Defcon, the annual hacker gathering in Las Vegas, got off to a late start on Friday thanks to the Las Vegas Fire Department.
"There was a mix-up with some of the paperwork, so they had to come and visually inspect the venue," said Defcon organizer Jeff Moss. As a result, the event started at noon instead of at 10 a.m., probably a welcome delay for those hung over from the previous night's Microsoft bash at the swank Palms resort, which wrapped up Black Hat.
Still, thousands of Defcon attendees did make it out of bed for the first sessions and had to stand in line for a couple hours. "I was a bit stressed," Moss said.
Defcon moved and is at the Riviera Hotel & Casino for the first time. In previous years the event was at the Alexis Park.
Increased attendance made the move necessary. On Friday morning, all of the about 5,500 specially made Defcon badges for regular attendees were gone, and late-arrivals were asked to wear a paper badge instead.
Defcon badges are special every year, but this year there's more of a story. Attendees wear circular plastic badges with a smiley face that has blinking light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for eyes and the Defcon logo of a skull and crossbones.
But there's more to the badges. They're printed circuit boards with a chip on the back. Defcon attendees are being invited to hack their badge. "The most obscure, obscene, mischievous or interestingly hacked badge will be recognized," according to the Defcon event guide.