Still following the white rabbit
It’s Easter Sunday in Cologne and, while the rest of the world is tucking into confectionery normally involving chocolate, the main hall at Easterhegg 2008 exists in a world of its own. Indeed, in the lobby just outside is a sign pointing outside and reading ‘Real World‘.
Yesterday was very profitable. As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to get to see the folks from Freifunk. As things turned out, I met them entirely by chance; standing outside having a cigarette, I struck up conversation with a neighbour wearing a hoodie with the St Pauli FC skull and crossbones logo and he happened to be a Freifunker! We spent the next half-hour or so discussing technology (they using meshing on a large scale), developing local content and politics. There’s still a digital divide here in Germany and if you’re more than 15 km from an exchange, there’s no DSL and that means no broadband. Some ISPs are prepared to offer wifi is such areas, but at an exorbitant â‚¬50 per month. At the beginning of May, Freifunk is holding a three-day conference in Berlin billed as the Wireless Community Weekend, aka wcw2008. Details (in English) are on the Freifunk wiki.
My other great joy of the day was meeting the Blinkenlights crew, who combine technology with art with project such as the PixelCurtain. They’re responsible for the Easter Bunny lighting rigs in this post, but also play with entire buildings. All their kit is available from off-the-shelf components too! (Plenty of food for thought there – Ed.)