WTH: Day #3

What The Hack turned into What The Swamp between Day #3 and Day #4. When I came out of my tent, I found a lake just in front of it. Fortunately, Fiedel took a Drainage drill to the camp, so that I could drill a few holes around my tent to drain the ground. (It is really surprising what some people carry around with them).
By the way: take a look at the WTH pics, esp. the night pics. The night illumination organized by Art Event is really great, or to word it more pompously: „It redefines the aesthetics of illumination.“
Today, I didn’t go to many lectures. The lecture on Software patents was somewhat boring, but I liked the one intitled Futureshock to which I went instead. It was slightly psychodelic, but fun. The lecturer talked about the transition between human beings and machines. He talked a lot about Cyborgs and asked how many body parts must still be human to grant a cyborg, machine, machine-man etc. voting rights.

What the Hack Special: Second Day

My second day at What The Hack! (the spiegel.de view) started with a brilliant talk on Cryptography by Brenno de Winter. I didn’t learn that much, but the speaker was really good! The talk on carputer technology was quite different: The issue was new to me, but the presentation was bad: The speaker had his hands in his pockets and was always looking at the screen behind him, shifting from one foot to the other. In the evening I went to the After Dinner Speedgeek Soirée, which for me was pre-dinner. That was real fun! Every speaker had four minutes to make a presentation in front of a small group which after four minutes shifted on to the next speaker.
At night I took part in Ingo’s cooking studio at the Chaos Village and learned how to blanch tomatoes. It sounds easier than it is! It’s a good idea to cut a cross into the shell on the bottom side of the tomato before you pour hot water over them. Ingo’s food is indeed delicious!

Windows Vista

Microsoft has given up the code name Longhorn for its forthcoming Windows Vista… Seems like a good idea, since Longhorn is a stupid, if not equivocal, name, but why Vista? Vista is a Spanish word which can be translated as ‚outlook‘ and that translation tells it all: Windows is integrated into Outlook. In fact, that is the case already: Outlook users have told me that if Outlook has a problem, usually, the whole system freezes.

What the Hack Special: First Day

Today’s the first day of the Hacker Outdoor Event What the Hack. Since the conference language is English, I will blog in English too. This is better than switching languages all the time and allows more people to participate in my blog.
The event started with a plenary session where Rop Gonggrijp and Emmanuel Goldstein elaborated upon the history of the Dutch hacker camps. This was interesting for me, since I’m quite new to the scene, but I think for regulars it could have been boring, because they knew all about it. Still both speakers were quite entertaining. Actually, I liked it very much and would like to see more of Rop at a forthcoming Chaos Communication Congress.
The afternoon was quite chilly. The only talk I went to was about the upcoming oil crisis. Actually, the speaker had problems with his presentation (Powerpoint and Flash—no wonder!) and most of the information wasn’t really new. Another talk I would have gone to (on home energy saving) didn’t take place and the one on computer power management almost made me fall asleep, so I left after 20 minutes.
Actually, more important than the conference program is the possibility to hang out with other people, e.g. at $fooBAR under the CCC Dome tent or under one of the Tarpaulin tents, and that’s what I did most of the time.
Of course, I spent some time at the Hackcenter in order to write this article…