Second City, First Line of Defence

Chicago Frankfurt Montreal protests

Chicago Frankfurt Montreal protests

Things have been quiet around the ol’ raincoaster blog lately, mostly because I tried to update Ubuntu like a good little open sourcer and the feculent motherfucker has now stuck my computer in an endless reboot cycle, thanks SO much. Dear Hive Mind: watch your back.

This is because I downloaded Suelette Dreyfus‘s book Underground, isn’t it?

In any case, this is a good time to get back online, even with an outdated, borrowed computer that I can play X’s and O’s on just by writing in the dust of the lid. Because while I was doing nothing much at all but whining at the computer and seeking out home remedies for my (unending) toothache, people in Montreal, Chicago, and Frankfurt were real busy.

Black Bloc Cop

Black Bloc Cop

I think this guy got his uniforms mixed up. He should be a hit at NATO duty, when he wears the Guy Fawkes mask with the dress uniform. Black Bloc Boy is giving him total side-eye.

Cops in Chicago

Cops in Chicago

Chicago el protesto

Chicago el protesto

That caption? Not real Spanish, y’all.

We TOLD you to expect us!

We TOLD you to expect us!

This one is almost certainly British, because David Cameron simply doesn’t register outside of the UK. I can see one Anonymous flag, but can’t make out anything else except much nicer architecture than we have in Vangroover.

And, finally, Anonymous has re-posted its guide to secure browsing. The typos are glaring, but the advice is good, and you do not have to actually understand the instructions to follow the instructions. Like a lot of technical things, it makes more sense the more you use it. I mean, you don’t really know how your car engine works, do you? But you can drive, right?

=== The Ultimate Guide for Anonymous and Secure Internet Usage v1.0.1 ===

Table of Contents:

  1.   Obtaining Tor Browser
  2.   Using and Testing Tor Browser for the first time
  3.   Securing Your Hard Drive
  4.   Setting up TrueCrypt, Encrypted Hidden Volumes
  5.   Testing TrueCrypt Volumes
  6.   Securing your Hard Disk
  7.   Temporarily Securing Your Disk, Shredding Free Space
  8.   Installing VirtualBox
  9.   Installing a Firewall
  10.   Firewall Configuration
  11.   Installing Ubuntu
  12.   Ubuntu Initial Setup
  13.   Installing Guest Additions
  14.   Installing IRC (Optional)
  15.   Installing Torchat (Optional)
  16.   Creating TOR-Only Internet Environment
  17.   General Daily Usage

Since I’m starting from scratch anyway (reminder to self, do not trust Ubuntu One, those are the assholes who fucked up self’s computer in the first place, back up to USB, then give to Cthulhu for safekeeping) and it’s a stat holiday tomorrow in Canuckistan (surprise, American bosses!) I might as well work my way through this list and report back. Although if it works, how will you ever know it’s me? EH? I ask yez.

coworking at BOB: re-open for business

Coworking at BOB lounge area by AHA Media

As guests of yesterday’s Net Tuesday event or last month’s Social Media Club Vancouver panel will have noted, the gorgeous coworking gallery at BOB is open for business once again and looking for hot-desking cultural creative nomads in search of a home.

The space is enormous, and includes:

  • 15′ ceilings and art-ready walls and display cabinets (got some paintings you want to hang? talk to us)
  • keyless, secure entry
  • secure bike storage
  • access from 9am till very, very late (ie whenever I go home, which is generally not before 6am)
  • large kitchen area with microwave, fridge and freezer
  • private lockers
  • robust wireless
  • a funky polished concrete floor
  • hot and cold filtered water thanks to Wa2
  • projector and smartboard
  • cleaning service
  • rosewood desks and cushy ergonomic chairs
  • a social lounge area with a sofa, armchairs and an extensive window seat
  • two washrooms, one handicapped-accessible
  • space for (at maximum) 25 creative ninjas to work at any given time
  • in the heart of Chinatown and just blocks from Gastown
  • handy to Skytrain, buses and excellent pubs and restaurants
  • literally next door to a Waves cafe, if you’re already addicted to their coffee!

And, of course, the fabulous company of your peers. And me.

Sheng High by Trimpin

This is what the coworking gallery looked like during the Cultural Olympiad, when we had an exhibition by the sound sculptor Trimpin.

If you’re a recovering or current civil servant and prefer PDFs to all other forms of communication, here’s our downloadable flyer. In fact, why don’t you print out a couple of dozen and pass them out? No? Okay, maybe just one for the staffroom corkboard?

We’ve also been featured extensively in blogs, other blogs, other blogs, coworking blogs, on Facebook, on Flickr, and the mainstream media.

How much will this glorious work environment set you back? Only $200 a month, less than half of what Workspace used to charge. Half-month trials are also available, for $100. If you’ve got a small company and need multiple desk spaces, we can work something out. And we are available for special event bookings, subject to availability and usage. Talk to us.

We’re looking for do-gooders, writers, tech workers, SOHO ninjas and all variety of interesting, creative people who are looking for something more copacetic than a cafe, more professional than the dining room table. Give us a call at 778-328-7664 or email raincoaster at gmail dot com and we can show you around.

Here we are a few months ago, under construction:

Coworking at BOB gallery view by AHA Media

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The Pirate Bay -> The Prorogue Bay for a day, eh!

Prorogue Bay eh

Yes, The Pirate Bay has become The Prorogue Bay for a day (or more) eh. No way!


UPDATE: AndreaR reports on Twitter that apparently only Canadians can see it. Awwww, we feel speshul!

(In)Famous filesharing site The Pirate Bay has decided to stick it to the Canadian government in more ways than one. Let’s face it, the music industry can spend all it wants on lobbyists, but the real reason the Canadian Conservative Party has opposed filesharing is simply that they haven’t figured out how to tax it.


So, besides NOT paying the Tories‘ baksheesh every darn day of their lives, the Pirate Bay‘s little Scandinavian hosers was hard at work last night getting up this lovely spoof of our illustrious or at least illustrated PM Stephen Harper on their main page, and ain’t she a beaut? Nice Peace Tower there, by jee.

If the Pirate Bay can bypass your government restrictions, why sure as you’re born so can the Canadian Government. They’re pirates alike under the skin, and if you don’t believe me you are encouraged to find a Tory and dissect him yourself just to make sure.

Now THAT would be a Good Day, eh?

And don’t forget to Follow @OnionRing4PM on Twitter and join the Facebook group Can This Onion Ring Get More Fans than Stephen Harper?

Che Conrad

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who’s that girl?

A certain mysterious someone at Lamecamp Vancouver last week at the Cambie Pub. Who could it be? Whoever it is, they’ve got fabulous taste in Twitter reading material!

who's that girl?

Lamely shot on medium format, scanned at ridicioulsy low resolution after pushing the film by a stop because I lamely forgot my faster speed film.

Streams of History: call for participants

Live on the Downtown Eastside? Artistic, trustworthy, and nice? Has Fearless City got a gig for you!

Streams of History

Streams of History

Mobile Media workshop, February 4-7, 2009

It’s often said that if we ignore our history we are doomed to repeat it. By recognizing and recording the stories of 20 sites in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, mobile videographers connect past to present, creating an opening for informed reflection on the future. This crossmedia exhibition and web project remixes Labour, Work, and Working People: A Working Class and Labour History Walking Tour using Web 2.0 strategies to expand the number of voices heard and stories told.

Using the latest in digital technology, live video streams tell tales of 20 DTES sites through enduring memories of Vancouver’s labour history. Videographers present the history and context of each site and reveal new relationships with contemporary players. Strikes, lockouts, evictions, state suspicion, attacks on working class movements…markers of a death – each site has a unique role to play in the story of the neighbourhood. New tools are being used to harness history and bring it forward with  mobile devices, wireless networks, live screens and video mixers.

The public is invited to interact with the installation throughout the month and add to the stories, while our collective knowledge of DTES history deepens as it is reinterpreted through a digital lens.


This project is based on the “Labour, Work, and Working People” booklet produced in 2002 by the Pacific Northwest Labour History Association. This brochure encouraged people to walk the streets of Vancouver and visit each site. In the foreword to the booklet, the author ends by stating “At the turn of the 21st century, this tour offers insight into the continued struggle by labour to democratize the workplace and the world. Please walk the tour and meet the working people who built the city of Vancouver.”

“Social gatherings, literature and art express feelings about work and community … Film and storytelling also allow artists to celebrate working class struggles and gains.”

Now in that 21st century, new ways of recording, commenting, involving and organizing are available to us. This is a digital updating and reinterpretation of these stories of Vancouver’s working class history.

Produced by:

Fearless City Mobile, in association with DTES Community Arts Network, Gallery Gachet, Mobile Muse 3, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.


•    To connect 20 Eastside mobile videographers with labour history sites in our community.
•    To establish relationships with these sites, researching and expanding their stories.
•    To compare, contrast and identify the relevance to today’s Downtown Eastside.
•    To convey the spirit of each site in under 5 minutes.
•    To use leading edge technology in retelling these stories.
•    To archive/make available these stories online so they may be added to and commented upon.
•    To test an interactive map that supports locative and mobile video.


Fearless City, yo!20 sites around the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver
Live event from the 20 sites on Saturday February 7th 2009 11am-12noon streamed online and as a remixed VJ installation at Gallery Gachet (88 E Cordova St., Vancouver, V6A 1K2, ph: 604.687.2468).
The outcomes remain in the gallery throughout the month to 28 February.
Online worldwide access via and on a Community Walk map.


20 videographers
5 documenters (video-ing the videographers at work)
2 VJs handling the live stream
1 documenter recording the creation of the live streams at the Gallery Gachet
Pancake breakfast crew (shopping/gear/operating)


$20/compulsory training event plus $60 mobile streaming fee = $100/participant


As this is an outdoor event in early February, all participants should come prepared with wind and rain protection for themselves and the equipment; umbrellas are very useful here.

Connection, learning, the process

Participants will have two workshops to attend, on Wednesday, February 4, 6:30-8pm at 65 West Cordova (the Lore Krill Coop) and Friday February 6-8pm, Gallery Gachet

If you wish to participate but are truly unable to attend these sessions please contact Lani at (778.895.1939) and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The first workshop will give an overview of the project, and then offer a chance to select, be assigned, be told (depending on how effectively democracy works here!) which site each participant will cover. We hope the spirit of the project overcomes and possibility of fighting over favoured sites! Participants can research the sites

We may also wish to create pairs of first timers and more seasoned project participants.
So please come with flexibility around the sites you will be connecting with and the other member of your pair.

Having begun the connection to each site participants will then be introduced to the technical aspects of streaming video, and have a chance to see the hardware and software which will be used on the day of the event.

The second workshop will review the relationship with each site, offer guidance and suggestions and support as to film techniques which might be used, and also offer a chance to experiment with live streaming. The Friday evening will also provide us with a chance for meet ‘n greet with our technical partners from Montreal’s Society for Arts & Technology (SAT).

On Saturday February 7th all participants will gather at 9:30am at the Gallery Gachet, share breakfast and prepare for the day.


Each participant will be twinned with one other participant selected/ assigned by the geographical closeness to their own site.

In teams of two the 20 participants will station themselves at the first 10 sites for an 11 am start of streaming.

As each team finishes their first live stream the team then moves into position for their second stream.

Each member of each team will take the lead at ‘their’ site and then act as an assistant/ aide/supporter as their team mate then takes the lead at the second of ‘their’ sites.

11 am first set of five live streams – on ending move to third set of five locations
11.10 second set of five live streams – on ending move to fourth set of five locations
11.20 third set of five live streams – when done, free to return to the gallery
11.30 fourth set of five live streams – when done, free to return to the gallery
11.35 end of live streaming and all participants return to Gallery Gachet
11.50 assemble at Gallery Gachet
12 noon celebration and congratulations, and a chance to view the now archived event
12.30 event formally ends

The memory

The source streams will be archived and available online. The ‘VJ’-ing of the live streams will itself be recorded and archived.

All 20 sites will be added to a “Community Walk” map, with direct links to the videos of each site, and with interactive comments and additional historical detail added over time.


history, memory, connection, learning, labour, working class, digital, streaming, VJs, relevance.

Background Links:

The booklet online: Streams of History

The sites on our prototype Community Walk map

Three sites on video walls etc

Suez’s site with a video of VJ-ing in action

Six or seven sites connect with the relief camps and displacement during the depression (the former one….) This book with Vancouver connections is excellent source material*:  Bill Waiser* <>casts our minds back to depression-era Saskatchewan in “Who Killed Jackie Bates?”

*A podcast interview with him is available here: (select January 24th)*