How to Deal With mshelper, the Latest Mac Malware

 

It’s been a long time since Apple could claim its computers were really virus-free. Even mighty Mac owners have to keep an eye out for the latest vulnerabilities and malware, just like everyone else, and there’s some new malicious Mac software making the rounds that you should know about.

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Spotted by Reddit user BackwardsBinary, “mshelper” is malware that’s designed to hog your Mac’s resources, causing your battery life to plummet (and your laptop to likely get a little warmer and louder). It’s unclear where this malicious code came from or what it’s doing, but one popular theory is that it’s cryptojacking software designed to mine cryptocurrency on your computer without your knowledge. Yuck.

Cryptojacking can push your processor to overwork itself, potentially causing permanent damage to your computer or mobile device. So, if that’s what we’re dealing with, you’ll want to clean up your Mac as soon as possible. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to identify and eradicate mshelper.

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The first thing you’ll want to do is confirm whether mshelper is installed on your Mac. To find out, open Activity Monitor and click on the CPU tab. You should see a list of all the apps and software running on your computer. Make sure they’re organized by the amount of resources they’re using (% CPU). If it’s present, mshelper should show up at the top of the list. If it doesn’t show up, you can also reorder the list by name alphabetically to double-check that it’s really not there.

If you do find the malware on your Mac, you’ll have to go in and delete a few files on your system to remove it. Open Macintosh HD (if you can’t find it, just do a Spotlight search). Then, head to Library, click on LaunchDaemons, find the file labeled “com.pplauncher.plist,” and delete it. Next, head back to Library, click on Application Support, and delete the file labeled “pplauncher.” Finally, restart your Mac.

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With that out of the way, you should be safe from the latest Mac malware. Just be careful not to download any suspicious files in the future so you can avoid whatever terrible software comes next.


via Lifehacker
How to Deal With mshelper, the Latest Mac Malware

How to delete the ‘mshelper’ malware from macOS

 

Tips

How to delete the ‘mshelper’ malware from macOS

If your Mac is running hot and is consuming its battery at a higher rate than expected in recent days, you may be affected by ‘mshelper.’ AppleInsider explains how to check for the resource-consuming malware, and how to stop it from slowing down macOS.

New malware affecting macOS has started to circulate, with reports from Mac users on Apple’s support forums and Reddit revealing systems are being affected by it. Affected Mac systems typically have their processor running at full tilt, which can prevent other software from working optimally due to resources being used on this unwanted program.

The high processor usage can also cause the Mac to run its fans constantly to try and cool everything down. For MacBook users, mshelper’s interference also means the battery life will erode away faster than normal.

It is unknown what exactly mshelper is doing to utilize the processor at such a high rate, but speculation on the Apple support forum suggests it could be some form of adware, or possibly a program used for mining cryptocurrency on a victim’s computer. Aside from using the processor, there also doesn’t seem to be any other issues it causes on affected desktops, as is typical with ransomware.

As it isn’t a virus, it is likely mshelper is distributed through an installation of another piece of software rather than spreading organically.

Checking for mshelper

Open Activity Monitor, which can be found in the Applications folder under Utilities. Alternately, you can search for “Activity Monitor” in Finder, under a “This Mac” search.

Once Activity Monitor is open, click CPU to bring up a list of processes currently using it, then click the Process Name tab to sort the list by alphabetical order. Scroll down the list until you reach where mshelper would appear alphabetically.

You can also click %CPU to sort the list by processor usage. As mshelper is a processor-intensive program, it should appear at the top of the list.

If it appears at all, then the next task is to eliminate it from macOS.

Removing mshelper

While it is possible to kill the process, this is futile due to it automatically restarting once closed. One way to stop this from happening is to delete just two files buried in the Mac’s library.

In Finder, select your Mac’s internal storage, then select Library followed by the LaunchDaemons folder. Select com.pplauncher.plist and delete it.

The other file is also found in the Library, under Application Support then pplauncher. Select and delete pplauncher.

At this point, you can kill the process.

Further notes

Apple does operate its own anti-malware protection system in macOS, designed to protect against threats known to the company. While it isn’t currently protecting against this issue, it is highly probable Apple will include changes in a future update to prevent it from working.

via AppleInsider
How to delete the ‘mshelper’ malware from macOS

We Did The Math On Higher Gas Prices

With gas prices hitting a three-year high and projected to keep rising, we Americans are going to take a hit every time we fill up our flashy new SUVs and crossovers we’re all buying. But there’s a counterargument that today’s vehicles offset rising gas prices with higher fuel efficiency. But are they efficient enough to “break even” with more expensive gas? We did some math to find out.

This has been coming up a lot as American carbuyers go completely mad for crossovers and trucks and small cars fall to the wayside. Ford went as far as killing all of its cars in America. Welcome, as ever, to the sedanocalypse. Some people don’t think this will be all that bad, but the math doesn’t always back that up.

For this experiment, we looked at gas prices over the years as well as the fuel economy figures of two representative vehicles: the Ford F-150, the best selling vehicle in the country for the last bazillion years and the Honda CR-V, a good middle-of-the-road crossover like we all love buying these days. Technically, the Nissan Rogue outsells the Honda at the moment, but it hasn’t been around that many years. We were not cursed with the Rogue back in 2003. Simpler times.

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The first fun year to compare our current gas situation with is 2003, a kind of barometer for the pre-Recession cheap gas days. The Hummer H2's best selling year was 2003, which makes it a kind of spiritual peak.

For our control vehicle, let’s look at the base-model Ford F-150, which has made huge strides in fuel economy since it went aluminum a few years ago.

To help organize our data, A Chart:

The price of one gallon of regular in 2003 came to $1.56 (lol), according to Statista. We were going to use the U.S. government’s figures for gas prices, but it charts all grades of gas combined while Statista let us track regular alone, which seemed more fair.

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OK, so a Ford F-150 from 2003 had a 25-gallon tank and a combined city/highway mileage estimate of 16 mpg. This meant that a fill up of your new ‘03 Ford would have cost you $39 at the time, and you wouldn’t have to fill up for another 400 miles. At 16 mpg, you’d burn up 6.25 gallons to go 100 miles, or $9.75 for every 100 miles you drive.

How does this compare to a current Ford F-150? A few things get changed. The cost for a gallon of regular as of the day of this writing is $2.90, according to AAA. The now-lightweight 2018 Ford F-150 has a smaller gas tank of 23 gallons, but it also has an improved combined mileage estimate of 21 mpg. Of course, because gas is now more expensive, it’ll cost $66.70 to fill the tank, and you won’t need to dump that much cash down the drain for another 483 miles. That comes down to 4.76 gallons or $13.80 for ever 100 miles you drive.

This is the interesting stuff. The F-150 has grown more efficient in 15 years’ time, but it has not offset the rise in gas prices. You’re still paying more at the pump with your more efficient F-150 today than with your gas-guzzling F-150 back in 2003, bumping Linkin Park.

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Things follow a similar path for the Honda CR-V, which has climbed from 23 mpg in 2003 to a lofty 28 in 2018. In spite of the added fuel efficiency, it costs more to fill up today ($23.87 vs $40.67) and more for every 100 miles you drive ($7.09 s $10.42.)

We also plugged in numbers for a couple other years including 2008 (a real high point for gas prices, spiking up to $3.25 across the year and nation as a whole) and 2009 (when gas prices dropped down to $2.35 before they climbed up to a record 2012 high of $3.62). In both of those years, gas mileage was low enough and gas prices high enough that it is cheaper to drive around today’s more efficient cars. But if you look at where we are historically, we’re actually climbing right up to where 2008 was.

If you plug in 2008 gas prices into our current fuel economy figures, kind of like what we could expect to see at the pump within a year, it’s basically going to cost you another five or 10 bucks per fill up. To put it in perspective, it’d be like if your current 2018 F-150 dropped to under 19 miles per gallon, down from 21. It’d be the same if your current 2018 CR-V dropped to 25 mpg from 28. The gains of efficiency we’ve been happy to see from carmakers are going to get effectively washed away.

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Is that convoluted? OK, that’s kind of convoluted. The point is that while today’s cars are more efficient than they were in the days of cheap gas, today’s gas prices have largely if not completely offset those gains and it’s looking worse from here. There’s little to say that we won’t still be hurting at the pump with better-mpg vehicles just like we were in the days of really high prices.

We’d also like you to note that this isn’t completely comprehensive math. For the sake of simplicity, we didn’t work in variables like miles people drove year by year, exactly how fleet mileage went up or down year by year or how the Earth’s rotation would affect tires. This was a basic exercise, conducted with a few variables and even more basic math to create a sketch of how this all has played out for America.


via Lifehacker
We Did The Math On Higher Gas Prices

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet

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Our verdict of the Smart Nora Anti-Snoring Device:
Smart Nora is an innovative non-invasive anti-snoring solution, but more importantly: it worked for us. If snoring is driving a wedge in your relationship, give it a go and reclaim your sleep.
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Apparently, I snore like a chainsaw. Like many people faced with this sleeping situation, my wife has resorted to kicking me until I stop. SmartNora–a device that began as a Kickstarter–has completely fixed that. When it detects snoring, it nudges my head up and down, clearing the airways and stopping the snoring. It’s a non-invasive solution to an age old problem, and it’s become a bedtime essential in our house.

The Smart Nora costs $300 direct from SmartNora.com. Anything that can get some precious sleep time back is worth every penny. Join us as we take a closer look at exactly how the Smart Nora works, and at the end of this review, we’re giving one away.

What’s In The Box?

There’s quite a lot of unfamiliar tech in the box, so let’s break down each component.

Pump and Case

Everything is housed inside a sleek felt-covered case measuring 4 x 7 x 10 inches. Integral to this case is the air pump in the center. Don’t try to remove this from the case, as you may damage the unit. The whole box should be placed under your bed in normal use, but you’ll need to unpack the other bits first.

The Smart Nora carry case with everything packed away

Inflator

In the largest pocket, you’ll find the pillow inflator with attached hose. This consists of stiff outer plates with small plastic air pillows on the inside.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet smart nora air sacks 670x377

The design allows a small amount of air to move your whole pillow. Unfold this, and place it under your pillow or inside the pillow case, with the tube facing the outside.

The Smart Nora Pillow inflator

If you received a comfort sleeve, you can put the inflator inside this. This step is optional, but adds a little extra padding if you’re using particularly thin pillows.

Smart Nora Comfort Sleeve for extra padding

Pebble

You’ll find the Pebble wireless sensor on the left, as well as a mounting bracket elsewhere in the box. Ideally, the sensor should placed no more than 4 inches above your head, mounted to your headboard. If this isn’t possible though, you can also place it on a bedside table, no more than an arm’s length away from your head.

Smart Nora's Pebble sensor

The Pebble houses the microphone, but is also your main interaction point with the device.

Other Bits

Also in the package is a Micro USB cable, and mains power lead. The Micro USB cable is used to syncronize and charge the Pebble sensor unit. The battery lasts for approximately a week.

The base unit itself also houses a battery for the pump. This is intended only as a backup or for situations where you just don’t have mains power, like camping. In normal situations, the base unit should be left plugged into the mains at all times and turned on.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet smart nora everything neatly packed 670x377

I’d really like to commend them on the inclusion of 4 different easy-to-swap plug adaptors. Combined with the fact that everything can be packed down into itself, the Smart Nora is ideal for travelling. You needn’t lose sleep just because you’re not in your own bed.

Smart Nora plug adaptors are much appreciated

Ease of Use and Setup

Once you’ve got the base unit plugged into mains power and the tube connected, turn on the main power button. Then unlock the Pebble with the slide switch underneath.

To pair the Bluetooth, plug the Micro USB cable from the Pebble into the base unit. You should also leave it plugged in for at least three hours if this is the first time you’ve done so. It’ll flash green when fully charged, or red when the battery is low. If you want to go ahead and test the inflation, tap on the Bluetooth button underneath the Pebble.

Everything plugged into the Pebble

Apart from the initial setup, daily operation couldn’t be simpler. Each night before bed, all you need to do is tap on the Pebble to turn on the device. Hold down for a second to activate with the 30 minute delay. That’s it. The delay is useful if you find Smart Nora is waking you while still trying to fall asleep. I have no trouble falling straight asleep, so I didn’t need the delay.

On a few occasions, we experienced a flashing blue light. This means the Bluetooth connection has been lost. Plugging in the Micro USB cable again will fix this.

How Does Smart Nora Actually Work?

To detect when someone is snoring, a sensor is needed: in this case, a microphone, housed within the Pebble unit. This listens carefully for the light snoring that usually precedes really loud snoring.

Then we get to the really clever bit: a flat, unobtrusive air sack is placed under the snorer’s pillow. When snoring is detected, it gently inflates then immediately deflates, causing the snorer head to move. This adjusts the airways in your neck and throat, allowing air to flow freely, which stops the snoring. The whole inflation and deflation process takes about a minute for a full cycle.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet smart nora under pillow hui sleeping 670x369

The pump is whisper-quiet. I could hear it while testing it in the daytime if I put my ear right next to it, but it’s not loud enough to wake me up when sleeping. Even less so when placed under the bed. For the first few days, it was more the sound of the air sacks inflating that would wake me.

A Novel Reactive Approach

Smart Nora is the first device to use this completely novel approach. Yet, some reviewers have criticised this reactive method. In order for Smart Nora to work, it must first hear you snoring, by which time your partner may have already woken up. It’s not a proactive system that will stop you snoring in the first place, nor will it correct any underlying health issues. In fact, it’s more or less exactly like your partner waking up and nudging you–but it’s automated and a lot gentler.

We found this reactive method worked well. In most cases, she didn’t wake up at all, because the Smart Nora caught me snoring before it became loud enough. On the rare occasion she did wake up and saw the pillow kick into action, she could immediately fall back to sleep. It’s the process of actively engaging your brain and resetting that sleep cycle that causes real sleep loss. This happens if you need to shove your partner a little, or lie in bed waiting for them to stop. The Smart Nora avoids that situation.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet smart nora in pillow 670x447

This Smart Nora’s unique approach means you can use it with your existing pillow. The Pebble is unobtrusive, and you needn’t adapt to anything weird being strapped to your face. The entire system is so discreet that no one will even know it’s there unless you point it out.

Sensitivity and Inflation Settings

There’s two settings that you’ll need to tweak in order to find the best setting for you.

On the base unit you can set three different inflation strengths. These change how much air is pumped in, and consequently how high your pillow will rise and fall. We found the highest was almost comical, pushing my head from horizontal to completely vertical. Medium was perfect.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet smart nora medium inflation 670x377

On the underside of the Pebble, you’ll find 5 levels of sensitivity for the microphone. The highest setting will activate immediately with the slightest noise. It should only be used in the most quiet of bedrooms. The lowest setting will only activate if it hears very loud snoring, multiple times. It can be used in very noisy rooms. The medium setting with be suitable for most people, activating with multiple snores, of normal loudness.

Smart Nora Pebble sensor underside

If your partner is very sensitive to your snoring, turn up the sensitivity so it activates faster.

Are There Any Cases Smart Nora Won’t Work?

There are a few situations in which Smart Nora will be less effective.

If you sleep with a white noise machine or similar, you’ll need to reposition things. Make sure the white noise is further away from the Pebble microphone than you are. Set Smart Nora on low sensitivity, and it’ll detect only the loudest noise. So as long as you snore louder than the white noise, it should still work.

Fans or air conditioning can also be an issue. If you’ve ever tried blowing into a microphone, you’ll know how noisy it’ll be. Ensure the airflow isn’t pointed at the Pebble, and it should be fine. The ambient noise from a fan or aircon alone won’t be enough to cause unintended activation. Even if it does, the motion isn’t intrusive enough to wake you.

Lastly, remember that it works by raising or lowering your pillow. If you’re the kind of person who slips off the pillow, it won’t do anything for you. The opposite is also true: if you hug your pillow tightly, it may wake you up.

There’s Also an App… Soon, Maybe

Promised very soon is an accompanying app. It’ll be launching on iOS first, giving “additional insights into your snoring”. Exactly what that entails is not yet clear. Unfortunately, the delay has angered some Kickstarter backers, since it was an integral part of the campaign.

Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet app screenshot 537x500
Some of the Smart Nora app functionality promised on Kickstarter

To be clear, the Smart Nora system functions fully without an app. It’ll still stop you snoring. It just doesn’t take full advantage of the Bluetooth capabilities built into the system. Think of it as an added bonus coming at some point.

Will It Work For You?

For some people, snoring can be a debilitating condition. Loss of sleep is no laughing matter, and for couples it can drive a literal wedge between them. Some will spend many thousands of dollars trying to fix the problem to no avail. You’ll funny shaped pillows, pills of every color, masks, and mouth gags – none of which really work, are utterly uncomfortable, or are so expensive that they’re unaffordable for most people.

Smart Nora recommend a week to fully get used to the system, but they also have a 30-day money back guarantee in case it doesn’t. That said, it only took a few days for me to acclimatise. The results were fantastic–or so my wife says. I’m a heavy sleeper, so while it’s stopped my snoring, I’m ultimately not the one seeing the benefit! Snoring is a problem with many causes and many forms, so I can can’t say the Smart Nora will 100% work for everyone. All I can say is: it worked for us.

If you or your partner are losing sleep from snoring, I would absolutely recommend giving the Smart Nora a go. It’s a surprisingly simple approach, but it seems to actually work. Smart Nora is a bedtime must-buy.

Enter the Competition!

Smart Nora Anti-Snoring Device Giveaway



via MakeUseOf.com
Smart Nora Review: The Most Effective Non-Invasive Anti-Snoring Device Yet

FBI’s Pro-2A Doc: Armed Citizens Save Lives

FBI’s Pro-2A Doc: Armed Citizens Save Lives

Federal Bureau of Investigation Seal

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Seal

Finally, the federal government is acknowledging the importance of armed citizens. In a document dated April 2018 entitled “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017,” the FBI examined 50 crimes designated as “active shooter incidents.” The document, which has a Las Vegas scene as a cover photo, focuses only on these particular crimes.

As with past FBI active shooter-related publications, this report does not encompass all gun-related situations. Rather, it focuses on a specific type of shooting situation. The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.

In a section titled “Citizen Engagement and Casualties,” we find the following:

In 10 incidents, citizens confronted the shooter. In eight of those incidents, one or more citizens safely and successfully acted to end the shooting.

  • In four incidents, unarmed citizens confronted or persuaded the shooter to end the shooting. In two incidents, school staff confronted and restrained the shooter. In one incident, the citizen used his car to thwart the shooter. In one incident, the citizen persuaded the shooter to surrender via telephone during a police chase; she ran up to the shooter’s car as he came to a stop and pulled him out of his seat, bringing the chase to an end.

  • In four incidents, citizens possessing valid firearms permits successfully stopped the shooter. In two incidents, citizens exchanged gunfire with the shooter. In two incidents, the citizens held the shooter at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.

  • In one incident, a citizen possessing a valid firearms permit exchanged gunfire with the shooter, causing the shooter to flee to another scene and continue shooting.

  • In one incident, a citizen possessing a valid firearms permit was wounded before he could fire at the shooter.

I believe the numbers would be even higher if so-called “gun free zones” didn’t prevent law-abiding citizens from carrying guns in areas where so many of these crimes occur.

The FBI’s Conclusion:

Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents. Their selfless actions likely saved many lives.

And to further support an armed citizenry:

The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike. (Emphasis added)

Clearly, armed citizens are an asset to our nation’s security, and their presence helps shorten and prevent crimes — including mass murder. Why, then, do so many citizens and politicians work so hard to disarm us?

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started… [Learn More]

via All Outdoor
FBI’s Pro-2A Doc: Armed Citizens Save Lives

Introducing The Knife Guide!

You know KnifeCenter is the largest and original catalog of cutlery, but did you also know we’ve been an educational resource since our launch in 1995? From day one, we’ve been an international hub with the latest knife news. One of our biggest goals was to not only be able to give you the largest collection of products, but also have all the information you’d ever need about knives and tools to make an informed purchase.

One thing we take very seriously is making it easier for knife newbies to enter the industry. That’s why we’ve created The Knife Guide – a series of videos that will cover a wide range of topics, from learning about knife parts to knife and tool maintenance (and everything in between).

We already have the first two installments ready and rolling on our YouTube channel!

 

The Knife Guide 01: Defining an EDC

This video will not only define an EDC, but will explain a little bit about folding knives, pocket knives, fixed blade knives, multi-tools, and some rules for choosing a knife or tool that’s the right fit for you. You can also check out all of the products that we used in the video, just in case any of them caught your eye or seemed like a good fit for a first-time knife or tool buyer.

 

The Knife Guide 02: What is a Folding Pocket Knife? 

In the second installment of the series, we dug into exactly what a folding knife is – the parts, how they work, what additions impact the cost of a folding knife, the different types of locking mechanisms and how they function, and some of the trademarks you’ll see in folding knives from well known manufacturers like Spyderco and Benchmade. We pulled out some great knives to help showcase these features, that way you’ll know our recommendations and can feel confident picking up any one of these folders.

 

We’ll be adding new videos weekly on YouTube and featuring the products on our website. We’re going to talk about what a fixed blade is, the best way to sharpen steel, the different blade shapes and what blade types are best for specific tasks, the different types of steel and how they compare, the best knife handle materials, and more. We’re also eager to see what type of content you’d like to see in this series – nothing is off limits! Be sure to head to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let us know what you think and your recommendations for what you’d like featured in this series next!

 

 

 


via Knife Center News Blog – Latest News
Introducing The Knife Guide!

Essential SHTF Gear: When The World (Almost) Ends

Many people associate SHTF gear with doomsday preppers, underground bunkers, and enough ammo to support a small army.

The truth is that everyone should have an emergency supply for when shit really hits the fan – not just people who like to plan hypothetical zombie apocalypse-nuclear winter scenarios.

PacRim Canceling the Apocalypse
You heard the man, the apocalypse is on hold…for now…

Speaking of zombies, if you haven’t read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) Zombie Apocalypse Plan you really should – no joke, it’s a great start to SHTF planning.

Setting aside some ammunition, extra weapons, and other survival gear is a great way to ensure the safety of you and your family in the event of an emergency.

Today we’re going to look at some SHTF gear essentials that every survivalist needs to have.

Table of Contents

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The Essentials to Have on Hand

Above everything else, you want to have a self-defense handgun that’s powerful enough to neutralize any incoming threat.

This will be your primary pistol, so you want to make sure that it’s something you’re comfortable shooting;  don’t go purchase that .50 Desert Eagle just yet.

Golden Desert Eagles
This is NOT SHTF Gear!

Personally, I believe that the best SHTF gun is a 9mm – and this has nothing to do with the debate over which cartridge is better.

The truth is that the 9mm is one of the most commonly used cartridges in the world, so coming across ammo for it is going to be much easier than a 10mm or .41 mag.

Remember, even the best gun in the most powerful caliber in the world is completely useless if you run out of ammo.

I find the absolute best SHTF gun to be the Glock 17.

Glock 17, Gen 5

Glock 17, Gen 5

Prices accurate at time of writing

Some might argue that there are better guns on the market, but the G17 is built for durability and usability.

And in a survival scenario where you might not have the time to pamper your gun like you normally would, you want a dependable gun that will still shoot accurately and cycle through ammo even with some wear-and-tear.  

Another good choice is the .45 ACP, as it’s an even more powerful cartridge that’s also commonly used.  You can see our list of recommendations for good .45 ACP pistols and 9mm pistols.  

What about Rifles?

If you’re like most modern firearms enthusiasts, you’ve probably already got an AR-15 on hand.

If not, it’s a great home-defense weapon that you should consider adding to your arsenal.  You can learn more about buying your first AR-15 by checking out our AR-15 Beginner’s Guide.

Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s
Pew Pew Upgraded AR-15s

Depending on what kind of shit hits the fan, you might want to have something a little more versatile (or at least harder hitting) on hand than an AR-15 – especially if you live outside of a major metropolitan area.

Some would say that a Scout Rifle fits that role, and it did…70 years ago.  While a scout rifle isn’t a bad idea, there are better options.

The AR-10 is a perfect example, get one chambered in .308 Win with a variable scope and you’ve got a great rifle for taking down game, protecting yourself from two-legged threats, and keeping the whole thing light enough to hike with and giving yourself 20 rounds on tap in case things go really sideways.

The Pew Pew Tactical Complete Buyer’s Guide to AR-10s will help you get started off right.

Best Semi-Auto Precision Rifle
Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Aero Precision M5E1 .308

Prices accurate at time of writing

Remember, part of what makes a good SHTF gun is being able to easily replenish ammo, even in a post-apocalyptic world.

You might also want to get you a .22LR rifle if you don’t already have one.

It won’t protect you against the bad guys, but it’s useful for hunting small game to eat… if need be.

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Henry Survival Rifle is a 3.5-pound .22LR rifle that’s portable, accurate, and perfect for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and other small game.

Get a Compact Backup Handgun

As the saying goes, “a .380 in your hand is better than a .45 in the glovebox.”

While I recommend keeping your .45 ACP a little closer than the glovebox (or .357 Mag, 9mm, 10mm, .44 Mag, or whatever handgun you prefer), having a backup pocket pistol on hand can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

The idea is to have a compact gun available that you can easily grab in a pinch.  I like the .380 ACP because it’s small and lightweight, but still powerful enough to neutralize a threat at close range.  

Glock 42

There are a number of excellent .380 ACPs on the market, but I prefer the Glock 42.

Most Reliable .380
Glock 42

Glock 42

Prices accurate at time of writing

Like most Glock models, the G42 is a functional handgun that’s designed specifically for performance. 

In other words, it’s not flashy and it doesn’t come with extra features.  But it is durable and extremely dependable, which happen to be the two most important things to look for in a backup handgun.

As the smallest of the Glock models, it should go without saying that the G42 is an incredibly easy gun to carry in your coat pocket or strapped to your ankle. 

One more thingAmmo is everything when it comes to the .380 ACP.  Unlike some of the harder-hitting cartridges that’ll stop any threat dead in its tracks, the .380 ACP is only as effective as its ammo.

Using it effectively in a high-stress situation means shooting premium, self-defense ammo – not cheap rounds.

One of the more popular choices is Hornady’s Custom 90-grain XTP Jacketed Hollow-Point .380 rounds.  They come highly recommend for self-defense by our friends at Lucky Gunner and they’re reasonably priced.

Best .380 Defensive Round
Hornady Custom Ammunition 90 Grain 380 ACP

Hornady Custom Ammunition 90 Grain 380 ACP

Prices accurate at time of writing

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38

If the .380 ACP isn’t your style and you’re looking for something a bit more tried and tested in the field, you can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned .38 Special.

The Bodyguard 38 is a modern take on a law enforcement classic – the .38 snub nose.

While the Bodyguard 38 (and other .38 specials) may not be popular services pistols in today’s generation, they’ve more than proven themselves to be powerful, dependable, and more than capable of acting as a backup pistol.

S&W Bodyguard .380

S&W Bodyguard .380

Prices accurate at time of writing

Keep in Mind When Choosing a Pocket Pistol

Overall, the pocket pistol makes a great addition to your SHTF Kit because it’s small enough to carry on your person at all times.  I recommend a .380 APC or a .38 Spl because both of them are small and lightweight, yet powerful enough to take down a threat at close range.

Ideally, the pocket pistol is something you’d only want to use as a last resort – like if your primary gun jammed or it ran out of ammo.

Storing Your Ammo Safely

The last thing you want to do is stockpile ammo for an end-of-the-world scenario, only to discover that it’s corroded and functionally obsolete when it comes time to use it.

A lot of people tend to forget that ammunition has a shelf life.  However, that shelf life is completely up to you.  Store it right and it will last long enough for your grandchildren to use, store it wrong and you’ll kill your stock before the next deer season.

One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your ammo is by storing it in safe, secure containers where it’s protected from dirt and moisture.

You can learn more by reading our guide on long-term ammo storage.

In the meantime, a simple Ammo Can will go a long way towards preserving the life of your ammunition.

Ammo Cans

Ammo Cans

Prices accurate at time of writing

Honestly, every SHTF prepper should have at least one Ammo Can lying around.  They’re cheap, easy to come across, and are worth their weight in gold if you ever are in a situation where you actually need to use your ammo stockpile.

Keeping a Silica gel packet in your ammo can will help ensure that your ammo lasts almost forever, they are cheap and easy to get – keeping one in every can is SOP for me.

Silica Gel Packets

Silica Gel Packets

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take on having a good ammo can and moisture stopper?

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Get a Good First Aid Kit

Ideally, every home and automobile should have a first-aid kit – especially people who’re outdoor enthusiasts.  For most situations, the standard first-aid kit found in most workplaces will get the job done.

But if you’re in a situation where you really did have to use your SHTF kit, there’s a greater likelihood that you won’t have easy access to paramedics and hospitals in the event of the emergency.  For this type of scenario, you’re really going to want to have a little more than a burn kit, some gauze, and antiseptic ointment.

The Grizzly Series First Aid Kit by Adventure Medical Kits is a heavy-duty kit designed specifically for the survivalist and apocalypse prepper.

Grizzly Series First Aid Kit

Grizzly Series First Aid Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

It comes with everything you need to treat injuries, including QuickClot, syringes, and a tourniquet so that you can stabilize trauma victims until first responders arrive.

If you’re looking for something a little more extensive and are willing to pay more for its durable design, the Echo-Sigma Trauma Kit is also an excellent choice.

Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Trauma Kit

Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Trauma Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

Designed to meet the needs of law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day, the Echo-Sigma kit comes with all of the tools necessary to treat sprains, fractures, and cuts, as well as stabilize people who’ve experienced serious trauma from knife and gunshot wounds.

And as a bonus, it comes in a pouch that’s easy to carry around if you have to walk for extended periods of time.

We cover how to build the ultimate Range Med Kit too if you like customizing.

Heavy Metal Equipment

You’ll be surprised how much use you can get out of a good quality knife.

Not only does your survival knife act as your last line of defense, it can also be used as an important tool – especially if you’re stuck outdoors for an extended period of times.

Food prep, shelter building, making tools, and even first aid (cauterizing wounds and cutting bandages) can all be done with the help of your survival knife.

Ka-Bar 7" Knife

Ka-Bar 7" Knife

Prices accurate at time of writing

The KA-BAR is a tried-and-tested survival knife that’s been a long-time favorite among survivalists – partly because it’s also the combat knife issued to members of the US Armed Forces.

Another popular knife for your hunting trip or bugout bag is Survival Knife by Ontario Knife Company.

Ontario Knife Company USN-1 Survival Knife

Ontario Knife Company USN-1 Survival Knife

Prices accurate at time of writing

Functionally, it’s similar to the KA-BAR except that it comes with a gut hook for cleaning game, as well as a sawback – the serration on the top of the blade just past the hook.  It’s made out of 1095 steel and has a 5” blade length, with an overall length of 9.26”.

And don’t forget a Whetstone for keeping your blades sharp without damaging them, like some of the other knife sharpening devices on the market.

Some other tools you might want to consider for your survivalist kit include:

If you ever find yourself away from your toolbox, each of these compact tools makes it significantly easier to set up shelter, make fires, and work on anything that needs tinkering.

Gun Equipment for Your SHTF Cache

As you already know, good gun maintenance is essential to ensuring that your gun is accurate and dependable.  If you happen to find yourself in a shit-hits-the-fan moment, you want to make sure that you have all the supplies you need on hand.

After all, it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to trek to the nearest outdoors store and buy more equipment.

For this reason, I recommend keeping a few extra cleaning kits around.  Preferably one for your SHTF Bag and another for the trunk of your car.

Our favorite M-Pro 7 kit from Best Gun Cleaning Kits is perfect for handling most of you gun maintenance needs on the go, and it’s compact enough to be stowed away without taking up significant space.

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

I also recommend picking up a few packs of Break Free Weapon Wipes.  They will go a long way in keeping your guns, knives, and tools clean, lubricated, and protected against corrosion – especially if you’re ever in a situation where you have to use your weapons and tools daily.

CLP Break-Free Wipes

CLP Break-Free Wipes

Prices accurate at time of writing

And if you don’t already have one, you should think about getting a CCW holster so that you can carry your handgun on at all times.

You can see some recommendations by reading our concealed carry holster review.

For a survival scenario, I recommend something lightweight and effective, without any of the frills.  Concealment Express has a number of lightweight holsters for $35 that are durable and comfortable to carry around.

Food, Water, and Air

This really should be self-explanatory. You need food and water. You also need a way to get food and water after your stores have run out.

Getting food is where your firearms will come in handy, but water is a little more complex since you can’t just drink any water you find laying around – that is a quick way to get all kinds of nasty sicknesses.

For water purification, you need two options at least, one for you to get drinking water right now and one method for you to purify a lot of water.

Don’t forget – water isn’t just for drinking. You’ll also need it for cooking, cleaning, and treating injuries.

To get drinking water right away, I love my LifeStraw.

But when it comes to purifying larger amounts of drinking water you’ll need something like the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.

Better Than a LifeStraw
Sawyer Gravity Flow Water Filter

Sawyer Gravity Flow Water Filter

Prices accurate at time of writing

Before the apocalypse strikes, you should have stocked up on food and water also.

I know a basement full of MREs is the more classic prepper thing to do but…anyone that has had to eat MREs for an extended period of time can tell you that…almost any other option is preferred.

Augason Farms Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Augason Farms Deluxe Emergency 30-Day Food Supply

Prices accurate at time of writing

Each of these pails is a 30-day food supply for one person. That is a lot of food! Throw in the fact that each of these only weighs 23 pounds and what you have is a fairly lightweight option for long-term food supply.

Long-term water storage is a little more complex than food, you’ll need water – obviously, but you’ll also need a water preserver.

Combine these two so that your water supply will last long enough for you to get through whatever has hit the fan!

Prepping for air isn’t something that you may have thought off before – but it should be on your list. If you really want to be prepared then you’ll want to find yourself a full biological suit…

…but for more run-of-the-mill applications, a good respirator will do the trick.

3M Respirator

3M Respirator

Prices accurate at time of writing

Other Essentials to Have on Hand

Being stuck in an emergency situation means that you could be forced to pack up and move at a moment’s notice.

For this reason, you need to have a dependable backpack large enough to carry your essentials like water, knives, tools, and first aid kit.

I recommend a 60-liter backpack because it’s large enough to hold your necessary equipment but not too large that it starts getting bulky and in the way.

The Tactical Backpack by Trekking King is a popular 60-liter backpack that’s durable and comfortable enough to withstand long hikes and hunting trips.

Trekking King Tactical Backpack

Trekking King Tactical Backpack

Prices accurate at time of writing

Aside from looking cool, the Tactical Backpack has a number of extra compartments for maximizing your storage capabilities.  You can load it up with survival material and store it in your trunk, garage, or closet and grab it at a moment’s notice.

Here are a few things that you want to keep in your backpack to keep you prepared for the unexpected:

You should also think about buying a Shemagh from Condor Outdoors.

This traditional Middle Eastern headdress was made popular in the western world by the British SAS.  It’s a versatile cloth that can be used for a number of things including:

  • Protecting your face from UV rays, dust, and sand
  • An arm sling, emergency bandage, or tourniquet
  • A headscarf
  • An improvised bag, or “hobo sack”
Condor Outdoor Shemagh

Condor Outdoor Shemagh

Prices accurate at time of writing

Surviving Whatever Is Thrown at You

When you’re building an SHTF bag, your goal should be to anticipate and prepare for any situation – not just the apocalyptical, but also the more common such as an earthquake, tornado, fire, and whatever else is possible to your local area.

Choosing good survival gear isn’t always about maximizing your firepower.

It’s also about making sure that you’ve got clean water, shelter, and enough supplies in the event that you have to gather your things and leave at a moment’s notice.

Are you a prepper? Do you have a store of SHTF gear? Let us know all about it in the comments!

The post Essential SHTF Gear: When The World (Almost) Ends appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

via Pew Pew Tactical
Essential SHTF Gear: When The World (Almost) Ends

Brownells BRN-22 Stripped and Barreled Receivers for Ruger 10/22 Rifles

Brownells BRN-22 Stripped and Barreled Receivers for Ruger 1022 Rifles (8)Brownells has announced that they are now making Ruger 10/22 receivers called BRN-22. The company offers both stripped receivers and barreled ones. Both the receivers and barrels also come in several different configurations. BRN-22 Stripped Receiver The Brownells BRN-22 receiver is machined out of a billet 6061 T6 aluminum and has a black hard coat […]

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The post Brownells BRN-22 Stripped and Barreled Receivers for Ruger 10/22 Rifles appeared first on The Firearm Blog.


via The Firearm Blog
Brownells BRN-22 Stripped and Barreled Receivers for Ruger 10/22 Rifles

MySQL on Fedora 27

While updating my class image to Fedora 27, I noticed that it installed the Akonadi Server. The documentation on the Akonadi server lacked some straightforward documentation. It also offered a bundled set of software that limited how to approach MySQL development.

So, I removed all those packages with the following syntax:

dnf remove `rpm -qa | grep akonadi`

After removing those Akonadi packages, I installed the MySQL Community Edition from the Fedora repo with this syntax:

yum install -y community-mysql*

Having installed MySQL Community Edition, I started the service with this command:

sudo service mysql start

Then, I ran the mysql_secure_installation script to secure the installation:

mysql_secure_installation

The script set the root user’s password, remove the anonymous user, disallow remote root login, and remove the test databases. Then, I verified connecting to the MySQL database with the following syntax:

mysql -uroot -ppassword

I enabled the MySQL Service to start with each reboot of the Fedora instance. I used the following command:

systemctl enable mysqld.service

It creates the following link:

ln -s '/etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mysqld.service' '/usr/lib/systemd/system/mysqld.service'

Now, I need to install and configure Apache, PHP, and upgrade Oracle Database 11g XE’s APEX 4 to 5.

via Planet MySQL
MySQL on Fedora 27