Being a Cyborg Can Leave a Lot to Think About

“Today there are well over 3 million pacemakers and over 1.7 million ICD’s in use.”

What should you do to close potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in your wireless implantable design? For one, make device security an integral, integrated component of your overall development process. Also, put a higher premium on device security testing — most importantly, penetration testing to identify weaknesses in wireless defenses — and issue remediation. Ignore cybersecurity and it will invariably come back to haunt you, whether it’s in the form of a lawsuit, a letter from the FDA, or the embarrassment (and bad press) of a hacker exposing your device’s flaws on an international stage.

I am concerned that my device doesn’t even have a password. While the threat is low, it’s not as close to zero as it should be. I don’t like being similar to the unpatched ATM at the movie theater that always has the Windows XP error dialog box on its screen. Only the absolute best computer should be installed in my chest.

Other links:

Aww, Poor Police

“That continuous accountability, continuously being in the public eye, and that having to be infallible … it puts a lot of pressure on our police officers, and contributes to their mental health.”

Did he mean “poor mental health”?

Imagine being watched all of the time. What kind of stress would that cause?

Continue reading

Why The Drug War Is Inherently Racist and Pro-War

Richard Nixon was not a good man. The people around him weren’t good either. They intentionally lied about the harm of hard drugs (and ‘soft’ drugs too), in order to concoct a reason for law enforcement officers to harass and jail African Americans and anti-war protesters.

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

So if you wonder why laws regarding pot differ so much from cigarettes that cause far more health harm, you have Nixon to partially thank for that lunacy.

Not unrelated:
It’s 2016, and carding of Blacks in Ontario is still going on, despite its obvious racist motivation.

Ban Microbeads Now

Send an email to:

Dear Minister McKenna:

There is no need to give pollution a chance to overwhelm our water and enter our food chain. Plastic microbeads are considered a toxin by your own scientists, and there is no need for them to be in personal care products like face cream and toothpaste. If an abrasive, non-toxic substance is desired by manufacturers and consumers, use sand.

End the consultation period now, and proceed with the ban immediately. During health studies of new drugs, if they are found by science to cause obvious harm or benefit, the testing may end early. This is no different. Microbeads should not have been approved in the first place (if they ever were approved). They remain on the shelves of Real Canadian Superstore today, and it’s a disgrace they haven’t been recalled.

John Klein

Microwaste, Big Problem

I phoned Johnson & Johnson about why they continue to sell products with microbeads after Parliament started to vote last year toward creating a law to ban their sale.

“Consumers have until March 10 to make their views known, as Environment Canada works out a timetable for eliminating the environmental pollutant.”


The customer care rep had no specific information, and hadn’t heard about the forthcoming ban on microbeads the Conservatives started to pursue the day before the election call last year. I said it was in the country’s biggest newspaper yesterday. He indicated that once they are banned, naturally sale of them would cease and they wouldn’t try to include them, or hold out. I asked he check with his supervisors if efforts are being made to remove the unsafe beads from their products immediately now that we know they are an unsafe product. He’s going to check, and have someone email me back.

You can call them too to register your concern at 1-800-361-8068

They Voted For Heads On Pikes

Killing people, even vilified monsters like ISIS militants, exacts a harsh toll on normally healthy people in the military.

Conservatives in America are even more deranged than the Canadian variety, I’d reckon, based on what I’ve encountered online anyway.

In 2014, I Died. Now I’m Back To Improve The Healthcare System

Sent Nov 23rd.

Dear Minister Duncan:

In 2014, I died; my heart suddenly stopped, and stayed stopped through prompt CPR provided by police, until EMS arrived by bicycle and mostly revived me with an AED. After recovering from my mild case of sudden cardiac death, I was advised by my doctors to obtain a genetic test to learn who else in my family is at risk. The wait for such an appointment in Saskatchewan, I learned, is over 2 years. I’m presently on a wait-list to be put on a list of people waiting for their appointment time. My siblings and others wait for their own tests, because mine must be completed first. It’s just a matter of life and death, no hurry, right?

I made an appointment with my family doctor again, to have him make another referral to a cardiologist in Winnipeg whom my uncle there said would be able to get the testing done more quickly. I tried phoning the cardiologist’s office in Winnipeg during the Summer, but they said they couldn’t speak with me without a referral from my family doctor. When I had the referral I tried asking if the doctor could order the genetic test, and they said they couldn’t say until I saw the doctor. I recently went to that appointment after waiting months. It’s a 6 hour drive, one way. He couldn’t directly order the testing, so referred me to another Winnipeg doctor who can mail me an appointment time to drive back to Winnipeg to interview me and draw blood at a lab. They will then likely send some of my genetic data to the Mayo Clinic in the United States where my medical information will be obtained and stored under the Patriot Act there.

How could this process be improved?

Early in 2014 I saw my family doctor for a check-up, and he advised me I should be seeing my cardiologist once a year. I’d never been advised to do that before, not since my heart defect was discovered in my mid-20s. I first learned of my heart condition in 2006, but there was probably no testing for the genes that cause it, back then. My cardiologist at that time said not to worry about the condition, and try to remain stress-free about it. That approach resulted in my (temporary) death.

In the Summer I asked my family doctor to refer me to a different cardiologist in Regina. I’ve yet to hear from that Regina cardiologist’s office for an appointment I was supposed to have by July.

Clearly improvements could be made to our health system so that I could get better care?
Things like Tele-health offered to connect me with doctors in far away cities. Another geneticist hired in Saskatchewan to reduce the ridiculous 2 year+ wait time. I hope you use my case to design a better system and implement it.

John Klein
Regina, SK

P.S. I’ve HCM, like the writer of this article about kids dying in sports.