hacker house

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pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

This is just the beginning. * * * If the Bay Area is the most important region from which bitcoin innovation is emanating, its ground zero may well lie inside a nondescript building in San Francisco’s funky, crowded, mini-melting-pot Mission District. The sparks that led to some of the most exciting developments in bitcoin first arose from conversations and brainstorming sessions inside this ramshackle “hacker house.” Sitting on the corner of Twentieth and Mission Streets, with its unassuming entrance behind an olive tree (the first missionaries brought the olive trees with them from Spain and they still dot the streets), the building now known as 20Mission was founded in February 2012 by Jered Kenna, the young bitcoin entrepreneur who’d previously founded Tradehill. It has become a working and living space for the smart, ambitious, tech-minded wildcatters driving the bitcoin boom.

The downstairs area would offer a common space for working, eating, and communing. Then he invited techies, hackers, and bitcoiners to take up residence. It was almost an instant success. Through bitcoin meetups, it quickly grew into a hotbed of ideas and entrepreneurship. “There is a sense you’re part of a movement,” said Taariq Lewis at a Sunday meetup at 20Mission, “and part of something special.” Lewis is a bitcoiner who now runs the hacker house’s regular meetups. He came out to San Francisco from New York’s Spanish Harlem, by way of Boston, another compulsive, restless entrepreneur. He’d got his MBA at MIT, but wanted to create things, to make his own businesses, so he headed out West. Lewis was initially a bitcoin skeptic, viewing it as little more than a tool for the drug trade. But after two start-up attempts failed (“Kill your babies quickly,” he joked), he was looking for a new opportunity, and a chance meeting forced him to reconsider.

“They call it a Ponzi scheme unless you have a banking license.” He’d sunk everything he had into Tradehill. Now, he was broke, so broke that he couldn’t afford rent. He figured the only way he could find shelter was to turn some place into a communal living space. If he could organize it, he figured, he could finagle the rent. Kenna had always been intrigued by the idea of what’s popularly called a hacker house, with people working together and pooling resources, “but until I got to San Francisco, I didn’t realize you could actually do it.” He soon found a warehouse in the SoMa district and moved in with ten friends, but after only six months they were kicked out because the building wasn’t zoned residential. He hunted around for another place until a friend said he’d seen a building for rent in the Mission that might fit the bill.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

* * * Lacking the financial stability required to secure a lease, much less a mortgage, my best hope upon leaving Hacker Condo was to find another “hacker house.” These were the products of disruptive innovation in urban real estate. The city was once riddled with small apartments and single-family homes that sheltered trifling handfuls of obsolete laborers and their unproductive children, often for decades at a stretch. But the tech boom let such so-called family homes reach their full potential as investment properties. Unproductive residential zones now teemed with digital workhouses bursting with entrepreneurial brio and filled to capacity, or beyond, with techie forty-niners. Unlike a youth hostel or a skid row hotel, the hacker houses often required a minimum stay of one month or more. Some hacker houses were attached to startup investment incubators or shared workspaces.

“With engineers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, brand consultants, and well-connected Silicon Valley entrepreneurs among our permanent residents,” the website said, “you have every resource at your fingertips.” So it seemed! I composed a flattering self-introduction and announced my interest in joining the 20Mission community. Soon enough the manager, Steven Lombardi, replied with an invitation to “come by and chat.” It felt like a job interview. I wrote back and set up a time. In the meantime, I read up on the history of the city’s best hacker house. The neighbors, it seemed, were not thrilled with the arrival of such illustrious innovators. On the night before Halloween—which happened to coincide with a World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants—riots had broken out around the city. In the Mission, windows were smashed and fires set inside an under-construction luxury condo. Someone spray-painted FUCK TECHIES on a bus shelter that carried an ad for the iPhone 6.

Wooden furniture and ceramic pots lay scattered around the deck. Farther inside, I found the tiny shared kitchen. So many pots, pans, and spatulas dangled overhead that in the event of an earthquake, whoever happened to be buttering their toast would certainly be crushed by falling cookware. The sink, too—filthy. Amid this mess stood a timid redhead with a bright red shirt and matching red-framed eyeglasses. I recognized her from a news story about the hacker house in which she had talked about her philosophy of “radical personal transparency”—she was a sometime camgirl, or online adult performer—as well as her day-to-day existence, which meant subsisting on whatever was marked “free” in the kitchen and paying her rent with laundry quarters. When I showed up, she was meeting another housemate, a quiet, scrawny guy, for the first time. “Are you going to be here long term?”


Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace by Michelle Slatalla, Joshua Quittner

dumpster diving, East Village, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, job automation, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Review

It was concrete. The system had been working, the system was now crashed. An organized gang of hackers did it. It was just the event to catapult the MOD case to the top of the pile in the Secret Service's telecommunications division. Secret Service agents started having frequent conversations with prosecutors in the U. S. Attorney's office. They made plans to execute search warrants at the hackers' houses. The Learning Link crash was, in fact, the event that four years later would cause a prosecutor to smile wryly, as he explained, "This made the case sexy. " Even though Eli's missive to the media never got delivered, the general message was getting through. Hackers are out there, people, and we'd better figure out who they are and what they're doing. The Learning Link affair was remaining a secret for now, but thanks to the Morris story, newspapers and newsmagazines are assigning reporters to learn the new definition of the word hacker.

"Did we make the right call in which hackers to follow, or is there someone out there who's more important, and we aren't following them?" But they could indulge in only so much self-flagellation. It hadn't been their idea to drag out this case for so many long months. After all, they've already turned over enough information from the DNRs to enable the prosecutors to apply for search warrants at the hackers' houses. They even passed along the tip about The Learning Link to the Secret Service. It was up to the government now to get the search warrants. The Secret Service and the U. S. Attorney's office kept telling Kaiser that it was in the works. Any day now, they'd say. At Secret Service headquarters downtown, a certain special agent named Rick Harris was torturing himself with the same questions that were hounding Kaiser and Staples.

The hackers had materialized out of nowhere around six o'clock, just when the office drones fled the Citicorp building for the subway. The kids came here once a month, on the first Friday of the month. No matter the season, they wear beat-up fatigue coats, baggy jeans, clunky-soled shoes, thick-thick black belts with square metal buckles that weigh five pounds. They sport peach fuzz moustaches and slicked-back buzz cuts. You can't miss them. The gathering is their "meeting, " and it's organized by the semi-official hacker house organ, a quarterly magazine called 2600 that's published out of Long Island. The magazine's name is an allusion to history: back in the Dark Ages of the 1960s, a 2600 hertz tone was used to control all the phone company's trunk lines. Today, the tone is obsolete, but the magazine still pays homage to the days when a street-smart hacker named Captain Crunch figured out that blowing a freebie whistle from a cereal box produced the precise tone necessary to make free phone calls.


pages: 190 words: 59,892

How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents by Jimmy O. Yang

call centre, hacker house, Silicon Valley, Uber for X, Vanguard fund

But even though we had three dudes crammed in a one-bedroom apartment, living with two of my best comedian friends was a major upgrade to living with Nathaniel the check thief. In our minds, we made it. CHAPTER EIGHT HOW TO SILICON VALLEY [JIN YANG] (20s) PLEASE SUBMIT TALENT WHO ARE NATIVE BORN ASIAN THAT SPEAK ENGLISH. TALENT MUST HAVE GREEN CARD OR BE US CITIZEN WITH PROPER PAPERS. A resident at Erlich’s incubator, Hacker House, Jin Yang is a tall, skinny ASIAN Tech geek who speaks in a THICK ACCENT with every other word being either s**t, f**ck, mother**ker or dude. Role slated to start shooting approx. 3/2–3/5. POSSIBLE RECURRING GUEST STAR I got an audition email with this very interesting character description. It was for a new HBO pilot called Deep Tech, which somehow sounded too nerdy and too sexual at the same time.

I am nervous I’ll botch the lines, I am nervous I haven’t done enough homework on the character and I am nervous people will discover I am an economics major trying to fake his way into being an actor. But something felt very natural about being Jian Yang. It was as if I’d been playing him for years. I felt like I was playing an earlier version of myself. For my very first take on Silicon Valley, I sleepily shuffled down the hallway to answer the door at the Hacker House. I opened the door to an angry man who was looking for my roommates, Thomas, Zach and Kumail, who were hiding from him around the corner. “Do you know where Pied Piper is?” the angry man asked. “This is Pied Piper,” I, Jian Yang, replied, matter-of-factly. “This is Pied Piper?” “Yes, this, here. Pied Piper.” Then Kumail’s character, Dinesh, tripped over a lamp and the gang was busted.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Fredkin would have judged that Nelson did not know how to go about asking a female for a date, let alone tender a proposal of marriage. “Fantastic!” he said. “Who’s the lucky girl?” “Oh, I don’t know,” said Nelson. “I just decided it would be a good thing to do.” Fifteen years later, Nelson was still in Bachelor Mode. While women might not have been much of a presence in his life, Nelson did have the companionship of fellow hackers. He moved into a house with Gosper and two others. Although this “Hacker House” was in nearby Belmont, then shifted to Brighton, Nelson resisted buying a car. He couldn’t stand driving. “It takes too much processing to deal with the road,” he would later explain. He would take public transportation, or get a ride from another hacker, or even take a cab. Once he got to Tech Square, he was good for hours: Nelson was among those hackers who had settled on the twenty-eight-hour-day, six-day-week routine.

It went smoothly, like a well-written subroutine that worked the first time the code was assembled, and Ken stared with a dazed pride at what he was building. “Isn’t it weird?” he kept asking. “Isn’t it weird?” The house went on and on, rambling down the hill for a hundred and forty feet; the frame finally filling out, with stairs you could climb and doorways to peep through. Right now the house was open to the elements, for wind to blow through and rain to fall through, and no doors or walls prevented free movement. A perfect, endless hacker house. But the builders would soon put walls to keep the world from peering in the house, and doors to keep the people in the house from bursting in and violating a person’s privacy. No one in his right mind would want it any different. The same with hackerism, perhaps . . . no one running a business could want it really run by the Hacker Ethic. Sooner or later you had to cope with reality; you would yearn for those old, familiar walls and doors which were always considered so natural that only madmen would eliminate them.


pages: 220 words: 73,451

Democratizing innovation by Eric von Hippel

additive manufacturing, correlation coefficient, Debian, disruptive innovation, hacker house, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, placebo effect, principal–agent problem, Richard Stallman, software patent, transaction costs, Vickrey auction

This network eventually grew to link hundreds of universities, defense contractors, and research laboratories. Later succeeded by the Internet, it also allowed hackers to exchange software code and other information widely, easily, and cheaply—and also enabled them to spread hacker norms of behavior. The communal hacker culture was very strongly present among a group of programmers—software hackers—housed at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the 1960s and the 1970s (Levy 1984). In the 1980s this group received a major jolt when MIT licensed some of the code created by its hacker employees to a commercial firm. This firm, in accordance with normal commercial practice, then promptly restricted access to the “source code”3 of that software, and so prevented non-company personnel—including the MIT hackers who had been instrumental in developing it—from continuing to use it as a platform for further learning and development.


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

Today Stripe is valued at over $20 billion and has more than 1,500 employees, but back then, in 2012, it was a two-year-old company with a thirty-person team. Richard got the job and knew he had boarded a rocket ship, but he had trouble following directions and was fired after three months. He was depressed for a few weeks but bounced back and started a recruiting company with a friend he met in the dingy hacker house they shared with fifteen other men in San Francisco. Again, that was short-lived, and his friend pushed him out of the company. He was so angry he got into running just to blow off the negativity that was eating him up. On one of those runs, he heard Vitalik. Not like a divine voice coming down from the sky, but on a podcast. Richard didn’t grasp all of what Vitalik was saying, but it sounded meaningfully different from any other crypto project he had heard about before.


pages: 728 words: 182,850

Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

3D printing, A Pattern Language, carbon footprint, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, Donald Knuth, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, fear of failure, food miles, functional fixedness, hacker house, haute cuisine, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, iterative process, Kickstarter, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, random walk, Rubik’s Cube, slashdot, stochastic process, the scientific method

Try adding some crushed red pepper flakes to the breakfast version or sriracha sauce to the dinner version. Pasteurized Eggs While salmonella is quite rare in uncooked eggs, with estimates being somewhere around 1 in 10,000 to 20,000 eggs carrying the bacteria, it does occur in the laying hen populations of North America. If you’re cracking a few dozen eggs into a bowl for an omelet brunch at your local hacker house every week, let’s just say that odds are you’ll eventually crack a bad egg. Luckily, this isn’t a problem if those eggs are properly cooked and cross-contamination is avoided. The real risk for salmonella in eggs is in dishes that use undercooked eggs that are then served to at-risk populations (e.g., infants, pregnant women, elderly or immunocompromised people). If you’re making a dish that contains raw or undercooked eggs—Caesar salad, homemade eggnog, mayonnaise, raw cookie dough—and want to serve that dish somewhere where there might be at-risk individuals, you can pasteurize the eggs (assuming your local store doesn’t happen to carry pasteurized eggs, but most don’t).


pages: 898 words: 253,177

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

It was the Democratic leadership, their values and spending habits unchanged since the New Deal, that gave Carter fits. In a lectern-thumping floor speech, Jim Wright said that Carter was carrying his environmental ideas so far he threatened to become “a laughingstock.” Then, to show that he, too, was an environmentalist, Wright help up a glass of water to extol its goodness. Public Works Committee chairman Ray Roberts said Carter was a captive of “environmental extremists and budget hackers.” House Speaker Tip O’Neill took the highly unusual (and, for Carter, embarrassing) step of arranging a meeting with the New York Times to complain that Carter was “not listening” to Congress. Senators Gary Hart and Floyd Haskell of Colorado began to pepper the administration with Freedom of Information Act requests, ostensibly to learn how their projects were selected. (“They implied that we were practicing some kind of secret skulduggery,” a Carter staff member complained bitterly later on.