375: Hiding in Your Roomba


Welcome to embed. I am here with christopher wait. Our guest is britney pus knockoff. also noticed strength. we'll be talking about robots social engineering and other things australia. Hi could you tell us about yourself. As though we saw you on a panel about robots sure So right now. I am a researcher and community manager for great scott gadgets and otherwise i am a troublemaker. I primarily just look at how things can be changed broken and Adjusted using robots specifically a the emotional side of robots do robots have emotions dot is a very big philosophical question. And it depends on who you are and what your perceptions of emotions are But i'm inclined to be somewhere in the middle while we're going to ask more about that and other things but i do wanna light and you know where we'll ask you questions. We want short answers and we'll try not to ask for more details but here if you were to make sonian cyber deck. What would you put it. I keep thinking food. Should we bring back the dinosaurs. Yes preferred listening one programming electricity. John i've never heard of. I'm going to go look it up. Later are fake tattoos. Sticker. yes googly. Eyes are puffy animal stickers. Google is if you could be a sticker or sticker. Would you be holographic oh i graphics due to complete one project or start a dozen started dozen could teach a college course just one. What would you want to teach ethics. What is your favorite fictional. robot bender tip. Everyone should know turner close inside out before washing them. But i hate that. Because then i have to turn them outside in after drying them and so much work for me much work it pills less and it looks better longer. So we've touched on stickers and robots and emotions which when you wanna talk about first star stickers okay. So you're into stickers. What does that mean. You have a twitch stream where you talk about stickers. I don't understand. So stickers are a big part of hacker culture and you know. I love seeing the stickers on the back of people's laptops or on the other devices they carry. And i had this question about like what is a sticker mean. What is that sticker in. And after talking to people. You realize that stickers have so much history and story behind them That kinda gets lost if you don't archive it somewhere. So i've been working on this idea of like a sticker archive For the stories about stickers so we don't lose that information as people leave the community or move on or other things that duck genius so this is like there are many different hakodate stickers and some are older than others and some could only get it. Certain conferences is it. Is it that sort of information or is it. The emotional attachment people get to their stickers. You know both I think all stories are worth writing down or collecting or having on a stream and sharing and for me. It's just this idea that you know it's a big part of our culture as people in tech and it's nice to collect culture somewhere So some the stories are just like you know. I saw the sticker. I wanted to be friends with someone because of the sticker and now we are or sometimes you get you know the stories behind the this is not a camera sticker and you wanna like wide. Somebody make that and you get here. That story that led up to somebody Doing that creative design. And i think both are really exciting just to you know. Learn the thoughts that people are having around these cultural symbols. Okay so you probably somebody who knows the answer this question. I've had when i started in tech. It was when friends was on television and the early seasons had laptops and stuff their garbage compared to now. But i remember having stickers. I would've put stickers oliver everything but i don't remember doing that and i don't really have a good sense of that kind of started. I remember when i started putting stickers my laptop but it was only like ten or fifteen years ago maybe. Do you have a notion of where this got started. No but now. I'm gonna go and research report back i will. This is great. Thanks so we recently re aired a show with sarah peckish who then did our logo and stickers and one of the things that i like best about our stickers is that some people see it as it radiohead or some people see it as a radio old radio and other people see it as a robot head and i love the ambiguity. Are there things you look for that. Make for good stickers. There's a few things. Like color design the quality of stickers like i have some stickers put through the dishwasher and they're fine there's some stickers you leave on a laptop per week in their gone so the longevity is important to me and i also Try and make sure. Messages are positive. Like i have a whole stack of stickers that i will not interview people on that will never put on my laptop just because they contain messages. I'm not comfortable with so you know just being positive having that good design and also using ethical creators as well so there's some sticker companies that again won't use in their other ones that you know. Put a lot back into the company so there are a number of things that look for. What are some the you will use. Because i think i'm ready to switch sticker manufacturers. I've heard great things about sticker ninja. And i've heard great things about those things. Stickered giant is another one But right now there's so many people looking for a better place to go. And i have to try out more myself still understand. I'm looking at christie's Laptop keep to turn it around. But it's being used to record this podcast and that would be dangerous. And i know that. Ben kraus's now's wrench in a beaker for his his youtube. What is the name of that yet. His youtube channel is an nimmo of applied applied. Science and matt godbolt compiler explorer are both logos that have no words on them and i. I wouldn't be able to tell what they were without knowing do you. What's your opinion on that kind of sticker. The the you have to be in the know to recognize it. Those are personally my favorite stickers Because i don't put stickers on my laptops that have words Because i think it's more about just the the picture for me And also it's a great conversation starter like if you don't know what a sticker is going up to someone asking. Hey what's that sticker is a great way to make new friends and one of my favorite things about s- about cigarette culture. How did you get into it. i mean was it one of these conversations where you went up to someone and said puts the sticker that all the time because i'm just very curious But i think a big part of it for me was just You know my first defcon. I saw these stickers and like wow there's so much color and vibrancy to this community and amina of course the led's helped but the stickers for a good introduction and people like here. take my sticker. Mike you're just going to give me sticker at at this time. I was a student like anything. Free made may happy of course him to throw stickers journals and stuff and people like no you have to put it on your laptop and then all of a sudden like big choice in. I was like well now. I just need to collect all of the stickers need multiples of all the stickers quote. So i can stick them on things and be and be happy and so now. I have a huge sticker collection. And of course us some of them but some of them i have just as an archive. And it just has kept going from there again other people's stickers to send out when i send out our stickers 'cause i don't want stickers to be lonely that's normal right absolutely normal he i have so many friends would love to spend time with. If that's your mentality around stickers. Put him in my laptop but my toolbox is covered in stickers sticker on your laptop. There's one there's one embedded sticker on my laptop. I don't think that counts. That's more of a. Here's our company property. Take as a crossover between the sticker kind of ethos and the badge thing very much at there are a lot of people in both communities that share art work back and forth And for me. Stickers is kinda step one before start getting into badges because So many of the cool conference badges have great. Pcb's that have fun designs and Some of that uses same skills as creating stickers so it's kind of like a natural progression to me to come back to robots. Tell me more about robot. Social engineering i mean. It's not really about tricking. The robots to give you information like human social engineering. Is it so one aspect of it is. But for my master's thesis it was more about using robots associate engineer people. Okay i mean if a robot asks me for my password and might give it to him because it's a robot doesn't care what it's can imagine being in a situation where i unwisely trusted a robot because it wasn't a person fine robot like is to coming up to you and beeping. Give me your passer already. Yes he appears in my head. No no it was definitely are just like you know something on your computer where a fake robot comes up now. Those are clearly people okay. I love this. This is likely a why did this. Research is You know there are so many definitions robot. And when i talk about robots social engineering is specifically mean robots that are enough body And are able to like intact physically with their environment. Move around in that environment And still have some form of artificial intelligence so the things that pop up on. Tv screen would not be a a robot to me So it's kind of interesting about how everyone has different definitions. We gave our roomba the password to our internet a role. Yes but it didn't ask past the robot to provide self not ask who's the proxy same kind of thing all kinds of social engineering can the robots do other than get our wifi password so there are some things where how do i describe this The robot social engineering has a number of parts. There's you know depending on the level of artificial intelligence of the robot so some things like roomba would probably just be a proxy for a human social engineer. That has gone into your robot. And hughes's the emotional connection you have with your robot to make you do things. So for example Can some room buzz. People actually remodel their entire house. So it's more accessible for the roomba and people get these emotional attachments for the name them where they have particular googly eyes are robots. And we've named it. So you're you're you're freight in the perfect market but there are things were you know those robots start getting used to them and get them moving around your hells without any interaction necessarily like especially if you put it on a schedule And you get used to the noises kinda like when you get a pet you get used you at first or like. What's that noise when they're moving around. While you get used to the noises now say that somebody Is able to rtp into your roomba and all of a sudden. Start looking around your house. Kazaa cameras on bruno's there is light are on some of the room buzz. Like there's so many different features that can collect so many different types of data and say these robots go throughout your house and you have before the ones with a camera. All of a sudden a person can use the social comfort. You have with your roomba to go round your home and case your entire house like see everything that's in it. Where is an also see or hear whether your home and so all of a sudden sieg on vacation for a week. Somebody's been hiding out your roomba for month already peeing watching and they notice you're gone for three days in a row which is really weird. You well they know that is the perfect time to come in and review and where everything is where the alarm systems are. They might have seen you arm number. Disarm them through the roomba camera like they're all sorts of Privacy and security considerations with the technology letting your home the definitely are Lately are amazon echos have been irritating me with not only their insistence offering me things. I don't want but also yamazaki new programs to make mesh networks and share your network and do things. I didn't ask to do do you. Think of those as robots. I mean because that does have a social engineering at as they don't move though i don't because they don't move to me there just machine or they're an artificial agent off. I tape it to the nba. Sorry sorry why does why does its ability to move. Make it more interesting to you. Because all of a sudden you have a walking talking vulnerability. It's not just you know thing on your table that you talk to you. And that physicality is a big component of how we socialize with other people with animals and in this case robots. It's the physicality that really makes us unique piece of research compared to seeing hell. Artificial intelligence online affects people. That is a different area. That doesn't consider physicality highly explored. But that doesn't apply to when you have a robot in front of you in a body. It's a different scenario. You interact with the differently and there is research on how different those two things are. And so i was like well. I wanna look at this specifically and so that's why i define robots so narrowly is because the physicality is really cool. Does that does it. Plug into something. Deepen our brains that says this is alive which is a difference from say. The echo tube is just a monolith so humans used things like anthropomorphic them to Connect with the different things in their environment. As if they were humans or other humanoids. And we have zoll morphism which is when people treat things in their environment like animals and robots can benefit from one the other or both at the same time on depending on how you interact them. And i think that's really special in cool. Do we trust them more. Because we don't trust people that much. But i think i might trust a robot more yeah. We don't go wifi password. Very many people finish your question. I'm sorry it was more like is it. Is it the fact that we do this. Zoo morphism and enter morphism that causes us to be more susceptible to social engineering attacks or is it just that we are so stupidly a. Susceptible to social chain attacks. This is just one more path both and some of it has to do with context as well like if you have a robot coming up to you in a hospital. 'cause there are some hospitals that have these robots. That will come into your medication to you. Well it's a machine in an authoritative role in firemen where most people don't feel. They have much thority. So for robot comes in with a cup of pills and says take this like you might be more inclined to trust it even though we again have the issue of you don't know who's program those pills if they're the correct pills if your pills guts. Which was someone else like. There are trust things to think about but because of the context End authority the robot holds. Some people might be more inclined to trust them. I remember talking to professor. I ianna a howard about this That even if the robot lead you in a psychic experiment to the incorrect room and so you knew that it was fallible. When there was a fake fire alarm you still followed the row by even if you kind of knew how. Get out of the building. What's wrong with us as a species. That is one of my favorite papers. And i did site that one in my thesis because it was just like blew my mind that people could see an exit sign. Clearly pointing just go left but the robot was pointing rights. They went right and like lake. There's so much think about their and again. It's context where people freeze when there is a fire. There's panic and just like when you burn public we see someone getting hurt and that you know maybe somebody should call the cops or should Intervene or help out. No one does And there's a bunch of papers on this that no one wants to be the first to step up so he robuck coming in in this case and being like. Hey follow me to safety like okay. I don't have to think about it. Somebody else will think about a great. Tell me what to do And so i think that's again part of the Robots slipping into authority authoritative position at and taking the pressure. off of. You kind of gives you more of an inclination to trust it. It's interesting because a lot of science fiction has the theme of don't trust the robots in alien the alien series and whatever there's plenty of examples where the robot turns out to be an enemy for some reason. Then you shouldn't trust it. And i feel like that should have subsumed into our culture over the last fifty years but it doesn't seem like more of a reflection of our our desire to trust them rather than a reflection of our distrust. Well yeah and we have for almost every bad robot there is. There's good robot like c. Three po or r. Two d. two or my case like bender is an exactly moral. But i would love him as a best friend so you. That's the thing is we always match kind of the good with the bad and it comes down to you know. Robots are as varied as humans. They come in so many shapes so many different types different thought processes different skills. And you know when we make a decision on a particular robot comes down to again. Context environment What the robot does why we think it does. It does an all sorts of these complex variables that go into one value of trust with respect to your example about people being hesitant to intervene in emergencies. There is also research to show that if you have any training at all if you if people are trained to be responders not even formally trained but even the community. Emergency response teams Where it's a low level of training. They do tend to step up. Do we need to train people to be like no. Don't follow the robot or how do we. How do we get out of this. Because i don't really wanna lose the person ability of my my room by. I like google's yeah. I'm happy to hear that gives me a lot of joy And i think a lot of what we need to do is just be aware be aware that a robot could be collecting information on you and a lot of information that you don't necessarily know Like a lot of the manuals on robots. Don't actually give you all the details. About what robot is doing. Or what is collecting or where it's information goes or how it's information is stored so it's kind of exhausting but having the awareness and vigilance to think about robots in depth when you interact with them is what we need to do And yet training could help with that. I'm hoping that as a write more papers get more talks. A kind of gives people that low level of training But yet it's a really hard problem to defend against robots social engineering As it is to defend against regular social engineering right more papers You have master's degree But you are starting to phd this fall. Yeah i'm actually switching from cis to electrical and computer engineering where i will be doing a phd. With a bunch of other great robotics people and one of them actually started working on robots social engineering. This same time did but they were living in italy So we will actually be in the same place at the same time researching the same thing. So i am burgle excited about the research. That's going to come out of our lab and is it. Is it going to be on robotic social engineering robot. As whole or do you have a an area of concentration. Yeah i've been really inspired by whitney merrill to focus a lot more on privacy and so i've always had this question in my head of like water are people's public perceptions of robots in public spaces and i have a story on that actually So my partner. And i were in an airport and we saw a robot around and i was like take my bags trek us in. I must go and look at this robot. And so i grabbed my phone start recording because i never seen this robot before and it had the airport symbol on the side of it. And you could scan your boarding pass and we'll tell you where to go and where to check in or where stores were or you could search for restaurants or it would turn its head around and take a selfie for you and email. you selfie. And i'm like wait. That robot is collecting a ton of information and unlike and the only reason people are trusting it is because it has a sticker on the side of it. And so i can just like i wanna see if i could just drop a robot somewhere throw a sticker on it and see if people give their information you know so This is a lot of what i want to look at in my. Phd is how little context to we need to give On the robot for people to give it high levels of trust. Are you going to put stickers at people recognize things that just look like something that his trustworthy googly eyes. I'm telling you the lowest bar While i'm thinking things like you know i'll be at the university of waterloo. So can i throw university of waterloo stickers on a robot have wander around and ask people enter sweepstakes and get their personal information. Or you know if i could drop it at a restaurant. And how long would it take for the restaurant to kick my robot out you know. Creating a robot is expensive still and likely to remain expensive for a while so this level of interaction usually is related to accompany. I robot The airport places that have that are big enough Even boston dynamics the they have funding. And so if the robot is wandering around doing various things with people's data you can make a fuss. I guess if anybody makes a fuss but yeah if you know that it's collecting the data at if you know. There's something to make a fuss about. And i think people don't know that there they should be making fuss about some of these robots Like there're i will absolutely walk the other direction if i ever come into contact with them like Like the knights scope robot personally with their security robot dialects. They do oh my gosh do they ever. I mean is it just because it has a bunch of cameras. Does it have a laser does it. Why are these bad. Does it have googly. Eyes no I'm kind of happy. These funds don't have googly eyes. Because i think it's bad personify these ones because i don't think they're good for the public But if you go through their documentation you can see that. They have thermal imaging that they have licensed plate cameras that they collect the mac addresses of any devices near them. That they have I mean they have wireless access points on them. That collect whatever access points your devices are trying to connect to certain knows what Networks you usually try to connect to. They have cameras. They have audio and they're collecting all of this data and even if a company is the one that has set this out in their parking lot. You don't have noticed that it's collecting all this data and know where it's going and Based on the documentation. I've read it. Looks like even if you think it's just going to the company all the data's tonight's scope as well so all of a sudden you have to companies using data A night scope has done things like partnered with various law enforcement agencies. That people don't really respect and that Make a lot of people's lives worse and It makes me uncomfortable to think that you know these robots are you know breaking apart families and things like that and wow i mean there's there's so much here elevated body temperature that is not something i want people to be able to to know because that indicates that i'm stressed although on the other hand part of me is like oh yeah you put that in an airport and made has a fever. Maybe we don't spread disease quite as fast but the balance there is just impossible and these robots. I can if there isn't already a cell tower in them. In order to collect the base sell data. there will be in about a month. It's just these are the robots. I didn't realize that. I spend so much time thinking about the good robots that i don't really think about these other kinds because they don't see them very often And they're mostly used in larger cities and airports more as time goes on or do you think that there has already been some backlash and there will be continued. There will continue to be right. Now of the opinion that yes we are getting more and more robots in public especially over the pandemic. There is kind of an explosion of robot use like you know people putting robots in public spaces to take. Your temperature was a thing. We saw a lot of over the last few months Also robots that would be in public spaces Asking people to step apart if you're too close Like there are some public parks. I think in korea used these robots to say you're sending too close together please separate but the thing is the is. The robot couldn't tell whether you were living together or not and whether it was okay for you to be walking together so is making these crew judgments on what should be allowed in public without. Actually knowing the context of the situation are finding out more but because it was you know big robot the spot robot and they are clunky. They are big. They seem like they have authority again. They hap- they were given vests in stickers that make them made People know that they were part of the park. And so all of a sudden these robots have authority to tell people living together that she chaired germs. Anyway to separate Which seems excessive in incorrect. Like we're sliding down some sort of bad path. So they they're around. And i think they'll continue to be around especially as big corporations that have money continue to push the robots without thinking about the privacy and security and without the average person Raising their voice against the context in which robots are used. It sounds like a lot of things are being delegated to them that should not be delegated to them because they're idiots. I mean they're not they're not is but they say artificial intelligence on the side to some of them. Yeah actually they really do. That's ridiculous but okay. But yeah. I mean they're they're they're you know they're they're terroristic things that just go out there and say okay. Here's here's a bunch of people tells them to separate that's all it knows so it's kind of yeah i mean delegating decisions to about seems very fraught and yet which is a place where security is primarily is one of the big areas where you want human judgement but if we could make ethical. Aai more of a thing than maybe the robots would be more fair than humans who have biases is will always have biases though because they're made by people but if we if we start working on that piece which is a totally separate peace that we need. Our is to go through some path of certification towards Equity and. I think we will get there eventually eventually but there are benefits to having someone who is less likely to be cranky hungry to do some of the enforcement of traffic parking enforcement. Yeah yeah. I don't know. I like having a human who could be responsible for misdeeds and there are also sometimes like humans. Let things slide like. I could give this person a parking ticket. But and it's those counter Positive scenarios like opposite from those cranky scenarios that are also human. But if you have a robot it's never gonna let someone slide like if it's if you're minute late getting back to your car and it's normally not when a the parking meter. People combine like he usually slide by minute but rope. Robots is hold up the rules because that's all they can do and they don't know how to let things slide for positive reasons. And i think that's a show for humanity as well in a show show of compassion and something. We don't wanna lose by delegating things. I'm i'm still on the fence about that. But i am willing to to to go either way so As chris said one of these looks like a dollar another one of these looks like the the kind of cool robot i think from interstellar the square ones. Yeah but as you said. Stray they're intimidating. There they look authoritative and they are intimidating. It seems like if you really wanted people to be more interactive you would put a fluffy bunny sticker on it instead of making scary And that's a big part of robots social engineering. Do you think that they look scary because they wanted them to scary or that. They look scary because nobody realized that they would be friendlier if you made them look friendlier. Hundred percent both I think the nightscopes scope robots to look scary And it does look exactly like a dog. And i've seen pictures of people taping a plunger in a whisks so so they are definitely meant to look scary but a number of other robots being like. I think this looks cool. And then they make it and people are scared of it or don't understand why people are unhappy with it like why's my robot failing like because it looks like it's gonna cut my knees off So it's a little Difficult and that's one thing that a lotta robot designers could do better is hiring. Human robot interaction specialists who've done research into the shape outfits heights and all sorts of other interaction variables That could help them design the robots better but so far. That's not a common thing. I mean of the first bullet points on. Your robot is force multiplying physical deterrents. I don't think the goal to make something that looks fun. I mean it's going to be a pretty interesting research project. Do you think you'll be able to get one of these scariest robots and see just how friendly you have to make it before people will interact so there are things like i probably throw an apron on it like a further apron with some flowers on it and all of a sudden it would look more. Maybe like rosie from the jetsons apps. And so these these things like outfits that can make things a lot easier or Colors like stop choosing scary colors and may be used more yellows or purples were to By ad that's not necessarily my a specific area research at. I would love to talk more with people who do really focus on that in depth. Don't put an offer on robots. I was thinking that if you put a pink. Leather collar on one of the boston dynamics terrors. It would be pretty cool. People would be like okay. It's another set of company. It's like are they doing this on purpose because these look like hell hounds And so you wanna see more about people interacting with robots and try to figure out a how kind how nice how personable you need it to look before people begin to fall for social engineering is at right. No my focus is going to be on Whether people understand what sensors inabilities robots have how those sensors abilities can be used to collect data and where their privacy insecurity might come risk. And i want to demonstrate that through using robots to social engineer. People do you think that robots that interact with us take more dated than just walking through with a cell phone. that isn't well protected. yes no Has they're not a higher percent certain on this but like you could always say someone else had my cell phone that day but if a robot is there in it's also got video and audio of you. You're a little bit more in trouble or if it has your body temperature or other things like that. They're just so many other pieces of data that may be. Your phone is in collecting that robots are definitely collecting own people. At least theoretically are in some control of their cell phone you could leave it at home. You could turn it off. You can adjust the privacy settings and the location tracking settings night box you could throw in the ocean but robot is not under your control. It's environment that you happen to want her into and going to collect stuff passable the same issue with facial tracking right then and things like that where you don't get to opt out even if it's hard opt out those with cellphone sometimes there's no option to opt out with something that's just ambien. Leeann the environment. Yes especially when it's walking and moving at could follow you like if you go around a corner to not be in its cameras and it follows you because of that suspicious that adds a lot of stress to your interactions and walking around and just existing is like if you try to get away from a robot and it will leave you alone plague. How uncomfortable okay. So it's really about the robots being able to you gather data about us that we don't want as opposed to the robots that we find attractive. That's not the right word. But i'm going to go with it. Attractive enough to engage in a social manner in which we give up our data purposefully or get tricked into. Yeah like private. Privacy is just you know being able to control who you give your data to when and why and so like we said like with a cell phone control that but with these robots especially in public spaces they are someone else's property and You know there is questions About laws like if you put a sticker on a robot to take away some of its abilities like what laws are you breaking So even if you try and do small fixes to increase your own privacy and increase the privacy of others. What laws are you breaking. i. I have removable vinyl and i could imagine using that to disabled cameras but that even if it's not permanent. Is that some sort of misdemeanor. Because amb disabling their ability to track me but i never agreed to be tracked so why there are some pretty gnarly legal aspects. Here aren't there so you're not starting your phd program into fall But you are working now at great scott catches yet. That's correct believe. We talked to kate. Timken from there about usb Things earlier in the year or possibly last year possibly a decade ago. I don't remember What team do there. I am the community manager. So i have the fun job of dealing with all of the get hub. Tickets interacting Being first point of contact for anyone who wants to Talk to great scott gadgets or get customer support help I also will eventually help run events when we're out of the pandemic and give talks and you know focus on giveaways and also be making swag including stickers. What are you gonna do with your stickers. What what are the things that you find most important that you're like okay on a sticker. I do. it's going to have these thanks. Well it's so it's a little bit different for things that create my own time versus things i would make a company But you know. I really love lot of the great scott gadgets. Ethos which is making everything as transparent and open as possible. Even the tagline for company for the company is making tools for innovative people. And i i love how you freely the company shares knowledge and One of my favorite things is looking at the different layouts for all the different pieces of hardware. I really wanna make some stickers and t shirts and stuff that really like that hardware since you know. It's open it's available but i think Throwing that on a black t. Shirt looks really cool as part of being community manager. You you do get heb issues. Do you also work with software. Engineers who are contributing to the open source. Parts of great scott gadgets. Yeah absolutely so. I help review paul requests. I try to ask questions to make. Sure we're talking about the same thing and a lot of the get hub issues up turning into you know. Maybe you could try and fix this and people submitting their i pull request so I definitely love when people open issues. And paul requests because it gives me another opportunity to interact with End support people and see new ways to use the things that we've already made getting people to do open source. It's still hard. How do you get them to engage. One of the things that i've been trying to do in the company is respond to issues quicker Tried to put a service level agreement. In that i'm gonna respond quick So people know that we care and that We wanna hear their feedback. We want to hear what they're having issues with so we can make everything better So i would count issues as contributing to source because it does affect How we think about what we're making products wanna make it in the future So you know when people think about contributing to open source they normally think of only contributing code but you know contributing documentation writing down the issues Joining the discord and like interacting with us. And telling us what you want is always to contribute to open source. And i really want people to focus on some other things other than contributing just software because there are so many ways to be involved. Seems like there's a real mix in the quality of various open source projects. In how welcoming they are what do you think are some of the keys to getting people to feel comfortable submitting first. Pr or her an issue or something without fearing that they're gonna be yelled at or or made fun of because that happens sometimes. Yeah definitely been in that scenario and It's what turned me off of open source for so long as you know people just being outright rude or saying like this is too simple of an issue to contribute. Were not gonna murdered someone else's stuff when we can do this in a line like was just antagonistic and rude But with great sky gadgets the fact that the company constantly went to conferences that i saw everyone Constantly all the world at all these places and that they were giving back through talks through giving away hardware through making sure everything was open source and released toting that And you know having a tons of videos and write ups and stuff out there for people to learn from it. It was obvious that was more than just a pet project. It was kind of like a labor of love and so that's one of the reasons i joined. the company was just how positive All of these things were and so You know that's something. I look for when i Try to contribute to open source. Now is how much of the giving back to the community and accepting the community. I was talking to a person who wanted to contribute to an open source project. A big one not lennox but a big fun And didn't understand why no one would help set up the computer in the right way and i was like okay. They have a getting started guide. I don't understand what your problem is. And the problem was that it took a long time to compile and they wanted help understanding how to get faster compiles and i tried to explain. They have a lot of people who want to do a small change who wants to do a small change none of people who actually do a poll requests but to many people to help every single one. Just get set up. Do you see that problem is. I'm not sure. I handled it well. other than trying to explain from the other side. Is there some way to say yes. We really want you to contribute. But could you please not waste our time. Dot is something are honestly. I've been struggling with now. I am you know. First point of contact for the us. Is that before me. There wasn't anyone dedicated to this was know software engineers who had a bit of a spare time or you know other things like that but it slows down the open source project every time We need to help someone. And so you know i'm really happy. That great scott gadgets grew enough that they were able to pay higher me Because the company's doing well enough So now i can go in and do that. But not every open source company can afford to hire someone and so Another way to contribute to open source and help other people is to be part of the community and wash projects that you like for how they do. Try to solve issues and try to help other people And so right now. I'm doing that by looking at old issues. And how they were solved seeing new issues matchup and be like okay. Well we've tried these sort of solutions in the past on these issues. Let's try that again over here and Using those Issues and going back and forth this way people can contribute to open source. Help other people free up open source developers time to do other things. So it's it's definitely hard and every time somebody asks in issue is taking up time But hopefully you know contributing to projects either with money or buying the products related to Can help open source companies. Hire more people that can do this type of work. I guess probably because of being around with the dinosaurs. I still don't understand how open source companies can make money. Do you have any insight into that. Yeah so one of the things with great. Scott gadgets is that we do Products like the hacker f or the uber tubes or soon will be coming out with luna which is something that kate temp kinsman putting lot of time into and hardware that really supports the company And so anytime anyone buys one of the actual great scott gadgets pieces of hardware. It is funding things like creating new hardware or meek helping with these poor requests or get hub issue And so that's the number one way people can support us and we hope that our hardware is What people buy instead of the knockoffs because Of the customer support we provide and some the guarantees that our Resellers provide as well. And so you know it's part of that ecosystem and giving back to the community and if people wanna give back to our company buyer hardware. It's really hopeful on this luna board looking at it it's a does protocol analysis for usb. it it works on creating your own usb device. It has an f. Pga to help all of this. I wouldn't want to create that board. I mean if i if i wanted to use that word i would not. I want to build it. I would just want to use it. So i understand why people would buy the hardware instead of making it and then that pays partially for the software as well as the hardware cool i can. Yeah and hopefully another part of job since they've come onto the company is Creating interesting types of swag which hopefully You know we will give some away at conferences. But maybe some people might be interested in buying so Hopefully i will get all of that up and running soon and People have an option to support us by buying cool things. that aren't just hardware. Well as long as you're going to say that. I should point out that we have new swag new merch in our store. I did this talk with the the map. File the talks about map files and now you can get you can get somebody actually printed a poster and sent me a picture of it on their wall and somebody asked for mouse pads and sarwan ahead made bows pads in new mugs and be wanting to buy. The stuff is really weird. I thought you had to give this away. Didn't realize people would buy it. It's a great opportunity to you know. Support the things you love. Yeah it is Even if you know you're not trying to make a lot of money off of it. It's also away as you said with stickers. Somebody will come in and say what's that and if you've got a neat magdeburg and embedded sticker or poster. I can totally see. It can't go well i think. I think it's about time to get back to our weekend. Do you have any thoughts. You'd like to leave us with on the topic of open source contribute. I've been doing so much for the great scott gadgets repositories and with love to see people open more issue's open more poll requests or even reach out to me. If you wanna talk to me about anything. A great scott gadgets. I am always here and happy to hear from new people against has been strength. Britney posner gov you can find her at strength dot com that is s. t. r. a. T. h. e. dot com. And of course they'll be at lincoln this show notes. Thanks thank you. Thank you to christopher for using and co hosting and thank you for listening you can always contact us at show at embedded. Fm hit the contact link on embedded fm. And now a quote to leave you with. This is from william gibson time in one direction memory another. We're that strange species that constructs artifacts intended to counter the natural flow of forgetting.

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