Wednesday, December 27, 2006

CCC: Day 1 Of The 23C3

A very poor keynote speaker from the EFF. He claimed that hackers are a serious threat to the public and must be dealt with by the hacker community. He talked about hackers working for mafia in eastern Europe etc. Very lame.

The Grim Meathook Future
I was planning to go to a talk on a CCC RFID project, but the room was completely packed so Richard and I ended up in a talk called the Grim Meathook Future. It was a complete surprise to find that the speaker was eloquent, funny and had some very serious stuff to say. The talk focussed on false assumptions made about the future summed up by the phrase "In the future everything will work". This is the reason I come to hacker cons, not the tech stuff, but the few talks which hit very hard, and tell you things that you knew were true but that you don't allow to affect the way you live your life. I didn't agree with much of what he said, but the general thrust of the first part of the talk was that many hackers are in love with their toys and run around telling everyone how such tools will change the world.

Privacy In Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is a bunch of crap. This fact should be reflected on deeply. Regardless of this, I still attended the talk. Although I've often said that the European hacker scene is more advanced than that of the US, one of the negative aspects of the advanced nature of the hacker scene here is that people here seem to talk more about things in a theoretical and abstract way.

Got stuck in a talk in German. Fortunately the talk contained some videos, some pictures and a demonstration. Although I couldn't understand what was being said, it seemed to me that a lot of it was just talk about toy helicopters with mounted cameras and video senders. Certainly not drones, but still quite cool.

We Don't Trust Voting Computers
I have no interest in voting and voting computers. I attended this 2-hour talk simply because the speaker rocks. The speaker, Rop Gonggrijp, headed a campaign against voting computers in The Netherlands. Being 31337 haxors, Rop and his team were able to obtain some voting computers, find some insecurities in them and publicise them widely.

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