The WiFi at the annual Defcon hacker conference has long been inhabited by a battery of live and automated mischief makers that sniff packets, scan ports, and exploit whatever weaknesses can be found. Last year, cellular networks were also rumored to be compromised, raising the question: How does one stay both safe and connected at the Las Vegas-based confab?
For a hacker crew known as Ninja Networks, the answer was to build its own private phone network, complete with 650 HTC One V smartphones running a highly customized version of Google’s Android operating system and a fully functional GSM network. Inside a van parked in the vendor section of the conference and bearing a sleek “Ninja Tel” logo was universal software radio peripheral gear, and devices that used the Open Base Transceiver Station and Asterisk software. This van also sported a included a 10-foot antenna on top.
“The idea was to do something cool,” said Brandon Creighton, aka cstone, one of the organizers of the project. “We’ve wanted to run our own phone company for quite a while.”
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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