What's up with the ID?

Conventions like this don't just happen on their own, someone has to actually organize them. We work as a committee to organize PhreakNIC, but when it comes to paying for items up front, it's really all done with my credit card. That makes me the person most liable (which is different from being responsible) for what goes on. To cover my rather large butt, each person registering for PN7 will have to sign an indemnity form which, for all intents and purposes, states that you won't sue me for your own idiotic actions, or the idiotic actions of others. Where does the ID come in? Oh, surely you don't even have to ask. If we didn't require you to show an ID when you signed the form, I'd have 300 indemnity forms from fake names. None of the personal information is being collected, so you don't have to worry about identity theft issues. At least, not from me.

What should I bring?

Here's a partial list of things that come in handy:

  • Deodorant (I can't stress this enough)
  • Clean clothing
  • Your laptop
  • 802.11b adapter for said laptop
  • A switch if you want to use CAT-5
  • Your own cabling if you want to use CAT-5
  • Cash to give to vendors in exchange for goods
  • Tasty beverages
  • A recording device, if you wish to tape the presentations
  • Your groove thang, for shaking on Saturday night
  • Computers older than many attendees - even better if they still work
  • Communications devices, in case someone wants to talk to you
  • GPS device, in case you get lost

Are the t-shirts going to be worth spending cash on this year?

Oh, most definitely. We actually got an artist this year (lack of art is what led us to the text only shirt last year) and we will have four color shirts printed this year. The design is similar to the web theme, but a new image. Since I placed the order for the shirts, I made sure that we had "Sysadmin Size" shirts made up, too. The price for shirts will be $15 for all sizes.

What exactly is a hacker con?

Well, the first thing to do is think about what a hacker is - not from Hollywood and Fox News' perspective, but from those of us who proclaim ourselves as hackers. We are gear heads for electronics, plain and simple. Just like your neighbor may love tearing apart the engine in his classic car every month just so that he can put it back together, many of us really enjoy figuring out how things work in the electronic world. Some people take that knowledge and use it to extort or steal, but they're not hackers, they're crackers. CRiminal hACKERS. There are also many within the community who are politically active, and they are typically referred to as HACKtivists. The degree to which they agree varies as much as with traditional political parties. Some want no government, some simply want a more sensible one. However, they are all united by the fundamental concept of free speech, but probably not much more. I've certainly heard from several others about the ID issue, but as long as I'm running this convention, that's the way it will be.