As Humans Do

Idle conversation among strangers around the office printer:
-“How are you today?”
“Fine… aside from the problem that the world might end due to climate change one day.”
-“Yes, I keep hearing about that every day. For instance the Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead.”
“Yeah, it’s been around for as long as I can remember.”
– “Millions of years. By the way, do you know if there’s a stapler I can use?”
“Yeah, over there.”
-“Thanks, have a good day.”
“You too.”

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:

#NewLeaderPost Launched

I was invited to the New Leader Post launch, a party for some LP staff and community leaders and advertisers they wanted to pitch the new design and layout to. They’ve a new mobile app, and focus on content specific to each sort of delivery method.

The food and drinks at The Lobby Public House were good, and I met some people. I only knew about two people at the rather loud and big gathering, which is somewhat intimidating, but found friendly people and had some good chitchats.

The last time I was on the front page, it was following having survived a sudden cardiac death. I may also be in the paper again soon regarding a different topic. My friends joked I should avoid the Obit section.

Killer Robots By Accident or On Purpose?

There are companies like Lockheed Martin making autonomous killing robots, and there are companies like Google making self-driving cars (which kill people by accident or poor design). At least cars don’t tend to kill on purpose, and the Google self-driving car hasn’t had a deadly accident (or one it caused, of any kind). So, what’s worse? Intentionally creating machines that can destroy humans, or accidentally doing it? Let’s aim at neither.

Many people have seen the Sci-Fi movie Terminator and Terminator 2. They were made before the WWW, and before Skynet seemed like a possibility. Now we have 3D printers, we have walking and flying robots who can shoot, and we have a global intelligence network those machines connect directly to. We need to be very cautious in Artificial Intelligence development over the coming years, or a small group of people could make a mistake that could cost millions (billions?) of lives.

CVAF Can Visualize Angry Flames

It was the Cathedral Village Arts Festival today, a crowded street fair down 13th Avenue in Regina. It was hot, and it didn’t rain (like it does many years). I saw tons of people I knew, and many stopped by to talk at the Regina Car Share Co-op booth where I was volunteering. One of the police officers who gave me CPR walked by, so I obviously introduced him to the person I was talking to, and they shook his hand and thanked him for his service.

Slightly related to the sunny day… my solar panels have had near perfect days the past week. That’s how little cloud and zero rain we’ve seen most recently in May. A lot of Saskatchewan is experiencing dangerously dry conditions, and risk of fires remains rather high.

There’s risk of a fiery Love in Saskatchewan’s north (actually central region, but north of most people, so us southerners call it “north”, like Americans do to all Canadians, some of whom are further south than many Americans).

With Millions To Spare, Here’s How to Save Thousands of Lives

This rich couple is doing good with their money.

Regina caught sight of a jacket in the water during the cruise, and when she asked about it, she was told it might belong to a dead migrant who was trying to find safety in Europe.

While some Europeans criticize the rescue operation, saying it draws more migrants to the sea, Xuereb says that’s just not true. People are desperate, undertaking the journey to find a better life. They deserve to live, he says.

Last year, about 218,000 people made this journey — a record. Some 3,500 people drowned. And the numbers are growing.

Forcing An Athiest to Practice Religion

Here’s what it can feel like to practice religion when you don’t believe in the common fantasy [AKA faith].

I knew from a young age that I didn’t see religion as a literal interpretation of moral code sent from God, but rather a human construct of what we (those writing holy books) wanted or imagined it to be. Being commanded to participate for years after in routine rituals is boring and felt like a giant waste of time/effort. The only consolation was that it was still time spent with family, and friends in the community sharing snacks and meals, (and a common fantasy, like the Riders having a chance at the playoffs) together.

It’s frankly disturbing to think about how writing the paragraph above would get me killed and disgrace my family, if it was any earlier point in history. Hopefully, we don’t return to those dark days.

I’m not an atheist so much as an agnostic. I accept there may be super beings invisible and unknowable to human perception, but also it’s better to suggest that you’re open to belief in the unknowable. That’s in part to calm the fears of those who recoil at the thought of atheism, and partly because I think it’s wise to realize that what never seems possible, happens all too frequently.