.

To state the obvious - It's fiction. Most people don't act that way.

See New Orleans during Katrina - or any other natural disaster or big power outages. Most people act civil and help one another out. Sure, there are a very small minority of people who will resort to acting like animals: looting, shooting at police helicopters, and other despicable behavior. But overall, all the millions of people who were effected acted like civilized human beings - nothing exciting.

Having people being rational doesn't make for good TV.

Re:From a script writer's imaginatoin (2)

internerdj (1319281) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809183)

In the week that we lost power following the Alabama Tornado outbreak there were people driving around offering their food to strangers. The only acts of desparation were driving long distances to unaffected areas to purchase ice or generators. I'd say it would take a bit longer than a week for society to collapse in places that aren't already impoverished.

Re:From a script writer's imaginatoin (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809523)

I think it was inspired a lot by the London riots - a few days of fights and looting with no really apparent cause. What started as a minor police incident somehow lead to three days of chaos in the streets. It scared a lot of people simply for being so inexplicable and unexpected.

what we did learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808721)

by day 3 we will be living on dog food and gangs roam the neighbourhood looking for generators in peoples sheds

no facebk is srs bizniz

Trawling Twitter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808745)

...does not count as journalism. Just watch the BBC to see this confirmed.

People tweet dumb things...news at 11 (1)

Covalent (1001277) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808747)

But is it news for nerds? Really? Do you really think most of these comments are not sarcastic?

Remember what George Carlin said (2)

sandbagger (654585) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808769)

Think about how dumb the average person is. Then realize that half the population is dumber than that.

Re:Remember what George Carlin said (4, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808893)

Half the population isn't dumber than the average. That's not what average means. (pun intended)

Re:Remember what George Carlin said (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809059)

Oh, someone PLEASE mod this up.

Re:Remember what George Carlin said (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809327)

True. Otherwise for every retard we have we'd have an Einstein floating around. Could you imagine that?

Re:Remember what George Carlin said (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808979)

And they vote. AND their vote counts just as much as yours does.

Sleep well.

Oh... lord... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808819)

The show terrified some viewers who apparently didn't realise that their TV screen was powered by the grid.

~sigh~

Who cares about battery life? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808837)

If the grid goes down, so do the cell towers. I didn't see the show but I'm guessing that mobile phones worked despite the blackout.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808913)

In the show, mobile phones worked initially as towers switched to backup batteries. They lost signal during day two as those batteries emptied.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (3, Informative)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808965)

If the grid goes down the whole network goes down with it. Towers, exchanges, switches, relays, the lot.

Your phone would become a tiny tablet without any connection to anything. Not entirely useless, but not much use. Then the battery would go.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (1)

james_shoemaker (12459) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809079)

The cellular and phone networks in the US actually have batteries and generators to power them so people can use them when power is out to report those outages. For the POTS network I think the backup is federally mandated, not sure on the cell network.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (2)

Ioldanach (88584) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809373)

The cellular and phone networks in the US actually have batteries and generators to power them so people can use them when power is out to report those outages. For the POTS network I think the backup is federally mandated, not sure on the cell network.

The cellular backups only last for a day or two, at most. In the northeast we lost power from hurricane Sandy last year for a few days, and the cellular networks didn't last all that long. Fortunately, they're also high on the priority list for restoring power, so they were some of the first things to come back.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809505)

Many only last 2-4 hours. Cell facilities with extremely high outage levels often use fuel cells as primary power with backup from the grid.

Re:Who cares about battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808989)

I can't be 100% sure but many facilities out there have generators and I'd like to think that at least most urban cell towers have some kind of backup. I can understand a tower out in the sticks falling by the wayside in a large outage due to other needs but I'm sure high density population areas would see cell communications as a worthwhile resource to keep online unless things really got dire.

The video you are trying to watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808889)

cannot be viewed from your current country or location.

America also has "blackout" (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809117)

There's an American show called Blackout from 2012 where they take people extremely likely to freak out, put them in a pitch black room, and have them touch random things or find things or whatever. It has fake (and real) spiders and dogs and people and slime and is generally completely hilarious. It's all a game show so naturally it's timed and the fastest person wins.

Re:America also has "blackout" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809547)

There's an American show called Blackout from 2012 [...] It has fake (and real) spiders and dogs and people and slime [...] It's all a game show so naturally it's timed and the fastest person wins.

Wow, that sounds totally awesome!!! Truly an outstanding achievement of human civilization.

actual advice (5, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809253)

Anyone read Hyundai's tweet? That's not far off, Hyundai. Last time the power was out for 3 days here due to a tornado, we hooked an 800W inverter up to our Chevy S10 and idled it like a generator for at least 20 hours to power our retail computers. Really, it can be any brand car though, lol. Generator = $a lot High wattage inverter = $100-ish USD + car you already have Also, 16 gallon gas tank in the car. What's up now, generator sellers? Lol.
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