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  • Apr 19th, 2020 @ 11:37pm

    Hardware and Software vs responsibility and indemnity.

    TL;DR - well-meaning, unauthorized people modifying existing hardware and wanting support? Fine, first relieve the original vendor from ALL legal peril from ALL potentially affected devices, then we'll talk.

    The problem is: people want things to suddenly move much faster than our existing infrastructure supports. Oh, and it's not just Play-Doh or Bic Pens we're talking about, but people's lives that directly depend upon these things -- MAGNITUDES of order more important.

    "CPAP: Enabling hidden options." Banners here, get your banners, take your pick:

    "Evil Money Grubbing Companies Denying Innocent Hackers Critical Information from Saving Embattered Lives" vs "Misguided Hackers Activating Untested Options in Medical Devices Trying To Save Lives, May Harm or Actually Take Them Instead."

    You know what? They're BOTH right. Companies are in business to ... (wait for it) MAKE a PROFIT. They WANT to RECEIVE more money than they SPEND. How horrible, how terrible, how non-Bernie of them.

    Some companies Cheat and Steal (and spindle, fold, and mutilate) their customers, providers, overseers, and government. They produce shoddy products that don't work, are addictive, or even cause harm. Some don't. Some try their best and are successful, some try and cut some corners and everything's fine, and some try and are not. (Ford Pinto) Some try and are successful, but find out decades later that things were wrong. (Those Evil Asbestos Companies. By the way, I'm looking at a fireplace that still has it that's been in use for over 50 years.)

    Some people (hackers, whatever) take existing equipment and sometimes "improve" them, sometimes adding, modifying, or even removing features embedded in the software, producing a different, "better" product. [I did that back in 1978 by modifying Okidata dot-matrix printer ROM. We made thousands because I removed functionality and then sold them to radio stations as is.] That's neither good nor bad, just a system state -- but notice that the original company's name is STILL on the device even though it now acts differently from other "exact" devices even in it's same manufacturing run. We had them call us for support, but if they'd called Okidata instead, the real company wouldn't have had a CLUE what was going on.

    In my case, I saved them boxes of wasted paper and pages completely full of gibberish. (If you must know, ask.) But if things went wrong, the newsguy just had to find a different source. No one died if my ROM failed, or if the actual modified printer blew up. (I guess it could have burned down a building but we never heard about that -- or got caught, anyway.)

    A CPAP has motors, sensors, and what-not. A BiPAP has (I assume) more. A true ventilator has much more. IANAL/IAMAD, but watched a Respiratory Therapist critique on YT on the Telsa Ventilator from an engineer describing their build. Among other things, it had: sensors monitoring actual gas intakes and pressure monitors, humidity heaters and sensors, and logging aspects for everything. And that's not even any masks or breathing options. And I'm sure he omitted some device nuances.

    MY CPAP has a humidifier with a manual temperature valve, you set it depending on preference. Mine has a set pressure that it tries to maintain and a few options (kill motor on exhale, ramp down pressure only at initial start / ramp up pressure on each inhale) and I'm sure lots of other options. (I whined at my tech who modified things until he got it right -- while I was at home in bed, hitting the "refresh" button occasionally.)

    A vent also pulls air outwards like a BiPAP does, so I understand. But a vent can also be placed into "funny" modes, such as quiver (a made-up name, but a nurse friend of mine told me: lung surfaces can sometimes get sticky, and if the insides touch you can't get them apart, so you must keep them inflated. But if you ONLY keep them inflated then they're not actually breathing, so you keep things partially pressurized and gently and quickly "puff" air in and out, so they never get a "real breath" but on the other hand keep things inflated WITH continual air exchange.) And who-knows what other odd modes it can do.

    And wanting unlicensed devices -- I'm the same. At the end of March I called my doctor asking about a DIY poor-man's ventilator by using my existing CPAP directly fed with O2. But you want to take a Philips ResMed machine and modify it beyond what it's speced to do? Fine, but then the vendor gets off scott-free no matter what happens. Has the motor been tested for operation for that long? (Of course it has, it's a 3 to 5 year device. Yes, but for 24 hours a day for weeks in continual operation?) How accurate are the sensors? Are you sure; do they degrade over usage? Because if you put too much pressure in the lungs you can "blow out the air sacs" causing accidental deaths. Real vents add humidity since you're bypassing the nose that warms the air, but not too much. Oh, out of water? My system doesn't HAVE a out-of-water alarm, you're not supposed to be using it that long. I don't think it has an auto-shutoff, but I'm not 100% sure about that either.

    And the kicker: if you're on a vent, there's a tube down your throat AND YOU'RE COMPLETELY UNCONSCIOUS. No turning over to crank up the O2 or check the water or handle some beeping alarm, NO UPS backup because you just lost power for only a few minutes. Someone more technical than you dog has to be around and paying intermittent attention to it. And all of those companies are on the hook for providing a registered medical device. YOU pay THEM dearly for it, and THEY pay OUT dearly for development, design, construction, lawyers and government fees. ("My patient died because he put a CPAP up his anus and it blew up his stomach. Jury: his newly-found identical brother gets 1 Billion Dollars in restitution from this evil uncaring company, and 1 Million Dollars from the casket company who couldn't provide a large enough coffin for the now-missing deceased.")

    So: as a culture, we've dedicated that the government and the FDA is in control of medical devices, and then make the industry and companies comply with their standards. Fine, most people are happy with that. Now we suddenly want to "hurry up" the available functions that may or may not be embedded within the devices? Maybe that IS an undocumented option that can be enabled without reservation. Maybe it's reserved for the more-expensive model. Or maybe the code has been swiped from an up-scale machine that supports those functions but now placed in the lower-end machine that doesn't. Do you STILL want to enable that?

    Now to be honest here: YES, yes I do. If there's absolutely no other option, crank that sucker up to 11 and let's go. But don't hold the manufacturer responsible if/when it fails when that's not what it's been designed to do. And oh yeah: when we have 1,000 physical vents to 1 operator, are we going to rag on THEM when they don't manage to keep everyone alive? Oh, this machine has THIS override, that machine has THAT one. That pressure indicator shows high because we're now running in BiPAP mode. And that purple machine over there only has a 90 hour lifespan, so keep track since it can't.

    This is just a fucking disaster waiting to happen, either in saving lives or in damaging or ending them. And I want one of them as well -- if I need it -- but don't blame the vendor if something goes up in smoke when you're using it out of design specifications. Maybe they did their absolute best. Maybe they didn't. Maybe they went with the lowest bidder. But now you've got some helpful someone that's flipping hidden switches and doing random things that seem to work? And you're going to keep the hardware company ONLY completely responsible?

    I want THAT job -- ALL of the fun and excitement and honor and absolutely NONE of the responsibility. What could go wrong?

  • Oct 16th, 2019 @ 4:14am

    (untitled comment)

    "Blizzard's principles like Every Voice Matters" .. to a black hole. THAT's how much we want to hear from you.

    Why don't you just play our game and give us money? Or better yet, just give us money. You can go protest on your OWN time, but be sure and send up that check first. Bad things happen out there occasionally -- not that we'd know.

  • Jun 5th, 2019 @ 7:03am

    (untitled comment)

    "Windstream recently declared bankruptcy after years of network neglect resulted in a flood of customers headed to the exists."

    Errr, no. Well maybe, but the thing that killed them was management, and accountants and lawyers all happily chatting together.

    after a judge found Windstream’s attempt in 2015 to shift its valuable fiber optic network assets off its own books into a sheltered real estate investment trust (REIT) ... violated the rights of bondholders which hold some of Windstream’s debt.

    I don't get the details, but someone played accounting games and bet the company. And lost.

    Kinda like the captain of a boat hitting an iceberg, sinking the boat, and saying: " Wow, I'd sure hate it if I owned that." And just walking away from the mess to pilot a new boat. (Well, swimming away; you know what I mean.)

  • Apr 26th, 2019 @ 9:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Shoddy Software Is Eating The World, And People Are Dying As A Result"

    Really? Color me surprised. The only difference is that computers run more things now-a-days, thus more people are affected in a computer (pun) "crash" .

    I'll just leave this here; it's only been published for a few decades. The one about the virtual attack plane flipping upside down while crossing the equator is funny.

  • Mar 27th, 2019 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    "Your logic would dictate that the Internet cease being a communications network and become a broadcast medium"

    And, at this point, myself and many others will simply stop using it.

    But duplex communication is hard to manage and control. SIMPLEX is much easier, as we just have to locate the few available sources and "encourage" or co-opt them.

    Even if we don't there's so many less arguments floating around. And you won't view? That's what all of the camera around you are for, you ungrateful citizen.

  • Mar 27th, 2019 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re:

    So I just heard about the French Revolution: Robespierre was the only person guillotined facing upwards. But it's apparently just rumor.

  • Mar 2nd, 2019 @ 9:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Seems like the darkweb is calling me back once more"

    AND we have cookies.

    I would say I'm already there, but in truth I never left.

  • Feb 24th, 2019 @ 12:50pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Indeed, feelings have to be added in. If a creative AI is [built] to do something..."

    Feelings, nothing more than feelings, Trying to forget my feelings of love

    So: Take a programming assignment, worry and cry over it a bit, and you're done. Sounds like every college programming class' output.

    I could have used this one instead, but the remake just sounded so .... WONDERFUL. I got feelings just by listening to it.

  • Sep 2nd, 2018 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Can't believe they're still in business.

    I'm just glad that we're not all completely web-connected and techno-current. A friend of mine goes once a week to rent one (well, as a side trip.)

    I can think of 6 RB locations right off the top of my head, half are "double-units" which I assume are a connected extra bay and not an independent unit.

    If you're busy and only watch 4-8 movies a month that'd cost like $8 w/no internet fee. I could easily see how busy people could do that as a supplement to TV (OTA/Cable) if you only care about watching anything that's available.
  • Jul 28th, 2018 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    Copyright Copyright!

  • Jul 27th, 2018 @ 4:19pm

    No?

    China: "the nation's copyright law was not intended to be a vehicle for milking the general public of money."

    US Gov: Really?? Then you're not doing it right -- here, let us help you. Think of it as a early gift in the upcoming trade wars.

  • Nov 2nd, 2017 @ 11:10pm

    Re:

    "Do you really want to use a service that only lets you write documents that Google approves of?"

    Of course not. Only an idiot wousiq ... why iS My keybOoard acTTing funxyx ... YES OF COURSE I WOULD. WHY DO YOU ASK, RONNY? IS ANOTHER VISIT REQUIRED?
  • Nov 2nd, 2017 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: yay ownCloud

    "backing up the data is your responsiblity and not the providers."

    Sorry?? I thought that was what the dark web was for.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Simple solutions for simple minds

    _until the corporation that owns your OS decides ... [to] build code into the OS that takes that control away.

    You mean like Microsoft Windows 10 that reports on every application that you run? No worries though; they're just monitoring and soon setting up to do program-shaming, where they'll out you for running unsanctioned programs. Only pirates run youtube-dl, so if you run it expect a visit soon from your friendly RIAA education helper.

    Really though, it's only helpful MPAA/RIAA evil-program shaming that they're doing here, not something serious or harmful like fat-shaming.

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re:

    ... They would if they could.

    To wit: the VCR.

    And they've been successful. When's the last time you've seen a VCR?

  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 5:31pm

    Nonsense!

    Triple the speed? That's because those offshore VPN bits are smaller and greatly inferior to our fine normal US bits. I wouldn't trust anything going thru those foreign servers; they probably have viruses all in their systems -- you don't actually know WHERE those bits have been. You're just highly fortunate that those bits haven't been sent upside-down yet, that'd fry both your router _and_ your computer.

    Just ask the pharmaceutical industry about oversees manufacturing; *THEY'LL* tell you.
  • Sep 17th, 2017 @ 5:20pm

    Re:

    "Fuck Wall Street."

    But if she gets pregnant, she's going to hit you up for child support. And you think that you're paying NOW.....
  • Sep 9th, 2017 @ 11:36pm

    Re:

    Oh the government values your data and privacy; that's why they want "just":

    • all of your phone metadata,
    • electronic payments that allows for accidental instant tracking,
    • US Post Office photo-scanning Every Single Letter and package, and
    • forced banking reports on any deposits over $10K (and SOMEONE watches for multiple in-a-row lower-cost deposits)

    The Government Cares all about you and wants to know =everything= there is to know about their precious constituency.

    "All the better to guard you with, my dear." -- Grandma from the Little Red Riding Hood.

  • Sep 9th, 2017 @ 2:51am

    Re:

    "it's that identity theft is nearly impossible to fully recover from."

    No no, you're not thinking about it right. It's actually an opportunity in disguise. Once someone grabs your identity, you complain and then YOU go and buy all kinds of stuff as yourself and then blame THEM.

    Oh, that high-end computer, that 666" TV, that gold-plated XBox? I Didn't Do It, Nobody Saw Me Do It, There's No Way You Can Prove Anything!.

  • Sep 8th, 2017 @ 10:19pm

    Re: lawsuit prevention

    I'm sure we can find a dozen Equifax employees who have direct access to the data that have accidentally(!) removed their own information. Typos happne.

    After all, who else could be so impartial?

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