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  • Ideas for Defcon 15

    So DT asked folks to come up with more ideas to fill some con space. I was really impressed with lockpick village, especially the newbie stations.

    A minor idea is to have a small area (it should be visible or it won't get used) as a dedicated breakout area, well labelled, with people highly encouraged to go there and show folks how to do xyz. We may be able to "grow" some good speakers this way. It's possible I may have been able to give a talk on my wearable at one time, but felt way too intimidated by the defcon crowd to even think about it. Maybe put multiple tables and chairs in there so hardware workshops don't have to work on the floor.

    Hardware Village - this can contain such things as Robot Village, circuit bending and Newbie Town, with stations on how to solder, how to read a schematic, working with breadboards, etc. I'd like to steer away from really common/low end hardware stuff like taking apart harddrives or case mods. I think this would really help encourage folks who would like to get into hw, but feel intimidated by not having basic skills. How sweet would it be to have station/workshop dedicated to Fun With Gumstix?

    With all the amazing work Lost has done with his contest and being so dedicated in trying to get folks into hardware, Hardware Village is a natural extension of what he is already doing. Personally, I nominate Lost and Joe Grand, if they'd like the honor.

    Yes, I have to put in a gratuitous plug in for forming a Defcon Borg Collective. There's been some mention of projects DC groups could help propogate and I'd love to see a borg collective develop. If gumstix were used to create a diskless client, a wearable could be made for very cheap (if you used audio as an output device). Yes, there'd definitely be security issues, but hell, that'd be half the fun, since this stuff is gonna have to get ironed out sooner or later. These units would also be very low profile, which would make them more fun and less of a hassle. Imagine going into some place as a flash mob, having one of the server borg running an irc daemon and having everyone communicating that way, enabling the look of functioning as one unit - everybody turning in one direction simultaneously, asking for coffee with one voice, etc. I am sure legitimate uses would turn up as well, such as some borg getting into a talk and others being unable to do so, but being able to get a transcription of the talk from the borg inside. The weak point is that networking would be done over bluetooth, but hey... it's a challenge (security, length of signal vs bulky equipment, etc)!
    Last edited by mfreeck; August 8, 2006, 11:59.

  • #2
    Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

    Originally posted by mfreeck
    well labelled
    this was certainly an issue that i kept on encountering. i know it will get better as we return to the Riv in future years, but it would really be terrific to have signs, some HUGE signs, up on the walls indicating which doorways and rooms are the talk tracks, breakout areas, contest area, etc.

    i know that the hotel didn't want anything affixed to the walls, however. and we wouldn't want the expense and risk of placing projectors all over the place in hallways, etc. i have an idea which might work, however... it's not expensive (i think) to make what i believe are called graffiti throws. (not "throwies" which are just LEDs and magnets that you toss onto metal walls, i'm talking about a stencil/projection type design) i don't know if they're LCD based or powered by conventional bulbs, but if focused properly they can be very large and highly visible.

    what if we erected, in key places, some sort of "you are here" type signs (maybe out of 4x8 plywood) that show the floorplan, etc. we could even mount the image throwers to the top of these. if placed in a hallway between two speaking rooms you'd have a clear indicator in plain sight and large imagery tossed on the walls on either side.
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; August 8, 2006, 13:26.
    "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

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    • #3
      Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

      I definitely was very lost the whole time, partly this being my first defcon, partly my inability to discern what the schedule/map booklet was saying.

      I know that the booklet organization confused me. Displaying events on separate pages (the b/w balls for example) with a small line about which room they're in that you had to hunt for, inside the descriptor of the event, blew out my brain. It would help if instead a room were listed on top of a page, and then on that page there would be a list all the events and times that the events were at. Especially if that were put in the front of the booklet. I know some events were filled in on the map in the back, but I still found myself confused for some reason.

      Oh, and if the Riv let you put something up around the door on the walls through which you had to go to get to the dunk-tank, it would look more like somewhere people ought to go (I had no idea that's where it was being held until I saw a mob of people going out there on the last day). Would they let us modify trash-cans to hold up some signs if all else fails? Or possibly color-coded tape arrows on the floors (they let you put down tape to keep people from tripping on cords, so they shouldn't dislike this either)?
      lurking...somewhere

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      • #4
        Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

        Let's add a new dimension. How about picking a lock while sitting on the dunk tank seat, and see if you can finish before the target gets bullseyed?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

          Originally posted by mfreeck
          Hardware Village - ... stations on how to solder, how to read a schematic, working with breadboards ...
          We will have to bug LosT about logistics for this, because it seems like an awesome way to use some of the space mentioned by DT at closing ceremonies. The folks in Lockpick Village really stepped up and kicked ass; the thought of spreading similar knowledge and opportunity within the hardware hacking realm seems like a great way to bring more folks into the fold on this, maybe get more folks building robots or breaking mysteriously brainbending boxen (Winner of converge's Best Contest Evar Award 2006 tm).
          if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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          • #6
            Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

            I really enjoyed all of the hardware stuff, the bigger breakout area sounds like a great idea too.

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            • #7
              Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

              I also think a bigger "village" area for hardware and/or lockpicking stuff would be great. This is an excellent example of people teaching other people.. which is what its all about..

              What about maybe having some kind of programming competition or some kinda programming "mystery protocol" or something. I think a lot of people have advanced programming skills, or I think should have minor skills in the area.. Seems like this idea could be expanded?

              What about having more BoF style areas? (in the capri rooms maybe?) were there's some kind of minimal organization and people brainstorm on solving a problem, breaking some code, ideas and all that kinda thing. I think this is a great idea we can borrow from shmoocon/toorcon.

              (more ideas will come... this is what's on the top of my head)
              The only constant in the universe is change itself

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              • #8
                Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                how about using washable markers or crayons to write on the walls. and the losers of the contests have to do washing duty, or clean up. and/or just tape up card board signs to the walls, or get the poster cardboard which sells for like 1$ for abundle of like 5, and just tape up the thing with masking or even funner the gray tape. whatever its called. sorry insomnia is starting to set in, and i havent even gone a full night :(

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                • #9
                  Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                  Originally posted by White_Widow
                  5, and just tape up the thing with masking or even funner the gray tape. whatever its called. sorry insomnia is starting to set in, and i havent even gone a full night :(


                  If you meant Duct tape and could not name it I must only assume you do not visit the south eastern states of U.S. much.
                  AcidicA, another orange shirted goon.
                  myspace.com/acidicasound


                  You throw like girls. I know, I helped run the dunk tank ;)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                    Originally posted by White_Widow
                    how about using washable markers or crayons to write on the walls. and the losers of the contests have to do washing duty, or clean up. and/or just tape up card board signs to the walls, or get the poster cardboard which sells for like 1$ for abundle of like 5, and just tape up the thing with masking or even funner the gray tape. whatever its called. sorry insomnia is starting to set in, and i havent even gone a full night :(
                    too bad the Riv did not allow anything on the walls - having a mural contest between DCG's would be interesting IMHO.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                      Also, at the AP the pool parties gave DJs an opportunity to spin something different than the B&W ball - some were locals, and some were out of towners. The diverse selection is was definitely lacking this year - perhaps something can be arranged for the chioll out area & the outside chill out area?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                        How about having receipts printed for people to take back home with them like in previous years. When I picked up my badge I was told that a receipt would be put up on defcon.org immediately following the convention...

                        Well, if it's there I can't find it. I've looked through the faq, forums and Google searched the site and still no luck.

                        Anyone have any ideas as I have to turn in my trip expenses today in order to get reimbursed.

                        Thanks!

                        -Brand

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                          1. I think a designated area for post-talk questions and answers would be fantastic. Of course after most talks the presenter gets mobbed with a few questions, but crowd control becomes an issue and having to stand around makes the answers of lower quality.

                          After the aggressive network defense talk, Maj. Clark was more than happy to answer everyone's questions but the room had to be cleared. Maybe another room similar to the green room or press room could be used for this.

                          2. I also really missed having the chill out area be next to CTF. There was always something to watch thanks to the filler and there was more room to move around. Maybe some of the skyboxes overlooking it could be used for chill areas in addition to the large room next to the vendor area.

                          3. There probably should be some large ash trays moved to the areas right outside the entrances to the tracks. This would aleviate the problem of ashing into a plastic cup with water in the bottom which even the smokers know is pretty gross.

                          4. One of the reasons I was excited to stay at the Riv was DCTV. I know there were some last minute issues with this, however I think that the potential problems with profanity, subliminal horse genetalia, etc. could be mitigated if DCTV was piped only into a single tower of rooms where the con-goers are staying. Maybe another possiblity would be to have DCTV go to rooms over PPV, but have there be no charge for it.
                          jur1st, esq.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                            When the air walls are removed those rooms are absolutely gigantic. Maybe just leave the whole area open (except maybe vendor) and put contest, ctf, chill, break out, etc. there. The biggest problem would probably be noise, but I know that in the contest area it never got too loud, probably due to the high ceilings.
                            --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ideas for Defcon 15

                              Originally posted by dYn4mic
                              What about maybe having some kind of programming competition or some kinda programming "mystery protocol" or something. I think a lot of people have advanced programming skills, or I think should have minor skills in the area.. Seems like this idea could be expanded?
                              All this needs is an organizer with excitment, knowledge and drive to contribute to the community like Lost, the people from TOOOL, Deviant Ollam... heck, everyone who was running a contest, working as a Goon, speaking, or hosting parties for everyone else.

                              We do have contests where coding plays a role:
                              Defcon Robots, CTF, aCTF, Lost's MysteryBox (closer to hardware than software, but it was reported that 3 languages were included), and probably others that I am missing.

                              If you see a niche, fill it. Other "games" or contests from elsewhere:
                              CoreWars with "redcode", the Obfuscated "C" Contest (sometimes discussed at Usenix) more.

                              What about having more BoF style areas? (in the capri rooms maybe?) were there's some kind of minimal organization and people brainstorm on solving a problem, breaking some code, ideas and all that kinda thing. I think this is a great idea we can borrow from shmoocon/toorcon.
                              BoF existed in USENIX long before Smoocon or Toorcon, and probably elsewhere long before that. Many professional groups have had clubs or "societies" where members have met to discuss their trade.

                              The addition of the LP Villiage, and Losts "breakout session" for the robot builds are some really good, recent examples of this. What we do need are more of these, and that will happen if we get more people willing and able to host events or breakout sessions.

                              The small donation Lost was accepting for the Robot Breakout session, was InSaNe! (Alternating case used here to have this "sound" like it was screamed out by a crazy person with problems controlling the modulation and pitch of their voice.)

                              I really do think that even an "at-cost" breakout session would be well received at Defcon too. Even a small profit to cover risk for people signing up but not showing up or paying for their spot, and nobody being willing to take their place. Donations to the EFF of profits are even better. People could even be told what they would need to buy/bring to a breakout session, in case they could get a better deal.

                              For anyone suggesting a new contest, try joining your local DCG and see if you can build support to host a new contest.

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