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US Government Announces National Day of Civic Hacking

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the does-not-involve-hondas dept.

Government 102

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday in a post at the White House website, the U.S. government announced that June 1-2 would be the National Day of Civic Hacking. 'Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans.' It will be a joint project with Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America. Activities are being planned in many cities across the country, and you can also sign up to host your own event. It's nice to see the government use the word 'hacking' in a positive way, since most uses of the term these days involve malicious activity."

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Not the car?? (5, Funny)

KFK2 (23515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672631)

And here I thought it was about hacking Honda Civics.. enough people do that you'd think there'd be a holiday for it already.

Re:Not the car?? (1)

Daley_G (1592515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673429)

And here I thought it was about hacking Honda Civics.. enough people do that you'd think there'd be a holiday for it already.

As true (and funny) as that is, it's unfortunate that not many of those hacks have any sort of positive impact.

Re:Not the car?? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673979)

I once used a soda can to repair the exhaust system... does that count?

Re:Not the car?? (1)

jnork (1307843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674211)

If it involved a hacking cough caused by the exhaust fumes, then yes, I'd say so.

Re:Not the car?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42678295)

It's about solving American problems, so some new form of mobility transport vehicle (aka car) to get big Ronda to the transfat aisle is probably what they are after.

The feds promoting 'hacking'? (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672647)

Color me surprised. Or maybe code me surprised. I thought the term 'hacker' was forever lost, stained by the media beyond redemption.

Re:The feds promoting 'hacking'? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673013)

I know it's all perspective, and this is just mine, but I see more appropriate uses all the time now. Business rags like to talk about large tech companies having their hackathons and unknown devs "hacking" on their personal projects. The whole "maker" thing, which is (dare I say) trendy now, uses the word all the time. And we're well out of the 90's, when computers were transitioning from mystery AOL terminals to tools that almost everyone grew up using. I do feel like we're swinging back from the hollywood version of the word, and this is a good example.

Though I suppose you could argue that both uses weren't that distant from each other in the first place. Just a thought.

Re:The feds promoting 'hacking'? (1)

HalWasRight (857007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673097)

I'm right there with you. So glad to hear 'hacker' and 'hacking' used in the original positive context.

Re:The feds promoting 'hacking'? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674423)

More like "stained by idiots who call themselves hackers jacking up other people's systems." The media didn't do it. It's every who gets busted doing stupid s**t with a script they downloaded because they think they're going to get into Jolie's pants.

Could we try "jacker"? (1)

DoctorBonzo (2646833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42679531)

Yeah, "hacker" is way too ambiguous.

"Cracker" was used for a while to mean "malicious hacker", but has its own ambiguity since it's used as a sort-of black person's "N-word" for a white person. (whatever happened to "Ofay", by the way?)

I'd suggest "jacker", from "jack in to a network in order to hi-jack it".

And by analogy to Tim Leary's "Turn on, tune in, drop out" - "Jack in, jack out, jack off"

Liberate Data (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672691)

"Liberate data that can inform better problem solving in every community."
I propose we make a script that downloads all the research journals that we can, then makes massive online library of them that anyone can access. Oh wait. That doesn't end well.

Re:Liberate Data (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42678503)

That ends fine as long as you don't get access to the network that holds that data by breaking into a restricted access wiring closet, connecting your laptop and leaving it there, and then circumventing the attempts made to stop you. Then when you're caught and facing trial, don't kill yourself before you actually get through trial.

Re:Liberate Data (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42679357)

You're a gey. A gey and a faggy. A gey faggy. The faggiest gey ever 'twere

Re:Liberate Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42679977)

You're not helping.

Clever Clever (0)

Old-Claimjumper (463905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672701)

And now that Aaron Swartz is gone, this is a wonderful way to identify the next targets...

Re:Clever Clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673117)

Wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. I am enough lists already, and so are the rest of you.

Re:Clever Clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673151)

Ah, but maybe they're making a special list of the ones who DON'T participate.

Re:Clever Clever (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673761)

IT'S A TRAP! [youtube.com]

This national hacking day promises... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672713)

This national hacking day promises to be more well received then the first national hacking day held in Sierra Leon.

Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (3, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672719)

Be careful out there. [slashdot.org] This isn't a true call to hacking, it is a call for free labor.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672751)

This isn't a true call to hacking, it is a call for free labor.

I don't mind donating my labor for free sometimes if it makes the world a better place.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672779)

...And the US government has made the world a better place recently?

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672793)

Yes. I like roads.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (3, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672853)

Roads are predominantly state projects. And though you might claim the feds help fund them, it's only because the feds confiscate via the income tax then give it back for compliance with federal initiatives.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673145)

Perhaps because the south would be an even bigger shithole otherwise?

It isn't those kids' faults they were born there and they're fellow citizens. I support the redistribution of taxes from the feds.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673237)

"I support the redistribution of taxes from the feds."

Isn't that cute. Do you think the feds have magic money trees? I mean we all understand that they can print the stuff, but let me ask you this; do you know why they tax you every year? Have you any clue whatsoever?

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673695)

What part of the word "redistribution" do you not understand.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673279)

Perhaps because the south would be an even bigger shithole otherwise?

Wait, is that even possible?

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673995)

"And though you might claim the feds help fund them..."

That is not merely something that one *might* claim; that is something that one can state as a fact. One could also state as fact that the federal government does this in a lot of other areas. And I, like the other AC, also like roads as well as schools and hospitals and the myriad other things that state's rely on federal funding in order to build and maintain.

To address your point that the federal government can only provide that funding by "confiscat[ion] via the income tax"*, if the federal government didn't collect taxes and then appropriate them to the states then how do you think roads and schools and hospitals would be built? The states would still need to tax in order to build and maintain the public infrastructure on which we all rely and from which we all benefit.

*That's very clever, "confiscate", you must be really proud of yourself for that one. Thumbs up.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42680277)

Actually, I'd claim that roads are predominantly construction projects completed by private enterprises which the city, state and federal governments fund through taxation.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673865)

Emphasis on the recently.

Don't know about you, but they haven't fixed the roads around here in a while.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

roccomaglio (520780) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674073)

I like roads too. The issue is what value are you getting for your money. I am very pleased if I get a great meal for $10. I expect the meal to be great if I pay $100. They build the roads argument makes sense if the government is only spending on building roads. I am sure that the federal government spending on road is not even a meaningful part of the federal budget. The question is are you getting the best value for your money? Would a smaller government give a greater value for the money? How about a larger government? What services/level of services does the government have to provide? This is not an all or nothing proposition.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672917)

Who is the government? Ideally it's ALL US!
Don't confuse criticism of politican decisions as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The alternative is much much worse. Just look at Greece, nice leaders, huh? Discontent breeds the WORST of leaders, so beware.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673089)

Ideally, its none of us!

What happens in a democracy, not just the US, but in ANY democracy (or republic) is that the masses will inevitably push for higher taxes and more welfare and raid the treasury for their own personal gain. Since democracy at its essence is a popularity contest, the politicians will push for higher and higher taxes and more welfare. When productivity is punished, productive people will go elsewhere (see France) when productive people go elsewhere, the country goes into a decline (such as the Roman Empire/USSR) and eventually collapses.

I am responsible only for the actions and decisions I make. Not my neighbor's, not the government's, but mine and mine alone.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673245)

Thats only one side of the story.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673295)

That's a ridiculous oversimplification of what happened to both the Roman Empire and the USSR.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673399)

That's a ridiculous oversimplification

You must be new here*

* here = message boards on the Internet

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673767)

Might as well change it to: here = all informal conversation

You can buy stacks of textbooks on any subject. Many stacks on the political and economic histories of the Roman Empire and USSR.

Real conversation necessarily deals in simplifications, or we'd never have discussion. Here, more than most forums, we tend to ignore that and go off on long, unproductive, pedantic rants. It's rarely helpful.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673785)

Ideally, it's all lizards.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675785)

What happens in a democracy, not just the US, but in ANY democracy (or republic) is that the masses will inevitably push for higher taxes and more welfare and raid the treasury for their own personal gain. Since democracy at its essence is a popularity contest, the politicians will push for higher and higher taxes and more welfare.

People have been saying this for a long time, it's why democracy was often limited to land owners, historically. In the US, basically the franchise has extended to all males since its inception, and the U.S. is hardly the most commie country in the world. But of course, it's hard to refute a proposition that simply states something is inevitable, since, after all, only a finite period has passed without it having any obvious evidence to support it.

When productivity is punished, productive people will go elsewhere (see France) when productive people go elsewhere, the country goes into a decline (such as the Roman Empire/USSR) and eventually collapses.
 

It's a free country, if people want to go, they can go. It's hard to be productive in an anarchy, so I'm not entirely sure how paying taxes constitutes punishment for being productive.

Out of curiousity, exactly where did the fucking Romans migrate to? Gaul? Fucking Britannia? Egypt, because of the great wages on the construction jobs?

Of course there was some migration out of the USSR, but not as much as your making it out to be, since they weren't really allowed to leave. Economic theories are debatable, the advisability of not nuking yourself is undisputed.

I am responsible only for the actions and decisions I make. Not my neighbor's, not the government's, but mine and mine alone.

So you seriously are an anarchist? I was just kind of tossing that out there earlier. Well, whether you're "responsible" for your neighbors actions or not, if your neighbor sticks a gun to your head and pulls the trigger you're going to be dead. If he has the choice through certain death through starvation, or possible death from the penal system for blowing your head off to take your stuff, he's going to blow your head off. Shit happens without regard to whether or not anybody is "responsible" for it.
Anyhow, it's a free country. If you don't like it, you can leave. That's a much better deal than anyone got from the Soviets.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42680471)

Did you know that your highschool social studies teacher was lieing to you?
"Republic" just means they don't have a "king". It doesn't mean the people are represented. It's just a coinsodence of language that the two words seem similar.
You know how we usually get in a huff about a topic and everyone galvanizes along two sides and it's a big sort of debate thing? Yeah, back in the day, one of those issues was whether or not we should have a king or we should have a republic.

But anyway, no, your argument isn't coming from the right angle. You can't say the masses will always want more taxes. That's crazy. Who wants to pay more taxes? No, they want other people to pay more taxes. Especially when there's inequality and unfair advantage. So you should argue that, in a democracy, collective Peter will vote to tax/enslave/repress selective Paul. Of course, historically, democracies have been pretty good when it comes to the civil rights of minorities.... Eventually... I don't see how that's neccesarily part of a democratic system, but there's probably some sociological factors at play.

I am responsible only for the actions and decisions I make. Not my neighbor's, not the government's, but mine and mine alone.

And that's what separates a individualistic libertarian and the people who understand they live in and depend upon a socity. Bitch as much as you want, but you live in a democracy. Ultimately, YOU, in some small percentage, are the person in charge of all the laws and all the government. Don't like the shitty laws? Hate taxes and what it buys you? Do your civic duty, get political, and rally your neighbors to change it. Because we're all responsible for this. Together.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673585)

Well, there's the space program.

Oh, wait, that's being wound down, isn't it.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672911)

You might want to consider this in the same light as a donation to The United Way in that a sizable chunk of your donation might be kept by the US government and might support organizations having policies with which you do not completely agree.

Better to donate your money, time, and labor directly to those organizations you wish to support.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42677045)

The USA... making the world a better place... Good joke!

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672947)

Prime example of dissonance in government. One hand calls for massive recruitment for "cyber-defense" and tries to exploit the good/curious nature of most hackers/crackers, while the other hand squeezes the life out of the same people whose curiosity led them to do legally-ambiguous (but generally morally right) things.

Well, hackers aren't dumb people. This shit won't fly for very long..... Is what I want to say, but the same thing has been done to various fields of academia for a couple decades now.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675417)

I would have thought, the even more paranoid, be careful out there, it's a trap would be even more relevant. FBI we need a list of all hackers, so we can decide which ones are the anarchistic criminals.

Re:Apparently one Aaron Swartz was not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675905)

Not to mention a timely distraction from the Swartz case/suicide. Especially with gems like encouraging citizens to "unleash their can-do American spirit" in the form of what amounts to a 35-year prison sentence if you rub someone the wrong way.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672741)

I've apparently entered the bizarro universe.

Re:WTF? (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672829)

are you sure it's not the Mirror universe instead?

I got root on the Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672745)

First hack!

LET THEM EAT CAKE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672753)

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain !!

Inspired by recent Slashdot hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672763)

Perhaps I'll buy someone a spare battery for their smartphone.

Re:Inspired by recent Slashdot hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42680355)

Nah, steal them some milk crates to build a tablet stand with.

Random hacks of kindess... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672781)

I truly believe in the 'pay it forward', random acts of kindness ideology. When I see someone obviously having difficulty somehow, I many times do stop and ask them if I can help. It usually doesn't cost me up anything but a little of my time, and it helps me feel better about myself afterwards. How coders can apply this to 'hacking' though, how can they do that?

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673467)

Except when its a trap and you get robbed and killed

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673557)

Except when its a trap and you get robbed and killed

Well, there was that time when I was a teenager in Manhattan. I walked up on a guy who was hitting and kicking a woman who was on the ground. I yelled at him to ''cut it out'', and before anything else happened, the woman gets up all angry and comes towards me. She was yelling something like, "Who the hell are you to talk to him like that, I should kick your ass..."

I threw up my hands and say, "Fine! Kill each other, see if I care!" and walk away. Ever since then I'm real careful about getting between two people fighting each other, they may actually be enjoying it.

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674353)

I believe that people are, as a general rule, kind.
I have given a lift to a woman who was apparently a prostitute.
I have gotten beat up in the process of breaking up a fight.

I will do so in the future, if the opportunity should arise.

The alternative is give up this belief.

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675733)

Yeah, there are a few times you will get smacked down for helping people in life. Though the good events far outweigh the bad ones.

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675895)

Until you are shot in the heart

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676097)

If that happens, E-ticket ride to heaven.

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42680537)

Wow, what's it like to live in constant fear? That paranoid distrusting nature that I find in so many of the older political types. It's probably born of cynasim or something, but people like you are just socially pesimistic. Like they've given up on people in general. I'd be more understanding if you had been truely hungry at some point, but everyone I've met with this attitude has been financially well off. I imagine the cut-throat mentality helps balance the budget. On the flip-side, everyone I've known who has been through hard times has had a healthy respect for the caring nature of their fellows. Usually because they had to lean on someone else in some fashion. Maybe all the ones who tried to stand on their own simply died, but in any case, I haven't met them.

But no, seriously, what's it like to constantly distrust everyone else?

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676129)

Prostitutes are some very nice women who got caught up in a very seedy lifestyle. Thay're all someones daughters. And we are all children of God. (No citation for God should be necessary)

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42677729)

Prostitutes are some very nice women who got caught up in a very seedy lifestyle. Thay're all someones daughters. And we are all children of God. (No citation for God should be necessary)

Shit! We're all fucking our sisters! REPENT!!!!!

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676059)

Re:Random hacks of kindess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676171)

Thank you so much, Sir White Hat :-)

Yea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672787)

Itsatrap.jpg

And the FEDS will....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672795)

Take these wholesome "hacking" deeds and weaponize it for the good of mankind.

Civic Hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672827)

That must be where you put your tablet or smart phone on top of your Honda Civic and post to slashdot how you hacked it into a really cool tablet holder.

Memories (4, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672883)

Why am I reminded of this [dilbert.com] Dilbert?

Re:Memories (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673091)

I'm sure it was just Admiral Akbar whispering in your ear.

Self-professed hackers hacking for America will be put onto a watch list and hauled in for questioning any time anything untoward happens in the United Internet of America. Especially in the parts claimed by the corporate citizens of that great state.

port scans inc... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672901)

target acquired

mount -sw /AngelinaJolieCoveredInSweetYams

Now that is a coincidence (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42672937)

June 1. is my birthday.... Dunnowhattothinkofthat.

Obligatory Question... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42672951)

...How much of my taxpayer money was used to create this, in terms of person-hours spent as well as promotional material? And why was it necessary or desirable???

You don't get to raise my Social Security tax by 2% as a necessity and then throw those dollars away on feel-good crap the government shouldn't be investing in.

Re:Obligatory Question... (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673419)

Probably less than 0.1% of the cost of developing a new fighter jet that people like you aren't complaining about.

Excellent (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673005)

Then I will have to make sure that my hatchet has been sharpened, before this day of hacking.

Start with the JSTOR archive (1)

dmomo (256005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673063)

Since much of this academic work is subsidized with public funding, let's put some servers somewhere at MIT so we can download and mirror it.

I was hoping it meant "penetration testing" (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673143)

I suppose I expect too much from my government in openly allowing hacking on one day without repercussions so long as it harms nobody. After all, it only has access to my national identity and tax records.

May i ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673167)

What is a 'can-do American spirit'?

answered (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675047)

What is a 'can-do American spirit'?

It's the drunken approach congress, the executive and the judiciary take to unconstitutional legislation.

Re:May i ask... (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675099)

Evidently judging from comments here, something that used to happen in America's past.

I'm working on an anti-gerrymander app that will help voters move into swing districts so make the practice obsolete.

"The future is now"... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676123)

"Evidently judging from comments here, something that used to happen in America's past." - by turkeyfish (950384) on Wednesday January 23, @06:23PM (#42675099)

Still happening: depends on the American -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3403483&cid=42673207 [slashdot.org]

*:)

(See subject-line above...)

APK

P.S.=> There you go - Anyone can be out there doing it, & in my case, it was for years for practice (ala "sharpen the sword" & on programming topics other than what I did for a livelyhood in information systems DB work) - came in handy early on especially in my career, as it gave interviewers something to use & see my work quality with. It paid in other ways, literally, with some of my work ending up in commercially sold code too later.

I "held onto" that app circa 2004-2012, because it CAN adversely affect advertisers &/or websites, but what "did the trick" on my finally letting it out to the general public? Was the MASSIVE "explosion" of malware out there from 2005 onwards mostly! That was what "tipped the scale" for me on releasing it...

Thus - I had to put it out there & largely on the suggestions of pals & testers who used it first (since it kept them from being infested + sped up their websurfing by a LONG shot & far more - it's like getting your mileage boosted + a free turbo-charger & armored car online in essence (by way of analogy))..

... apk

Been doing it for decades... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673207)

" Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America" (code for the world, & in "my latest/greatest"):

---

APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

Which, if you read the list of what it can do for you as an end user of the resulting output it produces, you'll understand how/why...

"It's as strong as steel, & a 3rd of the weight" - Howard Stark from the film "Captain America"

---

( Especially vs. competing alternate 'solutions', noted below, next, as 'examples thereof'... )

Solutions that used to be good & I even recommended them in security guides I wrote up over the decades now -> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22HOW+TO+SECURE+Windows+2000/XP%22&btnG=Submit&gbv=1&sei=ka3yUKzxB-6_0QHLroCQCA [google.com] (that did extremely well for myself and users of them) for Windows users, for "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" purposes - the BEST THING WE HAVE GOING vs. threats of all kinds, currently!

(Not anymore though, & certainly NOT far as AdBlock's concerned especially, not after this):

---

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/2213233/adblock-plus-to-offer-acceptable-ads-option [slashdot.org]

(Meaning by default, which MOST USERS WON'T CHANGE, it doesn't block ALL ads - they "souled-out"... talk about "foxes guarding the henhouse")!

---

Plus, Adblock CAN'T DO AS MUCH & not from a single file solution that runs in Ring 0/RPL 0/kernelmode via tcpip.sys, a driver (since it's part of the IP stack & tightly integrated into it) which is far, Far, FAR FASTER than ring 3/rpl 3/usermode apps like browsers, & addons slow them down (known issue in FireFox).

To wit, 10++ things AdBlock can't do, hosts can:

---

1.) Blocking rogue DNS servers malware makers use

2.) Blocking known sites/servers that serve up malware... like known sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malicious scripts

3.) Speeding up your FAVORITE SITES that hosts can speed up via hardcoded line item entries properly resolved by a reverse DNS ping

4.) AdBlock works on Mozilla products (browser & email), hosts work on ANY webbound app AND are multiplatform.

5.) AdBlock can't protect external to FireFox email programs, hosts can (think OUTLOOK, Eudora, & others)

6.) AdBlock can't help you blow past DNSBL's (DNS block lists)

7.) AdBlock can't help you avoid DNS request logs (hosts can via hardcoded favorites)

8.) AdBlock can't protect you vs. TRACKERS (hosts can)

9.) AdBlock can't protect you vs. DOWNED or "DNS-poisoned" redirected DNS servers (hosts can by hardcodes)

10.) Hosts are EASIER to manage, they're just a text file (adblock means you had BEST know your javascript, perl, & python (iirc as to what languages are used to make it from source)).

& more... as a tiny 'sampling' & proofs thereof!

---

Same with Ghostery:

---

Evidon, which makes Ghostery, is an advertising company.

They were originally named Better Advertising, Inc., but changed their name for obvious PR reasons.

Despite the name change, let's be clear on one thing: their goal still is building better advertising, not protecting consumer privacy.

Evidon bought Ghostery, an independent privacy tool that had a good reputation.

They took a tool that was originally for watching the trackers online, something people saw as a legitimate privacy tool, and users were understandably concerned.

The company said they were just using Ghostery for research. Turns out they had relationships with a bunch of ad companies and were compiling data from which sites you visited when you were using Ghostery, what trackers were on those sites, what ads they were, etc., and building a database to monetize.

(AND, when confronted about it, they made their tracking opt-in and called it GhostRank, which is how it exists today.)

They took an open-source type tool, bought it, turned it from something that's actually protecting people from the ad industry, to something where the users are actually providing data to the advertisers to make it easier to track them. This is a fundamental conflict of interest.

To sum up:

Ghostery makes its money from selling supposedly de-indentified user data about sites visited and ads encountered to marketers and advertisers. You get less privacy, they get more money.

That's an inverse relationship.

Better Advertising/Evidon continually plays up the story that people should just download Ghostery to help them hide from advertisers.

Their motivation to promote it, however, isn't for better privacy; it's because they hope that you'll opt in to GhostRank and send you a bunch of information.

They named their company Better Advertising for a reason: their incentive is better advertising, not better privacy.

---

Yes, so overall? Absolutely - hosts are superior!

Vs. even DNS servers too (which hosts files can supplement to overcome THEIR shortcomings, as follows):

---

A.) Running another program (sometimes in usermode no less, far, Far, FAR slower than kernelmode by many orders of magnitude & easily attacked) vs. the single hosts file (tightly integrated into the IP stack itself as part of it). ADDING COMPLEXITY & MORE "moving parts" room for error & breakdown!

B.) Wasting CPU cycles, RAM memory, & other forms of I/O to do what a single file can do

C.) Wasting ELECTRICITY (especially if the DNS server is setup as a separate machine) even if run as a service/daemon on a single system as user has

D.) DNS has NUMEROUS faults, & should anyone request a sampling of them? Ask & "ye shall receive" (I don't want to bloat this post anymore right now is why - lots of information to extoll in DETAIL, as is...).

---

HOWEVER:

I don't "hate" DNS servers!

In fact - I use them myself (since I don't attempt to resolve 'every host-domain there is online' via hosts, only my favorites @ the top of the file, 20 of them, which beats hashtable indexing or b-tree binary seeks past 2++ million records no less).

I use specialized FILTERING DNS SERVERS that help block out malicious sites/servers/hosts-domains via DNSBLs:

---

Norton DNS:

http://setup.nortondns.com/ [nortondns.com]

198.153.192.1
198.153.194.1
198.153.192.60
198.153.194.60
198.153.192.50
198.153.194.50
198.153.192.40
198.153.194.40

OpenDNS:

http://www.opendns.com/home-solutions/ [opendns.com]

208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

ScrubIT DNS:

http://scrubit.com/ [scrubit.com]

67.138.54.100
207.225.209.66

Comodo Secure DNS:

http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/switch/windows_vista.html [comodo.com]

8.26.56.26
8.20.247.2

---

ALL in layered formation in both my network connection AND my Cisco/LinkSys stateful packet inspecting router.

(Again - for the concept of "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth": The best thing we have going currently vs. malicious threats online & otherwise...)

* :)

(Beat THAT with a stick... or better yet? With information that disproves my points (to any 'naysayers' or trolls, that is)).

Now - I truly KNOW this post will no doubt be downmodded, because Advertisers do NOT want this type of information getting out en-masse to enlighten users - they bought out Ghostery, crippled Adblock, but TRY THAT with a local hosts file (good luck!) especially one a user builds himself!

There's NO way to screw it up via "being 'souled-out'", no way!

APK

P.S.=> And? There you are... see subject-line above, & if you try it? Enjoy the program, but moreso, the resulting hosts file for better speed, security, reliability & more...

... apk

My prediction = true. & in less than 5 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673343)

"Now - I truly KNOW this post will no doubt be downmodded, because Advertisers do NOT want this type of information getting out en-masse to enlighten users - they bought out Ghostery, crippled Adblock, but TRY THAT with a local hosts file (good luck!) especially one a user builds himself!" - by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, @03:39PM (#42673207)

See my subject-line above after reading that from the post I replied to (mine)...

* :)

APK

P.S.=> Trolls - they're ALL THE SAME, but using effete unjustifiable downmods takes the cake (as there is no disproving the points I stated in my last post, is there? Evidently not!)...

... apk

It's like "The Marijuana" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673263)

Me: "Hey, come hack on this app with us!"
Someone's Mom: "It's ok dear, it's Civic hacking. The good kind"

The sites need a search for cities and contact inf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673287)

I couldn't find a location on either Random Hacks of Kindness or Code for America that notes if my city is participating. If it's there, I couldn't find it in a few seconds. I would suggest making that more prominent.

Curiously, on that same day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673329)

is the announcement of "Federal Prosecutor's Day", promising a target-rich environment and said announcement signing off with "happy hunting".

Better check with Honda first (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673433)

if they're OK by this.

I am apalled (1)

ebiederm (614622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673501)

How terribly insensitive and how clueless can the whitehouse be?

Too Bad Aaron Swartz cannot participate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673559)

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/13/01/aarons-law/267247/#

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673565)

The DOJ is just trolling for people to slap an indictment on for violating the DMCA.

Please hack our data (1)

futhermocker (2667575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673623)

AKA give us cool apps for free, nothnx

Lots of gems in this one. (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42673661)

They use the term "hacking" when they mean "coding". They use the term "Day" when they mean "weekend". They hope to have an event in a city in "all 50 states and territories". Someone is bad at geography, math, grammar, or a mix of the 3.

Be careful what you ask for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42673729)

Like, harness public data to make a map that shows homes of registered gun owners or concealed-carry permit holders?

oblg. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674101)

HACK THE PLANET!

Hypocrites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674511)

And yet - the reddit kid hung himself over being prosecuted for what he would have called civic hacking.

Shhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674743)

... nobody tell Carmen Ortiz!

stealing ideas (1)

Revek (133289) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675439)

I figure they are gonna steal the good ideas. You know, the ones they can get money for. I bet you wouldn't get a civil response if you showed them what their real problem is. Their inability to secure their low level infrastructure.

If you cant control them , pacify them ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42676599)

enough said

Contests pay at least one person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42679227)

The government wants computer experts to work for free?

Yes... Lets trust the whitehouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42680517)

I wonder what kind of cyber activities of their own our govt is planning on engaging in?
Might be a good cover or distraction for it.
They've gotten good at distracting us...

Either that or they are just scoping out who knows their coding and whatnot- as some other posters have already suggested.

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