Why does a site like Linux Security

Story: Closing the Door on HackersTotal Replies: 9
Author Content

Apr 09, 2013
1:52 PM EDT
pander to the unwashed masses by confusing the term "cracker" with "hacker". Sure, we know the difference, but I would think that a site named Linux Security would strive to change the stigma attached to the word "hacker" and give the term "cracker" its just and long overdue treatment. I look at the site's main page now and see the titles:

Quoting:Hacking for charity: How one former hacker is getting techies lending a hand in Africa

Control system hack at manufacturer raises red flag

Local hackers share tips on protecting your information

Each and every one a story on cracking, and each and every one a link to a story on another site. And then there's the "Closing the Door on Hackers" article, written by Marc Maiffret, an actual convicted cracker. You'd think he knows better, yet the article begins with:

Quoting:FOR most of my teenage years, I made a hobby of hacking into some of the world’s largest government and corporate computer systems.

And he includes this gem of wisdom:

Quoting:In that memo, sent to all Microsoft employees, Mr. Gates made it clear that the company’s future depended on building software and a platform that could be reliably secure. It was more than talk: in the decade or so since, Microsoft fundamentally changed its software development process to make security a core part of the program.

Yeah, that's credible. Very credible. Well, maybe I expect too much from an august body like the New York Times.

[/end of rant]


Apr 09, 2013
2:47 PM EDT
While you're right, the terms are often used synonymously.

Apr 09, 2013
3:20 PM EDT
I just can't use the term "cracker" without thinking of it as an American racial slur against white people. :)

Apr 09, 2013
3:50 PM EDT
"an American racial slur"

Pretty much every term in English has been used as such at one time or another, so I ignore it.

I wouldn't want to be niggardly with the language.

Apr 09, 2013
7:14 PM EDT
Wow Bob -- you really like to live dangerously, don't you".

Oh well, you're not a politician or upper-tier bureaucrat, and your audience is probably a little better educated than a politician or upper-tier bureaucrat has to worry about.

(and on second thought, you did manage to avoid referring to dongles or forking repositories, so evidently you're not utterly reckless...)

Apr 09, 2013
9:19 PM EDT
Hey. My dog's name is Cracker, short for Firecracker. Though he is white.

Apr 09, 2013
10:26 PM EDT
Usage often determines meaning in society. The distinction between hacker and cracker was lost at least a decade ago. Reality sucks sometimes.

Apr 10, 2013
2:06 AM EDT
How are you people even able to read the _full_ article? You all have subscriptions to go behind NY Times pay-wall? Or is it only for USAnians?

Apr 10, 2013
2:42 AM EDT
Quoting:I wouldn't want to be niggardly with the language.

Now, that's funny, right there. I don't care who you are.

Quoting:My dog's name is Cracker, short for Firecracker. Though he is white.

Aren't all crackers white? Well, there are the whole wheat ones.


I guess it's only available to us Anians. ;^)


Apr 10, 2013
6:01 AM EDT
Quoting:I guess it's only available to us Anians. ;^)
Found the reason. NYT doesn't like blocked cookies, but after changing it to "Allow per session", I can now read the story...

(oh, I guess it was lucky I didn't say USAsians :p)

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