Games and Events
Strydre's "semaphore man" from Notacon 2005 Anything but Ethernet Competition.
-- Image credit krnlpanik
Too many kids, and a fair share of old farts, think the world runs on cat-5. It just ain't so! From the first smoke-signals and drumbeats of prehistory, to modern muti-gigabit optical links, there's a lot more to communication than just Ethernet frames riding twisted pair. This contest aims to celebrate the long and varied history of communication.
The five scoring categories of years past have been replaced with a simpler two-category system:
"Bidirectional", aka duplex, aka "real" networks, are those that provide enough bandwidth in both directions to accomplish useful tasks. They must be operational to qualify for judging, and should allow a user to send email, transfer a file, or otherwise do real networky things. Judging criteria are flexible, but speed is not an issue.
The "Unidirectional", aka simplex, aka "toy" category is being added to allow homebrew hackers to enter without having to build two of everything. As with the duplex category, simplex entries should actually move data from one end to the other, but accomplishing a useful task isn't required.
In both categories, diversity of media is the main judging criterion. Each hop scores points, according to the table below:
|10/100 Ethernet||0 points|
|Gigabit, 10base-2, wifi, or other ethernet||1/2 point|
|Non-ethernet (FDDI, Token Ring, RS232, etc)||1 point|
|Radio links (non-wifi) using commercial hardware||1 point|
|Radio links using hardware of your own construction (kits are OK)||2 points|
|Free-space optical links (lenses, not fibers)||2 points|
|Special bonus! Acoustic couplers AND tin cans!||5 points|
But remember, each type only counts once, no matter how many times you use it. Absurdity is the name of the game here! Last year's entries involved acoustic couplers over VoIP connections, a robotic semaphore character recognition system, and a LEGO printer for output. Special consideration will be given to particularly complex or ridiculous setups, but remember, YOUR CREATION MUST PASS DATA to be judged! (There may be a prize for honorable meltdown.)
These rules are preliminary, and subject to change. Discuss them in the forums!
Ever notice how Hacker Trivia contests seem to be dominated by the same three people year after year? NFF got really sick of it, and decided to just go ahead and put these people up on stage so they could win YOU t-shirts and prizes. All you have to do is hope they're right.
Loosely based on an NPR series of a loosely similar monicker--Wait, Wait, Don't Pwn Me puts three hacker trivia experts to the test. In each one hour game, panelists will be put through a challenging series of questions in "Lightning Rounds". See how many questions they can answer and how many they end up choking on. The winner will be obvious, but YOU, the audience, get to add points to your favorite panelist.
Between lightning rounds, YOU might get the chance to come up and compete with your favorite panelist for t-shirts and other prizes. The panelist gets the question to answer, all you have to do is agree or disagree with the answer! Best two out of three wins the prize, unless the audience really likes you.
Each panelist will be representing a charity. Audience members will have the opportunity to donate to a certain panelist and their charity, and win a prize if their panelist wins!
Whether or not you know the difference between a Token Ring, FDDI ring, or Dick Tracy Decoder Ring, there's still lots of humor and fun going for good causes at Wait! Wait! Don't Pwn Me!
Confirmed Panelists: Jason Scott, Richard Forno, Myself
With Special Guest Judges: The Ladies of Notacon
Contestants will have 3 to 5 minutes to perform the talent of their choice. Groups may also compete, with a maximum number of 3 people per group. Sign-ups will occur at the registration desk on Friday and Saturday prior to the event. All Notacon participants are encouraged to participate.
As for talents, the sky's the limit. Can you sing? Play an instrument... maybe even in an unusual way? Regurgitate Windows XP CD Keys by heart? Maybe you're good at drawing caricatures? Whatever your talent (or lack thereof), compete with fellow con-goers for prizes and recognition. Embarrassment is almost assured, and those watching have just as much fun as the contestants themselves. On the other hand, you may also realize that some of your friends have talents you never even knew existed.
Depending on participation, we may we set up a bracket system, or otherwise have semi-final and final rounds.
A list of items and clues will be available at the registration desk. Sign up to be eligible either by yourself or in teams of up to five. Prizes for the top 3 winners will be substantial and not every item on the list will be easy to get. Creativity in the face of uncertainty may be rewarded.
Can you complete the list during Notacon and still manage to catch a few talks. and maybe a few hours of sleep? Can you do so without getting your lame ass thrown in jail (we sure hope so, at least). Test your mettle and find out.
Judging will be done on Sunday prior to closing ceremonies. Information will be available at the registration desk.
After three tireless days working the event, Froggy will clutch the podium for dear life and hand out awards to the remaining Notacon attendees for whatever categories he comes up with at the last minute.
Traveled the furthest to get here? Had the funniest hack of Notacon? You name it, he'll likely think of it, if he's still awake and sane. Prizes will be handed out at his discretion.