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Worries Over Defense Dept. Money for ‘Hackerspaces’ - NYTimes.com


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"The controversy over the government programs led to a tense session in a packed ballroom at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference this summer in New York, where recipients and critics of the Darpa financing gathered to discuss its implications.

“If you grow a piece of celery in red water, it’s going to be red,” said Sean Auriti, who is known as Psytek at the hackerspace Alpha One Labs in Brooklyn, which he runs. “I’m just wondering how this Darpa defense contract money is going to influence these projects.”

And yet Mr. Auriti himself is benefiting from the Darpa money as a member of SpaceGambit, a consortium of hackerspaces that won a $500,000 grant for research in space exploration and colonization technologies. He said he hoped that the grant would help him build a mini-thruster to launch backpack-size satellites into orbit."

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