I made 3 failed attempts to write an entry about our trip to NYC, but due to various computer problems, and my own inability to use computers, they disappeared into the great bit-bucket in the sky. I'll sum it up:
We had a good time
We saw the Statue of Liberty
We saw ground Zero
We ate some good food
We walked around 5th Ave
We shopped in Greenwich Village
We saw the olympic torch get passed (twice)
I enjoyed the city, but it took a lot out of me... I've always prefered trees to skyscrapers. The city is just too fast and too busy for me to be able to relax, which is what I like to do when I go on a weekend vacation. But I suppose NYC isn't known for relaxataion.
The real point of this blog is that I'm actually going back in a few weeks to go to the fifth HOPE conference. I don't really anticipate spending a lot of time wandering around, or subwaying around the city, since I'll be listening to Steve Wozniak, Kevin Mitnick, John Draper, Jello Biafra, etc., giving talks on whatever it is they are into.
I do have a few fears about going there however... I'm not really sure what I should expect. Is everyone there going to be really smart, really experience security professionals who will look down on me like some un-educated script kiddie? Or worse, will it be so jam packed full of script kiddies that I just want to start stepping on them. Will I look like a wannabe with a laptop that doesn't have crazy mods, hacks, or antennae sticking out of it?
I'm also worried about the content. 2600, which pretty much runs the con, has devolved from a real underground hacker zine, to a packet of rants about what-the-hell-ever is going on in Washington/court/Big Corporations/etc.
How many of these talks are going to be raving/ranting 2600-style watch-out-for-big-brother bullshit, and how many of them are going to have real thought provoking political content? We know Emanuel Goldstein's political views by now. We know how he feels about big corporations, the patriot act, etc. Is there going to be anything new?
I'm mostly interested in the technical speakers, but I intend to see as many of the talks as I can, political or not. I definitely want to see Woz, Mitnick, and Draper, who are (in)famous icons of hacker culture. It just seems really cool to actually get to see talks by people you've only ever read about (on bumper stickers, or otherwise.)