Author Topic: Since when did hacking become cool? D:  (Read 1236 times)

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Offline Mr. Apple

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Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« on: January 27, 2012, 07:15:50 pm »
Lol thought this up when I was talking to one of the supposed 'hacker' people I know.
I mean you've got geeks like me. I draw cartoon animals, build computers, and play around with an arduino every now and again, and no one bats an eye.

But then you get these people who claim to be (dramatic voice) haaaackers, and they can use other people's software to jailbreak your ipod, or put custom firmware on your psp, or get you free games, and they're cool and underground and off the grid and everybody loves them to pieces because they're Neo from the friggin matrix!

Maybe it was the matrix?


Anyway, just throwing this up here. It'd be cool to hear some of your guys' thoughts.

Not meant to offend any of you who are Neo...
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 07:50:09 pm »
Sorry to do this, folks. But I'm putting in a "pre-emptive" Staff warning to be careful on the discussion of hacking. Item # 3c from the main Furtopian rules which describes things not allowed:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=42607.0
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c) The encouragement/advocation (Possession, Use, Sale, Distribution, Promotion, etc.) of drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances/items, and the encouragement of acts (violent content, hacking, vandalism, etc.) which could harm a person’s health/safety and/or get them into trouble.

"Discussion" is fine. But please do not post in such a manner as to encourage/advocate hacking activities to others. Thanks. ;)

Offline McMajik

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 08:03:17 pm »
That's barely hacking, that's just being a bit tech savvy and having questionable morals. I could do all of that if I wanted, and I'm not a hacker by aaaany stretch of the imagination. :p

People just love them to bits because they get cool things through them without getting their hands dirty - pretty poor basis for a friendship if you ask me. Or maybe it's because they've never met any real hackers :p

Offline Avan

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 08:12:32 pm »
Kobuk, hacking is a multiple definition work I forgot what they are called. There is the formal, entirely legal meaning, and the two informal definitions, one created by clueless media buffoons who confused it with the formal related term of cracking, and the one that is being used here, which is mostly founded in its legal meaning, but with looser, less CS-specific connotations.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 08:20:53 pm »
Frankly, I don't think any kind of "hacking" is cool at all.  :P  >:( If people are doing it just to be "cool" to impress others, then they're doing it for the wrong reasons and I have no respect for people who do those kinds of activities, whether they are illegal or not.  >:( You think it makes you look cool to your friends? You think it gives you power? You think it gives you respect? If anybody answers Yes to those questions, then you need serious help.  :P Hacking just gets you and/or the victims of hacks, into trouble. I see no good that comes out of hacking.
A lot of damn good people in this world create all sorts of software and other stuff for the world to use, only to watch as their creations are hacked, stolen, etc. for malicious purposes. It disgusts me to no end. A lot of hard working people are trying to make the world a better place. They spend long hours and days at their jobs creating all sorts of useful stuff. Why take advantage of them? Why hurt them and their creations? For fun/lulz? For profit? Seems like petty reasons to me.  :P

Offline Mr. Apple

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 08:48:44 pm »
The thing that annoys me though is that all these 'hackers' are just pirates. They use their knowledge however vast or minuscule it might be for malicious purposes. It's the pirates that get all the attention, and people just look at the actual hackers, like the people that did all that cool stuff with the kinect, and move on. What's even more frustrating is the attitudes that some of these people have. It's impossible to talk to them for five minutes without them bragging about their 1337 h4x0r skillz... k now i'm just venting x3

oh and srry kobuk for the iffy discussion topic  :P Hehe i think you can tell though, i'm not advocating malicious hacking in any way ^^
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Offline Dusty

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 08:56:07 pm »
Frankly, I don't think any kind of "hacking" is cool at all.  :P  >:( If people are doing it just to be "cool" to impress others, then they're doing it for the wrong reasons and I have no respect for people who do those kinds of activities, whether they are illegal or not.  >:( You think it makes you look cool to your friends? You think it gives you power? You think it gives you respect? If anybody answers Yes to those questions, then you need serious help.  :P Hacking just gets you and/or the victims of hacks, into trouble. I see no good that comes out of hacking.
A lot of damn good people in this world create all sorts of software and other stuff for the world to use, only to watch as their creations are hacked, stolen, etc. for malicious purposes. It disgusts me to no end. A lot of hard working people are trying to make the world a better place. They spend long hours and days at their jobs creating all sorts of useful stuff. Why take advantage of them? Why hurt them and their creations? For fun/lulz? For profit? Seems like petty reasons to me.  :P


That's a pretty terrible generalization of the people who hack and the motivations of those people. There are many people who are paid to hack software and hardware, generally to find security holes in whatever it is they're currently playing with. Some people enjoy hacking from a hobbyist's perspective (which is sort of more in line with the definition of hacking being used here), taking hardware and converting it into something interesting and useful. For example, here's a guy who converted a Nintendo 64 into a handheld. That's pretty cool I think.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 09:08:35 pm by Dusty »

Offline Mr. Apple

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 10:02:39 pm »
Frankly, I don't think any kind of "hacking" is cool at all.  :P  >:( If people are doing it just to be "cool" to impress others, then they're doing it for the wrong reasons and I have no respect for people who do those kinds of activities, whether they are illegal or not.  >:( You think it makes you look cool to your friends? You think it gives you power? You think it gives you respect? If anybody answers Yes to those questions, then you need serious help.  :P Hacking just gets you and/or the victims of hacks, into trouble. I see no good that comes out of hacking.
A lot of damn good people in this world create all sorts of software and other stuff for the world to use, only to watch as their creations are hacked, stolen, etc. for malicious purposes. It disgusts me to no end. A lot of hard working people are trying to make the world a better place. They spend long hours and days at their jobs creating all sorts of useful stuff. Why take advantage of them? Why hurt them and their creations? For fun/lulz? For profit? Seems like petty reasons to me.  :P


That's a pretty terrible generalization of the people who hack and the motivations of those people. There are many people who are paid to hack software and hardware, generally to find security holes in whatever it is they're currently playing with. Some people enjoy hacking from a hobbyist's perspective (which is sort of more in line with the definition of hacking being used here), taking hardware and converting it into something interesting and useful. For example, here's a guy who converted a Nintendo 64 into a handheld. That's pretty cool I think.


That stuff is completely fine, and in my opinion, isn't done enough. I've gone to the maker faire many times and all the stuff there is pretty much hacking... excluding the corporate stuff >.> but I don't have any problem with the people who like to play around with technology. I do a little of that myself (would do more if I put the effort into learning how to program).
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 12:40:00 am »
So you are angry at people that "hack" (in your definition of the term) and then act arrogant about it?

Hacking is often if not all times a single player sport. It's easier to fall to arrogance when you alone achieve a goal that most are incapable of achieving. I'm not trying to generalise or make excuses for people like that, but what I am saying is that some people are arrogant. Some brag about their tennis skills.  Others are adept at working with cars.  And then there are the hackers.

Personally, I find it annoying when the media calls the Anonymous take downs of websites "hacks" when it's mostly just a bunch of kids who downloaded LOIC for the lols.  Like it or not, hacking requires skill (like any other single person endeavour) and calling that hacking downplays the real skill required.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 09:33:19 am »
I don't mind hackers that do things for their own personal uses. Plus, without hackers, we never would have got "demo scenes". Some amazingly cool feats of computer programing born out of the "hacker stamps" they would put on the opening of a game they modded back in the old days. So I'm neutral on hackers, and that of course is a distinction from pirating itself.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 09:40:05 am by Narei Mooncatt »
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Offline Avor

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 10:54:52 am »
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Since when did hacking become cool?

Exactly when power became cool. Anything hackers do demonstraits controll and mastery of their field, everything from nobal political action to cheating like bastards in games. This need and urge people feel to commit these are the direct result of a society the stiffles personal freedom, political freedom, and economic opertunity. To do something against that level of crap, to show, even it's just to yourself, that you can do something, that you are that what it expsected from you. and is cool.


Why is hacking cool, with iyt the whole society/self/power thing.

- Stick it to the man
- Get free stuff
- A job that doen't utilize hard labour
- Girls love the bad boys (reverse nouns are needed  ;) )
- Shareing cool stuff wuh your friends
- Have the skils to protect your campute and info.



Offline Landrav

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 12:52:34 pm »
Hacking is like knowing how to take apart a car and put it back together.  You can use that skill to run a custom body shop or a chop shop.

However, I see that most of the discussion here is taking the term 'hacking' as the mostly-incorrect, but common usage of the word.  Frankly, I think there are some great things that "hackers" can do which are promoting the interests of the law and justice (such as when members of a particular message board found that guy who burned a cat alive).  I can't promote breaking laws just because you think they're getting in the way of stuff, but it is one of my hopes that the "white hat" (good) hacker community continues to grow so that we can be protected from the "black hats" and from people who wish to do harm.  And even if they're not working on security-related things, I hope the white hats continue to break open stuff, play with it, and get cool new ideas.
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Offline Dusty

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 08:06:58 pm »
That stuff is completely fine, and in my opinion, isn't done enough. I've gone to the maker faire many times and all the stuff there is pretty much hacking... excluding the corporate stuff >.> but I don't have any problem with the people who like to play around with technology. I do a little of that myself (would do more if I put the effort into learning how to program).

Playing around with hardware can be an amazing thing. It really involves a deep understanding of electronics, especially when you get to the really stunning things that people can do. Learning to program would probably be a rather secondary thing but it wouldn't hurt for anyone with an interest in computer science and electronics to pick up a copy of K&R :P

Offline Hoagiebot

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Re: Since when did hacking become cool? D:
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 10:41:32 am »
Hackers have become cool to the mainstream public?  Since when?  This is definitely news to me!  Sure, actors such as Matthew Broderick, Jonny Lee Miller, and Angelina Jolie can briefly make hacking look cool on the big screen in a wild fantasy sort of way, but I have never seen any real life hackers being truly celebrated and thought of as being "cool" outside of the hacker community itself.

I personally have been interested in the hacker subculture for well over a decade now.  Kobuk's attitude towards what he believes hackers are is usually what I expect to receive from other people, so I don't bring up my interest in the hacker subculture to others very often outside of certain circles.  I also don't ever like to call myself a "hacker" either.  That is a label that should be given to you only by other hackers who have recognized something that you have done as having "hack value".  It is not a title that should be self-proclaimed.  If anything that I accomplish ever happens to have any kind of significant hack value, it will speak for itself.

And as far as identifying as a hacker would make me seem "cool" goes, let me just say that I have *never* had a member of the opposite sex take any interest in any of the "2600: The Hacker Quarterly" t-shirts and hats that I have worn for the last decade, and saying that I have two compute nodes from an SGI Origin 300 supercomputer hooked together with a Craylink cable in my basement has never worked as a pickup line (O.K., that's a lie-- girls lose interest in me looooong before I ever get to tell them about my supercomputer  :P ).  Whenever I tell people that I first learned how to program in x86 assembly language by reading tutorials on how to write MS-DOS-based COM-file overwriting computer viruses, all I get back from them are horrified looks until I carefully explain to them that it is perfectly legal to write computer viruses as long as you never spread them, and naturally I have never spread them.  (I just taught myself how to write them for the learning exercise and to find out how they actually worked.)  And if hackers are suddenly so popular now, when can I start using the "-P Convention" in my everyday speech and have people know what I mean?  And Avor, don't make me laugh with that whole "girls love the bad boys" thing.  Nobody will ever see a cubicle-dwelling pasty-skinned sysape as a "bad boy," whether he boasts that he is a hacker or not.  It never helped me swoon that football cheerleader who had her locker right next to mine in high school, that is for sure!

You don't see true hacker culture pervading much in the mass media either-- I have never seen any of Hollywood's beautiful people discussing what has been newly added to the Linux kernel with its latest release.  Very few people know what was talked about recently on WBAI's "Off the Hook" radio show.  The most hacker-friendly show that was on television in recent years, "The Screen Savers," which was shown on what was then the cable channel TechTV, was unceremoniously canceled in 2005.  Not only were all of the staff from the show pretty much fired, but nearly everyone from the entire TechTV cable station staff ended up being let go.  The channel lost its computer and technology focus and was renamed "G4" to appeal to "gamers."  What used to be "The Screen Savers" was replaced by the severely dumbed-down "Attack of the Show," which while sometimes entertaining, is definitely not a hacker show.  In print media, when was the last time you have seen a book such as The Art of Intrusion, The Mythical Man-Month, or The Soul of a New Machine on the New York Times Best Seller List?  Even the before-mentioned 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, which is probably the longest running print magazine dedicated exclusively to hacking, currently has only a mere 3,670 paid annual subscribers, and a circulation of 38,417 in total.  In comparison, the magazine Better Homes And Gardens has a circulation of 7,648,900.  Surely, if hackers were truly cool we would have more influence in the media than this!

Lets face it-- real hackers and real hacking will only genuinely be considered "cool" by people who are actually interested in hacking themselves because only they can appreciate the hack value of the particular technical challenge that was overcome or limitation that was circumvented by the hacker while he was pursuing his or her goal.  Outsiders will always just look at hackers as being geeks who waste far too much of their time obsessively pursuing solutions to seemingly useless technical challenges at best, or misidentify them as being criminals at worse due to the overly-broad brush the news media has painted the term "hacker" with.  Unfortunately, these misconceptions are just what happens when your pastime happens to be meddling with the normally unseen underpinnings of technologies that few people understand the workings of and just take for granted, be it computers, consumer electronics, networks, or any other complex system or device, really.