[pypy-dev] impressions from CCC congress last week

holger krekel hpk at trillke.net
Wed Jan 4 20:47:56 CET 2006

Hey there, 

here are some impressions from the Chaos Communication
Congress in Berlin end last year (a few days ago).  It 
again was a rather wild session of some 3000 hackers from 
various areas ... with higher broadband connectivity than 
the whole of Africa (10 Gbit) i heart.  Only 1Gbit was 
actually used, though, including free VOIP-phoning to
all of germany. 

This year i didn't attend so many talks also because they
regularly lasted 1 hour - usually too much - but hardly enough
for our current PyPy talks :)  Carl and me had some 350
listeners. It was a rather concentrated and nice atmosphere -
despite our JIT preparation style.  We had one guy from the
Dylan group (Andreas Bogk) who involved Carl and me in a
number of discussions where i wished that Samuele had 
been there :)  The other talk about "EU-funding, Open Source 
and Agility" with Bea went very well and also brought some new
contacts, among them a press guy who wants to report about
PyPy on a suitable occassion.  There apparently was some
article about PyPy in a Linux magazine in November or
December, btw, somebody told me.  

The two PyPy talks were filmed and we can probably provide mpeg's 
somewhere if there is interest.  Also the 22C3 organisers 
themselves want to provide films+sounds from many talks, i think. 

What else?  For example, "How to get a free parking license 
for Europe including all areas nobody is usually allowed to 
park on" - for purposes of "measuring networks".  The successful 
solution is actually quite pythonic and was presented in 
a 5 minute lightning talk. 

Or how to use google maps to discover military airbases
and nuclear power plants including number of trucks, 
airplane types and position and whatnot.  Or on how to 
use Google to find lots of mp3's or other interesting 
content left by people in their public_html directories ... 
All easy stuff but with impressive results :) 

As always, the "trifinite" group and friends presented new 
ways to remote-control many of today's mobile phones, 
including complete surveilance and calling/SMSing on the 
owner's behalf etc.  They had done that two years ago already
when they analyzed the situation within the British Parliament ... 
but it seems the issues keep popping up.  There are really
many "interesting" examples of what you can do with control
over mobile phones ... i find a funny one letting 
everyone in a tube station ring up their neighbour ... 
should feel a bit like being in the matrix. 

Some guys from Austria demonstrated a hack surveilling 
surveillance cameras and thus presenting the focus of police 
activities: randomly scanning around at windows to 
glimpse into rooms ... 

Carl and Bea went to more talks than me so they might have some
funny ones to add.  We also met Bert and Michael from Impara
who are doing Smalltalk/Squeak stuff and some PyPy 
glue experiments.   Christian was often around as well as
was Stephan Diel and Boris Feigin, earlier PyPy sprint 
attenders.  Nice chatting. 

All in all, this chaos communication conference is quite a rush 
and it is impossible to catch everything - so it's often a good
idea to hang around in the large cafeteria area with some music 
and arts going on.  Or to step outside into a snowy Berlin 
to breath different air ... 



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