0lesmagnetss.jpgNotes from Quinn Norton's talk at the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress which took place in Berlin last week: Body hacking - Functional body modification. You are the platform.

If you understand german, futur:plom has what looks a like pretty good entry about Quinn's talk. The image on the left is one of his', they are way better than mine.

Right. I'm not a huge fan of people who keep laughing out loud at their own jokes and i wish that the conclusions and reflections she shared with us had gone a bit deeper. Still, Norton raised some challenging questions and it was good to listen to someone who has experimented some body hacking herself.

"You Are the Platform" comes from the title she gave to an article for MAKE: 06: Robots about how hardware hackers are remaking their bodies.

Norton is a journalist who comes from a body modification family. When she was a kid, it was normal for her to witness her mum get pierced.

Body hacking, like all other forms of hacking, is ultimately a form of volition, the freedom to enact your will upon a system: your body. When you hack your body you're facing more taboos and infringing more laws than you'd expect. We don't have so much right on our own body, you don't have the rights to most surgeries.

Body Hacking, she "stole" MAKE's motto: if you can't open it, you don't own it." And opening is painful.

Whether you think of BM as something cool and transgressive or creepy, it doesn't actually DO much: genital piercings, implants... Actually genital piercings are functional BM because they enhance sex life. They might also be one of the oldest forms of BM.

Out of the BM scope: rituals, sex modification, cutting, phun (p = pain), etc.

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A few years ago, Quinn Norton had a magnet implanted in the tip of one of her fingers. The ring finger to be precise because it's a nerve-rich area of the body. After some time she started to sense electro-magnetic fields, she could feel the hard drive spin up under the load seconds before her laptop began stalling, she could could tell if an electrical cord was live, feel running motors, security devices, etc. She explained that very rapidly her brain had adapted and developed a sixth sense. The idea was pioneered by body-mod artists Jesse Jarrell and Steve Haworth.

Two months after the magnet was inserted, the implant area became infected and her sixth sense disappeared. The implant had shattered into pieces. Four months after that, the magnetism returned. The magnet had reassembled itself in the finger.

0rddifr.jpgAccording to Norton, RFID implants are not interesting. There is no functional difference between carrying an rfid tag around and implanting it.

Interested in an implated glucometer whose data could be continuously uploaded to the net.

Enhancement vs. treatment. She thinks that the question is often really arbitrary: it's a treatement if you want to get to the level everyone else is at. Anything beyond that is regarded as unethical. Example of the blurry line: there's a big push against sportsmen using steroids but some athletes get LASIK without any problem! Lasik stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, a form of refractive laser eye surgery procedure intended for correcting myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, some athletes undergo a Lasik operation to get superior vision. To quote Slate: If steroids are cheating, why isn't Lasik?

She explained that she wasn't suffering from jetlag because she had taken some Provigil pills. They keep you awake but if you want to go to bed, you can actually fall asleep. besides, they are not addictive. And if you decide not to sleep and just rely on them, you don't even pay. Soldiers were given some Provigil instead of sleep for every 8 hour. After 72 hrs, their performances were better than before. They did the same experiment with rats and the rats died after a few days.

Stomach staples to fight obesity. That's ok now because obesity has been re-defined as a disease.

IUD (IntraUterin Device) maybe 1st body modification.

Could we think of vaccination as a body enhancement rather than a treatment? Why not? It's meant to protect us against a disease. It turns us into freakishly superior beings compared to our ancestors.

What are we doing soon?
0boneimplantd.jpg - cochlear implants: a guy wants to get a bone implanted hearing aid to listen to the phone in his head. Still looking for a doctor to perform the surgery. (Note: Was he inspired the famous Tooth phone implant?) Other weirdness on Crazy Meds!
- Vision implants,
- Neuro pacemakers
- tons of tailored drugs to be more intelligent, emotional strenght, sleep/wakefulness, etc.

Post Human Medical Tourism: What do you do when the medical ethics of your country do not allow you to undergo the procedure you want? Places are setting themselves up: Thailand is the place to flight to for hip replacement for example and the whole Russia is getting ready as well.

Rise in black market medicine in the US, trend driven by bad American policy on the matter. What will it mean in the future? Surgery hidden in private houses? People would have to go there because they don't have health insurance (Meth lab busted
in SF with OP below it, police said it's where gang members get
bullets removed). A lot of surgery equipment sold on eBay. part of it goes to hospitals for example, but what about the rest? Who buys it and for what?

Will the sick get only treatment and soldiers enhancements?
How do we create a non-mediacal human-market for altering ourselves?

Conclusions: "Do you still count as human when you're done?" She asked whether she could still be regarded as human because she had that sixth sense.
"Anything we change on our body affects the brain!"

Pictures of some of Quinn Norton's slides. Images used in this post found on Wired and Make.
NPR has an audio interview of Norton.

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0porndalex.jpgMy notes from Tina Lorenz' talk at 23C3 in Berlin: Pornography and Technology.

I wanted to comment on what the presentation was like in general but Polas has done it already and i can only agree with just everything he has written (and will therefore remove from the title of my talks any term that might put off the audience, such as "art" or, well... "art"). I enjoyed the talk a lot. I just wondered if there was any point in blogging it because the content looks a bit like a wikipedia entry on, say, the History of erotic depictions but that doesn't make it less fun, at least for me. 'k, now the talk:

1. History of media until the birth of "modern porn"

Porn emerges with the first ability to abstract. Representation of sex first created for religion and later for arousal. Porn becomes mainstream only when the media is cheap enough to distribute sex representations widely. The cheaper the media the more porn copies can be distributed.

Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type printing. Shortly after that erotic literature started to appear even if it was illegal to distribute or even to own it. The situation was quite different in Asia, they have a longer tradition of erotic representation and literature.

0jupijunon.jpgThe first porn engravings appeared in the 16th Century. I Modi was a kind of Kama Sutra, an illustrated book of 16 "postures" or sexual positions. Their objective was to arouse but it was also a social commentary on the situation of Catholic Italy at the time.

In 1839, Louis Daguerre invented the Daguerreotype, an early type of photograph in which the image is exposed directly onto a mirror-polished surface of silver bearing a coating of silver halide particles deposited by iodine vapor. It was the first commercially viable photographic process. However the material used was very heavy and required very long time of poses for the model of a portrait. No possibility to take any "action shot."

The realism of photography made the authorities quite uneasy. So erotic photos or nude portraits were only authorised as "painter's aids."

The only way to reproduce a daguerreotype was to photograph them again which made them rare and priceless. Besides, they were quite fragile. The first erotic photographs and the first experimenters in stereo photography utilized daguerreotypes.

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Etude

Stereoscopy made the technology more popular. Only problem was the rigid poses of the models.

William Fox Talbot patented processes which made it easier to reproduce photography and thus spread images to the masses. One of the patents shortened the posing time.

During 19th Century, the Postal Service became more reliable and safer to use internationally. Porn producers could then send erotic pictures to clients worldwide.

The Kinetoscope, developed by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson between 1889 and 1892, suddenly gave some movements to these images of erotic scenes. This early motion picture exhibition device was designed for short reels to be viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components. It created the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter. Viewers could listen to the soundrack through headphones. It was developed as an attraction for fun fairs.

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Kinetoscope and Carmencita

While reading the wikipedia entry for the kinetoscope, i found out that shortly after its launch came the first recorded instance of motion picture censorship. The film in question showed a performance by the Spanish dancer Carmencita who "communicated an intense sexuality across the footlights that led male reporters to write long, exuberant columns about her performance." When Kinetoscope movie of her dance, shot at the Black Maria in mid-March 1894 was screened in the New Jersey resort town Asbury Park, the town's founder, James A. Bradley was "so shocked by the glimpse of Carmencita's ankles and lace that he complained to Mayor Ten Broeck. The showman was thereupon ordered to withdraw the offending film, which he replaced with Boxing Cats."

Lorenz later explained that early movies were not an attraction on their own. They were part of a circus show or screened at the end of a theatre play representation. Reels had to be bought, there wasn't any effective rental system.0satrtyu.jpg

The first erotic films date back to the beginning of the last century. Given the usually clandestine nature of the filming and distribution, many of them are lost. Most of what remains has been archived at the Kensey Institute for Sex Research. Europeans were pioneers in erotic films. She mentioned the first German erotic movie: Am Abend in 1910. Germans became quickly known for their fetish movies. And France "of course" (that's how she put it) was fast to jump on the erotic movie bandwagon.

The first erotic movies were also called "stag films". Their main audience was made of men who belonged to closed societies. As the entry fees to belong to those private societies were high, only rich men got to watch the films. The films were also shown in brothels to arouse punters. The stag films didn't have any real plot. The novelty of seeing naked women was enough to make the gents loose their head.

The first erotic movies were better produced than shooted which might indicate that they were done by professional producers from Hollywood who wanted to make extra money on the side. Narrative elements were then introduced to eliminate repetition.

Erotic movies reveal a lot about the culture that produced them.

For example, Free Ride, believed to be the oldest surviving porn film made in the US (and haha! directed by Will B. Hard and A. Wise Guy), was made at a time when cars started to be "affordable", they were a symbol of freedom.

In times of war, while women were working in factories and their men were soldiers, erotic movies depicted women as passive and submissive. They looked bored during the intercourse.

The introduction of sound allowed for the development of more complex plots. "Yes, there ARE plots in porn!" explained Lorenz.

The narrative brought even more morale and references to the culture of the day. According to Lorenz, pornography has always been more interesting than sex to get to know about our world.

1968: Denmark is the first country to legalize pornography. Copies were quickly smuggled out of the country.
1969: First sex expo "Sex 69"
1970: first modern porn, Mona, the Virgin Nymph that was the first porn film with a plot that received a general theatrical release in the U.S.

Porn wanted to go mainstream and merge with the Hollywood industry. So they increased the budget, put more effort in writing better plots and hired professional technicians.

2. Definition of pornography

Difficult to define. What is obscene and perverse for one person, say a feminist, might be acceptable for a philosopher. A common criteria is that porn seeks to arouse customers. But then again, what is arousing for you might be disgusting for me.

Lorenz believes that porn has to fill some technical criteria:
- porn is media-bound. It's all about the layer of abstraction;
- porn is fictional, imaginative, iconic. Porns are staged, have a scenario. Grey area: house porn;
- porn is produced for an audience. If my friend organises an orgy and films, edits and credits it but doesn't show it to anyone else than the "actors" and their close friends, the degree of abstraction is lessened. But if the video is uploaded online and seen by net surfers who don't know any of the actors, then it becomes a porn movie. With an informed audience, it can even become art.

VHS vs Betamax. An urban legend wants that the format war was won by VHS because of porn. It fact the battle might have been won by something as simple as the length of the tape (2 hours for VHS and 1 hour for Betamax.) Porn adopted VHS to lower production costs. In its quest to go mainstream, the porn industry wanted to make feature films and thuus needed longer tapes. VHS allowed people to watch porn at home. They didn't have to face the humiliation of buying tickets to see a smut movie.

The rise of the internet has allowed for an even larger and swifter distribution.

Stats: 60% porn in p2p now. In 2006, about 1% of random sample websites were sexy.

0wiiibrat.jpg3. Teledildonics and Interactive Porn

Second Life: avatars programmed to have virtual sex. Sex in Second Life happens through a combination of poses, animations, scripts, and typing. The main ingredient is known as pose balls, objects with scripts in them that trigger a user's avatar to play certain animations or poses. For sex, poseballs are placed close together, with titles above them that say the position the user will take.

Just out when she made the talk: Wiibrator, a Python application that interfaces the Wii’s Wiimote and the PS2’s Trancevibrator.

Lorenz concluded by saying that we'll see more and more of these gadgets that mediate virtual and real life sexual activities. "And remember, porn is not bad!"

0lap32.jpg23C3 ended Friday night. I had a fantastic time there, met the usual crowd of super smart and super nice people, have been aghast at the depth of my ignorance when i read the title of many of the talks, fell in love with the prototypes of the One Laptop per Child and vowed that i'll be there next year (without the flu hopefully.)

I might post my scribbling from one or two talks later on but in the meantime, here's a few links that might make you forget all about your post-party hunghover:

Julian posted his notes from the Console hacking lecture where Felix Domke gave the lowdown on the current state of getting homebrew code - your own games - running on the XBox 360, the Wii and the PS3.

Sascha presented his Blinks & Buttons project during the lightning talks-session.

Notes on 2 new hacker tools for Bluetooth. BTCrack and Hidattack, released at 23c3, demonstrate serious security vulnerabilities in Bluetooth at the protocol level.

23C3 lectures and drone-related events on Google Video and You Tube.

lessig1.jpgA short recap of Creative Commons-founder Lawrence Lessig's evangelization talk (or rather motivation session for the converted) at 23C3 in Berlin about the differences between culture and code.

The fundamental change is the fact that code had been used to create things like printer-drivers and such. But – since a few years, code, or rather the tools that had been coded have become a main element in the creation of culture as we use and witness it today. Especially the whole mashup-culture is heavily relying on the techniques and the mindset of digital creation and open access to other's works for sampling from and building upon, etc. Popular examples are the anime music-clip subculture like the Muppet Hunter, the Jesus Christ the Musical-clip or lots of pieces that borrow from news networks' footage to make their own suggestive edits.

lessig2.jpgSo you could regard this as the pinnacle of today's tools of creativity, even the most important contemporary form of expression, probably even replacing speech and text in an American mass-media context as the main means to reach people. Having said this (and that's a bit of a rhetorical trick), he argued that threatening the freedom of this kind of usage of media equals threatening the freedom of speech itself. But, and that's a fact, the nagging question is whether this form of expression is legal or not, both in the US and elsewhere. Lessig told of a recent meeting in NYC where lawyers tried to explain the four conditions which you have to fulfil to be able to work under the law of Fair use. It took four lawyers, one hour and in the end the audience was only more confused. To him he said, it seemed a bit like the the Soviet Union somewhere in between the height of its power and its downfall and brought up the question just how you could have convinced the Soviet officials to change their system in that era. lessing4.jpgIn his view, the system as it exists today doesn't work anymore (and it's constantly being ignored by many people because of that) and needs to be changed, so how would that work?

Firstly, what won't work – Hackers and technologists trying to break the system: They will continue to be able to break manifestations of the system like DRM but that is not really solving the overall problem. (John Perry Barlow later strongly disagreed and argued that "a combination of massive civil disobedience and the fact that we [the electronic Hezbollah] are more skilled" will solve all those issues). Count on the system to change itself: Won't work either, especially in the US-context where virtually all parts of the political spectrum are strongly opposed against changing intellectual property rights towards greater openness. A guy he called Hollywood Howard just got to be the head of the most powerful organization in that area, proving that the property lobby has established a very firm grip there. Litigation: Lessig is a lawyer, and he first tried to go the legal way, took the case about Sunny Bono to the supreme court – and lost. In his view, the courts don't understand the issue.

Secondly, what will work – creating an infrastructure. In the late 1930s there was an interesting process in the US where an organization called ASCAP was owning all the rights to the most popular music and thus virtually holding the emerging broadcasting industry practically hostage. A second organization, called BMI, appeared, and even though they had an inferior portfolio of artists and titles, quickly shattered the power of ASCAP because they offered a far more attractive infrastructure for both artists and broadcasters. In Lessig's view, Creative Commons' ideal role would be to empower the change to come through the same creation of a framework.

lessig3.jpgHowever, despite the amazing success of CC with 150 million licenses already issued, there are people who disagree, also within the free code/culture/knowledge-movement. There (and this was also a nifty rhetorical trick), he revealed that actually, he's one of the old Soviets himself, because he actually doesn't want copyright as such to be abolished. While the we-don't-care-about-copies or join-if-you-want-to-use attitudes of the Copyleft and GNU movements may be right for some types of creativity, mainly the creation, improvement and distribution of computer software, it may not work for others. There are some forms of artistic expression like photography where a rule that only gets triggered when users actually creatively alter the creation doesn't help much – if you put a photo up on Flickr under one of those licenses, Fox News could use it freely for evil misinformation if they do not change the photo itself.

This is, why CC is designed to be a modification to copyright which allows creators to assign licenses to their work in a more flexible way instead of imposing an quasi-ideological demand to share all their work for free on them, often met by great criticism. Lessig does admit however, that creative domains other than the creation of code will need to fight the same struggles as the free software-community has done in the last three decades in order to win this war. (Yes, he really said war) Closing the session, amidst an even more heated discussion, he pointed out that the current situation reminds him a lot of the movie Awakenings where a group of people who had been in a condition called catatonic state wake up and stay awake for a limited time before they fall back into this state. To Lessig, we're now in this phase of wake and we have a certain timeframe before the people who oppose access to culture will have cemented their views through DRM and legal deadlocks. Barlow had still a mic and replied "Oh, you're such a pessimist".

You can find some more pictures on the 23C3-pool on Flickr and an actual gnu was also spotted at the venue.

UPDATE: Here's the complete talk on Google Video. (Via Joi Ito)

0wowito.jpgMy notes from Joichi Ito's talk about his experience of and passion for World of Warcraft at 23C3 in Berlin.

For Joichi Ito (uber-cool Japanese guy who was using his mobile phone to click from one slide to another), there's a number of very interesting things that happening in World of Warcraft today. The game is not doing anything different than any other game, it just does it better. Besides a lot of things have changed and improved since the beginning of MMORPGs: the graphics are much better, people have high bandwidth, etc.

The main strenght of WOW is that today the game counts 8 million players (about half of them are Chinese). Other MMORPGs are still counting in hundreds of thousands of players. Counting millions of players means a lot: it means that you can talk about the game with your friends at school, you can bump into other players in the streets, etc. It wasn't possible before, the game wasn't mainstream enough. Now the game keeps growing. Faster and faster. Mods from the past were more about constraints, death and limitations.

0ingfullew.jpgThere's one thing that people should stop asking is "Is WoW better than Second Life?" These are two very different things, it's like companring apples and oranges. Joichi Ita plays both games. He even showed the screen where he displays videos of WOW inside SL, or explain how he would meet other WOW players for a quiet chat on SL and talk strategy with them.

The total time Joichi Ito has spent playing so far is 108 days, 4 hours, 58 min, 55 seconds. The time played on his current level (level 60) is 72 days, 8 hours, 0 minutes, 41 seconds (that's his avatar in full gear on the right.)

According to Richard Bartle, there are 4 types of pillars in MMORPGs:
- you play for Achievement (improving yourself, growing)
- Exploration (idea of quest, talks to the historians)
- Socialization (chat windows, guilds, etc.)
- Killing other players and monsters.

0insouthpar.jpgPeople have their favourite pillar and it shows in the way they play. Some guilds focus on a specific pillar and others manage to balance them all. All the different ways people play are interesting but what's even more fascinating is the way they interact.

He showed a kind of "raid group" where 40 players (5 from each of the WoW classes present in his guild) of his guild were attacking a super monster. "Now imagine you have to do something similar in real life, like getting 40 people together to go to a movie. It's pretty tricky to organise. Now just think that you'd have to do that again and again, every weekend!"

He also recommended a paper on Massively Multiplayer Online Games by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas: The Play of Imagination: Beyond the Literary Mind. (get the PDF)

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Metaphore of WoW for project management: the game can tell you a lot about how someone can work under stress, manage resources, move forward, etc. Ito explained that he had met all kinds of people who were great leaders on WoW (like a nurse on night shift in Virginia) but none of them had an MBA. (Related: an article about Why multiplayer games may be the best kind of job training.)

Seely Brown compared the experience of group activities on Wow to an "ensemble", an orchestra. Being part of an ensemble means doing things or going places as a large group and seeing that everything works smoothly, fits into place like magic. Such as 40 people collaborating to kill a monster. Everyone has some sense of achievement, the satisfaction of having achieved something as part of a group.

In his guild there are all sorts of people: students, priests, policeman, businessmen... The game crosses the classes. That doesn't happen to such extent on Second Life which is more a game for intellectuals. One of the reasons is that WoW has been designed as a commercial product. It's not too expensive and you figure out quite rapidly how it works. It takes much more time to feel confident on SL.

1odashboard.jpgJoichi Ito talked about the importance of the user interface on WoW. His “dashboard? is very impressive. Sascha wrote down a few notes about it on his blog: "According to him, it’s more like flying with instruments and the actual 3D realm becomes more of a background to the statistics he’s watching. So some runs require up to 40 players of level 60 each to cooperate, with an intricate rank-system, different skills, etc., everyone linked over audio and Joi in command. (I see that this is generating a lot of fuss in business circles with Yahoo allegedly considering applicants’ experience in WoW, because it’s all about solving problems and coordination and especially leadership. But – much more obvious, this is the future of war. Commanding 40 soldiers from a computer with complete overview of the relevant contexts is practically identical to what for instance the US army likes to call the digital battlefield, applied and working.)"

Richard Bartle argued that when you're in a game, you're in a fantasy and you don't want reality to intrude. He was against VoIP.

Joichi Ito disagrees. In Japan, cyberspace is part of the real world. Besides, the integration of audio communication in the form of Teamspeak into the game doesn't create any problem. It's not a phone conversation, it's more ambient, like being in the same room together. Team speakers have to "push to talk". Sometimes people bump into each other but quickly learn how to handle that, even when there are 40 people in the same channel. For Ito, the transition between real world and game is seamless.

WoW is a fantastic place to meet people and have a chat with someone you wouldn't talk with in real life: you find yourself talking with a priest about God for example. A guy from Joichi Ito's guild has been beaten up by the lesbian girlfirend of the woman he was chatting up in a bar? First thing he does is talk about it to his team. WoW works as a wonderful watercooler. Players come from very different backgrounds as well which makes people embrace diversity. "Kids in the US don't know much about diversity." He told the story of a US kid who was racist but "how do you know that someone else in the guild is the same race as you?" Some actually learnt that yes, Chinese kids are pretty smart.

Outside tools of WoW: forums and bylaws that list the core values, missions, what you're allowed to do or not in the guild, etc. His own guild, We Know, counts 400 members. It turns out that players in guilds which have nearly no rules are much more stressed than those playing in guild that have well-defined rules: in an organised guild, players know what to expect.

Another interesting outcome of WoW and online games in general is the use of game engine to create video content: Machinima.

He illustrated it with two videos:

Promo video for his World of Warcraft guild
(hi-res direct download)

and the hilarious Machinima version of Electric six' "Gay Bar". Directed by the members of the Pretty Pink Ponies guild.

0atgaybar.jpg

The problem is that WoW does not give players the right to use any of the stuff they make. On the other hand, Second Life is actually encouraging players to do Machinimas, they even have built-in features. If you want to use something, even a screenshot for an article that talks about the game you have to ask the authorisation to WoW's lawyer department. WoW doesn't understand much about the economy of sharing yet.

Another problem of WoW is that it is not the "new golf" as some have said, you cannot play with your mates if you're not on the same server. Second Life, once again, does a better job here, each part of the SL universe is connected to others. It's not flawless but it's getting better.

He also mentioned the illegal practice of Gold Farming (farmers are very active in in China). But how do you get caught buying gold? If you offer a dinner to someone in exchange of gold or if you owe money to a friend and pays him back in gold. Technically it's very difficult (if not impossible) to know if you've bought gold. Second Life has a Linden Dollar/US Dollar exchange. Blizzard is against the idea of allowing rich people to buy gold, they want an egalitarian system. The Chinese, strangely, believe that it would only be fair if the (real life) richest were also the most powerful in the game as well. Ito found it ironic that the idea of an egalitarian system should come from the US.

UPDATE: Joichi Ito has posted some preliminary videos here. More friendly video sites later maybe, he added.

See also the article Joichi Ito wrote about World of Warcraft for Wired.

I took pictures of some of his slides, they are not great (the pics not the slides) but there are some pretty good screenshots by Joichi Ito here, that's were i stole the image of Ito's avatar. Third image from Make Love Not Warcraft.

0elentrrr.jpgThe 23rd Chaos Communication Congress has just kicked off this morning at the Berliner Congress Center in Berlin.

I arrived a bit late but when i finally got into the conference room Tim Pritlove was explaining the highlights of the events.

There will be a Powerpoint Karaoke (the speaker sees the slides of his presentation for the first time as his talk starts!), a Hacker Jeopardy (The one and only hacker quizshow), a second iteration of Biometrics in Science Fiction with short film scenes from movies and a Capture the Flag Hacking Contest.

The international VJ Conference AVIT>C23 is taking place at the BCC as well. They are located in the Art&Beauty area. The programme includes more than 20 presentations, performances, VJ-talks, techniques and technology lectures, and workshops.

0avitinf.jpg

Because one of the goals of the congress is to express concerns about a series of issues, including surveillance, Tim introduced a DIY surveillance system, a pretty badge complete with a blinking LED light, batteries and an active RFID tag. Project Sputnik is the real-time in-building location tracking system present at the 23C3. The signal is picked up by one or multiple of the 20+ readers installed throughout the venue. You can switch it off whenever you don't want your data to be visible. 0sputnikkk.jpg

Sputnik is an open project: CC-BY-SA Hardware and GPL Software (part of OpenBeacon). The hardware schematics and firmware source code will be published during 23C3, enabling hackers to enhance/replace the existing firmware, and to add new applications such as p2p communication between multiple devices. Or you can buy one for 10 euros at the entrance (there are only 1000 available!)

The main objective is to demonstrate what kind of surveillance is possible using off-the-shelf inexpensive technology, and to make hackers interested into exploring potential positive use cases for it.

To the delight of the audience, a Camp was announced for next year. It is scheduled on August 8-12 near Berlin (max. 1,30 hour drive.)

The theme of the conference this year is Who Can You Trust?

We are afraid of reality. Reality is: privacy fading away and almost gone by now; loosing control over our data, etc. While fighting the war, we have to adapt to reality and it's all about trust. What is trust? Something that takes a very long time to establish, it thrives on openness and discussion. Trust is the absence of fear. Trust creates security.

We can create security in our society only if we can establish trust.

Check also the CCC Events Blog and get the images.

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