Hackerspaces on Wired

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


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



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.


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,

The Reports of Our Death….

…are greatly exaggerated! Well, almost.

Photo by n1nja of the CCCKC Secret Lair. No… seriously!

A short explanation for the lack of posts this week. We’ve brought on two bloggers. One our agent in the trenches Brendan, who is currently running after an interview with one of our friends from Forskningsavdelningen, Sweden; the other one being our new project blogger Josh. The two have been feverishly working on their respective new beats while I have been busy with the creation of Pumping Station: One, the Chicago hackerspace. Coupled with life/work/hackerspaces/blog it’s been quite interesting.

I know this may not be enough to explain the absence but all I can say is that interesting things are afoot. 😉

Anyways, if you have a project you’re working on at your hackerspace you’d like us to report about, or give a (remote) interview about the progresses of your space, please let us know via blog (at) hackerspaces.org and we’ll get in touch with you!

Stay tuned,

-E & a.

25C3’s competition wrap-up

As you might know (or have read already), we also held a little competition at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress on the base of and in great anticipation to The Hackerspaces Battle, consisting of a speed soldering and a speed coding challenge (unfortunately, we didn’t get the freaking proprietary Xbox Dance Dance Revolution device get to work with our shiny UNIX machines…).

This is an advertizement by bicyclemark

I know I’m pretty late with posting the results of the competition, but… well, in fact, I cannot even do that =(
Unfortunately, one of my bags disappeared mystically on the last night of 25C3, and with it not only a bunch of cables and T-shirts (if by any chance you come across any of these, please let me know!) but also a bunch of paperwork – including my list of participants in the coding challenge…

They love Astera by bicyclemark

Therefore, at this point I can only provide you with the times we took
at the speed soldering competition:

Group 1:
11:42 Ole
13:00 Ash
15:38 Paul
18:34 Joe
22:24 Alex
24:33 Risktaker
34:10 Dmytri
36:48 Natano

Group 2:
11:11 Marius
12:12 Andi
14:14 Zach
16:32 Rainer
16:51 Eric
17:27 Audrey
46:00 George

25c3 by yarnivore25c3 by yarnivore

However, there is ONE thing I can remember for sure, thinking of the following day’s speed coding competition – that being an epic accomplishment by a boy called Matvey (if I recall correctly):
This young coder did not only finish the task (Euler problem no. 12) within less than 20 minutes, but also put together a beautiful little piece of programming art.

Now if you got hooked on our coding challenge, why not consider to join TECC, The Euler Coding Collective?
We love Euler problems – and solving them in all different languages. ^^

25c3 by yarnivore

Again, special thanks to Mitch Altman for hosting our solderers,
and thanks everyone for taking part in the challenge!
You people rock.

Yours truly,

PS: And if ever I get my stuff back, I’ll update this post of course =)

All pictures by bicyclemark and yarnivore, under CC by-nc-sa.