…flashing lights, extravagant hotels, hoochies, and the slot machine wheels keep spinning… (Vegas intro)

I was hoping to have the photos along with the story, too busy though. Currently redoing the Shifting Creations site and will add the latest galleries then so check back!

As for the trip, what happens in Vegas, stays indoors, because it’s too damn hot to go outside (that’s the french-canadian in me speaking). Not that it matters; each hotel was like it’s own enclosed theme park, interlacing with all the other casinos on the strip so there’s not a lot of time spent outside.

We stayed at Caesar’s Palace, the best of the bunch, in my opinion. You can get lost in this place, and that’s what they want. No windows, no clocks. The main floor consists of food joints for all tastes, bars, shopping (we’re talking Armani, Berdini, Lacoste, not to mention the largest Victoria’s Secret I’ve ever seen), live music everywhere, gambling, a trio of the coolest pools to swim in… there’s no reason to leave. Basically, if you want to live like a king, you can. All it takes is money. And the desire to have a kindom in fricken Nevada.

BlackHat, one of the conferences we attended was held in the Caesar’s conference centers, and kicked ass. DefCon was the other conference, also very cool and informative, but BlackHat was much more formal and organized. Johnny Long’s presentation on Google Hacking was very good. Lots of other cool stuff, also very eye-opening and makes me wish everyone who owned a computer was forced to go attend some security sessions. Bottomline: credit card numbers and other private information do not belong on the internet, so don’t put ’em there!

As for DefCon, I’ve never seen so many muscled up, well-tanned, athletic computer users in my life. I mean, just the opposite. I hope mom’s across America took advantage of having their 30-year-old sons breach basement boundaries to sport their high school Transformers t-shirt and bring along their favorite girl, whether she be Dell, Apple, or AlienWare. The presentations weren’t as good as BlackHat, but certainly more shady and less monitored (which also teaches you a lot). The Wall of Sheep was fun to keep an eye on, a projector view of all the IPs, passwords, and other info that has been hacked for all to see. The lock-picking contest was also fun to see, the winner taking a mere 6 seconds to unlock the contest door.

Lastly, Circue Du Soleil performing the new Ka show was undoubtedly one of the coolest events I’ve ever witnessed. Take the mind-wrenching gymnastics and talent everyone knows Circue to create and combine with a martial arts theme, ninjas, bows and arrows, and sweet fight scenes. Rock on.