SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Imagine the historic San Jose Civic Auditorium overflowing with IT security professionals, their faces buried in their handheld devices waiting for the official proceedings of the RSA Conference 2002 to begin. Surely this is destined to be four days of algorithms, analysts and antivirus vendors.
Imagine their surprise very early Tuesday morning, however, when out of the smoke-filled darkness on the main stage erupts a sonic-boom of a power chord emanating from a quintuple-necked guitar.
Never a show to start off on a dull note, RSA began with a blast with an 8 a.m. impromptu concert from Cheap Trick and its legendary guitarist lead guitarist Rick Neilsen. Following protocol, RSA usually kicks off with a blast from the pop-rock past (Pat Benatar opened last year's show) and this year was no exception.
The set list, in case you're interested: "Surrender" and "I Want You to Want Me," with the lyrics of both anthems tweaked a bit to reflect some cryptography and IT security nuances.
So, if nothing else, most of the security geeks in the front row, get to take home a Rick Neilsen guitar pick.
If you didn't make it to the West coast for RSA, you've already missed Cheap Trick's show-opener. And you're going to miss the show finale, comedian John Cleese. Cleese, best known for his work on Monty Python's Flying Circus, is making his presence known around the conference, and he'll keynote the end of the show Friday with a presentation entitled, "The Importance of Mistakes."
Yeah, but can he play a power chord?
RSA recognizes industry leaders
Host vendor, RSA Security, takes the opportunity at its annual show to recognize industry innovators with its annual RSA Awards for mathematics/cryptology, industry and policy.
IBM's Dr. Don Coopersmith was given the RSA Award for mathematics. Coopersmith is one of the Digital Encryption Standard (DES) innovators and a cryptology legend.
RSA also recognized Symantec with its annual industry award for its antivirus products.
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) was given the RSA policy award for his work on the Cybersecurity Act. Davis, a U.S. representative from Virginia's 11th district, the state's technical corridor, is recognized as a friend of IT in Washington. Davis was pivotal in establishing the Y2K Act as well.
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