A) The event itself starts on Thursday, August 4th and runs till Sunday, August 7st. There are things to do before Defcon starts, but they are not official events/parties, and unless you are cool, people won't want you to be there. Also, Black Hat runs before Defcon.
A) You have to be 18 to register a room at the Rio.
A) DefCon often negotiates a pretty good room rate for its attendees. The rooms for DefCon 18 cost $99.00 for Thursday, $112.00 for Friday and $112.00 for Saturday.
A) Why do you want to register an anonymous room? Oh, I know... Because you're a Tool.
A) Yes, though it's always best to call prior to the con to confirm reservations.
A) Due to Vegas trying to be more "Family Friendly" (read: bitches) smoking is only permitted in the casino proper, bars in the casino area, and designated outdoor smoking areas. 80% of the hotel rooms are nonsmoking. Oh and "Whiney non smokers can kiss my fucking ass".
A) With the amount of rooms at the Ri0 there really is no reason not to try to stay at there. The more people who stay at the hotel with the con, the easier it is to negoitate rates in the future, so it really behooves you to stay on site - unless you're a whiny little bitch.
A) No, don't be a fucktard. If you call hotel security and people find out about it, they may be pissed. Is pissing off a bunch of hackers really how you enjoy spending your days? Go buy some ear plugs/nyquil... On second though, you shouldn't be fucking sleeping, this is DefCon. Get the fuck out of bed and go join the party.
Being "off the strip" it harder to find hotels within stumbling distance. That being said, here are a few:
Extended Stay America Hotel Las Vegas - Valley View
The Palms Hotel & Casino
Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
If you are really tight on cash, try a youth hostel:
Las Vegas Youth Hostels
A) The rooms are about as secure as any other regular hotel room. If you have anything expensive you always run the risk of having that shit stolen from you when you stay at a hotel.
A) There are plenty of places within walking distances of the Rio where you can find food. Though, unlike hotels that con has previous been hosted at, the food on site is actually pretty good.
A) Spending Money (not including room): Should be $150 for the badge. Money for food, alcohol and swag. You can squeeze by with $430. Less if you budget really well.
A) Cabs usually sit at the airport, so you should be able to walk out and get a cab at the airport. If you are going from the Ri0 to the airport on your way home, it takes 3 hours hangover time + 2 hours for the TSA to RAPE you. For Taxi Rates check out: http://www.taxi.state.nv.us/FaresFees.htm
A) Give the hotel a call.