Hackers for charity… but where are the hackers?

I just saw a post from my good friend Johnny Long about why he won’t make it to defcon this year. Johnny is one of the greatest human beings that I know inside or outside of the hacking community. He said the same thing that I have been feeling for years and has the same frustrations. I know EXACTLY how he feels. He started a wonderful project with hacker for charity, but as so often happens, you only have a small number of people on whom you can rely. It ends up being a lot of work and if no ones comes on board and steps up to assist, then it becomes a one man show. Eventually, that one man hits a wall.

I was very fortunate to have a lot of great friends in hacking that helped get binrev and all of our assorted projects going. Sadly, most of the projects have fallen to the wayside or have been abandoned completely as real life pulled people towards other priorities. Most of us still hack. I know that ntheory and I are working on some things right now. dual pops his head up every once in a while with something kool. I talk to decoder all the time still. But we are only a few people that are doing things while everyone else consumes. I could segue here into a rant on consumerism, but it is ironic that hackers, a bunch of seemingly anti-consumers, are such mindless consumers of information without actually creating any new content of their own.

Take a note from Hacker Public Radio. Those guys and girls are doing it right. Please support them. Support hackers for charity. Support can mean anything from finances, to time, to knowledge, or just mentoring someone in these very forums. Find a way to support ANY/ALL hackers. If not, we will regress as a community instead of growing as a family. We are all family…aren’t we?

Binary Revolution Radio uploads bring back memories

I have been slowly but surely uploading episodes of Binary Revolution Radio to our downloads module after a long drought of not having a valid archive.

I customized the section include air dates and show hosts and I have been copying over show notes (which has been an adventure since HTML does not always play well with BBCODE) and as I do this I am reminded of a lot of great times with great friends. I ended the show after 4 seasons because towards the end, it started to become a chore and a burden because expectation were there every week for people and I was trying to keep everyone happy but at the cost of my own enjoyment of the show. When I realized this, I knew that it was time to end it.

But man, while I was doing it, even the last stressful episodes, I had a blast. This was one of the funnest things that I ever did in my life. It was me along with some of my best friends just talking tech and hacking and just being ourselves and doing what we do. We were thinking, challenging boundaries, questioning authority and taking stances on what we believed in. We were learning and teaching at the same time. We were laughing, joking around, and even, on some pathetic occasions, singing. I bore my soul on that show sometimes. I look back and do not regret anything I ever said on that show and if you really want to know who StankDawg really is and what he is all about, just go back and listen to these shows.

That was me.

That *is* me.

I am not, nor have I ever been, fake and I know exactly who I am. You will not find me saying or doing one thing and then going on livejournal or a blog somewhere and pretending to be someone that I am not to people that don’t even know the real me. If you listened to those episodes, you already know the real me.

Binary Revolution Radio #200 now available!

Episode #200 of BRR is now available in the archive.

About the episode:

  • “This is your life episode” with Directors commentary on every episode from the first 4 seasons.
  • Seasons 1-2 starring ntheory (3+ hours).
  • Seasons 3-4 Starring BlackRatchet (2+ hours).
  • “Where are they now” segment featuring dual_parallel (~1 hour).
  • My closing comments and some shouts/thanks (~30 minutes).

The file is over 7 hours in length and weighs in at over 75 MB!

Binary Revolution Radio #200

Tonight, on 11/06/2007, episode #200 of BRR will stream on DDP hackradio. I am not sure how quickly I can put this on the podcast, so if you want to be the first to hear the big news and announcements, you will want to listen to this on the pseudo-live stream since someone will inevitably ruin it for everyone else by posting about it in the forums. There is some big news on this season4 finale!

Total runtime is just over 7 hours!!!!!! Talk about your all-encompassing episode of BRR! Remember to hear it on the DDP HackRadio stream first!

Presenting at HOPE 6 in NYC

I confirmed last weekend that I will be presenting at the 6th HOPE conference again this year in New York City. I submitted 2 talks, but they were after the deadline, so only 1 was accepted.

The talk that was accepted is actually not a normal presentation, but more of an event. It will be the first episode of season 4 of Binary Revolution Radio and will have both myself and several others on stage with me including nottheory, zer0db, and others according to availability.

But what will the show contain? That is the question…

The show will be 1.5 hours long and will focus mainly on the conference itself and the experiences of the weekend. It WILL NOT be pre-scripted or planned. It will be impromptu and very light-hearted and will include interviews with several people from the audience, so bring your questions and comments with you. We will probably bring some random people onto the show and some special surprise guests as well.

We will have some free stuff to give out to audience members who participate in the show and we will be getting together directly afterwards to hang out and grab some food as a group activity for BinRev forum members and supporters.

There will be an announcement at the end of the show pertaining to the future of Binary Revolution Radio, so stick around until the end! “The Revolution Will Be Digitized!”

Phreak Phactor begins!

Starting this weekend, the worlds phirst hacking/phreaking reality radio show begins! It is a LIVE show appearing EXCLUSIVELY on DDP HackRadio and YOU can easily participate.

This will be an enormously phun project that anyone can get involved in. It was another “phirst of its kind” project that required some interest setup and coding on our part. Nottheory did a phantastic job in coding up the interface and the connections between servers. Click below for more information.

We have set up a system that allows multiple users to call in to the BellsMind PBX and participate in the show. The show itself is really not a formal show like many of the others that we have done in the past. This is a freestyle show that is really just a conference call that is streamed live over the internet. That is what makes it a “reality” show. We have no idea who is going to be doing what.

Ideally, we would like to think that it will be a lot of phun phone calls and maybe some light-hearted jokes and phone system “exploration”. We would also love to see people take it upon themselves to bring actual topics of discussion phor everyone, but that may be a little too organized phor this type of show.

The reality aspect of the show will be interesting to observe as well. While we hope and encourage people to enjoy the show, and while we will be liberal with the content, we also realize that some people will just be the complete jerks that they are and try to ruin it phor everyone. There will be people who try to TONE out the line and others who will spout abusive and offensive language. While we will allow an almost unlimited amount of phreedom, if someone does cross the line to the point where they endanger themselves or others, or commit act of an illegal nature, we do have an administrative system written to address these issues and kick people phrom the conference if they become a problem.

We are also in the process of implementing some other phun pheatures such as the ability to vote off other callers like the television reality shows (a la Survivor, the apprentice, etc…). These changes, when implemented, along with phull instructions (including the call-in number) can be phound at PhreakPhactor.net and all changes/announcements will be posted there phirst!!

My HOPE5 presentation video available

In July 2004, I attended and presented at the 5th HOPE conference in NYC. The subject of my presentation was “AS/400: Lifting the veil of obscurity” which was an introduction to the AS/400, how it works, and where common mistakes are made from an administration standpoint.

While the MP3 audio version has been available for some time, it appears that 2600 magazine (the people who run the conference) have made all of the videos available on their web site now as well.

You can get a copy of my presentation for $5.00 on SVCD at the 2600 store. The entire list of presentations is at this page. I also made a 5-10 minute appearance on sl1pm0de’s excellent “hacker radio” presentation as well, so I recommend you pick that up while you are there.

DDP HackRadio is on the net!

It is has been a long time coming, but we have finally gotten DDP HackRadio up and running! Click here to listen to our new 24/7 hacking radio station.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a lot of people…

First of all, I should apologize for it taking so long. It has taken us probably a year or more to get this up and running, but we finally did it.

I installed both shoutcast and icecast in the beginning and got them up and running. icecast did not support streaming mp3 at the time, only ogg vorbis. There was support for it, but it was a little extra work. I had to get the packages for mp3 support and then recompile the server with that support built-in without losing some of the other support. My friend Saitou helped me to get the packages all cooperating and taught me a lot along the way of conflicts and getting through compiling problems. Once I had it up and running, we began testing to see if we could get a whole station up and running, but there was a problem.

The problem was that both shoutcast and icecast, the 2 predominant open-source streaming software applications, did not have the features that we needed for SCHEDULING. The stream itself has been running off and on for quite some time, but it was only me using it to stream BRR and not what I wanted from the station. That is where vooduhal came in.

Vooduhal is the man. We worked for quite some time thinking through the logistics of what we wanted to accomplish and how best to go about doing it. We came up with a mixture of a using a database and using the file system itself to control what gets played. Vooduhal wrote most of the fundamental scripts and cron jobs necessary to get basic functionality working. We also got the basic database built and it worked, but it was just flaky and spontaneously dropped offline and other assorted problems. Vooduhal got it working and had it almost finished except for the administrative functionality. We needed it so that our broadcasters/DJs/personalities could use it easily. Being that we are busy guys who work for a living, it was just hard to find the time to get this thing finished.

Thats when I called on Nick84. Nick84 was also a busy guy, but it just so happened that he had a break in between projects that we were working on and I asked him if he felt like helping finish this up. All of the work for the scheduling needed to be done. We worked together a little bit to discuss strategies and needs and some database structure as well as ideas on how to make it run smoothly and easily. Nick84 wrote a beautiful PHP interface (with all the security that goes with it) so that we could schedule shows. Now, authorized users can add their own shows in a safe, secure, and reliable way. This was not small task and kudos go to Nick84 for a great job. It only took a little bit of testing and some minor tweaks before we finally knew that it was ready to go.