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What’s your name?

e. Yes, e. My name is e.

Read the review mynameise got at the recent top web conference in Europe:

Mynameise Triumphs at TheNextWeb Conference

The winner of both the jury prize and public vote (by a considerable margin) at TheNextWeb conference was Amsterdam startup mynameise. The company makes a portable connector which aims to replace the ubiquitous business card by sharing your online identities with other connectors or mobile phones. The service also importantly allows you to select which identities should be shared, e.g. LinkedIn with business contacts and Facebook with friends. Since many of us are already encountering this “multiple business card” scenario (I already have one business card for my blog and another for my company), it has the potential to become a huge business.

The jury selected mynameise not only because they are solving a real-world problem but because they gave one of the best pitches they had seen in a long time. It’s also encouraging to see a startup from Amsterdam winning the prize when other startup founders have pointed out that the Netherlands is not an ideal base for startups.


Making the DEFCON 16 Badge

Read the Digital Edition (subscribers only!)

Joe highlights his design process and the problems he encountered during the creation of his most recent DEFCON badge.

Nuts & Volts Magazine (March 2009)

By Joe Grand


defcon 16 badge

DEFCON 16 Badge

The DEFCON 16 Badge was created for the 2008 edition of DEFCON, the largest and oldest continuously running hacker and computer security convention in the world. The badge uses active electronics, an artistically-designed circuit board, and provides intentionally “open” circuitry to allow attendees to experiment with and modify the badge to their liking.

This year’s design is based around a Freescale Flexis MC9S08JM60 8-bit microcontroller and features infrared data transmission and reception, SecureDigital (SD) memory card and FAT16 file system support, and a USB bootloader for in-the-field firmware upgrades. Source code was developed using the freely available CodeWarrior Development Studio for Microcontrollers and the Freescale JM60 GUI Installer. A single CR123A 3V Lithium battery provides the required power and a single push-button switch serves as the user interface to cycle through the three operating states of the badge:

  • Receive
  • Transmit (or TV-B-Gone Mode if no SD card is inserted)
  • Sleep

A total of 8,500 badges were manufactured and eight different text cut-outs and soldermask/silkscreen color combinations were used to denote the different DEFCON clientele: Human, Goon, Staff, Press, Speaker, Vendor, Contest Organizer, and Uber (awarded to the winners of official DEFCON contests).

Grand Idea Studio once again hosted the DEFCON Badge Hacking Contest to award the most ingenious, obscure, mischievous, or technologically astounding badge modification created during the weekend conference. There were 20 official entries in this year’s contest. The winning entry by the Greek Geeks was a Human Password Generator: A software application on a PC laptop tracked the motion of the badge’s LEDs via a webcam and sent a hash of the motion profile over USB to the badge, which then computed the password based on the motion hash and transferred the result back to the PC. Additional contest information can be found at the official DEFCON 16 Contest Results page.


Selected Badge Hacking Contest Entries:

  • Video Samples ( Joe Grand )
  • Pictures ( Joe Grand )
  • Project Files: Front Row Badge: Apple Front Row and HP Pavilion DV Laptop remote control emulation
    ( BonzoESC, Sterling, Critta, and Jymbolia )
  • Project Files: TV-B-A.D.D. and TV-B-P0wn: Continuous channel changing of any Philips TV within the badge’s range and hotel TV administrator access based on Major Malfunction’s Old Skewl Hacking – Infrared work. ( Major Malfunction )
  • Project Files: Cellular Automaton: Simulates Wolfram-style cellular automata. Can store/load simulation data to/from the SD card. ( Patrick Cruce and Michael McGraw-Herdeg )