Should calculator hackers be sued... or pitied?
Hackers are generally regarded as the scourge of the electronic age. If popular myth is to be believed they’re all the same – a cross between The Hooded Claw and that bloke who wrote Jet Set Willy before going a a bit mental. Dangerous misfits in other words.
But it isn’t always the case. Some hackers are just hobbyists, puzzle solvers who are more interested in the act of exploring complicated pieces of programming than they are in unleashing viruses that will knack the hard drives of every man, woman and child on Mother Earth.
For example, look at the men who recently picked apart the operating system in a Texas Instruments calculator. No really, they did. And we’re just assuming that they’re men, but are 99 per cent certain that we’re right – women are far too complex and fragrant to be arsed about playing daft tricks like that.
So then, these hackers – we’re assuming (again) that they’re not the type of blokes you’d have a cracking night down the pub with – unless you were cracking machine code together, but they got a bit lairy what with having hacked a fucking calculator and boasted about it on a blog.
The blog was spotted by Texas Instruments themselves, who instantaneously unleashed their legal attack dogs. Nice. But the hackers have some loud, influential allies – the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and they’ve sprung to the mens’ defences, calling TI a bunch of names and stamping their feet a lot.
"This is not about copyright infringement. This is about running your own software on your own device -- a calculator you legally bought," said EFF Civil Liberties Director and tech-sex-kitten Jennifer Granick. "Yet TI still issued empty legal threats in an attempt to shut down discussion of this legitimate tinkering. Hobbyists are taking their own tools and making them better, in the best tradition of American innovation."
We’re not sure how the hacked calculators operate but if you can write loads more rude words on them, we’ll have one. We’re getting bored with ‘boobless’ to be honest. So, in the meantime, we eagerly wait for Texas Instruments to make their next move.
Boys and their toys eh girls?