Houston 2600

Computer security, hacking, coding and mayhem

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Medieval hackers

As part of our attempts as a species to understand what hacking is, this review of the book Medieval Hackers provides a clear commonality between hackers and information-hackers of earlier ages: The basic premise of Kathleen E. Kennedy’s intriguing volume Medieval Hackers is that modern computer hackers are essentially the inheritors of the medieval copyist and translators who sought to freely disseminate information from original sources through their “derivative texts,”.. Read More

“Crossover: Where Metal and Hacking Met and Mixed” by Brett Stevens in 2600 Summer 2014 issue

An article by one of our local nerds users, “Crossover: Where Metal and Hacking Met and Mixed,” has been published in the summer 2014 issue of 2600. This article concerns the early years of PC hacking when hackers used the BBS underground and other facilities, some borrowed, to communicate about the nascent underground metal scene. 2600 Summer 2014 issue You can purchase the issue at the link above or find.. Read More

Apple fails to learn from last big hack in iCloud exploit

In 2010, two hackers discovered a hole in AT&T’s website that allowed them to obtain email addresses and SIM card identifiers for iPads using that network. After much legal wrangling, their case was vacated, but you would think the debacle would weigh heavily on minds at Apple. Fast forward to a few days ago. A crowd of unruly 4channers and redditors extracted photographic images of celebrities in the nude and.. Read More

Hacking and heavy metal

I wrote an article about the cross-influence between hacking and heavy metal. It covers the use of alternative media, like BBS and AE lines, to convey a hidden truth that is shared between metalheads and hackers. The article is entitled “Hacker Metal” and it is published in Perfect Sound Forever webzine. For those who remember the early web, Perfect Sound Forever is an e-zine that started in 1993 and has.. Read More

The death of “hacking”

The net is still buzzing with the statement by the Full Disclosure list manager, but most people have forgotten this essential part: There is no honour amongst hackers any more. There is no real community. There is precious little skill. The entire security game is becoming more and more regulated. This is all a sign of things to come, and a reflection on the sad state of an industry that.. Read More

Science Hack Day at Houston Museum of Natural Science

Science Hack Day is all-day-all-night event that brings together inquisitive and creative minds to one place, to make wonderful things. Designers, developers, engineers, artists and scientists all bring their A-game to the same physical space for a brief but intense period of collaboration, hacking, and building ‘cool stuff’. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of makers are capable of producing remarkable results. When: April 5th.. Read More

Interview with Francis Irving of Redecentralize.org

If you have noticed over the past decade, the net has become far less diverse. Far less anarchistic. Far more concentrated, with a few sites like Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook and other big media ventures concentrating most of the traffic. Even worse, they provide their own pages for what were once independent offerings. Facebook has a page for every place, author, brand, etc. Wikipedia offers a dumbed-down summary of any.. Read More

The hacker approach to education

Education gets talked up a lot. People are freaked out because we have too many college graduates, with too many loans, and a college education doesn’t magically open doors as much as it once did. Even more, it seems like graduates lack actual job skills. One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are.. Read More

Is the internet a niche audience?

The original idea behind the internet was that it would be a place for everyone to interact. Sort of like society, but in a virtual world where distance was no barrier. However, that’s not what happened. More evidence suggests that online audiences reflect exactly zero of what’s going on in the world, and instead reflects the interests of a special audience that has gathered on the internet much as daytime.. Read More

Six months without Adobe Flash, and I feel fine

As documented on /., six months ago I de-installed the Adobe FlashTM player on all my browsers. This provoked some shock and incredulity from others. After all, Flash has been an essential content interpreter for over a decade. It filled the gap between an underdeveloped JavaScript and the need for media content like animation, video and so on. It also fit a nice political niche. It allowed browser manufacturers to.. Read More