What you need to know about participating in the Red Bull madness

What’s this insanity all about?

Last year, i3 Detroit did so well in all 3 phases of the Red Bull Creation challenge (the puzzle board, the Chronotune, and the final 72-hour build in New York City), that we automatically prequalified for the finals this year. But unlike last year’s 4-person teams, this year anyone can — and should — participate!

So who’s going to New York?

Nobody! This year, the Creation takes place at individual spaces across the country. Red Bull sent us some video equipment to stream our build. That means that anyone who walks into i3 Detroit this weekend is part of it!

What are we making?

We don’t know yet! The theme will be revealed at 9:00 tonight. Then the clock starts, and we have 72 hours to conceive and create … whatever!

What should I expect if I drop in?

Expect to be involved! Whatever skills you have, they might be useful, and the only way to find out is to show up and dive in..

Also, expect a bit of paperwork! In addition to i3′s guest waiver, Red Bull’s production company has a release/waiver form that must be signed by anyone who might appear in our video stream. Please review it before dropping in. Regardless, expect around-the-clock activity, as we design and build and scramble for parts. There may be food, there may be news crews, it’s anyone’s guess!

Why?

Guts, glory, and cash: The prize purse is $10,000. And for the same reason we do anything else — because it’s just plain fun!

RedBull Creation

Red Bull Creation Challenge 2012 is Here!

Redbull is one of the few companies that really do an excellent job engaging the maker/hacker community. Their 72-hour build-a-thon challenges always generate really creative results. This year’s should be no different. Your favorite hackerspace (hint: that’s us!) is a finalist again this year. However, things will be a bit different this year and hopefully for the better. This time, RedBull is coming to the finalists and will be livestreaming the event online. You’ll be able to watch us build, hack, create, laugh, smile and hopefully win.

The nation-wide synchronized creation challenge starts Thursday, the 19th at 9PM EST, and goes for 72 hours straight through the weekend. Point your browser to http://creation.redbullusa.com/ creation to watch the chaos ensue at i3 Detroit and the 11 other hackerspaces, shops, and homes around the US. Press release follows:

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Maker Faire Detroit is coming up fast!

Two bits of Maker Faire news to share. First, it looks like i3 Detroit will be hosting the official Maker Faire afterparty. Details to follow, but the murmurs I hear from the planning team are interesting indeed.

Second, an email went out from Maker Faire yesterday:

The Maker Faire Detroit Call for Makers has been extended to accommodate the tremendous response we have received from groups and individual Makers! You now have until Friday, June 15th to complete your application or start the process.

Thanks to all the Makers that have already completed their applications, we have been accepting applications weekly. We will be sending the Maker Manual with all the information you need as well as the agreement in the next couple of weeks. Once you sign and return that agreement to us, we will place you in the Faire.

All applications must be submitted no later than 5 pm Friday, June 15, 2012. http://www.makerfairedetroit.com/call-for-makers/

 Thanks and we’ll see you soon!

The Maker Faire Detroit Team

So if you were previously unaware (as I was) of the closing date, there you have it! Another week to put the finishing touches on the project…

Upcoming events at i3 Detroit, including two more classes

Friday, April 6, 5pm-10pm-ish: Open Shop Friday, holiday weekend edition! With so many members off work for the day, there’ll be someone around the shop earlier than normal to open the doors and host guests. This is an ideal time to drop in and see the space, meet the members, and work on a project!

Saturday, April 7 8pm-2am: Twisted Toys and Mad Scientists, Victorian/Steampunk show at District VII. (off-site) Several i3 projects and members will be there.

Thursday, April 12, 7:30pm: Arduino Meetup, newbies welcome. Good platform to get started in microcontrollers.

Friday, April 13, 7pm: Open Shop Friday for those sad souls not in Cleveland at the midwest’s finest tech/art/everything conference.

Thursday April 19, 7pm-???: Tabletop Gaming. Does Dominion ring a bell? How about Settlers of Catan? Guests welcome.

Friday April 20, 7:30pm: Lockpicking for Beginners. Please register for your seat now!

Saturday April 21, 1pm-4pm: Roadside Skills For Non-Greasemonkeys. Registration required. Learn to patch a puncture, install a spare tire, jump-start a dead battery, and more.

Friday April 27 thru Sunday April 29: Penguicon (off-site). Geek-interest conference, expanding to larger digs in Dearborn this year. Several i3 Detroit members are presenting, teaching, and otherwise involved. There may not be an Open Shop this day because most of us will be at the con.

(Also, hello Detroit News visitors! What do you hack? What do you make? Let us know in comments!)

Notacon CFP closes 2/10, early reg still open

It is April 12, 2012, the first day of Notacon. You are in the hallway 
outside the main presenation room. Through the open door east, you can 
see an enthusiastic presenter gesturing at her slides, and about two 
dozen people sitting in chairs. On the hallway wall is a printed 
schedule. West is another presentation room. South is the lockpicking 
area. The hallway continues north.

> LOOK AT SCHEDULE

The schedule reads "NOTACON 9 ROOM 1 FRIDAY 
3pm Milkymist: video synthesizers at the cutting edge of open source hardware 
4pm Reverse-engineering for fun and profit 
5pm Game Maker: Crash course in video game programming 
6pm Creating parsers using standard UNIX tools 
..."

> GO NORTH

You are in the hallway outside the hardware hacking area. To the east, 
attendees and off-duty conference staff are crouched over soldering 
irons, modifying the circuitry on their conference badges. One appears 
to have been converted into a small vehicle, scooting around the table. 
Someone hollers "It works! It's transmitting my callsign!" To the west 
is the pool. To the north, a "PIXELJAM" sign adorns a closed door with 
music thumping behind it. The hallway continues south.

> INVENTORY

Between your pockets and your backpack, you have: 
A Notacon 9 conference badge circuit board with nothing soldered to it. 
Your cellphone. (2003 called, they want their Nokia back.) 
A half-empty bottle of Bawls energy drink. 
A printed conference program, folded open to the puzzles section. 
A cheap set of lockpicks. 
A menu from the sushi joint across the street. 
Two 4GB USB flash drives. 
A towel with "Hilton" embroidered in the corner.

Man, what a weird dream! Good thing it isn’t actually April yet, because the discounted pre-registration happens much earlier. Notacon, the longest-running (and coolest) tech/art/hack conference in the midwest, has just extended that discounted reg period, and for anyone whose ambition extends to submitting a presentation, good news! The Call for Proposals closes on February 10, there’s still time to sneak one in…