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Keg/Beer discussion[edit]

Derek had given a presentation on brewing beer out at the makerspace. He started a batch to be drinkable in time for the AGM and had asked folks to bring non-screw-cap bottles to the meeting tonight. Instead folks gave him suggestions for alternatives to using bottles.

Alternative from Kris & Tyler to using bleach (which is messy): Oxyclean (without the "Blue flavour crystals") or Diversol. For santiziation: starsan sanitizer pdf tech sheet

One member mentioned that he has a refrigerator that is a kegarator that he has set up to hold both a home-brew and a commercial brew and he's augmented it to include a touch screen computer with maybe the following features:

OSS dance dance revolution - stepnation (PS2 controllers to USB)

OSS guitar hero - frets on fire (Mats already acquired that are USB)

He'd like to be able to tell how empty/full the kegs are - suggestions were:

  1. bend sensor (Derek has a few extras of these and offered them)
  2. spring weight
  3. measure capacitance from outside the keg

Awesome Shit Club[edit]

  1. Kris gave Tyler money to be an awesomeite
  2. we still could use a few more participants - judges and submitters

Makerspace updates[edit]

  1. membership OK, need to build it soon
  2. bank account is waiting on the board of directors so paypal also on hold; incorporation papers need to come through
  3. forge is almost ready. we just need a blower (hair dryer?) and a propane regulator.
    1. regulator needs to be able to handle taking 20-30 psi down to 10.5 inches of water; (according to wikipedia: 1 inAq = .036126 psi, or 27.68089 inAq = 1 psi)
  4. lasercutter coming! (not makerspace equipment yet, but available to use with help)
  5. may have a loaner TIG welder (for e.g. aluminum) and Bridgeport CNC mill for metal machining
  6. makerbot is in there ready to use, ask Derek for an intro lesson
  7. need to plan classes starting in jan
  8. will do a late jan/early feb publicity push; BCIC has a blog that Derek follows - posted a week and a half ago that they were looking for local innovation stories so maybe they'll cover the makerspace
  9. fully functioning wood shop is in place
  10. may get a test bench from Camosun
  11. Krista science writer may attend ideas meeting and may be a source of promotion; Tyler says she is now working at project Neptune
  12. Derek is making a pitch for small community-funded tech shops (there are some commercial ones e.g. TechShop. If we can get them going here in Victoria, we can compete on a more level playing field with places like San Francisco
  13. projects forming, please express interest
    1. bioluminescent seafood
      1. culture bacteria from seafood and play with luminescence media
      2. Is there a market for glowing beer?
      3. Meredith Patterson has made GlowGurt (glowing yogurt)
    2. arduino-based quad copters!
      1. Tyler knows a fellow working on them now from autonomous arial
      2. four rotors can hold 1 kg or so of payload (e.g. a camera)
      3. course this summer; professor runs mechatronics every other year; buys LOTS of arduino boards. Will order out mech and drive systems - focus instead on the programming side
      4. can get in on a group buy of hardware
      5. Aras (a MakerSpace fellow) and Derek will both be taking the course
    3. lettuce machine
      1. Thomas interested in this - a project Derek worked on last summer in California
      2. Aeroponics as opposed to hydroponics; using mist rather than water bumps up growth rate by 25%; also uses 95% less water
      3. piezoelectronics already manufactured for ponds; not too expensive to make the mist; lighting is the big cost
      4. 60 day growth cycle from start to harvestable head of lettuce

(btw. note from Derek. I was full of it on my explanation of the igem data storage project. It was DNA based. It required sequencing to get the data out. They didn't grow the colonies for long enough to have the non-functional DNA be lost. The live encoding schemes I was talking about are more similar to the bacterial computer work reported in the last couple of weeks here: )


  1. Herb says he is planning to have the next Hackathon take place January 22nd, starting at 9 am and maybe going as late as 9 pm
  2. Tyler suggested Herb hook up the fellow from the last hackathon with the giant touchscreen with Derek's VISID lab at UVic (Visual Interactive and Design)
  3. Derek says his lab generally uses java-based visualization tools rather than flash or javascript. A mini-webapp would be best for the hackathon projects.
  4. Herb thinks Nelson of CGI will offer space again
  5. BC Legislature minutes ("Hansard") will soon be available via XML
  6. Herb apparently effected policy change with a simple phone call to a fellow at the Queen's Printer. He noted that is almost unusable as the license message only provides for the narrowest possible use - you can't even print out a copy for a friend. He asked the fellow if the data could be made available via XML and the allowed usage broadened. And it may come to pass as a result of the call! The biggest benefit is that you could do a DIFF on the XML files and see what laws have changed - currently there is no practical way to do this.

Wikileaks Discussion[edit]

Meredith Patterson is collecting responses to the cables - if you review them and have feedback, forward it to her.

G20 Discussion[edit]

Xen/VPS hosting[edit]

prgmr is accepting clients again; you get full access - your own kernel etc. but maybe no freeBSD yet implemented on it


linode - nice fully-automated interface including full rebuild of virtual machine almost immediately by clicking a button

MESH Network[edit]

  1. Didn't actually happen in December after all as the MarketSquare folks got too busy so Tyler got to enjoy the holidays. Courtyard is in suspense. One is up in HipBaby.
  2. Logging shows a couple of hits a day which is remarkable as there is no advertisement that it exists and it is not in a convenient location (no place to sit).
  3. Liam hopes to have the official launch the 3rd or 4th week of January.
  4. Bridging and quick failover appear to be working fine.
  5. You do see the splash screen again whenever you hit a new radio but this is good for the sponsors so letting it remain.

Radio antennas that are easy to do-it-yourself (DIY)[edit]

quarter-wave dipole


Make an HD tv antenna


Alone in the Wilderness

YouTube Version

how to see all of your unread emails in gmail


Derek wants to try to integrate his Zeos hack with Kris's brain machine.

  1. Kris built it as part of a soldering class taught by Mitch Altman (founder of the noisebridge and other hackerspaces and perhaps coiner of the phrase "virtual reality". Drill through sunglasses and install LEDs that you hook up to a prebuilt board which makes them blink at various speeds over a 15 minute cycle. Synchronized with audio sent to your ears at the same time. Wear them with your eyes closed and start the cycle - takes you from alert to meditative and back in 15 minutes. Those who tried it said it definitely messes with your head. (Classic zen meditation recommendation is 24 minutes so maybe just stretching out the cycle a bit would make it easier to use productively. Kris said he hooked up a DV9 (?) so can reprogram it from a computer.) Tyler noted that the subliminal advertising attempts in movie theaters (flashing "buy popcorn" during a film) were shown to be completely ineffective. A member (Kris?) recommended a book call Risk by Dan Gardener - Science and Politics of Fear - most things we fear are not rational. Head vs gut reactions. Gets you thinking about what you really should be afraid of but aren't, and vice-versa.
  2. Mitch shows up with a bunch of boards in a bag. the hardware hacking space at noisebridge built a unit that when you push a button it turns off nearby TVs. Then had it premade in China and now 3 years later is up to a quarter of a million dollars US. Now there is also a TVBeGone Pro version which works up to 150 meters. Mitch teamed up with another person and now it's a 3e6$ empire.
  3. Lisa mentioned her brother wanting to turn off nearby car radios. Tyler had the great idea of maybe possible now by hacking the bluetooth interface now present on many cars.

openID - provides one login that you can then have manage access to many sites

  1. many sites support it e.g. wordpress sites, disqus etc.
  2. google and facebook do support it - but only as providers - they won't accept it
  3. Herb wants to be his own openID provider; wishes all the major sites would accept it
  4. zimbra is an alternative to gmail

IPs almost all consumed

  1. Nortel in bankruptcy; might free up its address range.

Kris had a neat idea for tickets from old events and forward planning for new events.

Wordpress 3.03 needs to be upgraded immediately to 3.04 due to a new exploit.

Upcoming Events[edit]

Next Ideas meeting

OpenDataBC Hackathon on January 22nd 9am-5p.m.

Awesome Shit Club - January 26th 7pm-10pm