Last week I attended the “computer security” conference HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth), held every two years in NYC. The title of this year’s event was “The Last Hope”, but it may not be the last. Unfortunately I had to work Friday and was not able to get to the convention until about 4pm, luckily it was being held only 2 avenues away from my workplace. I had never attended HOPE in the past, although I have gone to Las Vegas for DEFCON several times in the past 10 years. HOPE is organized by the crew over at 2600: The Hacker Quarterly.
All told, the event was interesting, and I was glad to attend. However, maybe I’m just getting old but “the scene” just doesn’t hold my attention as it once did. Oh well. The convention took place at the Hotel Pennsylvania, which was scheduled for demolition soon, hence “The Last HOPE”. However by the end of the convention it was announced that plans to demolish the hotel have been put on hold due to the bad economy, so HOPE will take place again at it’s usual spot in 2010.
Some of the sessions I attended were great, others not so great. Amongst the good ones were:
- Bagcam – How Did TSA and/or the Airlines Manage to Do That to Your Luggage? By: algormor
- A Hacker’s View of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) By: Phil Lapsley
- Hacking the Price of Food: An Urban Farming Renaissance By: Bicyclemark
- Methods of Copying High Security Keys By: Barry Wels and Han Fey
- One Last Time: The Hack/Phreak History Primer By: Jason Scott
Looking back at the list of talks, I wish I’d attended more/different ones. Guess I am just getting old. Oh well, there’s always 2010. I spent a good amount of time in the Lockpick Village playing around and picking a couple locks, its always fun to open locks you’ve never touched before. I picked up a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein‘s new book: The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey, this huge tome was well worth the money. It’s jam packed with stories from the past 24 years of 2600 history. I should have gotten it autographed when I saw Emmanuel at the conference, but he was busy. Again, oh well.
Even though I am kind of burned out after being in the scene for the past 15 years or so, I will probably end up attending again in 2010. It’s much easier that traveling to Las Vegas for DEFCON since I now reside in NYC.
Check out Photos from TheLastHOPE over at flickr. Search twitter for #thelasthope for people liveblogging the event. Finally, check out the video below. It was created by the folks at MAKE Magazine, who were in attendance at the conference as vendors. Overall I think the video captured the spirit of the event, good work MAKE folks!
Until 2010, peace.