Every other year since 1994, hackers from all over the world have converged on New York City for the Hackers On Planet Earth conference. But this year’s bash, held last weekend, was supposed to be the final run. HOPE’s long-time home the Hotel Pennsylvania was said to be closing, and conference organisers, the editors of Long Island-based 2600 magazine, were calling it quits. They were laying it on pretty thick, too: the con’s name was “The Last HOPE,” the conference logo was a tombstone, and in the biggest conference room a coffin was set up to commemorate the “death” of the event.
Not so. According to multiple reports from people present at HOPE 2008’s closing ceremonies, HOPE honcho Eric Corley (a/k/a “Emmanuel Goldstein”) announced that the conference will back in 2010. The conference bulletin board carries a description of the theatrics:
Emmanuel started a eulogy, and then there was some clammering in the back as a procession of pallbearers brought a coffin through the room. Everyone was silent and totally somber. But then Emmanuel, master of language that he is, played with some words and much to everyone’s relief (or so it seemed to me) announced that there will very likely be another hope. So you can think of the last hope simply as the last one you attended. I think his last words of the evening were, “See you in two years”.
Photo: Eric Krangel / Silicon Alley Insider