HOPE for Makers – A Maker Playlist – “Hackers on Planet Earth” July 13–15, 2012 in NYC

HOPE for Makers – A Maker Playlist – “Hackers on Planet Earth” July 13–15, 2012 in NYC


The HOPE Number 9 conference is approaching. HOPE is the “Hackers on Planet Earth” conference by 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, and it’s at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC this weekend. It’s held every couple of years. I’ve attended a few, and I’m looking forward to seeing many old and new friends. So far there have been eight HOPE conference, each time they get better and better, and this year, for makers, I think it will be one of the best yet. I believe the various communities in the world of makers and hackers are almost completely overlapping now. It’s not just a few Ham radio folks who are tinkering with Arduino. It’s hundreds of thousands of people all sharing code, hardware, and their desire to explore technologies. Each HOPE I’ve also noticed more young folks and more diversity in race and gender. While I doubt anyone ever expected HOPE to be a “family-friendly” event, there are tons of families I know who are taking their kids because of the various maker-like activities and workshops. So with all that being said, I’ve put together my maker playlist of the talks I hope to see. I figured this might be handy for others out there since there are many, many talks and it’s impossible to see them all. If I get to at least half of these, I’ll consider it a successful weekend. It’s by no means a complete listing, and I may have missed a few of the maker-centric ones. For the complete listings and more, visit the schedule page.

3D Printing: Making Friends in DC Before People Start Freaking Out
Michael Weinberg
This talk is about protecting 3D printing from industries that are not excited about disruption. It will begin with an overview of the technology behind 3D printing and how the industry is developing and diversifying. It will then cover how intellectual property (IP) relates to 3D printing, and highlight the opportunities that 3D printing gives us to rethink the permission culture that has developed alongside the growth of digital copyright. The talk will end with a description of current IP conflicts connected to 3D printing and examples of steps being taken today to win allies among policymakers in Washington, DC. 3D printing has the possibility of being a widely disruptive and beneficial technology, and the last 15 years have taught us that not everyone embraces widespread disruption. It is possible that industries disrupted by 3D printing will react along the lines of those disrupted by the Internet (negatively). Fortunately, today we have the opportunity to consider what could have been done in the early days of the Internet to insulate it from some of the legal and policy attacks in DC. HOPE attendees and the hacker community at large will benefit from beginning to think through these issues today – before a problem occurs.
Saturday 2200 Dennis

Advanced Handcuff Hacking
Handcuffs always have been a special kind of challenge to lockpickers. This talk will cover advanced manipulation techniques including improvised tools, hidden and 3D-printed keys, and exploiting design weaknesses of various handcuff models. Also, the newest handcuffs produced in the United States and Europe will be shown and explained, some of which haven’t even been introduced to police forces yet.
Friday 1800 Sassaman

Mastering Master-Keyed Systems
Deviant Ollam, Babak Javadi
The world of locks is one in which, so very often, things old become new again. Master-keyed lock systems fall into this category. For years now, many people have shared advice and stories regarding methods of attacking master-keyed systems. This year, at HOPE Number Nine, The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers will be running a contest in which attendees may attempt to decode a master-keyed system during the weekend. If you stop by this presentation, you’ll be a few steps ahead of everyone else who is attempting this interesting and different lockpicking game at HOPE Number Nine – and you’ll learn about how master-keyed systems are often vulnerable to many surreptitious attacks.
Friday 1900 Dennis

Combat Robots Then and Now
David Calkins, Simone Davalos
Fighting robots have been around since the first gearhead figured out that it was really fun to smash thousands of dollars worth of metal and electronics together in the name of sport. This talk will cover the brief but intense history of combat robotics, how the technology has evolved, where it’s going, and where combat robots happen around the world. This presentation will include video, backstage photos, and insights from the organizers of the only large scale combat robot shows left in the United States: RoboGames and The ComBots Cup.
Saturday 1800 Sassaman

DARPA Funding for Hackers, Hackerspaces, and Education: A Good Thing?
Mitch Altman, Psytek, Willow Brugh, Fiacre O’Duinn, Matt Joyce
Mitch Altman caused a stir this spring when he publicly announced that he would not be helping U.S. Maker Faires this year, after it was publicly announced that they received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). So, what’s the controversy? DARPA, an agency of the U.S. military, has funded many famous projects over the past several decades, including GPS and the Internet. People in DARPA are now making large amounts of grant funding available for hackers and hackerspaces to do projects of their choice, as well as funding for education through hands-on learning, which MAKE Magazine is using to help schools. Does it matter that DARPA is responsible for the development of new technology for the U.S. military with an annual budget of $3.2 billion? What are the ethics of using funds from people or organizations that may or may not be aligned with one’s own goals? What are the ramifications for the hacker/maker movement? Is DARPA funding overall a good thing? There is no simple answer. Explore the ethics and ramifications with Mitch, as moderator, and the panelists, as they give their perspectives on this complex set of issues.
Sunday 1400 Dennis

Designing Free Hardware: Scratching Your Own Itch with a Soldering Iron
Matthew O’Gorman, Tim Heath
So you have played with free and open source software? Time for things to get real. Learn how to go from a simple idea like “I need some electronic dice” or “wouldn’t it be insanely great if I could control my TV from my phone” to a simple breadboard prototype, on to a custom schematic and then laid out in PCB, sending your Gerber files to China for fabrication, and then carefully soldering it together to scream “it’s alive” as your LED glows brightly for the first time.
Saturday 2100 Sassaman

Exploiting ZigBee and the Internet of Things
Travis Goodspeed
Now that ZigBee is finally appearing in the wild, Travis will take a look back at all the nifty ways of exploiting it. (ZigBee is a low cost, low power, wireless mesh network standard.) This fast-paced lecture features as many practical, real-world exploits as can fit in the time slot. Learn how to extract firmware from a locked Freescale MC13224 by grounding pin 133, how to extract keys from a Chipcon CC2530 by erasing it first, and how to hijack control of other radios with a few hypodermic syringes. You’ll also learn how Certicom’s proprietary crypto library caused multiple ZigBee Smart Energy Profile stacks to remotely expose private ECC keys and why none of this matters because cleartext traffic is easily found in most major cities.
Friday 2000 Sassaman

Historic Hacks in Portable Computing
Bill Degnan, Evan Koblentz
“Portable” computing began with handheld calculating aides such as the abacus and slide rule, continued in the 1950s with mainframes mounted inside Army trucks, and emerged in suitcases, briefcases, and even pockets in the 1970s. All throughout this rich history, there were clever, funny, and security-themed hacks involved. In some cases, there were hacks needed just to construct the systems, and in others there were hacks in system usage. This talk will explain a dozen examples from which modern hackers can learn.
Saturday 1100 Sassaman

How to Communicate with Your Car’s Network
Robert Leale
Modern vehicles are essentially mobile computers and controller networks. On average, there are around ten embedded controllers in a vehicle. These controllers are responsible for running the engine, locking and unlocking the vehicle, sounding the horn, and much, much more. These networks are very different from current computer networks. This talk will help you understand how to get started, what information is on the vehicle network, and how you can use this data to get information from and send commands to these controllers. Additionally, this talk will list the current tools available for communicating with vehicles and how to interpret the communications between the controllers.
Friday 2200 Sassaman

Manufacturing Modern Computer Chips
Modern computer chips are using transistors with features as small as 22nm. They are produced in factories that are 10,000 times cleaner than an operating room that can think like Skynet. Combined, the chips they produce run everything from your cell phone to the Internet itself. While outsiders might see it as the realm of multi-billion dollar corporations, in reality, it has been achieved through a hardcore application of the hacker mindset. Each new advancement involves hacking the theories of electrical engineering, hacking waves of light, and sometimes hacking physics. This talk will go over how and why the design of a modern nanoscale transistor was developed, as well as discuss the processes used to build them, and the incredible equipment that makes it all possible. Plus some fun stories about what goes wrong.
Sunday 1200 Nutt

Patents: How to Get Them and How to Beat Them
Ed Ryan
Patents are a distasteful reality for hackers, open source programmers, and entrepreneurs alike. This talk aims to provide a working knowledge of how to read a patent, what is required to obtain patent protection, and how to defend yourself against patent lawsuits. This talk is an academic discussion of patent law and should not be construed as legal advice.
Saturday 1600 Nutt

Printable Electronics and the Future of Open Hardware
John Sarik
Many open hardware projects use integrated circuits (ICs), but these ICs are literal black boxes because the manufacturers do not provide the silicon source code. There’s also no way for makers to cost effectively modify and recompile this source code to fabricate custom ICs. But there is hope! Printable electronics based on novel materials and low cost fabrication techniques have the potential to enable open hardware at a whole new level. This talk will provide an overview of current printable electronics technology and discuss the issues that will arise as open hardware moves beyond silicon. What happens to open hardware when you can download and print an entire electronics project? How can we ensure that the materials used are open, widely available, and safe? How can we make IC design accessible to non-engineers? What should a Thingiverse for printable electronics look like? What are the legal issues surrounding printable electronics?
Friday 2100 Nutt

The State of Open Source Hardware
Dustyn Roberts, Catarina Mota
In the last few years, open source hardware went from an obscure hobby to a burgeoning movement built on values and practices derived from open source software, hacker culture, and craft traditions. This increase is visible in the exponential growth of the community of developers and users, the increase in the number and revenue of open source hardware businesses, and the emergence of a large number of new DIY gadgets and machinery – from 3D printers and microcontrollers to soft circuits and tech crafts. The accessibility of hardware plans, along with the communities and collaborative practices that surround them, is lowering the barrier to entry and encouraging people of all ages and walks of life to create, hack, and re-purpose hardware. Taken together, hackerspaces, the increasing accessibility of digital fabricators, and these open and collaborative practices are leading to an explosion of creativity and innovation reminiscent of the golden years of the Homebrew Computer Club. This panel will go over the defining events of the last few years to draw a snapshot of the current state of the open source hardware movement and the impact it’s having in hacker culture and beyond. Also included in the discussion will be the Open Hardware Summit: the world’s first comprehensive conference on open hardware, and how it will serve as a venue to discuss and draw attention to the rapidly growing open source hardware movement.
Friday 1100 Dennis

Jason Scott’s Strange and Wonderful Digital History Argosy
With a few small seeds of facts, digital and computer historian Jason Scott will draw together a multi-medium presentation of events, terms, facts, and references to set you off on a journey of learning for the rest of the year. Combining material from his three in-production documentaries and years of research, attendees will be given the threads that pull massive airships of knowledge out of the sky and into your minds. Formal attire welcome but not mandatory – participation encouraged – paradigms blown – mysteries solved.
Friday 2100 Sassaman

Not exactly a straight up maker talk, but Jason is one of the best presenters in the world. You’ll leave chock-full of knowledge and a sore side from laughing so much.

What else? Workshops and Hackerspace Village

Workshops for makers.

Day 1 — HSV — Friday, 13-July
Soldering and advanced soldering
If you’ve never soldered, or if you want to learn how to solder SMDs (for example, adding them to your membership badge as at The Next HOPE), learn how in this easy lesson.
Mary Robison

Day 2 — HSV — Saturday, 14-July
Prometheus Radio Project
How to build a radio transmitter.
Maggie Avener

Arduino For Total Newbies
Learn Arduino, using TV-B-Gone as an example (limited to first 50 people).
Mitch Altman

Project Byzantium Workshop
Build an ad-hoc wireless mesh network with Byzantium Linux.
The Doctor

Day 3 — HSV — Sunday, 15-July
Building your RepRap
Build a RepRap, an open source, 3-D plastic printer, from kits available through Robison Industries.
Mary Robison

This is the planning page for the Hackerspaces Village at HOPE Number 9 — check it out! From LED origami to PHP hacking, there are hackerspaces doing projects 24 hours a day during the event!

The current plan is to give each Hackerspace a demo/display table around the village and leave the central Hardware Hacking area as a “Metahackerspace” with no set plan. This should maximize the visibility of each Hackerspace coming to HOPE while encouraging inter-Hackerspace activity and cooperation.

The hackerspaces attending (so far): NYC Resistor, HacDC, HackMiami, Hive76, Noisebridge, Alpha One Labs, Burnkit2.6k, CLUE, 757 Labs, QR Code Generator OSC, PHP TestFest, Crash Space, CTHackerspace, Dallas Makerspace, and The Hacktory.

The informal hallway meetings, meeting new people, and unplanned outings are all part of the fun too.

And last up: the vendor area. I worked the MAKE table and the Adafruit table in the past — it’s a great way to meet thousands of people. It’s a little intense when it gets busy, but it reminds me of Maker Faire on opening day at 1p.m. in the Maker Shed : ) You’ll be able to get some great deals on everything from hobbyist electronics to lock picks.

More resources

I “HOPE” to see many of you there this weekend. Post up in the comments with your suggestions for talks and activities!

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