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Round 20: Happy Hacking!

From: Andrew G.
Sent on: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 2:09 PM
(Have a complaint about this email? Want to make it better, fix
a typo, or add more info? Fork the gist on GitHub!

Hello Hackers-

(This wrap up is a little late--you can blame life.)

Thanks to [Lot18]( for hosting us! BTW, if it
wasn't obvious from all the wine, they sell wine online.

## Last month's wrap up "fun way to spend some time"

Andrew was disappointed that so few of you [ *read 0 --ed* ] took the
challenge to share implementations of
[RC4](! Maybe it was too difficult,
or not exciting enough, or whatever. We thought it to be appropriate,
given the privacy concerns of being hosted by Facebook, and everyone
should think about encryption at least once in their life...

## Another fun way to spend some time...

Many of us use interpreted languages (Python, PHP, Ruby...). How do
they work? Checkout page 13 in the classic
[LISP 1.5 Programmer's Manual](, for perhaps the most
important half a page of code ever written.

## Projects Presented (in random-pseudo order[0])

### David Valdman

David got a full MRI scan of his brain and asked for the images.
Then he stitched it together to create a 3D, interactive viewer
for it, which shoots frickin' laser beams. [ *trust us, it's even*
*better than sharks with laser beams -- ed* ]

* [GitHub](
* [laser beam head](
* [Osirix]( - the software he used
  to make something out of the scans
* [twitter](

### Denis Papathanasiou

Learning another language can be a challenge when you're short on time.
But for just one sentence a day, you too can learn to read Japanese. Act

* [Macronics]( - (it means gibberish)
* [kyTea]( - toolkit for Japanese and Chinese: word segmentation, part of speech tagging, and pronunciation
* [Microsoft Translator API]( - I mean, hey, it's free!
* [getting started with the above api](

### Siraaj Khandkar

Siraaj was back again to show us his experiments in learning about full-text
indexing. Rather than read a lot about it and then implement it, Siraaj took
some rather good advice from Erlang's Joe Armstrong. "If you don't know
anything about something, the best way to learn is to try to implement it."
[ *that's not the exact quote, but close enough -- ed* ]

* [github](

### Anthony Erlinger

Anthony showed us a digital logic simulator that works in the browser. He
doesn't *(yet)* have a schematic for a [Flux Capacitor](, but if he *did*
the logic simulator could, well, simulate it, which means, I guess, you
could time travel through your browser [ *Wait, I forgot. It's been done
before: [Wayback Machine]( -- ed* ]. Also, if you're
interested in learning about Physics, Anthony has you covered!

* [Physics Academy](
* [maxwell on github](
* [Physics Academy on github](

### Gary Moore

Gary opened up a conversation about getting users to do things, and how
to manage it. To be honest, we didn't really follow it so well...

### Dan Bowen

We learned about some risks in weather ballooning, and were told some
tales, but the coolest part, which was hardly discussed was Dan's
Iridium Satellite modem as an Arduino shield!

* [github](
* [White Star Balloon Project](

### Georges Duverger

Fitmeal is simple in concept, but endless in possibilities--but sure, there
exists things like it already. But, did they present at Hack and Tell? I
think not. Anyway, Fitmeal is Georges attempt at finding a way to eat
properly. He's labored hard to add Manhattan eating establishments close to
where he lives and works, so your mileage may vary.

* [Fitmeal](

### Georgiy Grigoyan

Sometimes you need an uncensored backchannel for commenting on web pages,
you know because you like to stir the pot and get banned. Well, uncens is
a project that implements just that.
[ *It's almost like Tim May's [BlackNet](, OK, maybe not -- ed* ]

* [uncens](
* [github](

## Announcements and Things to Watch out for...

### Round 21 - Coming Soon

We're always looking for spaces, even though January has a promising spot.
If you're willing to host, get in touch!

### Hack and Tell in other cities

1. San Francisco / Bay Area (recently active again)
2. Berlin, Germany (very active)
3. Singapore (NEW!)
4. Melbourne, Austrailia (EVEN MORE NEW!)

Check out for links, and expect a new
any year now!

## Signing off...

Happy Kwanmaskhah year!

Andrew and James

[0]: We generated random bits by using von Neumann coin unbiasing:
*von Neumann, John (1951). "Various techniques used in connection with*
*random digits". National Bureau of Standards Applied Math Series 12: 36.*


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