29 Dec 2009

26C3 Day 2

Submitted by blizzz

Somehow i caught a slight cold yesterday, but that does not lower my anticipation for this second day. Just like yesterday i'd like to share my experience of this day with you. Here it goes:

Voting Machines

Kathleen Wynn showed the audience a video of reports and interviews regarding the irregularities in US vote in 2004 and the general problems with voting machines. She concluded, that in US has been a wall between citizens and the elections and compared it to the Berlin wall. She points, that USA failed to realizise reasonable changes with the use of voting machines in contrast to Germany and calls for help.

I was not enthused to watch a video, this is something i can do at home. I would have been more pleased if she tried to deliver her message with slides, a good speak and some video excerpt here and there. So i could not fully concentrate on the topic.

Rocket Science

prototype of the moon roverIn my review of the first day i said some place "not rocket science". Well, this changed today with a double feature: Part of the team "Part Time Scientists" introduced them and their participation in the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which aim is to sent a rover to the moon and solve some task. Those task are associated with prized categories, e.g. driving 500km and sending a "Mooncast" or staying alive for 14.5 days (temperatures change from -160° to +160° – Celsius i guess – between day and night), and others.

So, flying to the moon is both an exciting but also ambitious project, if you do this in your free time mostly. I knew about the existence of the projectteam before, but was skeptical, alone because of missing what is going behind. But Arne Reiners, Juergen Brandner, Michael Mussler and Robert Boehme gave a cool insight in their project, what they reached so far, what they are doing and what they will tackle for the short and the long term. To top it, Jack W. Crenshaw has been connected via Skype. He formerly worked for so Apollo program and is now part of the team.

One of the many exciting things said was their afford to built up a network of common satellites dishes throughout the world (saying was over 100 units) in order to establish a 24/7 communication way from earth to the spacecraft and rover, but also to deliver and offer an cheap and open way for other parties to do the same, e.g. competitors in the challenge. The system is planned to be set under Creative Commons license and it should also be possible to to attach large systems as SETI or VLA.

I am curoius about the results and wish good luck!

Hacking your Stylometry

Stylometry in short is your style of writing fixed on features like sentence lengths and syllables, choice of words, build of sentences and many more. By stylometry a text of an unknown author can be analyzed and allocated to the original author reliably, as long as text (> 6500 words) of him is available to test against. Mike Brennen presented results of his research in reliability of methods and how to modify your text in a way that correct recognition is not reliable. Best way to do this are imitation attacks, i.e. writing in the style of another author. He drives a project to implement the collected knowledge in a software program, called Dragonauth. He also calls for participation.

That talk perfectly services Martin Haase's call to hack language, yesterday.

Fighting with APis

This talk was more a sort of funny complaints or amusing show of examples of overly ugly, bad- or uberdesigned APIs and sourcecode, presented by Erdgeist and Felix von Leitner. Code examples covered both protocols and applications, ranging from HTTP over to Socket and ending with a CPU.

Fight against Telecommunications data retention

Constanze Kurz and Frank Rieger reported about the hearing at Federal Constitutional Court regarding that law, where Constanze has been heard speaking for CCC as well. Much of the this has been in the media already, so it was more a review with some additional details.

Break and Journalists' stories

Rest of the day i kept being in the hackcenter. I tried to follow nibblers talk about something with IP adresses, but was too busy with other stuff. Well, at least i wanted to hear Bicyclemark's lecture about journalists tales, i.e. bloggers, fotojournalists and like and how they have been dealt with. Stupidly enough, i did not pay full attention, too. What i got is that a student's notebook was shot by Israeli soldiers when she was passing the border to (or from?) egypt. You really saw three bullet holes.

So actually video streams are cool, but not the best thing for me, so tomorrow i will fight for seats in the rooms again. The day will start with a triple-feature, which is the traditional review of the year. Looking forward to it!

Read also: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

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