Last HOPE to become Next HOPE

Hackers toy with technology, ideas, and words at Last HOPE conference.

NEW YORK--In case you were worried, HOPE is not dead.

Last HOPE

Just as hackers experiment with technology, push boundaries, and subvert the concepts of what it means to be safe and secure, the organizers of the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference have had some fun of their own.

Despite calling the event this weekend "Last HOPE," it won't be the final one; just the most recent one, organizer Emmanuel Goldstein told attendees at the closing ceremonies Sunday night.

There will be another one in two years. It will be called "Next HOPE," he said.

That was good news for the approximately 3,000 attendees of this year's confab, which was the seventh since 1994.

Word of plans to tear down the 90-year-old venue, Hotel Pennsylvania, and Goldstein's naming of the conference this year and use of funereal theme, had many in the community wondering if this was the event's swan song.

Goldstein has a predilection for wordplay--previous names were Beyond HOPE, H2K in 2000, and H2K2 in 2002.

As for the hotel, "plans to demolish have been shelved for the indefinite future," said Goldstein, aka Eric Corley, who also publishes the 2600 hacker magazine.

A coffin is carried during the fake wake for Last HOPE. Elinor Mills

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