I dont get why so many people cannot simply wait. Do they understand that a public beta is not ready yet?
The SM release is - in effect, a pre-beta, late alpha release is it not?
Then there will be varous bug fixes implemented from what is gathered, and a final BETA will be released publically.
Private beta's work much better than a wide public beta, in the early testing phases. It allows the dev's to only need to address a small amount of recorded bugs, until the full public is released.
They have a lot of work on their hands - they do not need 1000 posts on the forum stating there is a bug with such and such... By limiting the number of testers, they have limited the workload of moderators and themselves, whilest still being able to address the serious bugs.
An excellent way to do it if you ask me.
Simply put - It just isn't ready yet guys - but soon
One other point to what mrotacon stated is that for the most part the shmoocon attendees are security experts with a high amount of pen test experience. They are a good cross section of BT4's target audience, and will quickly find issues. The developers get some of the best potential users debugging for them, and at the same time they don't have to put up with the BS from the clueless skriddies who want to know how to boot a CD so they can break the neighbors WEP.