Tag Archives: badges

Screw WorldCon; I wish I’d been at DefCon

So, the great and the good of science fiction and fantasy literature are all off to Montreal for this year’s WorldCon, and I’m not bitter and twisted in the slightest… after all, I can keep up to date on the gossip and action from innumerable sources, not least of which is the remarkably fully-featured ConReporter blog. Today’s Tomorrows columnist Brenda Cooper has promised us a con report on her return, too.

But as I think I’ve mentioned before, fandom really needs to up its game as far as convention badges are concerned, because the geeks and hackers at DefCon get badges that look like this:

DefCon 2009 delegate badge

C’mon, admit it: that whips the hell out of a laminated card on a lanyard. It also has hardware built into it that allows it to network with all the other cards from the same series (and plenty of other funky techno-gimcrackery, too).

And while I’d quite enjoy a long weekend of sitting around in a moderately posh hotel and nattering about (or even to) my favourite authors and critics, there’s a lot to learn at DefCon as well. Someone demonstrated an entirely mechanical hack of a supposedly unpickable electromechanical lock [via BoingBoing], and a gang of ATM skimmer-scammers unwittingly bit off way more than they could chew by planting a bogus ATM at the convention venue [via SlashDot].

Who knows – maybe someone managed to work out what the Conficker worm is actually for, and why it appears to have been abandoned to self-replicating autonomy by its creators [also via SlashDot]?

More seriously, though, I really wish I was going to Montreal for the weekend; one of the joys of fandom as a community is the sense of being part of a network of people who are passionate about the same stuff as you, but the downside is that you rarely get to see all those friends and colleagues in the flesh.

If you’re going to WorldCon, be sure to have yourself a damn good time… and raise a beer or two for me, OK?