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  • #46
    Re: What's the point of defcon?

    Originally posted by madnos View Post
    I have been attending defcon for 6 years now and I love each year more and more. I am not so much a social butterfly in the sense that I know everyone, but I enjoy meeting new people and learning.

    The ninja party has been something that I have always wanted to attend. It always seems like I am too late for a badge when it comes to this party. I don't feel like I can just go up to a goon and ask if I can get a badge. I know I always feel like the fail when I try to get a badge and I am told there are no badges left, only to find out more somehow show up.

    I know many of the private parties are for those who have many friends in the community or are considered l33t by the masses. However, for those of us that do not have the friends, events, research papers, new exploits etc... how do we get an invit? I have read many posts about getting a badge, but it seems very hit or miss.

    I dont know if the ninja crew ever thought about this, but what about setting up an event to compete for a badge to get into the party? I know I have read/heard about events at Defcon that included party badges, but I don't know if this happens on a regular basis.

    So, my main question is what does someone need to do to get an invit to the ninja party?

    Next, registration works great. The line moved very fast for me and besides not having the badges this year, there was very few problems. Paypal only adds pain to the mix and this process works well at the moment. No need to fix this since it is not broken and cash is generally not traceable. ;)

    Thanks

    xs
    This is one of my biggest problems with DEFCON at the Riv. it is just too tough for people to meet folks because there is really no central hang out spot like the pools at the AP. At the AP even if you didn't know anyone you could show up at the pool with a 6 pack (or many 6 packs) and just hang out and talk/make new friends. This is usually the way people get invited to parties. The fact of the matter is, to ge invited to the invite only parties, you pretty much have to know the right person/people. I don't begrudge the party organizers for this. In the end they are responsible for what happens at their party and if they don't know you, they don't know if they can trust you and they aren't likely to invite you.

    I have really tried to get something less formal going for a couple of years now in either the outside hangout area (now defunct) or the contest area where people can just show up and hang out and drink and have fun but it seems like either I have done a very poor job of getting the word out about this (likely) or people just aren't interested unless it's a more formally organized event.
    perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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    • #47
      Re: What's the point of defcon?

      I wish the chill out area was a quieter place to go and talk.

      Kinda hard to have a discussion with other people over +80dBA music that you don't really like.

      Same goes for when I was next to the pool (while it was open). Seriously? Steel Drums? At a hacking convention?

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      • #48
        Re: What's the point of defcon?

        Originally posted by DCFluX View Post
        I wish the chill out area was a quieter place to go and talk.

        Kinda hard to have a discussion with other people over +80dBA music that you don't really like.
        Seconded. The chill out area, for me, has become little more than a place for me to refill my water bottle.

        Originally posted by DCFluX View Post
        Same goes for when I was next to the pool (while it was open). Seriously? Steel Drums? At a hacking convention?
        Oh Splash Bar, how we miss thee.
        "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

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        • #49
          Re: What's the point of defcon?

          I assume the hotel won't let us give away alcohol in the contest area... That's the easiest way to get people to show up :)

          We did bring the mobile club to the contest area, but the lights were too bright and the room was too big for us. Plus all the people there playing WoW or doing homework didn't appreciate us.

          The party by the pool worked out pretty well, other than being hot. Maybe we need to rent out all dozen of those rooms and have a running party on the grass?
          --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

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          • #50
            Re: What's the point of defcon?

            If by some manner, DEFCON attendees were to get all 12 rooms, and consent to a running party out on the grass, what will be the Riv's reaction? As unpredictable as they are, I'd see it playing out with either being shut down immediately due to noise audible from the rooms above (even if there are no complaints), or them going for their "party fee" from each of the 12 rooms. Perhaps a scenario or 2 could be run past their events people?
            "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

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            • #51
              Re: What's the point of defcon?

              Originally posted by madnos View Post
              I have been attending defcon for 6 years now and I love each year more and more. I am not so much a social butterfly in the sense that I know everyone, but I enjoy meeting new people and learning.

              The ninja party has been something that I have always wanted to attend. It always seems like I am too late for a badge when it comes to this party. I don't feel like I can just go up to a goon and ask if I can get a badge. I know I always feel like the fail when I try to get a badge and I am told there are no badges left, only to find out more somehow show up.

              I know many of the private parties are for those who have many friends in the community or are considered l33t by the masses. However, for those of us that do not have the friends, events, research papers, new exploits etc... how do we get an invit? I have read many posts about getting a badge, but it seems very hit or miss.
              I'm one of the organizers of the Ninja Party, and this is something we really, really struggle with.

              Firstly, thanks for being interested in what we're doing. I'm glad you'd like to come, we really want new people to get involved, quite contrary to how it looks on the surface.

              The invitation system is an even split of keeping the wrong people out (actual troublemakers, people who can't handle their booze, etc) and getting the right people in (smart people).

              So, getting involved is really no different than getting involved in DEFCON. Sure you can show up to DEFCON and walk around, but if you really want to be a part of it, you need to socialize and make yourself known to the group. It's something we all learned in the schoolyard - if you're a new kid in school, you have to at least introduce yourself to people and play with the other kids so they get to know who you are. Really works the same way for the parties and pretty much everything else in life. :)

              The catch here is that this system of relying largely on social principles isn't perfect, and the hacker community is growing so quickly that there are tons of very cool people that we'd love to have that are being left out simply due to the size and speed of the expansion. We are working on improving how badges are handed out every year, and honestly this was the best year yet. We'll continue to try and improve moving forward.

              So as far as "how to get a badge", just be yourself and contribute to the community, and make some friends. Talk to a Ninja. Hell talk to anyone for that matter, just talk to people. Tell someone what you're up to.

              But far more important than the Ninja Party is actually being a part of the community. The Ninja Party exists for a few hours, the community exists all the time. You'll get much more from being a part of the community than you will from one of our silly parties.

              Originally posted by madnos View Post
              I dont know if the ninja crew ever thought about this, but what about setting up an event to compete for a badge to get into the party? I know I have read/heard about events at Defcon that included party badges, but I don't know if this happens on a regular basis.
              We do give a non-trivial amount badges out to some of the contest organizers to give out to people who are participating in the contests. We also dropped a shitload of badges on the hardware hacking village this year and will do that again next year.

              I'm definitely going to ramp up how many badges are given to contest organizers next year to help encourage participation in all contests. It also brings more cool people who are participating in the community into the event, which is what we're after.

              Originally posted by madnos View Post
              So, my main question is what does someone need to do to get an invit to the ninja party?
              The abstract answer is "get involved with DEFCON and the community."

              The less abstract answer that you're probably looking for is to get someone to vouch for you. If you've been at DEFCON 6 years and you've socialized, you definitely know someone who can bring you along.

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              • #52
                Re: What's the point of defcon?

                Originally posted by barkode View Post
                ... So, getting involved is really no different than getting involved in DEFCON. Sure you can show up to DEFCON and walk around, but if you really want to be a part of it, you need to socialize and make yourself known to the group.
                I agree with this whole-heartedly. I first went to Defcon back during Defcon 5. I had a great time, but I didn't know anyone. Call it bad luck, or call it circumstance, the few times I actually talked to people at Defcon, I found them to be posers, loonies (claiming they could do things they couldn't) or uninteresting people that didn't have any skills.

                Each year after that, I continued to try a few times to get to meet and know people, but was always disappointed. The few people worth talking to were often surrounded by people waiting to talk to them after their presentation, or drunk and not quite coherent enough to have an in-depth discussion on any kind of technology beyond the fascinating engineering of bottle-openers. ;-)

                Around Defcon 9 or 10, I decided to attend a local DCG, which was really just a 2600 meeting with DC people. From there, I was able to speak with people that provided some insight to how socialization at Defcon tended to work (up until then.) Defcon was a place for people that already knew each other online or in-person in their region to meet up in-person in Las Vegas. This made sense, and so I attended a few DCG/2600 in the 5 or 6 months leading up to Defcon. I did get to know a few people, but it was nearly impossible to find them at Defcon once it started.

                The next plan I had, was to join the forums, and see if I could find any talented or skilled people on the forums that would be at Defcon. I actually read every single available thread and post on the Defcon forums. In doing this, I gained insight to what people's online personalities were like, and I understood the culture of the forums. I actually stopped using the forums because the value of the posts and content provided by the talented and well informed users was being squelched by asshatery, and mods being forced to use a banhammer on a nearly daily basis.

                A few months before Defcon 11 or 12, I decided to join the forums again. This time, I was going to try to find people with similar skills by demonstrating skills and answering questions or discussing things that I was interested in learning more about. By demonstrating what I wanted, I hoped to lead my way to find people like me. This was a great success. LoST(boy), Voltage Spike, Chris, Skroo, and many more people showed they too could discuss technical issues, and even argue without resorting to the kind of content I found in /dev/null posts. 8 Months later, I became a Moderator on the forums, and 3 months after that, I became an Admin, eventually becoming the primary Admin.

                It is from this point of view that I can say the formula that worked for me in getting to meet many great Defcon people has been contribution of my time and helping to support Defcon. By, "putting myself out there," and working to improve what we had At Defcon, I went from an unknown outsider to someone that isn't immediately dismissed.

                This is nothing new. As much is suggested in the Unofficial Defcon FAQ with contributions from many, all assembled by HighWiz. Because of this, I suggest a similar path to anyone else looking to have a great time at Defcon:

                Join a DCG. Start a contest. Join a contest. Compete in a contest. Submit a paper for a presentation during the CFP. Volunteer. Do everything you can do to contribute to Defcon, and by doing so, you will meet more people, and they will get to know you as you get to know them.

                Also, you will find it much easier to get to know people that are not established with running contests, or acting as goons, because they probably won't be nearly as busy. Supporting a brand new contest puts you in with the founders of a contest, and as it grows, the numbers of people you meet competing in the contest and running the contest increases. Make sure it is a contest/event that you are passionate about and will be dedicated to supporting as others will likely pick up on traits found in vanity whores or people looking to support something only because they selfishly perceive a personal reward.

                This does not mean you can't become friends with well-established people, only that it will be more difficult to get their time and attention.

                So as far as "how to get a badge", just be yourself and contribute to the community, and make some friends. Talk to a Ninja. Hell talk to anyone for that matter, just talk to people. Tell someone what you're up to.

                But far more important than the Ninja Party is actually being a part of the community. The Ninja Party exists for a few hours, the community exists all the time. You'll get much more from being a part of the community than you will from one of our silly parties.
                Yes!

                The abstract answer is "get involved with DEFCON and the community."
                Yes!

                The less abstract answer that you're probably looking for is to get someone to vouch for you. If you've been at DEFCON 6 years and you've socialized, you definitely know someone who can bring you along.
                Take an example with Cough. I believe he is one of the few people that solved the puzzle and cipher text and puzzle on the badge even though he didn't even have one. He went to the Ninja party and spoke with organizers about the solution and getting his own badge, and they just told him they had no more badges, but he could go back to the Riv and bring back as many people as he wanted! How is that? There is an implication that someone skilled enough to solve such a puzzle would likely know other people and "vouch" for them to get them into the party even without a badge. :-)

                Skills are valued, and demonstration of skills can help add name recognition. (Also demonstrated with "Speaker Badges.") If more people recognize YOU, then the difficulty for meeting people is smaller, as people will seek you out. :-D
                Last edited by TheCotMan; September 27, 2009, 02:06.

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                • #53
                  Re: What's the point of defcon?

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  send hookers (redheads preferred) to a room of our designation at a specific time and i will personally see to it that you get a badge. heh... one badge per call girl.
                  So I take it there are separate badges for this ninja party?

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                  • #54
                    Re: What's the point of defcon?

                    Networking. Its all about networking. Personal networking, computer networking, intellectual networking. It all comes down to networking.
                    --When in doubt, divide by zero.

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                    • #55
                      Re: What's the point of defcon?

                      Originally posted by sintax_error View Post
                      If by some manner, DEFCON attendees were to get all 12 rooms, and consent to a running party out on the grass, what will be the Riv's reaction? As unpredictable as they are, I'd see it playing out with either being shut down immediately due to noise audible from the rooms above (even if there are no complaints), or them going for their "party fee" from each of the 12 rooms. Perhaps a scenario or 2 could be run past their events people?
                      We can block and reserve all 12 room, I just have to do it in advance and then make sure people (attendees) take them over from me. I'm all for it.
                      PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

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                      • #56
                        Re: What's the point of defcon?

                        I would be very interested in seeing this happen and would be one of the first in line to take one of the rooms off your hands, DT.
                        "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

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