For 5 years now my rigs have been filming conferences all over the world, and for the vast majority of them this involved me being personally present at the con. In spite of me going to over 40 conferences last year, I still had to turn down several requests to film. Near the end of 2019 my employer's impressive patience with me also ran out, meaning I won't be able to be present at as many conferences as before either.
My mission from day 1 has been to make the knowledge distributed during conferences reach as large an audience as possible. With my personal attendance now restricted, this poses a problem. I also find it unacceptable that fewer conferences than before may end up getting filmed just because I can't be there. While I very much enjoy going to conferences and filming them, this isn't about me. The only way forward is to find a way to have conferences filmed without me being personally present. Last year I experimented with lending out my rigs to organisers of conference I couldn't attend and this worked mostly well. This sparked my idea for a solution...
Over the years numerous people have volunteered at conferences by operating my rigs (and I'm massively grateful to every single one of you for that). These lovely people will tell you that this isn't a difficult job, so once a rig is in the room things are rather straight-forward. Getting that rig in there is the hard part, and the fact that I have "just" 8 rigs is the problem - both the number and, more importantly, that they're all with me.The solution I've come up with is to have more rigs, and leave them in regions where many conferences get organized, or with people who go to many conferences in their region regardless and are willing and able to take them with.With me out of the equation it's likely that in fact MORE conferences (meetups, events,...) get filmed.I've tasked myself with improving the documentation on this site of my rigs, and to create some videos showing how to build up a rig in a room as well as how to properly tear down and package things afterwards. I will document how to configure a rig with the schedule of the day, how to set it up to live stream and I will fully detail my editing process. With this anybody should be able to grab one of my rigs, put it together, film an event, disassemble and return the rig and edit out the videos such that they're ready to be uploaded to youtube or wherever you prefer.
Where will they go?
I've picked a number of countries where I'm dropping rigs: The UK, Ireland, Germany, Malaysia, India and The Netherlands.
Two rigs will stay with Moon On A Stick who do the lockpicking village at a great many cons in the UK.
One rig will go to ENUSEC, the infosec society of Edinburgh Napier University who also organise the Le Tour Du Hack conference.
One rig will go to the Ethical Hacking Society at Abertay University in Dundee, who also organise the Securi-Tay conference. Ireland
Two rigs will stay with Jay Ester, who runs lockpicking villages throughout Ireland and is affiliated with the TOG Hackerspace in Dublin. Germany
Two rigs will stay with Pi And More who organise the largest Raspberry Jam of Germany, operating mostly within the triangle of Koln, Trier, Stuttgart. India
Four rigs will stay with Payatu Labs, the legal entity behind Null, the largest active security community in India. Outside India they are best known for the Nullcon conference. The Netherlands
Seven rigs will stay with me, Cooper, in Veenendaal. I'm with the Hack42 hackerspace. Of these, three are customized so they're easy to take on an airplane.
I've picked these locations specifically because I know a good amount of conferences, meetups and events are organised in the area and I trust the people I'm giving the rigs to.
How you can help me
Put bluntly, I need money. A single rig comes in at about €2000 and I hope to end up with 19 of them. I currently have 8 which I can cheaply stretch to 10 but that still leaves 9 to assemble, so I'm now aiming for roughly €18.000. Yes, that is indeed a large number. But I'm hoping people will be willing to chip in so it's not all coming out of my own pocket.
If you wish to donate to this cause (thank you!), there are 2 simple options for you.
You can send money to my bar account at my hackerspace, Hack42. The details are:
IBAN: NL07BUNQ2290486353 / BIC: BUNQNL2A
You must place my name (Cooper) in the description so they know where the money should end up.
You can use this button to donate directly to me via PayPal. Note that because I'm dutch the paypal page will likely appear in dutch too:
Alternatively, you can log in to your Paypal and send any amount to "email@example.com" which does the exact same thing.
If you donate via bank transfer, my hackerspace will know you donated but they will not tell me.
If you donate via paypal, it goes into my personal account so I will know you donated.
Because of this, donations will be deemed anonymous - I will not create a 'Thank you' page or some such because by definition it will exclude the bank transfer donated people.
Frequently asked questions
Why do you route payments via your Hackerspace?
They're a legal entity in the Netherlands, they're tax-exempt and good, dependable friends who I fully trust. Why not start a GoFundMe?
After seeing 2 GoFundMe's organized by friends causesignificantgrumblings about them, I'm not going to risk using them. Patreon then?
Since last year Patreon has started charging 5 to 12% for their services. When people want to send me money to further this cause, I don't believe their goal is to line the pockets of this company. Paypal isn't free either you know
True, but 1.5% + €0.35 is significantly more reasonable. What will you do with any excess money?
Rigs have a running cost. Gaffa tape runs out, dongles and clickers disappear, stuff gets damaged. Any excess money will be kept aside to cover these costs. If so much money is left over in the end that additional rig(s) can be acquired, I intend to do so.
Instead of simply showing a number that displays how much money is still needed, here's an image that shows what the current state of the various rigs under my control:
Legend: Red: Missing, to be ordered Orange: Ordered, to be delivered Yellow: In my posession, to be moved to where that rig is Blue: Parts are in my posession, needs assembly Transparent: Current status unknown
Status as of 14 jan 2020 (click for a larger version):
Status as of 8 jan 2020 (click for a larger version):
Status as of 31 dec 2019 (click for a larger version):