nerd nite 17: (bit)coins, geonet and other strange creatures

Greetings, nerdlings!

Time for another nerd nite Wellington – did you know we’ve now been holding these for _three_ years? Yeah. Wow. The mind boggles (this being the longest time aimee’s ever done one thing ever).

It’ll all be happening at the Hotel Bristol on July 22nd, from 6pm (with speakers starting at about 6:30).

So, for this most auspicious 17th nerd nite, we bring you the following!

[As always, not necessarily in this order]

nerd nite 17 poster

Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)

Bitcoin: How it works
Hamish MacEwan (@HamishMacEwan)

The title is a bit of a weasel as we’re going to demonstrate Bitcoin clients (aka “Wallets”) doing Bitcoin exchange. That is how it works. The cryptographic and network nuts and bolts of how it works are not going to fit in the available time. But we will have time to see “how it works” with a quick overview of significant elements in the Bitcoin ecology and what Bitcoin’s work in the future could be.

Hamish MacEwan, Open ICT Consultant and long time technology observer and commentator on Radio New Zealand National.

Did the earth move for you?
Ewen McNeill

When the earth moves, people rush to the GeoNet website ( to find out where the earthquake was located. Take a whirlwind “behind the scenes” tour of how earth movement turns into something you can look at online, in a matter of minutes. Prior IT knowledge not necessary: complicated aspects will be explained via interpretive dance (aka hand waving!).Ewen McNeill is a data communications consultant based in Wellington, who has assisted GeoNet with modernising their network infrastructure. He has been around telecommunications since 9600bps modems were Woah! Super Fast! Ewen is not a geologist, nor does he play one on TV

Tales from the Big Biota Barn*
…Johanna Knox (hah! you were expecting a ‘mc’ in the name somewhere, weren’t you :P)

In some quarters it’s a cardinal sin, but it’s hard to resist attributing human qualities to other life forms – and it always has been. Johanna Knox takes us on a romp through our long history of anthropomorphising plants and fungi.

She asks – should we actually all do more of it? Would it help counter society’s current preoccupation with commodifying nature?

Johanna is the author of A Forager’s Treasury: a New Zealand guide to finding and using wild plants, as well as the children’s fiction series The Fly Papers, about sentient carnivorous plants.

*The Big Biota Barn is a huge and marvellous warehouse of life-forms that exists only in the world of The Fly Papers.


As always, nerd nite is free and open, because that’s how aimee likes things (where possible :P). Bring your nerdy friends, non-nerdy friends, kids, weird aunts/uncles, grandparents, and everyone else.

And, if you or anyone you know would like to speak, GET IN TOUCH! I’m always on the lookout for more speakers 🙂 – aimee

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