The Gathering: Shanghai’s Hackaday Community

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 12.33.00 AMIt happened! The Gathering crossed the Pacific and landed in Shanghai on Thursday, March 20th. It took place at the venue ironically called ‘Abbey Road’ (it’s the only one we could find on such a short notice) and more than 150 people showed up. The whole scene had a huge Chatsubo feel too it – an eclectic mix of local and expat hackers and engineers, professors, students and all sorts of industry mercenaries from around the world. And everyone with skull-and-wrenches t-shirt or a sticker on.

I can only imagine what Chinese police would think if they happened to drop by. Not to mention if they asked how in the world did all these ‘anarchist’ t-shirts enter the country.

But that’s another story…

We met a lot of exciting people and heard all sorts of weird tales, such as the (off-the-record) one about the real reasons behind certain well-known laptop manufacturer’s batteries bursting into flames. We also got a lot of great advice on smuggling electronic components out of China and other everyday tips & tricks.

d8d27574b02a11e38f1d121190b145cb_8My favorite conversation was with [Alexander Klink] on his research in Denial of Service attacks using algorithmic complexity of collision resolution in (a priori known) hash functions. Though the original paper is more than two years old, its takeaways can still have a huge impact on all sorts of software and hardware devices out there.

The general theme of the night was how exciting it is to live in a place like Shanghai, where rapid urban growth and access to manufacturing resources meets a blossoming technology and art scene. It is even more so thanks to places like Xin Che Jian, which make being a “hacker” a socially acceptable thing on the other side of the Great Firewall.

That said, reading all of Hackaday content still requires a proxy.

Hackaday Gathering: Shanghai

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Does Hackaday have any readers living in Shanghai? You bet! We’re going to be in Shanghai next week so we decided to invite the Hackaday community to a Shanghai Gathering!

We booked a venue and want to pack the place with at least 150 people on Thursday, March 20th. We’re picking up the bar tab and bringing along a few cases of T-shirts. At some point we’ll make some formal remarks about the path on which Hackaday is traveling, and where we hope to go. Get your tickets now, and start the perplexing process of deciding which piece of portable hacked hardware you want to bring along with you to show off to all of the other Hackaday aficionados.

Still not convinced? Check out the follow-up post from our Los Angeles Gathering back in January to see how much fun it is to get together with other readers. The Xin Che Jian hackerspace in Shanghai is helping us get this organized; we saw a hackerspace intro from them a couple of years back. Thank you so much to [David] and [Paul] for their help with this! If you haven’t checked out the hackerspace, this gathering is a great way to meet some of the members.

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Hackaday Meetup with [Chris Gammell]

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Update: We have it figured out. We’re bringing the awesome at The Blind Donkey in Pasadena, CA at 6pm this evening. Stop in with your hardware and your war stories. Chris Gammell, Mathieu Stephan, and I can’t wait to talk Arduino hardware hacking with you!

I’m getting to meet all kinds of cool people in person this year, and so can you! Well… if you happen to be in Pasadena, California on Wednesday after work and have nothing better to do. [Chris Gammell] — well-known for The Amp Hour and Contextual Electronics – and I are both going to be in town. We’re meeting up for a beer and thought we’d invite you along for the fun.

Details are scarce right now. I’m not sure of time or place (other than Pasadena area) so make sure you follow @Hackaday on Twitter and watch for the #HaD_meetup tag Wednesday afternoon for the details. We’ll also update the Hackaday Projects event page at the time. I’ll bring along some swag; you’d better cart along a piece of hardware to show off in return for a t-shirt or stickers. You’re on your own for food and beverages at this one.

Wondering what I meant about meeting lots of cool people? In addition to the nearly 500 awesome readers who showed up at The Gathering, I met [Brian] and [Eliot] for the first time.

Recap: Hackaday’s First Live Event

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Last Tuesday was the first time I know of that Hackaday hosted our own live event. There were some less official get-togethers associated with conferences and things like that. But we threw The Gathering to see if readers would rise from their lairs for a chance to interact with one another. We called, you answered, and I had an amazing time. Hackaday packed the place with over four hundred readers, and every conversation I had ended up being a fascinating interaction. Thank you!

[Brian], [Eliot], and [Mike] via [Mike's] phone an color corrected by [Hefto

[Brian], [Eliot], and [Mike] via [Mike's] phone an color corrected by [Hefto

[Brian Benchoff] and I returned to our snowy homelands the next morning. Surprisingly this was the first time we had met each other despite working closely on Hackaday for the past several years. I also had the pleasure of meeting [Eliot Phillips] and [Jack Buffington] for the first time. I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to hang out with them, but when you’re trying to say hello to several hundred people you’ve just got to keep moving.

Before I get too wordy I better throw the more tag in here. Join me after the jump for a blow-by-blow of what we did, what sticks out in my mind, and where we’re going next.

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The Gathering: Huge Success!

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In case you haven’t heard, Hackaday put on a little shindig in downtown LA this past Tuesday. It was awesome.

And we had a few very awesome visitors: [Eliot], senior editor of Hackaday for the first five years made a showing, as did former co-editor [Jack Buffington]. Eminent LA-area hackers came out, including [charliex] of Null Space Labs, the guys from Deezmaker, and the long-haired hippie who can be found in a few NASA videos for the Curiosity rover.

Aside from the free drinks and the awesome people, there was some really cool tech on display. The mezzanine of the bar had a laser graffiti rig, and everyone who came received a super collectible NFC card that allowed them to vote on what Hackaday is doing for our next main event (the quadcopter option won but the vote was non-binding so we’ll keep you updated).

On a personal note, this was one of the few times I’ve interacted with Hackaday readers without the use of a keyboard. You guys are awesome. Thanks for coming out, and if you have any pics from the party, post a link to an album in the comments, or share your stories with us on Twitter via #HaDLAGoogle+, and/or Facebook.

Pics below. These were taken by [Edward de la Torre]

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Please Release Your Unused Tickets

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The Gathering is next Tuesday and we are starting to get excited about it! There is a waiting list of people who would like a ticket. If you registered for a ticket that you will not be able to to use, please log in and cancel it.

Cancelling your unused ticket will automatically free up a ticket for someone on the waiting list. Cancellation instructions are below. We want to pack the house and making sure no ticket goes unused is important.

Still want to attend? It’s not too late. Add yourself to the waiting list.

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Hackaday: The Gathering

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1/21/14 – Downtown LA
Come one, come all to a party with [Brian], me, and the Hackaday readers who live in the Los Angeles area. Tickets are free, as is the beer, food, t-shirts, stickers, and other swag which you won’t find out about unless you show up in person.

This is the first official live Hackaday meetup and is open to all ages. During the summer we talked about making Hackaday a virtual hackerspace, and this event is one part of that initiative. We’ll let you in on some stuff we’ve been planning, but in return I expect you to tell us your thoughts on how the Hackaday community can get bigger and better. We’re also using the attendance at this event to judge if we should host more live events (possibly in other cities too). So if you’re in LA get your ticket now and make sure your friends do the same!

UPDATE 3: Get your name on the waiting list… [Read more...]