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  • Undertaker
    replied
    Ref comment by R33t "Make sure that those who paid for badges actually get a real badge whole issue with BlackHat is completely unacceptable"

    You pay for access to the 4 days of DEFCON......you are NOT paying for a particular type of badge. If you got into the Con with the badge you had on, then you received a "real" badge.....just not electronic.

    Just because you go to BlackHat and prepay for DEFCON only means you stand in a shorter line......nothing else.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    I'll comment on this part:
    Originally posted by braydawg View Post
    [chop]
    I attended the con without much planning as I cobbled the trip together at the last minute. In one instance I was in Bronze 3 waiting for what I believed to be a talk on bluetooth locks as written on the conference schedule website. That talk never happened. When I asked a goon about the proceedings and scheduling I found that his schedule and the schedule on the internet were not synchronized. I brought this up to the information booth wherein they said they would look into the issue. And that was it.

    I didn't bring my laptop. That may or may not have been a mistake. I dunno... the wireless network had a bit of a reputation for being .... unsafe. If someone would tell me otherwise I'd probably take their word for it. As far as I found there was a certificate system providing a trust level but I didn't take advantage of it. I would have liked to attend the workshops but did not really have any information about them before hand. Nor did I know that registration for the workshops began so early in the day. That, I believe, goes to my own poor planning. A quick glace at the website alerted me to the information about where to find registration and the time when it opened. Had I brought a laptop I probably would have tried a bit harder to attend some workshops. I'll try again next year.
    [chop]
    The issue with changes to the schedule last-minute have been a problem for decades. When DEF CON was a single track, it was easy: go on stage, announce the change, and done.
    When DEF CON shifted to multi-track, other options were needed. In early years, few that attended (by percent) could afford a laptop, and those that could afford them might not want to bring them, and even with laptops, there was no 802.11* -- it was all modem, or , if you were lucky/resourceful, ethernet, and smart phones were not really a thing. Yes, DEF CON could put changes online, but few could see/access them. Hotel-provided "Business Centers" for loan/rent with Internet access were not really a thing back then. I think they added one at the AP between some of the years we were there.

    "Sandwich Boards" and "A-Frame" with paper were tried, but quickly defaced, altered with bad information, or went missing. Similar with dry-erase boards. As for availability, these were not effective.

    One of the better ideas that was created to help with this was the Information Booth, but not a great way to announce changes to all ~22,000 people. DCIB is really only good when people go up and use it. It becomes better when people share information with each other. ("Hey! They moved it! Let's all go to the new location.")

    The rest of the options leverage an assumption of access to a smartphone. However, those that are paranoid do not want to use their normal smartphone at DEF CON. Even though some of the same risks exists at DEF CON exist elsewhere, the frequency and level of advancement at DEF CON is probably higher, and people worried about StingRay and similar devices also want to avoid use while at DEF CON. An expensive option is burner phones, which can add ~$100 or more to DEF CON expenses if a modern enough smartphone is desired which is not immediately obsolete at time of purchase. (There is "Hacker Tracker" an app you run on your phone, if you trust apps you download and install, or the less exposed option of actual text, or simple HTML as served in https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...books-and-html this project. Both HackerTracker and this other project require some mobile-data device and use at DEF CON , and an assumption these volunteer-based projetcs remain maintained while at con.

    There is also following several key account on twitter, but that also requires a mobile device capable of getting twitter feeds and accessing them while at con.

    When at the AP we started seeing lines forming outside speaker tracks, goons started (on their own) announcing which talk which line was for, though this was not codified back then. Such things help people that are "close" to the place the change has occurred, but no help to those if in a place where the thing was cancelled and/or moved to a new location. Paper signs on doors announcing last-minute changes risk the same issues of A-Frame/Sandwich boards.

    We have not yet found a really good solution to this issue that is:
    * Easy
    * Accessible to all
    * Easily accessible to all
    * Low risk for defacement
    * Available to people without people enabling or using tech
    * Cost effective
    * Time-effective (in human/goon hours)

    If you (or anyone) have ideas on how we can do this, please suggest them. It is possible someone among us has an excellent solution this this problem.

    Even if you can't hit all of the bullet points above, hitting a majority of them may help.

    Thanks for your thoughts, observations and information!

    -Cot

    Leave a comment:


  • braydawg
    replied
    I have not attended a lot of cons and would appreciate some feedback on this as I do not know what is par for the course.

    On an unrelated note; l am a first time defcon attendee. I attended alone and find myself at one point very lonely and mopey. I did find one gentleman who spoke to me for an extended period of time about his affiliation with the conference on the 26th floor while he worked a party... I think the 803 party. I don't remember his name but I would like to give him a shout out if he happens to be around. He helped me feel a bit better. As a 30 year old man no one else is really responsible for my happiness but he still hung around. I wore black/red shorts and a red t-shirt if he reads these forums and happens to read this post. He wore a leather jacket and was bald with long hair. Also thanks to the 803(?), 801(?) party for providing me with free alcohol. This was one of the few times I showed up before the mob and managed to get my drink on and not sit in a line.

    The first concern I have is with the presentations. Presentations I attended had difficulties with the A/V system that ate into a lion's share of the presenters time. I would like to know if there are any proposed fixes or ideas in place to address this problem or if this is just something that happens and I was unlucky [variance etc]. I believe at least two of my attended presentations had this problem leading to an after-the-fact rate of about 15%-20% of my attended talks. It may have been more...

    I attended the con without much planning as I cobbled the trip together at the last minute. In one instance I was in Bronze 3 waiting for what I believed to be a talk on bluetooth locks as written on the conference schedule website. That talk never happened. When I asked a goon about the proceedings and scheduling I found that his schedule and the schedule on the internet were not synchronized. I brought this up to the information booth wherein they said they would look into the issue. And that was it.

    I didn't bring my laptop. That may or may not have been a mistake. I dunno... the wireless network had a bit of a reputation for being .... unsafe. If someone would tell me otherwise I'd probably take their word for it. As far as I found there was a certificate system providing a trust level but I didn't take advantage of it. I would have liked to attend the workshops but did not really have any information about them before hand. Nor did I know that registration for the workshops began so early in the day. That, I believe, goes to my own poor planning. A quick glace at the website alerted me to the information about where to find registration and the time when it opened. Had I brought a laptop I probably would have tried a bit harder to attend some workshops. I'll try again next year.

    If I learned anything its that attended defcon is probably best done with a group. I do have an amateur radio license so I'll probably find a handheld rig for the simplex frequency (anyone have any recommendations?).

    Maybe a bit scattered but I think this covers my experience. I will provide any additional details that come to mind should they arise.

    Bdawg.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tangential
    replied
    Now that registration has been solved (discounting the paper badge fiasco), why does Thursday suck, and what can be done about it? 101 is too crowded, workshops fill up in seconds, no villages are open yet, and there is not enough space to accommodate the hackers that linger in the halls. What am I missing?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill_in_SD
    replied
    Test DCTV thoroughly before con. The ONLY reason I stay at the venue is for this.

    When it does work, (Saturday on) it is AWESOME

    And, the response I got on Twitter from the guys working the issue was quick!

    So overall a B- on the DCTV - it really makes the conference a different experience when you can soak up all the info while hacking the badge at the same time.........

    Leave a comment:


  • _multithreading
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    It could be a good idea, but some of the other issues became unexpected consequences. Considering the extra information, do you have ideas on how to refine your suggestion and improve it?
    I doubt I can think of much that goons haven't already tossed around, but:

    * When traffic mostly is looking to exit, they will exit more slowly if only using half the hallway capacity
    I can't really think of any way to do this that would not annoy people trying to get into another track, or people needing to poop, or goons that have to keep control of the flow, but I would say that you might consider people wanting to 'exit' the same way that you consider people wanting to 'enter'. If you enforce the exit of all people from major tracks back to a more open area (e.g., entrance to the conference area), you could engineer the traffic flows more efficiently. For example:

    * One option could be to start exit lines *inside* of the track; this would potentially be a problem depending on the capacity of the room and whether or not there are chairs all the way back (not to mention fire code/needing to poop/hotel rules), but controlling the traffic flow inside of the room would make controlling the traffic flow outside of the room more easy, I'd assume. Like a smaller version of the winding registration line concentrated at the back/sides of the track, with a bypass door/route open only during the talk when traffic is lighter.

    * Hackers are hackers, so when traffic was heavy in one direction, but light in another, people will walk into oncoming traffic.
    * Suggestions to move the divider based on traffic patterns was suggested, but was found to be too difficult to apply quickly enough to enough dividers to be effective.
    It sounds like more of an engineering/data-gathering problem than anything, in terms of being able to change the traffic lane widths quickly. Finding a one-size-fits all solution to all talks in all tracks would not be very easy. However, to a certain extent, I'd imagine that the attendance of a particular talk can be estimated, and lanes potentially adjusted several minutes before the end of the talk or before people start coming in. Ideally, having the red tape posts on some sort of mechanical track that can be slid remotely would be nice, but that's easy for me to say if I'm not the one tasked with building such a contraption.
    Last edited by _multithreading; August 8, 2016, 00:08.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Originally posted by _multithreading View Post
    Since it ends up needing to happen every year anyway, why not divide the hallways into 'lanes' of traffic from the get-go? Make some signs to point people in the correct direction, have 'exits' for the different tracks, etc.
    This is an idea that I think we tried at the Riv. Though the concept was good, and should help in theory, there were some issues that we could not easily resolve:
    * When traffic mostly is looking to exit, they will exit more slowly if only using half the hallway capacity
    * Hackers are hackers, so when traffic was heavy in one direction, but light in another, people will walk into oncoming traffic.
    * Suggestions to move the divider based on traffic patterns was suggested, but was found to be too difficult to apply quickly enough to enough dividers to be effective.

    It could be a good idea, but some of the other issues became unexpected consequences. Considering the extra information, do you have ideas on how to refine your suggestion and improve it?

    A wish-list item would be some service to check to see if a track is full and standing in line is a waste of time, though I do love me some linecon.
    I don't know if this has been suggested before; this may be the first for this idea. At the Riv, and maybe the last year at the AP, goons would estimate a cut-off point, after which people would probably not be able to get in the room even if the room was emptied. Reporting line data for aggregation and publishing might be a next logical step.

    Thanks to you and everyone that contributes to this. All of the ideas, issues, and successes discussed here will go into a report for department heads to help with planning for DC25.

    I've also sought out issues, ideas, and successes in other spaces, which will be included. Unlike the usual rules in the forums about "me too" being bad form, for this thread, feel free to reply to a post with "me too" if you agree. A "me too" is like an agreement and a vote in favor of the idea. You can also use the "like" link under the post, far-right.

    I will also be including comments from these threads which will eventually be consolidated to one thread:
    * https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...394-badge-less
    * https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...jor-badge-fail
    Last edited by TheCotMan; August 7, 2016, 23:41.

    Leave a comment:


  • _multithreading
    replied
    Since it ends up needing to happen every year anyway, why not divide the hallways into 'lanes' of traffic from the get-go? Make some signs to point people in the correct direction, have 'exits' for the different tracks, etc.

    A wish-list item would be some service to check to see if a track is full and standing in line is a waste of time, though I do love me some linecon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jenshadus
    replied
    Considered digital or analog signs? There is a lot of screaming going on. Example have a whiteboard outside (and inside) for signing up for the workshop sign up room on the first day to apprise people of workshop availability. Mark presentation lines with stand up signs rather than yelling directions or putting them on the floors. Never been to one of these before and it seemed chaotic. Maybe that's the whole point. Just wouldn't hire you for ant wedding planning

    Leave a comment:


  • R33t
    replied
    Make sure that those who paid for badges actually get a real badge whole issue with BlackHat is completely unacceptable...

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCotMan
    started a topic Comments on DEF CON 24: Make DEF CON 25 better...

    Comments on DEF CON 24: Make DEF CON 25 better...

    Hello,

    We get some of the best ideas from our attendees on what at DEF CON was great, and what to improve and more importantly, how to improve it.

    We want your feedback!
    * What did you like about DEF CON? : What should return?
    * What did you dislike about DEF CON? : Assume you were in control: how would you fix it?
    * What was fine, but could be made better, and how?


    Thanks!

    -Cot

    (Just like last year, and as mentioned in another thread, I will be taking the items brought up here by you and items brought up in other sources to assemble a report of things from DEF CON 24, which is then sent to DEF CON Department Heads to help with planning for next year.)

    Constructive criticism is great! We want suggestions for solutions to problems. Often, the people that encounter problems are very interested in solutions spend time to come up with ideas to solve them. Share your ideas with us to help avoid issues you have encountered.)

    EDIT: Things are winding down. Get your ideas and thoughts added to this thread before Aug 19, 2016 . After that, I will be building the report.

    You are welcome to suggest ideas after Aug 19, 2017, but they are less likely to be reported.

    Why a cut-off date? Planning for the following DEF CON begins after DEF CON ends. People have already had discussions on use of space at Caesars and some department heads tweeted in public they have been on a tour of spaces at Casars. Issues, ideas, thoughts, what worked and what did not can then be discussed in the early stages of planning.
    Last edited by TheCotMan; August 11, 2016, 14:48.
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