Prefer the old design?

Unofficial Defcon FAQv4

Defcon has changed immensely since I started doing this FAQ. Now you have 15,000 people attending defcon; we're back on the strip this year and we've been at real (gambling) hotels for a while. It's definitely a much different Defcon than you'll find in some of the older versions of this FAQ. I'm not saying it's better and I'm not saying it's worse, it's just very different.

Q) When will Version 4.0 of the FAQ be available?

A) It's being rolled out now (June 2015). The "Survival Guide" always takes the longest since I have to be in an angrily creative mood.

Q) What happened with Version 3.0 of the FAQ?

A) I ran out of time/motivation. Defcon 101 was starting to have a larger footprint at con, so I decided to focus my attention there (rather than on this stuff).

Q) What's the purpose of this FAQ?

A) The purpose of this FAQ is to answer questions that members of the Defcon community (specifically those on the Defcon Forums) have answered time and time again. The FAQ is by no-means one persons doing; it is a collaboration put together by a group of individuals. Some of the answers are humorous, some are very serious, but if you read the FAQ as one body of text you will see an underlying meaning. Incase you don't see the meaning I will try to explain it a bit to you: Defcon itself is a community. This FAQ is a manifestation of some member's thoughts and feelings on the community. The people who contributed to the FAQ make up some of the core of the Defcon community, it is their hope that Defcon will not ever die.

Before you even read past this point there are two questions I will pose to you, that you can only answer through your own self reflection: "Why are you attending Defcon?" and "Are you an asset to the community/event or a detractor?" While you're reflecting on that(before delving into the FAQ), I would suggest reading DarkTangents Open Letter to the Community (circa Dc9): If you're sensitive about your feelings you may be better served by reading the the Official DefCon FAQ as well as the Speakers Corner, instead of this FAQ.

Q) Seriously though, why write a second version when DefCon has a good FAQ already?

A) I asked myself that question a number of times before committing to the project. I believe that the Official DefCon FAQ as well as some of the official supplemental material (ie: Speakers Corner) serve a different purpose and often times come from a different perspective. They also aren't always the afforded the option of being painfully blunt. I am.

Q) Why isn't this updated more frequently?

A) It takes a lot of work to think of questions & answers or remember things I randomly heard at DefCon that someone asked; and come up with a good answer for that question. I also have to be in the right frame of mind to pen the more humorous ones, and that can be kind of difficult these days. Though, Runnerup and my other friends definitely help me with the idea's for those "funny ones". It's also difficult finding a good balance between the levels of information and humor. It usually takes a few months to put a new version of the FAQ together.

Q) How can I find out when you update the FAQ?

A) When I update stuff, I *usually* post it on my twitter account.

Q) Is there anyway I can help?

A) There are a few ways you can help.

  1. You can always send me any idea's you have, for questions/answers.
  2. If you actually read the FAQ and find it useful, let me know by email or in person @ con (I'm not a difficult person to find & will talk to just about anybody).
  3. If you had an idea to make the FAQ better or a supplement (like the avatar badge info), tell me about it. I'll listen to pretty much any idea, except if it has to do with the "design" - I have no plans on changing that.
Q) Did you know there is a spelling/grammatical error on question X?

A) While I probably wasn't aware of the specific error in question, I am fully well aware that the document is rife with them. My stream of conciousness doesn't have spelling or grammar check and neither do the text editors I use.

Q) Who is the Master of this FAQ-Fu?

A) HighWiz , though I definitely don't do it alone. I have lots of assistance from other people.

Q) I have a question not answered in the FAQ, what do I do?

A) Drop me a line: faq{at}gayhackersYOURPANTS{dot}org (make sure to remove yourpants before sending). Hopefully you've also done a little research and already checked out the Official Defcon FAQ and Dark Tangent's Blog as well as the new Speakers Corner .