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What sucks about DefCon.

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  • Lawless
    Re: also

    >>What I found as the main disadvantage were the poorly prepared >>talks.

    There are some good presentations, and then there are some with
    problems. A great programmer does not a great speaker make. For
    whatever reasons -- Fear/Anxiety, Lacking Orginization (ie, rambling), Rushed presentation, a few too many visits to the bar --
    some speakers have problems.

    Although the last one can't be easily solved ;), A earlier
    CFP, followed on by assistance (from volunteers, previous speakers)
    to help bring the presentations out of their alpha version, and
    into a more *cough* professional or polished version may be

    >>some of em just didn't fit in my opinion.They lost their way.
    >>But then I might be wrong.


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  • Xp0nential

    I have to agree with most of what Freaky already said.

    What I found as the main disadvantage were the poorly prepared talks.

    some of em just didn't fit in my opinion.They lost their way.
    But then I might be wrong.


    "Everything that's countable doesn't necessarily count. What counts isn't necessarily countable"
    Albert Einstein

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  • astcell
    GREAT things about Defcon: :D
    International participation and diversity of atendees.

    Making friends is easier here than anywhere else in the world.

    Trading web sites, software and links with others.

    Watching some 16 year old kid build a computer in a suitcase with his last dollar.

    Awesome T-shirts, buttons, stickers, and freedom of speach.

    Very cheap entry fee.

    NOT SO GREAT things about Defcon:
    Vandalism and other pre-adolescent pranks.

    Having speakers not show up.

    Having a speaker get busted by the FBI.

    Running out of room for the vendors.

    It's only once a year.

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  • White Vampire
    I give a whole lot of credit to all the DEF CON staff. The goons did an excellent job.

    People are too quick to judge. If they talk down on something, it can promote a facade. Obviously, some degree of evolution is necessary, but I am not sure what the overall solution is. It should not be about what the CON was, but where it is going.

    The variety of people is impressive. The talks are frequently about things that are already available on the Internet. That is unavoidable, to a degree, which is why I do not see why everyone wants to complain about the quality of them. If you have a problem with them, contribute one up to your 'standards.'

    I enjoy a good conversation. I ran into way too many people arguing over "my OS is better than your OS," et cetera. I am not interested in prentious pissing contests. There is still plenty of intelligent people at the CON, regardless.

    I appreciate the lack of overall restriction. I appreciate the way the goons try to avoid external involvement. I live my life that way, cops need not be involved most of the time. Adding unnecessary restriction upon the CON would infringe upon it to a degree, but cleaning it up somewhat would not hurt. I suppose it boils down to a lack of responsibility. Kicking down the lights that line the sidewalks is utterly unnecessary, as is other mindless destruction. I appreciate the pranks, but no need to completely destroy the hotel.

    I give a lot of credit to DT. He tries to keep DC cheap and keeps it for the 'community.' He truly deserves some credit for that.

    I will be there next year. And probably the year after that, if it is still around. Nothing is perfect and as with life, the CON is what you make it.


    White Vampire\Rem

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  • omega884

    Having not been to Def Con before, I'm not capable of commenting on what's bad, but I can say what I've noticed. The computer community has become more and more self centered, no longer is it sharing info and programs because of mutual respect it's now "what can I get out of this". In a way Def Con seems to (from what I've read) become similar to HotLine. Hear me out:

    When HotLine first came out, it was free, no banners, no sign ups for logins, Just free access for everyone because it should be free. As hotline grew however, it became much more commercialized. Banners, payments for logins, requirements of uploads just to get access. And so people began lookign out for themselves and not for the community as a whole. The same plauge has hit Def Con apparently. The people are more interested in themselves than the convention or the community.

    Where can you find new speakers? I don't know, I really don't. But if you don't find people to interested in attending the con for the learning, I don't think you'll get the speakers anyways. Maybe you need to be a bit more forceful in getting rid of people that aren't doing anything other than drugs (don't ask me how you're the one with access to the security guards)

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  • Freaky
    The goods and bads of DC.

    Defcon has always been a learning experience for myself. The first year I attended ( 5 ) I came along with a classmate 'Templar' - together we sold some magazines called StaticUsers '97, (there wasnt anymore after that one) we were young, we had ideas and good stories to share - We were always willing to learn new information and take it from whomever wanted to share it. The convention was so much fun, after the con was over we were already getting ready for next year - as I am sure so many other people were.

    A few years have gone by, the most noticable change is that a lot of the new people who come, and the people who are returning are changing - once you could talk to anyone about anything turned into a 'Do you know about this?' (as a question, wanting to learn) into 'Ya, so?' - Always comparison - who has the bigger dick or people just not talking. Conversations ends in seconds.

    People are just dropping names, like hey I know this person, chances are they just say them or heard the name on irc. People are becoming too competitive, rather than sharing information people are being tight asses.

    The bars are another story (: Always talking going around there.

    What I like about Defcon is the mix of people. The sodas for sale, the bars, the sessions, sitting back and learning something new. Sure some of the sessions teach you things you already know, but when i look back at the schedule, it describes what they will talk about.

    Meeting up with friends and family, yes family hackers (: some i didnt even know existed! Friends, the people from IRC, from Hotline, from the meetings, conf calls and more. I love talking to all the people at the convention. Communication is the main part i love.

    The media will always happen, you can limit it but out of the negitive articles comes a few positive ones.
    About the size of the convention, everyone has heard about it, everyone wants to learn, participate and meet people. A lot more organized than a 2600 meeting, props to that and the people who put the whole show together.

    The people you meet and the connections you can make are most positive. Hope people loosen up and enjoy talking more. Its a huge social learning event in my opinion not whos a bad ass and who hacks more..

    The people who are saught to be the more well known hackers who got the security jobs are the people you stop hearing about in the scene, the people who are getting tired of talking to the new people. I've seen kids go up to some of the people and get totally blown off - those kids are looking up to those people.

    Just a few rants and raves =)

    The next con I am sure will be a blast, try to keep the drugs down, less cops and such (:


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  • russ
    Speakers and Lectures

    We've got the party part down. The "hack-pit" is pretty cool. But what we need are people that REALLY care about computer security, from every side. There are TONS of extremely talented people who are afraid to come and speak. why?

    I think a lot of it has to do with what they feel they have to live up to. The people who came before. L0pht, RFP, cDc, Marcus, Bruce, more....

    But it's time for the next generation of deep thinker to step forward and show the world how they see the network. DefCon will stagnate if the genre stagnates. It's too easy to download a script and run it against a target versus having to figure out how to write the script yourself and accomplish something that hasn't been done before.

    Remember when every speaker room was packed with people because they knew it would be enlightening? fun? a learning experience?

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  • gemikit
    Originally posted by DeN
    One of the things that impressed me about DC (never having gone) is the free-ness. Lack of aganda. Seems like having [safe] fun is a priority.
    I definitely agree with that. Didn't a lot of pressure of a restricted schedule. Plenty of time to eat, drink and socialize. Hopefully that won't change next year!

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  • DeN
    One of the things that impressed me about DC (never having gone) is the free-ness. Lack of aganda. Seems like having [safe] fun is a priority.

    Pitty I never saw what it was like before. Heard, yeah, but saw - experienced? , neh.

    Maybe the next will be the best yet?

    Tis possible.


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  • nulltone
    Just so everyone knows...
    you can find the open letter to the community here:

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  • simon
    agreed. DefCon is a victim of it own success. Although its hard to know what the original purpose and evolving purposes of the con are. It would make it easier for me to give worth-while feedback if I guess I knew what was trying or be achieved.

    And I did sit through your announcement at the end on sunday (haven't read the announcement but will now) And I thought the idea of maybe doing the "real world", "jason biggs" thing again and making a place for them to show it officially was good idea. (Sorry if that is not entirely accurate my memory is ehh)... Also the getting rid of the social engineering contest was another good idea.

    But again I dont know what you want... I am generally not into just bitching, so if I could get an idea of what is trying to be achieved then I'll definately give you the best suggestions I have.


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  • The Dark Tangent
    What you are saying has been said before. If you read my announcement after the show you would realize we know it too. The con must change.

    What I would find interesting is how do you want it changed? DEF CON has been a victim of its success with more and more people attending. The same will happen to any other convention that is fun to go to.

    Bitching is easy to do, but I want suggestions that make sense.

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  • simon
    started a topic What sucks about DefCon.

    What sucks about DefCon.

    I think what is really starting to suck about DefCon how it seems to fall apart more and more than the year previous. Lets see last year for dc9 how people overdosed? And how many people missed the tracks that they were to be giving? Way more.

    I really just go to hang out with like minded peeps. It's sort of like a huge 2600 gathering with more media, feds, and suits. All i hear from people who attend HAL 2001 is how much better it was. And know they know how a reall hacker con is supposed to be they are not sure if they will go back.

    And I guess there is some truth to that. Who wants to spend a few hundred bucks just to hang out in 100 degree smoke filled rooms...

    another 2cents i guess.