Let’s Hack Medical Equipment!

Or rather, let’s not. Hacking is bad, m’kay? But if we wanted to, it turns out it’s outrageously easy to hack medical equipment.

I’m an information technology professional by trade. My work mantra is that “no matter how bad it goes, no one dies”. It have saved me from a lot of stress, and helped me keep my cool in times of crisis. The point is that even if all the IT systems are down, the data center is on fire, and the entire development team has been abducted by aliens, no one dies. At least if the aliens are of the good, not-anal-probing kind. Sure, it’s annoying that people can’t do their work, and we might lose some money during the downtime. But people can drink coffee, chat about the incompetent IT department while the problem is being fixed. And we’ll eventually cover the financial loss, because we learn from our mistakes, and become even better at what we do1.

Since IT is an important part of every industry these days, I have many choices when it comes to what domain I want to work with. Because of my work mantra, however, there are some businesses I will not to get involved with. One is control systems of any kind where a simple software bug may have disastrous consequences. Think ATC, nuclear power plants, and the like. I’d prefer not to kill scores of people because if (x > 1) had somehow turned into if (x > 1);. Many winters ago, I spent the better part of a workday trying to figure out a baffling bug, and the ; above was the cause2. Thankfully, I wasn’t responsible for making sure airplanes don’t crash into each-other. That would have been a bad day to fly.

Another industry I gladly stay away from is medical equipment. But I would have fit right in because it turns out that many of the people working in the medical IT industry are incompetent dimwits.

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How To Install OpenWrt on a Linksys WRT1900ACS.

This post will guide you through an OpenWrt Linksys WRT1900ACS installation. It’ll show you how to install OpenWrt on a WRT1900ACS running the stock Linksys firmware.

This summer, the OpenWrt project released OpenWrt 18.06.0. This is the first released since LEDE and OpenWrt merged, and what a nice release it is. The changelog is overflowing with all kinds of changes you want. This guide is based on a WRT1900ACS running version 2.0.2.188405, so your mileage may vary. If you have a router with another version of the Linksys firmware, the user interface might look a little different, but the guide should still provide you with enough information to get OpenWrt installed.

Understand this: Always flash firmware using a wired connection, never via WiFi. Failure to adhere to this substantially increase the probability you will brick your router. I’ve only included instructions for flashing via an Ethernet cable below. If you chose to use a wireless connection instead, you’re on your own.

Warning: Flashing third party firmware will void your warranty. I will not be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Flashing a device’s firmware is always a risky operation, especially when you’re dealing with custom, unofficial firmware. By following this amateurish guide you understand that you might end up with a brick – a useless piece of hardware.

Flashing a router with third party firmware isn’t a trivial thing to do, even with the help of this step-by-step guide. Make sure you read through the entire guide at least twice before you start so you get an overview of the steps.

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Back To The Rat Race.

After four months of parental leave, it’s time to start preparing mentally for work again.

It’s been four very pleasant months, I’ll tell you that. The toddler really likes to sleep, which has given me 2+ hours every day to use as I please. Anyone with kids know what kind of amazing luxury that is. I didn’t have any ambitious plans for the parental leave, but I did have a general idea of what we’d do. Did everything work out as expected? Well, the kid is still alive, so I’d definitely call the four months a personal success just because of that. I also managed to get some basic maintenance done around the house, and that’s always a good thing.

During me leave, I’ve had some personal quality time as well. I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time playing Stellaris, Grand Theft Auto V, and a few other games. It’s not the most productive use of ones time, but personally, I think it’s worth it. On the creative side, I’ve managed to shove out more posts on this site than usual. So far this year, I’ve published 49 entries, 10 more than the total amount last year. That deserves a quiet golf clap. The number of readers have come down to a mere trickle, though, as my Facebook clicks have almost dried up.

I should probably write about more juicy stuff than I do now. Perhaps come up with a conspiracy theory, or some other lies, I hear that’s what the kids on the internet are into now.

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Surviving Mars.

Surviving Mars had a difficult birth. Now, three major patches later, is the game finally living up to the expectations?

Surviving Mars is a city builder set on Mars. It’s developed my Bulgarian video game developer Haemimont Games (Tropico 3, Tropico 4, Tropico 5), and published by Paradox Interactive. This combination made every science fiction, and city builder fan go a little giddy when the game was announced last year. Haemimont Game’s run with the Tropico franchise was quite successful, and Paradox Interactive also published another great city builder, Cities: Skylines, that one set on Earth.

Unfortunately, Surviving Mars didn’t quite live up the hype when it was released. The game received mixed feedback from the players, who cited bugs, a rather terrible UI, and even more bugs as their major gripes. Not the kind of ticker tape parade you hope for when you release a game. There have probably been some long days at the office for the Haemimont Game developers since the game was released in March, as the game has received three major updates.

They have addressed many of the issues raised by the players, but has the effort turned Surviving Mars into the game we wanted?

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August One-liners.

It’s August, time to learn some fresh, funny one-liners you can use when you return to work after a great summer holiday. Or, learn some fresh, funny one-liners you can use to impress your friends during your summer holiday. It all depends on where you live in the world.

  • I didn’t realize 80% of song lyrics were inappropriate until I had to listen to them in the car with my kids.
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
  • Whoever said technology would replace all paper obviously hasn’t tried wiping their but with an iPad.
  • You’re not fat, you’re just easier to see.
  • You haven’t experienced awkward until you try to tickle someone who isn’t ticklish.
  • “Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen.” — Martin Mull
  • The longer you wait in line, the greater the likelihood that you are in the wrong line.
  • Those who live closest arrive latest.
  • “Life can be a bitch so at least try not to fall in love with one.” — Richard Lewis
  • Being an adult is just walking around wondering what you’re forgetting.
  • No man has ever won a game of “Notice anything different about me?”
  • I wanted to be an astronaut but my parents told me the sky was the limit.
  • I hate people who use big words just to make themselves look perspicacious.
  • I was going to look for my missing watch, but I could never find the time.
  • “When I was a boy, I laid in my twin sized bed and wondered where my brother was.” — Mitch Hedberg
  • My drug test came back negative. My dealer sure has some explaining to do.
  • When life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.
  • The problem isn’t that obesity runs in your family. The problem is no one runs in your family.
  • Circumcision is popular because Jewish girls won’t touch anything that’s not at least 15% off.
  • The problem with kleptomaniacs is that they always take things literally.
  • It takes a lot of balls to golf the way I do.