SELF SUFFICIENCY

Hack Miramar! Wellington NZ

Hack Miramar is Wellington's first civic hacking event and hopefully one of many to come. It's an open invitation to innovators, designers, architects, developers, activists, all manner of geeks, and those who are just interested in coming up with new ideas and want to get involved.

We are planning to put out some key challenges around the theme of ‘transportation’ and see how information technology (sensors, cloud etc.) can be applied to improve movement to / from / around the suburb. This is problem V1.0. Over time we expect to run other hackathons to explore other issues.

When: Saturday 1st November - Sunday 2nd

Where: 127 Park Road, Miramar

FREE Registration

Make A Biogas Generator To Produce Your Own Natural Gas

You can use many household organic “waste” materials to produce your own natural gas for cooking, lighting, and space and water heating. This gas, known as “biogas,” can also replace fossil-based natural gas to fuel an engine or an absorption cooling system, such as a gas refrigerator or chiller. Some gasoline engines are designed for or can be modified for use with natural gas, propane or biogas. Diesel engines can accept up to 80 percent biogas.

Biogas is a mixture of primarily flammable gases — mostly methane — along with carbon dioxide that forms anywhere organic material decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen), such as in water, deep in a landfill, or in the guts of animals, including you.

Tech background? Why wait for whistleblowers: hack it yourself with this handy guide

A DIY Guide for those without the patience to wait for whistleblowers
--[ 1 ]-- Introduction

I'm not writing this to brag about what an 31337 h4x0r I am and what m4d sk1llz
it took to 0wn Gamma. I'm writing this to demystify hacking, to show how simple
it is, and to hopefully inform and inspire you to go out and hack shit. If you
have no experience with programming or hacking, some of the text below might
look like a foreign language. Check the resources section at the end to help you
get started. And trust me, once you've learned the basics you'll realize this
really is easier than filing a FOIA request.

--[ 2 ]-- Staying Safe

This is illegal, so you'll need to take same basic precautions:

1) Make a hidden encrypted volume with Truecrypt 7.1a [0]

How to Start a Repair Café

If you've ever found yourself on the phone with a customer service representative telling you it would cost more to fix your electric tea kettle than to just buy a new one, you are well acquainted with the concept of "planned obsolescence." The good news is that people across the world are getting wise to the intentional design flaws hoisted upon us by clever manufacturers eager to sell more products, and are coming up with new and creative ways to salvage perfectly usable things.
READ MORE: http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-start-a-repair-caf%C3%A9

Bitcloud - Plans for a new 'people-powered' internet

Bitcloud aims to harness the same methods used to mine Bitcoins, to provide services currently controlled by internet service providers (ISPs) and corporations. Individuals would perform tasks such as storing, routing and providing bandwidth, in return for payment.

The team behind Bitcloud acknowledged they were only at the beginning of the project. "There are still many key decisions that need to be made in the Bitcloud protocol. We have a basic idea of how everything will work, but we need assistance from programmers and thinkers from around the world who want to help," they said.
READ MORE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25858629

Peru To Provide Free Solar Power To 2 Million Of Its Poorest Residents By 2016

Peru has initiated a program that will provide more than 2 million of its poorest residents with electricity -- for free.
'The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program' began on July 8, when 1,601 solar panels were installed in the Contumaza province of the country, CleanTechnica.com reported. Those panels, part of the program's first phase, will reportedly power 126 impoverished communities.

Jorge Merino, Energy and Mining Minister, told the Latin American Herald that the entire program will allow 95 percent of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016. That will be done by installing a planned 12,500 solar (photovoltaic) systems, reaching 500,000 households, according to PlanetSave.com.

How to Open a Can without Can Opener

Wafer bonding enables a world record 44.7% efficiency solar cell, which will cause costs of solar energy to plummet

German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin announced today that they have achieved a new world record for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells. Surpassing competition after only over three years of research, and entering the roadmap at world class level, a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum's energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity and continues to pave the way to the 50% efficiency roadmap.

How to grow 100 lb of Potatoes in 4 square feet

Grow a few potato plants, each or in their own wooden box, crib, barrel or wire cage. The container should be about 18x18 inches at the base, about 24-30 inches tall, and able to be gradually filled with soft soil or mulch as the vines grow. Set each container atop a well-prepared fertile soil. Plant one strong seed piece and cover lightly with 4 inches of soil. As the vines grow, gradually fill the container with mellow compost, mulch or soil, but always make sure you don't cover more than one-third of the vine's new growth. With some varieties, the underground stolons which produce potato tubers keep on forming new ones for some time. In containers the yield may be increased 200-3000 percent compared with open-field culture.

Could Rooftop Solar Kill Utilities? California Grapples with Solar’s Success

California has been a champion of solar incentive programs and so far, those policies have largely worked: the state is home to more than half of all rooftop solar projects in the country.

But they may have worked a little too well in one respect. As increasing numbers of Californians generate their own electricity, they rely less on electric utilities and that’s raising major questions about the future of California’s utilities.
READ MORE: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/could-rooftop-solar-kill-utilities-c...

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