Some research is indicated
An anonymous poll of all hackers to discover how many of them actually own and regularly wear a hoodie.
Uninspired by the stock imagery used by the media to depict cybersecurity, a graphic design group is offering cash prizes to anyone who comes up with something more original than dodgy hoodie-wearing laptop users with waterfalls of cascading 1s and 0s behind them. Challenging the very foundations upon which El Reg's image …
It's been far too warm for dressing gowns, we've been sitting around in our undies. Note that the "unwashed hacker" image is false, most of us bathe (and/or surf) regularly. It's only the marketing types (Steve Jobs, etc.) who rarely bother. So you are not imagining things ... everything that comes out of the marketing department really does stink.
As a "only in Silly Con Valley" side-note ... here in the Bay Area, it's finally Fogust. Our natural air conditioning is wafting in off the Pacific, dropping the temperature 20 to 30 degrees F (10 to 15 C) in places. Lovely low clouds/high fog this morning in Sonoma, and a trifle too cool for undies-as-a-lifestyle-statement.
 Named Karl; if you want to follow him on twitter, try @KarlTheFog ...
I think the first published version of the JF / HD, for some interpretation of "published", was the first edition of The New Hacker's Dictionary. ESR's preface to the second edition says the first was published in 1983. The second edition is copyright 1993.
So around 36 years ago. The Jargon File itself of course is older, but I don't know offhand when it started circulating informally.
I first ran across it at SAIL in about 1975. It was called AIWORD.RF ... From there, it went to MIT (in 1976?), and was informally kept in sync with the Stanford version. At this point, it was well known in the fledgling Internet community, with many contributions from the PDP/Lisp/AI folks around the world. And then Guy Steele decided to make a quick buck off the backs of those who had gone before him, thus commercializing it. ESR copied Steele and also made a couple bucks. Most of us had already lost interest at that point, and so it's been nothing more than a bit of history ever since. One of the oldest versions I'm aware of online is here.
Prior to all this, there was a similar list, compiled by the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club in the late 1950s. It was called "The Dictionary of the TMRC Language".
Probably because I'm gong to be hacking until sundown, or thereabouts.
Heh. The IRC channel for our hackerspace is occasionally visited by scriptkiddies who want to improve their L33t H4xz0r 5k1LLz.
They usually get told to avail themselves of a F1n3 H4xx0ring T00l first, like a Gränsfors or Hultafors, or maybe the more widely available Fiskars X27 and X45. Then the personal protection, because who wants to get hurt themselves when h4ckxz0ring? And the choice of the best target.
Ones that manage to hang on until that point may find themselves advised to upgrade to a Stihl or Husqvarna after the first few successful jobs.
The KWF Schnittschutzjacke, thanks.
A shout out here to the expensive but astoundingly wonderful Fiskars 4m telescopic tree pruners. Well worth £100 if you have low trees annoying your neightbours - or the other way round, though you'd have to get the neighbour to stand still while you saw thru your limb of choice with the terrifyingly sharp pruning saw attachment.
(No connection to Fiskars, just a happy customer.)
I'm in a pair of K2 Alpine Mountain Boots because we're gonna do a night climb up a cliff in a few hours! It's too hot and humid during the day here in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for us older folks (i.e. 25C and cloudy and mildly drizzly right now) so we do our hacker entertainment stuff at night!
Tomorrow we will scuba dive under some boat pier in Deep Cove, Kayak and Swim the local lake across from Deep Cove, have sushi/sashimi with multiple doses of Asbach Uralt Brandy, and later in the day mountain bike down the North Shore mountains or at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
AND in the DEEEEEEEP BLACK NIGHT within the backroom confines of a a local all-night gourmet coffee and dessert shop, we'll be coding and running Python scripts probing for weaknesses in the world's MOST SECRET data repositories sloffing-off data from the most double-faced politicians and business leaders in the world! The still photos, videos and PDF and MS Word documents we have WILL scandalize ENTIRE generations of pathetic, scummy, perverted, criminal Baby Boomers, Gen-X'ers and even a few Millennials which WE WILL EXPOSE and DERIDE IN PUBLIC !!!
We're coming for you !!! Ya Raggedy Over-Rich and Political Scumbags! We're coming for YOU !!!! And YOU and your scumbag/trophy wives/girlfriends AND yours/theirs bastard thieving kids are GOING TO JAIL !!!!
It doesn't MATTER where you are in the world! Or what leadership position you hold! We've GOT YOU !!! You tried to HIDE your scandals BUT we've got you COLD !!!
Can you say SEC and IRS investigation? Can you say U.S. SuperMax prison or German Bundes-Justiz jailroom, the Chinese Rock Quarry or the Merciless Trial of Television and Public Opinion leaving you Friendless, Derided, Destitute and Denuded!
We are Legend! We are PUBLIC !!! And we have coded YOU BLUE !!!
P.S. Python and Ruby on Rails FOREVER !!!!!!!
So this is my submission-
Hackers! Or potential hackers! No need to send me the prize, I've already taken it from your account. Also has the benefit of challenging the male-dominated hacker stereotype.
We’re doers, storytellers, problem solvers, and community builders on a mission to design change. If you’ve got superpowered skills and shared passion, we’d love to meet you.
Because we haven't a clue how to meet this brief ourselves. Then again, thinking about this some more.. Hacker stereotypes include poor diet, a constant stream of sugary drinks and poor personal hygiene. So obviously these people can't be hackers. Just look at those teeth! Remember your PPE, but then if you're a hacker, you'll already be wearing shades. Real hackers just don't have teeth like those, especially after a few years of improvised wire-stripping & crimping.
Bah. These days, "hackers" are well-paid professionals working for well-funded organizations. They probably dress business casual, work in offices with carefully unexciting paint schemes and a few pictures on the desk. Such outfits - teamwork yanno - won't have a place for screw-ups with no social skills, bad hygiene, and dress like hobos.
Like intelligence officers (spies) they look exactly like everyone else.
These days, "hackers" are well-paid professionals working for well-funded organizations. They probably dress business casual, work in offices with carefully unexciting paint schemes and a few pictures on the desk
Or they wear uniforms with technically themed regimental badges.
I know that's a common meme in the porn world ... but somewhat strangely, while I've often heard of boys getting caught peeping in windows, I've never heard of girls in the same position. Perhaps not so strange ... they call 'em "peeping toms" and not "peeping marys" for a reason.
And yet another silly little boy fantasy disappears in a sudden burst of reality ...
Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have dealt with at least two cases directly, and know of a handful more. Police don't tend to prosecute women if there is a complaint - psychiatric services are the first port of call. I'll leave drawing conclusions to others...
A guy who built a model of Salisbury Cathedral out of matchsticks got 6 minutes on the Today Programme this morning. Yes kids, it's August, so only the most absurd and inconsequential speculation and clickbait gets printed / broadcast. @Stone_SkyNews had a perfect example last night as it goes.
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My 104 years young Great Aunt says you're not allowed to feel old until you've passed your 100th birthday. After watching her split kindling to start her woodstove in the morning to make coffee, I have decided to accept that as Gospel.
(She has an all electric kitchen, but still makes her coffee on the Jotul, in a Corning Ware percolator, with eggshells in with the grounds. She says electric coffee doesn't taste right. Who are we to argue?)
Or those ones with two people stood at a desk (an asian woman and black man to mee the ethnicity / gender diversity quota for marketing images) in impeccably neat business attire, both pointing at a crayola-level pie chart on a 44" monitor.
It's at the same level as pictures of women laughing whilst eating salad.
Hidden away in a darkened cubicle in a generally disused portion of the office, there is a desk covered with empty cans of Red Bull, half-eaten pizza slices and their accompanying boxes. Alice, the friendly neighborhood BOFH, is comfortably stationed in her ergonomic gaming chair that she insisted was needed because she has "spinalitus." She busily slaughters opponents in CS Go without mercy, while disinterestedly reading the most recent entry on her excuse calendar to the unfortunate person on the other end of the phone.
Bob, her colleague in the next building over, has come to rest face-first on his desk after imbibing too much cheap beer or cider over the lunch hour. He starts awake abruptly as his boss snaps at him, and we see his forehead in profile with several key-shaped imprints marred deep into it's surface. His screen is now filled with the obviously nefarious encrypted code-segment "hjukujiiiiihiiiiiiiiiiijjjjjjjjjjjjjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk"...
Two grown men slap ineffectually at each other after a heated argument over something. Perhaps it was about whether BeOS or OS2/Warp is the superior operating system, going by their t-shirts. Maybe they're arguing over whether Senjogahara Hitagi or Makise Kurisu is "best girl," judging by the plastic figurines festooning their bookshelves. Or perhaps one accidentally stepped on the other's freshly-painted Warhammer 40,000 Nemesis Dreadknight.
A man stares at a screen for many hours, surrounded by other men and women who stare at their screens for many hours. The staring is interposed by occasional bursts of typing. Or maybe it's one guy alone at in a basement. Whatever. Very few people can understand what's on their computer screens at any given time, and nothing else happens, until the end of the day, when they get up and walk away.
Hmm, I guess I do understand the mysterious hooded figure with zeros and ones pouring out. The reality is usually somewhat more opaque, and anything more dramatic is either a recipe for trouble or embarrassment.
The trouble isn't so much that the media have fixated on a particular look for "hackers", but simply that it's human nature to try to fit people into stereotypes even when no such thing exists. Your typical hacker looks like a person with a computer. Any person of any size, colour, shape, and wearing any kind of clothes, while the computer would usually be anything from the last 10-15 years or so for subjects the general media tends to tackle, although obviously real hackers can also be found getting Doom to run on 1960s oscilloscopes or similar. There simply isn't a meaningful stereotype to have stock pictures of.
But the thing is, that means there are already plenty of stock photos that actually represent hackers - literally any picture of someone using a computer would do the job. If you don't like it when people use pictures of people in hoodies, just use the pictures that don't have people in hoodies. Try to persuade others to do the same if you really feel strongly about it. We don't need some sort of concerted effort to come up with a new stereotype to replace the old one, because it wouldn't be any more useful or accurate. If you want the public to understand what hackers are really like, you need to use pictures of what they are really like. Just do a Google image search for "person with computer" and pick any one of the thousands of images that shows a normal person with a computer - in the first hundred or so results not a single one had a hoody. The problem is not that these pictures don't exist.
Hacking has long since moved away from kids in their bedrooms, or people digging whistles out of cereal boxes to phreak with.
As with other industries such as video games, it's been commercialised, industrialised and is occasionally state sponsored.
The "hackers" no longer sit in abandoned buildings surrounded by piles of empty pizza boxes and pop bottles, but instead work in from a desk in a brightly lit, air conditioned office sat in an anonymous industrial estate. And they probably have managers and quarterly performance reviews, to boot.
To be fair, I'm generalising almost as much as the traditional "ev1l l33t h4ck3r" cliche.
But as with so many other professions and activities (e.g. being a spy, or going on tour with a band), the truth is usually a lot more boring and banal than most people expect...
That reminds me... I really need to clear my home office out. Meant to sell the old copies of white dwarf on the shelf, there's 7 different cpus I found (only 3 of which I remember buying) and enough spare sticks of ram to beat my current desktop system (seriously... Do sticks of ram breed if you leave them in forgotten corners?).
And and the 5 laptops kicking around are starting to get in the way (only 3 work).
No pizza boxes or empty drinks cans though. The wife would kill me if I left stuff like that lying around.
It's obvious. the 64MB sticks have hit maturity. Given the nice dark secluded corner they have been going at it like randy teenagers. The DDR4's of course are still in their infancy, give them a few years and they'll be breeding like rabbits. Unfortunately this will be about the time DDR4 is looked at in the same way we look at 64 MB stick today.
... pretty much everyone in IT uses at least two monitors if they can these days ...
I find either 3 or 4 to be the optimum. Two in portrait orientation and either one or two in landscape.
Possibly that's my way of compensating for the foibles of the late middle age: with my memory starting to go funny at the same time as the number of things I need to mind continues to increase, I usually have to keep multiple documents open and ready for reference. That works a lot nicer in portrait. On the other hand, writing code and debugging somehow feels more natural on a landscape screen. Mind you, they all need to be of the same pixel density on both axes - or things start to look seriously ugly.
I guess to qualify for an über-hacker, I'll still need to mount them on individually-programmable motorized arms ...
I'd rather see replacements for the stock marketing images of be-suited, diverse, tie-less "professionals" smiling and pointing at a laptop in a glass-encased conference room.
These seem to appear everywhere, in every context imaginable. I want to poke the eyes out of the phony, smug, gurning imbeciles. Has anyone ever attended an IT-type meeting like that?
Don't forget that the uber hacker would have a binary clock (And, yes, I have a binary clock, but I can't be bothered to set it, so all of the lights just flash in unison, sort of its way of the flashing 12:00.).
Their machine would have to have lighted fans. And, of course, they'd have to have a couple of lighted muffin fans on the desk, too, to keep them cool (Forced air cooled processor; forced air cooled hacker.).
A true uber hacker would have an information panel connected to their machine to relay critical information, regardless of whether that critical information is the time of day, the machine registers, or a sale ad for the pub down the road (And, yes, I hacked OS/2 to display the time of day on an IBM 9595's information panel display.).
Headphones? No, of course not. Rather, multiple subwoofers mounted all around the operating position. You don't want to just hear the sound; you want to feel it.
Come on, y'all. Help me out here. What other accessories would a uber hacker have?
P.S. I'll get my coat; It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket. Don't trip over that stack of magnetic tape reels, nor 14-inch drive platters.
Seem to remember a BBC documentary from several years ago (probably at least 10 years ago I think) on cryptogtaphy and especially steganography and the director must have been over the moon when he discovered that an expert on the subject was a woman called, I think, Cypherella who combined cryptography with burlesque ans who seemed happy to explain cryptography while wearing the bare minimum amount of clothing requierd to meet BBC decency guidelines (certainly no hoodies in sight!) Probably wouldn't be considered to be a suitable image though today!
... of an underworld or criminal figure with a need to conceal their identity. Odd, because any hacker worth their salt won't place themselves in a position where surveillance has any effect.
Hoodies, or wool caps and parkas worn on 85°F days are a symbol of an individual who is frail*. So frail that they don't have a metabolism capable of maintaining proper body temperature under the mildest of conditions. Sort of the opposite of the above 'bad boy' image.
*There is a school of thought that heavy pot use can adversely affect body temperature regulation. It' always seems to be the stoners that bundle up on even the warmer days.
An image can only do so much and if you want an image to create the context without referring to already established tropes and at stock prices good luck there. I am a photographer and when of the clock and talking to people in business they will ask why is there no business stock photography they can use which is UK style-specific I have to point out that the US has 50 odd markets plus Canada while the UK does not. In EU terms there are style differences which make that market difficult. The real issue is that if you want to have good stock you can use you need to pay for a shoot or create a market by paying what the US pay for good level stock. Most UK business who use stock images, paid or otherwise, tech sector as well, are transmitting to the world how cheap they are.
Any crackers must be doubly happy with this.
Not only are they being conflated with hackers but all those stock images bear no real resemblance to either group.
You can get away with so much more when you don't fit the public persona the media generates.
I was just looking at the definition of a hacker and hadn't realised just how far it has moved away from its origins. Apparently these days you can only be a hacker if you are using a computer, who knew?
Bah once got a job based off the fact the client liked the fact I looked like a hacker from a film, hoody, baggy jeans, dreadlocks, piercings and multi coloured hair (from before time you could buy rainbow shades in tesco) , drunk 6 cups of coffee in the 45min meeting and pointed out the idea we were their to discuss would never work as intended
I don't think I've ever seen a programmer working on a large monochrome monitor with just a green screen. The format was made popular by the Matrix but since that movie also made extensive use of acoustic couplers it could be said that it was obsolete 40 years ago, back when you'd be fortunate to have any kind of screen (so long as it was 80*25.....).
Programmer depictions -- malware or no malware -- have always annoyed me. The pits was the fellow in Jurassic Park, his was a textbook case of how not to design a piece of software or manage a software project. (I know the movie was supposed to be about home made dinosaurs and the like but the plot only worked because of crap software methodology.)
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