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

My Data Kraken – a Shapeshifter

I wonder if Data Kraken is only used by German speakers who translate our hackneyed Datenkrake - is it a word like eigenvector? Anyway, I need this animal metaphor, despite this post is not about facebook or Google. It's about my personal Data Kraken - which is a true shapeshifter like all octopuses are. (Because … Continue reading My Data Kraken – a Shapeshifter

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!

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.

Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 2: Logging Energy Values

In the last post, I showed how to use Raspberry Pi as CAN bus logger - using a test bus connected to control unit UVR1611. Now I have connected it to my heat pump's bus. Credits for software and instructions: juerg5524.ch messpunkt.org SK Pang Special thanks to SK Pang Electronics who provided me with CAN … Continue reading Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 2: Logging Energy Values

Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 1: CAN Bus Testing with UVR1611

In the old times, measuring data manually sometimes meant braving the elements: Now, nearly all measurements are automated: In order to calculate the seasonal performance factor of the heat pump system we have still used the 'official' energy reading provided by the heat pump's display. Can't this be automated, too? Our Stiebel-Eltron WPF7 basic is … Continue reading Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 1: CAN Bus Testing with UVR1611

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”

Shortest Post Ever

... self-indulgent though, but just to add an update on the previous post. My new personal website is  live: elkement.subversiv.at I have already redirected the root URLs of the precursor sites radices.net, subversiv.at and e-stangl.at. Now I am waiting for Google's final verdict; then I am going to add the rewrite map for the 1:n … Continue reading Shortest Post Ever

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

My Flat-File Database

A brief update on my web programming project. I have preferred to create online text by editing simple text files; so I only need a text editor and an FTP client as management tool. My 'old' personal and business web pages are currently created dynamically in the following way: [Code for including a script (including … Continue reading My Flat-File Database

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 …

Watching TV Is Dangerous

I am not talking about humans. But TV-sets might threaten other devices in the smart home; this was a recent puzzle submitted by a blog reader. Two unrelated devices / services met on the user's local computer network: IP-TV provided by a large German telco. a data logger for monitoring the heating system. This user … Continue reading Watching TV Is Dangerous

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)

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

Google and Heating Systems (2)

I googled our company name. Then I found this: Auftrag means order and the obfuscated parts contain our full company name, the Chief Engineer's name, the URL of a vendor we ordered material from recently, invoice total, and a comment like The client said we should... The now inaccessible URL had pointed to a comma-separated … Continue reading Google and Heating Systems (2)

When I Did Social Engineering without Recognizing It

I planned to read something about history this summer. Then I picked the history of hacking. My favorite was Kevin Mitnick's autobiography - the very definition of a page-turner. The book is free of hardcore technical jargon and written for geeks and lay audience alike. Readers are introduced to the spirit of a hacker in … Continue reading When I Did Social Engineering without Recognizing It

5 Years Anniversary: When My Phone Got Hacked

I like to play with phones. 5 years ago my cell phone decided it wanted to play on its own. It did participate in a TV voting - so the provider said and the itemized bill proved. This was for a music show I wouldn't even watch if somebody paid me for doing so. The … Continue reading 5 Years Anniversary: When My Phone Got Hacked

What Learning about Feynman’s Path Integrals Was Good for

I have gone to great lengths on this blog in order to explain how and why a degree in physics prepares you for seemingly different careers, or at least does not hurt. But it would have been so simple. I will now illustrate this - using just two incomprehensible images. Actually, I have a hidden … Continue reading What Learning about Feynman’s Path Integrals Was Good for

Network Sniffing for Everyone – Getting to Know Your Things (As in Internet of Things)

Simple Sniffing without Hubs or Port Mirroring for the Curious Windows User [Jump to instructions and skip intro] Your science-fiction-style new refrigerator might go online to download the latest offers or order more pizza after checking your calendar and noticing that you have to finish a nerdy project soon. It may depend on your geekiness … Continue reading Network Sniffing for Everyone – Getting to Know Your Things (As in Internet of Things)

Automatic Mapping of Logon Certificates to Users in Active Directory

This post has originally been published to my other / 'archive' website in 2014, first as a PDF, later converted to a HTML article. I am publishing it here on my WordPress blog in April 2022, using its original publication date - as it predates most of the other articles in my PKI UPN AD … Continue reading Automatic Mapping of Logon Certificates to Users in Active Directory

Diffusion of iTechnology in Corporations (or: Certificates for iPhones)

[Jump to technical stuff] Some clichés are true. One I found confirmed often is about how technologies are adopted within organizations: One manager meets another manager at a conference / business meeting / CIO event. Manager X show off the latest gadget and/or brags about presents a case-study of successful implementation of Y. Another manager … Continue reading Diffusion of iTechnology in Corporations (or: Certificates for iPhones)

The Strange World of Public Key Infrastructure and Certificates

An e-mail discussion related to my recent post on IT security has motivated me to ponder about issues with Public Key Infrastructure once more. So I attempt - most likely in vain - to merge a pop-sci introduction to certificates with sort of an attachment to said e-mail discussion. So this post might be opaque … Continue reading The Strange World of Public Key Infrastructure and Certificates

What I Never Wanted to Know about Security but Found Extremely Entertaining to Read

This is in praise of Peter Gutmann's book draft Engineering Security, and the title is inspired by his talk Everything You Never Wanted to Know about PKI but were Forced to Find Out. Chances are high that any non-geek reader is already intimidated by the acronym PKI - sharing the links above on LinkedIn I have been … Continue reading What I Never Wanted to Know about Security but Found Extremely Entertaining to Read

Cyber Security Satire?

I am a science fiction fan. In particular, I am a fan of movies featuring Those Lonesome Nerds who are capable of controlling this planet's critical infrastructure - from their gloomy basements. But is it science fiction? In the year Die Hard 4.0 has been released a classified video - showing an electrical generator dying … Continue reading Cyber Security Satire?

My Google Searches Might Heat Your Home

Sorry, but this is not about Search Term Poetry! Rather the contrary: Imagine your search terms could be utilized for something down-to-earth, for something useful. Google states: See more comparisons for Google services here! (Though I am disappointed they did not convert to bath tubs!) If Google's computers run in their data centers in the … Continue reading My Google Searches Might Heat Your Home

Trading in IT Security for Heat Pumps? Seriously?

Astute analysts of science, technology and the world at large noticed that my resume reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory. After all, an important tag used with this blog is cliché, and I am dead serious about theory and practice of combining literally anything. [Edit in 2016: At the time of writing this post, … Continue reading Trading in IT Security for Heat Pumps? Seriously?