Hackers on a Plane: American hackers tour European hackerspaces

2600 Magazine's Emmanuel Goldstein sez,

Hackers on a Plane is one of those unique hacker events that defy all of the odds that the mainstream throws our way. What if a bunch of hackers got together and chartered space on a commercial airline, then journeyed throughout Europe to take part in various hacker conferences and see the emerging hacker spaces in several different countries? Not only is this very possible, but it's all completely organized. It's the perfect way to experience this summer's hacker activities on a global scale and at an affordable price.

But we have a serious dilemma. Not all of the tickets have been sold, no doubt due to the lousy economy and other such mundane issues. As those people who refuse to let reality get in the way, the hacker community needs to come together and keep this project from falling short, a fate that would probably doom future such endeavors. So if you have any dream of being a part of Hackers on a Plane, or know others who might be interested, now is the time to step forward. We only have to sell around ten tickets for the expenses to be covered and this needs to be done by the 10th of this month to fulfill terms with the airline and all that fun stuff.

This is what you get. For a total cost of $1618.03, you get round trip airfare from New York City, accomodations while you're away, admission to both PlumberCon and HAR, and a full tour of hacker spaces in Austria, Germany, and Holland. You leave New York the morning of August 4th and return the afternoon of August 18th.

Hackers on a Plane: A Brief History (Thanks, Emmanuel!)

(Image: Alli Rense)


  1. Good price but, I guess, not for all hackers. I would even say: not for most hackers around :-)

    I used to think of hackers as …

    But after Cory’s book “Content” – my thoughts change slowly – even though there is little about hackers (with exception to Dmitry Sklyarov case).

    BTW, It is interesting time to hackers, there will be new, announced as secure by design, OS to hack:


    who will hack it first ?

  2. Maybe some Feds will now sign up for 10 slots… they could keep a watchful eye on each other all the while thinking they’re getting intel on the world’s most nefarious internet criminals….

    Hey, it would keep it alive for another year.

    Wait… is there any way to e-conference into these events… perhaps a way that is, ohhh i dunno, HACK-ABLE! That would prevent all the uncomfortable human interaction and universally painful airline travel.

  3. when i was in high school my friend flew on a plane that had a whole bunch of wwf wrestlers on it, andre, hulk etc. enemies/friends “good” guys and “bad” flying together and making merry. when he told me the story my first thought was, what if the plane crashes, then ALL the wrestlers would die.

    i can’t think of anything more convenient for the cia to get rid of a whole bunch of hackers than to have another plane “accident” with all of them aboard the same plane.

    not advocating this course of action, just wondering if getting on a plane with a group of folks with those kind of enemies is such a good idea….

    -evan cairo

  4. Ian_McLoud: Yes, because US feds have lots of power on a tour of Europe.

    I really wish I could go to this!

  5. @#1, @#2, based on the “tour of European hackerspaces” description, I’d wager this event is targeted more at the Make magazine crowd than 2600 magazine folks.

  6. It’s not just a good price… it’s golden! (Well, 1000 times the golden ratio, anyway.)

  7. Woo! chartered jets.. competing with server farms for carbon emissions since 2003.

    While a visit from our esteemed cousins is great – a little hackerly pragmatism and planetary sensitivity is surely needed here! Hackers on a Train, perhaps? Hackers on horse/cart caravan?

    The Hacker Backpacker EuroHike?

  8. Couldn’t hackers get together in a virtual chat room or something and spare the planet the greenhouse gasses? Shame, shame, they should be setting an example for individuals, governments, and corporations. If hackers won’t teleconference, who will?

  9. First,

    Hackerspaces.org does host monthly teleconferences between hackerspaces. We discuss a great deal on these calls, and as a result we all benefit greatly. But, there’s a great deal to be learned from meeting other hackers, other cultures, and seeing first hand what people are doing. Video conferencing links have been explored between hacker spaces but unlike academic institutions we don’t have our own 10 Gbps links connecting us. Ultimately, until broadband becomes cheap and available to us, physical presence will be a necessary evil.


    For many of us, this is a vacation. Many of us pay for this out of pocket, and even volunteer in the running of these events. Going over seas to experience a distant land is a desire of most people. And you shouldn’t shame someone for exploring it. I understand your desire to address the need for a cleaner industrial complex, but getting intelligent people together who can actually build you alternatives is going to be way more effective than trying to convince people not to travel anywhere.

  10. Sounds like fun. But I would advise the organizers against taking credit cards as instruments of payment for the air fare.

  11. #11 Matt: There’s not much point in answering people like #8 and #10. Once you agree not to travel by jet, they’ll come back and point out the social ills of supporting multinational telecom cartels, or something like that.

    Keep up the good work, and good luck selling the rest of the seats. Should be a great time!

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