Meeting Notes 2010 12 28

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The 141st Meeting of Noisebridge


  • Moderator: Shannon
  • Note-Taker: Liz


Introduction and Names

Jared. machine learning group, it is his first weekly meeting, he came to the meeting to bridge the gap between machine learning group and everyone else and see what the financial situation is.

Nick. Is here a lot and runs the iphone meetup group. Mostly is here during the day, working on his own projects. He is working on getting the vending machine. It comes on Thurs. or Fri this week. Thanks to those who made it happen. Nick also helped move buliding supplies today

Michael hands Nick a 20 dollar bill for the vending machine. Cheers!

Zed. He builds stuff.

John, does web developement

Lilia is in ur computerz developin ur software. She's also in ur darkroom developin ur photos. It is an actual working darkroom. *cheers from all around for the working darkroom*

Mike Kan, works on many projects, works in the shop, is a techno floater, like a bumble bee.

Shannon says Mike knows everything about pumps. Mike says he is not a function. He doesn't want to be pigeonholed. He knows about a lot of stuff except law, business, and computer programming. Everything else, ask him. He is not a number. He is a free man! He does not have a narrow frame of mind. He enjoys variety. He interviews people to know what they're about. He's like a welcome pavilion!

Danny is articulate for a living. He hacks words.

Liz could not think of anything to say because of typing these notes. She is a web developer and has a small press and lives on a houseboat. You can borrow her wheelchair and wheel it around if you ask nicely. It has front wheels that light up. She enjoys the Noisebridge discuss mailing list very much.

Chandra - web dev, came for Ruby group on Tuesdays. Is also an artist who hasn't made antying in a while and likes it that there is whatever going on

Benjamin - web dev - Hacked some projects here, does other work. Bring the Chaos Communication Congress to Berlin. Benny is streaming it to NB. People are coming for it in th emiddle of the night. Dr. Jesus is working on it too.

Simon. Computer programmer.

Patrick. Web dev. Is here with the day crowd. John, nick, benny, mike sometimes.

Praveen, he develops stuff. Machine learning. He is here more this week because he's on vacation.


Financial Report

Funds in bank: $16,229.80

Danny is acting as proxy treasurer for Kelly, who is stuck at Heathrow.

Previously in NB treasury news, we thought we were screwed. The basic principle is that we should have 3 months expenses. We had less than 2 months expenses a couple of weeks ago. The good news is that we are now back to 3 months ahead.

  • applause*

We now have 16K in the bank account, and that's after paying for January rent.

Everyone was excellent. We got in 5K in casual donations for December. We also brought in 4K in membership dues. Paypal had randomly stopped some recurring payments, no one spotted it. We contacted a lot of members who then restored the recurring payments.

The rough cost of running NB is 5K a month. Kelly has some figures which are a bit tentative. Oct: we took in 4K. Nov: 6K, and costs (including next year's insurance) were a bit more. 9.5K December, expenses unknown . Ongoing membership dues: 4.1K a month, roughly. 12 people are paying not as members, but as regular donators.

Kelly asks for people to ask questions, We will note them and she will answer in the wiki or on the mailing list.

Praveen: How much money is coming from big donations that are one-time? What is our reliance on that?

Danny: In 2009 according to the annual report, about third of NB's income was from casual non-recurring donations. Unsure as to how much of this is big donations rather than small payments.

Praveen: If people pay their entire year's dues up front, are we tracking that?

Danny: There are 32 people who pay dues, 10 or so that they probably pay money, a coupe of them pay up front all at once.

Shannon attempts to answer the question Chandra asked: What happened? We run on volunteer work. We now have an awesome treasurer Kelly and also Danny has stepped up to help out. Danny adds that it is due to Kelly untangling things that we a) knew the situation b) we were able to fix it.

Shannon adds also that he panicked a bit and sent a scaremongering email. Things weren't as bad as he thought they were. He feels a bit bad, but not too bad because people have been stepping up.

Jared says the Machine Learning group didn't know what the financial system of NB worked and what it needs and they would like to contribute and make sure NB is okay.

Liz says we can still get people to pay attention and fix a situation, without creating a panic.

Praveen asks for financial report emails to go to announce.

Liz: How to set up more employer matching donations? How do we set that up, and publicize it correctly?

Danny says, keep asking the companies, have some employees suggesting it. Then find the financial people.

Shannon says to ask your HR person if you think your company might match your donations.

Liz: Let's detach the idea of donating and recurring payments from "membership". Encourage people to set up donations. Link to the donation page on the NB wiki.

Membership Binder

Shannon explains the membership process. Put your name in the membership binder. We then read their names out for 4 weeks. You need 2 signatures. After that, show up at the meeting and we send you out of the room and discuss you.

If you just want to donate to NB and be a part of it, donate, be an affiliate member, and you're not interested in the politics and consensus process, and don't want to come to these meetings...

John says we should charge MORE for the affiliate option. General laughter.

Chandra asks if you get a shelf if you're an affiliate member. Answer: you can put stuff on a spare shelf any time you want. The wiki says you have to be a dues paying member to get a shelf but that is wrong. Stick your name on a shelf and put your stuff on it.

Shannon says Jonathan says that someone stole something from his shelf and he gave up his shelf in disgust. Alas! (This turns out not to be quite the whole story, actually.)

We now read out prospective member names, which I will not record.

Nick Ianonne is now a member of Noisebridge. He has brought beer and limes. Yay!

What's Going On at Noisebridge

Next week in Machine Learning, Clay is giving a talk and Mike Schecter is giving a talk on neural networks. Working on a contest to analyze social network data to try and win money for NB. Implementing Flickr who to follow recs.

Spacebridge may be on hiatus right now. They launch balloons into outer space. It is awesome.

Knots, Go, and Locks. 3pm Sundays, we tie knots, pick locks, and play Go. They go together beautifully.

Non-weekly, 5 minutes of fame, our lightning talks series, it is a great series of talks and a lot of people come.

Bay Area Hackers Association meets here.

Second Saturday of every month, we meet and build Noisebridge infrastructure. Infrastructure Holiday!


For locations at Noisebridge, see a map of the 2169 location of Noisebridge.


Project Updates

There are stairs that Zedd (and Shannon) made, going into the new laser cutting room, formerly the tea room. Cheers for the stairs!

We have cleared the building supplies from the back wall between the kitchen and the classrooms. Trash was trashed. Tools and nails and screws are in the shop. All the building supplies -- drywall, tiles, plumbing and electrical supplies and cement -- are in the room with the water heater. This happened because Shannon was bitching about it, Liz started organizing the stuff, and lots of people came over to move the heavy things. The rat poop was also cleaned up, a cabinet moved to the top of some other cabinets. Nick moved a lot of cement. Many people mopped the floor.

The board of excellence is now up! Lillia made this. Put photos of people up and put up people's names and praise them for being excellent. We added one part of it for someone who will answer questions or give tours. If you are here and you want to add your picture and name to this

Liz suggests we implement the metal wall with magnet photos of people with names. Good, welcoming for people coming into the space, helps people know each other especially if you're bad at remembering names.

Malia says that has been suggested a bunch.

Someone on the mailng list just said they will bring in a big sheet of metal for this project.

Mike Kan likes the idea of a welcoming kiosk. at the entrance. A Welcome Pavilion!

Patrick likes the idea of the guest kiosk thingie. He says Praveen is writing code for it right now. Praveen suddenly looks very busy and guilty.

Consensus items


Discussion Items

Mike Kan brings up some discussion items. One is the sleep thing. The other is the kitchen and the dishes. He considers them to be hardware problems. Get rid of the couches, and the dishes. Eliminate the public dishes and people will bring their own cup. Maybe that will eliminate the dishes problem. There will be only pots and pans.

Trash compactor to shred cans and jars?

Shannon suggests a couch compactor.

We should also have everyone bring their own couches.

Nick asks about the survey going around. It is mostly Dany's fault, but also Liz's. 76 people have answered the survey online or because of being harassed by Danny in person in the space in the last couple of days. Danny will present the results at 5 minutes of fame.

The results that we have permission to make public will also go on the wiki or somewhere.

Jared wants to know if people can amend their survey answers. Danny says yes, just email him,

Lilia says that 12/28/2010 is sponsored by Noodles. It is called "Boring Day". Shannon bought Christmas so that no one would name it something obnoxious.

Danny says, he has some possible projects. Monthly talk series where he brings a person in to talk. Regular newsletter, sent out to NB announce. It would give some narrative coherence to Noisebridge. Nick is excited about the newsletter idea. Liz wants to call it "Signal to Noise".

Nick suggests a sort of template or script of some points that meetup organizers can make at their weekly meetings. Membership, What is NB. Etc. He says he'll start this from what he says at the start of his meetups.

End of Meeting

Let the PGP key signing commence!

Danny and Benny sign each others PGP keys. Everyone watches. They blush. The end!