Honor Among Thieves
I’ve never robbed a bank, cheated on taxes or even taken a pen that wasn’t mine. I’m of a conscience so strict that if I try a lipstick tester on my hand in the store, I glance about to make sure the clerk isn’t glaring at me in disapproval. But I’ve since discovered the dark side of my moon, and man, am I having a good time.
As with all stories about a hero’s downwards spiral into villainy, we must first start at the beginning: I just completed my Webmaster Certification, with Honors (92% average) and I received BOTH specialist designations: Web Graphics and Web Scripting. It’s like saying I can pat my head and rub my tummy while saving the universe from defective code with my eyes closed. I welcome your applause, because this was not easy for me – I had to twist my feeble little brain into new and unusual shapes every step of the way. I am already in a very digitally intense job, run a digitally-based business, and for Christmas I got my first 80 gig video iPod. I think you can see where this is going.
Franny has become a hacker.
Wait! Don’t call the Mounties! I didn’t start that virus or post your skanky homevideos to CNN.com! But I can wield open source code like a sword! I fear no password, firewall or feeble (mwa ha ha) encryption! I can lift video from YouTube and convert it for my iPod! And the best part is, I’ll show anyone how to do it! But you must first prove yourself pure of heart, and respect the following:
Principles of the Hacker Ethic*:
@ Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total.
@ All information should be free.
@ Mistrust authority—promote decentralization (I like this. So rebellious!)
@ Hackers should be judged by their skills to find information and to better mankind, not bogus criteria such as profit-generation, virus production or intimidation factor.
(*Hacker Ethic info stolen & modified from Wikipedia. Sorry dudes.)
Here are some recommendations for you wisdom seekers, that are totally legal and fun. For thousands of free e-books, check out Project Gutenberg. I can show you how to put these on your iPod or Blackberry if you want. For free music for Podcasts or ringtones or video production, try out Uhort. (It’s not an english site, but you can navigate using their neato system of icons. All they ask is an email informing them of your use of their music, and a link to where it is used if it is an online podcast.)
Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who are working to give us digital gold, (that isn't porn) free of charge. They're making the world a richer place, because in my opinion, knowledge is the real treasure.