A Year Ago: Are they 'hackers'? Or 'crackers'?

    Date05 Apr 2001
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    3589
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    According to the word police, there's a difference But after 15 years watching the computer elite trying unsuccessfully to enforce a distinction, Henry Kingman has a word of advice: Just give it a rest! . . . According to the word police, there's a difference But after 15 years watching the computer elite trying unsuccessfully to enforce a distinction, Henry Kingman has a word of advice: Just give it a rest!

    Eric S. Raymond, lexicographer of the "New Hacker's Dictionary" -- it's really a repackaged, updated MIT jargon file -- doesn't want you to use "hacker" to refer to a computer criminal. A computer criminal is called a "cracker," he says. He says it loudly, he says it often -- seemingly every chance he gets. But it seems pretty clear that not even the guy who maintains the dictionary gets to choose how language is used. "Cracker" is about as likely to replace "hacker" in common parlance as "GNU/Linux" is to replace "Linux."

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