Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Ramblings (page 1 of 22)

A Bed Time Story

Once upon a time, there were a king and a princess, who lived in a castle. And one day, a dragon, who liked princesses, came to visit. And that was the end.

The 4-year-old

I predict great things for this one.

Time

I’m getting myself into a time problem, and I’m not sure how to solve it.

So, yeah, as you know I’ve got a wife. And we have kids. I’ve also got a job. I need to sleep. And I’ve got hobbies: Running, gaming, writing posts for this site, and reading books.

I’m terrible at multitasking, but I’ve managed to combine some of these hobbies to a certain degree. I placed an old television set in front of the treadmill, and hooked it up with a Chromecast dongle. So now I cover some of my gaming needs by watching other people play games on YouTube or Twitch while I’m running.

I’ve also tried to combine gaming and writing by putting together quite a lot of computer game reviews over the years. This isn’t ideal, though, because the reviews often feels a bit forced, probably because I played the game just to write a review. What’s the fun in that? Playing the game should lead to writing the review, not the other way around.

The third multitasking-esque thing I do is reading books while I’m commuting. This actually works out very well. I’ve had the A Book A Month project going for about three years now, and it’s been a raging success. I don’t think I’ve ever read as many books as I do these days.

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Building Springwood

While most gamers around the globe sat down to play Red Dead Redemption 2 last weekend, I opted for something else entirely on Saturday night.

Rockstar Games recently released their much anticipated Western-themed action-adventure game Red Dead Redemption 2. The game is only available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, of which I have none. So getting it was never an option for me.

Instead, I took a dive into a very different title; Colossal Order’s Cities: Skylines. It’s a city-building game, much like the beloved SimCity. I am, of course, referring to the original Sim City, and not the disaster that was the 2013 remake.

Cities: Skylines has changed a lot since its release in 2015. Since my review the same year, it has received a massive amount of free updates and paid expansions. As of right now, I count no less than 19 available DLCs. I’ve picked up every single one of them on various sales, including the latest Industries expansions. And with all the DLCs installed there is so much you can do. So. Amazingly. Much.

So, on Saturday night, I poured myself a glass of Grant’s Family Reserve, and sat down to build the greatest city of all time!

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I, Doomsday Prepper

Has paranoia finally got the best of me, and turned me into an irrational Doomsday Prepper, or is it a legitimate, reasonable plan?

A couple of weeks ago, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DBS) launched an emergency preparedness campaign. It advised every Norwegian household to prepare itself to stay self-sustained for three days. While we’re lucky enough to live in one of the most stable and safe countries in the world, major crisis events might still happen.

As a modern society, we’re heavily dependent on power, water supply, and the internet for our society to function. If these things stop working, we’re straight back to the Middle Ages. To prevent people from partying like it’s 1099, every household should prepare an emergency storage containing the items it needs to stay afloat for three days without power, water supply, and an internet connection.

Items you should have in your emergency storage.
Some of the items you should have in your emergency storage. Photo by Gaute Gjøl Dahle / DBS.
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Let’s Hack A City!

If medical equipment isn’t a big enough target for you, why not hack a city?

A while ago I went on one of my familiar rants. The subject was how ridiculously easy it is to hack medical equipment, with medical device maker Meditronic’s pace maker programming devices being the concrete example. Even though I wrote the post in August, it’s still very relevant. Just a couple of days ago,  Meditronic made headlines again when they issued a statement saying that their CareLink line of pace maker programming devices is actually vulnerable to attacks.

The first news of vulnerable Meditronic equipment dropped during the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. But medical equipment was not the only Black Hat target. Far from it. Another interesting subject of hacking was “smart” cities.

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