Reciprocity

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.03.22 at 4:16 am | Perma

This was a recent publication from the CCCKC Blog

CCCKC <3’s PS:One

Mr. E, President of the Chicago Hacker Space, Pumping Station One and jur1st, President of the Cowtown Computer Congress announced on March 7th the formation of an agreement which tightens the bond between regional spaces. We believe that this won’t be the last such agreement as similar organizations continue to come together around the United States.

This reciprocity agreement allows members of both organizations to utilize the facilities of each other’s organizations when in town. At this early stage for both organizations, members who would like access must provide proof that they are members in good standing at the sister organization and will be given full privileges to use networking services, take classes and use the workshop while on the road for business or pleasure.

Expect more announcements of strategic alliances between spaces very soon.


Hacking Chicago

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.03.09 at 5:47 pm | Perma

Recently the Columbia Chronicle did a profile of Pumping Station: One, the hackerspace I run in Chicago. I don’t have much to say here other than the article puts across the vision of hackerspaces succinctly.

From the article.

While twenty people sat around with their laptops and coffee, Sacha De’Angeli stood up to propose a crucial decree for the group.

“The rule I’d like to propose comes from Bill & Ted,” he said. “Be excellent to each other.”

The motion was voted on and seconded. From then on, the organized group of Chicago hackers would have to “be excellent to each other.” After the meeting was adjourned, the hackers scattered and began individual discussions about topics such as knitting and machinery.

Courtesy KAMIL KRAWCZYK

A new Chicago-based hacker space, called Pumping Station: One (PSOne), is ready to set up shop in the city. Since October, the group has been looking for a building to call home. At press time, the group had written a letter of intent and were waiting for the owner’s approval to move into the space as soon as April. Until they move into a space, the group meets every Tuesday night at The Mercury Cafe, 1505 W. Chicago Ave.The members of PSOne aren’t out to steal money or use their computer skills to overthrow the government. Actually, a few of the members aren’t computer experts at all.

Josh Krueger, a member of PSOne, defines a hacker as “someone who makes something and modifies it and uses it in a way that wasn’t originally intended.” His definition can be applied to just about any medium.

“[A hacker space is] a place where people can go to push the boundaries of their form and art,” said PSOne founder Eric Michaud. “It doesn’t relate just to computers.”

The members of PSOne come from very diverse backgrounds. They’re artists, engineers, programmers, bakers and writers. One of the only qualities that binds all of them together is their desire to create. The creations, however, vary from machines to crafts.

Read more…

But can Dan Kaminsky do kittens over DNS?

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.03.05 at 6:54 pm | Perma

From the vanguard of the hackerspace movement, HacDC is hosting Dan Kaminsky this evening for an interesting impromptu speaking engagement.

From the HacDC Blog.

DAN KAMINSKY AT HACDC TONIGHT AT 8PM!


When: Thursday,  March 5, 2009  @ 8:00 pm
Where: HacDC Auditorium (1525 Newton St NW, 20010)
Why: Because he’s Dan M.F. Kaminsky. That’s why.
Cost: FREE – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – EVERYONE IS INVITED!

The man responsible for breaking DNS like it’s never been broken before (then quietly gathering the world’s network operators to fix it because he’s a superhero) will be talking about his experiences with DNS and (if we’re nice to him) previewing some of his latest research at HacDC tonight at 8:00 PM.

I hope all is well with the tubes tonight, and might I add let the Ted Stevens be with you!

/E.

Categories : fun  hackers  hackerspace

Syn2cat Arduino Party

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.03.02 at 8:19 pm | Perma

Our friends in Luxembourg from syn2cat are having a little get together that is open to the public (as long as you RSVP for the 10 spots), to put together a number of Arduino units for your hacking pleasure.

arduino316

From syn2cat’s wiki post:

What is it about?

On the 15th of March we are going to solder an Serial Arduino Board and a few Velleman Kits to afterwards.
Hack them and make them behave in a different way than originally conceived. (Limited to 10 People! Deadline: 8th of March)

We will provide

There will be approximately 6 full soldering stations
with all the necessary gear (Multimeter, Wirecutter tools, etc…)

These sets will be available FOR SALE. So in case you like what you did
and want to become a REAL Pirate make a future proof investment.

Most of the Kits will be in 3 exemplars, if you are really keen on one, reserve it please.

  • A Room (kindly provided by emQue)
  • 6 30W Soldering Irons with an adequate Tip and stand (but please bring your own should you have one)
  • 6 Third-hands
  • 6 Multimeter (again, you have one bring it please)
  • 6 Ubuntu Laptops with the Arduino IDE
  • Power supplies (some regulated some not, Voltage varies)
  • 500g (yeah) of 1mm and 0.7mm Solder
  • De-soldering stuff
  • Maybe an Oscilloscope (Who can bring one please?)

More details can be found on their wiki.

This event is also a wonderful way to meet the members of syn2cat and possibly even become a member yourself!

Cheers,
/E.

Categories : fun  hackers  meetup  people

sudo make me a sandwich

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.27 at 4:40 pm | Perma

So this last weekend I was at NYC Resistor taking in the sun *cough* taking in the sights *cough* taking in the culture *……* well yeah. Anyway I was witnessing the birth of something magnificent. The “sudo make me a sandwich” robot!

Some of you may know the origin of the story, but for those that do not I think a simple cartoon slide will suffice.
Sandwich

From XKCD.com

So Bre of NYC Resistor and Adam of Hackerbot Labs decided to finally implement the infamous Simon Says of hacker sandwich making.

From Bre’s blog post

Make sure to check out Adam’s photos and his excellent blog called Shadowflux where he’ll post the code for this robot. Adam took the robot home to Seattle with him and I am optimistic that more sandwiches will be born of this robot and set free into the world.

In order to make it all work, Adam set up an arduino to interface with 2 servos and 2 steppers using the RepRap stepper controllers.

I used QCAD to design some bread and cheese distributing mechanisms and the infrastructure is up on Thingiverse.com.

The toaster oven needed a little modification and a servo controlled flap was put into place with some hinges to make it move slowly. Adam found some pretty special stepper motors with an amazing amount of torque fo.r the flap and the tray controls.

This is one of those robots that I swear is alive. The noises it made were like an animal and it seemed that everytime we looked the other way, it was coming to life and changing things with the setup.

Real Life Projects FTW!

/E.

Categories : fun  hackers  hackerspace  hacking  people
Tags :     

Demolition Derby

josh | Posted 2009.02.26 at 9:22 pm | Perma

In about two days, on Feb. 28th an hour before sunset to be exact, NYCResistor is hosting a “Cyber Surfers Demolition Competition“.

This is a Cyber Surfer:

Four things you need to know:

  1. It’s radio controlled.
  2. It flies.
  3. It seems easily hackable.
  4. NYCResistor has 20+ of them.

The entrant that destroys the most space surfboards wins. Simple. If you are in the area, I would highly suggest checking it out once they release the location.

These radical astronautical surfers are self balancing due to a solid state accelerometer. So unlike your tiny helicopters, they shouldn’t go flying into your cat’s face. They are on sale at ThinkGeek right now and I am honestly considering picking one up for funsies.

-Josh

Categories : fun  hackers  hackerspace
Tags :     

What is a hackerspace?

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.19 at 11:26 pm | Perma

That is but one of the questions I get whenever I go out and the topic of what I do in my free time comes up.

So recently I had that same question asked but this time, Dave Hoffman of Davemakes.com had brought a video camera.

From Daves’ site
The time has finally come to unveil my secret project. HELLO is a new series of videos about interesting people. This first episode features Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One, a hackerspace opening up in Chicago. I asked him all about what a hackerspace is, and why you should join one.

If you don’t have 15 minutes to spare, check out this quick 90 second preview of the interview.

This is the preview.

Preview of HELLO – Eric Michaud, President of Pumping Station: One from Dave Jacob Hoffman on Vimeo.

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do, by doing this blog and building hackerspaces.

Cheers,

/E

Get Your War On

astera | Posted 2009.02.17 at 10:00 pm | Perma

fffff.a.t. vs. NYCResistor

Starting last Sunday, Jan 15th 2009 at 00.00 midnight, NYCResistor and the F.A.T. lab have declared war against each other.
The expectedly epic battle will last for exactly one month, combat area is – go figure – the Republic Of Thee Internetz.

NYCResistor announced on their blog today:

Fat Lab has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged NYCResistor to a war. From Feb 15th – March 15th we’ll be tracking website hits, YouTube views, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, RSS subscribers… whoever posts the biggest gains wins. Grading will be conducted by Internet Famous Class technology.

Official war page w/ preliminary stats is available here.

After looking at that link, I’m a little nervous, how are we going to compete with the amount of eyeballs that have seen the things they have done?

We’ve got a strategy to create and release awesome projects this month.

You can help NYCResistor win!

* sign up for our new Facebook group
* follow twitter.com/nycresistor to receive frontline dispatches.
* tell your friends

The Rules

The rating is based on the FameLab app, to be accessed via login only, unfortunately.
It’s tracking the spaces’ sites and social networks pages for hits, subscriptions, and – even more importantly – comments, as well as each 10 personal ‘properties’ per member (like their twitter accounts, soup.io accounts, tumblr, digg, delicious, etc.) and thereafter rates their internet fame.

It’s gonna get exciting…

Round 1: Fight!

See the current stats of the most epic battle of our epoque here!

Btw, the date of January 15th also marks the 1 year anniversary of NYCResistor.
Happy Birthday!

And a short note on the header: I’m still a little sad about the fact that David Rees‘ popular Get Your War On video episodes on 23/6 ended by the end of January 2009. With Bush out of his – former – office, I guess there’s no more use for them.
However, he continues to do cool shit.

Categories : fun  hackers  hackerspace

How We Hacked Shmoocon, Or…

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.13 at 2:45 am | Perma

How I Learned To Stop Fearing The Digital DIY Life and Love It!

Some friends of the blog who attended ShmooCon this weekend were tickled pink (literally) when they arrived to find out the badge to the conference was just made out of a single piece of laser cut acrylic.

This lead to rapid phone calls between friends at NYCR and people whipping out US dollar bills to size up the badge for proper scaling.

The end result!

Flava Flav Shmoo Badge

Not 6 hours later they had been hand delivered to HacDC for a trial run as to the quality of the badges by passing it through some of the most stringent on site conference security available.

What rapidly became apparent to us and The Shmoo Group was that even if something that took large initial resources originally, now comes easily to a group of scrappy hackers that want more for themselves than to be beholden to a wealthy singular group.

A recent quote by Bre Pettis, “The future of manufacturing is going to happen in your living room.”, seems to impress the idea of having ability to produce what you want, when you want is rapidly becoming a reality.

What I’m trying to bring across here to you, the hackerspace fans and friends, is that we are in a very interesting time. Where we can in less than a few hours over a relatively large distance, with a device that is costing less than the Mini Cooper (think late 1970′s where a PC cost as much), we can produce something that normally requires machines that cost in the hundreds of thousands only a few years ago.

Let’s think of what beholds us in the next few years.

Groovy times await us,

-E.

Party Mode! HacDC Style!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.02.03 at 10:11 pm | Perma

Those of you that were on the conference call last Sunday were the first to be made aware that I’ve been working incognito for the last two months scheming, planning, plotting with fellow members of HacDC to pull off a really cool event.

For those that were not made aware, ShmooCon is an annual computer security hacker conference in DC that covers many topics, including 0-day exploits, Hack the Genome! The Age of Bimolecular Cryptology, or The Gentlemen’s Agreement: Pwning Friends Legally for Fun, ????, and Profit, how the Ohio voting machines were able to be compromised (a ’08 favorite talk of mine), and – if you have an itchy trigger finger – Hack or Halo.

So how does HacDC play into this? Well, some short background:
HacDC didn’t exist when ShmooCon was around last year, it was only spoken about in hushed tones till after the conference. Now we’ve been around for almost a full year with lots of stories to speak of.

Now at this ShmooCon we’re very loud and very proud of how far we have come and we’d like to say thanks to everyone by hosting the official ShmooCon Friday night party.

The details are forth coming but the basics are:

Location: HacDC Sanctuary (4 meters from the Altar)

1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC 20010 USA
(near corner of 16th and Newton NW)
Google Map

Time: 10pm till past 3ish.

How/Who: If you’re a member of a hackerspace or an attendee of ShmooCon, just show up for the festivities.

Venue:
hacdcchurch
This is where the action happens.

What to expect:

Three DJ’s:
DJ HSO
DJ Just Joshin
DJ Keith Myers

Plus a number of fun projects that hackers from other hackerspaces are bringing in to show off.

Party Mode On!
-E.

*****

UPDATE: Bring your laser pointers!  Shuuush. ;)