Posts Tagged ‘anthropomorphism’

nerd nite 17: (bit)coins, geonet and other strange creatures

URGENT AND IMPORTANT NOTICE: In light of recent events, we’re postponing nerd nite #17 to August 5th…

Stay safe! Our thoughts are with you all 🙂

And please pass on the word to anyone you knew, who meant to be coming along. Stay tuned for the new date, up in a day or two 🙂


Greetings, nerdlings!

Time for another nerd nite Wellington – did you know we’ve now been holding these for _three_ years? Yeah. Wow. The mind boggles (this being the longest time aimee’s ever done one thing ever).

It’ll all be happening at the Hotel Bristol on AUGUST 5th, from 6pm (with speakers starting at about 6:30).

So, for this most auspicious 17th nerd nite, we bring you the following!

[In this order]

Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)

Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)


Did the earth move for you?
Ewen McNeill

When the earth moves, people rush to the GeoNet website ( to find out where the earthquake was located. Take a whirlwind “behind the scenes” tour of how earth movement turns into something you can look at online, in a matter of minutes. Prior IT knowledge not necessary: complicated aspects will be explained via interpretive dance (aka hand waving!).Ewen McNeill is a data communications consultant based in Wellington, who has assisted GeoNet with modernising their network infrastructure. He has been around telecommunications since 9600bps modems were Woah! Super Fast! Ewen is not a geologist, nor does he play one on TV


Bitcoin: How it works
Hamish MacEwan (@HamishMacEwan)

The title is a bit of a weasel as we’re going to demonstrate Bitcoin clients (aka “Wallets”) doing Bitcoin exchange. That is how it works. The cryptographic and network nuts and bolts of how it works are not going to fit in the available time. But we will have time to see “how it works” with a quick overview of significant elements in the Bitcoin ecology and what Bitcoin’s work in the future could be.

Hamish MacEwan, Open ICT Consultant and long time technology observer and commentator on Radio New Zealand National.

Note: Please see the bottom of this page for how, as audience members, you can set up for Hamish’s talk.


Tales from the Big Biota Barn*
…Johanna Knox (hah! you were expecting a ‘mc’ in the name somewhere, weren’t you :P)

In some quarters it’s a cardinal sin, but it’s hard to resist attributing human qualities to other life forms – and it always has been. Johanna Knox takes us on a romp through our long history of anthropomorphising plants and fungi.

She asks – should we actually all do more of it? Would it help counter society’s current preoccupation with commodifying nature?

Johanna is the author of A Forager’s Treasury: a New Zealand guide to finding and using wild plants, as well as the children’s fiction series The Fly Papers, about sentient carnivorous plants.

*The Big Biota Barn is a huge and marvellous warehouse of life-forms that exists only in the world of The Fly Papers.


As always, nerd nite is free and open, because that’s how aimee likes things (where possible :P). Bring your nerdy friends, non-nerdy friends, kids, weird aunts/uncles, grandparents, and everyone else.

And, if you or anyone you know would like to speak, GET IN TOUCH! I’m always on the lookout for more speakers 🙂 – aimee




OK, here are the suggestions for participants. Of course, you may wish to investigate Bitcoin themselves pre-show, but if you don’t, this will set you up for the night.


Demonstration: Audience Participation Requirements

If you’d like to get a visceral feel for Bitcoin, taking part in the demonstration (which you can do from the comfort of your seat, no on-stage, spotlit appearance is required) is the best way.


– Install Wallet
Bitcoin clients are available for a wide range of platforms. For your device and operating system, obtain and install a Bitcoin wallet.

Risk: Some
The software must be installed at your own risk. The organisers have not, and cannot, reliably test and recommend the software listed below. Be brave, the future isn’t for the faint of heart.

– Android
Bitcoin Wallet –

– iOS
Blockchain Wallet –

– Blackberry
Bitcoin Wallet BlackBerry –

– Windows
Bitcoin-Qt –

– Mac OSX
Bitcoin-Qt –

– Linux
Bitcoin-Qt –

Bitcoin-Qt –

– Recieve Bitcoin


Register Your Bitcoin address with Nerd Night

Once you have installed your wallet please email one of your Bitcoin addresses to: [you may wish to extract only the email address from this mailto: URI, that would be . The mailto: does provide a standard subject which might be handy…]


It will look something like this: 1NabCPN8p5htqo64XsAEhCpatTVuV7KV6S

Risk: Neglible
The address is a mathematical abbreviation of the public key and as such presents no adverse risk. You only need to reveal a public key when reassigning Bitcoin to another address. No one can determine your public key from your Bitcoin address. The associated private key, which is critical, should never be revealed.