I'm currently sitting in the train from Berlin to Nuremberg, so I got some time to catch up here.
The reason I was in Berlin was, as every year, the Chaos Communication Congress. Unfortunately I couldn't go by car, as I normally do, so I decided to travel by train, to spare me the pains of security checks at the airport (especially because I had quite some electronics and so on with me). But thinking back, this would have spared me quite some waiting time and other annoyances. On the way to Berlin my train came about 30 minutes late, not to my surprise, so I could live with it. But when it came in, I had to notice, that the train was only half the length, missing some wagons, including the one I had a reservation in. Luckily I could still get a seat, so no complaints. Anyway, because of the cold weather, the train had to come to a stop only a few kilometers before arriving in Berlin, and even had to turn and take another route to arrive there. In the end, I had over 2 hours delay.
Now, on the way back, my train, including reservation of course, was cancelled, so I had to take the next one over an hour later. Now over the distance it gathered another 15-20 minutes delay, so let's see when - or if - I will arrive in nuremberg. Well, at least I should get a 50% return for the hassles.
But let's come to the nice part of the journey: the congress iteslf.
After finally arriving, far later than expected, I had a drink (or two) with a mate who couldn't make it to the C3, glad that it worked out, because I'm clearly not often enough in berlin. On the next day the congress started, as usual we set up our stuff at hour table in the hackcenter, the always basement where you can never tell which time it is. :)
But let's come to the talks first. If you want to see all the talks, just check out the Fahrplan, you can also watch the recordings. I on the other hand will only tell you about the talk's I've seen and found interesting.
-- The first highly interesting talk was titled SMS-o-Death. It covered vulnerabilities in the implementations of the GSM short text message feature, mainly in so-called featurephones. I won't tell you more, because if you're at all interested in the topic, you should really watch the recording.
The next talk I watched was Netzneutralität und QoS - ein Widerspruch?. It's in german, so no point in watching if you don't understand it. It basically was a podium discussion between a few people (and later the audience participation) how the technical advantages of QoS can be used without making net neutrality impossiple. Anyway, even though this was moderated and transmitted by one of the bigger and better information radiostations in Germany, the DLF, I didn't find it particularily interesting nor very helpful and I doubt that it brought the results that all involved parties hoped for.
Even though I didn't intend to at first, it was brought to my attention that the talk Desktop on the Linux... (yeah, odd title) turned out to be interesting after all. The concept of the talk was a guy ranting about current and coming desktop technologies on Linux, from consolekit to gdm, but what he probably didn't expect: Lennart Poettering, a RedHat employee, was in the audience and decided to jump into the rant as the oppsite pole. If you don't know Lennart: he's a major engineer of many current technologies on Linux and other unix-alike systems, being responsible for backends from systemd to pulseaudio. Even though the -- let's call him "ranter" :), datenwolf, had some points, and I agreed more often than not, he had no chance against Lennart rhetorically, so it probably didn't go as he expected, too. Anyway. if you find that interesting and always wanted to know what $(random-string)-kit is for, watch the - rant? discussion? Whatever. :)
The last talk on this day was the most surprising. It doesn't happen all to often, that Microsoft sends a speaker to CCC events. And you certainly wouldn't expect that the audience would be that positive. Anyway, Stuxnet is a very interesting topic, and Microsoft s Bruce Dang does not only seem to know well what he's doing, he's also a great speaker. So all in all it was one of the best talks at the congress and there is just no reason you shouldn't watch it. If you're still not hooked: Bruce had to admitt, that he uses Linux (well, at least from time to time) :P
That was it for Day 1, I will talk about the other talks and other cool things the next days.