Skytalks is a ‘sub-conference’ within DEF CON. Our mission: to provide a platform for researchers to share their research, for angry hackers to rant about the issues of their industry, and for curious souls to probe interesting issues, all without the watchful eye of the rest of the world. With a strict, well-enforced “no recording” policy, research that is underway or critical of a vendor can be aired to your peers. You are talking to other people in the information and computer underground, and very few topics are taboo. We invite the best of DEF CON: the best of the underground, in all its forms. Esoterica is as welcome as 0-day here, and history, design, APTs (or as we used to call them, hackers who are better than you), and extruded intruders have all found a place on our stage.
Skytalks is old-school DEF CON. We welcome and encourage handles – we want your material to stand on its own, and not to rely on what company’s logo is on your slide deck. We encourage the audience to ask questions and challenge what does not seem to be right; speakers can and will be held accountable for their material by their peers, loudly and, quite possibly drunkenly. Feedback doesn’t always come from the sound system, buddy.
We’re looking for talks that contain cutting-edge material; your work can be in-progress, if you have results, or complete work is welcome, even (and perhaps especially) when it runs the the risk of offending a company. Talks that challenge industry or societal norms are great. Calling out those who harm our industry and community is excellent! Talks that are outside the realm of a PG rating have found a home here (whether it’s due to hacking sex toys or reading email from “the hacker named 4chan”), but making sex jokes that have nothing to do with your talk, or throwing gratuitous porn on your slides, will get you ejected out the nearest portal (and we’re happy to use windows, even if there isn’t a pool below). First-time speakers are welcome; we have had the privilege and honor of being the place for the first talks of hackers who went on to become some of the greatest names in our community. We have also been the test-bed for some very experimental talks. We’re inviting you to be part of that group.
What you must bring: A compelling topic, slides, and willingness to educate and/or face your peers.
We invite you to be: outgoing, willing to educate, wanting to learn (yes, as a presenter), and wanting to engage your peers. If you lack any of these skills, we can fix this. A good talk is about mutual learning; it is a conversation. We just provide a room of professionals that want to converse, sometimes over a bit of liquor (and sometimes over more than a bit).
Your submission must include a brief abstract that explains your talk, which we will post on the Skytalks website to help advertise your talk. It must also include a detailed outline of the major talking points (no more than two pages, no less than 3/4ths of a page). Optionally, you can give us additional information or arguments about why we should accept your talk. If you have a Twitter handle, let us know; we use Twitter to advertise talks during the con.
What we provide: a place to present, with projectors (VGA or HDMI inputs). While we may have adapters on-hand, please be prepared and bring your own for either VGA or HDMI inputs to our projectors. We’ll have a PA system with appropriate microphones, as well as audio input (3.5mm stereo jack or RCA plugs) from a device if you need it. Please let us know if you have any special requirements, such as a fire extinguisher for when you plan to set the table on fire, a bucket of sand for the lithium battery you plan to crush, or a safe place to store liquid nitrogen.
Please note: all speakers must already be badged DEF CON attendees or be prepared to purchase their own entry badge for DEF CON. Skytalks currently cannot provide DEF CON badges for speakers, and Skytalks badges, while great keepsakes, do not provide access to DEF CON itself.
Remember, if any of your slides are caught or killed, we will disavow any knowledge of your talk.