Amateur Radio at HOPE… Radio Station N2H & FCC Exams

Amateur Radio operators, or “Hams” have been developing and hacking wireless electronic communications systems for over a century. Their work gave birth to the DIY electronics and hacker movements.

The FCC has granted The Next HOPE a special-event amateur radio station
license to demonstrate the radio arts. Check out radio station N2H on the 18th floor near the Tesla room, and see free global voice/data communication in action– without infrastructure! It’s lots of fun and a great worldwide community to belong to– and it always works when your phone and Internet connection fails! Visit the HOPE wiki to get involved http://wiki.hope.net/TNH/Amateur_Radio_Projects

On Sunday July 18th from 10am-1pm, FCC amateur radio exams will be administered on the 6th floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania. You don’t have to know Morse code anymore, you don’t have to be a conference attendee, and the entry-level license exam is pretty easy. Bring a state-issued photo ID or U.S. Passport. You can prepare in just a few hours by taking free sample practice exams at http://www.qrz.com/ham/

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Are you crazy enough to drag a production server to Manhattan for the weekend? Then we’ve got a parking spot for it in the Not Our Concern Network Operations Center.

FTP server? Game server? CTF target?

We’ll provide the cage, the padlock, the power, and an ethernet connection. All you have to do is bring your box. We’ll also post connection information for you here on thenexthope.org so everyone can find it on the network. NOC staff and the projects coordinator will have keys.

The padlock was provided by US TOOOL and the cage is line of sight from the main Security station.

Just email projects@hope.net to make a reservation.

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The Next HOPE needs volunteers!

We’re still looking for help in the following areas:

  • Setup: On Thursday, July 15th, we’re stringing cables, setting up light, sound and video equipment, building art installations and getting the conference ready for several thousand attendees. Being the setup crew is a great way to meet people and get acquainted with the conference before it starts!
  • Audio/Video: Our A/V gurus are seeking volunteers to operate sound boards, lighting consoles, and video cameras during the talks. In addition, To bring the talks to as many attendees as possible, they are streamed live from the camera feed to various projector screens located within the conference areas. Volunteers are needed to help
    set up the gear and to help maintain it over the course of the weekend.
  • Information Desk: Volunteers are needed to help provide orientation and information to fellow attendees, as well as disseminate vital schedule and event updates.
  • Special Ops: Things change, problems arise, and we need volunteers to
    be available to help solve these unforeseen problems and assist in all the other volunteer areas!

If you have a particular skill or interest and would like to get
involved, or are completely unskilled and have no direction in life,
just email volunteers@hope.net and we’ll hook you up with the
appropriate organizers. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

See you at the Next HOPE!

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The entire schedule for The Next HOPE has been finalized and is now viewable online in either grid or summary mode.

We have three scheduled tracks and one unscheduled one which will result in well over 100 hour long presentations. We had more submissions this year than ever before and also more preregistrants so this looks like the biggest HOPE in history.

It’s not too late to take advantage of preregistration before it closes within the next week or two. Simply click to ensure your spot at The Next HOPE.

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Some HOPE Travel Notes

If you’re still looking for cheap flights to New York for The Next HOPE, we’ve added a new service to help you out. Simply email hopeflights@gmail.com and ask us what you’re looking for. Be as specific (and reasonable) as possible with regards to dates you’d like to travel and how much you can pay. Someone from our helpful staff will get back to you with specific info. NOTE: Airfares change rapidly so only email us when you’re ready to book. We will guide you to the best site but we’re NOT the ones booking your travel.

We’ve had a lot of people take advantage of the special HOPE rate at the Hotel Pennsylvania. So many that it’s been completely sold out! But it’s far from the end of the world. You can get pretty much the same rate by going through some discount websites. Try http://www.easyclicktravel.com/ and select Hotel Pennsylvania. Other discount sites should also offer a decent rate. For more help with hotels, visit the HOPE Forums at http://talk.hope.net where you can also find people to share rooms and rides with.

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In a story that continues to get more interesting with each passing day, one of our keynote speakers for The Next HOPE is said to be in great danger of being apprehended or worse by the United States government after a source of sensitive information was arrested.

Our keynote speaker, Julian Assange of Wikileaks, published a video back in April that showed U.S. troops firing on unarmed Reuters journalists in Baghdad, killing them and wounding a number of others. Attempts by Reuters to get this video through the Freedom of Information Act had failed. It was only after it was sent to Wikileaks that the truth came out and a major scandal followed.

But it didn’t end there. It seems that the alleged source of this particular leak had struck up a conversation with someone in the hacker community named Adrian Lamo. According to chat transcripts provided by Lamo, Army intelligence specialist Bradley Manning admitted to the leak along with one other video that has yet to be released. That video supposedly shows the 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan which killed dozens of civilians. But there was still more. According to a report in Wired, who claim to have copies of the chat transcripts, Manning had also sent 260,000 diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. This was supposedly the point at which Lamo felt he had no choice but to turn Manning in, according to the Wired story. Meanwhile Wikileaks will not confirm whether or not Manning is a source and also claims to not have 260,000 diplomatic cables. And that’s where it all stands now.

So what does this all mean? According to a report in the Daily Beast, it means Julian Assange is a marked man. In fact, former Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said Assange was “absolutely” in danger and should “stay out of the U.S.” Meanwhile, in another report, an anonymous U.S. official was quoted as saying of Assange, “We’d like to know where he is.”

Assange is scheduled to give The Next HOPE Saturday keynote on July 17 in New York City. To make things even more interesting, Lamo has also been planning on appearing at the conference and may now wind up facing a hacker community who views his actions with, to put it mildly, disappointment. Lamo claims he was put in an impossible situation and is actually a supporter of Wikileaks, saying he even contributed money to the organization in the past.

That’s pretty much the story as it stands now. One person is in prison, another is in fear of arrest or even physical harm, while a third is being ostracized by much of the hacker world. We have not been immune from this, having been subjected to a denial of service attack the day after the story broke, ostensibly because of Lamo’s loose affiliation with 2600 as head of our Facebook group, among other things. But that is a relatively small price compared to the real hell being experienced by those involved firsthand.

We need to be clear on one thing. We find it reprehensible that Assange, a journalist whose only mission is to reveal the truth and protect sources, has to be subjected to this type of harassment. Wikileaks embodies all that is sacred to the hacker mentality: freedom of speech and of information, anonymity for sources, and a dedication to getting the story out, above all else. This is why Assange was chosen as one of our keynote speakers and we believe we all can and will learn a great deal from his words. That said, we will not encourage any speaker to put themselves in harm’s way for us or for anybody. But we will expend every effort to make sure that they are not silenced and that their message will be heard by our attendees. We call upon (but hardly expect to hear back from) the State Department and federal authorities to ensure that Julian Assange can travel freely to our country without harassment or detainment. We ask that you help us by spreading the message “Let Julian Speak!” far and wide. If nothing else, the world needs to know that such intimidation will not go unnoticed.

We also intend to do everything possible to support and strengthen the Wikileaks organization. That includes helping to fundraise, establishing links with other communities, and getting HOPE attendees to volunteer their services. We can think of no group more worthy of this level of support, especially in light of these recent developments.

As for the controversy itself, we will not avoid it. You can count on this being a hot topic at The Next HOPE, wherever the story happens to take us by then. As always, you can count on HOPE being lively, provocative, and above all else, relevant.


* photo credit New Media Days / Peter Erichsen via Flickr here, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License.

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Willing Participants, Please Step Up


EDIT: See the newer updated volunteers call post here.

. Continue Reading…

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Last Call For Artspace Submissions

2600 Magazine presents The Next HOPE, the eighth conference in the 16 year history of the Hackers On Planet Earth series. It will happen at the Hotel Pennsylvania in the middle of New York City from July 16-18, 2010, and will be the largest creative technology conference on the U.S. East Coast.

The Next HOPE will feature a wide variety of tech art installations, but the submission deadline for participation in Artspace at The Next HOPE will be end of day on June 10th.

We invite artists, local and beyond, who have a vision of the future expressed as installation art. Installations must be technology-based. They can range from electrical experiments to computer-controlled machines, to data and information processing visualizations. They can be static or interactive, and they could be visual or musical, this is a very open field. This is an unpaid exhibition, but the selected installation artists will be given free admission to the conference, and inclusion in an online gallery with artist biographies which will be set up for promotional purposes.

If you have already submitted work for consideration, you will be contacted shortly.

What are your space, power, time, and data connection requirements? Contact the curator with that information as soon as possible.

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Security Expert Dan Kaminsky to Keynote

We’re pleased to announce that security expert Dan Kaminsky will be one of the keynote speakers at The Next HOPE, taking place in New York City July 16-18, 2010. As previously announced, Julian Assange of Wikileaks will also be keynoting.

Dan KaminskyDan has a widely respected history in the computer security world, probably best known for discovering the 2008 DNS cache poisoning vulnerability, a flaw which could allow attackers to easily perform cache poisoning attacks on any nameserver. He also was key in the Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal, where Sony was found to be complicit in installing rootkits on consumer computers, making them vulnerable to all sorts of malware. Dan estimated that Sony’s rootkit had been installed on computers spanning more than 500,000 networks.

It’s particularly thrilling for us to have Dan in attendance (it’s also his first HOPE appearance) because he’s able to present this material in an entertaining and accessible manner, unlike so many security experts who have trouble reaching an audience outside their field of expertise. This, after all, is our goal with all of our conferences – to reach as many people with varying levels of interest and ability as possible.

Dan appeared on “Off The Hook” on January 20, 2010 and part of his interview on HAR FM can be heard on the December 29, 2009 edition of “Off The Wall.”

Continue Reading…

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Vendor Tables at The Next HOPE

Do you have something to sell, exhibit, or otherwise share with attendees at The Next HOPE? We’re making available a number of tables for folks who want to be able to display or sell their wares. These tables will be located in a highly-trafficked area of the second floor. We hope that a variety of groups will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to reach our attendees, and that our attendees will be able to see some neat products they might not otherwise get to know about.

Tables cost $350 each for commercial organizations; discounted rates are available for non-profit or personal projects. The commercial rate includes one admission to the conference. We will provide tables, chairs, and tablecloths if you want them. To register for a table, or for more information, please email vendors@hope.net. Let us know who you are, what you are planning to sell or show, and if you will need electricity or a connection to the Internet (wireless or ethernet).

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