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

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!


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:


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.

Have a blast with an MP3 Grenade!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.01.20 at 3:32 pm | Perma

Having a blast with your music takes on more than one connotation with Matts’ ( a member of NYC Resistor) MP3 Grenade.

img_2006-1024x682

Excerpt:

There was much fear and freak out. But cooler heads prevailed and a phone call was made. “Hey Matt, did you order metal objects of a dubious nature?” “Yes, yes I did.” There was a great deal of internal strife over this particular event as ordering munitions to the space is strictly forbidden. Upon review and discussion it was decided that while purchasing decommissioned training grenades was not in fact illegal in NYC (as far as we know), it was not something we would ever do again. That being said. I immediately set forth on a childhood dream project. I put an 1/8th inch jack into the pin hole for the grenade. It looked GOOD. Totally flush… very pretty. So I decided to run with it. I ran the cabling into the grenade… hacksawed it open. Inserted a Sansa 2 GB mp3 player. And then tried to SMD rework it. This ended poorly as the first sansa basically got burned by the rework station and died. The second I avoided using the rework station and instead recruited bre and his arms for a session of intense soldering onto very tiny solder points…

For the rest hit the jump.

If you want to make your own it’s not terribly hard, just acquire the requisite parts.

  • 1 Unique object
  • 1 MP3 player of choice that’s cheap
  • 1 Audio Jack
  • 1 Soldering Station
  • 1 Rework Station

Plus whichever tools you would need for the fabrication of your new dastardly MP3 Player.

-E.

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