The Second FreedomBox Hackfest: July 9 - 12, 2012
This next hackfest is scheduled for Monday July 9, through Thursday July 12. After the hackfest, you should also swing by the HOPE conference (hopenumbernine.net), which goes from July 13 through Monday, the 15th.
If you'd like to participate or just swing by to watch the progress, please let James Vasile know (so he can keep an approximate count). If you have ideas, suggestions, or requests for stuff to do at the hackfest, please swing by, ping the list with them, or post them here.
Wow. Thanks to everybody who showed up in New York to hack on the FreedomBox and other projects. This event was a bit of an experiment. Instead of doing a FreedomBox Hackfest, we opened the event to other projects that share our goals of private, free communication. We were lucky enough to get developers who work on Guardian, Access, Tor, ?CryptoCat, Commotion Wireless, EFF, ?TrackMeNot and other initiatives. The resulting cross-pollination of skills and ideas pushed all of these projects forward with speed and focus!
While all the projects hit impressive milestones this week, it was FreedomBox that had the most activity. Here's what we did:
- Boruch Baum, Daniel Howe and James Vasile worked on validating the regexes in freedombox-privoxy. That package is much closer to stable now. Boruch and Daniel did the heavy lifting. They took a problem that had, frankly, stymied us, and put in the attention and research to get it moving again.
- Ariel and James brainstormed the user experience on first boot. Ariel made a series of slides detailing requirements in this area, which means we now have a roadmap for first boot.
- Bryan Newbold hacked a configuration management solution into Plinth so now the front end can talk to the system. He and James are making a demo module for documentation.
Nick Daly added a command-line interface to ?FreedomBuddy. This interface can be used to query the ?FreedomBuddy service, and will be pushed to the public repository by the end of the week, with the next weekly image. The interface currently depends on the HTTP(S) interface, which is a limitation that will soon be removed.
Nick and Simo Sorce began implementing a self-configuring OpenVPN system using the ?FreedomBuddy's command-line interface. That will also be available by the end of the week.
Pablo Arcuri started internationalizing ?FreedomBuddy to include a Spanish translation. It may soon also have a Farsi translation.
Nick and Nadim Kobeissi considered, and ultimately rejected, including ?CryptoCat on the default FreedomBox image, because of its reliance on PHP. Nadim is building a ?CryptoCat 2.0 that will be based on XMPP. When that is ready, we'll integrate it as FreedomBox's secure chat solution.
- James explored browser fingerprint munging in freedombox-privoxy using advice from Eva Galperin. He concluded that this is a task better left to a browser plugin and might start speccing that plugin.
James discussed thread modeling methodologies with Matt Hollingsworth and started nudging ?FreedomBuddy toward a more defined and explicit threat model.
This hackfest was an unqualified success. Big thanks to our partners, ISC (especially Ray Short), OpenITP and ISOC-NY for pooling resources to pull it off! Thanks also to Elizabeth Boylan, who managed logistics and never once complained about our disorganization. Ian Sullivan worked his usual behind-the-scenes magic. Dragana Kaurin organized the people and the reporting and stipends. And Willie Theaker provided key support in arranging for people, food and supplies to always be in the right place at the right time.
A Message from James Vasile
FreedomBox, OpenITP, ?InformSec and ISOC-NY have partnered up to host a circumvention tools hackfest in NYC right before HOPE. We've got four days to plan, code and learn! If you want to hack on anti-censorship or anti-surveillance tools, bring your project, bring your skills and bring your friends. This event will be focused on writing code and solving design problems. We won't have any long presentations (there will be enough of those at HOPE), though we will have lightning talks and will give away a door prize or two.
Where: Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, 116th and Amsterdam
When: July 9 - 12, 10 am
Who: Privacy and free communication hackers like you
Please RSVP to kaurin at openitp.org and tell us what you plan to work on, what kind of projects and people you hope to meet, and which days you will join us.
Feel free to repost this invite or to link to it.
Some modest travel stipends are available for amazing projects. Email James Vasile (james at openitp.org) about those.
Some projects we know will attend: Commotion Wireless, Cryptocat, Guardian Project, the Lantern Project, and Access.
If you are looking for lodging, take a look at this list of nearby hotels. If you want a hostel, there's one on 103rd and Amsterdam.
Big thanks to our partners, all of whom are contributing crucial support and resources.
Project Ideas and Requests
Integrate ?DropBox Replacement:
- New make target: a working QEmu/VirtualBox VM
- Make it do stuff, make it configure things.
- manage two different sets of items for the top navbar, in order to switch
beetween 'normal mode' and 'expert mode'
- make it work whith remote clients
- Discussing / Integrating like-minded projects:
- Enable Wireless AP Mode (wireless host)
- Enable Wireless Client Mode (wireless client)
- Build both modes into Freedom-Maker and Plinth
- Integrate a social network into Freedom-Maker
Automatic Updating.. Get a FreedomBox and keep it up-to-date
App Store like paradigm.. Add/Remove features for your FreedomBox
- Configuration Management
- People: bnewbold (tue to thr)
See mailing list thread
Next call: Saturday, August 12th at 14:00 UTC
Last news: Plinth v0.13.0 released - 2017-01-18
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