Rocking the Con

Spent this weekend braving the snowpocolypse (or snowpocalypse depending on which Twitter hashtag you were following) in Washington DC. Obviously, I survived. YAY ME!

Why was I in DC? Well if you're reading this you prolly already know, but I was attending ShmooCon. I've tried many years in a row, but for one reason or another was never able to until now. Got ticket, transportation, and accommodations from the fine people of 757 Labs.

Left Thursday afternoon, and settled in late that evening. Nice ride up. The three people I went up with were split between two cars. Ethan and I in one, Matt and Erik in the other. I had packed my GMRS radios, so we had communications between cars. Ethan and I have very eclectic tastes in music; it was nice to make the ride up with someone whose music selection was varied and interesting.

Friday I ventured out into the early stages of the impending doom to make my way to the Pentagon City Apple store. Picked up a mophie juice pack air, so that my phone would actually last the con without having to spend all my time tethered to a wall. I had been to the Apple store at home, but they only had the thing in eye bleed red. Fortunately, the folks in DC have some taste and carried it in a number of colors, such as black. After that, I hung out while the only entry in the Hacker Arcade was unpacked. I admit I didn't spend much time helping to set it up, but I had already spent a lot of time prepping the lasers for the install, so I was pretty fed up with it at that point. Besides, being my first con I was really in 'oooo shiny' mode. After registering I attended the opening remarks, then wandered around meeting people. Later that day I attended the talk on insecure web apps, and then the keynote on the flaw in TLS authentication. There was supposed to be a gathering at HacDC but was preemptively canceled that morning because of the threat of flaky white death. That night, while chilling in the lobby, part of the glass ceiling at the hotel broke and it started snowing inside. That was cool... very... actually cold. It was pretty chilly for the rest of the night.

Saturday I caught the second half of the talk on smartphone security. What does your data device say about you, and who is listening? Good stuff. Lots to think about. Especially since I want to get into iPhone app development., Then a very sobering talk on GSM security, or more accurately the lack thereof. I knew it was broken, but ZOMFG I had no idea how broken. After that was lunch. Didn't make it to the talk on UAVs on the cheap, but that's o'kay, 757 Labs has a UAV project which was back burnered a while back. There's talk of reactivating development on that, which I'll be happy to help with. Later was a "we're already doing it wrong" talk on cyborg infosec. How can we expect to build future bioelectrical enhancements when current pacemakers are programmable wireless over unencrypted links?

Later Saturday night I attended the podcaster's meetup. Ran into Darren, Paul, and Shannon. Haven't seen them in quite a while, so that was cool. Went out with them for Chinese food, then to the party at club Heaven & Hell. Don't ever let anyone tell you that geeks don't know how to party. That place was jumping. int80 of dualCORE performed, and really the whole night just rocked. I haven't danced that much in a LONG time. Walked back around 01:30 Sunday morning, and hung out at the hotel bar until 04:00. Chilled with int80 and the DC949 crew. Awesome people. Were great fun to party with. If I ever find myself in Orange County I will definitely look them up.

Sunday was pretty much getting packed up and escaping DC proper. I would have liked to have stayed for the closing, but the roads were just too much of a mess to risk it.

Had a hell of a time. Shmoo rocked my socks, nuff said.

Took a few pictures, which I'll get up on Flickr eventually. Right now it's well past my bedtime.