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  • #61
    Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

    Maybe those whistles the British bobbies have would be good.

    Mostly what you need is something distinctive to get people's attention and temporarily reduce the ambient noise level; this will in turn reduce the need to scream.

    Standing on a chair or bench (when feasible) will help identify the person whose instructions the crowd is supposed to follow.

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

      I had a complaint about the "loudmouth female" as well. She indeed was yelling for badges, and harassed a hotel customer who was simply going to the UPS business office in the hotel. Thankfully this is rather rare.

      As for "make a hole" not working, well anyone who was in the military knows to move and move fast. Those who never served may not understand it. Here is one solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtv2_-2mHck

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
        As I understand it, there were two different groups heading towards the same goal of something like this. I am going to *guess* there was an assumption that the other group took it over, and scheduling failed, leading to last-minute questions and then a decision to focus on other spaces in DEF CON. It is also possible there was a meeting, it happened before you arrived, and then disbanded.

        Sorry this did not work out as you expected, but the actions you took, and the work you have started is much of what DEF CON is about -- you see something missing, or needing improvement, so you (and/or) others step up and volunteer, work together and plan. I have no authority to say, "go ahead and do it!" However, working to plan it here on the forums (or elsewhere) and generating interest are the kinds of things people have done in the past to take over contests/events/villages, or start them after things did not work so well.

        [Even if other people plan it next year, ideas proposed by you and others may be included in the next attempt.]

        Good luck!
        -Cot

        The person who was planning this, became very ill and last minute cancelled their attendance to DEF CON. The deployment of the signs was not adjusted for this, it should'nt have been up and perhaps we could have tried to "save" the space, but on the fly at DEFCON some things just can't be saved.
        "Haters, gonna hate"

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

          Originally posted by astcell View Post
          I had a complaint about the "loudmouth female" as well.
          Damn, I tried to be on my best behavior this year.
          "Haters, gonna hate"

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

            Originally posted by Snapshot View Post
            Mostly what you need is something distinctive to get people's attention and temporarily reduce the ambient noise level; this will in turn reduce the need to scream.
            I believe what you're saying is that we need more cowbell.

            Actually a cowbell might work.

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

              Originally posted by Nikita View Post
              Damn, I tried to be on my best behavior this year.
              What? Nikita is a female? When did that happen?
              /me ducks away from Nikita, Neil, and spawn because of all the implications.

              :-D

              Seriously though, for those of you that do not realize it, it is unlikely that Nikita was one discussed above as checking for badges. I'm pretty sure she is joking here.
              [TCP_PUNK: don't assume she is the person you were writing about.]

              So, what is/are your suggestion(s) for next year Nikita?

              I read good things about Forum meet on twitter; people claiming it was the best one yet, and others writing they were not on the forums but liked the party you organized and ran.
              TheCotMan
              *****Retired *****
              Last edited by TheCotMan; August 15, 2014, 21:22.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                i'll start by saying that this was one of the best DEF CON experiences i've had in a while. i was pulled in many, many directions and with a tightly-coupled schedule any one thing going wrong will topple the whole house of cards. still, things were terrific for me.

                the Black Hat trainings went well and i was able to get out of dodge and checked-in to the Rio (late night check in is SO the way to go!) and then out to the desert early on Wednesday. The DEFCON Shoot was a blast and even with some staff members not making it out there, we had enough volunteers to do things right for people.

                back to the Rio after 30+ hours in the desert and a shower and quick check on the Lockpick Village. I learned of a few difficulties that they had there, but it was all resolved. a great staff doing great things.

                band practice that night followed by more TOOOL logistics. Friday i went to speak to the DEFCON Kids (a.k.a. Rootz) and that was more or less successful. Howard (my elevator co-presenter) and i had a lot of good and bad to say about that. I stopped by the Beer Cooling Contraption Contest to praise Uncle NzO for the great job he's been doing running it and chat with the teams. I ran qualifying rounds for Black Bag on Twitter that afternoon and then Friday night Howard and I worked more on the presentation for main DEF CON and got hammered.

                Saturday was Black Bag through and through. Thankfully we had built the whole "room" late on Friday and all we had to do Sat morning was set up the gear (office locks, locked cases, all the set dressing) and the penetration teams' tools. Saturday afternoon all the Black Bag runs happened and everyone had a blast. Saturday night was the Goon Band concert at the 303 party which fucking owned.

                Sunday Howard and I gave interviews to DT and others in the press room and then gave our Elevator Hacking talk to huge and friendly crowd. Then we packed up the whole Lockpick Village into the huge shipping crate and took folk to dinner.

                And people wonder why i take Monday off and stay in Vegas until Tuesday. :-)



                so... my rundown of how to IMPROVE the few things that were difficult?


                Badges - Enough has been said about this and i like some of the suggestions of de-coupling the pick up process from payment. Anything to feed the queue faster and spread it out to many places would be good. Thankfully, I haven't had to worry about that in a while being a speaker and a contest/event person and such. Still, even in Inhuman reg we had problems pickup up our myriad array of badges since they had apparently run out of some kinds.

                This is just me registering my frustration with the fact that hackajar and his team knew how many Contest and Event badges were needed (something like over 200) and they were given only about (if you trust the rumors) 70 or so.

                The problem with this is that Contest and Event folk need to access their special areas before and after normal hours. It's a major hassle when we butt heads with the Goons and have to send runners every which way to get people behind roped off areas before 9AM because they're setting things up.

                I would suggest having a backup plan in place to authenticate and allow passage of Vendors or CnE staff if badges have a problem in the future. ESPECIALLY now that we are moving to two hotels. I need every last one of my 30+ staff to be able to get into and out of the Lockpick Village before and after normal hours. I don't care what it costs and i don't care if i have to pay for every single badge. I just need a way to do that without having Goons holler at my staff every morning that they are just trying to come downstairs early to do their work.


                Goons - short statements here: old Goons are awesome and new Goons will have to undergo a bit of a learning curve. i know the staff grew by a LOT this year. some of the new folk need to chill the fuck out. if i know you and have known you for ages you can yell at me. if you are a new face, go a little easy.

                ESPECIALLY about the "put your badge around your neck" rule. something like 25% of DEF CON wears their badge on their hip or waist or some other place than their neck. it has NEVER been a rule to wear around your neck, so it was frustrating to see the new Goons attempt to enforce this non-rule so huffily. As long as attendees have their badge visible and hold it up a little bit while walking past, that's been what's expected and what's polite enough.


                How Much Room - Much has been said of the fact that we're getting "more room" in the new areas, and this is good. I do hope that folk outside of the core DEF CON team can be slightly part of the discussions as to how it's allocated. We don't get to make decisions, of course, but those of us who run many varied things would love to at least get to offer up some thoughts when the Paris/Bally's plan gets kicked around.

                Do folk know just how hard it is going to be to get from one area to the other? My staff walked all through both casinos and convention spaces after DC22. It's going to be a shit show to say the least if not done well. Bally's and the Paris have two wholly distinct conference spaces that connect only through an array of shops and casino floor zones.

                The conference reps and trade show staff who were there when my people walked through even said "it's a lot easier just to walk outside" when asked how to get between the Paris and Bally's con spaces. The Paris is garish and the Bally's is small. Best guess: the Paris is more conducive to talk tracks and the Bally's is more like a zone for villages/contest/events/vendor/etc

                All in all, logistics are going to suck this first year there. They're going to suck even MORE if the forums community isn't at least part of the discussion as to how things are laid out. Including the forum community, even if things go wrong, allows DEF CON HQ to say "hey, we tried it this way at the suggestion of people."


                Atmosphere and Vibe - in general, DEF CON is becoming "tamer" and feeling more corporate in many ways. lots of us are fighting against it, but the trend keeps pushing that way. it's been said we are a victim of our own success, and i think that's valid.

                I am not going to stand here and yell at the rain, but at least I want to always drop into the discussion how the skies weren't always this gray. DEF CON used to have a LOT more chill out space and it was spread out. You could just sort of wind up sitting somewhere amid a cool group of people unexpectedly and learning. That was the best.

                My biggest suggestion for DEF CON would be: more couches, low tables, and whatnot all over the place. Villages should have lots more of them. The backs of talk track rooms should have them. Hell, for a long time i've been a fan of the notion of the FRONT ROWS of talk tracks being couches and such. ;-)


                An even bigger statement i'll make has to do with DEF CON Kids a.k.a. ROOTZ but that will be a separate post. In short: in its current form I can no longer justify supporting that event. They have completely left DEF CON. They are wholly separate and do not want to have anything to do with us anymore. And it's a total shame.

                More on that later.
                "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


                • #68
                  Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  it is unlikely that Nikita was one discussed above as checking for badges. I'm pretty sure she is joking here.
                  the person most people saw when they first went in on day one was most likely Evil. calling her a "loudmouth" or anything like that is a bit extreme... she is no more loud or pushy than any of the other Goons when they are overwhelmed. that first day is a beast.

                  I was a little surprised, however, that she was among those who were advocating the "badges around necks only" rule since she's not a newbie at Gooning whatsoever... and I would have thought that she was around long enough to know this is not the rule. In fact, her stance on the issue is what made me think some policy change had been enacted, until CJ tweeted otherwise.

                  Evil's alright... she's just go her own way about her. Heh, that explanation is kind of like "Staff Sgt Dingham has a style of his own, and we all just have to get used to it." All told, she's ok in my book. Especially after Day One is over.
                  "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


                  • #69
                    Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                    How Much Room - Much has been said of the fact that we're getting "more room" in the new areas, and this is good. I do hope that folk outside of the core DEF CON team can be slightly part of the discussions as to how it's allocated. We don't get to make decisions, of course, but those of us who run many varied things would love to at least get to offer up some thoughts when the Paris/Bally's plan gets kicked around.

                    Do folk know just how hard it is going to be to get from one area to the other? My staff walked all through both casinos and convention spaces after DC22. It's going to be a shit show to say the least if not done well. Bally's and the Paris have two wholly distinct conference spaces that connect only through an array of shops and casino floor zones.

                    The conference reps and trade show staff who were there when my people walked through even said "it's a lot easier just to walk outside" when asked how to get between the Paris and Bally's con spaces. The Paris is garish and the Bally's is small. Best guess: the Paris is more conducive to talk tracks and the Bally's is more like a zone for villages/contest/events/vendor/etc

                    All in all, logistics are going to suck this first year there. They're going to suck even MORE if the forums community isn't at least part of the discussion as to how things are laid out. Including the forum community, even if things go wrong, allows DEF CON HQ to say "hey, we tried it this way at the suggestion of people."
                    It's a valid question regarding the allocation of space between the hotels.

                    Bally's has an Events Center, Grand Salon, and a Grand Ballroom that can be divided up. This is in the at Casino level, which also has a theater (like Penn & Teller). In addition there are "Skyview" rooms on the 26th Floor of the North Tower. The South Tower has two other ballrooms (of which one divisible) on the second and third floors.

                    This gives a problem since the convention area for Bally's is more or less distinct from the Casino area and the various Ball Rooms are divided up between two towers and multiple floors. We don't know which areas we have access to, but if it's as spread out in the two Bally's towers, getting to and from talks will be problematic due to elevator rushes between talks. The Paris convention area ballrooms seem to be concentrated near the end of the walkway between the two hotels.

                    The fact that these two convention areas might be a bit too spread out to hold a well organized convention may come to bite us in our collective asses. If you've got to find people not only between two distinct convention areas, but also between two additional hotel towers on three different floors, there will be problems. And considering how far many goons walk, I think it would be reasonable for them to rent out Segways just to save their feet and legs. Also, regarding elevators, there are six for the south tower, and six for the north tower Skyview area. Any breakdown in elevator service there might create serious inconveniences if those additional tower areas are going to be used.


                    Just a quick addendum. I've done some basic calculations off the top of my head, and the total square footage that we were told about during the closing ceremonies seems to mean that we have the entire convention area of both hotels (290,121 square feet). While this is nice, and the fact that we would be renting out the entire convention space at both hotels, it means that things will be rather spread out. I've heard talk of some people hoping for the Mandalay Bay in the future. I took a look at this, and if you do not count the main exhibition halls, the ball room areas are on multiple levels, but all grouped near each other and they have both escalators and elevators. Though the problem would be that you would only rent out a small section of the actual space available. Also as an alternative from what I've been looking through, the Aria at City Center has about 300,000 square feet of convention area. The space is also more concentrated in one single area.

                    As for the ticket line, Bally's and Paris both have a registration desk. We can have one desk for Inhumans at Bally's, and the other for Humans at Paris. The best area where the line could form would be in the corridor between the two hotels.
                    Last edited by admford; August 16, 2014, 00:34.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                      if people want to see some size comparisons, here are the floorplans for the Rio, the Bally's, and the Paris all scaled to the same size with each other (as best as i could do with some quick maths and pixel calculating)


                      (click to embiggen massively)

                      The Bally's 26th floor rooms are going to be about as popular as "Top of the Riv" was 4+ years ago. Maybe useful for a party, but pretty terrible for anything during the daytime (6 elevators. even with gearless high speed traction machines, that will SUCK to move masses of people at once. think of the Rio's main tower elevators and then imagine Dan Kaminsky or Dave Kennedy or The Shmoo Group doing a talk upstairs and the attendant crush of people all trying to get up for it)

                      Yes, we have a lot more space, but the variety of uses for it are a bit limited by scope and configuration.

                      Regarding the Mandalay Bay: that is where Black Hat has moved, and it's a fine facility (though sadly, not a part of Caesar's/Harrah's Entertainment) ... however, unless someone says otherwise, you can likely expect to NEVER see Black Hat and DEFCON at the same hotel. They butt into one another's schedules too much now.

                      DEFCON Quatermaster ops moves in to the hotel around Sunday or Monday, super Pre-DEFCON. Rooms start getting set up and configured on Tuesday and Wednesday they are finalized, more or less. That's when Black Hat is in its full Briefing mode.

                      There is virtually no feasible way that BH and DEFCON could occupy the same hotel convention space in the same year, even though they are ostensibly separate events on the calendar.
                      "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


                      • #71
                        Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                        the one thing that's hard to determine on these floorplans pertains to the big yellow box: the Bally's Event Center. there are no air wall dotted lines there. is that just one massive gymnasium style room? suitable for an expo floor, perhaps, but without the means to break it up to anything smaller, then that becomes the biggest question mark for me.

                        what will it be purposed as for DEFCON 23? if the Bally's side turns into talk tracks, that's one HELL of a track room. if the Paris has the talks and Bally's is the heart of DEFCON, then does this become a MASSIVE contest and events room? (that's actually my favorite idea, and i might start at "who the hell asked you?!" thread where people can discuss floorplan notions, hah)

                        when you look at and imagine the floorplans, remember that there are SO MANY considerations that DEFCON HQ (which, i should stress, i'm not a part of) have to keep in mind.

                        1. proximity of speaker tracks to the ready room, which means proximity of that to the press room, etc.

                        2. vendor needs foot traffic but also needs to be totally lockable at night

                        3. some rooms are "pass through" rooms while others should have only one main entrance/exit

                        4. more than you can imagine, and more than i can even list

                        ... i do not envy the job of those who will have to put all this together. I'd love updates from them to the community and -- even if our input turns out to be unworkable -- i'd love to have the forums sharing their thoughts as the process comes together.
                        "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


                        • #72
                          Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                          the one thing that's hard to determine on these floorplans pertains to the big yellow box: the Bally's Event Center. there are no air wall dotted lines there. is that just one massive gymnasium style room? suitable for an expo floor, perhaps, but without the means to break it up to anything smaller, then that becomes the biggest question mark for me.
                          Here's what I could find on that room


                          It's generally been used as an expo/vendor area for other conventions.


                          It's not that huge in general but it would allow for a good amount of vendors (more variety!). Seems that it's a bit bigger than the track two and track three rooms combined. Or possibly four times the size of this year's vendor area.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                            i forked off the Floorplan Discussion to another thread... here.
                            "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


                            • #74
                              Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                              admford: For a moment I thought that the carpet in the second picture was a big mess of cables.

                              Originally posted by Abend View Post
                              I love the idea of the DIY badge. I'd be happy to volunteer my time and soldering skills on Thursday to help people build their badges. I agree it should be through-hole parts. The point of the DIY badge (in my mind at least) is to get people to learn a new skill, and through hole components are a whole lot more forgiving and easier to learn on. Last year, we had a non-electronic badge made out of a PCB. Something similar for next year wouldn't be a bad starting point for a DIY badge. It might also be an opportunity to sneak an ATmega328 onto one (no offense to our friends at Parallax, but it seems weird to ignore Arduinos).
                              How about adding pads for a few additional components to the main badges (not just headers. How about more LEDs, clicky push buttons, any better ideas?) and have the extra functionality for such parts already in the firmware?

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: How would you make DEF CON 23 better than DEF CON 22?

                                Originally posted by tibbon View Post
                                Badge purchase could be easily sped up by a magnitude. As it was, it seemed to take 2-3 minutes per person to make the purchase. Four modifications:

                                1) Request that people have exact change. Near the front split out into a separate line for people who ignore this. Naturally, this line will be slower, but the others will all move much faster. Counting change for people seemed to take about a minute for some reason (kinda too long, but that's about what I saw)

                                2) Have *all* of the things needed to hand to people (badge, batteries, glasses, program, stickers) already in bags. A good other minute or so was spent with the people shuffling around trying to count of batteries and get the stacks of papers put together. Additionally, few people have something to put the stack of stuff in and a bad would make it so that can take it and move out of the way

                                3) Have a very clear area/direction for people to move to after their purchase. Arrows on the floor, etc? People dealing with their badges, changes and paperwork made getting the next person to move up in the line slower than it should have been.

                                4) Have two people on each sales line, one for taking the money and another for giving them the bag. It takes about 10 seconds to count $220 and under that to then hand them a bag.

                                Net improvement here could easily move from 2-3 minutes to 10-20 seconds per transaction. If the line was 3 hours, suddenly it would be ~20 minutes long.

                                This can definitely work. SXSW scales to ~28,000 people and makes the lines move significantly swifter (although they could improve as well, and are often slow due to credit cards, printing photos on badges, etc... all stuff we can skip)


                                *** FUCKING THIS ^^^^^ ****

                                Why TWO sales lines? why not FOUR or EIGHT? Simple math here... ~20k registrants @ $220/head = $4.4MILLION. I *assume* 65-70% of the admission fees go to the event (either to swag, venue, or whatever), but 30% of 4.4m still leaves 1.3m to hire some professionals to do registration (i.e. people that know what the fuck is up, and how to get people through as efficiently as possible) and you'd probably STILL have enough left over to buy gear for the network, etc...

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