I was at a certain other security conference earlier in the week and stayed at the Bellagio, so my impressions of the hotel may be a little colored by that. There was a couple of snafu's early on that management took care of pretty rapidly and at least one of which was my own doing. I had made my reservation start on Wednesday for some reason (minor mental lapse I suppose), but didn't arrive at the venue until Thursday so my reservation was cancelled by the hotel because I was a no show. After some gentle persuasion the lovely young lady at the counter was able to retrieve my room from /dev/null and welcomed me to the hotel. I didn't notice it at the time but my room cost had *not* had the group rate discount applied to it. When I noticed the next day that the rooms were 369 for Friday and 399 for Saturday I went back and spoke with the front desk again. The young woman apologetically informed me that she would be unable to extend the group rate to me since my reservation had occurred after the designated dates it was valid for. I thanked her and asked for a manager, again with some gentle persuasion I was able to get the 112 dollar a night rate I had expected.

The only other negative experience I had was when I attended Moxie's talk on SSL and had planned to stick around for Dan's talk on TCP/IP Black OPs. Moxie's talk was excellent I especially liked the pie in the face story. The idea of a "converged" authenticity system is fairly appealing to me and I plan on looking more into it in the near future. However, after that talk like in so many years prior, Priest came up to the stage (how is the ankle btw) and announced the regrettably, that the theater would need to be cleared prior to the next talk. Sadface.jpg.

Such is life though, and I expect that the video archives (once live) will let me see what Dan was talking about this year. I took it in stride and went back to the contest area to watch tamper evident for a bit. On a side note I have to say that the Beard competition was a lot of fun to watch, and even inspired me to try and compete next year. However my genetics are such that the generation of a full beard would be nearly impossible, perhaps a well manicured partial beard and some very well placed bribes would help secure me a victory. Although the competition looked very stiff.

The hotel itself obviously didn't compare to the Bellagio, but I didn't really expect it to have the marble appointments and luxurious surroundings I had become accustomed to in the early portion of my trip. It is off the strip and not a newer casino after all. I do find myself wondering what the typical reaction is of a new visitor who is faced with the prospect of paying nearly 400 dollars a night when they first see what their fare has purchased them.

Overall, the con was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it made me realize how much I missed it last year (grumble grumble work grumble). I'm really looking forward to seeing what's in store for the 20th birthday of DefCon. I think the Rio is an excellent venue for it and it seemed to handle the crowds well, without the expected heat and smell and elbow to elbow traffic jams I had experienced in the past.

There were some great ideas kicked around about what to do to make next year even better and I can't wait to see what happens next.

ps-did anyone else think the wall of sheep was exceptionally short this year?