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(edited) transcript of Making and Breaking Hardware

A event log for Making and Breaking Hardware HackChat

We're going to be talking with bunnie about hacking electronics and manufacturing in Shenzhen!

Sophi Kravitz 02/10/2017 at 17:441 Comment

bunnie says:43 minutes ago

it's..a friday night here.

ActualDragon says:43 minutes ago

lucky, its only lunch here

wintr says:43 minutes ago

Good Good Good... in vino veritas

bunnie says:43 minutes ago

i'll do my best though. :)

ActualDragon says:42 minutes ago

:( i dont get out till 3

42 minutes ago

So everyone: we have a sheet for questions https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lrHxsJzsLqtb-RJTTZnslHQQQnGf-CzjSHutv-VJWME/edit#gid=0

turbinenreiter says:42 minutes ago

I didn't knew we can come drunk! Unfair!

42 minutes ago

you don't have to use it, but it's one way to keep track

bunnie says:41 minutes ago

right....I pregamed. https://twitter.com/bunniestudios/status/830044903379914752

Radomir Dopieralski says:41 minutes ago

I came prepared!

41 minutes ago

Bunnie, want to start things off by telling us something about what you're working on?

41 minutes ago

(I think we all know who you are)

bunnie says:41 minutes ago

sure....i've got a few projects i'1m working on....

ActualDragon says:40 minutes ago

this is about making and breaking hardware right

40 minutes ago

yes

ActualDragon says:40 minutes ago

oh good

39 minutes ago

@bunnie did we lose you?

Arsenijs says:38 minutes ago

Can Novena handle HackChat?

38 minutes ago

;)

turbinenreiter says:38 minutes ago

passed out drunk on keyboard. best hackchat ever.

bunnie says:38 minutes ago

1) LTC -- love to code -- a project to help get more young people into computer science2) introspection engine -- a project to help dissidents in high risk situations know if they are being spied upon3) netv2 -- a project which i can't talk too much about because it's an subject of an active lawsuit4) some other stuff i'm short circutiing because apparently i'm not repsonding fast enough :)

bunnie says:38 minutes ago

+1 turbinenreiter

bunnie says:37 minutes ago

yah sorry took a while to respond to that question

37 minutes ago

tell us abt introspection engine

bunnie says:37 minutes ago

ask me something i dunno direct and punchy

turbinenreiter says:35 minutes ago

Why is it easier to hack into a Smartphones and reroute it's traffic to your own baseband than get governments to just be like cool?

bunnie says:35 minutes ago

sure. introspection is based on a K22F kinetis CPU and an ICE40 FPGA. The idea is to create a solution which is resistant against state-level adversaries to report if a phone is being monitored.

34 minutes ago

who does it report to?

bunnie says:34 minutes ago

the system reports to its own UI

bunnie says:34 minutes ago

that's pretty fundamental

AKA says:34 minutes ago

so, if it says it's being monitored...what do I do then?

ActualDragon says:34 minutes ago

would making and breaking hardware be like "i have this radioshack simon from the 60s. is it too old to take apart? should i tempt it? is it worth anything?" something like that?

bunnie says:33 minutes ago

the idea is you don't trust or respect third party user interfaces and you really want to be able to validate the entire path from signal to UI

ActualDragon says:33 minutes ago

oh, sorry man

bunnie says:33 minutes ago

AKA: the idea is that you can know definetively *if* you are being monitored

bunnie says:32 minutes ago

from that point, you can make the decision to reveal whether or not you know you are being monitored. consider the fact that if you are being monitored it's a strategic advantage to be aware of the monitoring and "play the monitor"

wintr says:32 minutes ago

It's not paranoia if you're hacking the people that are really following you.

AKA says:31 minutes ago

ok, i understand. but doesn't that increase the risk of a false negative? like, if the device _is_ compromised, or compromised upstream, it may dangerously lull you into complacency?

Bhavesh Kakwani says:31 minutes ago

@bunnie That's really cool

j0z0r pwn4tr0n says:31 minutes ago

What kind of assurances do you have that a state-level actor isn't just reporting back to the UI that "All is well"? You know, like if they have already backdoored your router or phone even

AKA says:31 minutes ago

sounds awesome, btw, not trying to hate on it, ily bunnie

bunnie says:31 minutes ago

we have our own UI implemented on the device. we don't trust the phone at all

bunnie says:29 minutes ago

so, the basic architecture is to find points in the phone which are absolutely, at a physics level, essential for transmitting radio data. Then, we monitor that. if those become active and for some reason we're told they are not supposed to be active, then we know we're probably compromised.

AKA says:29 minutes ago

ah! i understand better now, i think - a bit like network-monitors on a laptop

that is awesome

jaren havell says:29 minutes ago

one of the questions on the spread sheet was "will gongkai-style ecosystem ever make it to the west". Im curious what keeps them local in the first place. is the physical location, or is it the language? Laws don't usualy stop the motivated,but languages could certainly be a significant barrier for some to cross. is there more to it?

bunnie says:29 minutes ago

so, we have our own separate processor to implement a UI on a separate screen.

j0z0r pwn4tr0n says:28 minutes ago

Ahh, makes more sense now. In my head it was just an app basically

bunnie says:28 minutes ago

ah, you're asking will gongkai ever make it to the west. I feel that honestly, most likely it will not. (let me answer more in the next response which will take a moment to type)

bunnie says:28 minutes ago

ah, you're asking will gongkai ever make it to the west. I feel that honestly, most likely it will not. (let me answer more in the next response which will take a moment to type)

Bhavesh Kakwani says:27 minutes ago

@bunnie So still the phone has to be not backdoored right? Because a backdoor could say to the device "hey we are supposed to be active now so don't freak out"

adam says:27 minutes ago

Mind if I post the link to your ask an engineer show on adafruit?

turbinenreiter says:27 minutes ago

(what's gongkai?)

jaren havell says:26 minutes ago

ginkai phone : https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?page_id=3107

jaren havell says:26 minutes ago

gonkai*

26 minutes ago

@adam post the link after this chat is over

turbinenreiter says:26 minutes ago

:+1:

Shulie Tornel says:26 minutes ago

wow

Joe B says:26 minutes ago

The adafruit "Ask an Engineer" ep was really cool.

j0z0r pwn4tr0n says:25 minutes ago

@Bhavesh Kakwani - I think what he's saying it is a separate device that essentially has to trust no one

Adam Vadala-Roth says:25 minutes ago

hi Bunnie! Huge fan, thanks for doing this for us! :)

25 minutes ago

also post the adafruit link in the question sheet for later: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lrHxsJzsLqtb-RJTTZnslHQQQnGf-CzjSHutv-VJWME/edit#gid=0

bunnie says:25 minutes ago

the reason I think gongkai won't make it to the west isn't because of physics or language. the major reason is that the western IP fundamentals were drafted in an era where the Internet did not exist. For example, when you refer to a cat meme, you don't ask who owns the copyright to the image of the cat. You just feel somehow empowered to "steal" the image orignially took and imbued with a copyright by US law and to remix it with a clever subtitle.

wintr says:25 minutes ago

@Bhavesh Kakwani The Introspection Engine is an external case that functions like an oscilloscope. The phone does not know of it's existence or speak to it directly.

bunnie says:24 minutes ago

In the Gongkai system, we go beyond cat memes to e.g. hardware memes, people feel empowered to remix hardware ideas in the same way that people might remix a cat meme but without attribution to the original photographer of the cat meme

Bhavesh Kakwani says:24 minutes ago

thank you for the clarifications guys :)

bunnie says:23 minutes ago

@wintr that's a pretty good explanation, thanks.

wintr says:23 minutes ago

@bunnie Would it be fair to say that we should be prepared to let some of our own designs become part of that remix enviroment?

wintr says:23 minutes ago

@bunnie @Bhavesh Kakwani Cheers.

j0z0r pwn4tr0n says:21 minutes ago

How did you deal with the worries of litigation when hacking the Xbox? Like did it stress you out, or was it just no big deal to be hacking against some behemoth of a company with more lawyers than most places have employees?

AKA says:21 minutes ago

ooh, good question @wintr, esp in re: OSHW movement - is it compatible with gongkai? Should/will the two practices hybridize?

bunnie says:21 minutes ago

@wintr I feel that you should be as prepared as your are ready to participate in such an ecosystem. that's kind of a non-answer but what i'm saying is that you can opt out or opt in. In other words, you can either try to get patents and protection on your ideas, or you can either try to ride the wave of the Internet. The two are very different experiences and they have different outcomes depending upon the nature of your idea.

wintr says:21 minutes ago

hummmm..... Worth thinking about. And talking with our execs about their expectations.

turbinenreiter says:20 minutes ago

Aren't we kinda doing that here? When I designed a sensor board I used Adafruits and Sparkfuns breakout board schematics and part libraries.

Radomir Dopieralski says:20 minutes ago

yes, but adafruit gives you explicit permission to use them

Radomir Dopieralski says:19 minutes ago

with gongkai that permission is implicit and obvious

bunnie says:19 minutes ago

@j0z0r pwn4tr0n it stressed me the fuck out. Section 1201 of the DMCA definitely repressed me and i suspect other people who are so stressed out they don't even speak out against it. :(

turbinenreiter says:19 minutes ago

And the gonkai idea would be just ignoring IP because it doesn't fit in the internet age?

Radomir Dopieralski says:17 minutes ago

wester IP is only one of the possible ways this can be organized

Radomir Dopieralski says:17 minutes ago

western*

Adam Vadala-Roth says:17 minutes ago

yeah the USA needs to pretty much repeal all IP law and replace it with nothing - my extreme opinion

Radomir Dopieralski says:17 minutes ago

though we are so accustomed to it already, that we even call it "property"

bunnie says:16 minutes ago

@turbinenreiter not qutie. the idea is that IP in the internet age is different than IP from before the internet age. When communication was difficult and only heroes could innovate, the traditional IP ecosystem makes a lot of sense. But these days the value of "IP" is more about how viral it is. Consider that if you have a patent on an irrelevant idea, it's pretty much worthless. but if you can be attributed to a major internet meme, you don't even have to sign onto a record label or brand to recognize benefits.

bunnie says:15 minutes ago

(argh level of beer starting to show through in typos sorry)

15 minutes ago

(amused)

wintr says:15 minutes ago

It's a chat, typos are endearing.

nrrdzilla says:15 minutes ago

I'm curious as to how we run up against issues participating in such an ecosystem on our own time, in North America, given repressive IP contracts with our overlords. Consider Canadian federal employees who are subject to the PISA: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-32/, and I imagine that most private sector IP agreements/contracts are similar. Just because it's dreamt-up on your own time doesn't mean they don't think they own it =/

AKA says:15 minutes ago

bunnie what will you be doing in 5 years

Radomir Dopieralski says:15 minutes ago

obligatory

Adam Vadala-Roth says:14 minutes ago

it differs from company to company, the one I had to agree to only pertrained to innovations in the same market as the company I work for

Adam Vadala-Roth says:14 minutes ago

fortunately my personal interests align in no way

Radomir Dopieralski says:13 minutes ago

that's fortunate for you, but not everyone can say that

nrrdzilla says:13 minutes ago

@Adam Vadala-Roth that's cool -- I wish more of them show that level of common sense

Bhavesh Kakwani says:12 minutes ago

@bunnie You've done a lot of product development, have you ever worked with wearables that have fabric in them? How can someone mass produce something like this, if you know? Usually all the advice out there is on mass producing PCBs in some hard shell (like a box or a watch)...but how about a glove or sock?

Adam Vadala-Roth says:11 minutes ago

yes it is, I know I'm very lucky. even a few guys here run companies on the side, one of them does open source stuff too, and its apparently all kosher

bunnie says:11 minutes ago

@nrrdzilla i think the core idea is that "there is another way". it's something im' slowly discovery coming out of my definitively american cocoon. I bought into the American IP way until about the age of 30, when I was really challenged by the ecosystem to think about what it meant to contribute IP to the ecosystem I was brought up to believe in. It was a reality check when I had to negotiate a license on a patent for something I had invented and open-sourced but my VC overlords had insisted I applied patent protection for.

nrrdzilla says:9 minutes ago

@bunnie Yeah -- that last sentence is kinda the situation I'm wondering about.

Adam Vadala-Roth says:9 minutes ago

perhaps get funding from non-VC overlords?

Adam Vadala-Roth says:14 minutes ago

it differs from company to company, the one I had to agree to only pertrained to innovations in the same market as the company I work for

Adam Vadala-Roth says:14 minutes ago

fortunately my personal interests align in no way

Radomir Dopieralski says:14 minutes ago

that's fortunate for you, but not everyone can say that

nrrdzilla says:13 minutes ago

@Adam Vadala-Roth that's cool -- I wish more of them show that level of common sense

Bhavesh Kakwani says:12 minutes ago

@bunnie You've done a lot of product development, have you ever worked with wearables that have fabric in them? How can someone mass produce something like this, if you know? Usually all the advice out there is on mass producing PCBs in some hard shell (like a box or a watch)...but how about a glove or sock?

Adam Vadala-Roth says:12 minutes ago

yes it is, I know I'm very lucky. even a few guys here run companies on the side, one of them does open source stuff too, and its apparently all kosher

bunnie says:11 minutes ago

@nrrdzilla i think the core idea is that "there is another way". it's something im' slowly discovery coming out of my definitively american cocoon. I bought into the American IP way until about the age of 30, when I was really challenged by the ecosystem to think about what it meant to contribute IP to the ecosystem I was brought up to believe in. It was a reality check when I had to negotiate a license on a patent for something I had invented and open-sourced but my VC overlords had insisted I applied patent protection for.

nrrdzilla says:9 minutes ago

@bunnie Yeah -- that last sentence is kinda the situation I'm wondering about.

Adam Vadala-Roth says:9 minutes ago

perhaps get funding from non-VC overlords?

bunnie says:8 minutes ago

@Bhavesh Kakwani yah....you're asking a literally billion dollar question. Lots of people what to solve the problem of wearable, washable, fabric-integrable electronics. If you can solve that, .... you will be rich?

turbinenreiter says:7 minutes ago

No, his VC overlords will be rich ;)

Radomir Dopieralski says:7 minutes ago

it's a bit like discovering gold -- you will be rich only if you can also defend your discovery from others

wintr says:5 minutes ago

@bunnie Are there any cultural misteps that North Americans should look to avoid making while interfacing with people in Shenzhen? I've been told to only ever hand money with two hands to someone, but not sure if that old etiquette is still alive.

bunnie says:5 minutes ago

@nrrdzilla yah -- that's a situation I'm pondering all the time. How do we protect the open ecosystem against the interests of others? It's not like GPL where copyrights are "free" and you can use that mechanism to protect your ideals. Patents require real money to prosecute, unlike copyrights. I'm experimenting to see how we can support the community but for obvious reasons it's challenging.

Adam Vadala-Roth says:4 minutes ago

yall need some new servers lol

nrrdzilla says:4 minutes ago

refreshments, LOL!

Adam Vadala-Roth says:3 minutes ago

@nrrdzilla I do have a huge stockpile of snackage in my cubical lol

3 minutes ago

we're just about out of time

AKA says:3 minutes ago

thanks bunnie for staying up till 2am, and thanks sophie for hosting!!

3 minutes ago

bunnie can you tell us abt your book since I titled the chat after it?

nrrdzilla says:3 minutes ago

Thanks to Bunnie and everyone :)

Alex Peron says:2 minutes ago

Yah Bunnie can you paste a link to the book?

AKA says:2 minutes ago

*Sophi (sorry for misspelling!)

2 minutes ago

np

Joe B says:2 minutes ago

Yes thx everyone for allowing me to be a part of this.

Benchoff says:2 minutes ago

Link to Bunnie's Book: https://www.nostarch.com/hardwarehacker

2 minutes ago

Link to Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware by Andrew “bunnie” Huang https://www.nostarch.com/hardwarehacker

Alex Peron says:2 minutes ago

Thx Brian

a minute ago

can someone post the adafruit link?

Adam Vadala-Roth says:a minute ago

thanks Bunnie!

a minute ago

to the ask and engineer ep?

sm says:a few seconds ago

Jørgen Kragh Jakobsen says:4 minutes ago

Very nice chat - lots of new input ... thanks

bunnie says:3 minutes ago

@wintr re: cultural missteps I think the handing over money thing is the least of your concerns. yes, there is some cultural relic of that but if I were to give any singular piece of advice, it would be to try to value the person across the table from you as a human being and not as a resource for your project. I know that sounds like an over-simplification, but one thing that was shocking to me as an American-born person was how much things are "up for negotiation". You don't walk into a Target and try to negotiate the price of your goods. But in China, you're expected to. And part of it is that, somehow, in America, all humans are considered equal and thus you can fix prices but oddly enough when you're in a society where if people are from your home town and you want to be able to give them an insider discount, that breaks down. So getting to know the person trying to negotiate the deal in front of you turns out to be really important, in this culture, to success.

3 minutes ago

if you're just tuning in now, we're wrapping up, but the transcript is here: https://hackaday.io/event/19744-making-and-breaking-hardware-hackchat/log/53155-edited-transcript-of-making-and-breaking-hardware

bunnie says:2 minutes ago

sorry for the slow repsonses. some really thoughtful questions and i'm failing to keep up with the pace of this chat.

wintr says:2 minutes ago

@bunnie That's almost more profound than I thought it could be. Value the people there as people, not a resource. Thank's man.

Shulie Tornel says:a minute ago

Thanks for the chat, bunnie, so insightful!

a few seconds ago

Thank you bunnie!

tiago says:a few seconds ago

thanks bunnie, you're my hero ^_^ keep fighting the good fight!

bunnie says:a few seconds ago

I think the general principle of valuing people for what they are is something that is broadly applicable across gender and creed, but fortunately the principle is so sound it applies in the fractal situation of a business transaction.

bunnie says:2 minutes ago

thanks for listening. sorry I couldn't get more across in a short amount of time. I feel like probably I missed a bunch of questions by not hitting refresh. but thank you all for sharing your thoughts and questions.

Chris Gammell says:a minute ago

You should talk on The Amp Hour soon, that will help you expound upon the things you've said here

Chris Gammell says:a few seconds ago

(will be referencing the cat meme thing, that's brilliant"

Adam Vadala-Roth says:a few seconds ago

^ THIS

Chris Gammell says:a minute ago

http://theamphour.com

bunnie says:a minute ago

wooooooo

bunnie says:a minute ago

sophi thank you for having me

Chris Gammell says:a minute ago

and if people have questions that weren't asked here, we're collecting questions to ask bunnie: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheAmpHour/comments/5sx5vl/get_your_questions_in_for_bunnie_huang_on_the/

a minute ago

great having you bunnie! look forward to hearing TAH ep

bunnie says:a minute ago

i'm sorry if I missed your questions. it's genuinely Saturday at 2AM here and I'm genuinely a few beers into the night :)

bunnie says:a few seconds ago

thanks sophi :)

a few seconds ago

they can ask for the Amp Hour..... second chance everyone!

Discussions

Adios Laboratories wrote 02/10/2017 at 18:02 point

Hello Bunnie, i'm a huge fan of yours from India. I'm trying to build an open hardware community like Shanzhai.  Hugely inspired by Shanzhai and its importance in building shenzhen a hardware silicon valley... I need your help building the community...

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