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  • #61
    I personally would like to see better vetting for the 'Village' organizers.

    I was chosen as a speaker for one of the villages and I could not have possibly had a worse experience.

    Not only was the time for my talk changed 6 times over the weekend, but the last few changes were not even posted. I had to contact to organizer and ask "Hey, I see the signs near the village are showing a different time for my talk than the website, and the website shows a different time than HackerTracker...which one is correct?", only to have the organizer contact me back and say "Oh yeah, your time is actually different than ANY of those. Sorry" And this was ~12hrs before I was to be on stage.

    I am sure glad I called!!

    And this is AFTER they somehow 'forgot' that I needed a speakers shirt for the village. And when I decided 'fuck it, I will just BUY one', I was told 'Sorry, we don't have on in your size'. OOPS!

    Shit happens, whatever.

    But then I notice on Twitter that OTHER speakers for the same village have a badge associated with their speaking engagement...again, somehow the fact that I was supposed to get one was 'forgotten'.

    So I show up for the appointed time...the organizer is no where to be found. As I am setting up one of the stage hands comes up to me and tells me that I will get the '5 minute' signal at 25mins and the gesture he will be using. I say "Wait a minute!! I was scheduled for an HOUR. This is a sixty minute talk." No one has any answers. The organizer cannot be found. I text them trying to understand what is happening.

    I ask one of the 'helpers' for one of the badges I had seen around, and because the organizer is out doing interviews as the 'Head of Defcons XXXXX Village" no one can confirm whether or not I have already received a badge. I spend a few minutes getting the third degree from some helper trying to make sure I am not trying to steal from the village. Eventually she decided that, yes, I probably did not get a badge and gets me one just as I am scheduled to speak.

    In fact, if you watch the tape of my talk, you can see me struggling to open and assemble a badge before my talk begins so that I can be wearing it during the filming (as I do not have 'the shirt'). I could not get it in time...filming had begun.

    I had zero notice of the change in time allowance. I did not prepare a 30 minute talk. This is a highly technical subject and I cannot just do 'half' of it. I was very effectively backdoored into providing a talk that was neither up to the standards of DEF CON, nor myself. Even an hours notice could have made a hell of a difference.

    Even the folks who were FANATICALLY following the schedule changes, some of them directly through me, were unable to see my talk. More then one described checking the schedule, going to the village and then finding out that I am not there, and no one can tell them WHEN I am going on.

    In fact, because of the last change...at ~9pm Saturday, there were a group of die-hard folks who were bound and determined to see my talk, who showed up just as I was leaving the stage. Half as much time and starting earlier than ANY schedule indicates...yeah, that will do it.

    I finally get a hold of the organizer...and they are COMPLETELY dismissive and flippant.
    First it was their subordinates, then their superiors. then the fact that they are new. ANYTHING but accept responsibility.

    Even though I have explained exactly what my grievances are, they keep giving me little bullshit business answers to get me to bugger off.

    In fact the first time it was basically "oh well, let me send you a shirt that actually fits (when/if we print more) to make up for it". So I had to explain that that wasn't my issue, and they returned again with essentially I will give you a t-shirt now so shut up. Not even addressing the issues I bring up, they just says things like "the schedule was a living document up until the very end". Or I am sorry for the oversight , I will try better next time.

    And what's really disturbing is that they were trying to imply that I should be honored just to have access to the Defcon name, and the fact that they were going to record my shitty, rushed, useless talk into the archives should be reward enough.

    I checked. Not one of the other speakers at the village were subjected to such treatment.

    They managed to overlook the fact that I needed to be notified of schedule changes, they managed to overlook the fact that they had arbitrarily changed the length of my time slot, not something any speaker can deal with lightly! Then they managed to overlook the fact that they never even considered getting me a Village shirt, then they managed to overlook the fact that I was never provided a badge.
    That is too many 'accidents' or 'oversights' piled upon one another.

    Absolutely disrespectful and unprofessional.

    With the collection of emails and schedule changes and the eventual outcome, it is quite clear that they are either highly unprofessional, an elitist, a misandrist/misogynist, or a combination of all of these. It is quite clear to me that after my physical 'check in' at the village for DC24 that they, for whatever reason, decided they did not want me to speak there after they had met me. And did the best they could without being overt, to get me to not be able to speak at the Defcon XXXXXX Village.

    Just assuming that I would travel a thousand miles on my own expense, to remain on call for the entire weekend, just to be told that my talk was cut in half... and not by those in charge, but by the stage hand who was just trying to be polite and let me know he was going to give me a 25-minute signal...That is reprehensible.

    I have been coming to DTs little party in the desert for years, and this is the first time I have even HEARD of a speaker being treated in such a callous and deliberately dismissive manor.

    So, If I had one request...it would be to prevent this kind of issue in the future.

    [singular 'they']
    Last edited by Mr Frosty; 08-16-2016, 09:22 AM.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Mr Frosty View Post
      I personally would like to see better vetting for the 'Village' organizers.

      I was chosen as a speaker for one of the villages and I could not have possibly had a worse experience.

      Not only was the time for my talk changed 6 times over the weekend, but the last few changes were not even posted. I had to contact to organizer and ask "Hey, I see the signs near the village are showing a different time for my talk than the website, and the website shows a different time than HackerTracker...which one is correct?", only to have the organizer contact me back and say "Oh yeah, your time is actually different than ANY of those. Sorry" And this was ~12hrs before I was to be on stage.

      I am sure glad I called!!

      And this is AFTER they somehow 'forgot' that I needed a speakers shirt for the village. And when I decided 'fuck it, I will just BUY one', I was told 'Sorry, we don't have on in your size'. OOPS!

      Shit happens, whatever.

      But then I notice on Twitter that OTHER speakers for the same village have a badge associated with their speaking engagement...again, somehow the fact that I was supposed to get one was 'forgotten'.

      So I show up for the appointed time...the organizer is no where to be found. As I am setting up one of the stage hands comes up to me and tells me that I will get the '5 minute' signal at 25mins and the gesture he will be using. I say "Wait a minute!! I was scheduled for an HOUR. This is a sixty minute talk." No one has any answers. The organizer cannot be found. I text them trying to understand what is happening.

      I ask one of the 'helpers' for one of the badges I had seen around, and because the organizer is out doing interviews as the 'Head of Defcons XXXXX Village" no one can confirm whether or not I have already received a badge. I spend a few minutes getting the third degree from some helper trying to make sure I am not trying to steal from the village. Eventually she decided that, yes, I probably did not get a badge and gets me one just as I am scheduled to speak.

      In fact, if you watch the tape of my talk, you can see me struggling to open and assemble a badge before my talk begins so that I can be wearing it during the filming (as I do not have 'the shirt'). I could not get it in time...filming had begun.

      I had zero notice of the change in time allowance. I did not prepare a 30 minute talk. This is a highly technical subject and I cannot just do 'half' of it. I was very effectively backdoored into providing a talk that was neither up to the standards of DEF CON, nor myself. Even an hours notice could have made a hell of a difference.

      Even the folks who were FANATICALLY following the schedule changes, some of them directly through me, were unable to see my talk. More then one described checking the schedule, going to the village and then finding out that I am not there, and no one can tell them WHEN I am going on.

      In fact, because of the last change...at ~9pm Saturday, there were a group of die-hard folks who were bound and determined to see my talk, who showed up just as I was leaving the stage. Half as much time and starting earlier than ANY schedule indicates...yeah, that will do it.

      I finally get a hold of the organizer...and they are COMPLETELY dismissive and flippant.
      First it was their subordinates, then their superiors. then the fact that they are new. ANYTHING but accept responsibility.

      Even though I have explained exactly what my grievances are, they keep giving me little bullshit business answers to get me to bugger off.

      In fact the first time it was basically "oh well, let me send you a shirt that actually fits (when/if we print more) to make up for it". So I had to explain that that wasn't my issue, and they returned again with essentially I will give you a t-shirt now so shut up. Not even addressing the issues I bring up, they just says things like "the schedule was a living document up until the very end". Or I am sorry for the oversight , I will try better next time.

      And what's really disturbing is that they were trying to imply that I should be honored just to have access to the Defcon name, and the fact that they were going to record my shitty, rushed, useless talk into the archives should be reward enough.

      I checked. Not one of the other speakers at the village were subjected to such treatment.

      They managed to overlook the fact that I needed to be notified of schedule changes, they managed to overlook the fact that they had arbitrarily changed the length of my time slot, not something any speaker can deal with lightly! Then they managed to overlook the fact that they never even considered getting me a Village shirt, then they managed to overlook the fact that I was never provided a badge.
      That is too many 'accidents' or 'oversights' piled upon one another.

      Absolutely disrespectful and unprofessional.

      With the collection of emails and schedule changes and the eventual outcome, it is quite clear that they are either highly unprofessional, an elitist, a misandrist/misogynist, or a combination of all of these. It is quite clear to me that after my physical 'check in' at the village for DC24 that they, for whatever reason, decided they did not want me to speak there after they had met me. And did the best they could without being overt, to get me to not be able to speak at the Defcon XXXXXX Village.

      Just assuming that I would travel a thousand miles on my own expense, to remain on call for the entire weekend, just to be told that my talk was cut in half... and not by those in charge, but by the stage hand who was just trying to be polite and let me know he was going to give me a 25-minute signal...That is reprehensible.

      I have been coming to DTs little party in the desert for years, and this is the first time I have even HEARD of a speaker being treated in such a callous and deliberately dismissive manor.

      So, If I had one request...it would be to prevent this kind of issue in the future.

      [singular 'they']
      Villages are granted a great deal of autonomy to run their village as they want, so long as the rules imposed on DEF CON by the hotel and any rules from DEF CON are not exceeded. They tend to be run by volunteers. Some are paid by their employer to be at DEF CON, but most volunteer their own time and money to run these villages.

      For issue like these your choices are limited:
      * Take up the issue with the village organizers involved
      * Include details in public on who was involved and around when; nicknames/handles would probably be preferred.
      * Contact a CVE (Contests, Village, Events) goon in private and let them know about this and give them the detail of the issue including name of village and who was involved.
      * Do nothing
      * Is there any other option?

      Certainly, this general information can be passed to the CVE department, but they won't be able to do much about this specific issue without knowing who is involved. It would be summarize with something like "Unannounced scheduling change lead to confusion" and "Village speaker claims they were not provided what was promised to them" and "Village speaker find poor organization in village". I'd link to the post so people that want the details of it can read it themselves, but without specifics they can't contact the village involved to start a dialogue, and punishing all villages with any new rules is unfair to those villages that did not have these issues.

      It seems like you do not want to "out" the village or people involved in public, so taking it private with a CVE goon might be your next best step if you want some sort of change to take place and want to keep details of who was involved private.

      HTH,
      -Cot
      tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

      Comment


      • #63
        I was part of this same village the prior year and despite the lack of resources, the entire situation was handled much more professionally. It is quite clear that this is an issue with an individual and their commitment to/understanding of human resource dynamics.

        Shit happens. I have been playing this game for a while. I get that.

        This was either someone trying like hell to keep 'those kind of folks' out of their sandbox, without appearing to do so, or it is someone so detached from basic human consideration as to not understand just how insulting and disrespectful their conduct was.

        The organizers commitment to doing interviews and sending personally-branded tweets under the Defcon banner far outpaces their commitment to providing quality material for the Village under their control.

        Oh and a BIG 'thank you' to you COTMAN. I very much recognize what you do here and I appreciate the amount of raw human hours required to provide the community with the service that you do here on the forums (I hope you heard the little cheer we gave you during closing ceremonies ;) ).

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Mr Frosty View Post
          This was either someone trying like hell to keep 'those kind of folks' out of their sandbox, without appearing to do so, or it is someone so detached from basic human consideration as to not understand just how insulting and disrespectful their conduct was.

          The organizers commitment to doing interviews and sending personally-branded tweets under the Defcon banner far outpaces their commitment to providing quality material for the Village under their control.
          Are you planning to contact a CVE goon about this and work with them in private? If so, say so so I can mention that in the report.

          Oh and a BIG 'thank you' to you COTMAN. I very much recognize what you do here and I appreciate the amount of raw human hours required to provide the community with the service that you do here on the forums (I hope you heard the little cheer we gave you during closing ceremonies ;) ).
          Thanks, I enjoy the work I provide; I would not do it if I did not enjoy it. :-)

          I was not at DEF CON this year. After DEF CON 10, I started skipping DEF CON, mostly attending every other year with one or two exceptions returning back-to-back. Since I was not there, I'll have to wait for the videos to see the closing ceremonies.

          Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions for DEF CON 25?

          Thanks!
          tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

          Comment


          • #65
            I will contact the CVE Goon in authority. Let me just determine who that is and I will take care of it.

            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Mr Frosty View Post
              I will contact the CVE Goon in authority. Let me just determine who that is and I will take care of it.

              Thank you.
              Thanks! I will note that in the report.

              -Cot
              tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

              Comment


              • #67
                After tomorrow, I will be building my report and hope to submit it by Sunday. Get your ideas and thoughts on DEF CON 24 in before the end of tomorrow for the best chance at influencing DEF CON 25 to make it better.

                Thanks!
                -Cot
                tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  After tomorrow, I will be building my report and hope to submit it by Sunday. Get your ideas and thoughts on DEF CON 24 in before the end of tomorrow for the best chance at influencing DEF CON 25 to make it better.
                  Report completed and submitted to department heads

                  Thanks to everyone for your ideas on how to make DEF CON 25 better!

                  This does not mean suggestions after this point will be ignored, but it does mean it will likely become increasingly more difficult to get new ideas for DEF CON 25 included for consideration each day we get closer to DEF CON 25.

                  Feel free to continue to submit your thoughts, or take things on over to the new forum for "DEF CON 25 Planning" : https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...on-25-planning

                  -Cot
                  tiny font: _. ___ _... ___ _.. _.__ .._ ... . ... __ ___ ._. ... . _._. ___ _.. . ._ _. _.__ __ ___ ._. .

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Hello!
                    I am here speaking for many people, its about badges, dont get me wrong the badges every year are constantly gaining everyone's oo and ah but its the tradition (the electronic and non-electronic) tradition that's been happening for past years that get people well upset, its not that the badge is bad but they want an electronic badge there are many reasons why but this has been rumbling for awhile, even if this isnt noticed just know its preferred! :) Thank you for making the con possible!
                    I don't know what to write here....

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Defcon is growing faster than the hotels. I would love to see a venue where we can be comfortable and not turn sideways in every hallway.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by astcell View Post
                        Defcon is growing faster than the hotels. I would love to see a venue where we can be comfortable and not turn sideways in every hallway.
                        This exists. It's called "Mexico" and there happens to be lots of it. And there is beach and booze. Even Internet!

                        Let's do this!

                        Kidding aside, I don't think a indoor venue truly exists for the amount of people and the problem itself can only be solved by complex math and a insane architect hellbent on manipulating people.

                        Maybe the Utah datacenter will host it.

                        J

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