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Wired on Kipling 151

The Dodger writes "The Kipling 'Hacker' luggage debacle gets coverage in Wired, along with slightly derogatory references to the Slashdotters' ability (or rather lack of it) to 'crack the site'... " Strange. Someone sent me the winning login & password (way to go MoobY!). I vow to never pay for this kipling crap though. Terrible article though: its one thing to confuse hacker & cracker, its completely different to be cocky about your misuse. It seems quite apparent that we aren't the target audience. What I would like to know, is who is? We're trendy now guys. We still don't get to marry supermodels tho...
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Wired on Kipling

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  • Posted by JoeyRamone:

    It's pretty nice though to be popular, even if it is with a stupid bag-manufacturer.

    Why not unleash a slashdot-efect at ten times the strength on that server. That should at least knock 'm out of buisiness :).....

    Bye all

  • Posted by Cassull:

    Gee, I can't be a cool hacker without one of these steenkin' bags... Let me get my supermodel girlfriend to buy me one so I look cool to all my hacker buddies when I pull up in my Mercedes at the tennis court... Yeah. Like anybody who's a true hacker (and believe me, I sure as hell ain't got the skills to be one) would ever be dumb enough to advertise themselves with one of these bags... Then again, it would be funnier than hell if they got their site /.'ed to death...
  • Posted by white[noise]:

    Well thats a refreshing viewpoint. Wish it were the norm.
  • Like it or not, Satan is a part of the Christian mythos, not the pagan mythos. Either yor girlfriend was confused and mislabelled herself, or you were confused and mislabelled her. Either way, pagans and Satanists are different things.

    And before you ask, no, I'm not either one. I'm just an outside observer to the whole religion thing (agnostic/atheist) and find the mislabelling rather disgusting, like mislabelling hackers.

  • Okay, let's see. Someone misuses the work hacker to mean cracker and we want to show them that they are wrong and hackers are not typically crackers. Then we decide to get revenge by attempting to crack their site. Helloooo, McFly!! Look up "irony" in the dictionary.
  • I'm at work, using Linux on the server and on my desktop. So tone it down, ok? Not everyone has to be a pushover to get a job.

  • In the past, I would promote the jargon-file-approved meaning of the word "hacker", but I've grown to tolerate the mainstream useage. Thanks to Larry Lein, I finally understand why it's so difficult to get people to adopt "cracker" when referring to virtual-trespassers: it's also a racist term. I never would have thought of that one. I've thought of saltines, but never socio-economically-disadvantaged people of european descent: the meaning that is the means by which people can be mean. Death to the One True(tm) semantic-binding meme.
  • The problem with supermodels is that, for the most part, they're bimbos. People marry them just so they can sex them up. It's much nicer, IMO, to marry someone that may not be a drop-dead beauty, but is still cute, and loves you for who you are, not because of something material or sex-related.

    -lee...I was dreamin' when I wrote this...
  • by DaBuzz ( 878 )
    Glad to hear you were contacted and your words were not simply ripped from these pages.
  • I reported based on the numbers that are available without having "outside circumstances" effect the numbers. I am well aware that many of us (myself included) are bound by whatever our employer decides to put on our desk, but that does not discount the factual aspect of the statistics.

    Whether you LIKE it or not ... you ARE using Windows.

    Maybe my sig is a commentary on MS's monopolistic power even over those who would worship another OS ... or maybe I'm just poking fun at the stats ... or maybe I'm just an ass. *grin*.

    Either way, the stats are correct.
  • No I'm not.

    And was I replying to YOU? No I was not, I was replying to the person who said my stats were "off" yet they had to use Windows at work.
  • Not everyone has to be a pushover to get a job.

    So the 72% of /. readers that are not using *nix are push overs? Talk about toning it down a bit ... you may wish to practice what you preach.
  • Whether you LIKE it or not ... you
    ARE using Windows.
    No I'm not.
  • I dunno . . I've met/dated/slept with some SUPERMODEL type women . . .and I gotta tell ya . .

    You'd be surprised how the MOST BEAUTIFUL women are also the MOST LONELIEST . . .

    All beautiful people are not dumb, and not all smart people are ugly . . .the theory doesn't work.

    I met a gorgeous, beautiful FREAKING INTELLIGENT woman one time and we got along sooo great I was falling for her but still in the back of my mind i was thinking (uh, she's gorgeous = Bimbo) and she wasn't . . . she was very smart . . .

    But she was a PAGAN/SATAN worshipper so that sucked !

    heheh . . . anyways . . don't be to early to judge
    les thy be judged.
    or something like that . . .

  • Kick back . .have a drink . . .

    chill . . .

    *Singing*
    "WAR ! . . *HUH* . .
    What it is it good for,
    absoluetly nothing say it again . . War . .*Huh*
    (repeat)
  • "Hacker is the term in common parlance,"
    countered Larry Lein, executive vice
    president of Kipling USA. "If you asked me
    what a cracker was, I'd say someone who
    lived in a trailer park down South."

    What a mrketing wizzard. He might have better luck selling burlap bags to the trailer park set.
  • A lot of us are stuck at work..... in the windows world.... =(

    that's why I think the stats are off

    ChiefArcher
  • Well, considering the form is unencrypted, I suppose you could just wait until someone else figures it out...
  • Excercise and sunshine on a friday night?
  • Not to go completely off topic, but how do you get a 'K' out of a '4'?
  • He actually contacted me via e-mail last week about this.

    He also e-mailed me with the final quote.

    So yes, i knew i was being quotes as such :)
  • SOme people actually managed to get to the winning screen (which then requires you to reenter the password they didn't have). You're basically entered in a chance drawing of 20 people who will get the bags.
  • Oops my mistake. It's 100 bags
    Here's the URL:
    http://www.kipling.com/hacker/game/login.html
  • Aren't you making the assumption that supermodels are somehow naturally more sexually enjoyable than non-supermodels? I mean, how does being blonde, bronzed, stick-thin and mammarily enhanced automatically make a woman a better lover?

    If there's one thing supermodel partners are qualified for. it is as status symbols. Ultra-wealthy men don't have young model-grade trophy wives because they are better lovers or better domestic partners; they have them as status symbols, to parade around and demonstrate their worth. It's like buying a pedigree cat for $1000; other than status you don't get much in the way of features.
  • You misunderstand. All those attributes are superficial. They do not correlate with sexual prowess, personality, or how much you can enjoy being with said supermodel for prolonged periods of time (unless you want your women primarily as walking eye-candy, and actually interacting with them is unimportant).

    Besides, if she's a stick-thin, sickly anorexic, chances are she's not going to be much of a performer in bed...
  • It's becoming clear to me that Kippling's largest marketting error is that hackers are so thoroughly devoid of outside lives that they probably have no need for any items one would use to leave their house.

    I visited the site and looked around. I found the technical information on it to be pretty accurate, considering it was part of a marketting campaign for a luggage company. I saw the term "cracker" used correctly in one place .

    Furthermoe, this VP is correct: "hacker" is in common use when "cracker" is the correct term. Words often change their meaning over time as they are used in varying ways. I guess a community of people who rarely have face-to-face conversations might find this feature of language surprising.

    I thought the campaign was a bit patronizing and aimed at wannabees and newbies. Of course, "hacker" lost any meaning for me the first time I heard someone claim to be a hacker when they'd never programmed in assembler. As if.

    If you're really offended by Kippling's campaign, maybe you should go out and stage a protest. Oops, I suggested going out. Never mind. Go back to arguing over emacs and vi in IRC.

  • Not to go completely off topic, but how do you get a 'K' out of a '4'?

    Drugs.

  • Just a hunch. They talk about visiting the store and all that. 16 chars.

    pword must "cock" or "crap" or "fist" or something...

    ; )
  • Made my contribution to the /. Effect, and noticed that Kipling's Hacker front page [kipling.com] has changed.

    "A hacker is a malicious computerexpert who breaks the security of computersystems not to steal or destroy sensitive information but mostly just for the kick."

    Note the contrast between "not to steal or destroy" and "malicious". And what's up with the "computerexpert" double-speak? Double plus ungood.
    Keith Russell
  • In case the previous posts hadn't made that clear. :-)
  • The complete URL is http://www.kipling.com/hacker/game/login.html
  • of course, you brits quit building computers when you couldn't figure out how to make them leak oil.
  • 2 Questions:


    1) How is it known that lpd_value_1 will be
    "http://www.kipling.com/hacker/game/login.html" after the decryption ?


    2) Does anybody know what will be the value of lpd_value_2 after the decryption ?

  • it represents the real world, were windows is still the most used os on pc's (i'm part of the 28% though :))
  • i think that it might be...
    someone should look into that.
  • I think that the site may have been slashdoted, hehe.

    someone post the username and password here so we can all get free crappy bags, and put them out of buisness.

  • The
    [kipling.com]
    Spam bag...



    It's just so damn goofy! Can you imagine walking into Systems of a Fortune 400 with Hacker on your bag? In NewsTrolls I said I was frustrated and came close to buying the cyberpunk bag b/c it was a flat backpack that could hold a laptop...AND opera scores...however, this weekend I found a great laptop/scores bag with dual zippers at the mens' Banana Republic....well that's pretty yuppie too, but at least it doesn't have any goofy names on it...just simple black nylon and exceptionally good padding for the shoulders. 'Course I put a NewsTrolls sticker on it...
  • Florida doesn't have a lock on the handle of "cracker". I read somewhere where cracker refers to the guy holding the whip, and there weren't too many of those in Florida because cotton doesn't grow very well there. Of course, this could be complete bullshit. Lawton Chiles was a cracker? A cracker would rather go off on a tear than take mood-altering drugs.
  • And if you continue to spend your Friday nights obsessing over the openness of the Qt license, that situation probably won't change anytime soon.

    Try getting some exercise and sunshine now and then.
  • Regardless of all the upheaval about the marketing for the bags, they're actually pretty nice.. tough, comfortable, etc. I picked one up a few weeks back, amused at the "hacker" labelling, but buying it because it was a lot better than 90% of the nasty laptop bags/backpacks out there.

    It's a hell of a lot better than a Targus bag, anyway :)

    -s
  • OK, I don't know MoobY, and I can't comment on his cryptographic skills. So I don't know how he obtained the password. However, there's things the article misses:

    The "traditional hacker" manner for breaking such a site has nothing to do with decyphering the mathematical algorythm. It would be to attack the web server, gain root, and read the internal database. Not that difficult for a good chunk of script-kiddies (or some of us old fogies, too. (bad! Erik. Don't do that anymore!) (Really.)) However, this isn't even remotely intellectually challenging. So, if all we were interested in was Kipling crap (which we obviously weren't), there would have been as mass attack against the site. There wasn't. (Unless you count the /. effect. :-)

    Instead, there was alot of debate about the mathematical underpinnings of the code. I think this is the best illustrated distinction between cracker/hacker that has come out recently: what the obvious goal was the glory for the intellectual accomplishment of cryptoanalyzing the cypher NOT just getting the answer.

    Of course, I wasn't surprised that no-one here seems to have broken the code. Cryptoanalyzing stuff is very hard, and requires very specialized education. I've had alot of it, and would consider myself (at best) a poor amateur. I'm going to hazzard a guess and say that less than 10% of /. readers have sufficient crypto education and experience to do a good job of even analyzing the algorythm. And how many of us can honestly say we understand more than half of the math in Applied Cryptography. I can't.

    Anyway, until someone posts a good analysis of the code, here's what about 14 hours of frustration have produced about it:

    The main "crypto" routine is simple XOR, which is easily reducable (and cryptoanalyzable). The problem is in key generation/setup. The key generation appears to be a trap-door one-way function used as a hash. I've tried most of the ones I can find (ie, all from App Crypto, some from sci.crypt.moderated archives, and some from elsewhere), and can't find any match. The hashing function exhibits a good avalanche effect, but apparently has collision problems. The length of the keyspace is less than the obvious, but still large enough to resist brute-force search. Also, the use of JavaScript is problematic, since it's slow and not really easily portable to C without some substantial effort (anyone have a % operator for floats that mimic's JavaScript's ?)

    I wrote a recursive intelligent brute-force search, but it still requires way to much resources and time to run (it's far from memory efficient). Basically, what you do is this:

    Given that you know the "cyphertext" characters (http:// ... ), you can work backwards to determine that the first possible character of the login is about 4 choices. So, for each of them, you make a tree. It turns out that at each node, there are about 4-6 possible leafs that continue to give the correct URL. Eventually, each leaf runs into a problem where no possible characters result in the correct cyphertext - thus, you trim that branch. (or you've managed to find a solution.) Rather than about 73^20 (about 2^123) possibilities, the algorithm above runs about 2^40 possibilities. However, it has exponential memory requirements. Even I don't have that kind of memory on this box. :-)

    Hopefully, someone will point out mistakes in my analysis, and we might eventually get a full disection of the algorithm. I'm not interested in the login/password, I want to know what the trapdoor is...

    -Erik

  • Has it occured to you that the geeks/hackers/programmers/etc. of yesterday are the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs of today?

    Three years ago, I was a hacker-DJ, living an almost completely nocturnal lifestyle, DJ'ing in nightclubs and spending most of the remainder of my waking hours sat in front of a computer.

    These days, I do scary things like wearing suits and legitimately logging in as root on computers which cost more than a four-bedroomed house in a posh are of north London.

    Quite a few of my former partners in crime are doing a similar sort of thing. some of us have even come close to setting up our own security consultancy.

    "Information wants to be Free" - the cry of the new Cyber Socialists! ;)

    Dodger
  • So you think that America is the source of all encryption software?

    The Brits were breaking encryption before the Yanks knew what a computer was!


    D.
  • Hey! Come on now! If it doesn't leak oil (or liquid mitrogen), it's not worth tinkering with! :)

    And please don't refer to me as a Brit.

    D.
  • That's right! You can't call me a Brit.

    Wanna know why?

    Because I'm not British!

    So, if YOU don't want to be counting the fingers you haven't GOT, I suggest you stop calling me a Brit!

    Why does an Irishman wear two condoms?
    2BSure, 2BSure...

    D.
  • Their target is not the "hacker/free/opensource culture," or even the "cracker/2600/warez culture," as much as it is the clueless clueful wannabes of both subcultures. Since there appears to be an endless supply of clueless clueful wannabes of every genre, it is probably a pretty good market to be appealing to. If Kipling is successful, it will be amusing to see how quickly said bag becomes associated with such clueless folks, until being seen toting such a bag around results in one becoming labelled as such almost immediately. :-) One wonders how long it will be before owning such a bag becomes an emberrassment ...
  • I dislike the term "cracker" because it sounds either like a food product or like the British term "crackers" (meaning "insane"). I hadn't known about the use of "cracker" as a racist term, as it doesn't seem to be that common up here.


    How about "System-Breaker"? That nicely describes what these people are, is probably catchy enough for the media, and doesn't step on the toes of old-guard hackers or sound silly.


    Just my 2 cents / 1.3 cents US.

  • Disclaimer: I fully realize that this is a silly thing to be debating, but I'm doing it anyway for the heck of it :).


    OTOH, I can see three problems with trying to revive "worm" in this sense. It already has an established meaning in computing jargon, so adding another could lead to confusion. It didn't stick the first time. And it sounds perhaps a bit too perjorative for use except specifically as an insult.


    IMO, this probably wouldn't stick this time either, partly because it is perjorative. The trick is finding a name that these people wouldn't mind calling _themselves_, which IMO is one of the reasons that "hacker" caught on. "System-breaker" has a chance, though that would probably be abbreviated and mutated among the WaReZ d00dz crowd that it's aimed at. Other labels that have a chance undoubtedly also exist.


    And how about "maggot" as the emphatic form?


    IMO not a good idea, as it's too close to "faggot" (a perjorative term for homosexuals, for readers who aren't in North America).


    Other suggestions from our copious lurkers?

  • I'm thinking that if everyone who cracks their uname/passwd get a free bag, it might be a good idea for slashdot to show them what it's like to be slashdotified... if someone were to post the uname/passwd we could all join in on getting free bags to carry all of our palm pilots...

    I dislike the names they gave the bags, but a free piece of luggage is a free piece of luggage, how can i turn that down?
  • "The Kipling 'Hacker' luggage debacle gets coverage in Wired, along with slightly derogatory references to the Slashdotters' ability (or rather lack of it) to 'crack the site'..."

    Well, just how 'secure' is wired??
    Now that they cater to MBA wannabe twerps, instead of people who understand (or at least want to) the technology..

    I, for one, would LOVE to see the WIRED site on the 2600 'recently hacked' milk carton.
  • Oh my god... that is dumb...
    Pirates ... to crack the password??
    pirates are warez kiddies.. they don't
    hold a stick to HACKERS or CRACKERS
    and much less good / experienced
    ones... *SIGH* these corporations
    are not gonna sell anyone on /.
    a bag called DOWNLOAD or SPAM...
    <CITE>ARE THEY?</CITE>
  • Well I tok a look at the code.. lkp_tmp = Math.PI .. is that not getting the value of PI.. doesn't PI differ from machine to machine.. th ekey maybe that the machine that has to access the site has to be the same machine that the key was made for or similar machine... (SAME OS same architecture)??? They are performing a lot of math functions there in the code.. this woudl be trickey to crack.... good luck
  • It is machine dependant.. for PI on my machine I got 3.141592653589793 all Javascript math is machine dependant... there fore it is hightly unlikely that you will crack it unless you are on the machine that it was programmed for
  • Sounds like revisionism to me. At the time, there were plenty of posters telling us how easy it would be for mighty Slashdotters to crack the code, but now after failing to do that, we hear "Aww shucks, nobody was really tryin'."

    Puh-leeease. Damn fools talkin' the talk but they can't walk the walk. Oh yeah, and there's nothing at all wrong with the way that they're using the word "hacker." Give it up already.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows

  • That, combined with a lot of clueless people around here learning what "context" means. It's really not that hard, folks, and you'll find yourselves much less stressed out.

    Cheers,
    ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

  • How much you guys want to bet that a whole bunch of people who live in trailer parks file a class-action suit against Kipling for that comment?

    How much you want to bet that the judge doesn't laugh them out of the courtroom?
  • Just curious how many supermodels you've met and conversed with that you feel you can say that they are bimbos? I notice from your homepage that you have lived most of your life in Virginia. Last time I checked that wasn't really a mecca for supermodels.

    In my personal experience, the one whole supermodel that I met in real life was nice enough and didn't come across as a bimbo. How many have you met? Or are you just being a prejudiced bigot who stereotypes people they've never met? Mmm...watch our for those sour grapes.
  • I just wandered over to the site and there's a big image up on the front page that says: Site under construction, Sorry, we've been hacked :(

    I'm guessing a bunch of people got the correct username and password and claimed all bags, so Kipling is redoing their site to reflect this. Or maybe they're experiencing the /. effect and think they're under some kind of hacker attack!

    Now I'm sad. I wanted to get a sup3r-k3wl newbie bag.

    -sk
  • ..as for leaking oil - I seem to remember a quote from Mr Cray [he of supercomputer fame] saying he was just a good plumber...
  • ...was never people who created technology. It was always for people who used technology, usually those interested most in looking good while using technology. Wired was a more corporate-friendly version of Mondo2000, which has become a fashion mag for people who want to look good while talking about new media and the current paradigm. As for geeks going to Burning Man, I went. But then, maybe I'm not geek enough....
  • I think it's bloody obvious by now that there is _no_ name/password combination. This is another evil Republican conspiracy to publicly trash us. When the contest ends, Kipling will just make some random combination up and claim that it was there all along... and no one will be able to prove otherwise. So there.


    Peace,

    --
    Kaufmann
  • I happen to live near Antwerp... What if I just went to the store, looked for the password and then post it here ?

    But then again, where's the sport in that ?

    Aside from that, I have owned and used a Kipling bag for years now, and I'm very satisfied with it. Regardless of their clueless marketing, I think they make good bags (although I had to remove the little monkey doll that was attached to the bag as a marketing stunt when I bought it).
  • As far as I know, there are no laws banning the export of cryptography products/algorithms/... here in Belgium. The U.S.A., on the other hand, do have such laws, I believe. But I don't know if importing such things to the U.S.A. is also illegal or not.

  • Hehe...

    By an amazing coincidence I also happened to work at planetinternet.be not long ago. I'll see if some of my old buddies there know anything ;-)

  • Plenty of countries have their own home grown developed encryption products.
  • I think you mean 64 bytes, dude. And no, whoever said the first part of the id and pword were http:// is wrong. That's just what the uid and pword turn into after being screwed with mathe-magically.

    -Shrub
  • Someone oughta tell him that `crackers' do not live "down South". Crackers live in Florida. They are a whole special breed, and they do not live in trailers. Our dearly departed Governor Chiles was a cracker.

    Someone should also tell him that crackers and hackers are emphatically not the same.

    Mike
    --

  • I'm really sorry I forgot the Crackers that live in Georgia. BTW, you are perhaps the first Cracker I've heard of in Key West. Not native to there, I assume?

    Mike
    --

  • Yeah, marrying someone just for sex doesn't really sound like the best idea.

    But to be perfectly honest, I can think of worse things than having to come home to a supermodel every night. Then proceeding to have sex with them would make the whole deal even better.

    All in all, I think it might be worth it. =)

  • The accuracy of the seed doesn't have to be terribly high. From looking at the code, i'm guessing that 3.14 is sufficient. The next iteration is a UCHAR for gods sake (i.e. mod 256).
  • Uhh, heard somebody had the name/pass? ..since they promise to provide everyone a bag..
  • This article mentions Slashdot!!! That's so cool! I hope all of the people clicking on the link to Slashdot don't crash the server.

    Do you think that, now that I'm the famous "Beef from Slashdot and Segfault," they'll make an action figure out of me?

  • I'd be using Linux here at work if I could get the stupid NDS client to work.

    I vote we FRAG this commander.

  • because if there were, we'd ALL have one. :P

  • this is true. paganism is NOT satanism. pagans tend to be in touch with nature and 'one with the universe'. they revel life and the world around them.

    i don't know what satanists do, per se, but they are NOT on the same plane of existance that the rest of us are.

  • I can see it now: "We're not crackers, we're trailer trash!"

    Actually, tho, "cracker" has always meant, to me, something like a really stupid klan member.

  • by sean.k ( 20273 ) on Monday March 22, 1999 @08:07AM (#1969435)
    They're jumping on the bandwagon and trying to perpetuate the image of a roguish geek-version of James Bond, and by linking their bags to this image they hope that people will think that if they buy the bags they'll be a part of some mythical cultural elite.

    It's a load of bollocks designed to sway some percentage of the brainless masses to make a buck -- I don't see why people are so worked up about this. If Kipling made better bags I might even get one but their designs are lame Kiplinged versions (dumbass visible zippers, poor worksmanship, cheap materials and a stupid logo) of bags designed by other companies. Their version of Manhattan Portage's J-Pack is the worst -- I beleive they call it the "firewall". I wonder if I jacked in through it if it would keep the bad people out. I think the best part is the giant rubber block-print "HACKER" label stitched to each bag.

    See it as another failed attempt at success from a company with no sense of style and pity them.
  • Damn. I thought the general consensus on /. was "Look it's some imbecile making a feeble attempt at cashing in on hacker culture. Who gives a rat's @ss?" Apparently I was wrong. Is it true? Have the fabulous hackers of /. finally met their match ( in the form of some lame-@ssed sales-website ) or did they just give us (you guys actually, I'm nowhere near hacker-status) credit for working alot harder than we (you) really did?

    kmj

  • So, what with www.kipling.com/ being exactly 16 letters, why not use that as a starting base? Now, someone go find the password. I for one wouldn't mind if they have to fork out for a bag for each slashdotter. Even if they are shyte. --Seb.
  • Apparently the VP of Kipling LIKES showing himself as an uninformed person. Thats bound to sell bags.

  • if only i had one of those bags, then i could truly consider myself a hacker.
  • you want to (successfully) date them.

    But really, Wired's target audience noticeably changed from 2-3 years ago. It used to be geeks/hackers/programmers/etc. Now they are heavily oriented towards the Silicon Valley start-up crowd. The key terms now are stock options, media attention, buzz and fluff.
  • But supermodels are highly decorative, not necessarily functional. Sex is good, but making rounds with a supermodel on your arm has its own intrinsic merits.

    Yes, I know that geeks of yesteryear are enterpreneurs of today. But not all of them made the switch, plus there is a new generation growing up. I understand why Wired's target audience is changing, but I don't have to like it.
  • umm.. i dunno, they publish the code to do the pw/key decrypt as javascript in the page. i looked at it with the idea that it probably wouldn't be that hard to crack. umm.. there are 2 64bit key spheres, i may not be great at encryption, but i thought this was illegal to export?

    comments?
  • Sorry, but if I see a kid wearing a backpack called 'Browser' or 'Download', I'm gonna have this irresitible compulsion ot kick his sorry butt.

    I don't wanna be trendy! Remember when being a 'hacker' meant something about knowledge, too?
  • The Jargon File's entry for "cracker" [tuxedo.org] mentions an alternative term from the early 80s, "worm". If "cracker" hasn't caught on, then maybe "worm" might have a better chance of acceptance? Distinguishing between "hacker" and "cracker" sounds like hairsplitting, and the former, more familiar, term is also the more dramatic-sounding ("cracker" sounds awkward). "Worm" has an appropriately contemptuous tone, and so also sounds a bit more exciting.

    OTOH, I can see three problems with trying to revive "worm" in this sense. It already has an established meaning in computing jargon, so adding another could lead to confusion. It didn't stick the first time. And it sounds perhaps a bit too perjorative for use except specifically as an insult. But even if "worm" doesn't take the place of "cracker" or stop the misuse of "hacker", I reckon it could complement them nicely.

    And how about "maggot" as the emphatic form?

  • Disclaimer: I fully realize that this is a silly thing to be debating, but I'm doing it anyway for the heck of it :).

    Heck, let your hair down. What kind of seriousness do you expect to find in the lower reaches of a Slashdot thread? Here be dragons. :)

    IMO, this probably wouldn't stick this time either, partly because it is perjorative. The trick is finding a name that these people wouldn't mind calling _themselves_, which IMO is one of the reasons that "hacker" caught on. "System-breaker" has a chance, though that would probably be abbreviated and mutated among the WaReZ d00dz crowd that it's aimed at. Other labels that have a chance undoubtedly also exist.

    *sigh* True: "worm" is too strong to substitute for "cracker" or "hacker". As an insult, though, I reckon it deserves to go far. (In all modesty. :) ) Unfortunately, "System-breaker" sounds, I think, too plodding and too explanatory to catch on either (as well as not being precise enough: "cracker" usually implies a certain type of system-breaker, no?).

    And how about "maggot" as the emphatic form?

    IMO not a good idea, as it's too close to "faggot" (a perjorative term for homosexuals, for readers who aren't in North America).

    The other, loathsome, word is well known across the pond too. I hadn't noticed the similarity when I posted, but I'd still stand by my suggestion. It's certainly right to take pains to avoid giving unintentional offence, but I tend to draw the line at pandering to the type of person who can't or won't distinguish one common word of English from another.

  • One purpose of "cracker" and any alternatives is to help the press and their readers, not Slashdotters and suchlike, to make the distinction. Many in the general public aren't even aware of the difference, let alone able to detect it with their Context Wands.
  • And if you continue to spend your Friday nights obsessing over the openness of the Qt license, that situation probably won't change anytime soon.

    Pfffft! That's for Thursday night. Friday nights are for reading RFC's.


  • I mean, the only reason anyone cared at all is because they were deliberately confusing the meaning of the word "hacker" with the definition of the word "cracker". I mean, they have some text on their site defining the word "hacker" that has the precise definition of "cracker" with "hacker" pasted in front. The main reason people were annoyed is that they don't like to be associated with crackers. So, a Wired article talking about the pathetic cracking skills of people who aren't crackers anyway is pretty stupid. I mean, what's the point? So Kipling's security wasn't breached by anyone. Well, big deal, why would anyone need to breach their security anyway? The actual encoding of the username and password is freely available from the javascript on the page, so there's no need to break the security. True, someone might get around actually figuring out the username and password by breaking into their server and simply finding the url that's encrypted, but most Slashdotters aren't really interested in breaking security. I really, really don't understand what that Wired guy was going on about.
    As for the people at Kipling:
    "The game challenges every pirate out there to break into our security and win a Hacker bag,"

    Aside from being inaccurate since there's really no need to break their security at all to win the contest, they now confuse the definition of the term "pirate" too. "Pirate" is a term coined by the computer industry to demonize people who copy their software without permission. It's something completely different from either a hacker or a cracker. Sure, it's actually a better analogy for breaking security than it is for copying software, but to paraphrase Larry Lein, executive vice president of Kipling, USA "[pirate] is the term in common parlance".
    Of course, Kiplings indifference to how real hackers define the term demonstrates who their real market is. They're not selling to real hackers, they're selling to B1FF, the kewl D00d or whatever. Their market is people who've seen movies like "the net" or "hackers" and think that that's what a hacker is.
  • So what? You can call us Yanks, but we can't call you Brits? Yeah... right... =)

    Oh, btw, leaking liquid nitrogen is fun, but leaking liquid hydrogen is more exciting!

    Grandpa Spaz
  • Oh... so am I to take it you are Irish?

    G

  • javascript doesn't have a uchar, and
    the %256 is actually a floating-point modulus
    operation in Javascript...
    like fmod(x,256)... It's a bitch,
    but that's how it is....
    so every last bit of that PI value MUST be perfect.
  • actually, we WOULD be able to tell.. only the winning combination would transform the 2 cyphertexts in the HTML into the plaintext, which is the url http://www.kipling.com/hacker/game/login.html or some such thing...
  • yeah, good thinking... of course, you'll then have to extract the username and password from the key, but that's probably not so bad... Getting the winning key would be a real step toward getting the user/pass..
  • The lpd_code is XORred with the key
    during the swap. If there are 48 uniq values
    before the first swap, there may be 49 uniq values
    after the second.
    The lpd_code is modified by every swap...
    So the number of possibilities is much higher.
  • actually, we don't really know either of those. all we know is that at least one of them begins with http:// and that the winning value is a URL to a winner's page of some kind, of which http://www.kipling.com/hacker/game/login.html fits the description.
  • I don't believe that Mooby really did it. I'd think that the page at nerdhero.org would have been updated if that were true.. This guy with the 2600.com (yeah right) address is pulling a fast one... He may not even know mooby...

  • I think someone really got to them.
    They pissed everyone off with that Wired
    interview... they were asking for it...
  • ...preferably on-line.

    -

Seen on a button at an SF Convention: Veteran of the Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force. 1990-1951.

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