Two cool things that happened at OpenTech

The first cool thing that happened at OpenTech was that Danny O‘Brien set up a pledge to donate a fiver a month to a new UK EFF which I signed up for. I signed up by phone, very smoothly; Francis Irving explained that you can associate your phone signup with an existing PledgeBank “account“, which I did. And I’m the first person on the list on the website, although I was actually the second to sign up because the first hasn’t put his name on it :) If you’re in favour of digital freedoms in the UK then you should think about signing up too; the pledge requires a thousand people, which would give this putative UK organisation five grand a month.
The second cool thing was some “physical media hacking”: Ewan Spence asked for people with iPod Shuffles to come down to the front. He had five volunteers; he took their Shuffles and put them in a box, and then, while saying “and now we hack this media!“, shook the box and then gave each of the five back a random Shuffle. Ha! Good things about this: as Ewan said, this is what media hacking is all about; you try a new thing, and if you don’t like it you go back to what you had before. And it was hilarious. The people who were shuffled didn’t think so, mind; one bloke had a face as black as thunder. He may have had some private information other than mp3s on it, mind; nonetheless, it was an excellent bit of crowd-pleasing by Ewan.

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