My favorite talks of #31c3

Another Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg ended yesterday. Instead of going there (as I originally had planned), I just tuned into the livestream (frequently) and checked the recordings (for only a few talks, so far). As some people on Reddit stated that they found the program “underwhelming” beforehand, my expectations were not super-high – and I was rather positively surprised in the end. Here is the talks I liked the most, so far:

Computer Science in the DPRK

If you want to learn about something new today, with little overlap to what you already know, you should watch this talk about teaching and studying computer science in North Korea, by Will Scott. I’m not sure how and for what you will apply this knowledge, but it’s definitely intereresting. Will, a graduate student from University of Washington, gives some insights on the curriculum he tought, the state of tech in the country, as well as what his students were like.

Link on – Reddit AMA, from a year ago, in case you prefer to read about it.

Correcting Copywrongs

The state of the pirate party looks entirely hopeless? Not anymore, after you have seen this talk by MEP Julia Reda (@Senficon on Twitter). I am not as optimistic about correcting copywrongs (or copyright-reform) as she (apparently) is, but she seems to have some impact in Brussels. As long as people vote the way they do, that might already be more than you could expect.

Link on 

Deine Rechte sind in diesen Freihandelsabkommen nicht verfügbar

Another talk by a pirate?! However, here Katharina Nocun (@Kattascha) was rather talking as a “Campagnerin” of Campact, her current day-job, not as a pirate party member. While her job title might sound a bit ridiculous, the talk gives some valuable insights not only into TTIP and CETA, but also more “obscure” treaties, such as EUSFTA. This treaty between the EU and Singapore is already finalized (just not ratified), and in some points goes beyond the terms of the more well-known treaties. The talk also explains well how out-of-court arbitration is not only to the detriment of the interests of society as a whole, but also heavily favors major corporates over the Mittelstand (SMEs).

Link on

Beyond PNR: Exploring airline systems

And finally, a technical talk. What’s “under the hood” at airlines? How is passenger data exchanged? Somewhat unsurprisingly, the IT used is not exactly modern. Interesting to know, especially if you fly every now and then and would like to know more about what goes on behind the scenes.

Link on


The Fnord News show also was somewhat entertaining, as usual. There’s also quite a few talks left which I haven’t watched yet, so I might add one or two more, in the coming days, if I find the time.