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DefCon Ninja Badges Let Hackers Do Battle 77

eecue writes "The folks at DefCon, the world's largest hacker convention [previously on Slashdot], have been making awesome badges for years. Last year along with the convention badge, a group of hackers known as the Ninjas created an electronic badge for their exclusive party. This year the Ninjas have taken the whole electronic badge thing to the next level with an interactive, wireless, encrypted ninja battle video game badge. I convinced the Ninjas to give Wired.com an exclusive sneak peek, and let me tell you, this thing is awesome."
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DefCon Ninja Badges Let Hackers Do Battle

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  • They've obviously got way too much time on their hands!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rsw ( 70577 )
      They both have jobs; they did this in their spare time.
  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:19PM (#33061190)

    I think if you use the word "awesome" twice or more in a slashdot summary you have to forfeit your adulthood.

  • Ninjas win (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:20PM (#33061204)
    Pirates have a long way to go if they want to match this sheer level of awesome.
  • AWESOME! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kiljoy001 ( 809756 )
    Too bad, This would be something I would buy for office meetings :)
  • oblig (Score:5, Funny)

    by demonbug ( 309515 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:33PM (#33061360) Journal

    Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!

  • oh the irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shanrak ( 1037504 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:33PM (#33061370)
    Anyone else enjoying the irony that Facebook, with tons of known holes where private information can be leaked, is sponsoring the Ninja group at DefCon.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by minogully ( 1855264 )
      They're probably just trying to get on teh hackers' good sides so they won't get hacked.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Alright, ye hacker community. Get your hands on one of these things and hack the interface before the show. This is a requirement, I shouldn't have even had to post this. That is all.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are they the same guys doing the huge drinking party the day or week after defcon? If so I met a few of them a few months back at a certain meeting place that will remain unnamed. In addition to funding that sort of thing, I believe they said FB is also funding their drinking party this year, which is going to be over 1k people and a fully open bar. I thought it pretty impressive even if it's not really my thing :)

  • Wired... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:37PM (#33061410)

    I convinved the Ninjas to give Wired.com an exclusive sneak peek, and let me tell you, this thing is awesome."

    Yeah, but if you write for Wired, you probably think being able to tie your shoes is awesome.

  • by gravos ( 912628 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:56PM (#33061626) Homepage
    Now that wireless hardware is so cheap I'm surprised we don't see more of these made commercially. Why are there so few of those little handheld electronic games that have wireless connectivity? They could sell like 4 of em together in one package.
    • Well you can't have a game system without "awesome" graphics. Being fun doesn't cut it anymore :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MaWeiTao ( 908546 )

      The components might be cheap, but I'm guessing it requires a lot of effort and development to actually make something that works. The companies making cheap electronic games aren't going to spend the money, if they even have the resources to devote to this. Most are just designing new shells for whatever crap Chinese companies have pumped out for the domestic market. The company with the money and interest are going at higher end markets.

      That said, toy technology is at an impressive state compared to 20 ye

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:12PM (#33062662)

      Now that wireless hardware is so cheap I'm surprised we don't see more of these made commercially. Why are there so few of those little handheld electronic games that have wireless connectivity? They could sell like 4 of em together in one package.

      They're too expensive.

      If we take a BOM cost of maybe $15 for all those parts and assembly and such, you're looking at a toy that'll sell for $60+. Which is a super-expensive toy - parents balk at paying that much. The ideal toy price is around $20 - $10 is great, $30 is tops, and $50 is expensive.

      Those little electronic handheld games that sell for $10 probably cost $1 in total cost to the manufacturer, and the retailer probably paid $5 for it (probably $6-7 after warehouse and shipping and such). $20 game may probably cost $3 to manufacture.

      If the manufacturer was making low margins, that $15 badge would probably sell for $25 wholesale and maybe $50 MSRP.

      If you think those margins are high, remember they include store overhead, defect overhead (many of these things are just thrown away if a customer returns it as defective, and the manufacturer and retailer look at those return rates to determine how much will be paid), plus shipping from manufacturer to retailer warehouse to retailer. Plus, when the retailer starts discounting as well...

    • by SleazyRidr ( 1563649 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:19PM (#33062766)

      They exist, they just weren't hugely popular. The ones I saw were an extension of the Tamagotchi idea. Build up your little guy, the make him fight with anyone who comes within 20 feet of you.

      Probably also a bit of a critical mass thing too, if not enough people have one, then running into someone else with one is going to be pretty rare, so it won't be as much fun, so less people will buy one, so you'll never get enough people with one to make it worthwhile.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        i believe that game you speak of was Hasbro's Pox.


  • by L3370 ( 1421413 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:07PM (#33061756)
    Imagine you are in a restaurant minding your own business and enjoying a meal with your family. Your ninja alert beeps of as an enemy approaches the dinner table. An adversary (random stranger) has received the same alert...and at this point there is only one thing you both can do.

    Jump up on the table. Stomp your bread roll and kick off the lobster bisque. Out from your guts you scream NINJAAAAA BATTTLLLLLLLLE!!!!
    At the end one enjoys victory, the other tastes defeat. But both of you will share a chuckle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Out from your guts you scream NINJAAAAA BATTTLLLLLLLLE!!!!

      Your scenario sounds like a modern day pokemon epidemic... with ninjas!

  • by beej ( 82035 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @05:22PM (#33061986) Homepage Journal

    It's from the game Bruce Lee for the C64. That I recognized it has to be worth at least one geek point. ;-)

    http://www.c64-wiki.com/index.php/Bruce_Lee [c64-wiki.com]

  • The real game... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The real game will be hacking the badge and/or leaderboard system. It would be interesting to see a detailed write up on how they have implemented the system and what measures they have taken to stop people from cheating. Neat idea.

  • A hacking conference, cool badges with wireless capability; what could possibly go wrong?
  • Inquiring minds want to know. Is the Ninja party so exclusive that not even the Goons can get in?

    • Goon or not, you have to have a badge to enter the party. Here's the thing, the Ninjas provide an event that has become a mainstay for Defcon attendees for years. They ask for nothing in return. There is no door fee, no fee for drinks, nor anything else. They don't ask you to stroke their egos, nor do they ask for anything at all in return. What other organization can you say that about? Do you know how much time and money are put into these events? The events are to honor those worthy of honor, those in o
      • I held it together almost all the way through, but I did throw up a little when I read "chosen few."

      • by dave562 ( 969951 )

        How times have changed. I guess the con is a little too big for everyone to get together with DT and the speakers in the hotel bar. I'm curious. When did the Ninja events start?

  • ..read that as "DefCon Ninja Badgers Let Hackers Do Battle"

    Actually, that would be much cooler. They should replace the badges with ninja badgers.

  • ...You insensitive clod!
  • Amanda Wozniak, to be precise.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault