Tinfoil Tuesdays

When: 7pm Every Tuesday Night @ HacDC

A night to talk about security and privacy related things and to teach others about how to protect themselves online. We reference the 7-layer OSI model in the context of security and engage in productively paranoid activities.

Helpful resources:

  • Prism Break: Stop reporting your online activities to the American government with these free alternatives to proprietary software.
  • Tails: A live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity.
  • UnlistMy.Info: Find out which top Online sites store data about you, and tell them to unlist your info.

Red Pills:

Video from Lightning Talks VII

HacDC held a seventh round of lightning talks in November. If you missed these talks or you’d like to relive the experience, please enjoy this video footage of the event:

These links will take you directly to the indicated lightning talk:

HacDC is five years old!

HacDC Opening Night PortraitLongtime active HacDC member and former board member Martin notes that five years ago today is when one of our co-founders announced on our blog that HacDC has “officially organized, filled out the annoying paperwork and found a location in which to conduct our secretly awesome experiments.” It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since that time, and we’re happy to report that our awesome experiments continue! Here are some of the things we’ve done in our half decade of existence:Blue LED

  • held classes and workshops on robotics, AVR microcontrollers, bicycle maintenance, electron tubes, Python, visual communications, LED cubes, Scheme, tea, artificial intelligence, disassembly, and many other topics
  • launched—and retrieved!—five high-altitude balloons, a.k.a. spaceblimps, the latest reaching an altitude of 118,533 ftbye bye, balloon!
  • acquired 501(c)3 nonprofit status, meaning your donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, so donate now!
  • hosted six rounds of lightning talks
  • formed W3HAC, an ARRL-affiliated, FCC-licensed amateur radio club
  • set up 3D printers, a CNC mill, a lathe, a drill press, and a fully automatic espresso machine 🙂 with plans underway to acquire a laser cutter
  • hatched GrindDC, a weekly “meatup” where biohackers research topics like materials biocompatibility and neurostimulation
  • developed Project Byzantium, a live Linux distribution that delivers easy-to-use, secure, and robust ad-hoc wireless mesh networking

HacDC Group photo from September, 2010 Meeting

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to founders Nick Farr, Andrew Righter, Alli Treman, Eric Michaud, et al for creating HacDC back when U.S. hackerspaces were few and far between. And since then we’ve thrived thanks to the support of countless members and friends who’ve given generously of their time, labor, and money to make HacDC an awesome community. Please consider supporting us so we can be around to foster curiosity and creativity in technology for the next five years.

HacDC’s Project Byzantium wins InformSec grant

Project Byzantium pomegranate logoWe’re proud to share the news that HacDC’s Project Byzantium has won a grant from the Information Security Coalition to continue research and development for the next six calendar months! Project Byzantium is an effort to develop Byzantium Linux, a live distribution of Linux for rapidly and easily constructing ad-hoc wireless mesh networks during emergencies. This distribution aims to assist relief efforts by providing flexible networking infrastructure and services. Byzantium developers will be putting the grant money toward additional equipment on which to test and debug Byzantium Linux as well as hardware to experiment with integrating Byzantium Linux into amateur radio-related data communications networks. The project’s final milestone will be v0.4 of Byzantium Linux “somewhen in August of 2013.” Congratulations to our Project Byzantium team!

In related news, Project Byzantium was a recent runner up for an Access Innovation Award, a set of grants to accelerate projects working in several problem spaces including making networks resilient to blackouts. The team traveled to New York City for the awards ceremony in December 2012 and report that they were honored to have been selected as finalists.

UPDATE: Byzantium Linux v0.3a is out!