This weekend, the Attendee Meta-Data (AMD) project will introduce a new
location-aware social networking system to track
and bring together hackers based on a huge array of matching interests.
Conference goers will be given
unprecedented ability to connect with new people, find the talks they're
most interested in attending, see
what's happening and where in real time, and experience and talk about
the way RFID technology is changing the
Attendees receive RFID badges that uniquely identify and track them
across the conference space. Location
information is incredibly accurate—visitors' exact locations and
movements are monitored in
real time, and used to drive revolutionary social networking features
which completely change the conference
The AMD social networking site lets visitors "tag" themselves based on a
diverse set of interests.
Old-school hackers, network security experts, cryptographers, political
activists, law geeks, lockpickers, reverse
engineers, bloggers, privacy advocates, and far more—visitors can
label themselves with multiple interests,
to become discoverable by fellow visitors from around the world with
similar interests, in the same room or across
the building. Attendees can then use email or text messages to "ping"
the people they discover on the
site—new contacts and old friends alike.
The AMD site connects visitors to the many talks and events occurring
during the conference, too. The same
interests tags are used to highlight events and alert visitors to
something they might otherwise miss—a
vital feature for such a large conference. Attendees can also use the
interactive schedule to select events they
want to attend, and receive alerts before those events begin.
The site also provides visualizations of activity on the conference
floors. Website users can watch the real
time positions and movements of people across the Mezzanine, revealing
the group dynamics of a massive number of
people and instantly identifying the hotspots. Users can also click on
any conference room to see its
current event, speakers, and attendees.
Visitors are further encouraged to connect and participate through
interactive games. The LIFE:CLOCK game scores
visitors based on which events they attend and for how long—or if
they do nothing, their clock slowly
ticks away towards zero.
Although the AMD Project offers a radical new way to experience The Last
HOPE, participation is voluntary. And
attendees who do participate can choose to reveal as much or as little
personal information as they desire. Users
can see other users' handles, but contact information is not divulged
until users send or reply to pings.
Unwanted pings can be ignored, and privacy preserved.
The anonymized location tracking and user information will be released
after the conclusion of The Last HOPE,
making a massive amount of information about the behavior of conference
attendees available to researchers,
hackers, conference presenters and organizers, and the just plain
curious. The AMD Project website's source
will be released under the GPL, encouraging other conferences to develop
and use this exciting new system
The AMD Project, in classic hacker fashion, is building on the work of
the OpenBeacon group, including Milosch and
Brita Meriac from project Blinkenlights, who developed the hardware that
made this project possible. The badges,
commissioned by Mitch Altman, inventor of TV-B-Gone, expanded on
equipment from the Sputnik project, an experiment
in RFID tracking at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress held in Berlin
last year. By releasing tracking
information and source code, the AMD Project
will encourage others to, in turn, build upon the revolutionary work
they have done.
RFID technology is now ubiquitous. RFID tags are used to track people
and their belongings, monitor their behavior,
make payments on major transit systems, manage store inventories, and
far more. The AMD Project challenges HOPE
attendees to think about the ways this technology is being used and how
it is changing the world, for better or
The Last HOPE is the seventh conference in the historic Hackers On
Planet Earth series which began in 1994, and has
been held at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City ever since. This
year's conference is being held July
18-20, 2008. HOPE is sponsored by the legendary magazine 2600: The
For further information, contact the AMD team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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