LOS ANGELES — James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO’s “The Sopranos” helped create one of TV’s greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died Wednesday in Italy. He was 51.In a statement, the cable channel, and Gandolfini’s managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, said he died Wednesday while on holiday in Rome. No cause of death was given.“Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving,” said Armstrong and Sanders.HBO called the actor a “special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone, no matter their title or position, with equal respect.” The channel expressed sympathy for his wife and children.Gandolfini played mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series that aired from 1999 to 2007. His film credits included “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Killing Them Softly,” and he amassed stage credits as well.
Society could collapse at any time. Meteors, zombies, global warming, dystopian cyberpunk corporate statehood, old-fashioned fascist dictatorship, it could be anything. You need to be ready. But loading up on guns and ammo and stockpiling buckets of freeze-dried food is boring. Why should you compromise your nerdiness just to prepare for the horrors of the future? That’s what the Geek Prepper’s Guide is for. We can help you get ready for the worst without abandoning your aesthetic.Data is valuable and easy to steal. Sure, there’s malware and hackers online, but even keeping your important data on your person has vulnerabilities. Imagine going through a border checkpoint or customs. You get searched by the guards, who are straight out of Arstotzka, and they find your USB drives, your memory cards, your tablets, your phones. If they’re locked, they make you unlock them, and hand over your social media passwords to boot.Meanwhile, I just carried gigabytes of important documents for the plucky resistance without a second glance. That’s because I created the ultimate physical memory card stash, and played Tetris on it while I waited in line.This is a really simple way to protect your digital information when going across patrolled borders, checkpoints, and anywhere else you can’t trust a USB key or phone to stay safe. It involved opening up a Game Boy cartridge (though any other classic game cartridge with enough space will work), securing a microSD card inside it, and closing it again.MicroSD cards are tiny, so you can conceivably hide them anywhere. That doesn’t mean they’ll be secure, though. Stash them in your shoe, in your wallet, in your pocket; they’ll be found right away. You could crack open any object with enough space to hold the card and screw it shut again, but even then the card is vulnerable. Anything that clearly has a Philips head screw holding it closed can be opened by anyone with a Philips head screwdriver the right size, and you can bet that border guards have screwdrivers.That’s the beauty of using a game cartridge. These are closed using Gamebit fasteners, screws with security heads designed not to be easily opened. Not only will the prodding security officer not likely have a Gamebit driver to open up your cartridge, he probably will assume you don’t, either. For all intents and purposes, that cartridge is a sealed plastic brick.So, naturally, you need a Gamebit. Specifically a 3.8mm Gamebit, which you can find online easily. On its own, a Gamebit is about $9, and you need a bit driver to use it. I prefer to go the professional route with the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. This $70 kit has all of the tools you need for prying open electronics and repairing them, and includes 64 separate bits of varying size and obscurity. It has 3.8 and 4.5mm Gamebits, plus a slew of Torx Security, spanner, JIS, triangle, tri-point, and pentalobe bits (and Philips, hex, and Torx, of course). But for this, you only need the 3.8mm Gamebit.Take any Game Boy cartridge and flip it over. Unscrew the single Gamebit and keep track of where you put it. Open the cartridge by sliding the two halves apart slightly, then pulling them away from each other.Inside the cartridge is the game board, held loosely in place by a circular plug and a smaller post. Also inside is enough empty space to stash a microSD card or two without disrupting anything. Remove the game board and place it somewhere safe, where it won’t be affected by stray static discharges.Place your sensitive data, stored on a microSD card, in the top left corner of the back part of the cartridge. You can fit two in this space if you need to. Get some clear, thin tape and tape the card to the inside of the cartridge, so it doesn’t rattle. Replace the game board, which should fit neatly in the cartridge without even touching the card.Put the cartridge back together and screw the Gamebit back in. See any difference? Of course not! It’s just an unassuming Game Boy cartridge, and it still works.Of course, carrying a single Game Boy cartridge around with you is a bit suspicious. Keep a Game Boy with you and keep the cartridge in it. Or you can toss the cartridge in with other classic games you happen to be carrying with you, because you’re a collector and not carrying any sensitive information. This strategy also works well for keeping secure copies of data in your home; who can find the single microSD card-holding cartridge among dozens on your shelves without individually taking each one apart?Don’t keep the Gamebit with you when traveling, though. It should disappear among your other tools, and ideal not be on your person at all when crossing borders. If you want to get into the data at your destination, you can simply crack open the cartridge (and sadly ruin it). Or you can have a Gamebit ready when you get there. Just make sure the masked forces of oppression and orthodoxy tracking you don’t notice that specialized bit driver and start questioning what it’s for.Keep watching Geek.com for more of the Geek Prepper’s Guide! We have some big things planned, including a guide to bulletproofing your anime body pillow!