The annual meeting of the Chaos Computer Club, Germany’s giant hacker group, is online again this year. While those of us here are sad that we don’t get to see our hacker friends in person, our loss is your gain — the whole thing is online for the entire world to enjoy.
This year’s Congress has gone entirely decentralized, with many local clubs hosting their own video streams and “stages”. Instead of four tracks, there are now six or seven tracks of talks going on simultaneously, so prepare to be overwhelmed by choice. You can find the overall schedule here, so if you see anything you’d like to watch, you’ll know when to tune in.
Like last year, there is also a parallel 2D simulation world, like Zelda with videoconferencing, but for which you’ll need a ticket, and they’re sold out. (Check out the demo video if you want to see what that’s about.) And what would a conference be without t-shirts, armbands, and even a sticker exchange? Or course, it all has to be done by mail, but you do what you can.
We’ll be keeping our eyes on the talks, and let you know if we see anything good. If you do the same, let us know in the comments!
Our trip to Germany wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a proper European hackerspace, and the Munich Chaos Computer Club was more than accommodating in allowing us to invade their space.
Before even walking in the door, you’re greeted with one of the coolest displays you’ve ever seen. Half of the front of their building is a gigantic flipdot display. It’s astonishing in person, and although no dots were flipped during our visit, we can imagine the noise would be deafening. Simply awesome.
Walking in the door, you’re greeted with the general meeting area, conference room, couches, and a Twilight Zone pinball machine. The machine didn’t quite work when we arrived, but within five minutes, [Sprite_TM] was behind the backglass and had everything fixed within an hour.
The back room and basement have the usual assortment of tools – a 3D printer, CNC, lathe, and electronics workbench. If you need a key made, head to the basement. You’ll also find an ATM in the basement. The story with that is that the news station in Munich wanted to do a story on how easy it was to get USB access to the Windows system in an ATM. The station couldn’t do it – but they faked it – and put the ATM up on eBay. Not much money later, the ATM found its way to the space’s basement.
MuCCC is more than just a space with tools, though: in the european hackerspace tradition, there are frequent presentations and talks that would fit in at an academic conference. Last Tuesday, [nicolas] presented a few techniques to protect cryptographic keys from physical integrity attacks, i.e. an evil maid attack or a SWAT team invading your router closet. It’s a daemon that listens to an AVR loaded up with sensors through a GPIO pin. If there is physical intrusion in the device – barometric pressure or light – keys resident in memory can be erased.
You can check out a gallery of pics from the space below.
The stores of Club Mate. There was also a vending machine.
Flip dot display in a junk box.
This test equipment was donated, but it’s still amazingly good
No, that’s not a Darwin. It’s close, though, and the only printer of this design I’ve seen at a hackersapce
There’s an ATM in the basement. Apparently, a news station in Munich bought an ATM to demonstrate how easy it is to crack. The news station couldn’t crack it. It was then sold on eBay and wound up at the space. Yes, you can now play Solitaire on it.
[Sprite_TM] came into the space and found a broken Twilight Zone game. 30 minutes later, it was fixed.
ARRL handbook in Germany. Okay.
Outside of the space.
Today we had the opportunity to visit our very first German Hackerspace — the Chaosdorf in Düsseldorf. They are a member of the much larger organization of the Chaos Computer Club, which is Europe’s largest association of hackers. Mostly focused on all things computer-based, they love tinkering around with Raspberry Pi’s and their very own Makerbot Replicator II.
After a long day of wandering around the trade show, we arrived on the doorstep of the Chaosdorf, and pressed the small green door buzzer… Continue reading “Hackerspacing In Europe: The Chaosdorf In Düsseldorf” →