Construct the Labyrinth from Which You Plan to Escape

Found Poetry found me. I started this website as a science blog, but then I saw poetry in mundane texts - just as you see faces in things. I created poems from spam comments, from search terms, from physics textbooks, from book spines, from error messages, from Facebooks ads, from any text anywhere in the … Continue reading Construct the Labyrinth from Which You Plan to Escape

Poets Who Speak of Jupiter

In the third chapter of the first volume of his legendary physics lectures, Richard Feynman discusses the relation of physics to other sciences. He says that astronomy got physics started, and its most remarkable discovery is that stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth. He adds this famous … Continue reading Poets Who Speak of Jupiter

Technology and Technics. Flolloping Floopily.

Once I started to create spam poetry and search term poetry, and I believed it was original. Then I discovered that great poets of the virtual scrapyard had come before me. Finally, I found serious articles about so-called Found Poetry and I found poets publishing their spam poetry in earnest. I learned about the Sokal … Continue reading Technology and Technics. Flolloping Floopily.

Edginess: What I Was Searching For

First Spam Poetry since a long time! Every line is an unedited snippet from about 100 spam comments on this blog. Process: View spam comments at random Either pick a phrase from the comment or discard it, then delete the comment. Jump to the next spam comment - spam comments can be processed in any … Continue reading Edginess: What I Was Searching For

Connectedness and Independence

My websites ebb and flow. After 23 years of writing online, I am recognizing recurring patterns. I am keeping ancient hyperlinks intact. All articles I had published here before 2020 are still available elsewhere, also under the former main domain used at WordPress - elkement.blog. My frustration about other referenced websites' ever changing and abandoned … Continue reading Connectedness and Independence

Certificates and PKI. The Prequel.

Some public key infrastructures run quietly in the background since years. They are half forgotten until the life of a signed file has come to an end - but then everything is on fire. In contrast to other seemingly important deadlines (Management needs this until XY or the world will come to an end!) this … Continue reading Certificates and PKI. The Prequel.

Cloudy Troubleshooting (2)

Unrelated to part 1 - but the same genre. Actors this time: File Cloud: A cloud service for syncing and sharing files. We won't drop a brand name, will we? Client: Another user of File Cloud. [Redacted]: Once known for reliability and as The Best Network. Dark Platform: Wannabe hackers' playground. elkement: Somebody who sometimes just wants to be an … Continue reading Cloudy Troubleshooting (2)

Cloudy Troubleshooting

Actors: Cloud: Service provider delivering an application over the internet. Client: Business using the Cloud Telco: Service provider operating part of the network infrastructure connecting them. elkement: Somebody who always ends up playing intermediary. ~ Client: Cloud logs us off ever so often! We can't work like this! elkement: Cloud, what timeouts do you use? … Continue reading Cloudy Troubleshooting

Let Your Hyperlinks Live Forever!

It is the the duty of a Webmaster to allocate URIs which you will be able to stand by in 2 years, in 20 years, in 200 years. This needs thought, and organization, and commitment. (https://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI) Joel Spolsky did it:  I’m bending over backwards not to create “linkrot” — all old links to Joel on Software … Continue reading Let Your Hyperlinks Live Forever!

Bots, Like This! I am an Ardent Fan of HTTPS and Certificates!

This is an experiment in Machine Learning, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, whatever. But I need proper digression first. Last autumn, I turned my back on social media and went offline for a few days. There, in that magical place, the real world was offline as well. A history of physics museum had to be opened, … Continue reading Bots, Like This! I am an Ardent Fan of HTTPS and Certificates!

The Orphaned Internet Domain Risk

I have clicked on company websites of social media acquaintances, and something is not right: Slight errors in formatting, encoding errors for special German characters. Then I notice that some of the pages contain links to other websites that advertize products in a spammy way. However, the links to the spammy sites are embedded in … Continue reading The Orphaned Internet Domain Risk

The Future of Small Business?

If I would be asked which technology or 'innovation' has had the most profound impact on the way I work I would answer: Working remotely - with clients and systems I hardly ever see. 20 years ago I played with modems, cumbersome dial-in, and Microsoft's Netmeeting. Few imagined yet, that remote work will once be … Continue reading The Future of Small Business?

Other People Have Lives – I Have Domains

These are just some boring update notifications from the elkemental Webiverse. The elkement blog has recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, and the punktwissen blog will turn five in December. Time to celebrate this - with new domain names that says exactly what these sites are - the 'elkement.blog' and the 'punktwissen.blog' (Edit: which now - … Continue reading Other People Have Lives – I Have Domains

The Stages of Blogging – an Empirical Study

... with sample size 1. Last year, at the 4-years anniversary, I presented a quantitative analysis - in line with the editorial policy I had silently established: My blogging had turned from quasi-philosophical ramblings on science, work, and life to no-nonsense number crunching. But the comment threads on my recent posts exhibit my subconsciousness spilling … Continue reading The Stages of Blogging – an Empirical Study

Give the ‘Thing’ a Subnet of Its Own!

To my surprise, the most clicked post ever on this blog is this: Network Sniffing for Everyone: Getting to Know Your Things (As in Internet of Things) ... a step-by-step guide to sniff the network traffic of your 'things' contacting their mothership, plus a brief introduction to networking. I wanted to show how you can … Continue reading Give the ‘Thing’ a Subnet of Its Own!

Spam Poetry: “Cris-Crossing the Universe”

I have tried my hands at different kinds of experimental internet poetry, and all of the poems turned out to have a dystopic touch or tantalizing hints to some fundamental philosophical truth. Perhaps this says something about 1) The Internet or 2) about my subconsciousness. Since I have reduced blogging frequency, the number of spam … Continue reading Spam Poetry: “Cris-Crossing the Universe”

Internet of Things. Yet Another Gloomy Post.

Technically, I work with Things, as in the Internet of Things. As outlined in Everything as a Service many formerly 'dumb' products - such as heating systems - become part of service offerings. A vital component of the new services is the technical connection of the Thing in your home to that Big Cloud. It … Continue reading Internet of Things. Yet Another Gloomy Post.

Have I Seen the End of E-Mail?

Not that I desire it, but my recent encounters of ransomware make me wonder. Some people in say, accounting or HR departments are forced to use e-mail with utmost paranoia. Hackers send alarmingly professional e-mails that look like invoices, job applications, or notifications of postal services. Clicking a link starts the download of malware that … Continue reading Have I Seen the End of E-Mail?

Everything as a Service

Three years ago I found a research paper that proposed a combination of distributed computing and heating as a service: A cloud provider company like Google or Amazon would install computers in users' homes - as black-boxes providing heat to the users and computing power to their cloud. In the meantime I have encountered announcements … Continue reading Everything as a Service

Anniversary 4 (4 Me): “Life Ends Despite Increasing Energy”

I published my first post on this blog on March 24, 2012. Back then its title and tagline were: Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything Physics versus engineering off-the-wall geek humor versus existential questions IT versus the real thing corporate world’s strangeness versus small business entrepreneur’s microcosmos knowledge worker’s connectedness versus striving … Continue reading Anniversary 4 (4 Me): “Life Ends Despite Increasing Energy”

Google-Mediated Self-Poetry – Holiday Edition

A new sub-genre of my experimental internet poetry! Is Google able to capture the essence of this blog? Rules: Search your own site on Google, using site:[your site]. This 'poem' is based on results from site:elkement.wordpress.com. Open the first search result in a new tab. Pick one phrase from this page (your own content) and … Continue reading Google-Mediated Self-Poetry – Holiday Edition

Random Things I Have Learned from My Web Development Project

It's nearly done (previous episode here). I have copied all the content from my personal websites, painstakingly disentangling snippets of different 'posts' that were physically contained in the same 'web page', re-assigning existing images to them, adding tags, consolidating information that was stored in different places. Raking the Virtual Zen Garden - again. (Voice from … Continue reading Random Things I Have Learned from My Web Development Project

Interrupting Regularly Scheduled Programming …

(... for programming.) Playing with websites has been a hobby of mine since nearly two decades. What has intrigued me was the combination of different tasks, appealing to different moods - or modes: Designing the user interface and organizing content. Writing the actual content, and toggling between creative and research mode. Developing the backend: database … Continue reading Interrupting Regularly Scheduled Programming …

Finally Mobile-Friendly! (How I Made Googlebot Happy)

Not this blog of course - it had been responsive already. But I gave in to Google's nagging and did not ignore messages in Google Webmaster Tools any longer. All my home-grown websites had a fixed width of the content pane and a fixed left sidebar. On a mobile device you only saw the upper … Continue reading Finally Mobile-Friendly! (How I Made Googlebot Happy)

About 14,5 Random Thoughts on Blogging and Social Media

I have been blogging on WordPress.com since nearly three years, and I noted the following: Blogs have a half life. Many decay after 2 years. Blogs I had followed had been deleted, or bloggers had suddenly stopped publishing without notice. There are tons of single-post-blogs. A user-friendly editor motivates people to get started. But blogging does … Continue reading About 14,5 Random Thoughts on Blogging and Social Media

All My Theories Have Been Wrong. Fortunately!

I apologize to Google. They still like my blog. This blog's numbers plummeted as per Webmaster Tools, here and here you find everything you never wanted to know about it. I finally figured that my blog was a victim of Google's latest update Panda 4.1. Sites about 'anything' had suffered, and the Panda rollout matched … Continue reading All My Theories Have Been Wrong. Fortunately!

Looking for Patterns

Scott Adams, of Dilbert Fame, has a lot of useful advice in his autobiographical book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. He recommends looking for patterns in your life, without attempting to theorize about cause and effects. Learning from those patterns you could increase the chance that luck with hit you. … Continue reading Looking for Patterns

Waging a Battle against Sinister Algorithms

I have felt a disturbance of the force. As you might expect from a blog about anything, this one has a weird collection of unrelated top pages and posts. My WordPress Blog Stats tell me I am obviously an internet authority on: how rodents get into kitchen appliances, about the physics of a spinning toy, … Continue reading Waging a Battle against Sinister Algorithms