Make A Good Hack at PlumberCon 10!

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

People with big dreams sometimes get lost

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

A passing of a friend and fellow hacker

Dear hackers,

Just this weekend, our fellow hacker Leah Kubik, who some of you might’ve had the luck to call a friend, or the chance to meet at HAR in the Netherlands as part of the Hackers on a Plane 2.0 crew, tragically passed away.

The Sun writes on Friday:

A playful, late-night search for ghosts inside a University of Toronto landmark ended in tragedy yesterday when a 29-year-old woman plunged to her death. Leah Kubik, who was just two weeks shy of her 30th birthday, was found without vital signs inside a courtyard at 1 Spadina Cres. just before 2 a.m.

Kubik and a man were on a first date and were believed to be exploring an old building rumoured to be haunted, Toronto Police Const. Wendy Drummond told the Sun.

Leah was a fantastic cocktail maker, a huge Linux and open source advocate, and an excellent systems security administrator – her sudden death leaves a hole in the lives of her beloved ones, friends and collegues, as well as the hacker community.

Sincerest condolences from the hackerspaces team.

Greetings from the night shift!

Dear haxx0rs,

sorry for the short, unannounced downtime this night, as we were doing some maintenance on the servers.
As of now, everything’s up & rolling again! However, if you encounter any bugs [cough, cough], please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll be right on it like white on rice 😉

G’morning greetz from your fave nightshifters hellekin & yours truly,
/astera

Call-in 2009|07|12

Hey everyone,

our next hackerspaces call-in will be held on this upcoming Sunday (unfortunately delayed one week – but then again mostly for the excellent cause that is ToorCamp), July 12th, 2009.
The call-in conference opens at 02 pm PDT (UTC-7) / 05 pm EDT (UTC-4) / 09 pm UTC / 11 pm CEST (UTC+2).

All information for dial-in can be found on the general call-in page.
For giving an update about recent activities and general awesomeness at your hackerspace, please RSVP on our wiki!

Hope to hear from y’all soon,
/astera

Tóg on irishtimes.com

Our fellow hackerspace friends in Ireland, Tóg (or on the wiki), made it into the technology section of the Irish Times today!
A short excerpt from the article by L. Antonelli and J. Walsh:

Dublin will soon be home to a permanent space for computer hackers to congregate and get creative. Named Tóg (Irish for build), it will be Ireland’s contribution to the growing international movement of “hackerspaces”.

Sitting in the elegant, if incongruous, surroundings of Dublin’s Westin Hotel and explaining their plans, Tóg’s Jeff Rowe and Robert Fitzsimons emphasise that hacking is about curiosity: the desire to understand how technology works and the creative urge to build and modify gadgets. The only legal issue at stake here is the rather prosaic one of voiding warranties.

Fitzsimons is perfectly comfortable with the word hacker: “I’ll use ‘hacker’ and somebody else will use it, and there’ll be a completely different interpretation,” he says. “My hacking is out in the open. I have the 2600.ie domain – if anybody wants to find out who the hackers in Ireland are, my name is plastered on the site.”

Hacking, Fitzsimons says, is a form of self-education in a fast-moving world: “It’s about learning things about the electronic environment we live in.”

Congratulations, & hack on
/astera

Hackerspaces on Wired

This morning, our neighbors at WIRED.compublished a really informative and outstanding article about hackerspaces, and NoiseBridge in specific.

wired_frontpage

From the blog post:

DIY Freaks Flock to ‘Hacker Spaces’ Worldwide

NoiseBridge on WIRED

SAN FRANCISCO — R. Miloh Alexander and Seth Schoen are hunched over an old pay phone whose innards are being grafted onto the guts of a Walmart telephone and a voice-over-IP modem.
Right now, the Frankensteinish hybrid looks like a pile of tangled wires. Somewhere in the mess, an alligator clip has popped loose. Schoen frowns.
“We really need to solder these down,” he says.
The two are working on a recent Monday evening at Noisebridge, a collectively operated hacker space in San Francisco. Across the table, Noisebridge member Molly Boynoff is typing on a sticker-covered MacBook, learning to program in Python. Next to her, Noisebridge co-founder Mitch Altman is showing two newcomers how to solder resistors and LEDs onto a circuit board.
“There are zillions of people around the world doing this,” says Altman, referring to the swell of interest in do-it-yourself projects and hacking. “It’s a worldwide community.”
At the center of this community are hacker spaces like Noisebridge, where like-minded geeks gather to work on personal projects, learn from each other and hang out in a nerd-friendly atmosphere. Like artist collectives in the ’60s and ’70s, hacker spaces are springing up all over.
There are now 96 known active hacker spaces worldwide, with 29 in the United States, according to Hackerspaces.org. Another 27 U.S. spaces are in the planning or building stage.
Located in rented studios, lofts or semi-commercial spaces, hacker spaces tend to be loosely organized, governed by consensus, and infused with an almost utopian spirit of cooperation and sharing.
“It’s almost a Fight Club for nerds,” says Nick Bilton of his hacker space, NYC Resistor in Brooklyn, New York. Bilton is an editor in The New York Times R&D lab and a board member of NYC Resistor. Bilton says NYC Resistor has attracted “a pretty wide variety of people, but definitely all geeks. Not Dungeons & Dragons–type geeks, but more professional, working-type geeks.”
For many members, the spaces have become a major focus of their evening and weekend social lives.
Since it was formed last November, Noisebridge has attracted 56 members, who each pay $80 per month (or $40 per month on the “starving hacker rate”) to cover the space’s rent and insurance. In return, they have a place to work on whatever they’re interested in, from vests with embedded sonar proximity sensors to web-optimized database software.
Altman wears a black Dorkbot T-shirt, a black zip-up hoody and olive khakis with large side pockets. His long gray hair features vibrant blue and red stripes, and he’s nearly always smiling. His enthusiasm for hacker spaces is infectious.
“In our society there’s a real dearth of community,” Altman says. “The internet is a way for people to key in to that need, but it’s so inadequate. [At hacker spaces], people get a little taste of that community and they just want more.”

I can most warmly recommend you to read the whole article here!
Congratulations to all parties involved.

And btw: As for today, we know of 101 active hackerspaces, plus 18 uncategorized; besides this, 64 hackerspaces are planned or (17 out of which) currently in building process.
And every time I see a post like this come up, a talk being held, a paper mentioning one of these spaces – every one of these times, more people get interested, and the long list of planned hackerspaces grows a little more.
And this is what makes me so very happy about Dylan Tweney’s article.

Build! Unite! Multiply!
yt, /astera

***

UPDATE!

Apache crashed

As for 02:50 PM EST today, our good old Apache crashed due to the WIRED article’s appearence on the front page of digg.com; shortly after temporarily fixing load issues, the database was brought to its knees.

digg

So, first off: W00T!!!1!!eleven

Secondly: We’re working on it. For the next couple of hours, however, only static html pages generated from the wiki will be served (besides this blog) – until we finalized the wiki optimization.

Again, thanks for all the interest. You people rock.

Hack on,
/astera

Call-in 2009|04|05

Hey everyone,

our next hackerspaces call-in will be held on the 1st Sunday of the upcoming month, as usual: April 05th, 2009.
The call-in conference opens at 02 pm PST / 05 pm EST / 10 pm UTC / 11 pm CET / @458 BMT.

All information for dial-in can be found on the general call-in page.
For giving an update about recent activities and general awesomeness at your hackerspace, please RSVP on our wiki!

Hope to talk to y’all soon,
/astera

Call-in 2009|04|05

Hey everyone,

Our next hackerspaces call-in will be held on the 1st Sunday of the upcoming month, as usual: April 05th, 2009.
The call-in conference opens at 02 pm PST / 05 pm EST / 10 pm UTC / 11 pm CET / @458 BMT.

All information for dial-in can be found on the general call-in page.
For giving an update about recent activities and general awesomeness at your hackerspace, please RSVP on our wiki; and probably you’d like to waste a thought on helping us with audio recordings or call-in setup!

Hope to talk to y’all soon,
/astera