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.

Hackerspace Awards: Call for Categories

omegix | Posted 2010.03.04 at 11:56 pm | Perma

Do you know a project that has greatly improved the quality of your hackerspace?

What about a project that costs much, much less than the average off-the-shelf solution?

What about an astounding innovation that you’re used to seeing from the corporate sector, but
was designed in your home town’s hackerspace?

These projects and more are what the Hackerspace Awards would like to recognize.  Over the next few weeks members of all hackerspaces are invited to suggest award categories and post  them on the Hackerspace Awards wiki page.

Projects nominated to each category will be subjectively judged by a panel made up of one member from each hackerspace.  Dates and categories are not set in stone yet, but keep watch here at hackerspaces.org for additional information.  Once set, any project may be nominated for a category, with self-nominations encouraged.

Alongside the Merit Based Awards, the Workshop88 guys have offered to make their Hackerspaces In Space (HSIS) event the Competitve leg of the Hackerspace Awards.  The HSIS competition is encouraging all hackerspaces to launch a Balloon Satallite for as light, and as cheaply as possible,  and return with pictures of the Earth’s horizon.

As of the writing of this article, there are over 18 hackerspaces signed up to compete! The launches are set to begin on June 1st, and end August 31st.

For more details on the HSIS Competition, please visit:  http://workshop88.com/space/

To get involved in the creation of the Hackerspace Awards, visit:

http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Hackerspace_Awards/Brainstorm
Or send an email to awards@hackerspaces.org

Updates: As March 5th, 2009, there are 29 groups signed up to compete in the HSIS!

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

People with big dreams sometimes get lost

astera | Posted 2009.12.18 at 2:27 am | Perma

Dear all,

as of yesterday afternoon, our fellow hacker, amazingly talented game and graphic designer, and wonderful friend Florian Hufsky aka oneup (aka geeq, aka no_skill) is no longer with us.

Some of you might remember his beautiful game ideas for Super Mario War or Puit Universe, the 72 dpi Army, and Urban Takeover (later ClaimSpotting), but also the work for GRL Vienna and laser tagging, and Planet; or him being spokesperson of the Austrian Pirate Party, founding member of soup.io, just as well as an amazing graphic designer and comics artist,… and I could maybe continue this unordered braindump of a silly attempt to make a list of all the projects he’d been involved in for eternity and a day, but – never will I be able to embrace the sheer endlessness of his very original, both incredibly inspired and inspiring, geek-artistic output.

Metalab has lost one of its most creative hackers, and the world one of its most beautiful minds.

The one quote of his that came to my mind right after we heard the terrible news was, ‘When in doubt, do it (you have no chance to survive, make your time)’ – and that, I believe, is what held true for all his life.

R.I.P. Florian Hufsky | November 13th, 1986 – December 16th, 2009

While tears choke the words, I have to admit to fail at expressing my deepest sorrow.
Much love and sincerest condolences to all friends and relatives.

And we all go together if one falls down, we talk out loud like you’re still around; and we miss you.

/astera

Hackerspaces Xchange is now open for business!

Strages | Posted 2009.12.15 at 2:09 am | Perma

In an effort to kickstart more cooperation between spaces, the Hackerspaces Xchange is now open!  It’s rather sparse at the moment, but I’m hoping you all can help change that and move hackerspace cooperation to the next level.  How to use it is simple.  Just add a picture/video of what your space is wanting to swap/share with other spaces and remove the image/video when it’s been exchanged.  Pretty simple right?  So get to helping out other spaces!

Synchronous Hackathons’ ARE GO!

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.11.17 at 7:45 pm | Perma

Synchronous Hackathons’ ARE GO!

Every 3rd Weekend of the month starting NOW!

Now a quick history lesson. Back in August of this year a few members of Pumping Station: One decided to put on a event that was an all night project frenzy dubbed Hackathon, now it looks like a number of hackerspaces worldwide have joined into the fray.We are currently calling this the Synchronous Hackathon. Which has become a monthly event on the 3rd weekend of every month. Of the people and hackerspaces currently involved they are providing live video feeds into their spaces to show what is going on for the entire weekend also in a direct effort to cross collaborate on a number of projects.

Now for the longer history lesson. Pumping Station: One didn’t create the Hackathon nor did they start this fire, nor is it a new idea, nor is the wiki article I just linked definitive, but the sentiments are still the same. Come in for a period of time, with a project, and/or the intention to join a project and complete it.

Some projects of course are started can’t be completed in the allotted time but are given a great start which is also great because they are so large. Doesn’t matter though. The point is to DO IT!

What can you expect from the hackathon, I’ll list what we’re doing for the PS:One Hackathon: Feel The Noise Edition Our noisy Hackathon of the month.

Read more…

Categories : hackathon

International Synchronous Hackathon!

Strages | Posted 2009.11.17 at 6:25 pm | Perma

What started as a few US hackerspaces having a hackathon the same weekend, has turned into an international synchronous hackathon!  Most if not all spaces will be streaming live video this weekend, Nov. 20th-22nd, at various points throughout.  So even if you’re not participating it’ll be a prime time to check out some other hackerspaces and possibly interact with them via live chat in #hackerspaces on irc.freednode.net .  The following spaces are participating as of the posting of this :

Alpha One Labs
Makers Local 256
Pumping Station: One
FAMiLab
FreesideAtlanta
syn2cat
Hackerspace_Barcelona
Hive13
Initlab
KwartzLab
TOG
Tetalab
Ann_Arbor_Hackerspace

Please see the wiki page for more details/updates, including links to the live streams.


Pecha Kucha – Gumbo Labs Style

Eric Michaud | Posted 2009.11.11 at 6:39 pm | Perma

What is Pecha Kucha?

What is a Ignite Talk?

To put it simply they are all speed talking sessions, think lightening talks. That’s it, new branding, same old excellent thing for inputing a broad range of information in a short amount of time to people who don’t know anything about a particular field.

So the interesting thing people always ask, is, what is a hacker or hackerspace. Well…. Simon Dorfman from Gumbo Labs explains it really well inside of 5 minutes.

Simon Dorfman’s Pecha Kucha Presentation about Gumbo Labs from Gumbo Labs on Vimeo.


Membership idea: The Starving Hacker rate?

Nick Farr | Posted 2009.10.22 at 4:25 am | Perma

From @PumpingStation1:

The Starving Hacker Rate has passed! If you support the hacker community now is a good time! http://bit.ly/4d4t97

Regular membership in Chicago’s Pumping Station: One is $50.  However, they just passed the “Starving Hacker” rate, which allows for all the same privileges of membership, except voting rights.

What do you guys think?  Have you contemplated something similar in your hackerspace?

Hackerspaces & Money: The Board

Nick Farr | Posted 2009.10.20 at 10:00 am | Perma

Note: This is the second specific installment of a five part series on Hackerspace organization called “Hackerspaces and Money: Five Approaches“.

One point I glossed over is why I believe that money and organizational forms are so intertwined when it comes to hackerspaces.  This series could have been called, “Hackerspaces and Organizational Forms: Five Approaches.”  Admittedly, I’m not talking much about money, how to find it, raise it or spend it.  I haven’t talked much about fundraising, accounting or project management, though I plan to in the future.  In my observation, what happens in Hackerspaces doesn’t need to be managed or carefully organized.  Once Hackers gather in a space, they’ll begin creating and collaborating in ways that are remarkably similar regardless of culture, language or organizational form.  Projects and programs that happen in one space can easily happen in other spaces, only marginally constrained by the organizational form in practice.

I believe the “magic” that happens in Hackerspaces is universal, as are the two necessary evils:  Money and how to manage it.  Being physical spaces, Hackerspaces have real costs and real opportunities for meeting those costs.  Being collaborative spaces, the procedure for paying the bills involves some kind of relationship among the collaborators–that relationship is what we’re looking at when we discuss organizational forms.  Failing to understand this relationship among the collaborators makes any discussion of funding very difficult.   At the same time, carefully understanding these relationships as they’ve happened elsewhere gives future Hackerspaces the best chance of finding the right form for their own effort.

These forms are also heavily tied to the core source of income for each space.  The Anarchy form, for example, implies that the rents for a space are essentially appropriated.  The Angel form implies that they’re donated.  The Owner form implies that they’re taken care of by a single participant, who generally subsidizes them.  Both the Board and Membership forms implies that these costs are paid collectively by the participants, most often through membership dues.  Hackerspaces, regardless of form, can solicit donations from the public, host classes for a fee, throw rent parties, sell shirts online, or Club-Mate in the space.  However, each of those activities is handled differently depending on the form.

The Board Form

The Artifactory, Kwartzlab, Collexion, and Revelation Space are all different examples of the “Board” form.  While each space heavily relies on its membership, each space has an involved subset of members that makes decisions.  In a way, the “Board Form” is the least well-defined of the five forms and most prone to combination with other forms.  Founder Todd Wiley describes Collexion as a hybrid of the Angel and Board forms:

Our board consists of people from our local chamber of commerce, universities, and higher ups at the local big-name tech companies (Lexmark & HP).  This helps give us the legitimacy we need to raise funds.  The board likes that they are fostering innovation, and see it is an economic development boost, because Lexington loves brains more than zombies do.  The board is glad to help us organize things, find money, and host events, but most ideas come from the membership, where there isn’t a set hierarchy…By relying on outside sources we’re going to make membership as accessible as possible ($5 / month for students).  The less barriers there are to experimenting the better…I think it will be successful, and free up hackers to hack, and those that are interested enough can take the reins and try to find monies.

This series was inspired by Koen Martens, who also describes Revelation Space as a hybrid of the Membership and Board forms:

As you might remember, we from revspace (den haag) were in doubt about the structure to choose. In the end we settled for the ‘stichting’, basically number four, mixed with elements of a ‘vereniging’, number 5. The board is ultimately responsible, however we define ‘participants’ that have the right to install and deinstall the board, as well as advise the board.

In many cases, a Membership space will have a Board of Directors.  However, this doesn’t mean the space is taking on a Board Form, especially when a Board is required by corporate law.

The functional power that board has is the determining factor.  If the Board is essentially a paper tiger, with the membership in functional control of affairs, the space is probably best suited to the Membership form.  Punkin describes Kwartzlab as an example:

Legally, we’re Corporation Without Share Capital (Not-for-Profit), which matches “The Board”. We opted not to register as a Co-operative (which would more closely match “The Membership”), because the laws  governing Co-operatives are more restrictive, without offering us any useful benefits. But the Co-operative or “Membership” philosophy closely matches our vision for the space, so we borrow heavily from it in our bylaws, policies, and procedures…We are 100% member funded (with all members paying the same level of  dues), which was also very important to our initial membership. Any of the big decisions (like how much dues will be) are subject to a member vote, and all members-in-good-standing get an equal vote.

So, for lack of a better definition, if your space is primarily controlled by your members, it follows the Membership form.  If the members leave most of the decisions and money matters to a subset, it probably follows the Board form.  Landing firmly in one category or another is not necessarily that important, as long as the relationships of each are well understood.  Some Membership spaces may functionally slip back into a Board form, just like Board spaces often migrate into Membership spaces, or use the Board form as a bootstrapping step.

Bootstrapping

David Cake describes how the Artifactory is using the Board Form to bootstrap their way into a Membership Hackerspace:

Our brand new Perth space is a board elected by the membership, and so far while the board has been doing a lot of the work and taking the lead on a lot of the decisions, meetings with the entire members are making most of the major decisions. So I guess we fit into the membership category really, even though the board are making a lot of important decisions in the process of getting us up and running.

Raymond describes how Makers Local 256 used the Board form to bootstrap their effort:

Makers Local 256 is a non-profit 501c3 and would be considered “the membership” based, but I guess started out as “the board” based since the board is the original 10 members (changing soon given new bylaws and elections).

Makers Local 256 followed the critical mass pattern in establishing their hackerspace, with their original 10 members fulfilling the role of the 2+2 model.  Their unique dues model describes how a Board can help build membership in the early stages:

The original 10 pledged a monthly donation that they could afford and we found a space that fit within that budget. We decided that extending this to new membership was a good idea and so we don’t have to turn away someone who might offer a lot but might not have a lot of money.   A monthly pledge doesn’t have to be monetary but does fall under board discretion to ensure that said pledge benefits the space.

Martens has this to add:

Especially when bootstrapping, a board can bring the agility needed to get things off the ground. Especially in the first weeks/months a lot of decisions need to be made, while at the same time the membership is still getting used to each other and the whole idea. Having to discuss all these decisions with the membership at large (apart from the fact that we currently have no actual membership defined as we are still in the process of forming the legal entity) will slow down the process of setting up the space a lot.

Of course, we, as a board, are listening closely to what the potential membership wants, and actively seek the opinion of everyone involved in the space. In any volunteer-driven organization you will see different levels of commitment. In my experience, those that become part of the board have a high level of commitment, and don’t mind pulling in a few extra hours for the greater good.

Advantages

The notable advantages of a Board space are formal organization with less administrative overhead from the participants, as well a greater degree of formal control vested in fewer people.  In most cases where there isn’t a hybrid form with another style of organization, the advantages are remarkably similar to those of a Membershp organization.  Here, I’m looking at advantages of a Board form

  • Anarchy: Board spaces are (generally) official legal structures with explicit expectations and guidelines for operation and more stable bases of operation.
  • Angel: Most Angel arrangements take on some kind of Board form.  As in the case with Collexion, these Angels offer advice and consult with the organization through their board.  The advantages of having a board include greater independence.  In the hybrid form, the advantage of having a board generally involves a defined role for the Angels and the ability to swap or separate Angels if need be.
  • The Owner: Sometimes an Owner space will have a small, informal group of advisers.  However, the purpose of a Board is to have a group of people who make decisions as a group on behalf of the stakeholders.  In this case, the Board is somewhat accountable to its stakeholders whereas Owners may not be as accountable.  Board spaces generally offer greater freedom and flexibility and rarely exercise a kind of  “veto power” that Owners have by default.
  • Membership: Board run organizations tend to mediate disputes and prevent certain routine issues from getting to the Membership level.  Generally, this means more time for members to enjoy their space.

Disadvantages

The notable disadvantages over alternative forms are also similar to the Membership form:

  • Anarchy: Board spaces must periodically file paperwork, support the space through dues, stay on top of other legal requirements and fulfill their stated obligations.  This leaves less time for projects, hanging out, etc.
  • Angel: In the non-Angel form, Board members are often saddled with the heavy burden of coming up with the funds to run the space, and make tough calls on funding issues.
  • The Owner: Instead of having an owner to rely on for collecting and paying the rent, easily making special arrangements, mitigating disagreements among participants and having one “final say” on matters, Board members must come to agreement on certain issues or figure out ways to work around issues.
  • Membership: Ultimately, the Board is responsible for issues and decisions that otherwise might have been made by the membership.  While the Board can occasionally punt, even a routine decision may run afowl of the membership and lead to difficulties.

Another disadvantage cited by Martens is what he describes as an anti-pattern of complacency:

…some members may fall into a consumer-like attitude. Expect the board to do the heavy lifting, and merely consume what the spaces makes available. The board members, by nature, will have a tendency to pick up work that is left undone, because they have a strong drive to ‘make it work’. That might lead to overworked board members, an apathetic membership, and failure of the space. That’s a doom scenario, and normally there will be someone to pull on the emergency brake before this happens. But still, something to be aware of I think.

Conclusion

The Board form is good for Bootstrapping, and depending on the environment, a next best form to the Membership model.  Hackers are generally bad at paperwork and group dynamics, so having a Board to take care of the administrative overhead and mediate disputes can help ensure continuity and sustainability.  It also works well as a hybrid with other forms, or as a means for acting as a firewall between Angels, Owners and Members.  But beware of complacency!

As always, feel free to ask questions on the Hackerspaces Discuss list, or reach out to these spaces directly.

Categories : organization  people  theory