The excellent first edition of Matthew Braga's new Secret World newsletter looks at exactly who you're calling when you use a satellite phone or Garmin emergency beacon to call for help:
It turns out that, anytime someone calls 911 on a satellite phone, or presses the SOS button on a dedicated GPS tracker — anywhere in the world — those messages typically go to one place: The International Emergency Response Coordination Center, or IERCC, about an hour outside of Houston, Texas. The center has coordinated more than 10,000 rescues in 169 countries, and responds to anywhere from 30 to 60 requests each day. Whether you’re a hermit in the Scottish highlands in medical distress, or a kayaker in eastern Tajikistan with altitude sickness (true stories) the IERCC is your point of first contact. Every hour, every day of the year, a rotating team of six watchstanders determine the closest available search and rescue team and coordinate the response.
The IERCC headquarters includes what sounds like a real-life vault from Fallout:
The entrances were hidden within a pair of massive pagodas, with gunports for the armed guards to shoot at whoever who came near.
Read the rest of the newsletter here, including a description of drone warfare involving tractor beams.
Matt Levine’s consistently excellent newsletter for Bloomberg is called Money Stuff, and is typically focused on white collar crime and crime-adjacent behavior. Monday’s edition looks at the New York Times’ article on on the possible existence of Epstein-related incriminating videos, and attempts to explain why the story doesn’t actually allege criminal behavior by the lawyers […]
I highly recommend McKinley Valentine’s email newsletter, The Whippet. In each issue she presents interesting ideas, art, videos, and articles. Here’s an item from the latest issue (#85): How to survive solitary confinement I like to read things like this, keep it in my pocket, so I worry less about what if it happens. The […]
In The New York Times, Mike Isaac explains why newsletters are a better way of communicating than Facebook and Twitter. For me, the change has happened slowly but the reasons for it were unmistakable. Every time I was on Twitter, I felt worse. I worried about being too connected to my phone, too wrapped up […]
The Nintendo Switch is an undeniably awesome gadget, pairing old-school gaming styles with modern-day graphics and functionality for a new generation of gamers. The only complaint people seem to have is that its controllers are somewhat lacking, which is why more and more Switch-enthusiasts are picking up this Gbros. Wireless Adapter that lets you play […]
More and more people are flocking to a wide variety of careers in IT, thanks mostly to the high pay, plentiful advancement opportunities, and an exciting atmosphere that offers new challenges every day. The only problem is that this high demand means competition can be fierce if you’re entering the job market for the first […]
Going to the beach is almost always an enjoyable experience, but trekking back through your house on the way to the shower can leave a trail of sand the quickly saps the day of its sunny fun. Thankfully this BeachBox: Portable Shower & Storage unit has you covered the next time you hit the beach. […]