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
As a mere participant of Revelation Space, a hackerspace (or makerspace, if you will) in The Hague, who also happens to practice law (but not corporate law), I found this article on hackerspaces.org interesting. Interesting but incomplete. Incomplete because it doesn’t really explore perfectly reasonable combinations of the patterns described. Also incomplete, because it reeks of a reinventing the wheel, but poorly. Read more…
Traveling to other Hackerspaces = GOOD
Spending a lot of money on Hotel fees = BAD
Introducing a project brought to you by the The Brain Tank, DC401, and Hackers like you, called “HackerHostel.com”.
*NOTE: This is an excellent opportunity to use your new Hackerspace Passport.
Negate one of the larger expenses associated with travel, namely HOTEL FEES, in order to further promote idea cross-pollination through visitor, ambassador, and Hacker In Residency programs for Hackerspaces.
A website that will allow users to view Hackerspaces with available sleeping quarters and to submit visitor proposals to participating Hackerspaces for review. Tell us about yourself and what you wish to teach during your stay at your Hackerspace of choice.
The website will help Hackerspaces manage their proposals, discuss Best Practices, as well as help raise money for spaces to spruce up their sleeping quarters if necessary.
Also, each Hackerspace would have some kind of profile detailing the space available, the kinds of classes they might be looking for, what tools facilities would be available to the HIR.
What better way to spend a short vacation than to learn something and teach others something new?
We can further innovation and the exchange of ideas over the course of a few days by removing those pesky physical borders.
Whatever you consider a comfortable place to stay for a brief period of time in your Hackerspace. Could be a hammock, place to put a sleeping bag, a couch, or actual bunk bed. If you’ve got a space to crash, you’ve got a Hacker Hostel. The amount of time you allow a Hacker in Residence to stay is entirely up to you.
We’ve begun setting up The Brain Tank in Providence RI as a testing ground already. We should be able to comfortably sleep 2 HIR’s (Hacker in Residence) on proper bunk beds. A volunteer will be living and innovating 24/7 at The Brain Tank helping us work out the bugs and blogging about their experience. It’s a really convenient and safe area to live in.
Things we have:
-The website domain name www.HackerHostel.com was graciously donated to us. Thank you very much, we couldn’t have done this without your generosity.
*If anyone at all wants to be part of this website build please contact me email@example.com , we could really use the help.
-Kayak (The Brain Tank is right next to a river through the city)
-E-bike (great for short distances)
-Servers and Terminals
-Tools & Scrap Electronics (lots of em)
-Hidden urban garden (great for relaxing or grilling outside)
-Tshirts (being designed as we speak. shirt slogan = “Sleep. Hack. Repeat.”)
Rough sketch Hacker Hostel shirt. Artist= Megan Billings
Things we may need:
-Website (A very simple booking website would be necessary to make this work. I’ve never built one before and could def use a hand if anyone want’s to chip in.)
-Shower (wouldn’t cost more than $150 total to buy & install at The Brain Tank. Once we figure out the cheapest way to build a shower we’ll release the cost and build info to all)
-Kickstarter (we can generate funding and offer cash to other Hackerspaces to improve their sleeping quarters. This will also fund the website maintenance.)
What do you think should be added? Changed? etc…
Note: This project is soooo simple to put together and would have a significant benefit to Hacker Culture. Right now all I think it really needs is a VIDEO, a WEBSITE, and a properly formed statement/description. We’d be helping to break down the barriers associated with the inconvenience and expense of travel. Making it easier for great minds and talents to move around freely teaching each other what they know.
Yes, there’s quite a bit to figure out. Each Hackerspace is different and TRUST is a huge part of the success of this project. Having guests stay at your place is a very personal thing. But if complete strangers on CouchSurfing.com can do it, I think the Hackerspace Community will have even better success as we are in fact a strong Community.
If you have any ideas, questions, or would like to help in any way, please contact me and we’ll get the ball rolling.
| Posted 2011.08.31 at 5:34 pm | Perma
In December of 2008, a group of hackers was sitting on the floor with faces aglow with laptop light cruising the internet and skyping friends in and listening to death metal.
It was 12 days before 25c3. Astera and I had a conversation that went something like this:
B: There should be a book.
A: Yes, there should.
B: We have 12 days.
A: We can do it.
The twelve days we had was until CCC started. We figured we would have it done by then. We contacted all the hackers we knew around the world and put the word out. We expected to get about a half a page of writing from each space. We reckoned that it would be a 25 page pamphlet. We also reckoned that it be easy for folks to write up a little summary within a few days of what it was like to get their hackerspace started and get back to us.
Within a week we had been scorched by a flame war, gotten a lot of both written and photographic material submitted and it seemed likely that the book would happen. Then the submissions kept coming… and coming. The hackerspaces around the world told each other about the project and many groups sent some writing in describing the beginning of their hackerspace. Word had even gotten round to groups that didn’t have a space yet and they were sending us descriptions of their pre-beginnings too!
The 12 days came and went and still the submissions kept coming. After a few months submissions had trailed off and Astera came to NYC and began designing the book. She’s a pro and it shows. This book looks beautiful because she took the material and somehow made it fit together aesthetically, not a trivial task. Jens Ohlig jumped into the process last year to help push the editing process forward. Remember, in our minds it was going to be a project that would take less than two weeks and it turned into something epic. It’s been a long wait and I hope you’ll think that it’s worth it.
Download HackerSpaces: The Beginning!
This book documents where the hackerspace movement was in December of 2008. In that way it’s a bit of a time capsule. It’s not an exhaustive book, but we hope there are enough stories in here to show that all your excuses for not starting up a hackerspace are invalid. Each group faced down their own dragons to bring their hackerspace into existence including floods, rats, and drama. If they can do it, so can you.
We did this because we wanted it to exist and so it is a reward in itself. If you feel moved and want to support hackerspaces, we suggest contributing to the Wau Holland fund which helps make awesome things happen for hackerspaces. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted photographs and writing, this is your book.
After these years, the book is finally free in the world as a pdf. Download it, read it, and share it. We’re open to the idea of making it into a real physical book and if you’re interested in making that happen, let us know.
Build, Unite, Multiply!
Today the news came quite late to me, Len Sassaman lost his life.
I was shocked, I have met Len and Meredith about 6 months ago, they where visiting Utrecht for a crypto (of-course) meetup. Between the meets they had some time to visit the local hackerspace and have some breakfast. I remembered our conversations as intense and awesome. Len inspired me to go on with projects which seem to be endless or almost impossible. I don’t think I’m lying if I say Len was this for a lot of hackers: somebody who was different and a source of inspiration.
Although I wasn’t in contact very much with Len lately, I have chosen to write this blog and let people know what a great guy he was, please feel free to use the comment field as a condolence register.
All the best to Len’s wife, family, friends and everybody else who knew Len.
The world lost another hero….
Rest In Peace Len
*** Update ***
For those who would like to say goodbye to Len, Saturday 9th of July 12:00 (noon) at “De Jacht cemetery in Heverlee” in Belgium there will be the ceremony. Meredith is inviting everybody who would like to come.
Welcome to the future. OpenAMD
(Attendee Meta-Data) combines an RFID location tracking system with social networking, and we’re looking to deploy at CCC Camp 2011. You might have seen the project either as the location tracking badge at 2600′s HOPE 2008 and 2010, or as CCC Sputnik in 2006, 2007, and 2008. This time we have a lot of new improvements, and need your help to make the project happen.
For those unfamiliar with the concept: imagine you enter a conference, and put on your OpenAMD badge. Suddenly, you can see yourself on a screen, a dot (or avatar) on a map, moving around in real-time, just like the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter. Next, you can log into the social networking site, create a profile, and watch as your personal information turns into a dynamic visual. We can do amazing things with this: tell how many people in a talk like “lockpicking” at any given time; suggest talks you might like, based in your interests; allow you to connect with people who have similar tastes, or have been to similar talks; and much more. Really, we are only limited by your imagination.
And that’s just the software side. For hardware hackers, the badge is totally hackable. As you can see in the video, there will be a row of blinky lights you can program to flash cool patterns, and even do persistence of vision effects. The schematics
are online, and the software is completely open source
. As you can see in the photo, the badge has built-in USB. The idea here is that someone with no experience can download the programming software for free, plug their badge directly into their computer, and hack on their firmware live. We will have lots of documentation, and are happy to teach people all about it.
Future of OpenAMD
Beyond Camp, we’re also exploring creating a kit that will allow people to set up an installation at their own hackerspace (or wherever), to promote using this technology beyond just hacker conferences. We want to see what kinds of cool things everyone will come up with, and will be making a big announcement soon about a semi-permanent installation in the United States. Imagine being able to go to your hackerspace, create a visual, and then watch it work live. We started this community outreach at The Next HOPE with the public API
(we’ll be releasing an updated version soon), and the semi-permanent installation will allow people to tinker with all parts of the project, as well as work out any bugs to reduce technical difficulties at future conferences
To make this happen at Camp, we need your help. We have launched a kickstarter (www.openamd.org/kickstarter
), as a way to help pay for the badges and let people guarantee they get a badge at the Camp; if you cannot make Camp, we will even send you a badge once Camp is over. We’re trying to raise the minimum cash needed, as we are supplying all the infrastructure ourselves; and we need to meet our goal ($12,000) by May 1st, otherwise we won’t be able to bring this to Camp.
To make this more enticing, we’ve decided to give back to the community even more: once the kickstarter is successful, as a backer you’ll be able to enter your hackerspace in the form when you enter your name, and the hackerspace that raises the most funds for the project will get their logo featured on the badge lanyard at Camp. Consider this a big thank you from us for helping the project be excellent.
This is a copy from the Tokyo Hackerspace blog:
To all the people on the good planet Earth, the crew of Tokyo HackerSpace has a message that we would like to send to you:
By now, everyone knows of the crisis in northern Japan. It will still be a few weeks before life is under control here. We are looking forward to the day that the power plants are safe and the tremors have subsided.
Many of our members have been cooped up in our homes waiting out the storm, but not laying idle.
The Japanese government is doing the best that they can to manage the crisis and help people who have lost loved ones, homes, utilities and possessions.
Tokyo HackerSpace has already begun to lay plans for projects which we feel can help the people of Japan, utilizing the best of our abilities and resources.
Our first course of action has been to order up the required parts for 150 solar powered LED lanterns. We will be assembling them here and shipping them up (or delivering by hand) to aid organizations. These lanterns provide just enough light so that people can feel safe at night without power, find their way in the dark, and maintain the sense of community. They charge during the day via the sun, and will help to light the way for 8 hours each night.
We also have on the way several geiger counters and geiger tubes, from which we will be making community sensors, in order to help to keep the public in harms way informed on a minute by minute and hour by hour basis. While the initial exposure has been low, our concern is the long term effects, food and water supply, and ground soil conditions over the next several months.
Or longer term projects include solar cell phone charging stations, low energy cooking equipment, internet, wifi, and laptop loans, and other technical concerns.
We are calling upon Hacker Spaces all over the world, and friends of Hacker Spaces, and friends of friends of Hacker Spaces, to help out.
Soon we will release a list of critical equipment and supplies which we may have difficulty sourcing locally. If you have access to anything on the list, please contact us to make shipping arrangements. If not, please DO NOT ship us anything not on the list (In some cases, it may be VERY specific). Items not on our list will only crowd our space and waste your shipping money and time. If you have something specific or unique you think we could use, feel free to send us an email and inquire.
In the meantime, we ask that anyone who can, please donate to only reputable charities. Or, if you prefer, you may donate directly to us, and we will utilize it for the above mentioned projects, or give the money directly to Japanese aid organizations known to be doing good work in the area.
You can donate via Paypal to theTHSstore@gmail.com
Good night and good luck.
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!
For the January Synchronous Hackathon we’re going to try something a little different. Over the weekend of the 15th and 16th we’re inviting hackerspaces worldwide to bake, package and post a cupcake to another hackerspace.
This is a friendly competition so be creative and innovate. Full details are included on the Global Hackerspace Cupcake Challenge wiki page.
Going forward for each hackathon we hope to have a new friendly challenge or shared activity. So get involved or suggest a new challenge.
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!