Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

    Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
    I heard this too. The speakers right after us on Saturday didn't get speaker badges.
    We were still looking into this on Sunday when I clocked out of defcon for 362 days, but the best we can figure is that a box of badges containing speaker and vendor badges was lost in transit or didn't make it. It's not that we didn't know how many, it's that everything we ordered didn't make it where it was supposed to.

    Those that know more on this may chime in with more timely info, but that was our general opinion at the after-con meeting for the deparment heads.
    perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

      Originally posted by Chris View Post
      We were still looking into this on Sunday when I clocked out of defcon for 362 days, but the best we can figure is that a box of badges containing speaker and vendor badges was lost in transit or didn't make it. It's not that we didn't know how many, it's that everything we ordered didn't make it where it was supposed to.
      Another benefit of the hardware-hackable badge I assume? ;-(

      I cannot imagine that a bunch of smart people can't figure out how to make cool badges on demand without compromising the first day of the con (because everyone is waiting in line).

      The fact that badges aren't available when needed, causing people to miss portions of the con is a heavy FAIL in my opinion.

      Makes one ask, "What is the purpose of the badge"?

      THE BADGE SHOULD GET YOU INTO THE CON, NOT KEEP YOU OUT OF IT!

      --BC,
      Last edited by big chopper; August 5, 2009, 19:52.

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

        Originally posted by big chopper View Post
        Sure, either Reno or Atlantic City would be good choices. :-)
        --BC,
        Alright now we're talking! THAT would definitely save me some money in air fare

        --RANT ON--
        I didn't find the crowds to be that ridiculous. Maybe since this is only my second year, i have very little to compare to. Sure the hallways were crowded but what's so different between that and say a concert you go to? If one dared to venture into the sunlight (I know, most attendees are afraid of such things) you could also bypass the main hallway to get around the congestion. As for this continued talk of raising the price, I really don't see the point unless they have to. A lot of people talk about how it's so much cheaper than blackhat but, not everybody's company is paying for it, or is making enough money that they can afford to drop 1K on just admissions. I think for the price we pay it's a great conference and I really think DT and the Goons have gone out of their way to accommodate. In the program DT said he went out of his way to try to make sure this year was a great conference and sucked up some costs, and this definitely showed in my opinion. I found this years experience to be so awesome and have very few complaints. Getting the pool alone was really awesome. The new contests, the new content, the expanded old content, it all combined to make a con experience that will keep me coming back for years to come.

        Again, this is my own opinion on the matter. If the talks really mean that much to you, maybe consider buying the talks instead? There just seems to be so much more than just the talks to do at the conference. You could go mess around in any one of the villages, join a team in the contest area, or dare I say socialize and meet great people in the chill out area. I managed to sit down with an OpenCTF team and see what they were up to and learn more than a talk could provide from just interacting with them. I also learned much more about all the SSL/CA vulns people were hyped about by actually speaking to one of the speakers with a group of people in the chill out area. Then again, I learn much better as a hands on person. Still, I feel that so many people treat the conference as a training experience and take it way too serious. Break out of the norm, check out something new, broaden your horizon. The slides will be available, and if you miss something just ask around...*someone* had to have seen the talk

        As for the badge going away - I hope it doesn't. I really enjoy it and love being able to play with it year round. I think it gives opportunities to people who normally wouldn't be able to play with hardware to get their hands on it. Maybe people should give it more of a try as opposed to just complaining about it. Still, I do know that a few who I met were able to find people who didn't care about the hardware on the badges and trade them their unpopulated badges. The badges were a problem but it's been promised to be fixed. Rather than just delete the whole idea or create all these alternative solutions why not just let the powers to be actually attempt to fix the problem. And let's be honest, there was no way anyone in their right mind with the current economy would have estimated that SO many people would show up this year. So I would like to say that while trading out badges may have sucked a little, I don't think anyone can completely blame the staff for the lack of supplies this year.
        --RANT OFF--
        afterburn

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

          Thanks for the detailed reply, Chris! I'm glad to see that the folks involved are always striving to make Defcon better.

          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          Unlikely, it would be next to impossible to do this. We (DEF CON) are not the Riv, they are just a venue where we hold our party. They aren't going to collect money for us, keep track of it, hand out badges and all the hassles associated with that, and then write us a check for the registrations. Just not feasible.
          That's a good point. I wonder if they'd let you set up a table next door to the registration area? Registration seemed to be super quick so I can't imagine it slowing things down and clogging up the area. Just a thought...

          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          Being happy with the paper badge makes you the exception, not the rule.
          Then it makes the idea of charging a few bucks for a hardware badge that much better, IMO. More money donated to the EFF or more money to be used for the con = a good thing. Plus, like I mentioned, it would reduce demand a bit...

          Either that or just make sure that the hardware badges are available during initial registration rather than having people stand in line twice. Though, I do understand that there was an issue this year with Chinese customs, so maybe they're normally available. I only have the experience of this year's con to go off of.

          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          The will be posted. Later. We have gotten much better at getting the website updated after con.
          Great news!

          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          I wasn't there so I don't know the exact nature of the question, but DEF CON is all about allowing dissenting viewpoints to express themselves. the Fed panel knows this. This isn't a national convention for a political party where everyone agrees on a platform. If the individual was being belligerent or profane I am sure he would have been escorted out. Just disagreeing with the panel is certainly not reason to remove someone from the room. Again, I wasn't there and don't know the details so feel free to provide more information on this if you'd like.
          This wasn't necessarily "dissenting viewpoints". The guy was just being an obnoxious prick from the start of the presentation and basically was a heckler. He was selected for the "Spot the lamer" portion and even after a few minutes of being in the lineup, one of the feds said "I'm sick of you, go sit back down".

          He stepped up to the mic during the Q&A session and asked the feds if they felt that the current Obama administration was hampering their ability to do their job function compared to previous administrations. That's like asking a Microsoft employee during Tech-Ed if they feel like Microsoft is going down the tubes now that Ballmer is running the show. Any employee who wants to keep their job is not going to answer something like that in a public forum.

          The feds waved their Bullshit flags and refused to answer while he kept pushing it. He finally stormed out of the room and once he left, there was quite the applause.


          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          Now...I do actually run the vendor area and select the vendors. It is not possible to please everyone and I certainly take your criticism seriously. That said, as mentioned earlier in this post, this isn't a trade show. This is a hacker conference. We don't want corporate sponsorship. If I have Cisco as a vendor or worse yet as a sponsor and a speaker plans to detail an IOS vulnerability, I am in a tough situation. Do I not allow the speaker to give his presentation because it might anger a paid sponsor of the con? I don't want to be in a position where a conflict of interest can arise.

          Our vendors typically come from within the community. Many of them don't do this as a "job" year round but rather come up with ideas on how to provide a product that enough of the attendees will find appealing that they can break even or in a great case, make a little money. Many of our vendors are just happy to break even but see you back wearing their shirt next year. Personally I like the way the vendor area works and consider it to be an extension of the community, not a place to bring in corporate sponsors to hassle our attendees with sales pitches.
          Those are really good points that I didn't think of. I guess it was just my expectation that there would be some corporate vendors like that. I did notice the Digital setup that was in the TF2 room and assumed there would be other things like that. Though, maybe that was a collector.


          Originally posted by Chris View Post
          I hope this helps to address some of your concerns and I hope you'll decide to come back. Maybe my comments have helped to provide a clearer understanding of how some of these things work at DEF CON and why it is different from a typical "trade show".
          Thanks for taking the time to read my long post and reply to the points. I think part of my dissapointment with certain aspects of the con was my mis-set expectations. Also, I'm not in the security biz nor am I really a "hacker" per se. I'm just a geek who loves all things technology. So I don't think I'm really the target audience of the con.

          That said, I may come back next year. Part of me says "been there, done that" and part of me says "maybe next year I'll know what to expect and have a better time with it". We'll see what the next 360 days brings.

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

            Maybe, to reduce the amount of line clusterfuck, you could swap track 4 and the contest area, as well as track 3 and the vendor area.

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

              Originally posted by jchillerup View Post
              Maybe, to reduce the amount of line clusterfuck, you could swap track 4 and the contest area, as well as track 3 and the vendor area.
              I don't think that would be a good idea. People that come to Defcon for the talks often stick around in the talk areas, and move from one track to another or stay where they are.

              People interested in the contests often stick in the contest spaces.

              Having the speaking tracks so far apart would probably make the problem worse, for people changing from one talk to another -- especially if they don't like the talk they are in after a few minutes and decide they want to see a different talk, or find out a talk was moved, or canceled.

              How do you see separating the speaking tracks to opposite ends of the convention space as an advantage?

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                My opinions, after a few days of sleep, are in line with most others but with some of my own.

                First: The hotel needs to understand that (within limits of local liquor and occupancy laws, etc) that they would fare better to leave us to our own devices rather than try and dictate. We are not unreasonable people. I have would point out that, per person, the hotel would likely make more off us than gospel con folks.

                Second: I noticed that there is an ever increasing percentage of attendees coming over from Blackhat that, while they have every right, don't contribute much to the event other than occupy space.

                While there are those who attend both because they want to, there are many that do so because they can (free ticket). They end up coming over to Defcon to watch and observe us but don't interact or contribute to the experience. I may be wrong in my numbers but separating BH and Defcon by a week or so would cut down numbers by 1000-1500 which would take some pressure off and eliminate people who are there out of convenience rather than want. I hate feeling like an exhibit in a zoo. So many people have put in effort to make Defcon what it is, it's a shame these others come in and take without giving back.

                Third: While management may be in the loop low level hotel employees don't seem to be getting the message about being tolerant of us and our eccentricities. Care should be taken next year to stress to the hotel to let everyone know we don't take shit well from employees and when we are treated unfairly, we want to speak to an *actual* manager with power, not some flunky.

                Fourth: As much as I liked having Adam Savage there, the getting people in and out issue was insane. I think that the only reason it ws 3/4 full was that there were so many people thinking this was insane and skipping it. For something that size, a simulcast to all the rooms so no one has to move is the only way to deal with it.

                I also felt bad for Adam as well since there's so much stuff there he'd enjoy that his celebrity status prevents him from attending. If it is possible or sane, it would be nice to see him have the ability to interact and participate in the con instead of be locked out. I'm not the only one who thinks he'd be perfect for competing in the Mystery Challenge (Adam, if your reading this, you can have a spot on my team!)

                Fifth: The chillout room was a good idea but the music was too damn loud (I'm not old, just not wanting to yell). Calm chillout areas where one can have a conversation should be a priority next year. Maybe in the evenings, throw open the doors to the Q&A rooms and use those? I dunno.

                I'm sure there's more somewhere in my brain but those are the main things right now. Feel free to comment of PM me for discussion
                Never drink anything larger than your head!





                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                  Respectfully, but what crowds?

                  My motto: arrive 0-2 minutes late, grab a front row seat. This never failed in any talk I wanted to attend including Hacker Jeopardy and other headlining events. I was certainly within easy reach of Happy FunBall's whip.

                  I saw people on the sidelines and I also saw lots of open seats.

                  Great conference. May want to consider additional screens for the back of the room.

                  Raising prices is not a good idea. Defcon is a great way for our next generation to learn more about the craft and culture.

                  I am not at all bothered with lines. They cease to exist very quickly.

                  I AM very bothered with the CDs and schedules fiasco. Electronic badges getting stuck in customers I can understand, but there is no excuse for not having enough CDs. Schedules I can handle and share, but I need my CD so I don't have to ask Google where the slides are.

                  The WiFi coverage was insufficient. If I can't get a stable 5-bar connection in front row in Track 1, something is terribly wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                    Originally posted by wiseleo View Post
                    The WiFi coverage was insufficient. If I can't get a stable 5-bar connection in front row in Track 1, something is terribly wrong.
                    That may not be con orginizers or NOC's fault. In every crowd there's one douchbag with a jammer or mdk DoS'ing the crap out of the network.

                    Considering it's the most hostile network on the planet, consider yourself luck y to get on at all and not have a flaming hulk of a laptop left at the end.
                    Never drink anything larger than your head!





                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                      Hmmm,

                      1) how about moving the chill out room to a smaller room and using that for talks,

                      and/or

                      2) using the summit during the day for con stuff

                      or,

                      3) swapping the chillout room and one of the track rooms?

                      Swapping really sounds like a good idea to me to distribute crowding amongst the different areas of the con.
                      2 or more, use a for

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        How do you see separating the speaking tracks to opposite ends of the convention space as an advantage?
                        I think the effect he was looking to cause is reducing that crush when four talks get out at once, or four talks start at once.

                        It would clear out those hallways, but it would create a new crush around those doors near registration, since that's the choke point between the two ballrooms. Very unpleasant. At least with the four talks going on close to one another, it keeps the crush localized there (except when lines form).

                        I agree, the chill out room was a touch loud for sitting and talking. When I went in there to hang out on Sunday afternoon there was no music at all, and I was crushed and unchilled. I know that keeping it staffed all con might be a pain, so maybe a random playlist for when there's no DJ? There's enough equipment in there that a goon needs to be stationed anyways to prevent it from absconding I imagine.

                        Interesting idea concerning the Summit. What's the summit doing during the day? Can it be included as part of the con package, or would it need to be rented additionally? Would the increase in number of attendees cover that price increase? Is it too far to be realistically used? I know from attending the Last HOPE that having the con on two different floors was kind of a pain in the ass, but it was doable. What could be placed semiautonomously, and not get screwed over by said placement? Are there any other rooms up there? I've never gone to the right to explore as I've only been up there twice for the EFF fundraiser.

                        Mel
                        Secretary

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                          How about a discount for those of us who don't give a flying fuck about the badge. It seems to me, a special line and a cheaper price. I can't tell you how pissed off it makes me that I have to sit in hours long lines and honestly I really don't care.

                          I think the badges have become too much of a focus and I'd really love to see it so I don't have to bother.

                          Even more. Honestly they ALWAYS run out of badges and other shit. Why is it that I have to pay full price to get a paper badge, no cd and no program considering the costs of those productions are what are supposed to be part of the cost.

                          Furthermore, someone mentioned moving blackhat a few weeks after defcon or making it so you don't get a DC badge automatically if you go to BH.

                          I have to say this is a good idea. Gets the straights away from the freakshow and makes our fun a little more so.

                          Anyways enough bitching

                          Adam

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                            Originally posted by Melesse View Post
                            I think the effect he was looking to cause is reducing that crush when four talks get out at once, or four talks start at once.
                            Ah. Well, that makes more sense, but I still don't like the idea.

                            It would clear out those hallways, but it would create a new crush around those doors near registration, since that's the choke point between the two ballrooms. Very unpleasant. At least with the four talks going on close to one another, it keeps the crush localized there (except when lines form).
                            Yes. I agree.

                            Additionally, it would add to the traffic of people heading from Track 1/2 to Track 3/4 and the other way around, for people primarily there for the talks.

                            ...
                            Interesting idea concerning the Summit. What's the summit doing during the day? Can it be included as part of the con package, or would it need to be rented additionally? Would the increase in number of attendees cover that price increase? Is it too far to be realistically used? I know from attending the Last HOPE that having the con on two different floors was kind of a pain in the ass, but it was doable. What could be placed semiautonomously, and not get screwed over by said placement? Are there any other rooms up there? I've never gone to the right to explore as I've only been up there twice for the EFF fundraiser.
                            One year, if I recall correctly, it was used for "Top of the Riv" and a place for the B&W Ball. Perhaps the first year we were at the Riv. However, noise problems and complaints from people 1 floor below caused it to be shut down early. After that, we gained more space in the convention area, and I think it moved to its present home, or very close to where it was this year. I think it has had its present home for 3 Defcon now, but I could be wrong... they all sort of blend together after a while.

                            Do you have ideas for an event to reside in that room during daylight hours which isn't present yet? Do you have an idea for moving something up there that is not there right now? What could be started or moved there?

                            Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Even if people nix them, other people may build or modify them and find a way to make them work.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                              BTW: No diss to Kingpin, but the badges sucked this year. It's not that in itself it wasn't cool but to get the secret voltron mode I had to acquire *ALL* of the badges and a secret non existant (except for a solitary one I heard....) Uber badge? LAME

                              Sorry man. The badges if they're going to communicate and do fun stuff it should communicate via bluetooh or zigbee... It seems the idea of combining all the badges as more or less just impossible.

                              Plus WTF Labeling the pads? OMGWTFH4X!

                              Don't get me wrong. It was a cool idea but how about creating a badge that the average population can have fun with without having to get the entire set.

                              The uber badge is what really made the whole idea retarded. Most normal people couldn't put all that together in the first place. If could have thought to borrow my various friends badges I *still* wouldn't have gotten it cause I had 0 access to the uber badge.

                              I don't even know what it did at all if you assembled all the badges. Unless it called a free hooker to my room and got me drunk, I would say the result was a little anticlimactic considering the amount of effort expended.

                              IMO: Poorly thought out. At least last years badge was a TV-B-Gone

                              Next year for the super duper badge let's try for something not *easier* but how about *attainable*

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

                                Originally posted by icetre View Post
                                Next year for the super duper badge let's try for something not *easier* but how about *attainable*
                                Amen!
                                I'd like a badge that doesn't adversely effect the total enjoyment of the con.
                                --bc,

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X