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How would you make Defcon 21 better?

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  • #31
    Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

    Originally posted by Gigs View Post
    The expanded Hhv was amazing. More people than ever learning to solder, mostly thanks to lost's badge design.

    I did miss having an Hhv contest though. I'm totally up for being an organizer for that for 21. I have a lot of contacts and might be able to get some kickass hardware donations from sponsors.

    Smitty tweeted a great contest idea: electronic rube Goldberg machines.

    So if bombnav and a are down for it this is something I'd want to make happen.

    Gigs you gave great talks btw so thanks to you. People were asking for a encore of your soldering 101. Send me a private Message as we were just talking about this. Love the idea.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

      Some of the Panel discussions that I went to had a ton of panelists with exceptionally interesting and useful (for questions) backgrounds. A prime example of this was the Meet the Fed: Policy panel with 10 panelists. However, by the time the copious introductions were done, there was little time for actual questions. I was at one Panel where a friend of mine was about fifth in line when the first question was asked and they ran out of time before they got to him. Perhaps fewer panelists or much, much shorter intros (even 2 minutes is too long if you have 10 of them, especially if their background info is also in the program) would help.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

        Originally posted by Quiet View Post
        Since the Riv days, DefCon Security Goons would let RollerCon attendees pass through the badge check points to get to the onsite DefCon parties.
        I didn't have a problem getting in with my RC pass. Someone from DC left a stack of invites on our reg desk for us to come over. I invited some DC guys to our B&B Ball but I admit if we had had any sizable percentage of DC people show up we would have run out of space. Next year - lets organize the mixing a bit better! Let me know if I can help.

        -Andrea (O.M.Ref.G.)

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

          This is my 6th con that I have attended, starting back with DC13 at Alexis Park, only missed DC19.

          A few things that I noticed that could be addressed: These ARE NOT COMPLAINTS.

          Just constructive criticism. Take them for what you feel they are worth and with some potential solutions. When I started the con was only $80 to go... now with it being $200, I have a little higher expectations.


          1. Lockpick Village - NO Seat Saving. While I understand if you gotta pee, that's fine. Say like a 5-10 minute policy. But I watched a number of seats being saved for folks that either did not show up, or left and never returned, and was still being saved after 30 minutes.

          2. Wireless Access - Not enough IP's available, jammers being used. Someone occasionally sending a jamming signal may be funny to knock everyone off and all... but to send out a continuous signal just to jam to be a A$$, we don't need this. Some folks (like myself) are there to actually learn. It made doing the contests onsite next to impossible. The issue was not just isolated to one machine, 2 laptop and 2 androids had the issues. Even wi-fi tethering to our phones was being jammed. As well as on the secured and unsecured networks. Several times we just gave up and went back to our hotel room in Bally's to see what we could get done. I don't think it would be hard to find the offending con-goer doing the constant jamming, and then once found... confiscate their equipment doing the jamming, they can have it back at the end of the con.

          3. Over sold - As usual the con was over sold and overcrowded again. Solution: Sell X number of badges should be sold (I think it was 16,500 I read this year), after they are gone, that's it. No more. If you don't show up in time to get a badge, tough better luck next year... its Vegas.. take a gamble.

          4. Disrespectful goons: While I understand that the goons have to deal with a lot of D1cks, and drunks... they choose to be a goon after all. If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. Personally I did nothing wrong, and was minding my own business in line, and here comes a goon yelling and screaming for no apparent reason other than he saw a camera from someone. Instead of trying to find who it was, he decides to come after the whole group, and I looked at him like WTF are you talking about dude?

          5. Overfilled rooms. Figure out a way to identify the capacity of a room, and if there is a large line, estimate the number of folks in the line that can fit, and then break off the line from that point so those waiting know they may or may not get in the room, so they can make a choice to stay and take the gamble, or go find another track to see.

          6. Stagger the release of the tracks so the halls are not so crowded. Not sure how feasible this is, but thought I would toss it out for thought.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

            I noticed several comments about how the Hardware Hacker or the lock pick villages needed to be bigger or that This section or that section needed to be re-sized.

            For me it was the lock pick village that was to small for my biased tastes. I wish that the villages were open later.
            I realize that the rooms are supported by volunteers and that all the spaces through out Defcon seemed to run at capacity so I started to think of other ways to accommodate my own interest in lock picking.

            Next year I'm going to bring another sack-o-locks with more 2-4 pin cylinders and then after the village closes I'm just going to relocate to the chill lounge. I hope I'll be able to invite some new picker friends to join me.

            I thought it was very convenient to have toools in that space with their products. I wondered if the other pick vendors complained about special treatment? If they did I would say toools earned the privilege with all the equipment and people they provided.
            I also liked the round tables, they allowed for a great deal of sharing. Although a few more tables might have been nice if they could have fit.
            ...
            HC SVNT DRACONES
            I Dream of exploring the edges
            ...

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

              I had an amazing time at Defcon 20, having been to Decon 10 it's great to see the community growing in such a positive way.

              My only suggestion would be: Better and less expensive food! I would love to see the Defcon community taking control of the food vending area. I'm sure we can come up with some good alternatives.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post

                - DefconTV: Consider getting the hotel to air recorded session repeats after regular hours so people staying at the hotel can catch sessions they had to miss that evening/night. Alternatively, allocate more channels for repeats in the evenings. Also, it would be really nice if these could be piped into the overflow hotel(s) - tall order but may be doable since the Rio & Bally's are owned by the same company (provided DC21 is at the same place).
                Second this one. 24/7 DCTV!
                The one and only.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                  Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post
                  - Consider using SurveyMonkey or some other method to better gauge session interest and better match meeting room size to projected attendance. The survey could be taken once the schedule is published online. Some fuzzy logic would be needed to extrapolate the results of survey participants into meeting room assignments. There were plenty of times when the smallest room was at max capacity standing room only while larger rooms had plenty of extra room; some where people were denied access or granted access on a "1 out, 1 in" basis.
                  Not possible, due to fire marshall needing our floor plan early and it's hard to group like content together after the fact based on one or two talks which *may* fill the room. I do the schedule and I can say, it's not as easy as you might think, there are a lot of intricacies. I do try very hard to work the rooms well with the people who may be considered whales and put them in as big a room as possible, even at times building an entire track around them. But that will ALWAYS be a def con thing, you never know truly which talk will end up exceeding expectations.



                  Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post
                  -
                  - Consider opening the line to get DC21 badges early with a skeleton crew during the afternoon/evening before the con officially starts to get some people through the line early; maybe even have someone distributing badges in the hotel check-in line the afternoon/evening before?

                  Not possible, we don't want to "leak" the badges any earlier than we already do, and we don't want to over work the already tired staff, most of which have already been in vegas a week already by the time Thursday registration rolls around. We have a DC reg line at Black Hat, and that helps. If you don't want to wait in line, stop lining up at the butt crack of dawn and waiting for hours. It moves fast once we open, hopefully not selling out will no longer be an issue.
                  Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post
                  -
                  - DefconTV: Consider getting the hotel to air recorded session repeats after regular hours so people staying at the hotel can catch sessions they had to miss that evening/night. Alternatively, allocate more channels for repeats in the evenings. Also, it would be really nice if these could be piped into the overflow hotel(s) - tall order but may be doable since the Rio & Bally's are owned by the same company (provided DC21 is at the same place).
                  idea proposed, I see Lockheed commented, but I must say, it's not easy peasy to do this either because we ( DEF CON) do not own the a/v streamed in to the rooms, since it's another company who does all the recording for us, they are the ones who we are piping the a/v in from. It's live, and those guys are also busting tail, to ask them to edit, render and format a file for us to throw up in a few hours later that day is not only more work, but would probably be a pain in the wallet.
                  Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post
                  -
                  - One really super picky item: I like Coca-cola products to mix with my Jack i.e. Diet Coke. Pepsi just doesn't have the same appeal. Is there any way to persuade the hotel to sell some? I know, probably not - but I said my piece. I can always drink beer to chase shots instead (again)... I was just thinking at $4+ per 20 oz at chill out, they should be able to stock some C-c products.

                  that's a contract issue, and is not going to change.

                  Originally posted by OzoneRanger View Post
                  -
                  These are just some thoughts for consideration .... DC20 was great fun and was really just fine & dandy - A gigantic Thank You to those responsible for planning & execution of another great event. Looking forward to DC21!
                  Thanks for the feedback :-)
                  "Haters, gonna hate"

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                    Def. Number 3. that would be great.


                    Originally posted by kallahar View Post
                    1) No wednesday reg because then security goons would have to volunteer for *another* unpaid day.
                    2) Make CTF smaller, make Track 4 bigger
                    3) Roving mariachi bands

                    Kallahar
                    +++ Dallas +++

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                      Originally posted by Dallas View Post
                      Def. Number 3. that would be great.
                      Perhaps Goon Band can do this?
                      Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                        Number 3. With a trailing rolling cooker making fajitas for us.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                          Originally posted by O.M.Ref.G. View Post
                          I didn't have a problem getting in with my RC pass. Someone from DC left a stack of invites on our reg desk for us to come over. I invited some DC guys to our B&B Ball but I admit if we had had any sizable percentage of DC people show up we would have run out of space. Next year - lets organize the mixing a bit better! Let me know if I can help.

                          -Andrea (O.M.Ref.G.)
                          O.M were you one of the ones that made it to the Hacker Pimps party? If so it was good meeting you, and I second ( or third, fourth what ever were up to) a mixed party. That has the making of awesome all over it.
                          9 dollars and 40 cents? That's an outrage! If I were you I wouldn't pay it! - Groucho Marx

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                            Originally posted by greatscott View Post
                            THIS. I will try to start a discussion on this for next year's planning.
                            Feel free to engage my team on that. For whatever odd reason, DEFCON Security has a really good relationship with the Roller Derby girls. We've been bringing them to the con for a while now and have wondered if we could get their badges on the 'allowed' list for parties. Would be cool if B&W was open to anyone with a DC or RollerCon badge.

                            I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                              Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                              Another good idea, but the counter to this has often been:
                              "Many people that would organize Badge Sales are at BlackHat and need to to train, prep and organize the areas for sales. Additionally, with money changing hands, security Goons would need to be present, and many Security Goons are the the PreDefcon party and/or BlackHat."
                              Also, please remember we're volunteers. If you think we should now start work on Wednesday, please find me at con next year with something large and awkward shaped as I would like to jam it inside of you.

                              Honestly the longest anyone had to wait this year was a few hours and those were the die-hard 'I'm *GETTING A BADGE*' people. Most folks just walked right up to the counter or had to only wait a few minutes. As we get better about delivering on badges, I expect less and less of that manic Thursday AM rush once people know that they can take their time getting a badge.

                              Having DEFCON badge pick up at BlackHat for BlackHat attendees is also a good thing.

                              I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                                Here is what I noticed with my friends at defcon 20. I am hoping you can take this and use it for next year.

                                PROBLEMS:
                                - OVERCROWDING: The only people that didn't notice were those that didn't show up. DC19 was crowded, but you could get from track to track with no major problems. This year, ALL of my friends told me the same thing over the course of 3 days: "You had to leave the track you were in about 10-20 minutes early to go get in a very long line for the next track you wanted to see and hope there was an available seat. And if you wanted to see track 4, you had to wait in line for the previous talk just to get a spot for the talk you actually wanted to see." Honestly, if I wanted to wait in line all day, I'd have gone to Disneyland. At least there the goons as ugly as goofy won't yell at everyone.

                                -CTF: I constantly checked in on CTF to see how the teams were doing. Sadly I only saw the scoreboard towards the end of each day. I appreciate the efforts to show the scores with fancy graphs and plot lines, but all I need is a running total and you could have done that with a piece of paper and pen. The CTF room ended up being a louder chillout room with no seats that played funny videos all day. Whatever they were trying to do didnt work, or didnt work well.

                                - LOCKPICK VILLAGE: Sadly was WAY too small. I didnt much like the arrangement of the seats either. There were only 3 round tables that sat about 10 people each. The room had a lot more space available to fit more people. I had already been introduced to lockpicking so I was using that time to introduce a friend because I knew they would have tools on the table to use before advising my friend to just go out and buy a set. We couldnt get a seat at any of the picking tables so we tried back multiple times, but had no better luck.

                                - GOONS: There were certainly some professional and uber nice goons this year as there are every year. There were also some very unfriendly goons, some total fucking dickhead goons, and even one or two goons that could easily be called grandpa goon that were likely around for DC01 if not the birth of Christ. There was simply a lack of uniform enforcement. We know goons have the black shirt and (this year) the red badges. Some goons felt they only had to wear the shirt, no badge...which makes me suspect I may be confirming the previous comment regarding the shirts on page 1 of this thread. Maybe they were off duty, but they sure didnt act like it.

                                The security goons (red shirts) were a lot more sarcastic and mean this year. I know this is defcon and we tend to get away with a lot of curse words and other odd behavior, but unless these clowns are ON STAGE, they should be acting at a minimum level of "professional" regardless of their volunteer status. The people put in charge of keeping order and safety in line do not need to be making constant cracks and jokes at others' personal expense. We all have shitty jobs (at least at some point in our lives), but you are the asshole that volunteered for it, so STFU.

                                - WIRELESS: To get on the secure wireless network, you have to download the certificate from the defcon website. To do that, you have to either use the insecure network or your mobile phone. Either way, it's asking too much. Given the universal motto of the convention is "turn everything off, even disable it in the BIOS", asking us to go insecure doesn't seem fair. Then, to install the cert, the instructions advised to use the windows cert wizard. Well, I sure as hell dont want to use windows in general let alone at Defcon of all places. So once again, I had to jump on the insecure network just to find decent instructions on installing the certificate to my linux OS. And once that was all said and done, I couldnt even get an IP address, and if I did, the signal was lost after 1 minute. I suspect somoene was doing something like sending deauth requests, but whatever. I tried tethering to my phone, but transfer speed was about 100kB/minute (while outside of the Rio was 18kbs)...possibly a sign of bad kiddies doing bad things and just another reason not to use my phone.


                                SUGGESTIONS -

                                OVERCROWDING: While I WISH you could limit the number of badges each year, I know from a capitalistic perspective, that will never happen. But not everyone that is there actually wants to be there and deal with the headaches. I would pay the same $ if I could just tune into the talks live via my computer while sitting comfortably at home, starbucks, or at the buffet down the hall. I know broadcasting would take away from DVD sales, but in return you could actually GAIN back many of the people that have gave up returning to defcon long ago. Plus, you would clear out more room for all the people that actually do want to be there. And even more so, it would make attending cheaper for those that cant afford a hotel, time off work, or have other financial or personal obligations (such as the lady that brought her infant child, stroller, and mother in-law). I would look into live broadcasting and selling virtual seats. But in that, make sure it's the same broadcast you would get if you were to buy the DVDs (ie. speaker AND slides). A friend informed me the live broadcast to the Rio hotel rooms was speaker only which really takes away from the talks, so that I would not pay for.

                                CTF: some folks didnt speak English. perfectly understandable, but maybe the team banners could be color-coded so the rest of us know who speaks English and who doesn't. on that note, i found it hard to ask teams questions because they were all very busy and very paranoid i was a spy. maybe each team should have a designated PR rep to handle the public and even wear an obvious colored shirt or something to let us know he/she's the guy to poke for info. the scoreboard was working fine last year so whatever they tried this year did not work nearly as well. if you cant broadcast the scores in the CTF room, maybe post them hourly on the DC website or something.

                                - LOCKPICK VILLAGE: The TOOOL guys at the merch desk said to get a seat and the folks in the TOOOL shirts would be there to answer questions. It was hard enough to do that because the TOOOL shirts were not all the same color and one table didnt even have a TOOOL shirt. I would like to see a donations box to pay for replacement tools that go missing during these events. I planned on making such a donation, but changed my mind after arrival. I would have preferred a few long tables to increase the # of seats and allow the TOOOL crew to walk between ends to assist as needed. the style this year was more of a round-about campfire situation where everyone was supposed to listen to Chief Runs with Beer for a friendly how-to session, but instead everyone just tuned it out and did their own thing. It would have made more efficient use of space to let people practice picking locks while they waited in the mile-long line for track 4 which just so happened to be right outside the door.

                                - WIRELESS: Maybe let us register for wireless ahead of time. I didnt see that offered in the forums so I apologize if I missed it. How bout linux cert instructions (were there Apple OS instructions as well...I can't remember). Maybe get a real GOON to go around with a signal scanner to find people that are killing wireless sessions and give them their own deauth. It felt like there weren't enough IP addresses, but I have no way to confirm that, so all I can ask is you look into that just in case. I do know that I was trying to do the forensics contest and that REQUIRED the internet so I was very frustrated by that whole situation.

                                thats all I got for the con. hope it helps someone.

                                ps....for the wasted blonde red shirt goon playing dubstep in the hallway on sunday using nothing but pandora.... were you TRYING to be like paris hilton or just seeing how many beers it took before you could no longer use an apple computer? cuz until I saw that... I actually thought you were cute.

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