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Is defcon 22 is live streaming ?

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  • Is defcon 22 is live streaming ?

    Why can't you guys do live streaming ? there are lots of people cannot come directly to USA from different parts of the world. So, Is it possible to telecast LIVE ?

  • #2
    Re: Is defcon 22 is live streaming ?

    Originally posted by sankarbb View Post
    Why can't you guys do live streaming ? there are lots of people cannot come directly to USA from different parts of the world. So, Is it possible to telecast LIVE ?
    DISCLAIMER: Please understand all of the information I provide here is not authoritative, and may be TOTALLY WRONG. This has been gathered from personal experience, observation, and public interaction and discussions with many people over many years. I manage nothing at DEF CON. I am not part of the video recording group, or in charge of media, and I gain no money from the sale of DVDs. The only things I will provide authoritative comments on are some web services at like the forums.

    As far as I know, DEF CON has not been video live-streamed to the Internet except for rare occasions where some people have used online services like "ustream" as attendees to record their encounters from DEF CON. There have even been attempts by users to live-stream some talks with services like those from ustream, but audio was a problem. (Example: MythBuster's Adam Savage talk at DEF CON one year.)

    There have also been several "Internet Radio" or "PodCats" from DEF CON by various personalities, too, but most included people interviewing other people, not full capture and broadcast of speaker tracks.

    Beyond that, there were attempts to setup things like "WebCam" in a combo chill-out/vendor/contest room, that attendees could control with access to a web app that granted camera controls (pan, zoom, iirc.) but this was REALLY old, and a really long time ago, maybe pre-Alexis Park. DEF CON 6 or 7?

    The closest thing to "live streaming" supported by the historical piping of speaker-track content, was when it was sent as analog video signal to the in-hotel room TV, which started (with speaker track support) some time when DEF CON was at the AP.

    Some more history...

    DEF CON was started (1992) before live streaming on the Internet was much of a "thing." "RealMedia" with RealAudio and later RealVideo didn't really start until 1995 with RealAudio, first and later RealVideo (1997.) The closest thing to "Video Streaming" that could be called "commonly" in use when DEF CON started would probably be "CUSeeMe" for the Pre-OS X, Macintoshes in 1992, but it was HORRIBLE on modems, and "fair" on T1. Even with these early video streaming products, it was not until "Real*" products that there were multi-platform (first on Windows, Mac and later Linux), "reliable," web clients that could "work" with dial-up modem, ISDN, and T1 or better connections, but only T1 or better had video quality and resolution large enough to read "PowerPoint" presentations in any legible format (for reading printed words in video.)

    Because DEF CON pre-dates the wide use of Video Streaming, decisions to record early presentations relied on agreements with people that could record, package, and distribute audio (and later video) copies of the conference. At some point in this process, I think The Sound of Knowledge became involved to record and distribute copies of the conference by snail-mail for a fee, probably to cover their costs to pay for professionals to record video x2 (speaker plus slides) and audio, switching sources as needed to get something that is coherent, then pay more professionals to edit it, and more professionals to make DVD navigation menus/screens, and/or credits with proper attributions on content, and eventually integrate some of the CART data for subtitles or CC (assuming this happened.) (It may no longer be The Sound of Knowledge -- I do not remember if this changed, sorry. Anyone feel free to correct this.)

    From personal experience, recording audio and video of a con in a way that provides something that people are able to watch, listen to, and read text is not something you can just "pay a monkey butler" to do. Also, to get quality help in Las Vegas, NV requires money. From what I have seen -- people that like DEF CON are unlikely to want to stay cooped up in a single speaker track all day for 3 or 4 days, only to take time off to get a little sleep and socialize a little.)

    So, here is a question getting to the heart of things:
    * Should people that are actually spending money to attend DEF CON... money that pays for things they use at con be asked to subsidize service to those that are unwilling or unable to get *immediate* access to content, which WILL be made available to them a few months later, anyway?
    * Would making content available as live video streaming harm the growing community by encouraging many people to not attend?

    For reasons that would violate our forum rules on "No Politics" I am not allowed to journey too deep into my own philosophy on the above except to say:
    * I like it most when those that directly contribute to a community, immediately get the most out of what they contribute, not some fantasy idea of X degrees of benefit crap.
    * There are at least 3 kinds of "Symbiotic" Relationships, and one is harmful:
    * Parasitic: a system where one party benefits to the detriment of a host (risk for payers to subsidize those that don't pay, to get them content a few months earlier, raising the cost of entry.) As DEF CON has moved to use more and more space, cost to attend has gone up. Same with (guessing) cost of insurance, legal fees, inflation, and more. Any new service that is only usable by a special interest is a "tax" on those that are asked to pay even more to enter.
    * Mutualism: a system where both parties benefit from action or exchange (people contributing time and money voluntarily, accept the value of what they get is worth the cost -- Most attendees and volunteers; if they did not get as much or more out of what they did, they wouldn't do it.)
    * Commensalism: one party benefits without loss to the other party. (Difficult to find in nature and uncommon: Many people would like to claim parasitic relationships are Commensalism, but they often fail to recognize harm, or try to convince people the harm is "trivial" )

    A core part of DEF CON is the *choice* of people to volunteer. Contests? Built by volunteers. Events? Created by volunteers. Parties? Organized by volunteers. Even looking at Goons, Speakers, and more, each is never really given their market value in cash for what they do at con. They get a small compensation such as a special badge that entitles them to WORK at DEF CON.

    "It is the choices we make, and actions that we take that defines us as humans."

    Some people like the idea of forcing a centralized decision, and imposing costs on everyone to benefit a special interests -- THEIR special interest. This is parasitic. A special interest gains at the cost of others. Such decisions also remove choices from the decisions of attendees, and necessarily, freedoms. Some people pay for DVD of conference content to get them sooner. Some people pay with time and money to see them in-person, or through the hotel. Some are unwilling or unable to see them "right away" so pay to see them later by waiting until they are available for download for free. In each case, individuals exercise individual freedom of choice.

    In the present incarnation, part of the process of professional content eventually included the making available of the video presentation online for general consumption at a future date, often months after DEF CON ends, such as from the DEF CON media server: You can see video and audio of many presentations going back a long time on .

    A best GUESS on WHY there is no live streaming of all speaker tracks is not done at DEF CON yet is multi-part:
    1) There was no video Internet streaming when DEF CON started, and most consumers of Internet access at home used analog modems, from 14.4kbps to 33.6kbps, plus compression. (Note, binary data such as video back in 1992 did not give "5:1", "3:1" or even "2:1" compression with these modems.)
    2) A decision was made to record some content, at some point before streaming
    3) This seemed to work for all parties that were consumers or producers (Seriously, VHS was an option at one time, for a tech reference.)
    4) Time passes
    5a) Things continue to be done the same way because that is the way we have always done it: Tradition.
    5b) There are likely pre-existing agreements based on decades of cooperation that continue to stand: "If it is not broken, don't fix it"

    All of the above is not secret information, and some of it may be wrong; I may not be remembering things as they happened, or a source of information may have provided inaccurate information.

    If this is where we are, how can we get to where you want us to be?

    Ahh, DEF CON is about people volunteering. How would you get reliable, professionals to complete the work needed to create professional content as described above, working in 5 speaker tracks, live-tuning audio sources, integrating CART content, and Internet access with sufficient throughput for free? It is a difficult question. Constructive criticism is welcome.

    Another large part of DEF CON, directly related to volunteering is people identifying: "Here is what needs to be done to make DEF CON better!" and then choosing to contribute their own effort to make this better DEF CON possible. The volunteers that manage volunteers often earned their place by being respected by the people that volunteer to work for them.

    You've taken the first step to identify something that would make DEF CON better for you. What effort will you volunteer to make it happen? How will you make DEF CON better?


    P.S. If anyone has corrections to make to the above, please do so. I am not one to kill the messenger when they have objective corrections to content, or correct facts. However, be prepared to receive a counter argument in the space of *subjective* disagreements, or opinions which are NOT facts.
    Last edited by TheCotMan; August 3, 2014, 21:01.


    • #3
      Re: Is defcon 22 is live streaming ?

      This is just a quick note, for those that don't read Cot's well-written short essay on why Defcon doesn't have live streaming. I say this as someone who attended regularly for years, before the crowds finally did me in.

      It's an experience. You need to be there. Really. Live streaming would be fine if it was a commercial operation, but it isn't. It's set up to barely scrape by, each and every year. What would you point the camera at? No matter where you are at Defcon, there's something you're missing in another room. This has been true since at least Defcon 5, and maybe it was always true.

      You just have to go. If you can't go, and you really wanted to, I'm sorry. Not everyone gets their wish (I never got a Mercedes).

      Start saving your pennies now. There's always Defcon 23.

      BTW, I will regret not being there for the FTC event.