Most people think of a hacker as someone who breaks into computer networks, but many in the do-it-yourself movement have adopted the term for themselves. DIY hackers take everyday items and hack, or modify, them to serve new purposes. In the last few years, work spaces dedicated to their craft have been sprouting up all over North America.
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This week our Outriders are a combination of do it yourself and those who can help you do it for yourself. Do it yourself and design are becoming easier via digital tools and creative communities and on the podcast we chat with a number of people who can explain how.
To open with Jeff Kowalski the Vice President and CTO of Autodesk showed me around the company Gallery to describe how one of the larger and older SF tech companies is making advances. When it comes to design, Autodesk aids clients who create almost everything from sustainable architectural design tools, rapid prototyping and even digital systems for films such as Avatar.
Elsewhere in the same city, hackers are making their own designs and working together in creative ways. Noisebridge is the hackerspace in the mission kitted out with machine tools, coders who teach and filled with multiple ideas and projects that encourage further creativity. Gian Pablo Villamil spends time there working on his own projects with friends and he kindly took a moment to tell me more about it.
Mitch Altman - friendly outrider, inventor and maker has been touring the Mid-West of America and parts of Canada checking out other hackerspaces and spreading the word. He was one of the founders of Noisebridge and shared the origins of the idea that turned into a community.
Here in the UK the hackerlab and hackerspace communities are also thriving. On Twitter the Manchester and Sheffield spaces chimed in with their very busy schedules of fun goings on. Check in there to find out more. In East London, Laboratory 24 is run by Jonty Wareing and provides all manner of support for its members.
In addition to the future of DIY, building hardware, open source hardware, and a roundup of amazing projects anyone can build, this talk will present the debut of the film Citizen Engineer - named after the HOPE Number Six talk. The session will be the first time this how-to video series for hacking is shown in public. There will also be some hands on hardware demos, hacking, and a lot of trouble.
In the information age, data is the new currency and access to it is power. With battle cries such as “Information wants to be free”, “Hack the planet” and “we are legion” – Hackers have risen to infamy. But why are they so influential and how are they shaping the world to come?
Hackers, as manipulators of technology and information, are playing a key role in the future of man & machines evolution. As change agents, they continuously push the boundaries of technology, exploring new frontiers such hacking the human body and the brain, turning science fiction inspirations into a reality. Hackers are people who can communicate with machines – and the world needs such individuals to act as mediators, synthesizers and modems - between data, humanity and technology.
But Hackers can also be villains, creating dangerous technologies. So, with great power comes great responsibility, and the transformative power of hacking can become a positive influence in years to come, but only if we learn to embrace and harness it.
Remember the film Hackers with Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie? Well, it’s thanks to that movie that Keren Elazari decided to dive into the world of cyberspace.
Now she is a security expert with extensive experience of large scale commercial and national cyber security issues. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, she now divides her time between Tel Aviv University and the Singularity University in California.
Through it all she has maintained her love for the near-future worlds of sci-fi and cyberpunk.