At least, it can keep you connected under 'off the grid' circumstances -- as in when the power's out, whether because a squirrel got fried chewing on a line or a cat 5 storm is bearing down on your location.
I picked one of these up last Christmas time as a gift. And then went back and got one for the house. Good idea.
The model I got is a Grundig-Eton, handcranked AM/FM/Shortwave/NOAA receiver, with a lamp AND a cellphone battery charger. $49.99. $39.99 without the charger. Dayglo safety orange -- plus other colors.
I saw them recently at Circuit City and it reminded me of how useful they are.
Think camping. Think boating. Think hiking. Think a long bike ride. Think a power outage, and you want to find out if that is a cat 5 hurricane heading your way.
Useful. Cool. Can it save your life? Perhaps.
-- Dan Damon*