Johnny [Life & Code]

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[Angry] The HACKER confusion

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Thats it!! This is too much … I hate it when people use the term hacking for cracking… And i get really angry when computer science students do the same (Idiots) …. Yesterday i was talking to my Junior and he said the same …. when are you guys going to grow … errrr…

Here's the text of a letter RMS wrote to the Wall Street Journal to complain about their policy of using "hacker" only in a pejorative sense. We hear that most major newspapers have the same policy. If you'd like to help change this situation, send your favorite newspaper the same letter — or, better yet, write your own letter.

Dear Editor:This letter is not meant for publication, although you can publish it if you wish. It is meant specifically for you, the editor, not the public.

I am a hacker. That is to say, I enjoy playing with computers — working with, learning about, and writing clever computer programs. I am not a cracker; I don't make a practice of breaking computer security.

There's nothing shameful about the hacking I do. But when I tell people I am a hacker, people think I'm admitting something naughty — because newspapers such as yours misuse the word "hacker", giving the impression that it means "security breaker" and nothing else. You are giving hackers a bad name.

The saddest thing is that this problem is perpetuated deliberately. Your reporters know the difference between "hacker" and "security breaker". They know how to make the distinction, but you don't let them! You insist on using "hacker" pejoratively. When reporters try to use another word, you change it. When reporters try to explain the other meanings, you cut it.

Of course, you have a reason. You say that readers have become used to your insulting usage of "hacker", so that you cannot change it now. Well, you can't undo past mistakes today; but that is no excuse to repeat them tomorrow.

If I were what you call a "hacker", at this point I would threaten to crack your computer and crash it. But I am a hacker, not a cracker. I don't do that kind of thing! I have enough computers to play with at home and at work; I don't need yours. Besides, it's not my way to respond to insults with violence. My response is this letter.

You owe hackers an apology; but more than that, you owe us ordinary respect.

Source :  http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_69.html

Written by Johnny

April 7, 2006 at 6:51 am

Posted in Thoughts

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