Wednesday, October 30, 2013
SkyDogCon 2013: Southern charm meets hackers/makers, then gets owned!
I wrapped up my year of cons with the 2013 SkyDogCon. After attending last year for the first time, the decision to attend this year was a no brainer. This is perhaps the most unique collection of mini-events wrapped up into a con there is. Highlights include the typical: quality speakers, lock pick area, hardware hacking village, etc. In addition, there is a healthy smattering of the unique: a rocking electronic badge (includes a hardware hacking challenge), paid breakfast on Sunday morning, a Pirates vs. Ninjas Ball, a ham radio license exam, lego challenge, and others.
I will begin the blog with a review of the Hotel Preston. This hotel is the model of "southern hospitality" with a twist of the unique, bordering eclectic . From the decor to the staff, this hotel sets itself apart. Think of a scaled down version of The Artisan Boutique Hotel in Las Vegas (former home of BSides Las Vegas) but not as dark. The artwork and decor is an experience in itself, the food is appropriately priced, and the rooms are clean and modern. My one complaint from last year was the speed of food delivery from the kitchen. This was remedied this year. No complaints from me.
****Note: If you are feeling lonely, ring the front desk and ask for a fish. Yes, you read that correctly. If you ask for one, the hotel will loan you a fish tank, complete with scenery and a fish. Then you won't feel weird since you can talk to something instead of yourself.****
The second thing I will talk about is the relentless promotion of the con by its Core Team and Staff. I first learned of SkyDogCon from SkyDog himself, at DerbyCon. Yep you read that correctly. SkyDog was staff at DerbyCon in Louisville and was printing up gimmick badges from popular movies. The one from last year was a mock credit card with the "Triple Crown" challenge on the back. This was a call for all card carriers to attend not just SkyDogCon but DerbyCon and Hack3rCon (a.k.a. the trifecta of regional cons). I later discovered that SkyDog (who is also a Goon at DEFCON) was going to give out special promotional badges at DEFCON to anyone willing to promote the con. Sign me up! This level of detail for promoting his con, and the sister cons of the area, highlights his commitment to the industry as a whole! This year he and Mad Mex spent over 6 hours, during the party, printing up badges for anyone who wanted one.
****Note: SkyDog announced that he will repair the badge himself if you bring it to one of the future cons he will be at. Anyone up for a quick trip to Atlanta for Outerz0ne? I'll drive if you pick up the room!****
Schematics and badge hacking tips will be posted on the website shortly.
So, if you feel that you want to know more, visit the website. Don't forget to sign up for the mailing list and follow them on Twitter.
I hope you enjoyed this blog entry and I hope to see you next year.
P.S. If you sign up for a ticket early, you get "Early Bird" status and this results in upgrades to your badge!