This year’s Chaos Communication Congress was an overwhelming experience, mostly because of the great number of participants and the good atmosphere, although everybody had a hard time to find empty seats in the lecture halls. Fortunately, the lectures were streamed. So, I didn’t always fought my way through the crowd, but simply watched the stream instead. This is, of course, not quite the same thing. Here are some impressions of the lectures I attended or watched as a stream:
- I was late at the opening event and wasn’t particularly captured by the keynote, so I gave up on it after some minutes. I cannot tell exactly why the keynote didn’t touch me; possibly it was John Gilmore’s way of speaking. Moreover, the opening event should be more stimulating.
- As expected, Hacking the iPhone was the highlight of the first day. The lecture hall was very crowded; fortunately, I came early enough to get into the room and sit on the floor. Unfortunately, one of the speakers was almost incomprehensible, but the talk was certainly very interesting.
- My personal favorite of the first day was the live feature on Kurt Gödel. Such presentations are always very funny and informative at the same time. I hope there will be more!
- The talk on swarm robots on the second day was very thought-stimulating. In this project, the robots communicate through infra-red sensors, but it gave me an idea of how they could communicate even without a special communication device. Perhaps, I should start my own project on robot communication….
- Magnus Manske’s talk on DNA sequencing was interesting to me, because it’s a field I don’t know anything about.
- Rose White’s talk The Infinite Library was very entertaining, although it didn’t yield much new information. I liked it nonetheless for its entertainment value.
- I started the third day with my own contribution on Newspeak (recording) which provoked some interesting discussions. I even gave four interviews afterwards: a very short videocast on Netzpolitik (with closed eyes), one for Bayerischer Rundfunk (aired on January 9th, 2009), one for a free radio in Southern Germany and another one for the German Free Radio Network. I’m very happy that so many people found my ideas interesting.
I followed some other lectures, but passed most of the time in the Speakers’ Room, which is a cosy, unfortunately a little too small room where speakers like myself were accepted and could prepare their talks (there is always need for last-minute preparations). I coordinated the Speakers’ Room volunteers, which was an easy task this year, because the group worked together very harmoniously and effectively. Moreover, the Speakers’ Room is always a good place to meet interesting people.
Not surprisingly, with so many people around, it is easy to catch some viruses (computer viruses and others). Unfortunately, I caught a bad cold and had to spend the first days of the new year in bed.