Is it me or do trade shows need to change? I am at RSA 2009 in San Francisco and just got back from a little floor walking. Now I like the RSA format: Whole bunch of good training and then a vendor area to score freebies. On the floor folks are scrambling to set stuff up all over the place. Kinda like a bunch of networking carnies assembling booths, games and other things to draw you in so that the vendor can grab the golden ring of marketing justification: The Badge Swipe. The swipe shows foot traffic for mid level management to make endless bar/pie charts to insert into endless Powerpoint presentations. All I can say is thank goodness for 802.11G in meeting rooms....
Of course if there is value in anything, my first thought is to how do I hack it to obtain the value for as little as possible work. The RSA badge itself is credit card size with no bar codes. Under light it looks like a two layer card so my guess is its a low power (13MHz)passive RFID. I need to get a closer look at the reader. A quick check of my bag inventory shows me a have my RF-DUMP interactor with me...imagine that...More on that on The Day Two Blog.
As for my observation from the show floor, I would say no new surprise visual. Booth Babes practicing handing out flyers, Actors running lines, A Whack a Mole game(I know) and the prerequisite car on the show floor. This year it is a non descript red Smart car! Come on man! how about the ZZTop '32 Three Window Coupe now that'll generate some massive badge swipes right there! The good news is, I am seeing a bunch more vendors laying out the coveted booth T-Shirt!! Man alive I am glad for that! Last booth tshirt I had said something like; "Broadwing and MCI, Internet You Can Trust"
That is something vendors never really understood. Geeks go to conferences for training and t-shirts. T-shirts are kinda like liberty cuffs and tattoos are to a sailor. They are an outward expression of our travels. We geeks know that vendors have marketing goobers manning the booths so it is rare to get technical with anyone there other then a what's on a datasheet. That's cool man! toss us a t-shirt and we'll listen to the presentation and we'll be a walking billboard for ya, PLUS you get all the powerpoint generating badge swipes for many future meeting and conf calls to come! Nice trade right?
I'll post my Day Two update tomorrow. If you at RSA come by and say hey! I love to meet ya!! I'll be aggravating folks in the Cisco booth to start a fight with the folks in the Juniper booth! Booth Wars?? Maybe another way to generate badge swipes....
Jimmy Ray Purser
Trivia File Transfer Protocol
Passive RFID in theory was invented by the former Soviet Union as a method of spying in 1946. By taking voice sound waves and converting them to low freq radio waves. The actual RFID tag came in 1973.
Jimmy Ray Purser is the technical co-host for Cisco's TechWise and BizWise TV. Jimmy Ray also conducts advanced training for engineers across North America and Europe and regularly speaks at industry conferences such as VON, CeBIT, N+I, and Networkers. As a field engineer, Jimmy Ray experiences networking first hand behind the console or in the rack. He is an active member in the IEEE and the Ethernet Alliance and has designed, installed and tested numerous networks for Fortune 500 companies, the United States military and other institutions worldwide. He holds 3 U.S. patents for Ethernet security algorithms with two others pending and one defensive publication, as well as numerous other vendor certifications in networking and security.
Purser holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University is currently pursuing a master of science degree in electrical engineering.