Bitcoin meetup in Stellenbosch (South Africa)

I've attended the first Bitcoin meetup in Stellenbosch yesterday. More than 50 people gathered at the University of Stellenbosch - which btw. has an amazing media lab. It was the first meetup of this kind in the area. 

The quality of the talks was amazing. I was a little bit worried that is all about money and investment and bla but the opposite was the case. The talks and discussions have been quite technical and more about the possibilities of Bitcoin beyond what we currently see it/use it: transferring value. 

Timothy was talking about the South African Exchange bitX.co.za which is now part of switchless.com

Simon was talking about his project PayFile and explained the concept of payment channels, low trust protocols and autonomous agents

I am pretty excited about micro-payment channels. It seems to be something that is not possible with any existing payment system - and something like that will decide about the success of Bitcoin.

The whole Contracts part of the protocol is something I need to look into more in detail and it seems it is currently not widely known yet.

Another interesting concept introduced by G-J van Rooyen is custotech.com. They use the Bitcoin network to disincentivise illegal sharing of digital goods. - anti pirating, DRM are topics... Whatever you think about that, the interesting thing is that it is an example of what the Bitcoin network can be used for and what possibilities it provides. 

We really need to think beyond money transfer. 

On thursday I will also be at the Cape Town meetup, discussing how to get more merchants accepting bitcoins.

Did you know about Startup Weekend Baghdad?

I always find it exciting when I learn about known events happening in places it did not expect them…

Did you know about: 

Heros of Coworking Cologne / Gasmotorenfabrik

So, as you know our coworking space is moving... and we are all very excited about the great new possibilities this offers. Currently everything is still very empty and, ja, it looks like moving... ;) but last week the space already could host the first user groups. 

Because of seeing how much hard work this is I want to say thanks to some of the heros of Coworking Cologne. Please buy them a beer or two the next time you meet them...

Thanks, you're doing such an incredible job. This is of so much value for all of us and simply great for the Cologne tech community. YOU ROCK!

Die Gasmotorenfabrik/CoWoCo zieht um! Hello Bottfabrik

Vor fast drei Jahren haben wir das CoWoCo - auch bekannt als Gasmotorenfabrik - gestartet. 

Mit vielen Ideen und noch viel mehr Arbeit haben wir das alte Bürogebäude von Deutz in den Space verwandelt den wir heute kennen. 

Ziel dabei war es immer einen flexibel nutzbaren und für jeden offenen Raum zu schaffen. 

Einen Ort zum Arbeiten aber viel mehr auch ein Zuhause für die verschiedenste tech und non-tech communities aus Köln.

So fanden im Cowoco viele regelmäßige Treffen und Konferenzen statt, wie zum Beispiel:

Seit Ende 2012 ist es klar: der Umzug in die Südstadt steht an! Und der Space dort wird grandios!  :)

Hier ein paar Fotos vom Umzug und Aufbau:

imageimageimageimage

Aktuell is der Umzug voll im Gange. Beide Räume sehen gerade noch sehr nach Umzug aus und am 4. März ist der große, finale Umzugstermin. Falls jemand Lust hat zu helfen, jede helfende Hand und jede Idee ist willkommen. :) 

Und falls ihr in der Nähe seit, schaut doch mal vorbei und macht euch selber ein Bild.

Ich freue mich schon auf's Arbeiten in den neuen Räumen und auf viele spannende Events. :) 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

AfricaHackTrip meets Random Hacks of Kindness

On December 1st and 2nd the next globale Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon is taking place all over the world. The RHoK is a global initiative to  make "the world a better place by developing practical, open source technology solutions to respond to some of the most complex challenges facing humanity."

The gloal is to bring people working around development and social issues (local charities, NGO’s, The World Bank, researchers, …) together with people from IT / Technology (software developers, engineers, technical people) and create solutions to create solutions using open technology on subjects that matters.

In general I believe that many things can greatly be improved with just little (open) technology. And lot of tech and coding stuff is easy these days, we need to make more people excited to see it as tools for simply solving problems. - This is also one reason why I like and support projects like Railsgirls.

I've never had the chance to participate in a RHoK event so I'm really excited. ;)

With the AfricaHackTrip our goal is to kick of a continuous exchange with tech communities in Africa and that's why we support the RHoK.
For the RHoK we plan to work in a global team and to connect the different events. It's the first of some hackathons planned for the next year.

Do you want to join us hacking on some great projects? Join us and signup on the wiki

See also the AfricaHackTrip hackathons page for more information.

Here is a video from the RHoK East Africa:  

And here is one from an RHoK event in Philadelphia

I'm currently in Dublin at the Websummit and will be in the city until Sunday. Also I'm excited about going to the nodecopter demo time/ beer.js  

If you're around, let's meet for some coffee or beers. 

Nodecamp.eu 2012

Nodecamp.eu was nothing but an incredible event and I was told that people really enjoyed and loved it. The quality of discussions and talks was just mind-blowing. For me I can also say the best event I've co-organized ;)

DSC_0432 051 bbq-master schorsch feeding the nodecampers 054

For those who haven't attended: What is nodecamp.eu?
It's a fully community driven event. No marketing bla bla. focus strictly on content, inspiring and educating talks, great hacking. A product of everyone's participation. If you haven't attended, ask someone who has been there. 

Lately more people have asked me about nodecamp.eu in 2012:

Will there be a nodecamp.eu in 2012??

To make it short: YES! we want to have a nodecamp.eu 2012. 

But for 2012 I'd like to propose something... Nodecamp.eu has been about bringing passionate people together, learning and pushing the node.js community. In 2011 we gathered at cowoco in Cologne/Germany but this is an european, international event! So Tim and I would like to see nodecamp.eu beeing hosted in another country.

We'd like to turn the nodecamp.eu into an yearly event hosted in different countries.

- somewhat similar to the EurukoIt shall become the yearly node.js event organized by the european node.js community. 

Over the next week I will turn nodecamp.eu into the central resource for the event in 2012 and the next years.  

What do you think?
What would you like to the nodecamp 2012 to be? 

New Railslove product for the EURO 2012

As you might have heard, next year is the european football (soccer) championship and like for the last worldcup Railslove has an awesome betting community aka Tippspiel in the making. The Tippspiel was a big success at the latest world championship so we've decided to improve it and offer it for the Euro 2012. 

So what is it and who is it for? 

It's a corporate betting community. The branded community app around the Euro 2012. Allowing companies to create their story around the 2-3 month long event. Features include: full customization, user/groups rankings, user 1:1 prediction battles, news and real-time results etc. ;) I don't want to tell to much here, but drop me an email if that sounds interesting for you or someone you know.  

Here is a preview of our Railslove game. hope you all will join next year: 

or maybe: :D

Cologne.rb meetups in 2012

Last week a few rubyists met for some Glühwein and discussed the plans for the ruby meetups here in Cologne next year. These are the results. 

  • next meetup: 18. Januar 2012
  • the location rotates and we'll meet in different locations every month.
  • we'll setup a new mailing list on google groups which is easier accessible as the current mailing list
  • we'll use hack hcking.de to publish the events and to have an ical feed
  • we'll create a new website based on the Hamburg Usergroup
  • Cologne.rb will be the name thus we'll have colognerb.de and koelschrb.de

What have I forgotten? See you next year!