first thing in Las Vegas (7:30am, good morning) is matching billboards informing me that Paul Oakenfold and that one guy from Jersey Shore are resident DJs at the hard rock casino. must be a proud moment for oakie.
my taxi driver, upon hearing that i’m going to the Rio, asks me if i’m a hacker and if i can hack his car (a mid 90s crown vic). i tell him i can and he’s impressed. i suppose i could try and block his GPS signal if i had a spoofer or something, so it’s not 100% a lie.
line for badges is 2 hours. i was in front a 6’5″ dude from Colorado who couldn’t not talk to people. as soon as someone started ignoring him he’d pick a new audience for his particular brand of libertarian-tinged DEFCON history and philosophy. it was like being stuck in a 2 hour podcast of a turner diaries / windows certification classes crossover.
badge this year is a hybrid of the go-meet-people-solve-mystery one from last year, and the techy ones from previous years. it’s a microcontroller with usb, vga (requires soldering), and some other hidden features, but also part of an ARG game again. reminds me to look up what the ARG ‘solution’ was last year since i never check
btw, this microcontroller supports the Z80 instruction set, which means that it’s possible to play Jet Set Willy on a conference badge. not quite the singularity but it’s not bad.
thursday talks were tailored towards the workshops, with mini tutorials as talks. the wi-fi guys did a “here’s how to attack WPA2” one, the lockpick guys did “here’s how to bypass this generation of anti-lockpick devices”, etc
the defcon entertainment is maturing, for better or worse. sure, the perennial terribads Regenerator are still playing, but the headliners for the friday/saturday post-defcon parties are MC Frontalot and Crystal Method, with Infected Mushroom doing a daytime set outside. not sure how ready crystal meth is for a hall with 4 guys ironically dancing and couple hundred people sit leaning against the walls tweeting about how much they love bacon, guns, and ayn rand.
btw, if i catch their set, this would be the third time i unintentionally see Crystal, with the first being some club i went to for a friend’s birthday, and second being burning man when someone told me that they were Chemical Brothers (i spent a good few minutes wondering Chem Bros would open a set with Trip Like I Do)
food eaten so far: 1 stupid large sandwich and a naked juice. i feel like a paleothic hunter who caught and ate an entire capybara, except the capybara is an overpriced philly cheese-steak, and i didn’t catch it but in a way you bought it for me with your state education fund tax dollars. so thank you.