an image of an eye glowing green...

0wn yourself


hackers mislabeled. again.

well, this time msnbc newsweek sucks.

why is it that any time a criminal uses technology to steal something, or steals something from a computer, the media proclaims him or her to be a HACKER!?


why do you have to suck, msnbc newsweek? why must you try and cash in on the media's second favourite buzzword? as a journalistic entity, don't you owe it to your readers to give them the truth?

i mean, these guys even had a special illustration made showing a nerdy young guy in a mib suit and glasses, silver briefcase and comically oversized wirecutters hugged close, and sporting an id badge and skulking maliciously.

it's absurd.

it's obscene.

and it happens everyday. *shrugs*

well, i'm just gonna keep learning and reading and exploring and speaking my mind, and you should, too.

maybe, hackers can file some kind of class action libel/slander lawsuit against ppl who drag the hacker name through the mud.

msnbc newsweek, you suck, and i salute you for it!

'til next time...


0wn your 0wn


Steven Levy said...

I wrote that story. I also wrote a book called "Hackers" which probably remains the primary source material for the grand tradition of hacking you wrote about.

I was of course as unhappy as anyone else that over the years the definition of the word has morphed into something sinister--something that has nothing to do with the ethics and magic of the people I wrote about. But eventually I came to terms with the reality that language is a bottom-up process that we can't control. Like it or not, ONE definition of "hacker" is someone who breaks (hacks) into computers. I do use the term "malicious hacker" in the story but not every time. That woudl be ridiculous.

NO ONE is a bigger champion of "real" hackers than I am. (Subtitle of my book: HEROS of the Computer Revolution.) But the war over the word has already been lost. It has multiple definitions and one of them refers to a lawbreaker. Calling this use "mislabeling" has a ring of a soldier stranded on the island who doesn't know the war is over. Like it or not, posts like this one won't change things.

Best, Steven

cid said...

i understand what you are saying, but i disagree. we'll never take the word back in its pure form, but we'll not give it up willingly, either.

we are talking about a heirarchical system of words, here. a person can be a criminal AND a hacker, just a hacker, or just a criminal, but that's what i'm talking about.

in fact i agreed with most of the points you made, and as i said, you definitely speak with the air of someone who knows what they are talking about, but the problem i had with the article was that you used the one meaning of the word without indicating that the other exists.

for what it's worth, this is kind of ironic because i've always been (and continue to be) a fan of your writing, but the feel of the article was so indicative of what i've come to expect from the quote 'liberal media'. i meant no disrespect to you, personally. i was simply trying to make my point.

all i'm trying to do is open peoples eyes to the fact that there is more to the world (and the word) than the cbs and clearchannel are telling them about.

i hope that makes sense. thanks for reading. and thanks for better explaining your point of view.