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ToorCamp: Adventures In an American Hacker Camp

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the funny-thing-about-stereotypes dept.

Security 20

jcatcw writes "While a tech camping event might sound like an oxymoron, hackers, makers, breakers and shakers assembled at the northwestern tip of the USA for ToorCamp and dispelled the notion that all hackers avoid sunshine and the great outdoors. As you would expect from a hacker conference, there were workshops like the one for lock picking and a plethora of presentations from "hacking computers to brain hacking, from brewing soda to fighting robots, from civil rights to lightning guns." Then unique aspects of this cool hacker camp get more bizarre . . like the laser that was so bright it required FAA clearance to deploy it, the ShadyTel community 'payphone,' the Temple of Robotron, an RFID implantation station, bike jousting, dancing robots and of course campfires. Need an even stranger adventure that's also in the ToorCon family of hacking conferences? There's the upcoming WorldToor, the first ever hacker conference in Antarctica."

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First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41094833)

It was soo epic!

Home economics and crafts! (1)

2.7182 (819680) | about 2 years ago | (#41095129)

They have a whole cooking class devoted to making dishes with foot cheese! Mmmm mmm!

Foot cheese is really the only completely free cheese since you make it yourself.

Developing Pioneers (2)

wermske (1781984) | about 2 years ago | (#41096119)

Pekka Himanen (The Hacker Ethic) articulates how hackers represent a new, opposing ethos for the information age. That there are values underneath their actions and creations that challenge us all. They share a spirit that they can discover and create great things in imaginative ways. They questions cultural "norms" in a society that is often overly focused on outcomes at the expense of privacy and equality.

The cost and potential profit motives of such adventures (and lack of universal access) seem to be very oxymoronic given the audience and ideals. I question the motives of the sponsors. I also worry that the sensational aspects overwhelm or drown out the very real risks in young, impressionable minds. Additionally, there is the potential "Big Brother" list generating opportunity for government [shudder].

On the whole, I think this is a wonderful idea. It is something I would have enjoyed. But in the absence of any guiding principles or philosophical grounding, I am concerned that we are nurturing western-style martyrs. Every action has consequences...

Re:Developing Pioneers (1)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | about 2 years ago | (#41096289)

I have to say I hated that "Microsoft" lettering on the wristband, which is why I covered it in duct tape. I even got an "Exchange Microsoft" t-shirt in nice Microsoft orange at Hal2001 [] that I brought with me for nostalgic reasons and guess what - I was not brave enough to even wear it!

Then again, one of the corporate whore uber hackers from my village was employed by M$ and as I really liked him, so I didn't want to risk insulting him.

Re:Developing Pioneers (1)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | about 2 years ago | (#41096509)

Now that I found a photo from that exchange Microsoft shirt [] , probably the last one of its kind, I wonder where I have lost my anti-RIAA/MPAA shirt (the one on the very right with a Mickey Mouse silhouette)?

Hands up, who else still owns that shirt?

Excuse me, I have to dig in my wardrobe chest for that shirt now.

Re:Developing Pioneers (1)

4mn0t1337 (446316) | about 2 years ago | (#41098561)

ProTip: Electrical tape will cover better, although require additional reapplications. ;)
Maybe there is a solvent for the injected ink?

The wristband company did make the logo awfully big on the the black bands (but not the others). That being said, using MS money for things like camp infrastructure (or soup!) isn't a bad thing if it helps us all.

Stereotypes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41094901)

Do members of a group really need to be told they don't necessarily conform to the stereotype? Imagine telling a crowd of women that they aren't all irrational and overly emotional because some subset of them joined the debate club. It's still insulting, because of the presumption.

Re:Stereotypes (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about 2 years ago | (#41095097)

Imagine telling a crowd of women that they aren't all irrational and overly emotional because some subset of them joined the debate club. It's still insulting, because of the presumption.

Indeed, I agree with you that all women are irrational and overly emotional regardless that some of them have joined the debate club.

OMG, I'm so quirky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095455)

Get an implant, and then bash Facebook for lack of privacy.

For once a print oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41095471)

There's an obligatory Doonesbury comic about when the daughter goes to camp, but I can't seem to find it because everything past the last 1 1/2 years is paywalled.

it started off knocking windows and then listed the cabins as Mac, Linux, and the kids who wrote their own OS. It's interesting how the sentiments (fanboyism) still hold true to this day.

hackers, makers, breakers and shakers (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41095561)

hackers, makers, breakers and shakers

No shaggers, then?

Toorcamp2012 was great! (1)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | about 2 years ago | (#41095715)

Next on my hacker camping shedule: Ohm [] . Observe. Hack. Make.

See you all there (or on 29c3 [] in Hamburg)!

From civil rights to lightning guns... (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | about 2 years ago | (#41096019)

You can have my lightning gun when you pry it from my charred, tetanized hands!

Welding! and ShadyTel GSM cellphone network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41097287)

We had welding classes too!

Oh, and the ShadyTel guys ran a cell phone system! They used 2 (or more?) "big building" Nokia cell phone radios, they gave us each a sim card, and we could connect to their network from other cell phones if we were white-listed... but it was unencrypted if we didn't have their sim card.

  They re-wrote the GSM stack. (I think they had to go with an existing one because the "optional" features of GSM are not so optional)

EMFCamp (1)

GreyFish (156639) | about 2 years ago | (#41098793)

If you're in the UK and want to go to a hacker camp EMFCamp [] is weekend after next!

Northwestern tip of the United States? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41100809)

Since when is Washington state, and not Alaska, the northwestern tip of the United States?

Re:Northwestern tip of the United States? (1)

4mn0t1337 (446316) | about 2 years ago | (#41103651)

*CONTIGUOUS* United States.

I fixed it.

Logical error... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41102323)

Hanging out in Neah Bay is a *good* way to avoid sunshine.

Not the only .*camp for hackers! (1)

somethingtoremember (1530149) | about 2 years ago | (#41106481)

I recently attended a givecamp ( and it was quite a satisfying experience.
It was great to get out and be a part of a greater good, especially on centered around programming.
In fact, it was probably the hardest i've ever worked on a computer in a 60 hour period in my life
Couldn't say I learned much though, just got really frustrated at Drupal!:)
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