As has become the custom in these parts, we will attempt to preemptively answer your questions, thus saving you from asking them.
Some of these questions might look familiar.
- When and where is Kiwicon?
- How much is Kiwicon?
- What's this about HIGH ROLLING?
- When can we buy tickets?
- How do we give you money?
- Really? No cash?
- I'm a speaker or event-organiser or some other person who feels they shouldn't have to pay. Do I have to pay?
- Do we get a receipt?
- Can I talk about project X?
- Who should come to Kiwicon? Will it be too technical for me? What about children?
- Isn't hacking illegal?
- Should I bring a computer?
- Can I bring a camera? Take pictures?
- Is this event legitimate? How come you haven't been arrested yet?
- What is the Kiwicon dress code?
- I like beer. Can we drink at the conference?
- What about coffee? Hackers run on caffeine, right? There must be coffee!
- What is a hacker? Aren't hackers bad?
- I'm a corporate IT security professional... Should I come to Kiwicon?
- Does Kiwicon have a Code of Conduct?
- Did you hack the New Zealand Herald's website? I read that you did. You're bad men! BAD!
- I have a question...
Q: When and where is Kiwicon?
A: Kiwicon 7 will be held on the weekend of the 9-10th November in Wellington, New Zealand. The conference venue is the Wellington Opera House, since we are classy guardianrimmers. It is located on Manners Mall in central Wellington. A map and other venue details are available on the venue page.
Q: How much is Kiwicon?
A: Entry to Kiwicon will cost NZ$60, or NZ$30 for students and beneficiaries. This will entitle you to admission on both days. If you're feeling particularly flush with cash or secrets, you can splash out on the blind auction for a HIGH ROLLER ticket, which will entitle you to a box seat AND some SECRET extra specialness. We've been informed that the regular tickets are too cheap to expense claim in some organisations, and that an enterprise price mark-up might help convince your boss that its a worthwhile event.
Q: Whats this about HIGH ROLLING?
A: A strictly limited number of HIGH ROLLER box seating tickets are available via a blind auction process. When you buy your regular ticket, you may nominate an amount of money you would pay to ROLL HIGH. At some point (date TBC) the top n HIGH ROLLERS (for values of n <= number of HIGH ROLLER box seats) will be contacted, and if they actually pony up their cash, will be awarded their PREMIUM status. HIGH ROLLERS will recieve all kinds of special treatment, and will be ensconced in Statdler and Waldorf grade comfort.
Q: When can we buy tickets?
A: Tickets must be purchased through the online shop on kiwicon.org; door sales will only be available if we don't sell out. (The uh, venue we mean. We've obviously long sold out.).
Q: How do we give you money?
A: The only payment method available is PayPal, which means Credit Card, or any money you've managed to get into your PayPal account by some other means.
Q: Really? No cash?
A: If we haven't run out of tickets, then yes, you can pay cash at the door, but we cannot guarantee that we will not sell out. If you really can't or don't want to pay by credit card, and you're in the vicinity of the Wellington or Auckland CBDs, you might be able to talk one of the organising Crue into accepting your cash, and giving you a discount code to use during the checkout process. Drop by on IRCS #kiwicon and ask.
If you are bulk purchasing tickets (e.g. 6+ for a corporate) then we can accept direct credit to our bank account, however this is a manual process for us, and hence perhaps not particularly speedy. Email our Corporate Accounts Department at email@example.com.
Q: I'm a speaker or event-organiser or some other person who feels they shouldn't have to pay. Do I have to pay?
A: For your merch, yes. For your ticket, no, if you're a speaker, and probably not if you're some other event-runner or organiser. Volunteers do need to pay, sorry, but you'll get some other token of our appreciation. If you're not a speaker, and you do get a freebie, you should buy a ticket using a discount code provided. Speakers can register if they want to buy merch.
Q: Do we get a (GST) receipt?
A: Yes, you'll get an email receipt with a GST number on it. Our previous efforts at sailing the wide accountansea resulted in the IRD actually laughing at us, so we have retained the services of an actual professional. Which is probably why you're paying $5 more.
Q: Can I talk about *sideways glance* project X?
A: Well, its a public event. If something's not suitable for public discourse, you prolly better not say it, especially if it violates your security clearance. People will no doubt be taking notes, live-blogging, twittering, or otherwise contributing your every word to the unending morass of tripe, codswallop and inanity that is our Tubes.
Q: Who should come to Kiwicon? Will it be too technical for me? What about children?
A: Kiwicon is primarily geared towards pretty technical computer security topics. Computer nerds, geeks, and people who think lego is awesome will be in the majority for once. However, computer security affects a wide range of people in modern society, and so many of the topics discussed will be of interest to the lay-person, even if some of the nitty-gritty detail is opaque. Children are welcome to attend Kiwicon, however we'd request that children below the age of 14 are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Many of the techniques discussed at Kiwicon can be used to break the law, so strong moral guidance is recommended for those of all ages.
Q: Isn't hacking illegal?
A: There are plenty of ways of breaking the law. The New Zealand Crimes Act (available online at www.legislation.govt.nz) sections 248-254 document laws which criminalise certain acts involving computers. Some of the techniques discussed at Kiwicon could be used to break the law, so it is your individual responsiblity to ensure that you comply with the law, and utilise your powers for good, not evil. If you are unsure of your legal position, consult a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer we do have one slightly degenerate looking individual who managed to score free beers from Sony through only the powers of legal chicanery, and who may be able to help, at a pinch. Under no circumstances to do the organisers of Kiwicon condone breaking the law (unless it's the Judas Priest song, in which case, we heartily throw up the horns. (So I guess, technically, that would be under one circumstance then.))
Q: Should I bring a computer?
A: You are welcome to bring a laptop or other computing device. Networks at hacker cons can be somewhat, uh, hostile, so it might be prudent to ensure that your system is patched, firewalled and secured per industry best practice. If your device is equipped with wireless networking or bluetooth, consider that it might be best left turned off if you're not confident of your ability to secure it. There is a commercial wireless network (CafeNet), and probably the Wellington City Free Wireless at the venue if you can't tear yourself away from your Blog, WoW or IRC, but for some reason wireless tends to be a bit shithouse during Kiwicon. We can't imagine why. You may wish to consider bringing your own cellular internets instead. Or a whole cellnet in a van; watch out for the MED huffduff. Kiwicon takes no responsibility for the physical or information security of your system, so be vigilant. Stay frosty and check those corners, people!
Q: Can I bring a camera? Take pictures?
A: Yes, you can bring a camera, but you should gain permission before you start pointing it at other attendees. Some people at Kiwicon may be sensitive about having their picture taken by a stranger without warning. Please ask your subjects before you soul-trap them with your futuristic picture-box.
Q: Is this event legitimate? How come you havn't been arrested yet?
A: Kiwicon is 100% legitimate. The goal is to share knowledge about computer security in New Zealand, and the event is being organised by some of New Zealand's most experienced security industry professionals. As with any subject, knowledge can be wielded for both good and evil. The organisers believe that open and honest discussion of security issues is a critical step towards securing technological systems.
Q: What is the Kiwicon dress code?
A: Okay, let's be honest here. Hackers tend to hang out indoors and perform sedentary activities. As a group, we're not the prettiest bunch. So, we'd request that you attend Kiwicon fully clothed. Pants are not optional. If you need to perform some act which is impaired by your clothing, please obtain the adult consent of all parties whose eyeballs you're about to sear with your quivering, naked goosey nerdflesh. Kilts are encouraged, but attempt to not stand over the under-floor venting.
Q: I like beer. Can we drink at the conference?
A: The conference is open to all ages and there will be beer onsite. You will have to verify your age before you can purchase alcohol. If you are incapable of having a couple of quiets without turning into a raging douchbag, then do not be surprised if you are ejected from the event.
Q: What about coffee? Hackers run on caffeine, right? There must be coffee!
A: There will be an ample supply of coffee in and around the venue.
Q: What is a hacker? Aren't hackers bad?
A: Hackers are compulsive destroyers of "Warranty Void if Broken" stickers. They are people who enjoy exploring, understanding, and using technology creatively. Many hackers are interested in the security of computer systems, but as technology develops, hackers of different kinds are pushing the limits of cars, gadgets, and various media. However, the general perception of a 'hacker' is synonymous with 'computer criminal', and indeed some computer criminals are hackers. However, the prevention of electronic crimes and the defenses of modern networked systems are ensured by computer security professionals; the best of whom will often self-identify as hackers! Hackers value elegant, creative and often playful solutions to technical challenges; combining the role of inventor and artist in an industry that many laypeople would consider staid. In a world where society's technological dependence is as obvious as the technology itself is opaque, hackers provide the tools and language for social conscience, balance and freedom.
Q: I'm a corporate IT security professional. I wear a tie, have a CISSP and begin every sentence with "In regards to..." Should I come to Kiwicon?
A: Yes. Security consultants, InfoSec Auditors, and even policy wonks should all come to Kiwicon. If your manager thinks that Kiwicon isn't the sort of place your company should be seen, bring them too. We guarantee you'll both learn something new and interesting, have a good time, and make important contacts. You could leave your tie at home, though.
Q: Does Kiwicon have a Code of Conduct?
A: Yes. Kiwicon has always had a code of conduct. The most recent version is below, and the Crue is currently considering if this should be revised, and if so, what form it should take. The penalties are likely to remain the same.
Kiwicon attempts to be a relatively informal conference where all members of the hacking community can come together over one weekend. Individuals intent on sprinkling fetid douchenuggets over the ice-cream sundae of anyone else's enjoyment may incur penalties, reprisals or sanctions at the discretion of the Crue. In other words, the Crue reserve the right to kick you out, own your boxen and publicly shame you if you're being an idiot.
Q: I have a question...
A: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org