Great HOPEs

Andrew Bolster

Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys Software Integrity Group and Treasurer @ Bsides Belfast and NI OpenGovernment Network


This is it; my first convention! Yes folks, I’m going to be attending (and volunteering) at TheNextHOPE (@thenexthope), 16-18 July.

I’m really looking forward to my first real foray into a tech/hacker community, but don’t really know what to expect. But I’m going to jump in anyway. The tickets are only $85, or $100 at the door, but if you register on-line, you get an awesome hackable RFID tracking badge.

Unfortunatly my partner (non-techie) has very little interest in going but I’m sure she’ll enjoy the fashion district on her own (or with the girls).

Anyway, I threw my body in for volunteering , and within half a day, Nick Farr got back to me, so with a bit of luck I’ll get to use my NOC and A/V experience for some good (and a free teeshirt!)

Some of the talks I’m really looking forward to:

  • Hackerspaces Forever: A Panel Presented by We called your excuses invalid at The Last HOPE and you proved us right! Since launching at The Last HOPE, there’s been phenomenal worldwide growth in the hackerspaces movement. Continuing to build on progress, this panel discussion brought to you by will focus on strategies to help avoid drama, grow your hackerspace, and connect with your community. Really want to set up one of these in Belfast

  • Memory Fun 101 - Memory Training for Everyone _A powerful memory can be an invaluable asset in life. Memory is absolutely fundamental to learning, so improving one’s memory can have a profound positive impact on both academic and job performance. In this fun and entertaining program, Chester Santos will teach attendees the basics of memory improvement. Attendees will learn a number of memory boosting methods that will exercise their imagination and awaken their creativity. _ Definitely need this

  • Social Engineering People have been known to come to HOPE just for this panel, in which the history, stories, and demonstrations of social engineering are laid out for all to see - and hear. Something will invariably be revealed over the telephone by someone who really should know better in our traditional live demonstration that never fails to entertain. Join Emmanuel Goldstein and friends for some fun. Always great stories

  • The Black Suit Plan Isn’t Working - Now What? The suit plan isn’t working. At The Last HOPE, James Arlen told you all about the awesomeness of The Black Suit. But you’re finding that it’s not really working out… maybe it’s possible to lower the goal? Can we take advantage of the Econopocalypse, the fact that two years have gone by, and infiltrate the upper echelons without having to leave the Black Hat behind? With cyber humor, blistering criticism, and awesometastic possibilities, spend some time in a discussion about ways to get to the place we all want to be - employed and happy. Dancing on the edge between legality and employability

  • The Need for a Computer Crime Innocence Project High profile computer forensic cases like those of Julie Amero and Michael Fiola, where innocent people were falsely charged with downloading illegal files, illustrate the need for professional forensic standards for determining whether a user, or malware infecting their computer, downloaded suspect files. Joe Cicero discusses his experiences dealing with his college administration, attorneys, and the EFF over the problematic research issues that willful installation of malware brings about. He will discuss his project outline and testing protocols and procedure, detailing why certain decisions were made. Audience feedback will be requested on how to create an innocence project designed specifically for computer crime cases. Tech-savvy criminal defense attorney Alex Muentz and EFF’s Seth Schoen will round out the panel with their insights.

And there is so many more that I want to go to that I know I’m going to have to miss, Everyone involved in the organisation has done far too good a job!

I’ll hopefully have my hands on a decent camera so I’ll try and document my first-timer experience as best I can.

See you on the other side!

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