ToorCamp Journal, Day 2: The altar of geekdom

[Editor’s Note: Amal Graafstra is one of hundreds of people attending ToorCamp, a summer camp for geeks now under way on the Washington coast. The author of the book RFID Toys and a “double RFID implantee,” Graafstra won a ticket to the event through a GeekWire contest. He’s sending dispatches from the camp to give the rest of us a sense for life there. Also see his introductory post and Day 1.]

ToorCamp Journal, Day 2: The altar of geekdomAt the moment didn’t begin out the way in which it was imagined to, however I assume it’s inevitable that each camper forgets a minimum of one factor. Nicely, I forgot to pack the pet injectors essential to implant RFID tags on the Implantation Station. Fortunately, a “fast” (hour lengthy) drive to “close by” Forks resulted in a small miracle. After a brief dialog about how ridiculous vampires are, a neighborhood animal hospital was keen to promote me a quantity of pet injectors! I returned triumphantly and rescheduled the Implantation Station exercise for tomorrow morning.

That left my morning open to eavesdrop on George Dyson, son of famed physicist Freeman Dyson, and his discuss Venture Orion … an try within the ’50s to construct an atomic bomb powered spacecraft. Sure, you learn that proper; A spaceship that shortly ejected small atomic bombs right into a blast zone immediately beneath the ship, producing a large atomic explosion 2-3 instances per second, propelling the spacecraft upward. What’s most fascinating in regards to the speak is a video shot within the ’50s that confirmed a small working proof of idea mannequin powered by exploding balls of C4. The ship pulsed up into the air, increased and better with every blast. The total story particulars simply how severe the US authorities was in regards to the undertaking, and the way protecting they’re of the scientific analysis even to this present day. George wrote a book about Project Orion and gave an incredible 10 minute TED talk about it too… each are positively price testing.

After the speak, I helped myself to some of the free on faucet “Shadow Mate” soda, which was a candy carbonated concoction based mostly on a Yerba Mate tea by-product. Speaking to Hex the brewmaster, he had a captivating open supply strategy to his tea recipe. He put the tea recipe up on GitHub, a well-liked collaborative surroundings for open supply software program code. The thought was that if somebody tried tweaking the recipe and wound up with one thing they felt was higher, they need to fork the undertaking and replace the recipe in that fork with their modifications. The recipe can develop and evolve on GitHub in an natural and manageable manner, and other people can attempt totally different blends and subscribe to totally different forks and branches they like higher to contribute or just watch because it evolves.

Throughout me, issues had been buzzing and other people had been actually moving into their chosen actions. Welders had been instructing folks to weld, folks had been studying the right way to etch their very own PCBs, 3D printers had been busy slinging sizzling ABS plastic, and the solder weapons – as all the time – had been on the prepared. I attended talks on asset restoration strategies together with EXIF data photo processing, license plate detection programs, facial recognition programs, protein folding initiatives and why they matter (it’s science, it all the time issues), and did an interview about RFID with Darren from Hak5.

The day wrapped with a fast go to to the Church of Robotron, and a pleasant sit across the heat bonfire for smores and hearth chats… solely these chats had been all about penetration testing and Android hacking. There are lots of unusual characters right here at ToorCamp, however they largely come out at evening. It’s not unusual to go by Boba Fett or see a pink Sasquatch in your technique to your tent. Hopefully tomorrow’s implantation station occasion goes off with out anymore hitches. One hitch was sufficient.

Observe Amal Graafstra on Twitter @amal and find out more on his siteFor extra on ToorCamp, take heed to our recent GeekWire podcast interview with David Hulton, one of the organizers of the occasion.


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