One day to go!!

We hope you’re as excited as we are!

We’ve seen many new registrations role in over the past two days, so you may have missed some of our messages from the registration platform.

Here is some information that you’ll need as you’re starting to prepare for tomorrow:

1. Check out your travel route to the event. St. John’s Hoxton is at the junction of New North Rd and Pitfield St, a short walk from Old St or Hoxton tube stations, and close to the 271 and 394 bus routes. If you’re driving, the post code is N1 6NP, and you can book parking on the premises for £11 per day.

2. Check out your travel times. We’re opening up registration bright and early at 8:30(there’ll be coffee and tea, plus lots of great local caffs for a take-away), and the whole thing kicks off at 10:00. The Lightning Talks should be finished by around 8:30 or 9:00 if you’re catching a train back – but we hope that you’ll stay overnight with us at the venue! Saturday morning also kicks off at 10:00.

3. Pack your overnight gear. That’s right, you’re welcome to stay with us over night! There is lots of room on the grassy grounds for camping, or roll out your sleeping bag in a cozy corner of the main building (where there will also be a female-only space available). Don’t forget your toothbrush.

OTA09 t-shirt4. Pack you chargers, memory cards, laptop, hackable devices, prototyping kit, LEDs, Sugru, drones, nerd-cred t-shirts, emergency chocolate bars, stickers to give away… maybe pre-download a few handy libraries while you’re at it.

5. Bring your own lanyard and show us all of the cool events you’ve been to lately (while also showing us your name).

6. Check out the programme on Lanyrd and build your own schedule by selecting ‘Plan to Attend’ or ‘Track’. While you’re at it, let other folks know you’re going by marking yourself as ‘Attending’ .

7. Have a read through of this year’s Hackathon Challenges for some inspiration and ideas about what you might hack.

8. Toss around some ideas with others by joining the conversation on Slackline.

9. Have a quick read of our Hack Day Code of Conduct. We know it’s clear but it is very worth mentioning one more time – ALL are welcome at Over the Air!

10. Get some sleep tonight! …you might not tomorrow 🙂


See you soon!

Margaret & Dan

The OTA16 CoderDojo

CoderDojoWe are pleased to once again be collaborating with the CoderDojo London team, to offer a free coding event for 7 to 17 year olds on Saturday the 26th. If you are attending Over the Air, we invite you to register your 7 to 17 year-old (or niece or nephew) to take part in the CoderDojo workshop.

They will need to bring a laptop with them to take part, and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire duration of the session. The event is completely free but numbers are limited so we do ask that you register and get a ticket in advance, including your own name, so that we can plan for the correct numbers.



Photo: Benjamin Ellis

Photo: Benjamin Ellis

CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.

The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so.

Featured tracks at the event will include:

  • Swift Playground
  • Naturebytes
  • BBC micro:bits

A number of the CoderDojo workshop participants will be invited to do a “Show & Tell” of their work on Saturday afternoon after the Hack Day entrants have shown their hacks. It is entirely up to your child whether they would like to take part in this, but unfortunately we won’t have enough time available for all children to take part.

To Find out more about CoderDojo, visit or watch this video “CoderDojo – One Rule: Be Cool!”

Any queries regarding this event or CoderDojo London, please email

Twitter : @CoderDojoLondon

Facebook : coderdojolondon

We’re getting Arty at OTA16

21617447969_65c88afdb7_zOver the Air has always been able celebrating programming & development as a creative discipline, but this year we’ll be inviting you to explore your artistic side as well.

We’re pleased to welcome Hercules Fisherman to the team as curator of the Art Space this year! You may know him as Herx, and a fixture of the Hardware Hacking and Start-up scene, but Hercules is an artist as well, and he’ll be bringing a whole new realm of creative expression to the event this year.

If you’d like to contribute interesting materials for an artistic hack this year, do send him a note on Twitter! @Herx


Introducing our Keynote Speaker: Howard Baker

We are very excited to announce that our Keynote Speaker at Over the Air 2015 is Howard Baker, order Innovations Editor at BBC Learning, cialis and “Father” of the BBC micro:bit. (See the recent article in Wired about the birth of the BBC micro:bit)

howard_smallHoward is lucky enough to spend his time looking at new technologies and ideas that impact learning and investigate them for BBC Learning. As lead of one of the teams looking at what the BBC could do in 2015 for digital creativity and coding he was responsible for developing the BBC micro:bit and is now working on its delivery.

His current interests include: Internet of Things, digital making, coding, physical computing, learning and the quantified self and how to help young people unleash their creativity in the 21st century.

You can follow Howard on Twitter @aitchbaker

Lightning Talk Submissions 2015

Hi everyone! I’m Melinda Seckington and I’m excited to be joining the Over The Air team this year to help organize the lightning talks. I’ve been a regular attendee of Over The Air since volunteering for their second event back in 2008, and did one of the lightning talks at the 2014 one. I can’t wait to see all your talks and submissions for this year! 

We’ll be doing the lightning talks a little differently this year. For starters we’ve moved away from the Ignite format, so your talk won’t need to have an exact number of slides and there won’t be a super hard limit of 5 minutes. You should still aim to do a 5 minute talk, but since almost everyone overruns, you’ll get 8 minutes (after which a timer will go off and you will have to leave the stage), just to give you a little bit more breathing space.

For those of you interested, we’re also providing space/time to practice your talk before the event, with a handful of experienced speakers to help give you feedback.

The talks can be about ANY topic you want. So are you passionate about a particular geeky subject or just know a lot about something very niche? Built a cool hack previously you’d like to show off? Fill in our online form to submit your talk!

Building with Accessibility in Mind

A guest post from Gary Readfern-Gray, remedy  Accessibility Specialist & Developer at the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)

rnibNowadays it seems like almost everyone is using their mobile phone for a growing range of purposes. Developers know that it can be a real challenge to think about the needs of all their potential customers, salve  including those who may have problems using their apps due to some form of disability.

You may therefore be surprised to hear that blind and partially sighted people along with those of us with other disabilities are using smart phones in all areas of daily life. Screen readers that are gesture controlled are incorporated into all the major mobile platforms bringing a smooth flat touch screen to life.

With functionality like VoiceOver on Apple and TalkBack on Android, vialis 40mg where a synthetic voice gives you the information on what it shown on the screen can make apps useable even if when the user is unable to see the screen.

If properly coded, all items on the screen (including headings, buttons, text etc) will be read aloud so that the user can identify were they are in an app and what to do next.

Smart Phones are becoming more and more accessible, opening up a world of possibilities with apps that could make life a whole lot easier.  We hope that we can enthuse and inspire you to write code to to make apps accessible and help more of your customers have a thrilling user experience with your apps.

RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)
Bakewell Road
Orton Southgate


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#TheOpenAgenda – Why the world needs an open future

By: Daniel Appelquist (@torgo), viagra 60mg Open Web Advocate, site  Telefonica Digital

At Telefónica, price order we recently launched something called #TheOpenAgenda ( – a cross-industry initiative  to ask what does open mean and why is it so important?

The concept of open first gained traction in the technology industry with the birth of the free software movement in the 1980s, which evolved into today’s hugely successful open source movement. Open source provides free access to software code in order for anyone to make changes and improvements to the final product.

This ability for huge networks of individuals to pool their collective expertise led to an unparalleled boom in technical and creative innovation.

Open, defined as ‘accessible to all, free from limitations, boundaries or restrictions’, has since been widely adopted across increasingly broad sectors of technology and the digital world.

Open access to what have become the basic building blocks of our society promises to provide incredible benefits to consumers, businesses and the public sector.

Governments realize this and are opening up the data they hold to third parties to enable the creation of services that will better serve their citizens. Businesses realize this and are opening up to their customers, giving them the ability to become true participants in the business rather than just sales targets.

The value of open is also being recognized in an increasing willingness by companies to collaborate and partner with third parties and even their rivals in order to better serve their customers. In fact, companies in all industries are opening dedicated open initiatives.  In July 2013, Rolls-Royce launched an open innovation program, joining the likes of Unilever, which launched its own in 2012.

The open philosophy is reaching into all areas of business. The European Commission in June 2013, for instance, in its Digital Agenda for Europe, called for better use of standards in procurement to stop businesses becoming locked in to ICT systems.

The World Wide Web, the backbone of today’s society and economy, was of course founded on a principle of openness that has resulted in the birth of some of the most innovative companies the world has ever seen.

TelefonicaDigitalSquareHighResTelefónica itself is also embracing open in various ways that are driving the open web, such as our support of Firefox OS, open data, including a partnership with the Open Data Institute, and open innovation, through initiatives such as our Wayra start-up incubator. The support that Telefónica shows for the Over the Air event itself is also about putting some energy back into the community to support open innovation.

However, we should be under no illusions of the challenges that remain ahead.  The open philosophy, despite the enormous benefits it offers all levels of society, is often fighting against a deeply engrained attitude of resistance to free access of information.

The growth of the open Web on mobile for instance, is being held back by a return to closed ecoystems and walled gardens. Consumers are being corralled into proprietary systems, only able to access certain content. Content bought through one service is not transferrable when consumers switch and choice is being dramatically curtailed.

We believe the value of open is worth fighting for. The concept is too important to be become merely a commodity, a truism that is devalued by those without a true commitment to the open philosophy.

#TheOpenAgenda is a cross-industry project collating the views of leading thinkers from across the open movement. It will dig deep into the meaning of open across three key areas: open web, open data and open innovation.

It will discover exactly how the value of open is being delivered in each area to benefit consumers, business, and society, discovering the challenges ahead and how they are being overcome.

The aim of #TheOpenAgenda is to catalyse global debate around the concept of open. Through a series of online and real world events, we will engage stakeholders across multiple industries to employ the very collaborative principles of the open movement to help define and spread the benefits of open.

As a worldwide society we need to debate the value and issues of open – it’s crucial to all our futures.

Join the debate on Twitter using #theopenagenda and @tefdigital – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Tours of the National Museum of Computing


The National Museum of Computing is pleased to offer a range of guided tours to the attendees of Over the Air 2013.
Get a private tour of the whole museum on Friday the 27th at 4.25pm and presentations of Tunny & Colossus at 10:45 am and 12:00 am on Saturday the 28th.

Friday the 27th

On Friday the museum is closed to the public, so it’s a great opportunity to ‘get up close’ with the exhibits. Over the course of an hour, attendees will be able to see the WITCH (the world’s oldest operating computer), our Elliott systems, as well as our collection of 1980s 8-bit machines and the BBC B classroom. The tour’s highlight is a visit to the Tunny & Colossus gallery, where you can see a rebuild of the world’s first computer and hear the amazing story of how Bletchley Park started the digital age.This unique opportunity starts outside the Mansion at 16:25 on Friday and is limited to 60 people. Strictly first-come-first-served. Please don’t be late!

Saturday the 28th

On Saturday, we have two 30-minute tours covering the Tunny & Colossus story with a visit to see this incredible machine in operation. These will both start outside the Mansion at 10:40 and 11:55 sharp.In addition to the tours, attendees of Over the Air 2013 will be allowed free entry to the whole museum on Saturday to enjoy at their own pace from 1pm until close.Tour groups will muster directly outside the main entrance to the mansion at 16:25 on the 27th and before 10:40 and 11:55 on the 28th.

Update: the tours groups will muster in front of the marquee. That is all.

Please be on time!

The Ignite Bletchley Park submission form is now open

It’s time to put your thinking caps on for a rousing 5-minute talk about what you love, what you hate, what your brilliant idea or shiny insight is, or what you’d like to hack! Please use our online form to submit your talk. (Slight hiccup on the tinyurl that first went out over twitter – use the embedded form please!)

ignite_bletchly_park-01-300x225Ignite is a geek event in over 100 cities worldwide. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.

The event was started by Brady Forrest, Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media, and Bre Pettis of, formerly of MAKE Magazine.

If you’re looking for a good explanation of the why and how of giving an Ignite talk, then take a look at this presentation by O’Reilly author Scott Berkun. He does a great job of summarizing what can be achieved in five minutes with twenty slides.


You can also find a few of the Ignite Bletchley Park talks from OTA11 online:

David Vella’s “hastily put together video” on Vimeo.

Bill Thompson’s Ignite Talk on YouTube

Terence Eden’s Ignite Talk on YouTube