ThingsCon Log (02 Jan 2018): A Happy New IoT Year!

Welcome back & a happy new year to you! May 2018 be a better year, globally speaking, than the last. Also, may we be spared any large scale attacks that leverage connected consumer products, and big data breaches. But who are we kidding, it won't happen by itself—so let's get back to work!

Also, we're curious to hear about your IoT-related predictions for 2018—please feel free to send them our way (just reply to this email or ping us on Twitter).


In the last team call of 2017, we briefly discussed some of the core themes and activities we'll be working towards this year. Among others, these include:

  • A second part of the ThingsCon Nairobi event that happens in Germany to strengthen that bridge (this has always been planned as a two-part event).
  • Double down on our collection and creation of useful resources for practitioners. We've had a /resources/ section for a long time, and we'd like to build on that. Especially creating case studies of how good ethics & responsible practices can foster good business seem useful.
  • We'd also like to explore how to get our message out to those working inside larger companies in a more structured way. This is where we see huge leverage, and we're convinced we can do a better job with this outreach. Maybe with a track at our ongoing events, or a dedicated in-house event series? Formats pending!
  • Host another retreat for the core community of local organizers (aka ThingsCamp 2).
  • Further develop the ThingsCon Fellowship program together with the current fellows.
  • We'd also like to do some more research on some of our core topics (responsible IoT, trustmarks, etc.) and publish more. Among other things, we're considering a second edition of the State of Responsible IoT essay collection.


ThingsCon Amsterdam videos are up! There were all kinds of amazing presentations at ThingsCon Amsterdam. The good news is you can catch up on them at your own speed, from the comfort of your home/office. Everything's available right here.

The Amsterdam team around Iskander, Monique and Marcel truly outdid themselves this time. A big, big thank you!

ThingsCon Amsterdam 2017 after movie from ThingsConAMS on Vimeo.

We also hope to get the videos from ThingsCon Nairobi online very soon, and to host a wave of upcoming ThingsCon Salons. Still to be confirmed, but within the first quarter we're confident to see salons in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Dublin; and maybe in several other cities including in the US and China. Keep an eye on for new event updates.


Dept of Data Protection

GDPR: Just a few months till Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect, and everybody's trying to figure out what it means for their businesses and products:

Dept of Ethical Tech

This collaborative Tech Ethics Curriculum looks promising, it's a great list of resources around ethics and technology. Instigated here.

Dept of Fails

The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme. WIRED offers an interesting plot twist at the end of the Mirai saga: Turns out the global IoT-enabled botnet that crashed lots of popular websites in late 2016 wasn't malicious organized crime hackers (per se) but a bunch of kids with a criminal bend and let's say extremely questionable grasp of unintended consequences. Still DDoS for hire, but for winning in online games. WIRED has the full story: "As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls. The truth, as made clear in that Alaskan courtroom Friday—and unsealed by the Justice Department on Wednesday—was even stranger: The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans. All three—Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, respectively—admitted their role in creating and launching Mirai into the world. Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft."


Are you on Slack? Drop us a line with your email address and we'll be happy to see you in the ThingsCon backchannel on Slack ( And as always, for any news follow us on Twitter.

Have a fantastic week!

On behalf of the whole ThingsCon team,

Your scribe Peter

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