I found a udon bar in Berlin, close to the Alexanderplatz the food good and a cozy ambiance, and has free wifi. It is called susuru (to slurp in Japanese).

J’ai trouvé un bar à udon à Berlin, à proximité de l’Alexanderplatz la nourriture est bonne, l’ambiance sympa, et le réseau Wifi gratuit. Il s’appelle le susuru (boire/manger à grand bruit en Japonais).

Ich habe in Berlin, in der nähe von dem Alexanderplatz, eine Udon-Bar gefunden. Das Essen is gut, die Stimmung gemütlich und das Wifi Netz gratis. Der Name der Bar ist susuru (schlürfen auf Japanisch).

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Chaos Computer Club Conference 2009

CCC GSM Session

Like last year I have been to the CCC Conference in Berlin. While there have been the usual hacking presentations and the same booths selling various wares like t-shirts, lock-picking tools, and blicken-light circuitry, there were two new themas for this year: makers and GSM. In fact among the most presentations I went to, two where not realed to computers, the first was about mixing electronics and couture, the second on Con-Langs, artificially built human languages.

Women have always been a minority in the hacking community, so there was something refreshing of having a girl explain how sewing and electronics mix, what thread a stitches to use to get reasonable electric resistance, how to anchor micro-controllers that have been redesigned to be pretty on conductive cloth. The clothes she showed are clearly prototypes, but I would not be surprised to see teenagers wearing such clothes. I was particularly impressed by the velocity of the progress, one slide showed hand sewing the conducting wires, on the next she was talking about programming a stitching machine to build cloth-circuitry.

In general, I think the makers and do it yourself culture has a lot to bring to the hacker community, bringing a broader scope, and realizations that can influence and benefit society at large. Generic components and rapid prototyping machines will in my opinion be the next big thing.

The second noteworthy aspect of the conference was the focus of the security community on the GSM protocol. Given the fact that this protocol is as widely deployed and used as the internet protocol, and has a large impact on the lives of many people, attention is due. This year’s result is that there are now open-source projects to build a test (or rogue) GSM network. After trying to figure out the protocol from the handset side, the community has finally found a way in from the network side.

The results are not pretty, the protocol is riddled with security holes. This is made worse by the fact that this is a master-slave architecture, so the handset blindly trust the network, the network can order mobiles phones to disable themselves, send their position, and probably other things. You can expect nasty discoveries and back-lash from the telecom operators next year.

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Chaos Communication Congress 2008

CCC 2008 Presentation

Last year during the end of year holiday period, I went to a demo-party, this year, I went to the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. While this is a conference, with speakers and demonstrations, it is still far from regular academic conferences: more people, beer, kids, people sleeping in a gymnastic hall, one corner with go players, another with lego. In short more life. I could not help thinking I was somewhere between the demo-party and the conference I was used to attend during my academic career.
In general the presentations were good and interesting, there was an interesting overview of new stream cyphers, and a review of the debian open-ssl debacle. The short attention span gave interesting insights in cross-site scripting problems. There were hacking workshops, but also lock-picking and building cool flying engines. I really look forward to reading the proceedings.
Finally, despite the cold, Berlin is really a nice city, so I could also enjoy nice restaurants and do some shopping, there is even 無印muji store.
A few hacks presented in this conference:

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Porte de Brandburg

Berlin est probablement la ville Européenne qui a le plus changé de mon vivant, mais je n’y avais jamais été. Après y avoir passé un long week-end, je garde le souvenir d’une grande ville verte, aérée, moderne et agréable à vivre. J’ai mis quelques photos sur facebook.

Berlin is certainly the European city that changed the most in my lifetime, yet I had never been there. Having spent a long week-end there, I have the image of a city that is green, wide, modern and nice to live in. I have put some pictures on Facebook.

  • Berlin – la ville (the city)
  • Berlin – au fil de l’eau (along the water-ways)
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