Episode 22: Amanda Berlin, Mental Health Hackers

I get a chance to speak with Amanda Berlin, the CEO of Mental Health Hackers

We discuss how her involvement in the hacker/infosec community has revolved around contributing, supporting others and challenging herself to do more. This has this lead Amanda to be drawn to helping others, trying to do good in the community, and inevitably the mental health hackers group and village at DerbyCon.

Amanda’s involvement in the community started with DerbyCon, and the mental health hackers village at derby con was a huge success. However, with the tentative final date of derby con looming in the future, we discuss from both of our perspectives what went wrong and what could have helped avoid the end to such a great event.

Episode 21: Chris “Lopi” Spehn, Game Hacker to Red Teamer

In this episode I catch up with an old coworker who I worked with on vulnerability scanning software and has since become a red-teamer or “adversarial simulation”. He started as a gamer, and we talk about how he learned the foundation of his hacking skills from his days of gaming.

Chris opens up on the importance to face trauma in order to heal, and shares that during the time we worked together he was in fact dealing with a traumatic incident in his life — which was a surprise to me, even working with him I couldn’t tell externally about the problems he was sorting out.

Episode 20: DocWho, Dances with Fezes

In this episode my guest is DocWho, the fez wearing, multiple winner of hacker jeopardy, and all around good guy!

We catch up about what his life has been like for DocWho, who has had some detours in life, like returning to college at an older age to finish his degree, and moving from the place he lived for over 30 years into the Bay area, and all the troubles that go along with that big of a life change.

We share a ton of great stories from conferences, from shenanigans to volunteering and conclude talking about the importance of a health work-life balance.

Episode 19: GeekSpeed, Catching up on life, health and happiness.

In this episode I catch up with GeekSpeed, an offensive security expert. 

We talk about life, family, conferences, and more. About his foray into the silicon valley life at a young age, and how that failed and he ended up back with his parents for a short stint while he got a normal IT job at various places while he was finding his feet to becoming a consultant and incident responder for hire.

We get philosophical about raising families and how times have changed, and discuss a bit about separating work and family, and the value in looking out for coworkers when they show signs of needing help outside of work.

Episode 18: Lance James. Success, Failures, Grief and Buddhism.

In this episode of fireside with lei, I chat with Lance James someone I’ve heard and seen of in the community but never had a chance to ever sit down and chat. 

I learn of Lance’s background on how he got introduced into the hacker slash security scene via creating crypto and peer to peer software back in the early 2000’s, which lead him to presenting at events like toorcon and more.

We talk about successes and failures that Lance has faced, how he deals with them using buddhist and zen practices. It was wonderful to have Lance open up about the topic of grief and he shares with us how he handled a death in his immediate family. At the end of the podcast is a very special gift, a song Lance wrote in honor of his son which he has agreed to allow to be shared here for you.

To hear more of Lance’s music, including Gabriel’s Psalm, please see: https://soundcloud.com/lancejames/

Episode 17: Arclight revisited, We talk Sparklecon and the 23b shop.

In this episode I catch up with Arclight again, we have a discussion on the hisotry of the 23b shop, and why the 23bshop has prevailed for so long while other hackerspaces have dissolved.

We also discuss SparkleCon, a yearly event hosted at the 23b shop space coming up in early Feburary 2019. More information about sparklecon is available at sparklecon.org

Episode 16: Lock and I talk, Light Sabers and Life

In this episode, I talk with Lock from the san diego saber and san diego sabers podcast, but originally I met lock through hacker conferences.

Lock’s background is fascinating, from building himself up in the IT world to the executive level to being a core volunteer at def con. He has experienced it all, and really bring home some fantastic points on pursuing a passion, when that pursuit gets out of hand, and how to understand yourself best to be able to walk that line.

Episode 15: Nick Farr, Talking on purpose.

I get to catch up with the infamous Nick Farr, and hear about how he came about in the hacker scene as the “guy in a suit” and other communities.

A serial volunteer, Nick has had a lifetime full of helping or creating events from Hackers on a Plane to improving mail services at Burning Man. In this episode we talk about shenanigans from the now defunct Rubi-Con, how hackers on a plan got started, and the troubles one can face when with volunteering.


Episode 14: Arclight, What it was like in the 90s, and what it’s like today

In this episode I talk with Arclight of the 23b shop and ACCX products about growing up in hacker community of the 90s to running a hacker space in the 2000s.

We talk about the days of being a BBS sysop, dumpster diving, urban exploration, the mojave phone booth and how things have changed in a post 9/11 world.

Episode 13: Shane MacDougall from infosec to extreme sports competitor.

In this weeks’ episode, I catch up with Shane MacDougall a world cup street luge competitor, former fire fighter and long time security professional back from his days of red teaming during the late 80s and early 90s.

Shane has had his fair share of set backs and disruptions in life, but has always sided with his internal morality. We talk about his career path from tech and infosec, to becoming a firefighter, then landing back on red teaming and pentesting and then blue teaming and defense. He’s blown the whistle for some nefarious or immoral business practices made by previous employees, and has found a new life and support community that has bolstered his new passion in extreme sports.