Wired's Threat Level blog sweet-talked itself into the network operations center at DefCon, the infamous hacker con in Vegas, and got some great dirt on what it takes to run a network used by some of the world's most talented hackers:
Over 9,000 hackers, freaks, feds and geeks are gathered in Las Vegas for Defcon, the world's largest computer security convention. The temporary wireless network that serves the Defcon attendees is the most hostile on the planet.
Defcon's network is put together and run by a group of dedicated volunteers, known as Goons. These red badge-sporting Network Goons work hard to make the network robust enough to handle the endless stream of dangerous traffic.