Looky, looky what we have in our inbox today:
Hacking at Random
International technology & security conference. Four days of
technology, ideological debates and hands-on tinkering.
On August 13-16, 2009 the 20th anniversary event edition of the
four-yearly Dutch outdoor technology-conference will take place near
What is HAR?
Since 1989 the international community that builds the internet has
been getting together on a series of conferences to discuss the state
of contemporary technology, the future of it and the sociological and
political consequences of their work. The participants vary from
students and people with personal interests to researchers, scientists
and entrepreneurs who are widely recognized as the best in their field.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, the average level of knowledge
is high and outside of the official lectures the site is buzzing with
energy, ideas and projects. The New York Times likened the 1997 edition
to a "Woodstock for Hackers". We do our best to keep that atmosphere.
When these conferences first happened twenty years ago, the internet
was like the Wild West, a new frontier to explore. That has changed,
virtually every household in the Western world has access to the
internet and, just as happened in the Wild West, new questions have
risen. Questions of governance, sustainability, integration with
existing power structures, shortage of IP space and energy, censorship,
security, etc. The notion of hacking, to use a system in a creative way
that was not thought of when it was invented, has also shown to be
applicable to fields outside of ICT technology.
Where is HAR?
The location (+52 19' 50.02", +5 49' 27.98") is near Vierhouten, a
small settlement in the beautiful Veluwe area renowned for its culinary
industry. The former socialist youth-camp de Paasheuvel provides
some good old-fashioned Dutch gezelligheid. A variety of camping
areas will cater to our broad range of camping and non-camping
audience: varying from secluded spots in the foliage to larger fields
for those of you who want to cluster together to form a village.
There is a train-station nearby, in Nunspeet. From there it is a
10-minute drive to the festival terrain. Some form of transport from
the station to the terrain will be arranged, but the truly adventurous
among you may choose to take a hike: it is definetely within walking
distance and the surroundings will not disappoint.
Who is HAR?
You, me and some hundreds (if not thousands) of other like-minded
folks. In true spirit, there will be no visitors but only volunteers.
In order to keep costs low, expect to lend a hand here and there. You
might be operating the A/V-equipment in one of the lecture tents, sweep
the floor in the bar tent, check in visitors at the entrance or pour
drinks at the bar. A great way to discover new talents, or develop
those hidden ones you never suspected you had!
Of course, there is a somewhat smaller group of madmen and women that
will lay (and have been laying) the groundwork for another great
edition in the year leading up to the event. This event could easily be
dubbed "the next generation". Because, yes, the original crew that has
been working hard on these conferences have earned a relaxing holiday
by organising the four preceeding events. A new generation is eager to
take over, and continue their legacy. Not to say that the old farts are
not interested, au contraire my friends. There is a healthy mix of new
blood and experienced hands currently working on the necesarry
In fact, this is reflected nicely in the foundation that was set up to
handle all the paperwork and other legal requirements: the Hxx
foundation. Its board is a 50/50 mix of old and new: Aldert Hazenberg
and Mischa Peters have been involved to a great extent in all past
events, Koen Martens made his organising debut 3 years ago on WTH and
Mathijs Schmittmann is our new kid on the block.
In case you are wondering "but where is Rop Gonggrijp", no fears: he is
right around the corner and believes we "pesky new-generation
event-hackers" are going to do just fine. He will help out where
possible, but more on that below.
Of course, HAR will not be happen without huge sums of money. We have
tried to keep ticket prices low, even in these times of financial
crisis, so we are attracting a number of sponsors and donors. But don't
worry, HAR will not be called "Yoyodyne Inc. HAR2009" even if Yoyodyne
coughs up millions of euro's.
As this is being written, the last work is undertaken on the
ticket-webshop, which we hope to have online early december. At the
same time, the program committee, led by the more than qualified Rop
Gonggrijp, is preparing the call for papers and otherwise developing a
solid lecture program that'll make your mouth water (even if you have
visited every single conference between WTH and now and seen em all).
Of course, planning has started on an in-promptu power infrastructure
and intranet, with uplink to the interwebs. And naturally, there will
be various foods and beverages.
If you want to receive the latest news on HAR2009 as it happens, be
sure to subscribe to the relatively low-volume announcement list. Send
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
www.har2009.org and enter your email in the subscribe form.
Perhaps you're thinking "hey, I want to help!". If you have some time
in the next months and are prepared to make a commitment, send an email
The wiki is available at http://wiki.har2009.org/.
Potential sponsors can mail directly to email@example.com.
Press inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be there. And so should you.