Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why home office can be more productive than office work

Top 5 not so obvious reasons why working at home can be more productive than working at the office.

  1. You are not bound to office opening hours. Lots of home office workers can shift some of their work to early morning hours or evening hours, so during the day time they can spend more time for their personal life. Which makes them more happy employees, which in turn makes them more productive and has a positive impact on their work and their company.
  2. You are less likely to call in sick. For one, if you are only mildly sick, you can probably still manage to get most of your work done from home. And second people tend to watch their health more closely these days, either to prevent being infected by Covid-19 in the first place, or to just prove corona virus warnings wrong.
  3. Usually it is more quiet at home than at work. Many people will claim the opposite, so here are some examples:
    - Noisy construction work can also be going on at your work place. You are just less likely to recognize it because you are more stressed out anyway.
    - There are simply far more people around at work than at home. And yes, they can also ignore your privacy chit chatting about private issues they might have experienced in their personal life while you are trying to concentrate and finish your deadline.
    - No, there are no children at work, but there are shoulder taps, banging doors, visiting customers, etc. It all depends on how sensitive every individual reacts to certain environmental distractions. Most parents for example are highly alert when their child is playing in the room next door, but can totally relax and shut off if 20 business customers are chit chatting next to them while waiting to get picked up. It's a matter of personal perception.
  4. People tend to be less late for online meetings, phone or video conferences. You don't accidentally run into "important talks" while on your way to the meeting room.
  5. Sometimes it pays off to "work smarter not harder". Sit back and take some time to think about a problem instead of hacking onto the keyboard for hours in order to appear busy.


Free Julian Assange

Britain's politically motivated show trial for Julian Assange's extradition hearing is now scheduled for 07.09.2020.

Weird things to remember about this trial:

- Assange is not a whistleblower himself, he just published information that U.S. government employees revealed to him. In that sense he is protected by the laws of journalism.

- The very same government that he exposed of committing war crimes is now putting him on trial for espionage. Can that be a fair trial?

- The only crime he might have been committed was assisting others to break into U.S. government computers. But because he exposed war crimes of the U.S. government, the trial should take place in front of an "independent" court. As he is an Australian citizen, this trial should obviously take place in Australia.

- By the time the information was exposed to him and to the public, he was not living in the United States, nor is he a U.S. citizen.

- How can it be a crime to reveal a crime?


Get your "pandamnic" math right ...

In case you are not that good at math:
The fact that the daily statistics curve of new coronavirus infections is "just" going sideways does not mean that the pandemic is not further spreading. It only means that today there are as many new infections as there were yesterday.

What you need to watch out for is the graph going down to zero. Thank you.


Corona App of Deutsche Telekom lacks SSL security

Be careful what kind of app you are installing in these days. Especially Corona apps (also known as COVID-19 apps) are supposed to be on the market as soon as possible (like yesterday), but this might come at the cost of reliability and security.

The Corona App of Deutsche Telekom uses insecure SSL encryption to communicate to cloud servers. While the app itself is functioning and useful, personal health data should be handled in a more secure way.


Coronavirus: The Age of the Internet

Right now on the Internet you read a lot about staying at home and washing your hands thoroughly to prevent further spread of the virus.

But way more important is what you don't read. I stumbled across the following online news article of the Jerusalem Post. Looks legit to me. Nevertheless I haven't read anything about those Israeli scientists anywhere else.

Neither denying nor confirming news articles like these is probably the worst thing officials in other countries can do. It ultimately leads to disorientation and panic.

Lessons learned: Today we already live in the age of the internet. But while infrastructure and communication services might be functioning pretty good, we still need to learn how to communicate effectively, and distribute the right news and information at the right time.

You better stick to your promises:
Israeli scientists: 'In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine' (MARCH 15, 2020)


NetworkManager in Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 not working

NetworkManager in Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 is disabled by default, except for WiFi connections.

If you experience any problems with Ethernet connections or vlans (including a vlan that might be configured by netplan but somehow doesn't get activated), check out the configuration file 10-globally-managed-devices.conf.



As you can see, all devices are declared unmanaged by default, except for wifi, gsm and cdma devices. Move the file to /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d and change it to:


Restart NetworkManager.

sudo systemctl restart network-manager

Free Julian Assange

My personal prediction:
It is pretty obvious that the US government has no special interest in an early conviction. They just want to hunt Julian Assange down and torture him for the rest of his life. And there sure are plenty of mentally deranged psychos on the CIA payroll who are more than willing to and take great delight in skillfully exercising this task.

If he is found guilty, a lot of people will accuse the US government of disregarding the freedom of press.

If he is not or only partially found guilty, the US government might be considered weak and send a wrong signal to all future whistleblowers.

So why would the US government be in a hurry for a fair trial that the whole world will be watching closely? Slowly cook him to death surely is the more gruesome alternative.


First Deepfake Face Swap Movie

Georges Melies was one of the first creators of special effects in early silent movies. In "A Trip to the Moon" (1902) he projected his own face on the surface of the moon.

While the image quality is not comparable to modern movies, the effects are still amazing considering they were created almost 120 years ago, without the help of any computers!


Chelsea Manning is being tortured

A top United Nations official just condemned the continuing imprisonment of Chelsea Manning as torture and called for her immediate release.

Sign the petition: tell the government to stop torturing Chelsea Manning and set her free.

Chelsea Manning already gave an extensive statement in her 2013 trial and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. After 7 years in prison and 2 suicide attempts she was released in 2017 being commuted by President Obama himself ("Justice has been served."). This case is history.

Chelsea Manning has been released from prison as of 12.03.2020. Finally some good news this year.


Criswell Predicts ... IT in 2020

It Predictions

As new year is approaching, there are - inevitably as every year - predictions about what's coming up in IT in the next year.

Unfortunately everything I have read so far is bleeding obvious: Moving to the cloud, AI will be used everywhere, and Python is becoming the most dominant programming language. Without merely continuing the trends from 2019, here are my wild predictions for 2020:

  • With yet another devastating side channel security breach in Intel and AMD processors, all major cloud providers are moving their server hardware to ARM processors.
  • An unnamed whistle blower reveals that the NSA is using quantum computers and AI to profile every single citizen in the world in real-time. Data is retrieved from decrypted TLS connections by quantum computers, and numerous microsatellites orbiting the earth.
  • Chinese smartphones running their own Chinese Open Source operating system are becoming the defacto standard for secure and affordable mobile devices.
  • Large companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are launching their own space missions to mine natural resources on moon and mars.
  • Large companies like Apple, Google and Facebook begin to span their own microsatellite networks to provide mobile phone and internet services around the globe. National telecommunication companies become obsolete.
  • Deep fake videos are banned by all major industrial countries around the globe. Social media platforms are legally obliged to detect and delete deep fake videos.
  • In a rather controversial press conference Microsoft announces it will discontinue Outlook as an installable email program and urges Windows users to migrate to the corresponding cloud service Office365. Users will have to pay a monthly fee for using Outlook email services. Alternatively Microsoft recommends Mozilla's Thunderbird as an installable email client on local Windows computers.