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

    Someone mentioned that people might have been sneaking into Skyboxes, as you weren't checked for badges there. It was actually a bigger problem as there were people sharing badges. I can understand this if you are here for a day of con & a friend wants to catch the end or whatever, but there were people actively swapping with each other between skybox & talks so they could see all of con on a split badge. I don't think it was more than a couple of people, but of course has the potential to become a regular phenomenon.

    Solution is obvious, stage a staff member by the stairs.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Were you the guy from Melbourne up at Queercon?


    Originally posted by gottestod View Post
    I attended DefCon for the first time travelling all the way from Australia and have to in general say that I was fabulously impressed. Also, I was given a free ride in the sense that I didn't have enough money from my vacation to really attend the proper con but was given everything secondhand from all of you wonderful people in the suites and hotel who were willing to chat with me. I did contribute by helping the goons in anyway possible and would like to be a GPA (GOON PERSONAL ASSISTANT) again next year :)

    What I was shocked, disgusted, and HIGHLY disturbed by was the unwillingness of any of my vendors who I work with in OZ making any effort to engage the Security community at this conference. For my part, I intend to send out several proposals for NON-INTRUSIVE ways my executive friends could engage this conference. I will be speaking to both Cisco & Commvault (not about anything I learned obviously) and letting them know how some of their competitors made them look like complete tools.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. I will definitely be back next year with the funds to attend the full conference, just hanging around and squatting had me HIGHLY intrigued.

    cheers,
    poofta.

    Leave a comment:


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

    I attended DefCon for the first time travelling all the way from Australia and have to in general say that I was fabulously impressed. Also, I was given a free ride in the sense that I didn't have enough money from my vacation to really attend the proper con but was given everything secondhand from all of you wonderful people in the suites and hotel who were willing to chat with me. I did contribute by helping the goons in anyway possible and would like to be a GPA (GOON PERSONAL ASSISTANT) again next year :)

    What I was shocked, disgusted, and HIGHLY disturbed by was the unwillingness of any of my vendors who I work with in OZ making any effort to engage the Security community at this conference. For my part, I intend to send out several proposals for NON-INTRUSIVE ways my executive friends could engage this conference. I will be speaking to both Cisco & Commvault (not about anything I learned obviously) and letting them know how some of their competitors made them look like complete tools.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. I will definitely be back next year with the funds to attend the full conference, just hanging around and squatting had me HIGHLY intrigued.

    cheers,
    poofta.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by netstat View Post
    Edit: I read somewhere earlier in this thread the talks given will be available in mp4 (i think) format coming up at some point in the near future? Where will I be able to find these?
    Like previous years, it will take many months. The Sound of Knowledge (TSOK) video records the presentations, and sells them. Sometimes people that buy these illegally put them on youtube after they get them. A while later, often several months after con, the videos are put up on the defcon servers.

    The difficult thing will be knowing where to check for the announcement. Usually, an announcement appears on the forums, but can also appear on the defcon RSS feed, and now, maybe even the twitter feed using the #defcon hash or just from the _defcon_ account.

    Leave a comment:


  • Surreal
    replied
    About the "narrow" hallways.

    Observation: There were times in the hallways when it occurred to me that I was in a potential deathtrap.

    When the Goons started the "keep to the right!" campaign that helped a lot. However, there were still frequent clusterfucks when people/groups would suddenly decide that the hallway was a good place to stop and have a conversation, watch a video on a laptop, examine the schedule, etc.

    Keep the "Keep to the right!" campaign but add "Keep moving! DO NOT stop to talk until you're out of the hall!" (yelled in your very best Goon / Drill Sgt. voice)

    Surreal

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by sintax_error View Post
    a good number of first timers I spoke with implied they would not have come had it not been for Adam Savage, which is disheartening to say the least.
    I'm a first time con-goer and didn't even know he was going to be there until i looked at the track schedule to see what all the fuss was about :) lol

    Were the people you are referring to actually interested in the rest of the con, or just a MythBusters fan club? ... really unfortunate if they weren't even interested in what the entire even was about.

    Originally posted by sintax_error View Post
    and hotel staff who literally couldn't find the "5" key on the register if it was right in front of them.
    It was hotel staff running the swag booth? That explains a lot.

    My company paid for my trip, and my boss came with, and even he made a comment about "half the people here could probably build a cash register from scratch, and they can't find two people that can run one" lol

    As for my comments/suggestions
    - Pro: The mexican place in the food court had 50oz margaritas ... :)
    - Con: Lack of space. :(
    - Pro: I never knew I could learn as much as I did, and have a blast doing it :)
    - Con: The food @ The Riviera's buffet ... I didn't know that a Las Vegas casino had 63 different ways to prepare gruel. (Stayed @ The Bellagio ... didn't eat there either, couldn't afford the $50 steak, and $12 sides lol)

    Definitely coming back next year whether my company pays for it or not, it was great times. I also wouldn't mind the fee going up slightly if it means easier crowd control.


    Off-topic: Did any of you guy catch a glance of the Riv's security guard I dubbed 'Social Security' ? I think his age was as high as the temperatures... He must have been Security's dedicated hitter, and called someone else to do his running.


    Edit: I read somewhere earlier in this thread the talks given will be available in mp4 (i think) format coming up at some point in the near future? Where will I be able to find these?

    -Rob
    Last edited by netstat; August 4, 2009, 00:33. Reason: added question

    Leave a comment:


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

    Lost, I did not get too many chances to get up to take a look out plus I was full of solder smoke most of the time. I only made it down there once for food and I have no idea what day or time that was.... time really flies in the HHV. I suspect you spent the CON in the contest area so you have the first hand knowledge from the trenches.

    So we have 4 types of crowds.

    1. the talks crowds
    2. the village crowds
    3. the contest crowds
    4. the nomads



    So really the CON is what it is. I think the large crowds are just a part of it. Rather have the crowd than for it to be empty!

    QUOTE=LosT;107790]Nav,

    The contest area is completely full at times, and not at others.....

    LosT[/QUOTE]

    Leave a comment:


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

    Nav,

    The contest area is completely full at times, and not at others.....

    LosT

    Leave a comment:


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

    I think since DEFCON "started" on THUR instead of FRI caused such a lot o f the THRU/FRI crush. Who knows next year the extra 2-4k of people might not come. Its hard to plan for this event as it is a cash on the spot kind of event and there is no reason to do a pre-reg as that takes away from the "no names of who attended" methodology. I spent 99% of my CON time vol in the HHV and up there the crowd was okay. I think we were filled to cap almost all day long on day 1 and 2 and thats the way it should be. For me the crowds are just the way DEFCON is. I do agree it seems the hallways are too tight an there almost needs to be a re-routeing of traffic during peak times. Remember DEFCOn 14 when we did not have the entire venue? Also where the skyboxes were this year in the CON flow you did not need a badge to gain access so I wonder if there were any bootleggers? Seems the RIV staff overlooked that part of the con for doing badge checks.

    Also it seemed to me (looking down from the HHV skybox that there was a lot of wasted space in the contest area.. while the vender area was jam packed. Maybe that space could be used better, who knows. I am sure DT and the crew will the planning DC 18 based on what happened this year and those of us that attend DC reg. will be back.

    So if this is rambling as I am in DC recovery mode.

    BombNav

    Leave a comment:


  • Club81
    replied
    Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

    It would be interesting to know if DEFCON is locked into the Riv for the next couple of years or if moving to a bigger venue is possible for DEFCON 18. While we all want it to operate smoother, it may be a moot point if we are set at the Riv for the coming year(s).

    I don't know my Vegas hotels well enough to know which would make a suitable home for the CON if moving was a viable alternative. Perhaps the locals and/or informed peeps can provide some thoughts.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Well, I don't think any of us expected the massive influx of attendees this year, and most of who I talked to were first timers, and growth is always a good thing. However, a good number of first timers I spoke with implied they would not have come had it not been for Adam Savage, which is disheartening to say the least.

    With crowds and lines as they were, I too modified my itinerary of talks to avoid some of the more grueling lines, but I don't think it was completely unmanageable, nor was it handled poorly.

    As far as procedurally, The badges would have been no different from any other year had they shown up at the hotel on time. Being one of the first 15 or so in line, it was the same old same old, line is short, look up it's damn near to the ABC store. Yes it was kind of crappy having to go back and get a real badge, but even that was handled well from what I experienced. Now the swag booth, from what I understand got 100x better after I got done. but being 1st in line, my group and the 20 or so behind us were kind of the guinnea pigs, with shirts mistagged as far as the "item numbers" were concerned, prices not matching up in the registers vs the tags, and hotel staff who literally couldn't find the "5" key on the register if it was right in front of them. Only suggestion I can gove is the blatantly obvious one of make sure everything's correct on prior to opening up shop.

    I think the goons and staff ran things well and adapted even better with the crowds, and dammit I had fun, and just to beat a dead horse a little more "by Christmas!"

    Leave a comment:


  • theprez98
    replied
    Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

    Originally posted by goathead View Post
    there are some fundamental issues with space and configuration that will not likely improve. The process can be tweaked, but the walls are not going to move.
    I agree with this 100% as the root cause of the crowding problem.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Getting the talks onto the closed circuit within the rooms, as we had before at AP, would be very welcomed. People staying at the hotel could opt to see the talks remotely and also reduce the mosh slightly.

    I met a couple of new con-goers who were exited to be there but gave feedback to me that although it was a great value, it was unrealized due to the melee they'd have to endure to get through the halls to get to the conf areas. They seemed keen on checking out smaller cons to be able to engage in more of the offerings in the future.

    My perception was that although there was a grand effort at managing through the choas, that there are some fundamental issues with space and configuration that will not likely improve. The process can be tweaked, but the walls are not going to move.

    LineCons are likely a huge PITA for both the goons and hotel staff to deal with. Time at con is too valuable to spend significant time in lines. Im my case, I just changed my plans and moved to a less popular topic area; trying to get something out of it, even if it were not a talk I might have considered until I had little choice.

    The Riv.. can kiss my white arse :) We are customers and they should try to internalize it. I watched Rollercon attendee's act out (huge understatement) in scenes at their host hotel and were not messed with as far as I could witness. There were far fewer of them, but they were far more crazy than the lion's share of DC attendees. In fairness, if they had the number of attendees that DC had, they'd likely destroy their hotel.

    Hope this isnt coming across as being hugely negative about the con or to appear to be unbalanced. No disrespect intended to the DC people who made this work out. It's an epic challenge.

    Leave a comment:


  • evel aka matt
    replied
    Re: Post DEFCON 17: thoughts, ideas, suggestions -- make Defcon 18 better!

    I think that the Riv is a relatively neat venue, but I do feel that we've outgrown it. Even if nothing else, the hallways alone are a deathtrap waiting to happen. I heard all the piles of thanks heaped upon Riv staff at closing ceremonies, but the few interactions I witnessed - such as 5 security guards swarming a guy and then swarming away in 3 minutes (ie it couldnt have been that big of a deal), they're still no saints. And I'm sure that there are a lot of concessions made for us, but goddamnit, there should be. We're a big con, and not only that, we're one that, from what I can see, spends more money at the venue than a lot of other groups. The Riviera, especially considering their situation, should be on their hands and knees thanking us, as far as I'm concerned.

    Anyway, re: price jump...I remember when we hit $100. I wasn't all too happy. But what's it at now, $120? I don't think we even need to jump to $200. I'd be willing to bet going to, say, $160/head would net us a lot of money to play with, and not run anyone away from buying a badge. Frankly, even though I feel like I should already get it at $120, I'd be willing to pay extra to not have to fight as much to see the talks I want, etc. And how about pre-registration? Is there a reason why this is impossible? Sounds like a good idea...Jeff can get a better idea of what attendance will be like, have some early money on hand to pay for things like having badges made, and the lines to buy badges can be reduced drastically. (PS, how come I can pretty much get a badge every year, but never a lanyard...especially the "real" one?!)

    All that being said, I like Defcon. I'll continue to go. No matter how good it is, I'll continue to bitch...feel free to ignore me. :)

    Leave a comment:


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

    This year was my first visit to DEFCON so I can't really compare it to previous years but I do have some things to say.

    Firstly, as a speaker I felt very well looked after and the goon (sorry with the pre talk nerves I missed your name!) who looked after me was superb. He, and others, actually made me feel welcomed as a speaker and that my time and effort was very appreciated - other conferences I've spoken at definitely do not do this as well as DEFCON.

    Secondly I would have to agree with the points on crowding. Saturday didn't seem too bad but Friday must have been verging on the dangerous in some of the hallways. A larger venue is probably needed in my opinion.

    Last point from me is that overall I thought it was very well run. I enjoyed the feeling of it being a "do whatever you want" conference. I don't mean "do whatever you want" in terms of fighting, stealing etc - I mean that there was so many different choices of things to do it allows people the freedom of choice to build their own personal conference agendas.

    I have been to many conferences where there isn't much to do and you are expected to attend a talk at all times on one track or another.

    Leave a comment:

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