Project Byzantium was invited to the FEMA Think tank in February.

This update is extremely late – well over a month overdue – but that whole workaday thing’s really got us down right now.  We’re working on that, promise.

Every quarter FEMA holds a think tank in a different part of the country to discuss after-action reports and plan for what may come in the medium to long term.  For our work in New York City late last year we were invited to attend the meeting when it was held in the Executive Briefing Chamber of the White House on 6 February 2013.  Project Byzantium was also asked to set up a wireless mesh network in the room for attendees to use during the day-long event for communications.  Unfortunately only one person was able to attend but they were well equipped indeed.  Three laptops running the latest Release Candidate build of Byzantium Linux were deployed and a hacked Android phone was used as an uplink to the global Net for the duration of the meeting by attendees.  We lost track of the volume of traffic the mesh handled when it hit the eight gigabyte mark around 1300 hours EST5EDT that afternoon.  We didn’t go snooping around to see if there were any other wireless networks in the area due the White House being one of the most heavily restricted areas on the planet, but it is our optimistic belief that we built the first wireless mesh network at the White House in history that day.

FEMA has posted a video recording of the meeting to its website along with a transcript and a downloadable MP3 of the audio.  It’s over five hours long so you might want to listen to it in the background until something catches your attention.  We think that the #femathinktank hashtag will also be of interest.

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