* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

We live in a world where a 'Hamdog' burger hybrid is patented

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Begs the question...

Mustard (hot dog part), or Ketchup (hamburger part).

Now that IS a dilemma...

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

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This is an effort to get people talking about Apple, and has NOTHING to do with paper bags. Just about anyone can submit a patent application, who knows if it gets granted!!

Next on my list: Submit patent application for wheel. Yes, I know it won't get granted, but everyone will be talking about it, you can be sure. Fame and Fortune are only follow ons.

Nork server blunder leaks Kim Jong Un's entire DNS – all, er, 28 .kp domains

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What is needed...

Is a hack to the set top boxen to have open un-monitored access. Maybe they would get an interesting look at the what is in the "outside world".

We can only hope.

World+dog to get retro classic Commodore 64 for Christmas

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And I want this...

Why? For the same amount of $$$ I can get something that can do some actual work/games.

A nice Pi-Top is pretty cheap considering...

I think the script kiddies have gone to something better.

Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

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Re: Mi-go nuclear reactor??

You never know. Maybe remnants of a death star from a galaxy far far away, a long time ago.

Hackers hijack Tesla Model S from afar, while the cars are moving

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Makes me long for the days...

Of driving my '62 Porsche. Nothing "hi-tech" in that at all. I did add a CD (capacitive discharge) ignition to it, but that was about it. The highest tech thing was to convert it to 12 volts so I could use my ham radio stuff.

What a car! Top down at 90 MPH at night is something to behold. I was young then.

Yes, the vehicle is still in the family.

Microsoft sues Wisconsin man (again) for copyright infringement (again)

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Maybe he can...

Sell activation keys for Linux. I don't think he would get into much trouble doing that.

Then again I could as well, but I'm too honest.

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

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Re: minimum weight

I've always wondered if there was an advantage to be "heavy" (which might be called "out of shape" in the military).

I'm around 100kg (15+ stone if I get the conversion right) at the moment, so I guess I'll do.

Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

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It is all in a name...

If you call something "auto pilot" expect the idiot behind the wheel to think it can do everything. If you call it "driver assist", there is a lower expectation of what it able to do (even if it does the same thing). In that case people won't doze off and end up trying to solve the problem of two things occupying the same space at once (which doesn't work well!).

If you want a history lesson, look at the naming of MRI machines (Magnetic resonance imaging). Originally they were called NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) machines, but if you say "nuclear" everybody runs for the hills.

Yes, it is all in the name! Why? Because nobody reads the manual and they never will!!

IPv4 apocalypse means we just can't measure the internet any more

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Work of the Devil, etc...

I always want to ask the same question:

Why do we need an addressing scheme that can accommodate every grain of sand on the planet and have some left over. If they went to 6 byte addresses with a simple translate scheme, we would all be using it now.

Yes, it is terrible!!

Me? Yes, I have a nice NAT router that works very nicely, thank you. I use the same model for at least 3 installations.

HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

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Are the complainers...

The ones who regularly spam me with all those ink offers? If so, I'd like them out of business. Unfortunately I like cheap ink (who doesn't), and locking out "off brand" cartridges is a bit extreme!! Of course if you are the company supplying things, it adds to the profit statement.

All of this begs the question:

Why, why, why can't the ink and the printhead be different assemblies? Then it would be a simple task to fill an ink reservoir and get on with things. Also cartridges wouldn't need to go obsolete. Where is that nice refilled '45' or '23' cartridge.

*SIGH* Life goes on. It is always good to be in the expendables business. Always a market for TP!! Let's hope they don't make THAT DRM'd!!

Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

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Don't do the crime...

...If you can't do the time.

Enough said.

Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

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On charities...

Crooked ones: Clinton Family Foundation (enough said).

Why? Yes, there is a genuine need. Some are shamed of what they have and what others need that they are compelled to contribute. Much like indulgences.

Do they serve a purpose? Yes, some have actually helped those who through no fault of their own (read natural disaster) actually need something to get going again.

But... Charity begins at home. Usually in my pocket. It isn't tax deductible, but I do get to buy pizza for lunch today which is better then gruel that I might get elsewhere.

So, there are all types, and all sorts of reasons for charities. Choose yours wisely and think why you contribute. You will be enlightened.

BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

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Back in the day...

When I did work with PUNCH CARDS, we always had users that complained that the error popped up after they changed "only one card". Before they could get out the complete sentence, I would reply "the error is in the card you just changed".

Yes, about 40 years ago. Things were a bit simpler then, users had a bit more knowledge. Usually is was DANGEROUS knowledge though.

Long live Fortran!

T-Mobile USA: DON'T install Apple's iOS 10, for the love of God

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Re: Testing? We've heard of it.

VZW and Sprint use CDMA. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM.

Encryption backdoors? It's an ongoing dialogue, say anti-terror bods

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Just ask the question...

Mr. Government, do you want backdoors in YOUR encrypted messages?? How do we tell your messages from other messages??

So, if there is one "secret key" and it is used for ALL messages, what do you do if it leaks out and your messages are decoded. I don't think that even Hillary would like that!

It's OK for the FBI's fake hacks to hack suspects' PCs, says DoJ watchdog

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Moral of the story...

NoScript is your friend.

All in all it sounds like the "script kiddie" got what he deserved. Yes, an actual script kiddie.

No, I don't always click on links! Especially those I don't know. Images don't load bu default either!

Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

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A marketing ploy. It's designed to normalize a product being sold and make it seem "the default".

This sounds like the people who say "You never get fired for specifying IBM" (old version), or "Windows and an Intel PC" (new version).

The whole idea of a vendor is to get you locked into their own ecosystem. It doesn't matter how it is done (from the vendor or you), but it is being done. I once worked for a boss that wanted everything "DEC", even if there were better solution out there. This was back in the mid 80's where there were vendord EVERYWHERE.

The theme now is to get you hooked (addicted) to a particular vendors product (hopefully for the vendor one that provides continuing income), and lock you in. With every vendor's "cloud" a little bit different, this is quite easy, as there is NO incentive for a vendor to be compatible with any other (see lock-in, above).

As for needing "the cloud" the biggest thing to do is ask "why?" and "what will it do for me that isn't already being done?". Doing "the cloud" for its own sake, is like building palaces in North Korea. They look nice, but they don't get used, and sit empty. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

Microsoft: Our AI speech recognition mangles your words the least

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Re: 6.3% eh?

Just a comment. If you were to hire a secretary with a 6.3% error rate, she would be out the door the first day!

I have memories of some work done in the 60's that could (after training) understand the words "one, "two", "three" and "four". The training took a while, and the program used speaker specific samples. Pretty crafty for around 50 years ago.

So, yes we have come a long way, but more needs to be done. In my case, Siri works pretty well though.

Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

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Re: Danger!

Re: McDonalds...Cardiovascular problems...Downvotes...But I like quarter pounders with cheese, and an order of fries with a nice coke occasionally.

Yes, only occasionally.

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32 years early prediction.

The year was 1948 when the book was written, but lots of the book 1984 are coming true. The thing is that it isn't the government that is doing the dirty work, it is business that are trying to "help" you.

Yup, the prediction was a bit early.

Songsmiths sue US antitrust over Google-friendly rules ruling

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There few getting "rich".

In the music world the songwriters and performers are the ones at the end of the soup line. When a radio station plays a song, they get the left over crumbs. When you buy that song for $1.00 through some service (there are many), the responsible people (songwriters, performers) might get three cents (if they are lucky). The producer (who fronted the artists the money to stay alive) may not see anything. The rest of the money which used to be distributed up the music food chain, now gets to line those music services who release a compressed version of what used to be a full fidelity song.

And we wonder why the music industry is going down hill. There just isn't any money in the food chain to get good productions off the ground.

Whatever happens, I wish them good luck. They will need it.

Luxe cable crimper

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This may be all well and good for the sockets (crimping those is a pain), but the plugs are a different matter. From the looks of it (using the 8P8C plug as a size reference), a plug combo is quite large and bulky. With today's thin lappys, there isn't much room for a big connector hanging out the side (maybe wireless is better here). The other problem is the specialized equipment you need to buy first (crimper) and the unique plug (probably over priced). The modular plugs are really cheap these days (less than a dime each), and if you are terminating a cable to a plug, paying for a fancy plug and an adapter (that is a big thing at the end of the cable) is inviting trouble.

The next question I ask, is how does it survive being used by monkeys the user population that can barely get a USB jack plugged in right.

So, I reserve judgement for now.

Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers

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Government addiction...

Yes, the government is as addicted to cigarettes as anyone else. The bloody things are taxed so much in relation to their cost it is silly. The vaping people understand this and their product is by far a cheaper alternative. So, it is in the best interests of government to keep vaping and cigarettes in the same boat and tax them both to death.

Look, if it is bad, outlaw it. Oh, wait we would lose revenue from it (see prohibition in the USA) and couldn't control it, which would be bad. We (at least here in the USA) regularly ban substances that cause cancer if ingested in such small doses that it might take 10 lifetimes to consume the lethal dose (see sodium cyclamate) but tobacco makes so much money that they can't ban it.


Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

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Nothing beats a Saturn 5

And for a while, I doubt that anything will.

Given that the Saturn 5 was made with 1960's technology, it is pretty amazing. Werner did a very good job.

Edward Snowden's 40 days in a Russian airport – by the woman who helped him escape

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Then there is "equal justice"

"Snowden has been indicted in the United States on charges under the 1917 Espionage Act, including theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person. If found guilty, he faces 30 years in jail and additional fines."

Interesting that Snowden was charged, when others high up on the food chain were given a "free pass".

"Theft of government property" - check.

"Unauthorized communication of national defense information" - check.

"Willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person" - check.

Former Secretary of State - check.

She ticks all the boxes!!

Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

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I'm waiting for...

What happens when the vehicle finds a nice ice patch (difficult to see black ice!) and fumbles around trying to just keep in the lane. THAT would be a good test of autonomous vehicles.

Will they know when to pull over and tell the people to install tire chains.

Just travel I-80 over Donner** pass in the winter.

** Donner pass is on the road between California and Nevada north of lLake Tahoe. The pass itself is around 7600 feet in elevation and GETS SNOW and COLD WEATHER!!

Google's diabetes fight

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If the same was done for polio...

We might have a nice computer controlled iron lung.

Lots of money to treat the symptoms and little to treat the cause.

Life (and the medical people) marches on.

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

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If the government had better tests...

We wouldn't have this problem. If the test was more realistic, then they couldn't have "cheated". They were just conforming to the test at hand. The engine passed the tests as they were designed, and they (obviously) didn't reflect the actual driving of the vehicle.

This is VERY similar to compilers that sense benchmarks, and compile VERY specialized code that was (possibly) hand tuned to make the compiler and run-time system look good. When this was discovered, the benchmarks were constructed to not have this "advantage" readable, and the manufacturers got called out on it. Big deal.

If the EPA/CARB wants non-cheatable tests, they had better reflect actual driving conditions, or things like this will happen. As is said in school, you "teach" to the test.

I fault the test, not the vehicle!

US Congress blew the whistle on tax-dodging Apple, claims Europe

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If the USA...

Had a more favorable tax structure for corporate taxes, it wouldn't be necessary to play musical chairs with money and "IP" that moves from place to place. If you have the highest taxes for corporations, expect some of this mischief to happen. It is human nature to pay AS LITTLE taxes as possible. Everyone will use the nicest tax havens to do this. Expect no less.

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

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Vatch the Vatch

As Ludwig Von Drake would say. Watches are fickle things. For the most part (since quartz crystal and silicon chips) the timepiece part of the watch is in the less than $50 range. The added parts of the watch go into the "gee wiz" category (see diving watches), or jewelry (see Rolexes). People who BUY watches tend to keep them for a long time (Me, over 15 years), and use them for a simple task, answering the question "what time is it?". You don't need much after that for basic functionality, and you can't innovate much in that space either. The iWatch is a solution in search of a problem, and the solution doesn't really solve anything.

What might be really innovative would be a "self charging" version, where it takes the hand/arm movements and recharges the battery. This could (possibly) add enough to make the manual recharging process unnecessary.

That would be a BIG DEAL. I suspect that the energy available isn't enough to be significant, so it probably won't happen. In case it does, I mentioned it here first, and if nobody patents in a year, it is a free idea.

I still like nice analog (dials) watches, and desktop machines. I need the nice big letters that work nicely with my old age (*SIGH*).

Punters want heart-throbs, not brains, when thinking wrist-jobs

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I wear the watch on the other (right) hand, and on the inside of the wrist. Not having read any of the literature, do they accommodate this in a meaningful way? I also like Twist-O-Flex watchbands that don't need disconnecting straps to stay put around my wrist. From the looks of it, the nice iWatch needs (and is provided with) a klunky leather band that needs to be fastened before one can run out the door.

Oh, and I haven't replaced my watch in over 15 years. Will an iWatch last that long and be good for over a year on a single battery?


Kaspersky Ireland R&D haus

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Might want to re-think...

Be sure you get the correct tax treatment. Brussels might want a pound of flesh.

Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

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Water to 30 meters, but what about SALT water??

While i'm no expert, fresh water and salt water are entirely different beasts. I got a nice FitBit a couple of years ago, and after being wonderful for over a year, a dip in the warm waters off Hawaii killed it for good. Before that I had been taking showers and other stuff.

All the pictures in the "event" showed swimmers in nice fresh water pools. A bunch less hostile!

When you've paid the ransom but you don't get your data back

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A couple of "solutions"...

First: Maybe a re-vector of the ransomware to somebody in the Russian government might work. I understand that many of the malware check to see what the domain name is and judicially skip some domains presumably for fear of retaliation.

Second: Make people to got plain text email. The fancy attachments and the like (javascript in an email? No!) shouldn't really happen.

Third: Get rid of somebody who gets infected. Stupid users are probably the biggest reason these things happen. They probably get suckered by Nigerian princes with cash gushing out of their pockets.

Get a clue people!

Fujitsu's billion-dollar ARM supercomputer delayed by up to 2 years

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For a much smaller budget...

I could make up a super computer by connecting together a BUNCH (10k or so) Raspberry Pi's and calling it a "super computer". Even with all the wires and power supplies, it would be less than $1,000,000 pretty easily.

It IS ARM, and available TODAY!

Now to get it programmed correctly...

Typo made Air Asia X flight land at Melbourne instead of Malaysia

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To err is human...

To really foul things up, you need a computer.

Truer words in this case. Then again, the software should have figured out that the discrepancy that large might be an error, and try to resolve it. Maybe use a smart phone app to get bearings correct.

Network Management Systems are a 'treasure map' for hackers

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You are...

In a maze of twisted passages all alike.

SNMP is your guide.

Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

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Think about the process..

The separation if the driver and the firmware was probably driven by some guy in a suit that wanted to control everything. The poor software writer of the driver can only say "OK" and try to do it that way. Of course it makes little sense, but he was doing as he was told. With the feedback from Linux, he can tell his higher-ups that it can't be done that way. So, the suits might relent and allow the "proper" way of doing things firmware blob in the driver and all that.

If they want to update the driver, OR the firmware, a new release is in order. See, it isn't that difficult. The maintaining of a specialized program that talks to the driver is a special way to load the firmware, which needs to be done before you can do anything, is at best a difficult task. Making it work in all circumstances (now how to I get this into systemd) may well be out of the question.

Put simply: The driver should be all you need for a device. No more, no less.

Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

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I remember it well...

Back in the day as a sophomore (aka 4th form) in high school, I did enjoy the series. It kinda got to you after a while. Now I understand that Star Trek (as most theatrical productions) was a reflection of its time (the USA in the 60's), and dealt with the subjects of the day in a different way.

Yes, it was sad when the series ended, but that's how it goes. We now have a record of some of the conflicts of the era (as mentioned in the article). It is all a new perspective to see things.

Yes, I was one of the guys that sat at the 'nerd' table during lunch, and yes, we did talk about the series on the Friday after the Thursday showing of the show. Made for interesting discussions.

Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops

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Why can't I...

Send one of these scam emails to a government (after all they print the money) and have them drop off a load of cash.

I'd probably end up in the hoosegow, but I'd live large for a couple of days. Then again with government efficiencies it might take a while. I get all these offers of IRS forgiveness all the time, so they must have some spare change floating around to line my pockets. I might even retire.

Message to IRS: I am due a refund of (large) amount. Send it to me. Cash is OK.

Google plots cop detection for auto autos

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What about the bicyclists?

In my part of the world, the "Lycra Butts" have all sorts of flashing lights on their two wheeled velocipedes. Usually they are on the side of the road, but sometimes they come out into the lane of traffic to make a turn across the center divide (when I was a youth, we used the crosswalks, but I digress). Given that these travel every which way (and have little regard for ANY traffic rules (stoplights, stop signs)) I just hope that the dome top vehicles can keep everything straight. It is a big task.

Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

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Life is a terminal disease...

Please remember this.

Me: I'd rather "go out on top".

'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

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Re: Other OS

At least it is a step in the right direction. It probably didn't stay that way for long.

We await pictures....

HDMI hooks up with USB-C in cables that reverse, one way

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Why not...

Just go back to a simple BNC connector like before PC's. I can even make up the cable for them. Nice 75 ohm coax!! (or 50 ohm if you want to get picky!)

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Wonderful thing about standards....

There are so many of them.

Oh, and not everyone follows them, and they make their on "modifications" to make them their own.

So we get all sorts of display standards. To Wit: MDA, CGA, EGA, VGA (in various forms), Display Port, HDMI, and DVI, just to name a few. If you wait, more will come.

Oh, wait USB-C.

When Irish eyes are filing: Ireland to appeal Europe's $15bn Apple tax claw-back

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One thing to remember...

When a government gets its hands on any amount of moola (bucks, quid, euros), it has a certain amount of "overhead". This number is not insignificant. So for every chunk of change that goes INTO government coffers, only a fraction goes OUT to help us citizens.

Then the government decides who to give handouts to is rarely in line with those that it extracts taxes from. It is the nature of the beast. This is why government is not the "solution", it is the "problem".

But as was so eloquently said a bunch of years ago, "Nothing is certain but death (life is a terminal disease) and taxes".

NBA's Golden State Warriors sued for 'mic snooping' mobile app

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Idea for new app...

One that sues YOU if you install it. It would make lawyers RICH!!

Lindsay Lohan's Grand Theft Auto V cartoon case kicked out of court

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And I thought this was about...

The Register's Special Projects Bureau. Isn't it the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navagator??

Then again, just about anything about Lindsay Lohan is a joke these days. We all need comedic relief.

MedSec's 'hackable pacemaker' report autopsy: Bombshell crash claim in doubt

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These things (pacemakers) work in weird ways...

First the communication is by inductive coupling (not radio) which has a VERY limited range (inches). Yes, the parameters can be changed, and lots of information is there, but by and large they are not big computing devices. The pacemakers St. Jude makes (at least while I worked there about 16 years ago) run on CMOS 6502 chips. They have ALL SORTS of power conserving tricks they use since the power source is quite limited (and is about half of the implantable device). The processor wakes up for every heartbeat and does minimal stuff.

The biggest thing that happens is when it detects atrial fibrillation and needs to shock the heart to get rid of the problem. In that case the patient is VERY conscious and gets a very rude jolt (as it was described to me). It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you will know about it. The more serious ventricular fibrillation (see your nice medical show) when external paddles are usually used, a pacemaker can also give a jolt, but in that case, the patient is usually unconscious so the patient usually doesn't feel a thing.

The software inside these devices goes under quite a lot of scrutiny and LOTS of tests to see that it works properly. The chances of significant problems are really quite small.

I wish operating system vendors would be as thorough (is Redmond listening??).

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