The Last HOPE conference (Hackers on Planet Earth) in NYC 2008
Part 3 (Friday)
Last that day, another notable presentation included “Hacking the Mind, Hacking the Body: Pleasure.” I went to it because the title piqued my curiosity and I demanded my husband go with me, but before the presentation started, he slipped out to go get some Jolt and, according to his story, there were so many people in the room when he returned that he couldn’t get back in because the room was beyond max. capacity. So, in turn, he left me surrounded shoulder-to-shoulder in a room containing 99.9% hacker guys in which a woman was discussing some tech about cyber sex and a lot of things I had never before heard of. I had the pleasure of sitting behind two hulking Federal agents (it was so obvious—who is teaching you guys to “blend in” with the natives?!) who, in their tight golf shirts and ironed khaki shorts, were giggling like kids. Every time the presenter said something about anatomy or someone from the audience asked a question, they’d double over laughing and make critical comments about computer geeks.
Did you guys know that you had an entertained audience behind you who found your antics hilarious? At least your packing heat requirement was not fulfilled with an American-touristy fanny pack as you did in previous years, but if you’re the new face of the FBI, we’re lost. I can see it now on the FBI’s Employment page: “Now hiring tough-guy goons for the anti-cyber crimes squad. Must [not] be able to blend in with the tech crowd, must be able to bench press over 300 lbs., wear tight t-shirts to show off your top-rate physique, and have a history in high school of bullying geeks and, subsequently, were snowed by those same geeks in college math and science classes who refused to tutor you.”
If the FBI is as keen on recruiting the smart people at hacker conferences like Def Con and HOPE as they say they are, they are not projecting the most positive image of what it’s like to work for the anti-cyber crimes squad.
And then, after midnight and some lounging in the hammocks listening to techno music on the 2nd floor, I went to sleep unsoundly amidst the not-comforting-to-a-Mainer city noises.