This past weekend I participated in my first Capture the Flag challenge which was hosted by Matt Hamilton (Eriner) and other folks of the OTA Team. It was an epic 72 hours. We teamed up with my brother and took 5th place.
During those 72 hours I learned a lot more than I knew about steganography, cryptography, filesystem superblocks, and even got to sharpen my math skills. I must admit I knew nothing (or maybe forgot everything) about calculus.
My favorite challenge was cracking an Enigma-encoded message. It turns out that the military version of this 1920s machine has over 158 quintillion (!) different ways to setup the initial key. My first blind attempt at bruteforcing it yielded only one million combinations in about 10 minutes. Yeah, good luck with that.
Luckily there are much more effective algorithms to crack the message in fewer steps (yes, faster than the Turing Bombe), by relying on quadgram statistics, given that we know the language of the original message.
Thanks to the OTA Team for hosting this online event! If you’re looking to join such an event in the future, check out ctftime.org.
Last year we had a blast and this year we’re planning to have an even bigger one. WordCamp Russia 2014 will be held on August 9th in Moscow.
We have a line up of 14 speakers ready to deliver some WordPress awesomeness in two simultaneous tracks, at the popular Digital October conference center in Moscow.
Tickets are available at $20, which includes a full day of learning and networking, food, coffee breaks, after-party and of course swag. See you in Moscow!
Last week I attended jQuery Russia 2013 which was held at Digital October (my favorite venue) in Moscow. The conference was organized by a local HR company called ITmozg and they’ve done a fairly good job.
He also mentioned that people often refer to jQuery being slow, and most of the time it’s not even jQuery’s fault:
This is not jQuery being slow, it’s that bad jQuery plugin.
The other noteworthy session was Eric Mann’s about web sockets, and a pretty interesting Menehune library for jQuery.
Overall, the event was okay. Not great! But okay. I guess I was expecting more out of a $400 conference, stuffed with sponsors (including the stage), or maybe I’m just used to WordCamps :) Anyway, I met a bunch of folks, a few old friends. I didn’t stay for the after-party, but I’m pretty sure it was good.
Will I attend next year? Probably not.
Last week I attended WordPress Kitchen in Kiev, Ukraine – a little informal conference about all things WordPress. One whole day with around 70 attendees, 9 sessions and a great deal of fun.
I learned about WordPress Kitchen a few weeks before the event and immediately reached out to the organizing team to see what they were up to. The event was mostly organized by Pingbull, a web development agency scattered between Oslo, Stockholm and Kiev. They were all super friendly and nice.
The event was held in an anti-cafe called Besedniza. Nine sessions total, one in English, one in Ukrainian and the rest in Russian. The speakers were mostly developers, quite a few of them from Pingbull. They covered some interesting topics, most of which were directly related to WordPress, including a session about why one should not pick WordPress.
The after-party was at a bar nearby, with some food, lots of drinks, jokes, laughter and a boxing match between Klitschko and Povetkin — Klitschko obviously won.
This was my first time in Kiev and my first time in Ukraine. I stayed there for three days in quite a nice hotel called Alfavito. Walking around the streets felt a lot like Russia, especially Magnitogorsk – the city I lived in right before I moved to Moscow.
Huge thanks to everyone involved in making WordPress Kitchen happen. I hope to come back to Ukraine very soon for another WordPress event or two, hopefully leading up to the first WordCamp Ukraine in 2014.
If you have ever planned a WordCamp or any other similar event, you know that it’s a lot of hard work – speakers wrangling, volunteers, venue, food, drinks, video, photos and everything else. And now that it’s all over, let’s talk about WordCamp Russia.
This was my second WordCamp San Francisco, and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t attended too much of the sessions, most notably: Mark Jaquith on deploying, code UX by Nikolay Bachiyski, funny theme stories by Ian Stewart, introduction of the O2 theme by Beau Lebens, roles and caps by Andrew Nacin and obviously State of the Word, by Matt Mullenweg, speaking of which, I was named “recent rockstar” for the 3.6 release cycle (along with quite a few other awesome folks), which I’m so proud of.
The Moscow WordPress Meetup group is growing, and this weekend we had three sessions and over 30 attendees! We finally seem to have settled with the venue, and started working towards a WordCamp Moscow this year.
Fun fact: next meetup (in March) we will turn one year old.