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  • #91
    Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

    People don't often see it, but a lot of what we do is intercept problems before the hotel and/or police get involved. Helping an intoxicated person calm down and get back to their room or buddies who will take care of them is one of those tasks.

    Arclight

    Originally posted by b0n3z View Post
    Try to find a redshirt goon. If you can't leave them for fear that they may injure themselves, send someone else to find one of us. We'll ensure they remain alive and MOSTLY in one piece . Myself and another goon actually had to escort someone back to their room due to such an incident so it isn't uncommon to us.

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    • #92
      Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

      Originally posted by Chris View Post
      It hasn't been something that has happened a lot in the past, but I think that could be on us. I think this is a good idea and will discuss the viability of having a "Presentation Discussion" sub-forum created. We'll have to get the word out through the main DEF CON site if we do it so that people know there is a place they can discuss the talks. Let us look into it and see if this isn't something we can do.

      Thanks for the suggestion.
      You mean like this? https://forum.defcon.org/forumdisplay.php?f=124
      "Haters, gonna hate"

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

        i fully acknowledge that this may be a very unpopular suggestion... but my feelings are that DEFCON should have fewer talks. And i mean like WAY FEWER TALKS contained in FEWER TRACKS.

        I'd love to see DEFCON with two tracks. Each track would have talks start at 10:00 and end at 18:00 or 19:00 at the latest.

        That makes life a lot harder on the selection committee, but another one of the dreams i wish for would be vetting talks not simply based on submitted content but also on speakers' presenting ability

        Have you got awesome new research but can't put words together or show even the slightest bit of stage presence? Good for you, i'm proud of your work... go publish it in a blog post or some shit.

        The best speakers are the ones that command a room. Jason Scott, Johnny Long, Chris Nickerson, Josh Marpet, Joe McCray, Major Malfunction... even when they are not presenting the most cutting-edge brand new research everyone still loves their talks. They are just a few examples. Honestly, i would love it if the speaker submission process included submitting a link to a video of yourself presenting... and if you say "uhm" more than 5 times in the video then you get a "Thanks for submitting, please try again next year" response.

        FEWER talks means BIGGER talk rooms which, in turn, might hopefully lead to SHORTER lines (because not everyone would want to sit in these presentations... many folk would go do OTHER things at DEFCON, hopefully)


        Also, while it's amazing that we've gotten some really big names for "keynote" type talks in the past, i'd love it if we were proud of that bit of history and then let the whole "invited speaker" notion die off.

        But i'm far less passionate about that than i am about the fewer talks, two tracks. Also... 60 minute time slots for all speakers would be nice. You've got amazing new work that will change the world and you want 2 or 3 hours to present it? That's great, and i'm happy for you... now learn to fucking edit yourself so that you can shoehorn it down into a 60 minute presentation that shows us the most important parts and then leaves us wanting to learn more from you in the Q&A room or in a Village or something elsewhere.

        If the goddamn President can fit the entire State of the Union into a single hour, you can figure out how to tell the story of your new exploit and show the code and give a demo in under 50 minutes. If you can't fit it into an hour then you're not a very good speaker and under the above-mentioned rules you shouldn't be presenting at DEFCON.

        (And yes, i recognize that my very first DEFCON presentation was in excess of two hours... but that was partly due to people cancelling and me just being told to "keep going" on stage on the fly. hah)
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #94
          Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
          I'd love to see DEFCON with two tracks. Each track would have talks start at 10:00 and end at 18:00 or 19:00 at the latest.

          I don't hate this idea. But I think it should be three. But one of the tracks should be (like it was up through DC9 (i think)) a Newbie track. I think a case can be made that we are missing the boat on TEACHING new people things. Not the latest and greatest, but the things that "everybody knows" except they don't.

          I'd support a three track DC with two "regular" or even tiered tracks and one Newbie track. BTW, I think the newbie track would be perfect for those speakers you mentioned that command a room. Folks that are genuinely good speakers and would be interesting even though they aren't presenting the latest and greatest, but were actually sharing information to new folks that want to learn how to get started.

          There is no shame in being new. We all were once.
          perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
            Have you got awesome new research but can't put words together or show even the slightest bit of stage presence? Good for you, i'm proud of your work... go publish it in a blog post or some shit.
            Disagree.

            An advantage to in-person communication, and direct questions and answers with others, is the speed at which questions are asked, and answers provided. People hear one question and the question being asked may spawn a related question. Some early Defcon presentations were a bit rough, too. Not sure about others, but when I see a quality topic with good information, but a rough presentation, I feel a little nostalgic.

            Pushing an idea that the quality of how a presentation is presented as more important than (or as important as) topic and information encourages people to trade substance for entertainment and showmanship or pageantry.


            I would prefer if people could work on their delivery more when they are nervous. One of the best examples of a poor presentation that I saw at Defcon was back at the Alexis Park, on the topic of "Quantum Crypto." The person talking about it seemed to be drunk or not understand the topic they were talking about. They made a few mistakes in describing things, and were corrected by the audience several times, until they stumbled to a finish of sorts on the explanation of something. After this, people applauded, but it was not because the delivery was good; the applause was because an answer was finally provided after several mistakes, audience corrections, and stumbling. This was one of the few presentations that I stood up and left, after less than 15 minutes. It was painful to watch.

            I don't think making showmanship a primary requirement for selection as a good idea. I do like the idea of putting people that fail to appear on-time, or are unprepared to be "banned from presenting" for one to several years; this creates a penalty for failure, but does not force an evaluation of showmanship before selection. (Even this would be difficult to implement. People could just manufacture a new alias, and maybe get a fake ID if/when they are asked to give their real name.)

            Comment


            • #96
              Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

              Originally posted by GuloGuloDesu View Post
              One last question: Is there something or someone specific that we are supposed to do or contact about black out drunks at the parties? I had a couple of idiots that became so drunk that they were unable to take care of themselves or behave in public. For some stupid reason I took pity upon them and spent several hours making sure they didn't get arrested and or drown in their own vomit. After which, I helped to carry their dumbasses back to their hotels so they may live for another day.
              Yea if you recall i was one of your helpers in getting them there. I ran into a few on the floors when dropping off my friends and convinced them to go to sleep rather then go down hallways we will say talking loudly. Someone mentioned it i think but possibly staggering the exit times so that everyone wont be in the exact same hallway at once. The security goons did a great job at one point i swear it was a stand still, either that or maybe have it where the talks don't have there exits so close together, not even sure if that's possible.

              Edit: lastly im not sure who it was but i would like to thank the security goon who helped me keep my drunk friends i was trying to get back to the hotel from going back inside the ninja party

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                Deviant: there are talks at con?

                But seriously, my first couple of presentations sucked. It's hard to get better without practice, especially for people who are already twitchy around crowds. My talks this year were a lot better, I learned not to present solid walls of 8-point text on my slides, and audience engagement went great. If I hadn't already had the first couple of mis-steps under my belt I wouldn't have learned what not to do. I do like Roamer's "newbie track" idea. Something else that might appeal to newbie speakers is to be part of a panel in their field of expertise, since that will theoretically let them get used to speaking in front of people without having all the focus.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                  Originally posted by Chris View Post
                  I don't hate this idea. But I think it should be three. But one of the tracks should be (like it was up through DC9 (i think)) a Newbie track. I think a case can be made that we are missing the boat on TEACHING new people things. Not the latest and greatest, but the things that "everybody knows" except they don't.

                  I'd support a three track DC with two "regular" or even tiered tracks and one Newbie track. BTW, I think the newbie track would be perfect for those speakers you mentioned that command a room. Folks that are genuinely good speakers and would be interesting even though they aren't presenting the latest and greatest, but were actually sharing information to new folks that want to learn how to get started.

                  There is no shame in being new. We all were once.
                  I definitely agree on the Newbie track. DEFCON isn't a great venue for transitioning from newbie to pro simply because of the volumes of people. I loved the new DC101 theme this year and would really like to see a Newbie track extends that throughout the conference.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                    I liked the way it worked at DC8 and thereabouts, where we have a newbie track, a leet track, and one in between. You can easily hop between tracks when you were not up to snuff in some areas. but if you knew all the tracks you;d have down time. Not a bad thing, there is plenty to do still. Some friends of mine left early this year because they did not feel they were getting anything out of the talks. They either knew the stuff already, had seen it elsewhere, or were not interested in the subject.

                    Deviant has a point about delivery. I have seen folks with good information and no way to get it out because their English hurt to listen to.

                    Comment


                    • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                      Originally posted by ButterSnatcher View Post
                      Yea if you recall i was one of your helpers in getting them there. I ran into a few on the floors when dropping off my friends and convinced them to go to sleep rather then go down hallways we will say talking loudly. Someone mentioned it i think but possibly staggering the exit times so that everyone wont be in the exact same hallway at once. The security goons did a great job at one point i swear it was a stand still, either that or maybe have it where the talks don't have there exits so close together, not even sure if that's possible.

                      Edit: lastly im not sure who it was but i would like to thank the security goon who helped me keep my drunk friends i was trying to get back to the hotel from going back inside the ninja party
                      I was waiting for you to chime in. Thank you for the help with them that night, I really do appreciate it. It was a huge mess, and it could have gone way different. But luckily there were people there to take care of them.

                      Originally posted by OM5
                      I definitely agree on the Newbie track. DEFCON isn't a great venue for transitioning from newbie to pro simply because of the volumes of people. I loved the new DC101 theme this year and would really like to see a Newbie track extends that throughout the conference.
                      Every year it seems that I get stuck with a bunch of first timers or Newbie's. Sometimes it kind of sucks, but most of the time it's okay. Normally I just talk with them, see how much they know, and try and give them advice on a direction or things to check out. A couple years ago I was in the OpenCTF, and I started hopping between teams helping them to solve random puzzles (mainly because I knew they couldn't catch up to my team). This year I hung out with a couple of kids just entering into IT and looking for direction.
                      So to me I don't necessarily like the idea of a Newbie track. I would much rather see heavy technical tracks that I would personally like to attend. But maybe setting up some other Villages for Newbie's could work. While in the lock pick village I helped out a couple of people that were picking their first locks. In the HHV I helped a couple of people to solder their ports onto their badges, or connect them to a computer for the first time. To me I think the villages are where the community can help to mentor the Newbie's, rather than having specific tracks for them. Things that are more hands on, and can be done in small'ish groups.
                      Maybe next year the Wireless Village can have a couple of AP's and laptops setup, and show people how to use aircrack or Kismet. The Wall of Sheep this year have short classes on packet sniffing. Maybe a Programming Village could be setup, or a Network Village.

                      Hell, if someone wants to help me, next year we could setup a small (informal) mentoring session in the Chill Out room, or possibly the Contest area. I may not be adept at programming, but I know a few languages and most of the basics. Or setup some network simulators, or databases, or AP's, HAM radios, reverse engineering, Metasploit, *NIX, etc.. If it turns out well then maybe we come back at DC22 and request space for it. I mean we now have Defcon Kids, what about Defcon Noob's?
                      Although I do plan on attempting the real CTF next year, if I make that then you're all SOL and on your own
                      There are techs that solve problems and there are techs that call other techs to solve problems.
                      Which one are you?

                      Comment


                      • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                        Originally posted by GuloGuloDesu View Post
                        Every year it seems that I get stuck with a bunch of first timers or Newbie's. Sometimes it kind of sucks, but most of the time it's okay. Normally I just talk with them, see how much they know, and try and give them advice on a direction or things to check out. A couple years ago I was in the OpenCTF, and I started hopping between teams helping them to solve random puzzles (mainly because I knew they couldn't catch up to my team). This year I hung out with a couple of kids just entering into IT and looking for direction.
                        So to me I don't necessarily like the idea of a Newbie track. I would much rather see heavy technical tracks that I would personally like to attend. But maybe setting up some other Villages for Newbie's could work. While in the lock pick village I helped out a couple of people that were picking their first locks. In the HHV I helped a couple of people to solder their ports onto their badges, or connect them to a computer for the first time. To me I think the villages are where the community can help to mentor the Newbie's, rather than having specific tracks for them. Things that are more hands on, and can be done in small'ish groups.
                        Maybe next year the Wireless Village can have a couple of AP's and laptops setup, and show people how to use aircrack or Kismet. The Wall of Sheep this year have short classes on packet sniffing. Maybe a Programming Village could be setup, or a Network Village.

                        Hell, if someone wants to help me, next year we could setup a small (informal) mentoring session in the Chill Out room, or possibly the Contest area. I may not be adept at programming, but I know a few languages and most of the basics. Or setup some network simulators, or databases, or AP's, HAM radios, reverse engineering, Metasploit, *NIX, etc.. If it turns out well then maybe we come back at DC22 and request space for it. I mean we now have Defcon Kids, what about Defcon Noob's?
                        Although I do plan on attempting the real CTF next year, if I make that then you're all SOL and on your own
                        In many regards, on this front, we're waaay ahead of you. Don't be surprised if you see something related to this next year.
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                          Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
                          In many regards, on this front, we're waaay ahead of you. Don't be surprised if you see something related to this next year.
                          Sweet, I was completely unaware. Just tell me when and where and I will be sure to drop off my gaggle of Noob's next year.
                          There are techs that solve problems and there are techs that call other techs to solve problems.
                          Which one are you?

                          Comment


                          • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                            Originally posted by Chris View Post
                            I don't hate this idea. But I think it should be three. But one of the tracks should be (like it was up through DC9 (i think)) a Newbie track.
                            nod. i would support that.

                            The giant signs which indicate the tracks should be (a) positioned outside of the correct hallways and rooms, heh, and (b) feature photos of Joey, Cereal, and Acid Burn for the Noob, Hacky, and Leet tracks. =P
                            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                            - Trent Reznor

                            Comment


                            • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                              Originally posted by Legion303 View Post
                              It's hard to get better without practice, especially for people who are already twitchy around crowds.
                              i would agree that we all get better with practice over time... but i would disagree that DEFCON, the biggest and arguably one of the most "prestigious" venues for speaking about hacker-ish topics, is not the place for people to come and work through their learning.

                              up-and-coming stand up comics don't try to get on stage at the Apollo before they've found their voice. they work the back-road comedy dens all across small towns and southern cities, polishing their material, until they are at a point when it's less likely that Sandman Sims will have to chase them off the stage. (or would have had to, now that he's gone)

                              i'm not saying it isn't wonderful for people to "get their big shot" at DEFCON... and i still admit that it is insanely difficult to put any sort of vetting process in place like what i am describing. but if it were possible somehow, damn, i'd love to see it happen.

                              (in fact, the only way i see a plan like this working would be to have a requirement that to submit to DEFCON you have spoken at a previous con on some other topic... and that video of this must exist and be up online somewhere. hell, if DEFCON did indeed have a requirement like that we'd need almost a dozen volunteers willing to view such clips and give their feedback to DEFCON. frankly, i'd volunteer to be one of those viewers in a heartbeat. even with all the free time i don't have)
                              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                              - Trent Reznor

                              Comment


                              • Re: How would you make Defcon 21 better?

                                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                                advantage to in-person communication, and direct questions and answers with others, is the speed at which questions are asked, and answers provided.
                                i would agree that this is a particular advantage, but i feel that it's one more well-suited to quality speakers as opposed to people who can't find a full sentence with two hands and a flashlight.

                                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                                Pushing an idea that the quality of how a presentation is presented as more important than (or as important as) topic and information encourages people to trade substance for entertainment and showmanship or pageantry.
                                i would say it's as important but not "more" important.

                                The corollary to my other statement would be: "Have an amazing stage presence but little of substance that you actually want to say? That's great... you're in the right town to find gainful employment in many of this city's fine establishments that need better 10:00 shows. But you don't belong at DEFCON."
                                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                                - Trent Reznor

                                Comment

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