bert hubert

Bert is the founder of PowerDNS, software that powers a significant fraction of the Internet. Bert spent 18 months doing DNA research at TU Delft, leading to a publication in a major science journal. These days, he focuses on open standards, decentralized communications, internet measurements & research (mostly DNA and GNSS).

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Hacking the genome: how does it work, and should we?
bert hubert

Building on the very well attended DNA presentations ("DNA: The Code Of Life") at SHA2017, this talk will cover:

  • A brief recap what DNA is and how it works
  • It is surprisingly digital!
  • How reading DNA is within 'pro-sumer' reach now
  • (I might bring a live demo for after the talk)
  • An overview of DNA editing technologies (offline, and online: on living organisms)
    • Including the famous CRISPR-CAS, but also newer variants
  • How does such editing actually work in a lab?
  • The surprising lack of a definitive link between most DNA mutations and any effect
  • Could you hack your DNA? Will people start doing this?
  • Should we try to stop them?
  • Wild speculation on what this might mean for the future

The goal of this presentation is to provide real non-hyped information on what DNA editing is and what it might achieve. And since we are hackers, I hope to explain how a hackerspace could start reading DNA right now with USB-powered hardware. And finally, since no hacker can resist tinkering: could you hack your own genome, or your cat's, or improve on your favorite plant?

MCH2022 Curated content
Abacus 🧮
How do GPS/Galileo really work & how the monitors all navigation satellites
bert hubert

The whole world depends on Global Navigation Satellite Systems like GPS, Galileo, BeiDou and GLONASS. The technology behind these systems is fascinating and far more interested than generally presented. Although GNSS is super important, up to recently no good monitoring was publicly available. The "" project changed this.

In this talk I cover:

  • How your phone really figures out where it is (so it can sell more expensive ads)
    • How the "satellite ephemeris" is broadcast, what it means
  • What is really in this 'assisted GPS'?
  • The extensive ground infrastructure that is active 24/7 to determine the satellite orbits so GNSS is precise enough to tell which store you are in, or which side of the road you are driving on
  • How GNSS are monitored in public by 100 volunteers, running open source receivers all over the world
    • And the research we enable
  • Discussion of suitable hardware and GNSS-SDR that allows hackers to see each and every bit coming from the satellites
  • A brief part on how GNSS can be spoofed and jammed, and the odd cryptography used to help detect or prevent this

The goal of this presentation is to expose the fascinating reality behind that little circle on your maps app, but also to explain how vulnerable this system is, which is why we need to monitor it closely.

MCH2022 Curated content
Battery 🔋