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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday October 29 2014, @07:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the out-of-band dept.

Nicolas Niarchos has a profile of 2600 in The New Yorker that is well worth reading. Some excerpts:

2600—named for the frequency that allowed early hackers and “phreakers” to gain control of land-line phones—is the photocopier to Snowden’s microprocessor. Its articles aren’t pasted up on a flashy Web site but, rather, come out in print. The magazine—which started as a three-page leaflet sent out in the mail, and became a digest-sized publication in the late nineteen-eighties—just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. It still arrives with the turning of the seasons, in brown envelopes just a bit smaller than a 401k mailer.

“There’s been now, by any stretch of the imagination, three generations of hackers who have read 2600 magazine,” Jason Scott, a historian and Web archivist who recently reorganized a set of 2600’s legal files, said. Referring to Goldstein, whose real name is Eric Corley, he continued: “Eric really believes in the power of print, words on paper. It’s obvious for him that his heart is in the paper.”

2600 provides an important forum for hackers to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—whether it be surveillance, Internet freedom, or the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons—while sharing new code in languages like Python and C.* For example, the most recent issue of the magazine addresses how the hacking community can approach Snowden’s disclosures. After lampooning one of the leaked N.S.A. PowerPoint slides (“whoever wrote this clearly didn’t know that there are no zombies in ‘1984’ ”) and discussing how U.S. government is eroding civil rights, the piece points out the contradictions that everyone in the hacking community currently faces. “Hackers are the ones who reveal the inconvenient truths, point out security holes, and offer solutions,” it concludes. “And this is why hackers are the enemy in a world where surveillance and the status quo are the keys to power.”

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday October 29 2014, @09:06PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 29 2014, @09:06PM (#111349)

    HOPE cons are pretty awesome and they're much like ham radio, if you think you know everything thats going on, that proves you're just uninformed. Lots of crazy/cool stuff goes on there. Drinking from a firehose, 20 people could attend and have Completely non-overlapping experiences. It really is that big.

    I like meeting up with old friends and ex coworkers. Also I like the displays. Retrocomputing land, the PDP-11 install was epic. Chillout TV room is strangely appealing after you've been awake 36 or so hours. The vendors are interesting to talk to.

    Local 2600 meetings never seem to go anywhere, which means no one goes. Chicken and egg.

    Three things I don't like about HOPE cons:

    1) Figure $1500. No kidding. Substantial travel cost, and I'm not sleeping on someone's couch or in a cardboard box. Unfortunately I can usually find something more interesting, more long term, to do with my $1500. Yes yes for the locals they can get a badge to attend for like $25 if they preorder, well, I'm not a local. Its like a maker fair but bigger and arguably cooler. I've been to maker fair and blown maybe $100 on parking, food, junk. Is MF worth $100 hell yes. If maker fair cost me $1500, however, well I donno if I got $1500 of fun outta maker fair nor did I get $1500 of fun outta HOPE.

    2) My wife goes crazy, how can you possibly visit NYC of all places and then spend an entire weekend 16 hours per day listening to people talk about computers blah blah blah.

    3) The hotel is a dump. Or at least it used to be. They can never decide if they're keeping it for another 150 years or smashing it and building condos in three months. The facilities work, but lets me honest the place is a hole, more like a dorm than a real hotel. Then again if they had to pay list price for a real convention center, that would kind of suck. I kid you not, I got out on the wrong floor and they've got no AC and most of the drywall missing from a wall. Its ... decayed, I guess. Still its good enough. If you want to see a cool convention type thing in an absolutely filthy 3rd world swamp let me tell you about this "hamvention" thing that they hold in a building that must be avoiding condemnation solely by paying the building inspector off. Seriously, like no working indoor plumbing. So I guess 2600 doesn't have it so bad, maybe.

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