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  • Ask a Security Goon

    With the move to the gigantic convention space at the Rio the Security Goons have been very active trying to plan out where lines will go, where choke points will be, what tools we need to bring to help things run smoothly, that sort of thing.

    We don't really have a "public" forum to discuss things with attendees though, maybe we don't communicate everything to everyone.

    Thus, please feel free to ask any questions for SECURITY goons here, we'll try to answer them promptly. The goal is to take care of any problems now, before con, rather than trying to deal with it friday morning when there's 2000 people in the reg line, and another 6000 people trying to get into talks.

    Kallahar
    44
    Yes
    38.64%
    17
    Definitly yes!
    61.36%
    27

    The poll is expired.

    --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

  • #2
    Re: Ask a Security Goon

    Can you list 3 ways in which to enhance your "interactions" with a Security Goon?
    Aut disce aut discede

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    • #3
      Re: Ask a Security Goon

      In years past "red shirts" have been notoriously ill informed about anything, yet they are the most recognized DEF CON staffers. What is being done to insure they are getting information like "Where is the contest area?" "Where is Track x?"?

      They cannot know EVERYTHING, I get that, but can they at min know the layout they are responsible for securing? Hell, I would settle for only knowing the answer to "Where is the Information Booth?"

      Most common Security Goon response to information inquiry: "It is in your program"
      "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

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      • #4
        Re: Ask a Security Goon

        Ah, yes, I see the confusion. Security goons intentionally don't give good directions, because then everyone would ask us where everything is :) My favorite response to "where's track 4" is to point across the hall and say "under the track 4 sign". What I'd like to see is more signage, especially this year because the entrances to the various talk rooms will not be all in the same hallway.

        I'll put out a note that every goon should be able to tell anyone how to get to the info booth though, they're a great resource for "what's going on and how do I get there?".

        Kallahar
        --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

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        • #5
          Re: Ask a Security Goon

          hackajar, thats a pretty good 'question.'

          The simple answer is that we get to the con at the same time everybody else does. Most of those questions are coming up on the first day.

          con opens at 9am, we're there at 8:30 (don't forget, we're in vegas to have a good time too, up at 8am to boot). We don't often have the ability to get familiar with the layout right away, we try though.

          That said, we've been working hard to insert ourselves earlier into the planning process so that we can a) have access to the layout before we get there and b) help to prevent some of the problems security goons get a unique perspective of.

          Frequently we don't have even have programs to point at, between the urgency of getting out on the floor and helping get people organized and saving programs for the attendees when they're in short supply, we're often left ill informed.

          Thanks for the heads up, we'll work on this.

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          • #6
            Re: Ask a Security Goon

            From the security goons perspectives, what are the biggest problems/issue you face that are do to lack of knowledge/common sense on the part of the attendees? If the security goons could tell the attendees a few things that would make their job and the attendees lives simpler, what would it/they 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.

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            • #7
              Re: Ask a Security Goon

              Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
              From the security goons perspectives, what are the biggest problems/issue you face that are do to lack of knowledge/common sense on the part of the attendees? If the security goons could tell the attendees a few things that would make their job and the attendees lives simpler, what would it/they be?
              1) have patience. if you're not getting into a talk, it's not because we don't want you to get in. we do. we're trying to make things as fair and accessible for everybody as we can.

              2) we're volunteers, we do this because we enjoy being a part of the convention. Bear with us if we don't live up to ninja expectations all the time, we really do have your best interests at heart

              3) if goons are trying to wrangle you into a line or out of the way, PLEASE, respond quickly and without attitude. We're doing this so that we can make everything move more efficiently. It's HARD convincing 2000 anti establishment types to get in a line, please don't make it worse.


              I'd also like to add the answer to a question that I hear a lot. "how do I become a goon?" I'm going to answer this from a security goon perspective. We like to give cheeky answers to this but in all reality it's pretty simple and 90% of the security goons, including myself, became one just like this...

              Get to know us. Hang around (but get lost if we tell you that you're hurting more than helping). Offer to help. Almost everybody who started being a security goon started because we needed help, person X was standing near by, we'd gotten to know him/her and we said, "hey! person X! Can you stand here and make sure that people don't exit through this entrance, it backs things up!"

              They do a good job and bam, we remember them and invite them back. Some people have done this for several years before being invited in, it's not so much that we're trying to be exclusive as it is that most of us don't want to stop doing it. Many of the security goons at work this year have been there for 5, 10 or even more years. There just aren't a whole lot of spots available. I can tell you this though, we appreciate help and cooperation.

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              • #8
                Re: Ask a Security Goon

                Another goon brought up a good point..

                Security goons are frequently an abstraction layer between attendees, hotel security and the police.. Many a vomiting attendee can thank a goon for not being arrested for public intoxication, many can thank a goon for not being banned for life from a vegas property.

                We understand fun, often 'they' don't. We try to steer both attendees and 'them' away from permanent record kinds of trouble.

                So, maybe add this to the list of things that we'd like to tell attendees, we stay sober so you don't have to!

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                • #9
                  Re: Ask a Security Goon

                  Originally posted by flea View Post
                  ...we stay sober so you don't have to!
                  Is that the slogan on your shirt this year?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ask a Security Goon

                    Originally posted by hackajar View Post
                    In years past "red shirts" have been notoriously ill informed about anything, yet they are the most recognized DEF CON staffers. What is being done to insure they are getting information like "Where is the contest area?" "Where is Track x?"?

                    They cannot know EVERYTHING, I get that, but can they at min know the layout they are responsible for securing? Hell, I would settle for only knowing the answer to "Where is the Information Booth?"

                    Most common Security Goon response to information inquiry: "It is in your program"
                    Bottom line: We're not information Goons, we're security Goons. Half the time I don't know where a track is because I don't need to know and therefore don't generally care to know. The reason we say "It is in your program" is because it IS, in fact, in your program AND there is an information booth for exactly those kinds of questions.

                    I'm with Kallahar though in that there needs to be more signage. Period. This has always been a problem at Defcon, it's always been something we've complained about, and it will probably continue to be a problem. That said: Get a program. Read it. Know where the information booth is to learn about changes to the program.

                    Goon tip: There are thousands of other attendees out there. If you don't have a program, someone 5 feet away from you does. Make a friend.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ask a Security Goon

                      Originally posted by flea View Post
                      I'd also like to add the answer to a question that I hear a lot. "how do I become a goon?" I'm going to answer this from a security goon perspective. We like to give cheeky answers to this but in all reality it's pretty simple and 90% of the security goons, including myself, became one just like this...
                      Plus, if you have to ask "How do I become a Goon?", you probably won't become one :)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ask a Security Goon

                        Originally posted by hackajar View Post
                        In years past "red shirts" have been notoriously ill informed about anything, yet they are the most recognized DEF CON staffers. What is being done to insure they are getting information like "Where is the contest area?" "Where is Track x?"?

                        They cannot know EVERYTHING, I get that, but can they at min know the layout they are responsible for securing? Hell, I would settle for only knowing the answer to "Where is the Information Booth?"

                        Most common Security Goon response to information inquiry: "It is in your program"
                        As others have said, we're lucky to know where the rooms are. We don't know what talk is going on in what room. We don't get schedule updates. My recommendation: first thing, before talk 1, locate the information booth. They'll know that Dan Kaminsky's talk has moved to track 3. We'll get an update that we need more crowd control at track 3, without ever knowing who's talking.

                        Also, if we are doing anything other than standing still or meandering, it means we're headed somewhere. Usually for crowd control. It's generally not the time to ask us questions (see Info booth, above), nor follow. Otherwise, chat us up, buy us a beer.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ask a Security Goon

                          Thanks for all the feed back! I guess my biais is founding in the fact that I goon ONLY the contest area, and thus, I have a really solid lead on "oCTF is over there", "Guitar Hero starts at 5 over here".

                          What REALLY bothers me is seeing goons respond to people I consider "guests". It is almost like "I never fully gave my parents enough smart ass remarks growing up, so I have to make up for it with every attendee that approches me" is the mind set. Yes, not ALL Security Goons are that way, but common, a little mutual respect goes a long way!

                          NOTE: try not to take my thoughts too seriously, I am just taking advantage of an open and honest dialogue oppertunity
                          "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ask a Security Goon

                            btw, pyr0 said he'd try to keep this up to date: http://www.pyr0.net/Defcon/
                            cows like candy

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ask a Security Goon

                              Originally posted by AlxRogan View Post
                              Can you list 3 ways in which to enhance your "interactions" with a Security Goon?
                              • Beer
                              • Liquor
                              • Boobs

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