Irish Hackerspaces Week

robfitz | Posted 2010.08.11 at 1:33 am | Perma

hackerspaces.ie logoThe hackerspace movement in Ireland has expanded over the last three-four months.  With three hackerspaces moving into new premises 091 Labs in Galway, Hackerspace Cork and TOG in Dublin.  And with good progress with another two groups actively looking for premises including HackNI in Belfast and Limerick Hackerspace.

So with an eye on a bit of blatant self promotion, we’ve decided to run a number of events next week 14th-22nd of August and call the whole series Irish Hackerspaces Week.  We are hoping to use the events to show our spaces and Irish hacker culture in a good light in both the local and national media, while providing a range fun and informative talks, workshops and social events.

The week has been scheduled to coincide with the 10th Global Synchronous Hackathon on the weekend of the 21st-22nd of August. So hopefully we’ll be able to interact with a wider range of hackerspaces worldwide.

Categories : hackathon  hackerspace

Hackerspaces at The Next Hope!

Nick Farr | Posted 2010.06.15 at 10:12 pm | Perma

Back in 2008 at The Last HOPE, we said that Hackerspaces were possible everywhere and your excuses are invalid.  We had an awesome Hackerspace Village and Hardware Hacking Area, and provided inspiration to hundreds of folks who would go on to build their own Hackerspaces all over the world.

It’s now 2010.  Hackerspaces are everywhere and our rallying cry from 2008 has been heard all over the world.  Spaces that kicked off the movement like NYCResistor and HacDC have matured and moved into larger quarters and spawned very successful startups from Open Source ideas.  Spaces like Hive76 and AlphaOne Labs have proven that big cities need more than one Hackerspace.  Now that we’re well on our way to “Hackerspaces Everywhere!”, we think it’s time to change the cry to “Hackerspaces Forever!”

“Hackerspaces Forever!” is the theme of The Hackerspace Village at The NEXT Hope and the panel discussion taking place at the next hope.  In addition to a Hardware Hacking Area that’s in a prime position in the Mezzanine level, we have an awesome group of speakers lined up to tell you how their Hackerspaces are working on growing, expanding and being around for a very long time:

Mitch Altman (Noisebridge, San Francisco, USA)
Mitch likes to trick people into doing what they love to do

Sean Bonner (Crashspace, Los Angeles, USA / HackspaceSG, Singapore)
We’re not really sure what Sean Bonner does, but it’s awesome.

Johannes Grenzfurthner (hackbus.at, Vienna, Austria)
Writer, artist, director, DIY researcher

Markus “fin” Hametner (Metalab, Vienna, Austria)
Less serious than Nick Farr

Alexander Heid (HackMiami, Miami, FL, USA)
President, HackMiami and Co-Chair of South Florida OWASP

Nathan “JimShoe” Warner (Makers Local 256, Huntsville, AL, USA)
Former Chairman, Charter Member of Makers Local 256

Matt Joyce (NYC Resistor, Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Once Banned from HOPE, twice spoken at HOPE

Carlyn Maw (Crashspace, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Crashpace Cat Herder and canonical source of awesomeness

Far McKon (Hive 76, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Co-Founder of Hive76, Instigator of weird and interesting projects, and a ginger

psytek (Alpha One Labs, Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Inventor and engineer currently building a Flying Saucer at Alpha One Labs.

The “Hackerspaces Forever!” panel will be moderated by Nick Farr.

We hope to see you at The Next HOPE!

Categories : blog  conference  hackerspace  hacking  meetup  party  people  soldering  speaker

Anti/Surveillance Fashion Show

rubin110 | Posted 2010.04.16 at 6:43 pm | Perma

San Francisco hacker space Noisebridge is proud to present Anti/Surveillance Fashion Show at the upcoming Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA USA. Anti/Surveillance is a runway show exploring the uses of wearables for surveillance, and for hiding from surveillance. We are currently accepting submissions for participation in the show.

Constantly under the lens of the camera, fashion is a natural form in which to explore the relationship between surveillance and culture. How are we watched? How do we watch? How do we present ourselves to the eyes of the world? At Maker Faire 2010, May 22-23, we will be presenting Anti/Surveillance, a runway show that explores the role of and our relationship with surveillance in our society.

We are looking for submissions covering the range from playful to practical. Do you make accessories that blind CCTV cameras with IR LEDs? Have you imagined makeup that will thwart face detection? Ever built an invisibility coat? Or maybe you just like to put QR codes on all your clothing to make it easier for people to track you.

If you are interested in showing wearable work that explores the boundaries of surveillance please submit your work to be included in Anti/Surveillance Fashion Show. To submit your project, please send the following information to fashion@synthesize.us as soon as possible:

    A photo or short video of your project, or a link to a URL with photo(s) or video(s)
  • A few sentences describing your project and how it relates to surveillance
  • How the item is worn on the body, and any physical restrictions on the model wearing it
  • Any special requirements for care or use of the item

For more information, including a time line, please check out the wiki page.

WTF is up with Sweden

kugg | Posted 2010.01.22 at 2:33 pm | Perma

The recent history of what has happened at “the Forsk“, a hackerspace in Malmö, Sweden before and after the police raid(s).
Let’s start with a timeline to give you a quick round-up of where we are, since unfortunately many articles referred to are written in Swedish.

21-11-2009

Forsk makes public appearance in local newspaper:
http://sydsvenskan.se/kultur-och-nojen/article568467/Det-finns-inga-sparrar-allt-gar-att-knacka.html
( Swedish )

28-11-2009

Police makes a raid against the whole house where the hackerspace
forskningsavdelningen is seated.
This is partly filmed and published live in English

http://bambuser.com/channel/forskningsavd

The raid did not have a search warrant.
All the background can be found here in English

http://hack.org/mc/writings/hackerspace-raided.html

29-11-2009

We made statements in papers and blogs in English
http://forskningsavd.se/2009/11/29/i-can-haz-moar-bout-teh-reid/

At the same time, the police made statements about the club below our space in Swedish

http://www.polisen.se/Skane/Aktuellt/Nyheter/Skane/2009/okt-dec/Alkohol-och-slangbomber-beslagtogs-vid-tillslag-i-Malmo/

09-12-2009

The prosecutor gave a statement on that we can have our computers returned, since all data has been “secured”

http://sydsvenskan.se/malmo/article591271/Datorer–aterlamnas-br–efter-kopiering-av-data.html
(Swedish)

At this point (22-01-2010) there are still no allegations concerning the hackerspace, but in statements towards press people, these terms get mentioned:

  • “Preparation for Grand Theft”
  • “Computer intrusion”
  • “Breaking of the special knife law”
  • “Fencing “
  • “Breaking alcohol laws”

Asked about these allegations, the prosecutor claimed that this is nothing they will press charges on. (or something similar)

10-12-2009

When we ask the police to return our stuff, they say no as they haven’t been able to use or understand any of the data they
cloned of any of the disks. For this reason, they decide to keep the machines to bargain with.
(one laptop unrelated to the hackerspace is handed back, but is totally wrecked (one disk is overwritten with garbage data, dvd-player is broken))

18-12-2009

Police contacts employers and relatives to people in the hackerspace to push them in to give up information on people in hackerspace and what “passwords” they may have.

04-01-2010

Police decides to hand back ink, wifi-antenna, Linksys-router and three out of ten bus cards.

19-01-2010

Police raids founder of hackerspace grill-bit (MMN-o) in Swedish city Umeå (and blog host for forskningsavd). During this bust, the police confiscates four servers, one laptop and one external USB-drive. The forskningsavd.se blog goes offline due to the raid.

http://blog.mmn-o.se/2010/01/19/polisen-raidade-mitt-kontor/ (Swedish)

20-01-2010

The police accuses MMN-o of computer intrusion, prosecutors disagree on the charges but continue with charges.

The charges are based on MMN-o using the Internet connection at his rented office to set up a VPN.
According to the ISP this VPN disturbed the service for other customers since it was “complex to limit its bandwidth” and this type
of connection was not agreed upon. Further the ISP refused to contact MMN-o in person since this would “give him a chance to remove
something illegal before the raid”.
Here is an article written by MMN-o in Swedish

http://blog.mmn-o.se/2010/01/20/misstanke-om-dataintrang-ansluta-till-internet-olagligt/

Update:

26-01-2010

Forskningsavdelningen send a letter to the prosecutor to claim back equipment and send a reminder on the legal state of this case.

http://forskningsavd.se/files/docs/prosecutor_letter.doc

1-01-2010

Police responds with a letter announcing the release of all computers. YAY

http://forskningsavd.se/2010/02/03/we-sent-a-letter-and-one-week-later-we-got-an-answer/

Current list of missing equiment is:

  • Metal files
  • Blank keys
  • Pocket calculator
  • Lock-picking practice locks
  • 2 key cutters
  • 1 external 2.5″ hard drive
  • 1 backpack
  • 6 RFID cards (Jojo Skånetrafiken) (the cops took 10 of them and have returned 4)

Legal implication

Most likely all charges in all of these “investigations” will be dropped. Further there is a fair chance that no equipment or data
content will be handed back before it’s “useless”.

All charges that will/may be raised against police will be dropped no matter what they are or how much evidence there is.

History

You all probably remember the raid of hackerspace Abbenay
(http://blog.hackerspaces.org/2009/09/29/the-situation-at-abbenay-hackerspace/)
or maybe the raid of the service provider PRQ (when all customer machines where
cdonfiscated) http://www.thelocal.se/3963/20060601/

This kind of events/mentality has a history older then these recent years.

The current head of IT-police in Sweden, Stefan Kronqvist, made this statement about hackers back in 1984:

The youngsters, like the so called “hackers”, have created their own etic rules where you must break every rule possible. To be the worst is the best. This point of view is a direct copy from America.
http://www.textfiles.com/magazines/SHA/shanews1.txt

More recently he made this statement, as an argument to why police had decided to put “thepiratebay.org” in the countrywide DNS filter against childporn:
The police have documented evidence that child-pornographic content is
hosted at The Pirate Bay

http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.114684 (Swedish)

These statements set the standard.

Future

“This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.
We will not be victims, we wil continue we will grow and we will
learn, build, recycle and change!
Forskningsavdelningen means Research Department. “Forskning” is the
idea of analyzing circumstances and document them to learn and change
behaviour. Our department are good at this. We are not sad, hurt,
outraged or offended we are innovation we are change we are friendship
and we “forsk” our way to the future. We will not excuse our selves
for our curiosity.

Hack on!

// kugg at forskningsavdelningen Sweden

Done Filming!

Jordan | Posted 2009.10.15 at 7:04 pm | Perma

I’ll admit, this post is coming a bit late, but we’re still recovering from our month-long sleepless, caffeinated, sprint across North America. On the plus side, we’re done filming! We visited as many hackerspaces and makerspaces as we could in a month, but that was the easy part….

Now begins the post-production work.

We’ll be working for a quite a while on getting everything just right, so unfortunately I can’t give an exact date of release. I can, however, tell you that we’re going to try to have it done by next spring. Believe me, we’re just as excited to see the finished film as you are!

I want to say thank you to the dozens of people who helped us out along the way. Without the car trips, beds, and donations of both hackerspace members and kind strangers, there is absolutely no way we could have done this. We may have had the cameras, but it was all of you who made this possible. Thank you!!

For updates on the film, check out www.twohandsproject.com! I’ll do my best to keep all of you in the loop here on hackerspaces.org as well.

Now that’s a ribbon cutting ceremony to be proud of!

Nick Farr | Posted 2009.10.15 at 4:52 am | Perma

Congrats to i3Detroit on the grand opening of their new space in Royal Oak, MI (near Detroit).   Not only is their space incredibly cool, they brought in the Mayor to officially cut the ribbon.  Of course, being hackers, they’re not going to settle for oversized scissors and a red ribbon with a bow.  Instead, watch as Mayor Ellison cuts through a 40-conductor ribbon cable with an oxyacetylene cutting torch:

Freshly moved to Detroit from NYC, former NYCR member Jeff Sturges blogged about i3Detroit:

To boot, their space is DOPE!! Tis ground level with a garage door, electronics lab, classroom, reading loft, and…they’ve got metalworking equipment!!! Oh, dear angle grinder and MIG welder, how I love your sparks, smoke, noise…and how I hope see you join with microcontrollers and heavy duty servos to make robots that fix abandoned buildings! How I would love to see a homebrew alt fuel open source automobile roll out the i3 doors! Pipe dreams?? Only time will tell…

Is it only a matter of time before we have a Head of State blasting open the doors of their country’s latest hackerspace?  Hopefully so!

Abbenay Hacklab Shut Down, AK4 Evicted

Nick Farr | Posted 2009.10.08 at 6:35 pm | Perma

Bad news regarding Abbenay Hacklab, for whom we put out a call for support last week:

I am sorry to inform you that early this morning the cops raided the AK4 squat where the Abbenay hacklab was set up, and 16 people were arrested. The joys of Sweden…

So far, I do not know if Fredrik Winberg made any further contact with anyone involved, nor if the squatters have been released.

More news and updates on the aftermath over at the Hackerspaces Discuss list.

Categories : blog  hackers  hackerspace  organization
Tags :     

An interview with syn₂cat

nhitze | Posted 2009.10.04 at 12:47 pm | Perma

syn2cat logo

First of all, please introduce yourself – who is behind syn₂cat and what do you do for a living?

While syn₂cat began as a two men project in August 2008, it has by now developed into a fully fledged non-profit organisation, featuring 4 administrative members and 4 additional officers. The initial founders, Steve and David are a freelance IT consultant and a political science student respectively.

Of the additional people that soon stocked up the syn₂cat office, macfreak109 is a school teacher in information science, xx5y is a microelectronics engineer, Bartek a post-grad physics student, Gunstick a sysadmin and Michel is a student in secondary school. We only now got reinforced by an 8th crew member.

So how did you come up with the idea to found a hackerspace?

The idea of a hackerspace was born out of desperation ;)
David felt that, should he ever have to return to Luxembourg after university, there’d have to be a hackerspace. Visiting the Metalab in Vienna, though only for a short hour and without much going on, was a key moment in filing that decision.

Though the idea of building a hackerspace was initially scheduled for after David’s graduation, we spontaneously decided to do it “right there and now”. Since then, the project has been steadily growing like an open source project, with its “developers” learning by doing how to run such a show.

What are your future plans for the hackerspace?

Bootstrapping the space is still the near future and once we accomplished that, attracting more people and launching projects will be our focus. One group will focus on youth projects to get more young people into thinking outside the box and begin seeing solutions instead of problems.

Another future task is to constantly shift the responsibility of the actual space to other, maybe younger, people. Although we talked about an “administrative” board, we are far from paper tigers and want to keep the complexity as flat as possible.

Why do you think is the movement spreading so fast right now?

It gained a lot of momentum by the Hackers on a Plane project and the incredible amount of hackerspaces growing in the US. The sudden US movement had its spark from some German hackerspace visits so I guess it was the Germans again ;)

Interestingly enough this amalgamate of people starting open spaces backlashed to Europe again to give rise to a new iteration of hacker- or open spaces. The movement is nothing new but currently it sees fit in the hacker culture which sees an imminent uprise. To get to the point: People saw peers doing cool things in cool spaces and thought – “us too!” – and started doing it too.

Another factor might be the rise of social networks which allow ideas to spread quickly, especially amongst technically minded people. Hackerspaces take the connections made online and map them into the physical world.

Are there any fixed dates for events at syn₂cat?

There’s a list of fixed dates on our website. As we use Semantic Media Wiki (SMW) quite extensively, it is even available as an RSS feed.

The next big things will be our OpenWeekend where we show the space to the general public and keep it open for 36h straight. Further, we are also planning regular Python classes and electronics (soldering) sessions, with another focus on attracting other peer-groups such as user groups , the Chaos Computer Club, miniature railway hackers etc…

And the last question, where can we find some pictures?

There are photos on our website – but be ready to be rocked by the upcoming “after syn₂cat” pictures!

syn2cat meeting

The Situation at Abbenay Hackerspace

Nick Farr | Posted 2009.09.29 at 5:54 pm | Perma

The one-month old Abbenay hacklab has put out a call for support from the Hackerspace community. In the spirit of ASCII and PUSCII, they opened up operations in a squat in downtown Stockholm. While squats are unusual in Sweden, this particular space has been able to stay open for a month.

We are however facing an imminent eviction threat and police pressure has been significantly increasing lately – with civil cops coming very often to take pictures of the house and sirens waking us up early in the morning. This call is asking you to contact the landlord to show support to the hacklab and the squat…

Herein lies a rather unique opportunity. While you may not agree with the politics behind squatting, Abbenay’s call for support is asking for an open dialogue with the building’s landlord, advocating on behalf of Hackerspaces and asking for reasonable accommodation. Here is an opportunity to purposefully advocate for a fellow Hackerspace, not by necessarily aligning yourself with the politics of the situation but by appealing to a property owner why it’s in his community’s best interest to allow Abbenay to continue.

Hellekin’s very reasoned and well-argued letter is a great example of how you can voice your support:

Although their methods are questionable, please consider what benefits you and your fellow citizens could enjoy from having such a dedicated team of goofy researchers in your capital city. Beyond the obvious press coverage…you would be surprised … how productive and ingenious these people can be, and how shaking and beneficial such an endeavor can be for the local community.

Those of you who have started hackerspaces know how difficult the bootstrapping process is, as well as how beneficial these spaces are to the technically creative and curious where you live. While your hackerspace probably took a different route in coming to be, consider that every Hackerspace confronts its own forming and operating challenges differently. Consider how you give and receive help at your hackerspace and consider that what Abbenay is asking for isn’t that much different.

While this post is a bit of a departure from my theoretical musings of late, I believe this is a fascinating situation with a good working solution that shows promise. Even if Abbenay is ultimately evicted, the mere process of reaching out to a property owner in another part of the world can help you frame your own thoughts about your Hackerspace and how the magic and struggles in your space relate to those in spaces throughout the world.

If you do decide to contact Fredrik Winberg, be sure to post what you said or wrote to the Hackerspaces Discuss list. His contact information can be found in the initial call for support. There is also a Facebook group you can join as well!

Categories : blog  hackers  hackerspace  organization
Tags :

Seattle, Vancouver, Atlanta, and Alabama…

Jordan | Posted 2009.09.22 at 1:09 am | Perma

The Two Hands Project has been pushing along, visiting every space possible!

After the California adventure, we made our way up to Seattle. After getting in late, we met with Justin Martenstein from a hackerspace known as Saturday House. Unfortunately we learned that Saturday House is no more, and we discussed several reasons why hackerspaces can fail.

The next day we met with Rob, another member of Saturday House, and then Willow and Baron, who are starting a new space in Seattle called Jigsaw Renaissance. Baron was awesome enough to give us a ride out to Vancouver that night, where we checked out VHS. After driving us back to Seattle, Baron dropped us off at Bill Beaty’s house.

Bill Beaty is clearly a mad scientist, but awesome nonetheless. We interviewed him the next morning, as he seemed to know quite a bit about the history of the local hackerspaces. Following that, we talked with Noid about The Black Lodge (fomerly known as Eastside Hackerspace).

Having finished the West Coast portion of the trip, we shot across the country to Charlotte, North Carolina. Teleco Bob gave us a ride from there to Atlanta, where we experienced the beauty of FreesideAtlanta. Their space is huge!

The following day we caught a ride with Freeside to the Hackerspace Meetup at Makers Local 256 in Hunstville, Alabama. Great ideas were discussed, including things which could very well change the direction of hackerspaces at large… more on that in a later post.

Now that the chaos has subsided a bit, we are sitting in the airport, waiting for a flight to Chicago, eager to continue capturing the passion and creativity of the hackerspaces that await.