Just a quick post to bring everyones attention to a why-did-I-not-think-of-that project by the name of Byzantium. From the site:
The goal of Project Byzantium is to develop a communication system by which users can connect to each other and share information in the absence of convenient access to the Internet. This is done by setting up an ad-hoc wireless mesh network that offers services which replace popular websites often used for this purpose, such as Twitter and IRC.
These services and web apps were selected because they are the ones most often used by activists around the world to find one another, exchange information, post media, and organize. They were also selected because they stand the best chance of being easy to use by our intended userbase, which are people using mobile devices like smartphones, MP3 players, and tablet PCs.
Unlike most mesh implementations, a Byzantium Mesh requires no specialized equipment that may not be easy to get during an emergency, just an x86 computer with at least one 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless interface.
I am a strong, strong believer that– in most cases– commodity electronics are now more than cheap and powerful enough to replace dedicated, specialized hardware. What we used to do in hardware can now be done in software with at least as much safety and security. In some cases it can be done better since the software often has knowledge of the underlying systems (think ZFS as opposed to dedicated RAID controllers).
Any way, I had a love-at-first-site (get it?!) reaction to this project so I just figured I would help spread the word.