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BBS: The Documentary
by [strawdog] @ 2015-06-24 08:04:00 -0400 EDT

This Saturday June 27th at 18h join us at Foulab in retro life with a view of BBS The Documentary. The series in eight episodes explores the world of the BBS all the way to it’s replacement by the internet. As an example of technological autonomy BBSs were crafted, operated, and moderated by the community for the community. They faced repression from the state and capital and prevailed in the pursuit of fun and profit. The practice of BBBs is in stark contrast with today’s commercial social media monopolies who sell users’ data on the market and provide it on request to the state.

by [strawdog] @ 2015-06-12 18:36:00 -0400 EDT

A Foulab administrative meeting will be held Monday June 22, at 19h.

Canadian Civil Liberties Association: TalkRights
by [strawdog] @ 2015-05-08 00:00:00 -0400 EDT

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is gearing up to launch a new online space for the public to learn about their civil liberties. As part of the launch, the CCLA is visiting community organizations, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to build a blueprint for the project’s development post-launch.
The CCLA will be visiting Foulab on Thursday May 14th from 5:30 — 7:30pm for an informal get together — bring a friend, and your ideas about civil liberties in Canada!

What content about civil liberties, rights and freedoms do you feel is currently missing or hard to access? What issues should the CCLA be focusing on in the coming year? Come have a beer and talk about it with Lex Gill and Dr. Brenda McPhail from the CCLA, this Thursday!

(This main event will be in English, but the Q&A; and discussion afterwards will be bilingual.)

Junk Independence Day Returns!
by [strawdog] @ 2015-03-12 18:46:00 -0400 EDT

PLEASE NOTE: The time has been corrected

Foulab is having our second Junk Independence Day, this time in conjunction with our spring cleaning!
Here’s how it works: bring any junk you want to get rid of. Or bring nothing. Then look through the junk pile and take any junk that strikes your fancy! At the end of the day all unclaimed junk WILL BE RECYCLED so don’t leave anything behind that think you might want!

  • When: 21-MAR-2015 14-18h
  • Where: Foulab

DMX: Scenic communication protocol. Dive into the magic wire...
by [strawdog] @ 2015-02-25 18:45:00 -0500 EST

Whether to move, turn, send a picture or change color, all fixtures and other gadgets receive their orders through the protocol ANSI E1.11 - 2008 USITT DMX512-A. I invite you to build your “DMX” interface with an Arduino controller, discover lighting control programs and discuss all issues around the DMX myths.

The invitation is for all the curious, potential users, artists, designers, stage technicians, designers and other techie!

Whether you have a possible project or the installation of your biggest life contract in lighting control, come live and discuss what DMX communication standard. Camaraderie and learning are the foundation of this meeting.

When: Saturday, March 7, 13 h 30
Where: at Foulab (999 du Collège, suite 33B, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H4C 2S3)
Reserve: Please reserve with dmx7mars (at) as the number of places is limited
Price: A $10 donation to the lab is suggested

  • Interface creation: Transmitter only (without programming)

    • Materials:
      • 1 x Arduino or USB serial interface,
      • 1 x 75176 or Max485,
      • 1 x 100 ohms,
      • assembly plate.
      • Computer to host the control program. (PC, Mac or Linux)
  • DMX reading (might be interesting to make a tool.)

    • Materials :
      • 1 x Arduino Uno or Pro mini,
      • 1 x 75176 or Max485,
      • 1 x 100 ohms,
      • assembly plate and some wires.
  • Software Installation:

    • Take a tour of selected software
      • Q light + (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
      • Martin M-PC
      • Other
  • Discussion of the protocol and test with electronic equipment (scope).

    • Cabling test
      • Type (zipcord, micro, cat5, cat6, various, recommended)
      • Length (short, long and very long)
      • Type variation on same length
      • Configuration test (to understand, should do or should not do)
      • Y, star configuration…
      • With and without terminator (100 ohms)
      • With Opto-isolater

If several people are interested, a group for Arduino (or copy) purchasing could be created.
I will have some parts (75176 mainly) for sale.

A list of resources (circuit, interface and program) is available on my website.

Zines, Comics & Crypto: Zine Release Party & Double Workshop
by [strawdog] @ 2015-01-27 07:15:00 -0500 EST

After traveling from Berlin and spending a month in Montréal with the Fight Boredom Zine Residency, zinester and activist Comet Crowbar is ready to release issue #15 of her zine, Infecticitis. This 3-hour hangout session is in two parts:

1-2pm Drawing & Comics workshop (Lynda Barry style)
During this hour we’ll play some drawing games, make comics, loosen up and get silly, and try to erase the idea of “but I can’t draw!” from our minds. Everyone can draw, and that’s what we’re gonna do. Bring your favorite pens and crayons (some paper and pens will be provided).

2:30-3:30 Introduction to PGP Email Encryption
First we will discuss why surveillance is harmful and affects everyone, and try to dismantle the apathetic idea of “but I have nothing to hide” as an excuse. Then we’ll explain the difference between symmetrical vs. asymmetrical cryptography, what a “keypair” is, how to verify your key, and what programs are needed to get it running on your computer. This workshop is coming from the understanding that it can be quite intimidating to learn all this “computer stuff” if you’re not that tech-savvy. We will smash that idea by making this a safer-space to ask questions, share knowledge, and use accessible language that everyone can understand. I am not an expert but I am happy to share what I know. Crypto is your friend! (P.S. One week later, FemHack will be delving into some more email encryption stuff!)

You will also find: Snacks, tea, nooks for reading/chatting and lots of zines! Come pick up a hot-off-the-press copy of Infecticitis #15 and Comet’s recent book, Tumble the Boulder – The Surveillance State and the American Empire. There will be a table of zines by queers, feminists, and anarchists from Fight Boredom Distro and a selection of zines on digital security from Comet’s Raumschiff Distro.

About the facilitator: Comet Crowbar is a white cis queer lady and is a co-founder and organizer of the Zine Fest Berlin. She’s passionate about self-publishing, cryptography, plants and weaving. Come say hi.

This event is a safer-space. A “safer space” means that we don’t tolerate any form of oppression or harassment, such as sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia and other such BS! Please be respectful to each other and ask consent before you touch someone. Children are welcome, but as Foulab contains power tools and other hazards, they must be closely supervised by an adult for safety reasons.

Unfortunately the space is not wheelchair accessible.

Building Synthetic Voices workshop
by [strawdog] @ 2015-01-14 08:07:00 -0500 EST

Having the computer speak is key to human-like communication. However, the set of voices available for text-to-speech system (TTS) is limited. In this workshop we will be building a voice for the open source FestVox/Festival TTS that you record. The computer talks like you! (Or whomever you convince to record the prompts for you – your dog?).

The workshop is also a hands-on introduction to the free book “Building Synthetic Voices” that comes with Festival TTS.

You don’t need programming knowledge but you need some Unix knowledge. If you want to extend the recipes we will see in the workshop you will need to learn Scheme which is the programming language for extending Festival.

The workshop presentations will be in English, but we are more than happy to provide support and answer questions in French. Moreover, we will only cover generating English voices, as we are following the default tooling provided by FestVox. We hope to cover French synthesis in a later workshop.

We will cover:

  • How to install and set-up Festival/FestVox/Edinburgh Speech Tools
  • Overview of the full Festival TTS stack
  • How to design prompts for limited domain TTS (reduced vocabulary)
  • A full example in the bicycle safety domain that you’ll record during the workshop. (Hear it synthesized with Pablo’s voice here.)
  • Introduction to diphone (large vocabulary) recording and synthesis (no diphone recording will take place during the workshop, though)

This workshop is just the beginning, potential follow-ups include French synthesis, differentiated intonation recordings or any other topic that interests the group. If you have a project that uses speech synthesis (or might benefit from it) bring a demo and we can hear it at the end of the workshop.


  • A computer with a unix-like environment (GNU/Linux, Mac OS X or cygwin) capable of doing sound recording.
  • RSVP to pablo.duboue (at) required. Space is limited.
  • Cost: $10 (all proceedings from this workshop will be donated to Foulab)

Saturday, January 24th at 15h (about 3 hours in length)

Foulab, of course!

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