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Last two meetups recapped

October 9, 2011

Hello All,

The last two meetings were great. We had 5 people at the October 2 meeting and 8 people at our October 7 meeting. At the October 7 meeting one of our members brought in several microcontrollers and various other electronic components for us to play with; one of which we coded to blink “Hello World” in Morse Code.

We discussed the Hackerspace idea that I continue to work on. I will try to set up a meeting with somebody at SUNY Albany to discuss using a room before our next meeting.

I hope that we can continue to have such a great turnout. Its a pleasure seeing these meetings grow and I hope that we can find a hackerspace soon so that we can start building projects.

Until next time,

Tim

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Mistake on Meetup Page

October 1, 2011
There was a mistake on the Meetup page that has led us to have two meetings in one week. Since we have people signed up for the event this Sunday, we will meet anyway. The meeting will be at 5pm at the Starbucks; 1244 Western Ave, Albany. We will also have our official meeting next Friday at the same time and place.

Our new IRC Channel

September 24, 2011

We now have an IRC channel at #nycap2600 on irc.2600.net

Biweekly Meeting Reminder

September 18, 2011

Don’t forget about our meeting today at 6pm at Starbucks; 1244 Western Ave. I know this reminder is a little late but better late than never.

See you there.

–Tim

Monthly Meeting Recap

September 9, 2011

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who attended this months meeting. We had 7 people in attendance, a record so far. Lets keep it going. One of the important things that we discussed is acquiring our own hackerspace. I’ve been in touch with somebody from the University at Albany who has graciously taken it upon himself to find out if we can use one of the Computer Science labs.

We also continued to discuss projects that we can do once we have a space. Those projects include a long distance wifi antennae made out of a satellite dish, a device that picks up video signals from wireless cameras, and an EEG human / computer interface device.

I hope to see everyone at out next meeting on September 18 or at our monthly meeting on October 7.

Don’t forget to ponder the previous post about what you think hacking is.

Until next time,

Tim

What is Hacking?

September 5, 2011

Over the last several issues of 2600 Magazine, they’ve had articles on what hacking means. I thought that this would be a great topic for the group. I will start with a description of what I think hacking is and I hope that either through comments here, on this blog, or on the Facebook group page; people will share their views one what hacking is.

I have a rather broad view of hacking. Hacking is the use of critical thinking skill to probe systems. Those systems don’t have to be electronic or even mechanical. They can be social systems, like government and law, or physical systems, like quantum mechanics or neural networks. We begin this intellectual inquiry by asking how a system works; what is its internal structure. We then ask if the system is vulnerable to exploitation. Along with this question comes the ethical question of whether or not we should exploit the system. An important aspect of this ethical question is, “Is this exploitation for personal gain?” I would say that we should never exploit as system for anything other than to increase our knowledge.

The next question that arises is whether or not we can patch the hole that can be exploited. Most of the time holes can and should be patched unless it is the system that is broken; in which case the holes should be held up for public scrutiny and there should be a call for the system to be abandoned.

This is a brief sketch of how I see hacking. These are not the only questions that should be asked, but they are a good start. The inquiry is going to be system dependent.

I look forward to hearing your views on the subject.

Addendum: I foregot to mention one of the most important parts of hacking; creative problem solving. This can be used to patch a hole, create a new part for a system, or create a new system.

–Tim Fake

Reminder of Tomorrows Meeting

September 1, 2011

I wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is our official monthly meeting of 2600 from 5pm to whenever we decide to leave. I will be arriving at 3:30 or 4pm, depending on how fast the bus can get me from work to the Starbucks (at 1244 Western Ave, Albany, NY), to reserve seating so, if you are around, stop on by. I will be the one wearing the 2600 shirt. There will also be 2600 signs on the tables so that you can find us.