sorting the wheat from the chaff

Back from 36c3

I still have in my stash a list of the most interesting events I've experienced at the 36C3, the Chaos Communication Congress at its 36th year. For my future reference, I'm listing them here.

  • Things started immediately funny. The train to the location was cancelled, so we had to figure out another train to get there. I helped a 92 (yes, ninety-two) years old lady figuring out the train to take to the congress location as she was confused by the train cancellation (clearly she wasnt't attending the congress). Helped her finding a seat in the crowded train we took as replacement. I wish I will be that lively at her age.

  • Learned about delta.chat, recently rewritten in Rust. It was interesting listening to one of the maintainers, about their userbase in countries where internet bandwidth is at a premium.

  • Learned about how bad regulations and a poor development process can lead to Boeing airplanes to crash.

  • Learned about the ongoing organizational process during the Hong Kong protests.

  • Quantum computing is cool, but not near any practical use.

  • Interesting speculations about the CIA providing manned weapons to Syrian militants against Russian army, the "Protego" documents in the Vault 7 Wikileaks of 2 years ago. Also, a frightening glimpse on how war technology has evolved.

  • Hacking the PS4 Blu-ray drive or - in other words - how to responsibly release a security vulnerability, get some money from Sony and not have your ass sued. And perhaps have Sony obtain a partial public security disclosure.

  • Java Tomcat (!) webservices are still king in industrial complexes.

  • Interesting demonstration on how to use the TPM cryptographic chip inside our computers. This goes straight in my TODO list!

  • A funny and thought-provoking form of art vandalism to boycott Facebook events.

  • Learned about Pure Data, a really interesting programming language to create music sequencers.

  • Also, an interesting talk by Moxie Marlinspike from Signal on how a decentralized messaging system is not working (and then be grilled with questions). This talk was removed from the CCC Mediatek on request of the speaker.

And I've only scratched the surface of the Congress.

In a sense, the 36C3 goes on after you leave: here's the huge list of talks here.

After the Congress, I've also discovered a nice surprise that I will document separately.

Oh, yes, and managed to get a bad cold, I'd spent New Year's Eve at home with a hot tea :-(

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