Ryan Clarke, who used to work at Parallax and has been a long-time fixture at DEF CON, asked Rick Galinson to create a very special Uber badge for DC24. If you know DEF CON, the Uber badge is coveted: winning one means entry to the con for life without payment. It's a big deal which is why for 20,000 attendees, there were only 20 Uber badges awarded.
This year is very different. Rick packed in his 30 years of Hollywood special effect experience into a badge that is mostly mechanical -- and it blew away everyone at DEF CON.
Here's picture of the badge:
And here's a video of the inner workings with some test software
Rick had me re-write the final software. We added some creepiness to the extending eyeball pupil, did some color changes, a little Morse Code output from the eyes -- everything was stirred up.
Anyway, the crowd went wild, especially on seeing the tentacle mechanism come out of the eye. During the opening ceremonies Rick had given one to Ryan. During Ryan's comments, DC owner Jeff (The Dark Tangent) Moss arrived. They stepped away from the podium and Ryan showed Jeff the badge. Even though they stepped away from the mic, you would here Jeff exclaim "Holy sh*t!" when he saw it. That made Rick smile a well-deserved smile -- the hours of work that went into the design and fabrication is just staggering.
Congrats to Rick for a fantastic job. DEF CON likes to do things differently, and this was different. He was forced to use every tool in his shop to deliver this badge -- and DEF CON appreciated it.