That reminds me: dump Java.

I was just reading a post at MalwareBytes Labs titled Cross-platform Malware Adwind Infects Mac by Thomas Reed about the Adwind Remore Access Tool (RAT) which reminded me I had wanted to remove JAVA from my Mac as it represents a security risk.  A quick DuckDuckGo search led me to How to uninstall Java in Mac OS X at dotTech which offered concise instructions for how to remove both the runtime and the jdk.

Go ahead. Do it. You’ll feel smart after using the Terminal.

Crazy (teen) driving makes THEM safer

I’m spending this weekend with my teenage son at the BWM Teen Driving School in South Carolina. The course is geared specifically for teen drivers and spends time on driving safety and theory, but mainly lets them do seemingly crazy things in powerful BMWs under the watchful eye of race car driver instructors (all the instructors here this weekend have won at least one championship).  But why would I, as a parent, want my son to do crazy things in (someone else’s) German sports car?  Let me explain.

BMW Teen Driving

We spend a lot of money on cars. We try to make sure they are safe, reliable, easy to drive, and that they have the latest safety technology.  What parent would put their child into a car without air bags and antilock brakes at the very least–be they a toddler or a teen? If financially possible, none of us would.  But how much do we spend on helping them become a better driver? And even if we do sign them up for a drivers’ safety program, its always safe and controlled and never approaches the limits of car control.  In teaching my son to drive I never encouraged him to “punch it,” or to brake as hard as possible at 45 miles per hour and steer around an obstacle, or drive faster and faster on a circle of wet road just to see what it feels like when the tires start to slip and how to regain control.

Car Lineup

When bad things happen during the course of normal day-to-day driving we are often thrust into situations where that is exactly where the car and driver find themselves–at the limits of car control. I don’t want that to be the time he discovers that the car will go where his eyes are focussed, so best be looking at where you want to go (escape) rather than where you don’t want to go (tree). Or that the brake pedal will chatter when breaking hard and that’s what’s supposed to happen (so don’t let up). Or that you can still steer the car when braking hard due to vehicle stability control. Or that if you run a wheel off the road, don’t panic and turn the wheel hard left to get back on.

Considering how expensive it is to buy that car, insure it, pay deductibles in accidents, and possibly have to be carried away from one, this is the best investment I’ve made in a long, long time.

Downtown Greenville, SC

10% Happier: Mindfulness Meditation Courses with Dan Harris and Joseph Goldstein

When I expressed an interest in Mindfulness meditation last Christmas, a family member suggested I read “10% Happier” by Dan Harris.  I did, and the book (which is subtitled ‘Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics’) made a real impression on this fidgety, skeptical, anesthesiologist.

After the book, I found the 10% Happier iPhone app to be incredibly helpful in continuing to try to establish my practice.  What sets this app apart from others, in my view, is the short video interview segments Dan does with Joseph Goldstein and others to educate the user about meditation, the challenges that may arise, and how to continue through them.

Here’s a list of topics for just the first few weeks:

  • Behind the waterfall
  • How do I know I’m being mindful?
  • Dealing with discomfort, sleepiness, and restlessness
  • Respond, Don’t React
  • How not to be yanked around by your emotions
  • The difference between ‘Present’ and ‘Mindful’
  • Non-attachment to results

All of these are practical, practicable, and even entertaining.

Source: 10% Happier: Mindfulness Meditation Courses with Dan Harris and Joseph Goldstein

Everything You Need To Know About Bitcoin, Blockchain And Ethereum In Less Than 90 Minutes Of Short Videos | Web We Want

This blog post by Xabier E. Barandiaran from January 3, 2016 is shared on a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. In less than 90 minutes of short videos you should be able to understand how Bitcoin, Blockchain and Ethereum works, how is it possible to create applications, contracts, democratic systems or value exchange and reputation systems that […]

Source: Everything You Need To Know About Bitcoin, Blockchain And Ethereum In Less Than 90 Minutes Of Short Videos | Web We Want

Authy two-factor authentication for WordPress

I just installed WordPress 4.5.2 via DreamHost’s One-Click installer.  I’ve been with DreamHost a loooong time now, but this is the first blog I’ve ever set up at this URL. I wanted a place I could post quasi-geek stuff without having to worry about if it was related to anesthesia or not (my day…and night….job).

The one-click install worked flawlessly, and Dreamhost even arranges for a free SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt, so the site has the benefit of https without having to pay for a cert. Cool.

I’ve been using Authy in place of Google Authenticator on my Newton 2000 iPhone for my two-factor authentication tokens for quite a while now , and wondered if I could use it on my own personal site.  The short answer is a resounding YES. The longer answer is that it was easier than I thought.

Authy offers a WordPress plugin that can be installed on your own site:

Authy Plugin for WordPress
Here’s a screenshot of the Authy wordpress plugin description.

Even though this 2.5.5 version hasn’t been updated in about a year, it works fine with this WordPress 4.5.2 installation.  Once installed and activated, all I had to do was go to to get a free API key.

I can see why Authy makes this free and easy to encourage users to try their technology. Once ‘inside’ you can get a glimpse of what is possible with 2-FA via Authy and how well thought out and smooth the whole service is.  My only concern is that I see most tokens have gone from 6 to 8 numbers.  It could be a real problem for me to type in 20 numbers in 30 seconds should it come to that. 😐