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  • Epic Failure: Offtopic Posts

    I want to be a monkey butler. Just because it is a cool title.

  • #2
    Epic Failure: Offtopic Posts

    Speaking from my own particular background about a newbie track.

    I'm a career changer. I was a high school teacher at this point in time one year ago. I attended Defcon 16. Wow, you say, total noobsauce at the 1337 hacker convention! I know, I reply, I know...

    My own personal reasons for espousing a newbie track for a convention are simple...not everyone you get at a con has been doing this for a long time. As someone else mentioned, additionally there are people who are experts in one field but to the detriment of others. MORE so additionally, many of the things commonly associated with computer security can be regarded as murky legally unless you run your own network (which, esp. for newbies, can be unlikely). If you want to break into CompSec, you better know how to use, and have boku experience with every tool available. On the other hand, you don't want to start blindly ping sweeping your local ISP's network not knowing what the hell you're doing.

    What I would most like to see, and what I mentioned in the suggestions thread 6 months ago, are hands on items. I would love to see a network open and available for newbies to screw around on all weekend. I would love for there to be specific designated CTF games for newbies. I didn't want to join a CTF game only to lose horribly and not learn anything. A simple soldering class on Thursday or Friday would do wonders for self confidence before stepping into the HHV.

    Now, I went to DC16, so I'm a little more seasoned for this year, but it's intimidating for people to step up and try something they don't know how to do. It's one thing to try something in your own home, but it's entirely different to do it in front of an audience of people who are much much better than you.

    I would love to see a newbie track, but I don't really care about newbie talks, I would prefer newbie events/games. There is one exception to that...I would like to see a talk about setting up your own security lab/attack lab/home playnetwork. I just bought a house, and am getting ready to start setting my own up, but am flying mostly blind. Of course, it'll be significantly done (for now) by Defcon, but it's probably something other people would be interested in as well. Both newbs, and people who simply haven't had the resources or the reasons until recently.

    M.

    EDIT: God this is confusing, looking over the forums it appears as this post is in the wrong forum, but looking a page back in the thread, it appears as it is in the correct thread *sigh* The split of threads was not clear to the tangled skeins of my mind.
    Secretary

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

      Originally posted by Melesse View Post
      Speaking from my own particular background about a newbie track.

      I'm a career changer. I was a high school teacher at this point in time one year ago. I attended Defcon 16. Wow, you say, total noobsauce at the 1337 hacker convention! I know, I reply, I know...
      Don't apologize. We are all newbs at something.

      My own personal reasons for espousing a newbie track for a convention are simple...not everyone you get at a con has been doing this for a long time. As someone else mentioned, additionally there are people who are experts in one field but to the detriment of others. MORE so additionally, many of the things commonly associated with computer security can be regarded as murky legally unless you run your own network (which, esp. for newbies, can be unlikely). If you want to break into CompSec, you better know how to use, and have boku experience with every tool available. On the other hand, you don't want to start blindly ping sweeping your local ISP's network not knowing what the hell you're doing.
      Not unless you want three hots and cot.

      What I would most like to see, and what I mentioned in the suggestions thread 6 months ago, are hands on items.
      There are plenty of those. If you haven't yet figured out where they are, come to speed school and we will give you some ideas. How you apply that information is up to you.

      I would love to see a network open and available for newbies to screw around on all weekend.
      But there is. Use it wisely.

      I would love for there to be specific designated CTF games for newbies. I didn't want to join a CTF game only to lose horribly and not learn anything.
      If one loses "horribly" at something and doesn't learn anything, I wonder why they came out to play in the first place.

      A simple soldering class on Thursday or Friday would do wonders for self confidence before stepping into the HHV.
      Not a bad idea, however, that is one of the things the HHV does assist with. And there are others in the HHV that if one would just ask might help one figure one's way around a soldering iron.

      Now, I went to DC16, so I'm a little more seasoned for this year, but it's intimidating for people to step up and try something they don't know how to do. It's one thing to try something in your own home, but it's entirely different to do it in front of an audience of people who are much much better than you.
      Do you have a soldering iron? Do you have access to YOUTUBE? Perhaps you CAN try it at home and then perhaps your self-esteem sensibilities will not be so affected when next you attend DefCon.

      I would love to see a newbie track,
      So would we, however, it does not really seem plausible at this point, for this year.

      but I don't really care about newbie talks,
      Then by all means, feel free not to attend

      I would prefer newbie events/games.
      There actually are many and some of these were going to be highlighted at the Speed Talks, but oh, wait, you said you felt confident enough that you didn't want or need to attend something like that.

      There is one exception to that...I would like to see a talk about setting up your own security lab/attack lab/home playnetwork. I just bought a house, and am getting ready to start setting my own up, but am flying mostly blind. Of course, it'll be significantly done (for now) by Defcon, but it's probably something other people would be interested in as well. Both newbs, and people who simply haven't had the resources or the reasons until recently.
      There is a recent thread on this very topic. Right here on the DefCon forums. Did you bother to search the forums before posing that as a desire? If I recall, there are also many sites available through internet engine searches that will provide one with much good information on this topic. That is in fact how I have built mine.

      M.

      EDIT: God this is confusing, looking over the forums it appears as this post is in the wrong forum, but looking a page back in the thread, it appears as it is in the correct thread *sigh* The split of threads was not clear to the tangled skeins of my mind.
      Yes, the topics were split and your post is perhaps not in the most appropriate thread. Having said that, the reason I responded to this is a) I had 15 minutes lying fallow; b) I was absolutely astounded that it appeared you, having once been a high school teacher, did minimal research on the topics you listed, not only on the forums but also on the internet, and; c) I am feeling cranky today.

      Regards,

      valkyrie
      __________________________________________________ __
      sapere aude

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

        Originally posted by valkyrie View Post
        There are plenty of those. If you haven't yet figured out where they are, come to speed school and we will give you some ideas. How you apply that information is up to you.
        Yes, there are lots. And I was sharing my experience last year...that they were all extremely terrifying to consider joining in. Having assumed this was the newbie thread (wrongly apparently), I was giving a newbie viewpoint. I knew what the events were, I knew where they were. I went and watched for a while. I was suggesting a less frantic and crowded atmosphere.

        If one loses "horribly" at something and doesn't learn anything, I wonder why they came out to play in the first place.
        I was more referring to speed of loss, but I was unclear.

        Not a bad idea, however, that is one of the things the HHV does assist with. And there are others in the HHV that if one would just ask might help one figure one's way around a soldering iron.
        And every time I went into the HHV it was packed. To the gills. I was suggesting a low stress, less crowded environ.


        Do you have a soldering iron? Do you have access to YOUTUBE? Perhaps you CAN try it at home and then perhaps your self-esteem sensibilities will not be so affected when next you attend DefCon.
        Yep, strongly a possibility. I continuously forget about Youtube as a source of anything more than entertainment *not sarcasm*

        Then by all means, feel free not to attend
        Again, simply providing my viewpoint in what I thought was the proper venue. Stuff from talks you can get in books. Hands on stuff is more difficult, sometimes. If I lived in an urban area, I could join a local DC group, for example.

        There actually are many and some of these were going to be highlighted at the Speed Talks, but oh, wait, you said you felt confident enough that you didn't want or need to attend something like that.
        Talks /= events/games. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

        There is a recent thread on this very topic. Right here on the DefCon forums. Did you bother to search the forums before posing that as a desire? If I recall, there are also many sites available through internet engine searches that will provide one with much good information on this topic. That is in fact how I have built mine.
        I have in fact read every thread in this forum (all three of them!). And every thread in the DEFCON 17 suggestions forum. And in the other newbie forum. I am very sorry I missed it, but again, in the thread where I thought feedback towards newbie track items should be brought, I was sharing my viewpoint. I would have done it even if I had read the other thread, because you don't know how many people are interested in something until they mention it. It's kind of like that dumb question thing...ask the dumb question because someone else probably is thinking the same thing. Of course, I usually don't smack that person down right afterwards...

        Yes, the topics were split and your post is perhaps not in the most appropriate thread. Having said that, the reason I responded to this is a) I had 15 minutes lying fallow; b) I was absolutely astounded that it appeared you, having once been a high school teacher, did minimal research on the topics you listed, not only on the forums but also on the internet, and; c) I am feeling cranky today.
        I did do the research in the forums, having been lurking here since DC16. I did not do research on the internet, because, again, this appeared to be a place to suggest ideas and thoughts for a newbie track. That didn't require research on the internet, simply the opinion of a newbie. I hope you're having a better day tomorrow, crankiness tends to be infective.

        M.
        Secretary

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

          Originally posted by Melesse View Post
          ...
          Having assumed this was the newbie thread (wrongly apparently), I was giving a newbie viewpoint.
          ...
          I have in fact read every thread in this forum (all three of them!).
          ...
          Of course, I usually don't smack that person down right afterwards...
          There could be a reason for this:

          Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
          ...
          This forum is not for newbie, people new to Defcon or people new to hacking.

          This is explicitly for the *planning* of a pre-Defcon orientation-like event lead by people with Defcon Experience(TM) that want to help inform people new to Defcon about the many pleasures, risks, fun, and excitement that Defcon has to offer them.

          The mods discussed a forum that would be for people new to Defcon to ask questions, or whatnot, but it was flatly denied due to the opposite of support for it. If this section starts to become such a forum, I have no problems closing it.
          ...
          The mods discussed creating a Newbie forum for Newbie interaction and Newbie questions, and this was, as stated above, not something desired by mods. As a result, I have to make sure I was explicit in the purpose of both of these forums that contain the word "new" in their description. It is for this reason that I created a sticky in both this forum and the other "newbie forum" that explicitly state these two forums are for the planning and organizing of their respective events. Because of this, this will not become am "newbie forum."

          If you have ideas, you can contribute them, but the leader/organizers, obviously, have the right to decline accepting them.

          From my point of view, the leaders/organizers of this event are trying to maintain focus on the specific event of, "how to introduce people who are new to Defcon to Defcon so they can get the most enjoyment out of the time they spend at Defcon."

          Of course, by me stating this, I open myself up for being corrected, or any of them telling me I am wrong with my take on it, but that is part of life.

          What you discuss, and bring up was a source of difficulty to the people organizing this event with the specific focus of introducing people new to Defcon to Defcon. What you have suggested is a kind of Newbie-Hacking track or event to provide hands-on, or mini-presentations on hacking before Defcon. The closest match to this request is the forum, [forum=467]Defcon Pre-Con Introductions to Hacking at Defcon[/forum]. This was a fork from the project allocated to this forum [forum=466]DefCon 101: A Lurkers Guide to DefCon[/forum].

          Your post and suggestion is a repeat of an earlier event which lead to a forked forum ([forum=467]Defcon Pre-Con Introductions to Hacking at Defcon[/forum]) to handle these other suggestions for training sessions related to hacking. Because of the recent history of this attempt at forking or re-purposing this event to something else, you will likely encounter some friction.

          At this point, the forked event [forum=467]Defcon Pre-Con Introductions to Hacking at Defcon[/forum] does not have any leader/organizers. It does, however, have many, many people with suggestions on how it should be run. There is an opportunity for the many people offering suggestions to come forward to lead, run, and plan the kinds of events you desire, but so far, nobody has stepped forward. (It is like a bunch of arm-chair quarterbacks, but no teams on the field.) Perhaps if someone or some people come forward to lead [forum=467]Defcon Pre-Con Introductions to Hacking at Defcon[/forum] they will be open to your suggestions. Heck, maybe they will want Monkey Butlers too.

          Apologies are good, but meaningless if people don't use what they learn and then apply this knowledge to building something. Now you know which forum is a better match for your desires, and now you know where to go with your ideas.

          Wisdom can be viewed as the application of intelligence with learned knowledge to yield a well thought-out result.

          [Added:]
          If you would like to see any kind of "hands-on newbie events" in any of the various vilages (Hardware Hacking Village, Lock Picking Village, etc.) then those suggestions would best be directed to their respective forums.

          Good luck!
          Last edited by TheCotMan; February 9, 2009, 21:08.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post

            If you have ideas, you can contribute them, but the leader/organizers, obviously, have the right to decline accepting them.

            From my point of view, the leaders/organizers of this event are trying to maintain focus on the specific event of, "how to introduce people who are new to Defcon to Defcon so they can get the most enjoyment out of the time they spend at Defcon."

            Of course, by me stating this, I open myself up for being corrected, or any of them telling me I am wrong with my take on it, but that is part of life.

            Wisdom can be viewed as the application of intelligence with learned knowledge to yield a well thought-out result.

            [Added:]
            If you would like to see any kind of "hands-on newbie events" in any of the various vilages (Hardware Hacking Village, Lock Picking Village, etc.) then those suggestions would best be directed to their respective forums.

            Thank you. You nailed it. You tend to do that exceptionally well.

            Regards,

            valkyrie
            __________________________________________
            sapere aude

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Call for Monkey Butlers

              Originally posted by LosT View Post
              I want to be a monkey butler. Just because it is a cool title.
              Well honey, thats the fail. You want to butle because it is cool in your mind.

              I want Butlers who are committed. Regardless of what they get personally. I am assured you don't grok where I am coming from. That's cool too... *hugs*

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

                Thank you, that would have been a much more informative reply in the first place. I reached this thread following a link from the DC suggestions forum, and the post on the fifth page was unclear as to which thread was which, hence my posting.

                M.

                EDIT: TheCotMan - I assumed newbie viewpoints would be valuable to someone planning a newbie talk/track/speed talk/etc, hence the newbie viewpoint comment.
                Secretary

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Newbie Track: surviving defcon and other related items

                  Originally posted by Melesse View Post
                  EDIT: TheCotMan - I assumed newbie viewpoints would be valuable to someone planning a newbie talk/track/speed talk/etc, hence the newbie viewpoint comment.
                  Well, as they say assumption is the mother of all fuckups.

                  So move along...
                  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Epic Failure: Offtopic Posts

                    Ok, right or wrong, this thread motivates me to repost an opinion...

                    I see lots of n00bs posting about how they think it's hard to get started, hard to talk to people, hard to get 'integrated' to Defcon, etc.... TAKE A STEP BACK. (And I mean the rest of this in the best possible manner, to hopefully motivate, not intimidate)

                    If you are a hacker you are adept and looking at a system, and finding a solution that fills your needs. This is true even if the system is YOU. Even if the system is Defcon. Learning to solder. What ever- the "it's intimidating" argument is stale, and bespeaks of one who in my opinion ISN'T a hacker. Now, this does not mean we shouldn't help n00bs. On the contrary, ask around- I'm CONSTANTLY teaching n00bs basic skills. Really all they have to do is ask. Roamer paid me a very nice compliment at SBCon- he said that the robotics break out session I taught a few cons ago (which was the precursor to the HHV, btw) was what Defcon should be. He was referring to a time when I simply walked through the conference, yelling out "who wants to make a robot, follow me" - by the time I got back to the contest area, I had about 20 people in a circle around me, and we built basic robots. Spontaneous, unplanned n00b Jam session. Guess how it started? A n00b WHO IS A HACKER asked me a few questions. Then a few more. I guess what I'm saying is I don't have patience anymore for those who show up and expect everything to be done for them, including the organization and spoon feeding- hack the system, and make Defcon your own. In reality nobody is going to do it for you.

                    I hope this doesn't sound too ranty, but if you take all the time that n00bs whine about help, etc, and used it instead constructively to learn or improve a skill, you would be alot better off...

                    LosT

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Call for Monkey Butlers

                      Hehe, I got rejected from being a Monkey Butler.

                      But consider the Uber title:

                      Contest Leader/Goon/Monkey Butler

                      See it just flows. And i think the banana badge should go along with it...

                      Oh, and thanks for a creative idea..I'll explain later...

                      And I never said that buttling was cool, just the title. And what I get out of Defcon is blood sweat and tears, much more work than your entire monkey army combined will put out ;)

                      And if you mean committed, I'm sure several will be institutionalized after the experience-

                      I grok more than you know- Thou art god.

                      Love ya!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Epic Failure: Offtopic Posts

                        Originally posted by LosT View Post
                        Ok, right or wrong, this thread motivates me to repost an opinion...

                        I see lots of n00bs posting about how they think it's hard to get started, hard to talk to people, hard to get 'integrated' to Defcon, etc.... TAKE A STEP BACK. (And I mean the rest of this in the best possible manner, to hopefully motivate, not intimidate)

                        If you are a hacker you are adept and looking at a system, and finding a solution that fills your needs. This is true even if the system is YOU. Even if the system is Defcon. Learning to solder. What ever- the "it's intimidating" argument is stale, and bespeaks of one who in my opinion ISN'T a hacker. Now, this does not mean we shouldn't help n00bs. On the contrary, ask around- I'm CONSTANTLY teaching n00bs basic skills. Really all they have to do is ask. Roamer paid me a very nice compliment at SBCon- he said that the robotics break out session I taught a few cons ago (which was the precursor to the HHV, btw) was what Defcon should be. He was referring to a time when I simply walked through the conference, yelling out "who wants to make a robot, follow me" - by the time I got back to the contest area, I had about 20 people in a circle around me, and we built basic robots. Spontaneous, unplanned n00b Jam session. Guess how it started? A n00b WHO IS A HACKER asked me a few questions. Then a few more. I guess what I'm saying is I don't have patience anymore for those who show up and expect everything to be done for them, including the organization and spoon feeding- hack the system, and make Defcon your own. In reality nobody is going to do it for you.

                        I hope this doesn't sound too ranty, but if you take all the time that n00bs whine about help, etc, and used it instead constructively to learn or improve a skill, you would be alot better off...

                        LosT
                        I honestly couldn't agree with this post more. I am not saying we (the staff) shouldn't do our best to make DEF CON accessible to new people (we most definitely should) but in the end I think the problem comes down to the individual.

                        I see this with contests a lot of the time too. People are afraid of looking stupid or newbish so they won't participate in a contest or ask a question and just stand idly by on the sidelines. I hate this mentality and I agree with LosT. If you are afraid to ask someone (who is there to teach by the way) how to do something or afraid of trying because you may fail or (in your mind) look foolish then you probably are not nor will you ever be a hacker.
                        perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Call for Monkey Butlers

                          Originally posted by LosT View Post

                          And I never said that buttling was cool, just the title.
                          Is buttling the right way to say that? I just assumed it would be butlering. Buttling sounds cooler. It's like a baby butt. "Hey buttling, it's time for you to get to work buttling."

                          ETA: huh. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buttling Guess that is the right way. Slick.
                          perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Call for Monkey Butlers

                            Originally posted by Chris View Post
                            Is buttling the right way to say that? I just assumed it would be butlering. Buttling sounds cooler. It's like a baby butt. "Hey buttling, it's time for you to get to work buttling."

                            ETA: huh. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/buttling Guess that is the right way. Slick.

                            Noun vice verb. :-D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Epic Failure: Offtopic Posts

                              Originally posted by LosT View Post
                              Ok, right or wrong, this thread motivates me to repost an opinion...

                              I see lots of n00bs posting about how they think it's hard to get started, hard to talk to people, hard to get 'integrated' to Defcon, etc.... TAKE A STEP BACK. (And I mean the rest of this in the best possible manner, to hopefully motivate, not intimidate)

                              <Insightful snippet>

                              I hope this doesn't sound too ranty, but if you take all the time that n00bs whine about help, etc, and used it instead constructively to learn or improve a skill, you would be alot better off...

                              LosT

                              Originally posted by Chris View Post
                              I honestly couldn't agree with this post more. I am not saying we (the staff) shouldn't do our best to make DEF CON accessible to new people (we most definitely should) but in the end I think the problem comes down to the individual.

                              I see this with contests a lot of the time too. People are afraid of looking stupid or newbish so they won't participate in a contest or ask a question and just stand idly by on the sidelines. I hate this mentality and I agree with LosT. If you are afraid to ask someone (who is there to teach by the way) how to do something or afraid of trying because you may fail or (in your mind) look foolish then you probably are not nor will you ever be a hacker.

                              Lost, what you said wasn't too ranty or intimidating. It was exactly on point.

                              I agree with both you and Chris as far as hacking, and I believe that's why no one has really taken up the mantle of the "Intro to Hacking".

                              Originally I was for it, until I realized that my concept was woefully different than what the 'n00bs' wanted. Maybe they're trying to be "security professionals" but definitely not hackers. And if that's the mentality/prospective they're trying to take then I am the last person to help them out and I think DefCon is the last place they should be.
                              And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

                              Comment

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