Notes from DEFCON and DEFCON Kids

I've been posting lightly around here for the past week, as I've been at DEFCON, where I gave a speech. I brought my whole family -- wife, daughter, and parents -- and the kid got to do some lockpicking workshops at DEFCON Kids, the astoundingly bad-ass kids' computer literacy program run alongside the main event. I was run off my feet (in a very good way) at the event and haven't yet gotten enough of a handle on it to write something coherent, but my wife Alice has a good writeup of our experience there, with special emphasis on the DEFCON Kids axis-of-awesome (my wife was Education Commissioner for Channel 4 for some years before quitting to do a startup and has seen every educational tech approach under the sun, DEFCON Kids blew her away) and, separately, Katy Levinson's stupendous, semi-drunken, vodka-fueled, obscenity filled virtuoso engineering talk on the practical difficulties of building and operating robots.

Update: Katy Levinson adds in the comments, "Also, if you have a moment, please help us save Hacker Dojo, a wonderful hackerspace and the first home of Pinterest. Hacker Dojo is currently in danger of being shut down by the city."

Discuss

9 Responses to “Notes from DEFCON and DEFCON Kids”

  1. working on robots drunk seems to be a national past time in silicon valley.  so far it has NOT resulted in cyborgs, but I remain hopeful.

  2. katylevinson says:

    Hello! DEFCON 20′s talk isn’t up yet but DEFCON 19′s talk is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drk3Dz3_yLE (skip the first 5 minutes, the dudes had been shouting for me to take my shirt off and it kinda frazzled me so I was kinda boring).

    Also, if you have a moment, please help us save Hacker Dojo, a wonderful hackerspace and the first home of Pinterest. Hacker Dojo is currently in danger of being shut down by the city. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/384590180/an-events-space-and-a-design-studio-for-hacker-doj

    Thank you!

    • digi_owl says:

      “the dudes had been shouting for me to take my shirt off”
      Why do i find myself continually embarrassed of my gender?

      • katylevinson says:

         Don’t worry, we all look like shit when compared to the lowest denominator. You can’t let the dregs of humanity get you down or you’ll never get anything done :p

      • Theranthrope says:

        Coincidentally, I’m continually embarrassed by your gender too, whichever one it is.

        Anyway, I was there at the Rio too, but up in the room watching via (the frequently broken) DEFCON TV (Is Quicktime streaming EVER a good idea? Really guys?), and thought that Katy’s talk was rather… well…  mediocre.  Not bad… just boring.

        Perhaps if -I- were drunker it might have been more interesting, but I ended up watching the SIGINT talk on track 1 instead.

  3. I was at Rollercon down at the Riviera last week. It was good to see some Defcon guys come out and crash our parties! 

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