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Live From RSA: Getting Ready for the Security Smackdown

It’s quiet on the streets of San Francisco today, the first day of the RSA Security Conference, being held at the Moscone Convention Center south of Market Street.

Traffic on the streets is light, so either the cops are doing a good job redirecting the crazy San Francisco traffic, which in this area can almost rival that of New York, or the gloomy economic news has trickled down to the streets.

In Moscone Center North, however (yes, there is a Moscone Center South, and a Moscone Center West), at the registration hall, things are pretty lively, all things considered.

This is, after all, the early part of the first day, and people who attended the get acquainted-party last night are probably reaching for the aspirin right now.

The conference and an associated exposition will be held through Friday.

Lights! Action!

Meanwhile, downstairs, a woman is setting up six PCs for the Security Smackdown next to the doors to the press section, code-named the “Yellow Rooms.” Come back, Bill Hearst, we still love you!

What, you may ask, is a Security Smackdown? A competition sponsored by BreachShield in which security experts will try to locate vulnerabilities in a simulated Web site built specially for that purpose. And twice a day Security Innovation President and CEO Ed Adams will pop up to hold a security-focused trivia game show in which the audience will be asked questions and those who give the correct answer will win prizes.

The press rooms are getting busy, and across the street in Moscone Center South, people are still setting up the exhibition booths for the exposition, which will open at 6 p.m.

Several bookstores have been set up, and well-known authors will hold book signings, not all in the bookstores. The authors are Washington Post investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau — Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice; Jeff Hawkins — On Intelligence; and Malcolm Gladwell The Tipping Point and Blink.

Comings and Goings

Several exhibitors have withdrawn. They include SAP, BMC Software, Arbor Networks, Active Reasoning and lesser-known firms such as Consentry Networks and Hifn.

Their replacements include members of the Brazilian IT Security Consortium, which showcases best-of-breed Brazilian security companies.

Several speakers have pulled out, and new ones have been recruited. All in all, a typical first day at a major trade conference and show.

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