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From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street protests, this year has been full of political turmoil and unrest--and if there's one recurring trend we've noticed, it's that the most timely, powerful coverage doesn't come from a cable news channel, but from normal people on the ground floor.

Thanks to the ubiquity of social networking services, smartphones and tablets with mobile broadband connections, and photo/video cameras, people can share tremendous amounts of up-to-the-minute news, photos, video, and more with nothing but the everyday technology they carry around already. Even if you're across the world, you're just an Internet connection and a few clicks away from following along at home.

However, there's nothing worse than finding that you were one ISO adjustment away from a Pulitzer-prize-winning photo, and you don't want to be fumbling through your camera's setup menus when the tear gas hits. That's why we've come up with a few how-to guides to help you out. We'll show you a few basic camera tips for shooting low-light action shots (for when they turn the lights out) and taking less-shaky video. If you have an iOS or Android device with an Internet connection, we'll show you how to run your own live streaming video feed through And we're including a few mobile apps you should have just in case: Apps for staying in touch, finding your friends, applying basic first aid, references for your Miranda rights, and apps that let your emergency contacts know you've been arrested.

Also, don't forget to check out our Revolutionary How-To package (for when the stuff really hits the fan), as well as our series of FAQs on digital civil rights:

FAQ: Will Your ISP Protect Your Privacy?
Your Digital Rights at Work: A FAQ Guide
FAQ: Your Right to Phone Service During a Protest
FAQ: Which Social Networks Fight for Your Rights?
FAQ: When Can You Capture Cops on Camera?

Just click on any of the how-tos in the box above right to get started. Have your own tips? Leave them in the comments!

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