Jacob made his way down each of the vendor rows. Some were selling software tools, others additional products, and some services for contract. It covered every contingency and every experience level. Even the kids, in tow with their parents, were finding booths of interest. Conversations that he caught in passing also covered the how to do thus-and-such, through to the, I did this-and-that. Some of the conversations were fairly detailed, and the speakers made it clear that they didn’t care who might be listening. It was amazing that people thought they had anonymity, especially as packed at this hall was. He stopped to speak to a few fellow programmers and pen-testers he had associated with at one time or another, catching up on stuff. Jacob did more listening and encouraged them to talk rather than bragging from his side. By the time he rounded the last row he had not caught sight of Petra and was ready to retire. It had been a long travel day, and he wanted to be fresh for the morning sessions he’d signed up to attend.
Jacob returned to his room and ordered room service. After eating he fell into bed, travel finally catching up to him. As he slept he dreamed of conversations with his Mom specifically focused on protecting himself, keeping his personal information private, covering his tracks, his passwords, and his Internet dealings. Even his choice of Internet handle in JAM had not been to his Mom’s liking as it was too close to reality. They had disagreed about hiding in plain sight and those philosophies. She also admonished him, in his dream, for letting someone find out enough about him to provide a plane ticket to this event. In the dream they worked out a plan to modify his personal security even further, and he agreed when he returned home to reinvent his Internet persona.
He woke up early with resolve on several fronts. He suspected that those nagging details about his personal security had been in the back of his mind all along, and it had taken relaxing totally to help move them toward solution. He connected from his room and again carefully changed passwords and moved accounts from one place to another. He was pleased to see that nothing had crossed the border security he had established when he had first received the specifically named airline tickets. He also took a quick view of his work email and saw nothing that required his attention.
He ordered room service again for breakfast and dressed. He wore his prized t-shirt, hoping that he would meet others of like mind. Maybe he would locate Petra and have some serious discussion about encryption. With the way that Quip had reverently referred to her, Jacob felt she would be a great contact to include in his personal experts network. Networking with like-minded folks at his level had been beneficial so far in his career, though he always felt he was providing the answers rather than asking the questions. He locked his PC into the room safe and grabbed his badge, and then went to the meeting room area on the convention level.
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