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    In the three months I’ve been trying to solve this problem, I’ve found it’s so common it has a name. Sleep of Death has plagued Surface users, particularly on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, since early this year. Searching “sleep of death Surface” on brings up 50 relevant threads. Even more damning, the same search on Microsoft’s own support forums yields over 75,000 results; for users who don’t know the bug’s nickname, a simpler search like “Surface sleep crash” nets even more: 250,000.Sleep of Death is just what it sounds like. You leave your computer in sleep mode. When you come back, it’s shut down, and needs to be powered back up, leaving you to sift through auto-saved versions of files, hoping to avoid data corruption. This can happen whether in tablet or laptop mode, on battery power or plugged in (including docked), with or without hibernation enabled. Even if the system is set never to hibernate, long sleep is usually fatal. Outcry ... A search on Microsoft’s support forum for “sleep of death Surface” gets over 75,000 hits In some cases, the shutdown is worse. (“Crash” is technically the wrong word, as there is no crash dump file; it is an unplanned shutdown.) The system may end up unresponsive to the power button. This has happened to me about twice per month, leaving me to follow online instructions from Microsoft (read from my iPhone, naturally) on what to do when your “Surface won’t turn on or wake from sleep.” In the worst scenarios, my Surface Book has overheated while allegedly sleeping inside my laptop bag. This tends to happen if I close it and put it away without giving a specific sleep command.

    From my experience, the best chance to avoid a crash is to close applications before allowing the Surface Book to sleep. The fewer things I leave open, the better the chance it will sleep peacefully through the night or my flight. (Despite these precautions, the longer the sleep, the more likely a crash is.) But if I’m going to close everything, I might as well shut it down. The whole point of a sleep function is to leave your work open on your computer or tablet and then have it be in the same state when you come back.Microsoft is hurt and disappointed that people would think it was trying to “trick” them with a confusing Windows 10 upgrade dialog that scheduled an upgrade without users explicitly agreeing to do so.Redmond recently created a new Windows 10 nagware reminder that presented a dialog asking you to install the OS. But if users clicked the red “X” to close the dialog - standard behaviour for dispelling a dialog without agreeing to do anything - Microsoft took that as permission for the upgrade.Redmond (via its flacks) has e-mailed The Register – and, we presume, World+Dog – to say that the UI had worked like that for ages: “the UI of our ‘your upgrade is scheduled’ notification is nothing new (including the ability to just ‘X-out’ of the notification with no further action needed to schedule your upgrade) – it’s been part of the notification UI for months” (their emphasis, not ours).

    In this Knowledge Base article, Microsoft notes that “Based on customer feedback, in the most recent version of the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, we confirm the time of your scheduled upgrade and provide you an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade.”+Comment: You'll have noticed that Microsoft didn't say it would re-write the app so that closing the app is taken as a “no”, as happens for just about every other dialog Windows offers.Or is Redmond saying users who didn't like the UI sleight-of-hand are at fault for delving into its Knowledge Base every time they find a dialog confusing? We'd expect commenters to have an opinion on this … A report by the US State Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton did breach record-keeping laws – by using a personal server for work emails. The watchdog added she was not alone in the practice.The 89-page dossier [PDF] found that three senior State Department figures had broken the rules by using personal email accounts for departmental business: Colin Powell, Hilary Clinton, and Scott Gration, the US ambassador to Kenya.

    General Powell, who was Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, had a private line installed in his office and used a laptop to exchange emails with colleagues and department staff. He was unable to provide copies of all emails sent to investigators.The report states that Clinton took this further and set up a private email server to handle extensive email correspondence and has handed over hard copies of around 30,000 emails handled by that system. However, she hasn't included messages from January 21, 2009, to March 17, 2009, for received messages; and from January 21, 2009, to April 12, 2009, for sent messages.Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary, the OIG report states.At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.

    During her time in office the State Department had rules that any personal email systems have to be checked out for security, but Clinton didn't take advantage of this. When two staff members questioned the security of her email system they were told that the server had been reviewed and approved and that they should never to speak of the Secretary's personal email system again.Security fears were realized on January 9, 2011, when Clinton's email server came under attack. Her technical support advisor told operations staff someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to. It was attacked again the next day.The third offender was Ambassador Gration between 2011 and 2012, who also used a private email account for official business. He was politely asked to stop doing so, and when he didn’t, disciplinary charges were filed. Gration resigned before these were pursued.The OIG report isn't good news for Clinton's presidential campaign, since it contradicts several earlier statements made by the candidate and may have a bearing on whether or not criminal charges are brought. Team Clinton has so far declined to comment. It might be time for the warlocks of the Web and brewers of JavaScript to revisit their ever-burgeoning developer wish-lists and sweep away the rubbish.

    Researchers from the University of Illinois have looked at how users and Website designers respond to the feature-list, and their study suggests there's a whole lot of kruft that nobody – site owners or end users – are using.Or, as El Reg would put it: your browsers and Web servers are bloating with features nobody wants, and contribute nothing but extra lines of code.As they write at Arxiv: “We find, for example, that 50 per cent of the JavaScript provided features in the web browser are never used by the top ten thousand most popular websites,” the paper states.It'll surprise nobody that at least some of the non-execution of features is down to site ad-blockers and the like, but the end result is: “83 per cent of available features are executed on less than 1 per cent of the most popular 10,000 websites.”A couple of features that the researchers found provide good examples.ALS, “ambient light events”, would let browsers respond to the light level the laptop, phone or desktop is exposed to if anybody used it. Since 14 Websites out of the 10,000 in the study used it, and since it's blocked by 100 per cent of blocking browser extensions, why not kill it off?The Encoding standard would let JavaScript code read and convert between different text encodings if anyone used it, but it's even more unloved than ALS. Nobody bothers blocking Encoding, because only one out of the 10,000 Webmasters was doing anything with it.

    Iframes fall into a different category: half of the sites use iframes (because who doesn't love a popup?), but “is prevented from being executed over 77 per cent of the time”.All of this adds to the Web's security woes as well, as the table below (an extract of a much larger table from the study) shows. The study notes, “unpopular and heavily blocked features have imposed substantial security costs to the browser”.The new class of “tech support lockers” rely on tricking users into installing either a fake PC optimiser or bogus Adobe Flash update. Once loaded the malware mimicks ransomware and locks users out of their computers. Unlike Locky, CryptoWall and their ilk it doesn’t actually encrypt files on compromised Windows PCs, however.Jérôme Segura, a senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, said “tech support lockers represent a class of malware more advanced than browser locks and fake anti-virus alerts of the pre-ransomware past.This is not a fake browser pop up that can easily be terminated by killing the application or restarting the PC,” Segura writes in a blog post. “No, this is essentially a piece of malware that starts automatically, and typical Alt+F4 or Windows key tricks will not get rid of it.

  • Akku Dell MJ440

    Wer nach einer Alternative sucht: Das Huawei Ascend G525 hat ein nicht so hoch auflösendes 4,5-Zoll-Display und eine etwas kargere Ausstattung. Dafür kostet es rund 20 Euro weniger als das Medion Life X4701.Ab 21. November gibt es eine brandneue Alternative: das Motorola Moto G. Es bietet ein 4,5 Zoll-Display (Auflösung 1280 x 720 Pixel), einen Quad-Core-Prozessor (Snapdragon 400), eine 5-Megapixel-Kamera und Android 4.3 als Betriebssystem. Die 8 GB-Version gibt es für 169 Euro, für die 16-GB-Version sind 199 Euro fällig.Der japanische Netzbetreiber NTT Docomo hat jetzt das Samsung Galaxy J vorgestellt. Das 5-Zoll-Smartphone ist eine attraktive Mischung aus Galaxy S4 und Galaxy Note 3. Ob es nach Deutschland kommt ist ungewiss.Das Galaxy J besitzt den 5-Zoll-Bildschirm des Galaxy S4, sein kantiges Design erinnert jedoch eher an das Note 3. Sein Super-AMOLED-Display bietet eine Full-HD-Auflösung von 1080 x 1920 Pixel.Zur Ausstattung gehört auch der schnelle Snapdragon-800-Prozessor (2,3 Ghz Quad-Core), ein Adreno 330 Grafikprozessor, 3 GB RAM sowie ein 32 GB großer Flashspeicher, der per MicroSD-Karte erweiterbar ist. Als Betriebssystem kommt bereits Android 4.3 zum Einsatz.

    Das mit einem 2.600 mAh großen Akku ausgestattete Smartphone verfügt über eine 13-Megapixel-Kamera und ist in 3G- und den schnellen LTE+-Netzen einsetzbar. NTT Docomo bringt das Galaxy J in Japan in den Farben Blau, Pink und Weiß auf den Markt.Aldi Süd verkauft ab 26. September das Sony Xperia V für 299 Euro. Das handliche Smartphone mit Android 4.1 ist eines der attraktiven Mobiltelefone der Kompaktklasse. Ist es ein Schnäppchen?Das Sony Xperia V ist handlich und angenehm einfach zu bedienen und durch sein staub- und wassergeschütztes Gehäuse sogar recht robust. Seine Ausstattung bietet Features der oberen Mittellkasse. Dazu zählt sein kompakter 4,3-Zoll-Bildschirm, der mit 1280 x 720 Pixel detailreich (HD-Format) auflöst.Der 1,5 GHz getaktete Dual-Core-Prozessor arbeitet recht flott. Der eingebaute Speicher fällt mit 8 GB nicht sonderlich groß aus. Frei verfügbar sind lediglich 3,7 GB. Per Speicherkarte ist er jedoch um (maximal) 32 GB erweiterbar. Als Betriebssystem kommt Android 4.1 zum Einsatz

    Auf der Rückseite bietet das Xperia V eine 13-Megapixel-Kamera mit LED-Blitz. Ein wechselbarer 1.700 mAh Akku ist auch vorhanden. Er erlaubt nach Connect-Messungen eine typische Nutzungsdauer von 4,5 Stunden. Den Test bestand das Xperia V mit der Gesamtnote "Gut".Das Xperia V ein schickes, gut ausgestattetes und robustes Mittelklasse-Phone, das überdies sehr handlich ist. Der aktuelle Aldi-Preis von 299 Euro macht das Xperia V noch attraktiver. Im Onlinehandel kostet es zurzeit mindestens 311 Euro (inkl. Transportkosten).Samsung bringt die dritte Generation des populären Galaxy Ace in den Handel. Das Ace 3 besitzt ein 4-Zoll-Display, Dual-Core-Prozessor, 5-Megapixel-Kamera und Android 4.2. Es kostet 270 Euro.Samsung bringt eine neue Generation seines Mittelklasse-Dauersellers Galaxy Ace in den Handel. Das Galaxy Ace 3 (GT-S7275) hat ein 4-Zoll-Display mit einer Standardauflösung von 480 x 800 Pixel sowie einen 1,2 GHz schnellen Dual-Core-Prozessor, dem 1 GB RAM und 8 GB Flash (frei verfügbar: 5 GB) zur Verfügung stehen.

    Schnell ins Internet geht das in Deutschland angebotene Ace 3 per HSPA+ (max 42 Mbit/s) oder LTE (max 150 Mbit/s). Zudem steht WLAN (802.11 b/g/n) zur Verfügung. Das 120 Gramm leichte Ace 3 ist mit einer 5-Megapixel-Hauptkamera auf seiner Rückseite ausgestattet. Es hat einen 1.800 mAh-Akku und nutzt das recht neue Android 4.2 als Betriebssystem.Das neue Ace 3 kommt jetzt in den Farben Weiß und Metallic-Schwarz für 269 Euro (UVP) bei uns den Handel. Mediamarkt bietet Ende Juni in seinen heißen Angeboten auch ein HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Mega und Sony Xperia V. Aber nur eines davon ist ein echtes Schnäppchen.Bis zum 02. Juli 2013 preist Mediamarkt lautstark in seinen neuen Prospekt vier heiße Angebote an, die sich connect etwas genauer angeschaut hat. Das HTC One ist eine interessante Alternative zum Galaxy S4. Es hat ebenfalls ein hochauflösendes Display und nutzt ebenso den Quad-Core-Prozessor Snapdragon 600 als Antrieb. Das HTC One hat im Vergleich zum S4 das edlere (Alu-)Gehäuse und 32 GB Flashspeicher, zeigte aber im connect-Test Schwächen beim Empfang. Beim HTC One fehlt außerdem ein Fach für MicroSD-Karten und sein Akku ist fest verbaut, folglich nicht auswechselbar.

    Das HTC One wird zurzeit deutlich teurer verkauft als das Konkurrenzprodukt Samsung Galaxy S4. Mit 569 Euro ist es beim Mediamarkt nicht sonderlich günstig, ohne Branding ist es im Onlinehandel ab 558 Euro zu finden. Hinzu kommen 4,50 Euro für den Transport. Das Samsung Galaxy S4 ist top - dafür spricht sein Platz 1 in der connect-Bestenliste. Nicht so gut wie das Android-Smartphone mit dem 5-Zoll-Bildschirm und dem Snapdragon 600 Prozessor ist der aktuelle Mediamarkt-Angebotspreis für die Modellvariante mit 16 GB Flashspeicher. Bei Mediamarkt kostet es jetzt 549 Euro - das ist viel zu teuer. Im Onlinehandel ist das S4 in einer ungebrandeten Version zurzeit bereits für 498 Euro (plus 7 Euro Transportkosten) zu bekommen. Das Galaxy Mega ist ein Smartphone für Fans von XXL-Displays. Das Mega verfügt über einen 6,3 Zoll großen Bildschirm und Features der oberen Mittelklasse. So bietet sein Display eine Auflösung von 1280 x 720 Pixel. Sein Dual-Core-Prozessor (Snapdragon 400) läuft mit 1,7 GHz Taktung, ihm stehen 1,5 GB RAM zur Verfügung.

    8 GB Flashspeicher sind eingebaut (frei verfügbar: 4,5 GB), er lässt sich per MicroSD-Karte erweitern. Das 200 Gramm schwere Big-Phone verfügt über eine 8-Megapixel-Kamera, eine 1,9-Megapixel-Kamera und einen großen 3200 mAh Akku.Das Galaxy Mega ist erst seit Juni 2013 auf dem Markt und deshalb vergleichsweise teuer. Das gilt besonders für das aktuelle Aktionsangebot beim Mediamarkt. Im Onlinehandel ist das Galaxy Mega bereits ab 455 Euro (plus 8 Euro Transportkosten) zu bekommen.Das Xperia V ist ein 120 Gramm leichtes, staub- und wassergeschütztes Smartphone mit einem hochauflösenden 4,3-Zoll-Display (Auflösung: 1280 x 720 Pixel) und einem 1,5 Ghz schnellen Dual-Core-Prozessor (Snapdragon S4 Plus).Sein 8-GB-Speicher lässt sich per MicroSD-Karte erweitern. Eine hochwertige 12-Megapixel-Kamera ist auf seiner Rückseite eingebaut. Das Sony Xperia V wird mit der alten Version Android 4.0 ausgeliefert, eine Upgrade auf Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) soll verfügbar sein. Der aktuelle Angebotspreis beim Mediamarkt von 349 Euro ist attraktiv. So günstig ist es zurzeit nur im Mediamarkt-Schwesterunternehmen Saturn noch zu bekommen. Woanders sind mindestens 20 Euro mehr fällig.Seit heute ist das Huawei das Ascend P6 im Handel. Das 6,2 Millimeter dünne Phone mit dem 4,7-Zoll-Display gibt es ab 399 Euro. Alle Infos zum Huawei Ascend P6.Huawei hat heute den Verkauf seines superdünnen Smartphones mit dem großen 4,7-Zoll-HD-Bildschirm gestartet. Das Ascend P6 mit dem 1,5 GHz schnellen Quad-Core-Prozessor und dem topaktuellen Android 4.2.2 Betriebssystem wird zunächst in den Farben Schwarz und Weiß angeboten. Eine Varianten in Pink soll folgen.

    Laut Huawei Preisempfehlung soll das neue Ascend 449 Euro kosten. Bei vielen Onlinehändlern ist das Smartphone mit dem Aluminiumgehäuse heute schon für 399 Euro zu finden.Huawei hat heute auf einer Pressekonferenz in London sein neues ultra-dünnes Mittelklasse-Modell Ascend P6 vorgestellt. Das 6,2 Millimeter dünne Smartphone besitzt einen 4,7 Zoll großen Bildschirm, der die Auflösung von 1280 x 720 Pixel bietet. Ein 1,5 GHz getakteter Quad-Core-Prozessor (K3V2), 2 GB RAM und ein erweiterbarer 8-GB-Flashspeicher stehen bereit. Als Betriebssystem kommt Android 4.2.2 mit der Huawei Oberfläche Emotion UI zum Einsatz.Das 120 Gramm leichte Smartphone bietet eine 8-Megapixel-Kamera auf seiner Rückseite sowie eine 5-Megapixel-Kamera auf seiner Frontseite. Eine so detailstarke Kamera auf der Fronstseite ist ungewöhnlich. Eine Variante für zwei SIM-Karten (Dual-SIM) soll es auch geben.Das Mitttelklasse-Modell Ascend P6 soll 449 Euro kosten (UVP) und im Juli 2013 in Deutschland auf den Markt kommen.Samsung hat heute das Galaxy Ace 3 vorgestellt. Es bietet ein 4-Zoll-Display, Dual-Core-Prozessor und Android 4.2. Drei Versionen sind geplant, darunter ein Dual-SIM-Modell. Alle Infos zum Galaxy Ace 3.

    Samsung hat heute überraschend mit dem Galaxy Ace 3 innerhalb weniger Tage eine weitere Android-Neuheit vorgestellt. Das Ace der dritten Generation setzt gegenüber dem Vorgänger Ace 2 auf eine verbesserte Ausstattung, die jetzt auf dem Niveau der aktuellen Mittelklasse liegt. So bietet das Ace 3 ein 4 Zoll großes Kompaktdisplay sowie einen 1 Ghz schnellen Dual-Core-Prozessor. Sein interner Speicher (frei nutzbar sind nur 1,8 GB!) fällt klassenüblich recht mager aus. Er kann per MicroSD-Speicherkarte erweitert werden. Als Betriebssystem kommt das aktuelle Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) zum Einsatz.Samsung bietet das mit einer 5-Megapixel-Kamera ausgestattet Smartphone in drei Varianten an: Eine Version für eine SIM-Karte und 3G/HSPA-Netze (GT-S7270), eine Version für 2 SIM-Karten (Dual-SIM) und 3G/HSPA-Netze (GT-S7272) sowie eine LTE-Version (GT-S7275), die ebenfalls mit einer SIM-Karte nutzbar ist.Welche dieser Modellvarianten Samsung in Deutschland anbieten wird, ist bislang ebenso wenig bekannt wie der geplante Marktstart und die Preisempfehlung. Das 10-Zoll-Tablet MediaPad 10 Link hat einen Quad-Core-Prozessor, 16-GB-Speicher, Android 4.0 sowie ein UMTS/HSPA-Modem. Es kostet 349 Euro.Huawei stellte bereits Ende Februar sein Einsteiger-Tablet MediaPad 10 Link in Barcelona vor - jetzt ist das 10-Zoll-Tablet mit dem Aluminium-Unibody im deutschen Handel angekommen.

  • Dell Studio XPS 1647 Battery

    Lester joined The Register in 2000 to manage merchandising and photography but grabbed the nearest laptop and wrote his first article in September that year, about one of our own defecting to the dark side – or PR, as it is otherwise known.Among the 7,300 stories Lester produced for El Reg were regular features including Logo Watch, Strategy Boutique, Rise of the Machines, and Flame of the Week.It didn't get any airtime at the big opening day of the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but excitement is building around Apple's next-generation file system.Early specs show the system will bring your hard drive into the modern era, most notably by supporting native encryption. It will also time-stamp files by nanoseconds (rather than seconds), making it better for modern databases, and take snapshots of the file system, massively reducing the time needed to make backups.Other interesting features include crash protection, space sharing – which will enable much more flexible partitioning – optimization for solid-state hard drives, and a better system for cleaning up deleted files.In short, the new Apple File System (APFS) can be expected to bring significant advances in speed and efficiency, and the updating of Apple's file sharing technology, which hasn't changed in nearly 20 years (others, of course, have developed more modern systems that are now 10 years old).

    APFS' preliminary information has been released to developers, and sessions on it will take place this week at WWDC. It is scheduled to ship sometime in 2017, meaning that the company may be able to boast big performance improvements in its products toward the end of that year. It is designed to work with all of Apple's operating systems – iOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS.There is still a lot of work to be done, however. It is not currently possible to start your computer directly with the file system, and it doesn't work with Apple's current encryption and archiving systems – presumably because it is intended to replace them.The file system is also case-sensitive and that apparently cannot be disabled, which will lead to all sorts of knock-on compatibility issues. Yep, you will have to buy more Apple gear: a new watch to go with your new phone to sync with your new laptop. Apple is always looking after that bottom line.Support documents published by 9to5Mac indicated the platform will be rebranded macOS, the name of the Mac’s original OS when it launched in 1984, one of four Apple platforms. The others are watchOS, tvOS and iOS.

    9to5Mac later updated its story to say Apple had changed its pages back to read Mac OS X.The workstation NeXTSTEP 1.0 was originally unveiled in 1988, before going cross platform.Apple acquired NeXT in a reverse takeover that brought Steve Jobs back to the company he founded, and the platform was revamped extensively before launching as Mac OS X in 2001. Presumably, Apple now reckons it's so long (15 years) since the last release of the original MacOS, no confusion will be created.USB-C and Thunderbolt are the last mainstream connections devices will need to the outside world, according to analyst firm ABI Research.The company's new Device Connectivity Report predicts that by the year 2020 “Almost half of the smartphones and 93% of laptops will include USB Type-C connectivity.” In coming years we'll also see gadget-makers will offer “fewer connectivity types and ports per device as the industry steadily transitions toward wireless solutions and cable-free devices.”ABI analyst Andrew Zigani opines that “USB-Type C and Thunderbolt 3.0 will be the last major physical ports to gain major significance and mainstream traction.”Next up? Wi-Gig, aka 802.11ad, which has already made it on to some business laptop vendors' feature lists for 2016 and is expected to become more common in coming years. WiGig can handle video traffic to displays or general purpose data. WiGig Docks are starting to emerge, but before long it's expected the standard will appear in devices like televisions, projectors and monitors.

    Of course there are untold millions of such devices out there, most of which are good for years more use. Further, nobody is suggesting wireless charging pads are going to become so ubiquitous that we can all do without mains connections. So chances are gadgets will need at least one physical port for the foreseeable future.But Zignani reckons there's no need for the industry to consider mainstream connectors beyond USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.0. And seeing as Intel last year decided it's happy for the USB-C port to handle Thunderbolt traffic, rather than its own physical port design, we're on track for a single standard hole for most portable devices any year now.Special report In Australia and New Zealand, hackers are doing it for themselves by creating vibrant security conferences that run on their own terms and actively avoid the corporate-speak and fear-mongering that characterises so many vendor-led events.These conferences, or cons, are booming and showcase security skills that rival the best the global security industry can offer.The hacker-run conferences are nothing like commercial technology confabs: vendor pitches are universally banned, so are trade show booths. Bars replace bain maries full of conference casseroles and black metal-inspired custom shirts are the de facto uniform.At these events hackers reveal holes in the world's most popular technology and public transport systems to a soundtrack of sweeping moans of derision, laughter, and, for some cons, bursts of on-stage pyrotechnics.Most hacker presenters follow the modern line and push the companies they hack to fix holes ahead of their on-stage disclosures, yet blasé promises to fix earn retribution as zero-days are still dropped.

    Delegates at these cons are a mix of professional penetration testers and security admins, hackers of dubious history, curious developers, and students. Some of those attending are partly responsible for defending the nation’s biggest and most important companies.Most of these volunteer-run and continually sold-out events cost between A$50 and A$150, with some occasionally free for the most broke hacker, and are home to a staple of community-run lockpick and capture the flag competitions lasting what is a typically two-day conference.After an arguable decade of hiatus, the cheap grassroots cons have spread out to cover almost all Australian states. Hackers have WAHCKON in Perth, CrikeyCon in Brisbane, Platypuscon in Sydney, BSides in Canberra, Unrest in Melbourne, and regional pillar Kiwicon in Wellington.These could not be further from the typical C-level security event where ticket prices demand up to A$2000, technical talks are scarce, and vendor booths and pressed suits are as prolific as branded backpacks.BSides Canberra, held on the shoulder of the Government’s large defence sector-orientated Australian Cyber Security Conference (ACSC), concluded its second and last day to a standing ovation. The $50 hacker meet run by security pair Silvio Cesare and Kylie McDevitt sold out quickly. “There are many reasons we started BSides Canberra,” co-organiser Cesare says. “We wanted to provide a local conference for Canberra at which we could inspire the next generation of hackers.”

    The popular pair have a focus on encouraging new blood into the security sector at large, and more specifically into the conference circuit to consume and present new research. To that end they have kept the ticket prices rock bottom to ensure it is accessible to anyone interested in the field.Sponsorship from community-centric security firms means the conference breaks even, throws two open-bar parties, and gives each of the 360 delegates a custom t-shirt and home-made Arduino badge that displays the conference running order. Says Cesare: “… we think there will be people at corporate conference that will go nowhere near a hackercon and vice versa but there will also be an overlap,” Cesare says. “We don’t make a profit … this is just our passion.”Highlights of the con include auctioning nasty Oracle zeroday flaws – one written on a napkin – to fund a ‘steak dinner’ for the organisers, a “nail-biting” capture the flag competition decided in the last four minutes, and some delegate badge re-tweaking. Who: A stable core 'Crüe' of Bogan, Pipes (retired), metlstorm, Sharrow, Ad, Vex, Madman, Squirrelboy, and Lisa, along with a retinue of volunteers who make the ship sail, and SiteHost who host the con's web presence gratis.Kiwicon celebrates its tenth year in November and is placed at the top of many Aussie and Kiwi hacker con wish lists. It has ballooned in size from a small gathering at a university campus building to outgrow Wellington's iconic Opera House and the St. James Theatre.

    Local and overseas speakers come to offer technical strolls, highlight horrid holes in enterprise software and advice to improve delegates' exploitation prowess, and a litany of illustrations that paint the sorry state of information security. This all takes place against a backdrop of metal music and pyrotechnics. Attendees gain perspective on the event with the aid of local craft beer bearing Kiwicon insignia.The genesis was simple; if the Aussies can do it, surely we can? con organiser Metlstorm says. How hard can it be to get 80 people in a room, talk about computer hacking, then go to the pub? … From there Kiwicon just burgeoned into a monster that fundamentally is built in our own image of not taking ourselves very seriously.What is now more of a hacker themed variety show Kiwicon has become a slick entertaining production that balances showmanship with technical content that guarantees the expanded 2200 seats this year will again fill fast. The upcoming event will likely be the biggest antipodean security con, despite its banishment of the immortal trade event annoyances: vendor shillin', big money illin', no booth babes, no booths, no paid talks, no swag bags full of crap you're gonna throw out immediately, no bullshit, and of course the sticker shock of the ticket price, the respected penetration tester says.