Help Hackerspaces Happen in Cairo and Elsewhere in Africa

maltman23 | Posted 2011.09.27 at 3:18 pm | Perma

3-Day Egyptian Maker Space
Maker Faire Africa is coming up next month, in Cairo, Egypt. It promises to be a three-day mashup of Africa’s most imaginative makers. And, at least two Americans will be joining them.

Bilal Ghalib (co-founder of All Hands Active hackerspace in Ann Arbor, MI, and hackerspace documentarian) and Mitch Altman (co-founder of Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco, CA, inventor of TV-B-Gone remote controls, and recent recipient of the first-ever Maker Hero Award) are going to Maker Faire Africa to create a three-day hackerspace there. This will help the founders of the Cairo Hackerspace establish their forming space into a physical reality which, in turn, will help get other hackerspaces going throughout Africa. We have recently seen how important hackerspaces are in helping people in Africa live more fulfilling lives. Let’s see how much more we all can do with so little!

Bilal and Mitch received seed funding from Maker Faire Africa, and at posting time, 147 backers have raised $6,822 over the past two weeks on their Kickstarter campaign!  They need to raise $200 more in the next several hours (and any amount over their goal will directly help hackerspaces in Africa!). If you can give a $1, please do! If you can give more, please do! Any amount is great! (And they are offering some pretty cool premiums too.)

3 Day Egyptian Maker Space – Expanding the Maker Movement

The game is on!

Fish_ | Posted 2011.02.16 at 9:33 pm | Perma
Get your thinking caps on and prepare for the FIRST EVER HITB Hackerspaces Challenge!
During the Hack In The Box SecConf 2011 several hackerspaces will participate in a team-to-team showdown, LEGO-style. And not just any LEGO! No! The Hackerspace Challenge will be featuring LEGO Mindstorms nxt 2.0 kits!

Each team of minimal 2 persons will be given the same task: design, build and test a construction at the premises. Assembly takes place at allocated times divided over two days. To really test the improv skills of the participants, we will only disclose the details of the actual challenge at the start of the security conference.

Every creation is judged by several experts based on performance, looks, creativity, smart engineering, programming skills etc. The winning team is taking home the honour, glory… and an additional money reward. A generous sponsorship donation of €1000,-, courtesy of ITQ.

A spectacle you don’t want to miss! It’s open to public.
Place : HITB SecConf 2011 – Krasnapolsky Wintergarden, Amsterdam
Date: 19th and 20th May 2011, 11:00 – 17:00 h
Award ceremony: 20th May, 18:00 h

Want to enter your hackerspace into the competition?
Check out the HITB 2011 Amsterdam site how to join the challenge!


Race for the Future! Design it, build it, race it!

Jordan | Posted 2010.12.22 at 10:58 pm | Perma

Race to the Future

Attention all hackers and hackerspace members! Do you like creating with atoms instead of bits? Would you like to win fame and fortune? The Alternate Power Initiative wants YOU to design and build an alternative energy vehicle! Their second annual “Race for the Future” will be held in August, 2011 in Whiting, Indiana.

This race challenges you to:

Build a vehicle that can travel five miles powered by an alternate power source and race it through the streets of Whiting Indiana.

Here’s a subset of the rules:

  • Vehicle may not be powered solar energy or fuel cells
  • Vehicle may not be powered by a device based on existing conventional automotive or truck technology. Piston engines, rotary engines or turbines powered by detonated combustion gasses are not allowed. Piston engines, rotary engines or turbines powered by other sources will be allowed. These gasses would include but not be limited to those created by using gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane methane or alcohol as fuel.
  • Vehicle must be self propelled (no pedal power)
  • Vehicle may not be powered by battery or capacitor stored electricity, (brake lights and turn signals may be powered by electricity).
  • Vehicle may be charged, (fueled or energized) before 5 mile trial but may not be charged, (fueled or energized) during run.

For full details, visit their website at http://alternatepowerinitiative.com!

Here are the rules and the entry form.

Better hurry! There are only 20 entries, and hackerspace Pumping Station: One has already claimed two of them! Who will be next?

If you sign up, please post in the comments!


Hack for Humanity! RHoK #2

Jordan | Posted 2010.11.22 at 9:59 pm | Perma

Yes, we know software developers are not necessarily hackers, and visa versa. Yes, we know they’re appropriating a word that’s been knocked about for the last forever, one that most of us stand up for and love. But, this event merits your attention because of the limited overlap between devs and hackers – they don’t think like we do, and that puts their potential good works in danger. We’re hoping you’ll attend this event, even for a bit, to help these do-gooders remember security risks and to push them in more interesting and elegant directions.

Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is all about using technology to make the world a better place by building a community of innovation. RHoK brings software engineers together with disaster risk management experts to identify critical global challenges, and develop software to respond to them. A RHoK Hackathon event brings together the best and the brightest hackers from around the world, who volunteer their time to solve real-world problems.

When and Where for the Hackathon?
The second global #RHoK hackathon event takes place around the world on December 4- 5, 2010. There are multiple organizations in multiple cities hosting the event, so please check here to register and find out where to go! The event starts at 9:00am GMT on December 4th and ends December 5th at 8:00pm GMT.

Who Else is Hacking for Humanity?
Aarhus, Nairobi, Sao Paulo, Chicago, Bangalore, New York, Lusaka, Berlin, Toronto, Bogota, Atlanta, Jakarta, Birmingham and Open Data camps will be connected over the weekend through live video streaming channels, chat servers, Skype, Twitter, blogs, photo and video sharing as we collaborate across time zones, international borders and languages to “hack for humanity”  – developing software solutions that will save lives and alleviate suffering.

We Need You
This event all comes down to you – we need your participation and support: sign up, and become part of something truly globally awesome!

Categories : fun  hackerspace  hacking  organization  people

Announcing The OpenDoor Hackathon!

Jordan | Posted 2010.11.22 at 9:12 pm | Perma

The OpenDoor Hackathon is a hackathon to benefit the members of hacker/maker/artist/co-working spaces by creating a standardized, Open Source access and membership management system that can be used by everyone. At the end of the hackathon, the systems (or subsystems) created by each space will be voted upon, and the best system (or combination of systems) will be chosen. Implementing the system afterward is, of course, optional.

Why are we doing this?
I know, the word “standardized” sends chills down my spine too, but I assure you that this is a good thing! Deciding upon a common system would enable the following things:

  • The ability to share membership between spaces
  • Crowd-sourced security enhancements and feature additions
  • Easier membership management
  • A warm fuzzy feeling of being connected with other spaces

What we’re envisioning (and what many of you already have) is a sort of Reciprocikey or Space Passport system. We believe that the only way to create such an awesome system is to work together on it!

More Focus for your brain meats:

Prize of an Ice Tube Clock from Adafruit for the space who best implements the standardization of interface specification between custom softwares and access control. Each space will review submissions at x time on Sunday and rank the systems they would most like to use (you cannot vote for your own). The runner up will receive a Minty Boost pack.
You can also vote on best hardware system, most elegant code, best independent member management software – the top three of each will receive Minty Boost packs, also via Adafruit.

Systems needed:

  • Software for access control (reads from memory stored users and network user databases)
    • Create a functional specification for how authentication can be done securely.
  • Software that manages membership rights (grants rights/features to users based on conditions specified by managers
    • Standardize an interface specification for how custom software can talk to the access control software interface.
      • example: 3rd party space has a member visiting, presents auth token.
      • example: someone wants to create a custom trusted UI (web, phone, etc.) for talking to the auth daemon
  • Web, phone, etc UI for membership management and access control software
    • Involve user interface management.  See what tools people are using today to manage membership and build hooks in the software to manage access control, or build your own.
  • Hardware for reading identity (RFID reader, USB stick, etc.)
    • Build plug-ins to support common hardware (don’t get stuck on any given vendor).

When is the OpenDoor Hackathon?
The OpenDoor Hackathon will begin on Saturday, December 11th at 2pm PST, ending 24 hours later at 2pm PST on Sunday, December 12th.

How do I sign up?
You can register your space’s team at the Eventbrite here!

Join the conversation at http://groups.google.com/group/opendoorhack-a-thon!

Make A Good Hack at PlumberCon 10!

astera | Posted 2010.06.22 at 2:00 pm | Perma

PlumberCon 9PlumberCon 9

Yeah, it’s that time of the year again – Vienna has been turning from the sinister city covered in grey light and fog to the blooming summer oasis it’s designed to be, and people overflow with glee (or so do we, at least)! Time to be looking forward to PlumberCon 10, probably one of the snugliest and neighborliest hacker conferences ever heard of.

So what exactly should you be looking forward to, you might ask?
In fact, it’s hard to tell. In one paragraph of lifeless and almost anti-emotional text, that is. What could be mentioned, for instance, is that there’s not only gonna be a ton of interesting talks by speakers from all around the globe (which I’m really really excited about btw), but also multiple hands-on workshops and trainings. Presenters you’ll meet at PlumberCon 10 include neighbors like Mitch Altman, Jimmie P. Rodgers, Jeff Gough, Barry van Kampen, Kugg, Allessio Pennasilico, or Mike Kemp. Topics range from Information Warfare to fun with microcontrollers.
Basically, one could call it a schnuffeliges meeting of a very large family… I happen to call it a hacker con (but that’s just me ;) )

Now, as of the bare basics I haven’t mentioned yet:
PlumberCon 10 will be held at WerkzeugH in Vienna, Austria from Friday, July 09th – Sunday, July 11th in the year of the hacker 2010. You can still register for the 3rd round of early bird tickets at the registration site until the end of the month, and I’d advise every hackerspace member to use the promo code ‘neighborliness flows’ to get a reduction on the ticket price – that, already as it is, will not lead us to profit but only cover a part of our expenses ^.^
Don’t forget to sign up for trainings beforehand wherever you find this requirement mentioned.

In any way, if you’re in town, make sure not to miss the epoque kick-off party on Friday night, where Phonoelit aka Mumpi and joernchen will provide us with their superior tunez that shall guide us safely through the night!

Make a good hack,
/astera

PlumberCon 9PlumberCon 9

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

Open Research Network for Hackerspaces

Openfly | Posted 2010.05.17 at 7:15 pm | Perma
Click image to enlarge.

Last summer at Hacking at Random ( 2009 ), Eric Michaud spoke to me about his plans to develop “Warzone”. Warzone is an international cyber range project, targeted at hackerspaces. Well, as it happens I knew that the CCC had been doing some mesh VPN networking for a fairly long time. In fact, well before I joined NYC Resistor I had been attempting to link my apartment into the very same mesh VPN along with the folks at the HHH. I ran down Mcfly from CCC Hamburg and got us all talking. Next thing we know we’ve got this awesome idea to link up hackerspaces via a mesh vpn network. That was last summer. Today we have fifty endpoints, and some actually functional code for this. Largely thanks to support from all over including Guss from tinc, who pushed a whole release of tinc just for us.

Today NYC Resistor is linked fully to the network. Noisebridge, Nullspace, and Pumping Station One have joined using the Fonera 2.0n images we’ve built. Other spaces are using homebrew setups built from source or debian packages. The warzone VPN is being put together right now so that we can host an international CTF competition using the new network. DNS is becoming available, and many spaces are setting up to do some really cool stuff.

We’re far from our goal of linking every hackerspace. So if your hackerspace or lab is interested in getting involved, we want you! Get in touch with us.

You can read more about all of this here:


TCPC: Troppo Caffe’ Poco Cervello No. 9

asbesto | Posted 2009.09.30 at 9:39 am | Perma

Dyne.org, Freaknet.org and the Poetry Hacklab present:

Tcpcloghino

2nd, 3rd, 4th (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) October 2009, Palazzolo Acreide, at the misterious center “Lisbeth Salander” in the Palazzolo Acreide countryside

It’s Poetry! It’s Art, IT’S DELIRIUM!
IT’S ALL AND NOTHING, YIN AND YANG,
GOPHER and ARCHIE!

http://dyne.org/tcpc
http://poetry.freaknet.org/static/tcpc9

Now at the 9th edition, the “Troppo Caffe’ Poco Cervello” (too much coffee, too little brain) it’s a cultural and scientific happening that lasts three days where people from all over the world (and beyond) are meeting in Palazzolo Acreide and via the internet to share experiences, research, culture, poetry, art and science with the intention to create new and beautiful things to donate to the community.

This edition will have people from all Sicily and also foreign guests committed in advanced programming sessions, dissertations for beginners, scientific experiments, sumptuous lunches, enormous dinners and sleepless nights dedicated to the passion for computer science.

Poems will be read, poems will be written, everything and nothing will be discussed, weeds will be weeded, new weeds will be planted, debates will happen, decisions will be taken, all and nothing will be done!

Everyone can join, the important thing is to leave the brain at home and bring a lot of coffee!

For further details check the link above!

Categories : conference  hacking  meetup  party  presentation

Pow-Pow-Power Wheels Racing Series!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.05.21 at 2:49 am | Perma

Brought to you by Pumping Station: One

What may seem to be an innocent toy that was bought for children in their youth, or not, by those deprived by their parents. Has found a home for some of the members of Pumping Station: One in Chicago. In very much the style of Bring Your Own Big Wheel in San Francisco that used to run down Lombard Street, and power tool drag racing, the newly formed P-P-PRWS will be creating a multi race series where people will hack, mod, pilfer, and costume these childhood toys to devices that pop wheelies go at least 10-15 mph and might even spit fire.

A scene from last years BYOBW

Right now the first batch of Power Wheels and teams are forming and getting ready for the first race that seems to be at the end of June. Below is the post from the Pumping Station: One site.

POW POW Power Wheels Racing Series

Who wants to mod and race Power Wheels?

All of you? That’s what i thought.

Chicago’s only hackerspace, Pumping Station: One, will be organizing into teams, and having each team mod, race, fix, and continue racing a Power Wheels vehicle through a series of trials and tribulations. For $40, you can have your very own functional Power Wheels, for you and your team (if you’d like to work in a group) to modify and race!

Join in, or you will be missing the most epic event in hackerspace history: the Power Wheels Racing Series.

PPPWRS from Jeff Kantarek on Vimeo.

In the event you’ll code microcontrollers for power management, rip out motors from washing machines, fabricate parts, and have a art squad on your team. Sounds like an interesting blend.

-E.