Mesh/28 March 2017

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People's Open Network - 25 March 2017

really quick intros

  • jorrit: I have worked on this thing called babeld-lab. It's a way to create a mesh network on a single laptop so you can play around with it easily. So if you have any questions about it please ask Grant. I'm interested in helping myself getting more familiar with the mesh network by writing documentation.
  • juul: works on firmware dev, ask about low-level stuff. working on a map that allows the nodes to automap themselves. all projects on
  • andy: i hack on things and make agendas sometimes :)
  • mark: work at a coop bike shop in berkeley and matt senate was trying to set up a mesh node there and encountered a bunch of resistance so is here to learn more about it. is excited to learn more about mesh networks.
  • daniel: no-se on IRC, worked on sudomesh for a long time
  • eve: i work at berkeley lab. an IT drone. I'm interested because i think it's useful and i might learn something.
  • jenny: i've been working on stuff since the beginning days and wants to get back into it after working on omni commons bureaucracy for a while
  • grant: working on mesh for a few months - working on babeld lab if you have any questions. good place to learn about the mesh, so start there if you're new! also working on guides for new people w/ jorrit. interested in firmware & wardriving stuff
  • jehan: been working on a dashboard which is almost done, been procrastinating. working on a model of batman routing protocol in Go, trying to modify it to give accurate info about routes even when data is inaccurate.
  • patrick - here from santa cruz, electrical engineering student. here to learn more about networking and interested in starting a project down there... and beyond..
  • arthur: still relatively new. just trying to help out where i can. learn something new every meeting


  • collaboration: Marin Public Library, CCA (California College of the Arts)
    • jenny will send an email to Ivan and will cc no-se
  • byoi follow-up email
    • eve circulated a draft of a promo for the next one
    • jorrit: let's have an email huddle around the chess table after the meeting
  • status of guides and intro
    • jorrit: jenny did some editing of the guide and i was thinking we just promote it to the front page of the wiki - "what are we doing and how can you help and what are our guiding principles": learn, build, teach, improve
    • no-se: i can help with that
    • jenny: website is on the github if anyone wants to hack on it:
  • AS numbers and internet exchanges
    • jehan: a friend recommended that we look at sfmix (an SF internet exchange) and you can basically buy bandwidth from them. they have a data center. You need an ASN which you get from ARIN.
    • some more info @
    • juul: as an isp can have your own range of IPs, and some for free in the IPv6 range... tho hurricane electric also would allow us to have an ipv6 range even without an asm number
    • jnny: did a bit of research on exemption issues w/ ISPs last week w/ Kyle (sudo's former lawyer) - need to do more research -
    • jehan - if you're an AS you're considered to be running your own tube, whereas if we go through hurricane we're using their tubes
    • juul - can get our internet from hurricane which is hard, or run our vpn through it.
      • jehan - sfmix is same price for vpn as hurricane
    • jehan - issue was re: shutdowns from psychz re: torrenting?
      • juul: not getting those anymore
        • jnny: evan moved...
  • Inventory security: status of gate project
    • eve: we did measurements... i was going to present prices. HD sells these panels that are 6x4 for $70, panels with a gate?
      • juul: should we spend the donations from the workshop on this?
    • eve: is 6' high enough?
      • andy: if there's barbed wire on top
    • eve: will send an email to the list with specs
    • jorrit: cheaper to get a closet?
    • eve: chain-link fence panel
    • juul: human filter
    • eve: just to the left of the door.. probably a couple hundred dollars.
      • jnny: can probably scavenge some or all of the materials..
  • Planning for annual board meeting
    • Date & Time: 3 weeks - April 18th, 7:30pm
    • Objectives: nominate & consense on new board members, file annual mtg minutes, overview of basic gov filings and related; decide on future org structure (eg; submit 501c3 app?). Most topics can be covered over email - the meeting is to formally consense / rubber stamp formal decisions
      • Grant: what are the responsibilities of board members?
        • jenny: primarily to sign board resolutions - there are some possible liability issues - we don't have directors&officers insurance - so if you have a shit-ton of assets to protect you may not want to be on the board (can be a benefactor instead ;)
  • Presentation on Working Groups proposal: Andy
    • Discussion: (andy) most people are here every week. we just had this workshop which gave a good model for how to bring in people and raise awareness. and if you look at the political situation there are a lot of people who are interested in privacy/security and people who are interested in joining in a project like this. currently the project isn't really useful to most people and most people don't understand what it is. We have an opportunity to take this project to another level. To install nodes in libraries and schools and make relationships and turn this into something that people use and find value in. And provide an alternative to ISPs, NSA, etc. I'm not proposing a rigid hierarchy.
    • Andy proposes making 3 working groups: installation, infrastructure, and communications
    • jorrit: To me this is not just about making an alternative to a thing. It's also about making awareness/education around what this internet thing really is. One of the things we talked about is making this project more inclusive. And one thing I think is important is no longer using the term "non-technical people". we need not just techies. we need community organizers, social engineers, teachers - we need everyone! don't reduce them to "non-technical people"
    • jorrit - most of us work on all three aspects -
    • arthur: can hand someone a node who's new, at any given meeting, important. super easy way to get people on board
      • jenny: last tuesday of the month for new members, so that wg could focus there
      • jorrit: think everyone should be part of that committee
    • juul: what does it mean to be part of a wg?
      • andy: up to the group. firmware hacking could be tues nights, node installs on sunday afternoons, comms could choose a separate monthly time. mainly choose someone who could commit to that particular area. installing nodes - who will facilitate that? facilitate meetings, avenues of communication
  • juul: maybe sunday afternoon could become a secondary meeting - secondary time for wtvr working group - whoever facilitates could suggest the upcoming sunday for firmware hacking / node install / etc
    • Nomination / volunteering of WG leads
  • jorrit nominates grant for education / support / orientation crew
  • arthur - would prefer to have a mentor ** eve, ditto
  • jehan: been working on the dashboard for awhile, come here @5pm before the meeting. almost done, need to hook it up to shell scripts in the backend.
    • jnny - could be good to set firmware/software hacking nights at 5 before the meeting
  • jehan - would take lead on frontend stuff
  • jenny: jorrit / grant / jenny maybe co-facilitate comms wg?
    • grant - beyond intro'ing new people and giving them a pre-flashed node, cultivating folks who will become local organizers in their own right
  • Map
    • juul: approx 40 people online, not sure how many are sharing bandwidth or meshing. working on it. currently hooking up a couple of houses in w oakland - maybe 5 or 6?
  • NPR interview
    • juul did a few days ago. also going to be distributed in written form, should expect some media attention soon.
  • New nodes mounted
    • two more nodes mounted in w oakland
  • We found the outdoor cable again!
  • We should have a system that detects IP collisions (can babel tell us?)
  • Secret meeting agenda point
  • policy around node distribution?
    • ask for $20-30 donation
    • will flash them for free
    • can't just give away all of them, but we did get about ~30 donated
    • jehan: prioritize people who are in line of sight?
      • jorrit: i'm here bc i have a node at home - tho an island, learning via it
    • marc: policy generally is to prioritize those who seem really engaged
    • andy: $20 is a good threshold
    • jenny: could ask $20 suggested donation, $30 if you want to make a node available to someone who can't afford it for free
    • mark: ask could be some sort of work-trade
    • juul: have to show up to 2 meetings before you can get your free node
      • jorrit: that or drive all the way from santa cruz..
    • daniel: important to let them know the value of each router - eg $60 router for $20 donation, or sliding scale from 20 to 60. also email addy for tech support.
      • jorrit - or at the next meeting, when you show up and ask people.


updates from juul

The official point of contact for the mesh is now so if you think people aren't interested in joining the mailing list, please tell them to email that address. If you want to be one of the people who receive email on then please send an email stating as much to but please be aware that any email received there is considered PRIVATE and as such should not be forwarded in part or in full to the mesh mailing list or posted anywhere in public.

Lately we've had a few people pop into and ask a question and leave before anyone could answer. I'd love for more people to hang out in that channel. IRC cloud is a way to do this but if you're comfortable with a command line and have an always-on server then I suggest running weechat in a screen. I finally set the channel to greet new people with the following message: Hello and welcome to the People's Open Network chat. Feel free to ask questions but please realize that most of are busy, so it may take hours to get a response. If you aren't planning on hanging around for that long we suggest sending an email to or joining our mailing list

The secrets server, which is needed to configure new nodes with makenode, is now working again but its hostname has changed to Remember to run `git pull` in the makenode directory before you use makenode again. I'm working to switch us over to a minimal configuration system that will allow us to pre-configure nodes the way Will had been doing and simply saving the contact info and address in the node database when we hand them out. It is not a big change so it shouldn't take more than a few weeks to get it done (i just need a single free weekend day).

jorrit discovered that the free StartCom SSL certs are causing trouble on some computers so we switched makenode to a letsencrypt cert. We also got a report on twitter that bleeding edge developer builds of firefox take issue with the ssl cert on, which is also a StartCom cert. We should stop using StartCom certs.

breakout sesh's

  • emails out (jorrit / eve / jenny)
  • new folks (visitor from santa cruz)
  • q&a w/ marc, jehan, grant
  • Mark: pci compliance issues @ bike shop

action items

  • jenny send announcement re: board meeting

next meeting

  • discuss practicalities of acquiring bandwidth
  • tubes - how do they work?
  • return to working groups proposal & nomination of wg leads