A Look Back At DefCon 18 Badges

As he does every year, [Joe Grand] gave a talk explaining the development process for Defcon 18 badges. We looked in on these when details started trickling out back in July. They feature a neat bit of tech in the form of an LCD that acts much like ePaper. It doesn’t take any electricity to hold the image, only to change the display. This is a valuable feature for a battery powered device and allowed him to get about 9 days of juice out of a CR2032. This year’s badges also used laser-etched Aluminum as a substrate.

We’ve embedded the talk after the break and found it interesting enough to watch the entire hour. If you’re more interested in the hacks that came out of the badge, we’ve put together a playlist of videos [Joe] took while at the conference.

[Joe Grand] starts about nine minutes into the video


[via Dangerous Prototypes]

7 thoughts on “A Look Back At DefCon 18 Badges

  1. I wonder if joe grand can explain why there are never enough badges every fucking year. $150 isnt worth it for the talks, and it sure as shit isnt worth it for a piece of laminated plastic and a weak ass lanyard.

  2. $150 is a hell of a bargain. Almost the exact same talks (all the best talks from this year’s blackhat were also at defcon, I was at both) are given at Blackhat, and Blackhat is almost $2000.

  3. @Rounderkatt

    You are joking right? Packed full conf rooms, mismanaged schedules, NO BADGES TWO YEARS IN A ROW, and a venue PACKED wall to wall with kiddies are just a few of things severely devaluing defcon for me.

    CTP was a great new event, and CTF is always a good event. Beyond that im really stretching to find quality. It reminds me a lot of 2600 magazine in terms of the talks going on.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess, seems like each year its more about its own hype than actual exploits.

  4. Lots of the talks were weak in 2010. They were way better in 2009.

    You need to get there on the orientation day(1 day before it starts) to really have a chance at a badge. It is pretty lame that they don’t make enough badges. I got a badge in 2009 but in 2010 I didn’t because I didn’t arrive on orientation day.

    I agree that 2010 was a hype machine to the max. And the ninjas? anything but… To get a ninja badge all you have to do is be press, or a girl and a Ninja will find and give you a badge… I found this out from talking to people who had ninja badges.

    The Ninja group also give badges to the Goons to hand out, but then the Goons use them to make attendees buy beer for them. A Goon will have one badge, and will tell 10 people to buy beer for him. The 10 people think they will get the badge, but only one does.

    EFF was harassing people who didn’t donate.

    This year I’ll just read the talks when they post them online.

    1. First off – we didn’t distribute ninja badges (the Goons had nothing to do with the badge). The ninja networks folks did. Each goon was limited to their own personal badges. Barkode was responsible for handing them out and it had nothing to do with ‘if you were a girl’. You had to be SOMEBODY or just plain lucky. If you went to their table in the vendor area and asked, they would have told you a time to come back when the next 30 would be distributed. As far as the conference badges are concerned: We never know how many folks will be there, plus Chinese customs had to be bribed to even get them in the quantity we wanted. Sorry you folks had a bad conference – but please keep it to legit complaints.

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