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?
- 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 havn'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?
- 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 4 will be held on the weekend of 27th-28th November in Wellington, New Zealand. The conference venue is Victoria University of Wellington's Pipitea campus, located in central Wellington. A map and other venue details are available on the venue page.
Q: How much is Kiwicon?
A: Entry to Kiwicon 4 will cost NZ$55, or NZ$30 for students and beneficiaries. This will entitle you to admission on both days. If you're feeling particularly flush with cash, you can splash out on the wild, extravagant HIGH ROLLER ticket, which, for the princely sum of $200 gets you pretty much the same stuff as the $55 ticket, but with some SECRET extra specialness (such as the feeling that you're helping to support the con; maybe we can afford to give the poor early-morning desk volunteers a present or something). We've been informed that $55 tickets are too cheap to expense claim in some organisations, and that $200 might help convince your boss that its a worthwhile event.
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 in spirit). So, by the power of the internetz and ecommerce, you can buy one right now.
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 havn't run out of tickets, then yes, you can pay cash at the door, but we do expect to 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.
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, probably not. If you do get a freebie, you should register, and get a discount code so you don't have to pay for your ticket. Speakers can register if they want to buy merch.
Q: Do we get a (GST) receipt?
A: Yes, you'll get an email receipt. No, it's not a GST receipt, because Kiwicon makes SO LITTLE money that we don't have to register for GST.
Q: Can I talk about 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, codswollop 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 reccomended 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 a slightly overweight samoan wearing a loud shirt who could 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) at the venue if you can't tear yourself away from your Blog, WoW or IRC, but for some reason it tends to be a bit shithouse during Kiwicon. We can't imagine why. You may wish to consider bringing your own cellular internets instead. 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, however 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, lets 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 whos eyeballs you're about to sear with your quivering, naked goosey nerdflesh. Kilts are encouraged.
Q: I like beer. Can we drink at the conference?
A: Given that the conference is open to all ages drinking onsite will not be tolerated. In fact, Victoria University wouldn't be happy with us doing that at all. There are several establishments close by with an ample stock of Lion Red and equally cheap vodka.
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. Admission to the con includes a voucher for a free cup of Sweet Fanny Anne's fine brew, and you're welcome to purchase more.
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 guys should all come to Kiwicon. If your manager thinks that Kiwicon isn't the sort of place your company should be seen, bring him 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: I have a question...
A: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org