When Uncle Doc Gets Hacked

6. August, 2016

Most of the time, when users get infected with a computer virus or a Trojan, it’s a nuisance. But what happens when an important person becomes a victim of a cracker like your doctor?

How about this story:

I got a mail from a good friend. It had no text, just a link. I clicked the link and a web site of a big pharmaceutical company. It was a bit odd but I thought nothing of it. I’m a doctor, so I visit a lot of medical websites.

A couple of days after that, I got mails from old friends that thanked me for getting in touch with them again after such a long time. I was puzzled.

Yesterday, I got an email from myself. That I never wrote. It seems when I clicked the link above in my web mail, “something” happened.

Apparently, everyone in my address book got spammed.

The attackers got the address book. Which is inside the mail software. Which means they had access to the mail software. Which means they had access to all the mails. Do you exchange mails with your doctor? How much do you like the idea that “someone” out there had access to those mails?

We need to fix computer security.


Is Climate Change Just A Lot Of Hot Air?

26. June, 2015

A thought-provoking video by MinuteEarth:


The Quest to End Poverty

25. June, 2015

Poverty is a huge problem, even for those not affected. At best, the sight is disturbing, at worst, the sicknesses bred by many people crammed together don’t care much for bank accounts – even when it might help that you can pay doctor’s bills and meds.

In 2011, over $150 billion were spent on development aid. That sum sounds staggering if you look at the number alone. Keep in mind that the world’s GDP in 2011 was 75’621 billion (use the table view to see per country numbers) – aid is 0.2% of that. The US military budget alone was $610 billion. World-wide aid was just a quarter of what the US spends on its military.

What’s more, a lot of that money never leaves the donor country – it’s used to “pay” for debt which the receiving country already has towards the donor – or it’s vouchers for goods which the donor produces (like guns and other military equipment). As odd as that may sound at first: Development aid is often another tool to develop your own country. If it helps a struggling third world place, all the better.

But the problem runs deeper. Too deep to explain in a blog post but TED compiled a list of 11 through provoking talks how we could end poverty. My favorite didn’t make it into the list: Gary Haugen: The hidden reason for poverty the world needs to address now.

Think!


Trouble Sleeping?

21. May, 2015

There are people who are proud that they don’t need much sleep.

Don’t listen to them. People who don’t sleep enough make more mistakes, they are dumber than they could be, they ruin their health, their sex life, to name just a few of the most important downsides.

Yes, it’s easy to reduce the amount of time you’re sleeping every day and the negative effects aren’t obvious. People sleep just a few hours every night feel powerful and agitated – mostly because of the adrenaline levels you get from the stress of lack of sleep. But adrenaline also makes reckless and unreliable. It bends you towards risky behavior which causes accidents and disasters like the world financial crisis.

If you’re one of these people, stop it. The additional hours don’t really make you more productive, no matter how much you would like to make yourself believe. Your ruler is broken – a sleep-deprived brain isn’t able to notice just how tired it really is. And even at the best of times, it costs your company almost $2’000 every year for every employee.

Richard Wiseman has put together a short list of tips to help you sleep. Plus he has created the World’s Most Relaxing Music. One hour of sound that has been scientifically engineered to relax you.

Related:


Handicapped

3. May, 2014

Disabled people aren’t handicapped, they are getting obstructed.


Unhappy?

17. January, 2014

This might help:

The Holstee ManifestoCopyright information

The Holstee Manifesto
Copyright information


Smart Phones Vs Recreation

30. April, 2013

In some companies, a culture of “always on” has crept in. People are getting emails and phone calls in their spare time.

As a solution, add this to your contract: For every minute you spend on work related tasks in your spare time, you can log twice the time in your tracker. Tracking happens in 15 minute increments.

So if someone really needs to call your during the weekend to ask just a quick question, you can leave half an hour early on Monday. And if that question turns into a 4 hour monster, you have a whole day off (or eight hours overtime).

That way, there is a “price tag” on your spare time. People don’t have to feel that guilty for calling you but they are also aware of the cost when they do.


The Meaning of Life

24. December, 2012

Minimize suffering.

Examples:

  • We like to help others, minimizing their suffering (main goal of helping others) and our own (we feel shame when we see someone who needs help or sometimes even feel their pain as if it was our own)
  • Laws are designed to minimize suffering. Revenge might be our first instinct but it never minimizes anything. Like the old says: Eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. That might minimize insight but not the pain.
  • Even the most simple animals avoid pain. Plants try to grow out of shade. Excited electrons quickly return to their normal state – a phenomenon which allows us to see.
  • Moral and ethical guidelines help to minimize suffering. Apart from the obvious effects, they help members of the group to behave well without suffering through the long and tedious process of discovering those truths themselves.
  • Religions try to minimize suffering by giving explanations for the inexplicable. Buddhism boiled everything down to this phrase: “Life means suffering” (from The Four Noble Truths[*]).

Merry Christmas and a Painless New Year.

[*]: And their solution isn’t death, it’s ascension – Nirvana: “Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.”


Hyperventilation

24. January, 2012

Pulled a lifeless child out of swimming pool yesterday. Odd feeling.

What I remember most is two things:

  1. How long it took about 80 people around the pool to notice that a man was calling for help. He was calling and waving and a couple of people even waved back. But his plea for help somehow didn’t really register until I took the child from him and shouted as well.
  2. The foam coming from the mount of the child as I dropped him on the ground outside of the pool.

Luckily, a doctor was close-by and managed to revive the child. He did first aid until the staff doctor from the hotel’s infirmary arrived. The staff of the hotel also called an ambulance that arrived only a few minutes later. All in all, when the near-death registered, professional help came quick.

If you have a child who loves to dive: Make sure they don’t take deep breaths before diving. They’ll lose consciousness without any prior warning sign – it’s called shallow water blackout. From the Wikipedia article:

Significantly, victims drown quietly underwater without alerting anyone to the fact that there is a problem and are typically found on the bottom[…]

Some tips for people who want to save lives:

  • People who are about to drown don’t call for help – if they had the air, they wouldn’t be drowning in the first place. Look for signs of panic and utter silence. Playing children scream, shout and splash. Downing swimmers just splash.
  • People move all the time. If you think something is odd, watch them for 10 seconds. If you don’t see any controlled movement in that time, call for help. Remember that water is never still. So if the hands float a bit, that’s not movement. Watch out of for leg movement, swimming moves, looking around (head movement). If in doubt, call for help – pulling someone out of water takes a lot of time.