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With the last round of Spring Break vacations now comfortably behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to other geeky goings on to help us get through the coming Texas summer.

And as much as it pains me to say, the best way to escape the Texas Heat may be to escape Texas as well. You’re first opportunity to turn the tables on the temperatures is the weekend of May 21st at the San Mateo Event Center in the Bay Area of California. The Maker Faire, the worlds largest Do-It-Yourself festival, is now in it’s fifth year and remains the premier event for grassroots American innovation. Aimed at both the lone geek and family alike, the fair is a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness as well as a celebration of the Maker mindset.

Hit www.makerfaire.com for details on this event, as well as the other Maker Faires taking place in Detroit and New York later in the summer. The Motor City Maker Faire takes place on July 30th and 31st, and the NYC Faire takes place September 17th and 18th.

If you’d like to effect an escape a little closer to home, you can indulge in some actual escapism June 24th through the 26th at Apollocon 2011, Houston’s Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conference. Complete with panels, dealer rooms, an art show, a con suite, a masquerade, a media room, gaming, dance, live action role playing, a charity auction and a writer’s workshop, this year’s installment promises to be the best yet. There’s also a good chance that the con will host another Arduino workshop. I’ll definitely have more information on Apollocon as June gets closer, but for now, you can surf to www.apollocon.org for your information fix.

If you happen to be OK with the Texas heat, but have issues with the humidity, the desert may be an option for you to feel the dry heat of hostile networks and white hot exploits at DEFCON, the world’s largest hacker conference. Moving to new digs at the Rio hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 4th through the 7th, it is home to the world’s most hostile network, The Wall of Sheep, the Hardware Hacking Village, and plethora of other puzzles, parties and activities. While I may not make the Maker Faires, I will definitely be attending DEFCON this year. And I have high hopes of enticing other Tech Bytes crew members to join me.

Hit defcon.org for more info on the event.

And if you’re locked down to the point where you can’t leave Houston, the Prison Reform Film Festival is happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Rice Media center. Hit theprisonshow.org for details and directions, but for now, that’s it for your deals at dodging those devilish degrees and that’s that for BarretTime.

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