Tonight: Hackers TV show

From: Steve Jones <>
Date: Thu Dec 12 12:39:00 2002

[ Spoiler alert - contains details of the program. I caught the
[ rebroadcast at 1AM.

> > [ Sellam indicates for some program, he supplied old PCs ]
> Even more reasons for any kind US resident person to make an
> mpeg of it [...]

Or maybe not. I don't think I missed the beginning, and there
was nothing about Woz, Cap'n Crunch, etc. It started off with
a camera following some PHB through security checkpoints.

It was mostly hype, glorifying the "white hats" like Internet
Security Systems ( and making their NOC look like the
next best thing to 007 and Q. Their handling of the "black hats"
wasn't as shrill or alarmist as I'd have expected after the first
bit covering ISS' NOC and "AlertCon."

The production value was high - they used lots of flashy visual
gimickry to let you know how cool this topic and the production
team is/was. Didn't do squat for content, but someone had fun
inverting color maps, solarizing and posterizing images, making
lots of jump cuts, etc.

But don't worry, they harped on the potential for an "electronic
Pearl Harbor" quite a bit. They had a very touching bit about how
the top-level hackers cherish their anonymity because, when they
achieve underworld fame, they would be harassed by the hordes of
wannabees and ankle-biters... I felt so sorry for them. :^/

I really disliked how they lumped Eric Raymond, John Perry Barlow,
and the EFF in as somehow defending these "black hats" and their
desire to commit real, traditional crime. They did let ESR get in
a couple words expressing the difference between cracker and
hacker, but I wouldn't expect my mother to have understood it and
they quickly moved on. And then they made his guest accomodations,
described as they walked into his office, sound like a stop on
some sort of hacker underground railroad...

The worst part? They had a guy from the MPAA on describing piracy,
and the response from the other side was clearly aimed at the
strategy of using DRM to gain control of the desktop by Hollywood.
But they didn't explain that they were presenting responses to two
different issues, so it looked like the EFF was somehow trying to
support people ripping off movies before they're released to the
theater. Not good.

There's a nutshell review. My opinions, YMMV.

Received on Thu Dec 12 2002 - 12:39:00 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:34:40 BST