[Photograph of Neil Fraser]

Neil Fraser

For the past decade I've been a software engineer at Google in California.  In my spare time I've created a mélange of open-source software.  I've also built some rather unusual hardware.  On rare occasions I've even been known to write something interesting.

Traffic Security Wednesday, 19 June 2019

While bringing Beverly to preschool, a traffic light we were passing loudly announced, "Change password":

One Google search later returned the Polara Operations Manual for this traffic light which states:

It is necessary to use a security code different from the default AAAA. Failure to change the code will cause a periodic message to play – “CHANGE PASSWORD”.

The manual also has a helpful diagram showing how to remove the front bezel, where a USB socket is available. A little more digging reveals that with this password I could configure the emergency vehicle inputs and change various announcements (including "Train is Approaching, Clear Tracks Immediately").

I applaud the system for making it clear that the default password should be changed. However, publicly announcing this fact might not be the optimum mechanism.

Beverly's preschool had an International Day where students were encouraged to wear something "representative of their culture". One of the kids was not like the others. Surprisingly, that wasn't my kid.

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