This Sunday Film – Us Now

This sunday film is a documentary which has a score of 7.7 in IMDB. Tells the stories of how self-organizing online networks threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Come down to 091labs on Sunday night at around 9pm and enjoy the film with great company. This is a free event, just bring yourself down.

Us Now


In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United’s FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run complex organisations such as football clubs, what else can they do?

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Us Now follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans; Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager; and Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes
with strangers.

The founding principles of these projects — transparency, self-selection, open participation — are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and onfronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others.

Open Data Hack Day this Sat Feb 19th

As part National Engineers Week 091Labs in partnership with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUIG are co-hosting an ‘Open Data Hack Day’ to raise awareness of the benefits publishing Open Data has to offer both public and private organisations.

For example governments collects all kinds of information from TDs and Departmental expenses to information on the health of our economy, environment and society. When governments open this data to the public they create greater opportunities for civic engagement and participation in governing processes.

Why Open Government Data?

In the Free Software and Open Source movement there is an expression coined by Eric Raymond termed ‘Linus Law’ The law states that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”
Likewise by pro-actively publishing data Government invites greater oversight and analysis from civil society. Government can then draw on a broader pool of talent and expertise than that which is solely on the pay role. Greater engagement of civil society in the processes of government create greater opportunities for positive feedback in the form of constructive fact based critique. This is the kind of feedback that spurs innovation in Government. Assisting Government and society at large in adapting in a more dynamic way to our changing world.

The first part of the day (10am – 6pm) will consist of a ‘Hackathon’ at DERI where Coders, Hackers, Web Developers are invited to get together to build applications using ‘Open Data’. (Bring your own Laptop) DERI IDA Business Park Dangan. (First block on the left as you enter the IDA business park)

This will be followed by public presentations from 7pm – 9pm at 091Labs including a keynote on ‘Open Government Data’ and project presentations from the earlier Hackathon. 091 Labs, Exchange House, Fairgreen – (On the corner beside the Revenue Office as you turn in towards the Radison)


Of course there are loads of other great events on in Galway as part of Engineers Week and indeed all over the country.
Tog Hackerspace in Dublin will also be hosting a number of events worth checking out if your in that neck of the woods.
To find out whats happening in your area see

Co-Working Mondays at 091Labs

All of a sudden, our intentions to partition some of 091 labs from the blistering cold abyss that is the concrete waste land of our winter makerspace, have… well… been realised. We have carpet, (thanks @fflannery), and a door (if plastic counts as a door), and a heater, and so when we heard that some people who work from home were getting cabin fever, we decided to make Mondays a co-working day in 091 Labs.

Co-Working at 091Labs

We started this week, with a lonely 3, which at a certain stage hit a healthy 7 as the day progressed, and it turned out to be more than just the anticipated comfort of having someone to make tea for.

Design tips: “The photos should be bigger, and the text smaller”
Sympathetic ears: “I just found a competitor, I need to launch asap!”
Beta user testing: “Whoops, I shouldn’t have uploaded that 34.6MB file..”
Phone call etiquette: “If it’s a work call, you take it in work” (i.e where you are sitting)

So we are proud to say it was a success, and we shall continue!

Every Monday from 11am 091Labs will be open, to members and non members. You bring your laptop, we provide the wifi, and if you want to leave a donation at the end of your productive, working day so that we can pay the bills, that would be awesome.

See you there!

NUIG Bot Wars this Weekend

NUIG CompSoc’s annual event, BOT WARS, will be taking place this weekend. Starting at 10am in Áras na Mac Léinn and over the course of the two days there’ll be battling of killer robots, video games, Rock Band, films, a gaming night in Squareyes and a Lego NXT robot Design-Build-Code challenge suitable for both total beginners and master programmers alike!

There’ll be a Halo Tournament on the Saturday morning with a Modern Warfare 2 tournament in the afternoon. On the Saturday there’ll also be free pizza to all attendees. For the keen roboteers, we’ll be doing the Lego robot Design-Build-Code all day Saturday and you can drop in and out of the DBC to go gaming if you like – it’s up to you!

On Saturday night they’ll be heading to Squareyes for some LAN gaming and afterwards hitting the town and having a good old fashioned Galway night out.

The next morning there’ll be the warmups for the main event, BOT WARS. Alongside that, there’ll be tournaments in Xbox games made by two CompSoc members. Then there will be battling of KILLER ROBOTS!

Both days there’ll be movies for those who want to chill out.

The event is open to the public and it’s only €5 for a whole weekend pass and just €2 if you’re attending AkumaKon.

Below is a link to the schedule for the whole weekend:

If you’re interested in attending, check out and RSVP to our Facebook event here:


Building it!

building it parts

Saturday, 11th December 2010
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
building it parts
As a perfect aftermath to Ignite Galway, Rob from in Dublin is gonna do his cool workshop, Building It!

During this day-long workshop, you will be walked through the process of designing an interactive electronic device: from an initial idea right through to the working device.

We will start off with a presentation covering the whole design process. Next we will demonstrate the necessary steps and tools in more detail. And last but not least you will assemble the finished device.

The device we will be building will be a Mini Mood Light. Consisting of two multicoloured LED’s, a small micro controller and a number of buttons which will allow the user to selected a suitable colour which reflects their mood. We’ll be demonstrating each of the steps including schematic capture, PCB layout, PCB fabrication and programming the micro controller.building a mood light

You should have a basic understanding of electronics and the C programming language. The workshop is targeted at makers and amateur inventors who want to use open source tools to create open hardware devices.

The workshop will run from 11:00 through to approximately 17:00, with a break for lunch. Food will not be provided, but we have a tuckshop and there are shops/takeaways nearby.

The cost of the workshop will be 40€ waged, 30€ unwaged and 20€ 091Labs members.

The numbers are going to be limited to twelve adult/older teen participants.

If you want to attend this event, please email ellen at 091labs dot com