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  • #16
    Originally posted by skroo
    Good point, and my apologies for not distinguishing between the two initially. There is a world of difference between being aware of political issues that have a direct impart and being subject to what amounts to little more than a diatribe.
    This is the criticism a lot of people had about HOPE this year. Everywhere you look was anti-Bush this, anti-RNC that. Understandable given the political climate and the proximity of the con to the RNC, but it gets to be a bit much.

    Hope you're feeling better, Skroo.


    • #17
      Whoah. That Tom' Hardware article is way off base. The speech was going fine till the guy started telling people to "fuck shit up" by "blowing up buses" and "attacking delegates." His problem came from insulting a goon, humperdink, when he was told he couldn't advocate acts of terrorism. Thats when all the other goons poured in. Nobody tried to attack him.


      • #18
        The truly sad thing is that most of his motiviation for all this was to impress his girlfriend. She seemed more fired up than him. Best line

        Attendee: "Would you be prepared to go to jail for your beliefs?"
        Speakers GF: "He cant, he has to pay the rent"

        Hopefully Spanky McFuckstain, or whatever his name is, wakes up to the fact that theres other fish in the sea and bails out before she gets him jailed or killed.

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


        • #19
          Better article

          Much better article on the situation here.


          • #20
            Originally posted by icer
            Whoah. That Tom' Hardware article is way off base. The speech was going fine till the guy started telling people to "fuck shit up" by "blowing up buses" and "attacking delegates." His problem came from insulting a goon, humperdink, when he was told he couldn't advocate acts of terrorism. Thats when all the other goons poured in. Nobody tried to attack him.
            I talked to about a dozen people (four of them other press) that attended and they all said that someone tried to get at the guy. The goons thought the speaker was in imminent (sp???) danger.

            Link to article is

            Text for the section is

            Tempers Flare

            Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Electronic Civil Disobedience and the Republican National Convention talk given by a teenager called CrimetheInc (real name unknown). With a talk title like that, you know that sparks may fly, and they did. I cannot report exactly what the speaker said, as the tape has not yet been made available. Hopefully they will appear on the Defcon media archives page soon.

            According to eyewitnesses who saw the talk, some attendees took offense to what the speaker was saying. At the end of the talk, someone ran up to the stage and tried to assault the speaker. Security grabbed the speaker and placed him in isolation for a few hours.

            I think for rumor control, we really need to get a video recording of what happened. What people see and hear varies greatly depending on where they were seated, how far they were from the speaker, etc. A recording would clear ALL of this up.

            PS The link to the Newsforge article (the post above mine) does have better description of what happened. Remember that I started off my section by writing that I didn't attend the talk. So I had to get all the info through eyewitnesses... which adds an extra layer of potential problems.

            Humphrey Cheung
            Editor -


            • #21
              It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many fantastic speakers we have (Johhny Long, Shmoo to name a couple), no matter how many new and innovative ideas are presented (TCP/IP Appliances, Robots), no matter how many cool inventions people devise (The RenderRig)...and no matter how many people actually show up and learn something from the presentations (people aren't complaining that they can't get into the parties at the pools ya know) the media still fixates on one or two assclowns that are doing nothing but TRYING to get attention from the press.

              I am not saying that some of these things aren't newsworthy...only that I am sick of seeing the negatives of DefCon (You try putting 5000 free thinkers in one place and NOT having a little trouble) publicized as much as they are.
              perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'


              • #22
                Originally posted by Chris
                no matter how many cool inventions people devise (The RenderRig)
                I saw RenderMan wearing it in a pic. What is it?


                • #23
                  Originally posted by drdank
                  I saw RenderMan wearing it in a pic. What is it?

                  It was basically a homemade backpack that could allow him to put his laptop, antenna, etc in it and walk around with his teammate viewing the LCD from behind while Render was doing other stuff during the mini games. It was a very cool solution to the problem of using a bulky laptop during the mini games. I actually think he should consider selling them in the future.
                  perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'


                  • #24
                    Damn, shouldn't have changed the channel. Started watching the talk and was totally unimpressed with the two "too cool for skewl" teenagers that I switched to another talk. Caught the tail end of Priest-rant where it seemed Dan was getting a little annoyed at him -- now I know why.

                    Politics can always be talked about in an open forum and is indeed talked during DC (privacy rights, DMCA, eVoting, RIAA and MPAA, etc). It's divisive political issues that typically should be left out.

                    People always remember the bad things more than the good. Hopefully the other political messages that were given during the Con (e-voting in particular) will become more on the radar scope and the children trying to impress other children will be left behind.
                    We own everything so you don't have to!


                    • #25
                      Okay, as someone who was present at this talk and who saw what took place imediately afterward I would like to toss my two cents into the gears of the rumor mill before it really gets cranking.

                      First off, I was exited about this talk because the convergence of technology and activism has been a passion of mine for quite some time. Which made it all that much worse for me when the thing actually took place. I would like to disagree with the statement that politics have no place at Defcon because of the serious consequences for technology and its enthusiasts that the political process can have. I also think that the use of technology can have political consequeces as well. I try not to compartmentalize the two. By "politics" I don't speak of the "Left" or "Right" but of actions and reactions in the public discourse.

                      This guy's talk, however, was disappointing at best and infuriating at worst. I don't know that I have ever seen anyone talk for so long and have so little to say. The abridged version: "Fight The Power."

                      To be fair, he probably didn't give the talk he meant to because of the increasing tension in the room. But the fact is he made a serious mistake in public speaking: he didn't speak for his audience. What he was saying may have been recieved well in his local anarchist collective, but aside from the common interest in tech that brings folks to Defcon, this is a diverse group, with diverse political philoshophies. To get up and rail against the tyranny of capitalism to an audience in which most people are employed in the industry and quite happy with that system (while maybe aknowledging some flaws) is to lose them on anything else you might have to say.

                      At one point the kid did digress to "fucking shit up" and made references to explosives, and a Goon asked him (quite calmly) to keep references to violence down and to make the standard discalimer that Defcon does not condone violence.

                      Any reasonable person could have and would have done so. But because this kid was somehow adverse to ANY authority whatsoever, he complained that his freedom of speech was being violated, "What about Democracy?" and then got sarcastic and snarky toward the Goon. (I believe he said "Yes Ma'am" and rolled his eyes.)

                      By this point the audience was already tense and that just made it worse. The talk ended at that point.

                      As for the rumor that the kid was assaulted, not so. After the talk plenty of people wanted to speak to him and came up to the stage. One argument got tense, and while no hits were thrown, security decided it was best to remove both parties from the room.

                      As for the final fate of the kid, I don't believe he was ejected from the Con because I saw him later that day, but have a feeling he may have removed himself shortly afterward.

                      I know my 2 cents has quickly become about $1.60, but I really wanted to explain what I saw before the rumors got going. I don't want Priest or any Goons to get any shit for this because I thought the situation was handled extrordinarily well. He was not removed because he was being silenced by facsists (true Python moment "Help, I'm being oppressed!") he was removed for his own safety. And I was glad it was over.



                      • #26
                        Just want to coroborate polyhazard's take on the events. This is pretty much what I saw as well.

                        It seemed to me the kid was getting unsettled by the largely neutral/negative response he was getting. If the audience had been filled with like-minded radicals/leftists/anarchists/whatever-the-hell-he-considers-himself, he probably would have done better. Instead, he seemed shaken by the fact that his more political statements weren't getting a positive response, and were in fact alienating a good part of his audience. It's at that point that he started into his more radical ideas.

                        I think Priest stepped to the podium for two purposes: to distance Defcon from the political content and illegal actions recommended in the talk, and to send the kid a message to cool it a little. The second part didn't work. Right after giving a halfhearted "yeah, right", he started talking about having the names of delegates, their cell phone numbers, where they're staying, what shows they're going to.... It was after he started detailing how to identify and disable convention busses that the talk got closed down. It was no longer about "hacktivism" at that point, unless you consider prank calls "hacking".

                        I was too far away to hear details of the exchange afterwards, just some raised voices and a few heated words, followed by some goons hustling the kid out. He looked pissed, they looked concerned. I believe they prevented him from getting his face modified.

                        I was sorely disappointed by the talk. I hoped to hear about ways to use hacking as a political tool, to get your message across, much as the sit-ins and protests were used in my younger days. He alluded to this a little in the beginning, but quickly switched to his "fuck up their shit" theme. Anyone can do that. He was unfocused, ill prepared, amaturish, and filled with self importance (his opening comment of "I'll probably be arrested right after this" was a dead giveaway). If this is the face of political activism these days, I weep for the future.
                        They couldn't hit an elephant from this dist
                        - Last words of General John Sedgwick


                        • #27
                          I would have to agree with the statement made by polyhazard, " ... disagree that ... politics have no place at Defcon because of the serious consequences for technology and its enthusiasts that the political process can have." However, I think for clarity we can agree to address the political issues which directly affects the electronic without endorsing a candidate or party. The fact is, politics do affect our way of life in almost every venue of being. Right down to the kid who thought his freedom of speech was being violated is a political issue-dealing with the first amendment of the constitution.

                          1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

                          I posted that amendment primarily because it supports the argument that this speaker did not consider his audience. And the fact is, CONGRESS did not enact a law abridging anyone's freedom of speech. This is a private group having a public meeting under their rules of engagement. They have a right to set rules of conduct and speech. In as much as this is a private group running a public forum, they have rules of conduct and speech.

                          In the opposing corner: There are anti-authority people who believe in violent protest, stalking, harassing,..etc. This radicalism which was experienced opened a lot of eyes and I was reminded of one thing... People like this are why we have government infiltrating in, by and with electronics. IF we don't sway people away from such radical behavior, we will only be aiding in the promotion of new laws and control methods. So all isn't lost by this lecture.. we were reminded of:

                          "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
                          In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.


                          • #28
                            Regarding Priest's Interjection

                            Heh guys, this is Dan Kaminsky...thought I'd take a second to shed some light on what went on from my perspective.

                            So, as a speaker, you end up going into the ready room about forty five minutes before your talk. If something was going to go down during that time in the general con -- there's no way I'd know. And I didn't -- all I knew was that Priest had a message to deliver, and since he's basically the head goon and one of the oldest school supporters of Defcon, he gets alot of deference.

                            Once it turned into a conversation with the audience, I started getting really, really uncomfortable. Not because I didn't agree with Priest's right to talk, or that I wouldn't otherwise enjoy a thoughtful dialog on the false dichotomy of diplomacy vs. war, but -- why here? Why now?

                            I had no idea some nineteen year old kid out to impress his girlfriend had just seemingly threatened the lives of thousands of feds at a conference filled with thousands of feds. I had no clue that Priest, and the entire rest of the Defcon press squad, was in the midst of a hectic but ultimately stunningly successful session of damage control. And I don't think the AV guys knew either -- thus the mike getting cut off a couple times. Certainly, Priest is the man to give the benefit of the doubt -- but at the point where he had ranted for five minutes, and was asking for another five, I...wasn't happy.

                            A couple people have given Defcon a bit of heat for "censoring" this guy. Look. The DC staff probably saved this kid from having a serious criminal record for the rest of his life, and managing his safety despite temporary stupidity -- even at the expense of a bit of my talk -- is sort of the whole point of the Goons. Their diligence is why we still have a con to party, learn, and hack at after twelve years of running something "underground" enough for Spot The Fed to be an official event.

                            Anyway, this has gone on longer than planned. Just remember that if you see weird things like this happening -- you're at Defcon, it's weird that anything's happening at all :-)



                            • #29
                              I am suprised you remember anything after the 3 humperdink shots and the massive amount of dunking.


                              • #30
                                i side with polyhazard when it comes to disagreeing with the notion that politics have no place at DefCon. some of the MOST rewarding talks for me have been very politically relevant... EFF and Simple Nomad (particularly "Widdershins" at DC9) come to mind.

                                i feel that criticism of one's own government and one's own society is among the most healthy acts a person can engage in, if it's done intelligently and without hysteria or ignorance. of course, from seeing what i did of the talk this speaker clearly crossed the line into asshat territory which is a shame to see.

                                that said, i am a bit upset to hear that this talk wouldn't be included in the media archives or anything. i'm a huge opponent of deleting information or pushing stuff under the rug because someone was a fool. i say let it be seen, let it stand up to scrutiny, and let others talk amongst themselves about where the speaker went wrong and why violent action isn't productive.

                                just my $0.02
                                "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