Toorcon Day 1

[12am] We hit the opening keynote by Cory Doctorow. He had some interesting things to say about patterns in eula agreements and the restriction of rights to enforce business models.

[Simple Nomad] followed up with his talk called ‘State of the Enemy State’ – his observations regarding government security, just how advanced real time encryption cracking probably is and predictions on some forthcoming laws and how they’ll affect the security industry. The most interesting one: encryption key escrow was enacted a couple weeks ago by Blair in the UK, and it’ll probably come to the US next.

The talk on the apple airport security flaw was canceled, so it was replaced by ‘lightning talks’. Think open mic night on the floor of a security conference. Johnny Cache opened it up with some observations about why the talk was canceled. He had to skirt around the issue to keep from getting in trouble, but he was definitely pissed.

There were a few others, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Onward to Toorcon


I’m waiting for my ride on the first leg of my trip to Toorcon. I’ll be there along with Eliot and Fabienne. Dan Kaminsky will be there presenting, so we’ll be having a major HAD get together. My local (tiny) airport actualy has wireless, tables and power readily available. Security will love me – I’ve got my usual tools (soldering iron, wire strippers, meter, etc) in my checked bag. (This is amusing – the security guy is doing laps through the metal detector to dial it in.)

[UPDATE: Eliot] Toorcon is my favorite conference. Have a look at some of the neat stuff we saw last year.

Toorcon – closing

Toorcon was a really a wonderful experience. I met lots of readers and other interesting people in a very social environment. It’s really cheap and I would encourage you too attend next year.

I’ve posted the few photos I have to Flickr. While you are over there you might as well join the Hack-A-Day photo pool. Quinn’s photos are much better than mine; I didn’t have to haul around a Canon EOS D30 though. Pictures of me: one, two. The guys from EVDO-Coverage also have a photostream. They provided EVDO to hackers in need at the conference and will probably be sending me some fun hardware to play with.

I’ll be updating the posts with slides as soon as they get posted.

Once again: I’d like to thank the organizers, speakers, and Hack-A-Day readers for making the conference such a fun time. I hope to see everyone again at REcon, Shmoocon, and Toorcon next year.

That’s it for Toorcon coverage. Back to business as usual tomorrow.

Hackaday Links: April 2, 2017

Toorcamp registration is open. It’s June 20-24th on Orcas Island, Washington.

Hey, you. The guy still using Mentor Graphics. Yeah, you. Siemens has acquired Mentor Graphics.

CNC knitting machines are incredibly complicated but exceptionally cool. Until now, most CNC knitting machines are actually conversions of commercial machines. Beginning with [Travis Goodspeed] and  [Fabienne Serriere] hack of a knitting machine, [Becky Stern]’s efforts, and the Knitic project, these knitting machines are really just brain transplants of old Brother knitting machines. A few of the folks from the OpenKnit project have been working to change this, and now they’re ready for production. Kniterate is a project on Kickstarter that’s a modern knitting machine, and basically a 2D woolen printer. This is an expensive machine at about $4500, but if you’ve ever seen the inside of one of these knitting machines, you’ll know building one of these things from scratch is challenging.

There was a time when a Macintosh computer could play games. Yes, I know this sounds bizarre, but you could play SimCity 2000, Diablo, and LucasArts adventure games on a machine coming out of Cupertino. [Novaspirit] wanted to relive his childhood, so he set up a Mac OS 7 emulator on a Raspberry Pi. He’s using Minivmac, beginning with an install of OS 7.1, upgrading that to 7.5.3, then upgrading that to 7.5.5. It should be noted the utility of the upgrade to 7.5.5 is questionable — the only real changes from 7.5.3  to 7.5.5 are improved virtual memory support (just change some emulator settings to get around that) and networking support (which is difficult on an emulator). If you’re going to upgrade to 7.5.5, just upgrade to 8.1 instead.

It’s getting warmer in the northern hemisphere, and you know what that means: people building swamp coolers. And you know what that means: people arguing about the thermodynamics of swamp coolers. We love these builds, so if you have a swamp cooler send it on in to the tip line.

The Prusa edition of Slic3r is out. The improvements? It’s not a single core app anymore (!), so slicing is faster. It’s got that neat variable layer slicing. Check out all the features.

It takes at least a week to delete your Facebook account. In the meantime, you can lawyer up and hit the gym. Additionally, we’re not really sure Facebook actually deletes your profile when you disable your account. Robots to the rescue. [anerdev] built a robot to delete all his content from Facebook. It’s a pair of servos with touchpad-sensitive pens. Add an Arduino, and you have a Facebook deleting machine.

Hackenings: Technologica Incognita Parties After SHA2017 Plans

Welcome to [Hackenings], our weekly calendar of what’s going on in the global hackerspace community this week. As ever, if you have any upcoming events that you’d like us to cover, email us at tips@hackaday.com and put [Hackenings] in the subject so that we don’t miss it.

TechInc Turns Five!

Technologia Incognita is a five-year-old hackerspace in Amsterdam, and they’re having a party on the 26th. How do you celebrate five years of social hacking, creative cooking, and general geekery? With more of the same, plus drinks. If you’ve never been to TechInc, you’ll find directions here.

The TechInc crew is not all play and no work, however. Their party coincides with the end of the second organizational planning meeting for SHA2017, a summer outdoor camping hacker camp/festival/conference that’s going to take place next summer, not coincidentally just outside of Amsterdam.

The European hacker scene is a little bit like international soccer / football — every four years there’s a World Cup, and in the off years there are equally important regional tournaments. The German Chaos Communication Camp and the Dutch series-of-camps-that-changes-name-every-time are like this, but for us. If you missed the CCC last summer, or ToorCamp this summer, then start making plans for SHA2017 next summer.

Don’t Forget Dublin

We mentioned this last week, but TOG Hackerspace in Dublin is having a 36 hour hackathon starting today (the 19th). This looks like a great time to get together with other nerds and make something crazy in a shortish amount of time. If you’re anywhere nearby, you should head on over. After all, it’s for science!