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posted by janrinok on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the hey-we're-famous dept.

Anonymous Coward writes:

"Every geek worth his hash and salt has heard about the hacker/cracker distinction but have you ever wondered what does the designation entail when you go beyond scratching the surface? Gabriella Coleman has. According to Wikipedia she is an anthropologist, academic and author whose work focuses on hacker culture and online activism. The link below is her class on computer hackers at New York University. I found it an interesting read. The Anthropology of Hackers - Gabriella Coleman - The Atlantic"

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AnonTechie on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:16AM

    by AnonTechie (2275) on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:16AM (#9472) Journal

    Does this mean that clueless journalists, news reporters, etc. will finally learn the proper distinction between hacker and cracker ?? and use the appropriate term when writing articles ...

    --
    Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Marand on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:54AM

      by Marand (1081) on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:54AM (#9486) Journal

      Does this mean that clueless journalists, news reporters, etc. will finally learn the proper distinction between hacker and cracker ?? and use the appropriate term when writing articles ...

      Much like a certain law of headlines [wikipedia.org] that's popular around sites like these, if you have to ask, the answer is "no".

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jt on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:10PM

      by jt (2890) on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:10PM (#9601)

      The hacker/cracker definition... that ship sailed years back. Languages change over time, and are not controlled by anyone or any institution (as much as the French government might like to believe). From the 1980s onward most 'real people' have adopted 'hacker' for what we used to call 'cracker'. So that's what 'hacker' means now, and it's the appropriate term for those articles.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Khyber on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:48PM

      by Khyber (54) on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:48PM (#9648) Journal

      Nope, because they're wrong with their very first unitalicized sentence.

      " a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. "

      No, as defined by TMRC in the 50s, a hack was a useful modification to pre-existing hardware.

      Please read Stephen Levy's Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution to see just how wrong this article truly is.

      --
      Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
      • (Score: 3) by Khyber on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:51PM

        by Khyber (54) on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:51PM (#9649) Journal

        What's funny is the article even mentions this very book, AND STILL gets the definitions wrong!

        --
        Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:08AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:08AM (#9487)

    I've read her stuff over the past year. Serious and decent writing from the anthropologist's perspective. :)))

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:48AM (#9499)

      Another wannabe anthropologist poser exploits yet another subculture.

      • (Score: 2) by unitron on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:44PM

        by unitron (70) on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:44PM (#9615) Journal

        Obviously you've mistaken Dr. Coleman for Jon Katz.

        --
        something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:26AM (#9490)
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:44PM

      by c0lo (156) on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:44PM (#9559) Journal

      On the other hand... who loves a cracker?
      ...
      ..
      .
      (A: Polly does)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:51AM (#9501)

    Hackers to be naked and gay in the soybean petrified lentil nigger news. Brian Fox is foxy. Bash on it, cracker crumbs.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:15PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:15PM (#9578)

    There is not all that much material on hacking and Free Software outside of North America and Europe but the literature is growing and I plan on including it in the future.

    That's because there's not much raw material, not because the academic literature has failed to be multicultural. Other than the Ushahidi software suite theres ... um ...

    I think there's a cultural bias such that hacking is not cool, at all, outside northern / western parts of the world. Its in opposition to values like a caste or strong class system, or grinding memorization equals intelligence, or never do anything for free. Probably others.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mcgrew on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:41PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:41PM (#9613) Homepage Journal

    She got it half wrong in the very first sentence. "A 'hacker' is a technologist with a love for computing and a 'hack' is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means."

    A hack is indeed a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means, but people have been hacking longer than computers existed, and a love for computing and technology does not make one a hacker. I was hacking hardware long before PCs existed; when I was a teenager I'd take $10 transistor radios and turn them into guitar fuzzboxes, which were a couple hundred bucks in music stores back then. Guitar-playing friends loved me!

    I've done hardware hacks (like the above, and like putting a real keyboard on a TS-1000) and software hacks (like giving an MC-10 100x the graphics capability using only software). But I've never broken into a computer (well, I have reset forgotten XP admin passwords for friends but that's not hacking, I used a Linux-based tool someone else wrote).

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:04PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:04PM (#9622) Homepage
      Yup, I turned off very quickly. She's just another person pretending to have a clue.

      She's no worse than ESR though. When he invented the "hacker logo" a decade or so back, I decided to adopt it with a twist, and a rant: http://fatphil.org/me/hacker.html
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:54PM (#9631)

        Yup, I turned off very quickly. She's just another person pretending to have a clue.

        Can you explain why you feel this way? It would make a better contribution than your emotions.

    • (Score: 1) by pjbgravely on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:12PM

      by pjbgravely (1681) <pjbgravelyNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:12PM (#9662) Homepage
      I am a Hacker but I have never done any computer hacks. I used to hack Gravely garden tractors to fix problems and make them work better. Now I hack my car for better MPG.

      I am a computer operator, I use existing programs to do things other people see as miracles.