stories filed under: "geeks"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 12:53pm
Professor Gabriella Coleman, who has studied hacking culture, Anonymous and a variety of related topics for years, recently published a new paper, entitled Anonymous in Context: The Politics and Power behind the Mask. It's a quick, but very worthwhile read. If you've followed Anonymous for years, you'll probably already be aware of much of what's in the paper, but it does a really nice job running through much of the history of Anonymous, the misconceptions about Anonymous, and frequent (failed) attempts by the press to accurately describe Anonymous. It also does a really nice job discussing the concept of the "weapons of the geek," and how Anonymous is really a fascinating demonstration of how technology is allowing a group of technologically savvy folks to get involved in activism and protest in ways that simply weren't possible before. If you're interested in this stuff (and you should be), go check it out.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 17th 2008 11:07pm
from the without-the-internet,-we'd-all-be-safe dept
As I've mentioned before, back in high school, I had an art teacher who taught me both how to pick locks and how to make lockpicks (it was a fun class). Since then I've always been fascinated by the whole process of picking locks, though I haven't kept up with the field or even picked a lock in years. However, there is a huge community of folks online -- many coming from the tech/hacker community -- who spend a lot of time exploring lockpicking, and talking about it in great detail online. And, as Gizmodo notes, this is pissing off some locksmiths. What's not stated overtly is the obvious reason, and it's the same for any professional system that requires "certification." It's rarely about making sure people are good enough, but has everything to do with limiting the competition to keep fees high. The locksmiths aren't really so worried about criminals learning how to pick locks online (even though some claim that). They're worried that people won't need to call locksmiths anymore when they get locked out of their homes. On top of that, the lock companies hate to admit that their locks are pickable (they are), and so they hit back at those who prove it, just as software companies hate to admit that their software has vulnerabilities. Over time, perhaps locksmiths and lock companies will recognize that an enthusiastic hobby community that helps make sure locks are more secure can only be a good thing.