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MTV's Hacker Portrayal

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the last-night's-news dept.

The Internet 286

fat_mike writes "Last night, MTV did a True Life show on Hackers. There are some interesting comments over at the Hacker News Network. " I was unable to see it, but it doesn't sound like it went very well - coverage that didn't understand the subject matter. Anyone else catch it?

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Can someone post a mirror? (1)

jabella (91754) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613407)

I think we killed it already...

MTV? (1)

rde (17364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613411)

This isn't intended as flamebait, but I didn't look out for the programme because (foolish naif that I am) I'd like MTV to be a music station and there's no point in watching it if that's what you want. Last night I turned it on, and what did I get? Jerry fucking Springer.
Ah well. Anyone know if it's on MTV europe? I suppose if I can't expect music I might as well use the station for something

complain - why? (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613414)

What were you people expecting from MTV?

/. seems like an intelligent bunch, why does anyone here even WATCH MTV anyway? It's a piece of poo on a plate. (unless Ricky Martin throbs your nads)

"The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."

I would have something to say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613419)

..but this show doesn't deserve in-depth critique.
It's just another in a long line of media misrepresentation.. IOW, it buys into the posturing of young teens.

what else did you expect ? (1)

asad (65703) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613421)

It sounded like regular MTV. I don't watch MTV for journalism and so I wasn't suprised at their lackluster performance. It's good to see at least some major media like CNN are getting better at reporting on the high-tech industry and the people who make it possible. But for my money /. is still the best media source out there.

Pretty Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613482)

It was very lame. They had Serena Alchul (sic) doing the documentary. ALthough she is a major babe, she was terrible in this role. About what I expected from MTV.

MTV Does it again (1)

At Work Bumb (41060) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613484)

Well after the show last night I can see why everyone is so paranoid over any activities with the word Hacker thrown in. Look at the idiot from the real world. Seriously were talking about a supposed real life documentary on MTV not Cnet.

Re:complain - why? (1)

asad (65703) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613487)

Well I used to watch it for music videos, but apparently they've stopped doing that for some reason. The only interesting thing I've seen on MTV in a long time is the clay fighting show Celebrity Death Match.

Re:complain - why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613489)

what? don't all /. readers watch downtown? that's reason enough to watch mtv.

Alredy Posted? (0)

jrs (27486) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613493)

Wasn't this posted a few days ago on here? or maybe i just saw it somewhere else :)

I'm not surprised (2)

borzwazie (101172) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613495)

Is anyone really surprised by this? MTV panders to their "Beautiful People(tm)" generation. MTV stopped being about music a long time ago, when they found out they could make more money this way.

Really, watching "The Real World" (which is anything but) makes me sick. MTV is all about money, and therefore all about hype.
And, therefore, sensationalized opinions about "hackers" that portray them as "dangerous" and "exciting," which bring the all-important "ratings." Let the little twinks follow JP.

Or... (1)

Mr_Plow (30965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613498)

TRUE LIFE: I'm a Poser!!!!
--------------------------------------- -------------------

When exactly was it though? (2)

Rabbins (70965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613502)

I am trying to figure out just when it was that MTV really started to suck.

Everyone will say it happened when they stopped playing music videos... but when did that happen? My memory has begun to fade on me, but I really do remember enjoying MTV at some point!

It was pretty bad well before Singled Out ever came along.

How many people were shocked at themselves when they started prefering VH1 to MTV!?

Why I renounced hacker (1)

rw2 (17419) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613503)

It isn't really that deep. People can only form perceptions about what they are exposed to. There are many, many more articles and programs that get the term wrong than get it right. As a result, the meaning becomes more established as a pejorative.

Call it linguistic evolution or call it a corruption of the truth. Either way society at large believes it.

That's why my card says Magician.


l0pht not doing their job (2)

freakho (28342) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613511)

L0pht had the ear of a journalist (okay, that's debatable, but go with me) and apparently didn't even bother to emphasize how horribly the media continues to mangle the term "hacker". I personally expected better. Not from MTV, of course, but from the "community", L0pht especially. Not to mention the people they profiled aren't worthy of even the term "cracker", they're just script-kiddie web-page defacers. Serena repeated several times how these kids had broken into "some of the defense department's most secure computers". Which computers? their web servers! If those are their most secure computers, we're all fucked.


ps- and jaypee's little performance was scraping the barrel of publicity-mongering, but a fish has gotta swim.

Now that MTV has lowered the IQ level a bit... (1)

Galon (32528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613512)

Sorry but this comes accross as flamebait..

nothing on television is real (2)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613514)

I hate to make generalizations, but everything on Television is fake, not real, untruthitudes, falsities (yes I know these last two aren't words, heh). I only ever had faith in one television programming station, the Discovery Channel. That was until they made that fake Blair Witch Documentary (or was is sci-fi?) anyway..., cable boxes should come with disclaimers saying that everything on here is a half witted attempt to cater to the least intelligent people, cause they make up 99% of the worlds population. Also... MTV is (or was) Music Television. Why are they doing stories about h(cr)ackers? I read the post a while back when they announced it, and it didn't affect me at all. Because I don't watch television (much), and I especially don't watch teenybopper nonsense like MTV. The culture of the world is going downhill.

Maybe it's better this way (1)

Mechanical_Governor (101122) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613516)

I'm not trying to be an techno snob here but maybe it's better if the MTV flock of sheep is misinformed. I mean do we realy want these people trying there hand in something they shouldn't? Let MTV tell them half truths and propoganda, in the long run it's better that way. They are the same people who think Trent Reznor created Industrial music & that the "Real World" is any thing like the real world. Just keep feeding the sheep and let those of us with brains continue thinking.

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

lactose99 (71132) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613518)

I believe MTV started the downhill route about the time their first REAL gameshow, Remote Control, aired (sometime in the early '90s). One good thing that came out of that show was Adam Sandler.

Another wasted hour (5)

Coy0t3 (62077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613520)

I unfortunately watched the program. I got what I was looking for (cheap laughs) though it still left a bad taste in my oral cavity. The best part was one of the scenes in some kids room.

Director: We want to get a shot of you doing
impressive. You know, lots of computer
code and stuff on the screen.
Kid: Um, okay. (types ps a)

Maybe I'm the only one that found this humorous.

from (3)

vlax (1809) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613521)


"L0pht to be on MTV's True Life: I'm A Hacker


On October 13th at 10 pm MTV will debut True Life: I'm a Hacker reported by MTV's Serena Altschul. Although most of this show will feature young hoodlums who get their kicks from breaking into other people's systems, the L0pht is also interviewed showing the more productive side of hacking."

I'm guessing MTV wasn't really interested in the productive side of hacking. The MTV press release ( mentions it in only one sentence: "Finally, the show examines a more productive side of hacking, visiting The L0pht, a group of Boston hackers who develop security software for major companies, and act as advisors to the U.S. Government on how they can maximize security mechanisms on their own systems."

An exerp from elsewhere in the press release:

"Venturing into the inner-most sanctums of this cyber subculture, 'True Life: I'm a Hacker' explores how hackers communicate with one another and where they learn the tricks of the trade."

Hackers have inner-most sanctums? Boy, am I missing out...

Quoting one of their subjects: "It's like being God."

Geez, and here I am wasting my time sitting in a cubicle gaining weight when I could be Godlike, just because I know what int main(int argc, char *argv[]) means.

"Through on-line chats and talk shows cybercast to thousands of their peers worldwide, many young hackers, who otherwise would have simply blended in, have an opportunity to achieve major levels of recognition and adulation."

I wonder if /. is what they had in mind.

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

At Work Bumb (41060) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613523)

I think it was after Madonna lost her virginity.

And yes VH1 is actually much better these days. to bad they are owned by the same company.

Also I am the nerd that beat up the bullies...

Ok, let's get serious... (1)

rick_woods (102630) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613525)

Although it is little more than regurgigation of what has been posted here already, remember that those tied to conventional media have no love for the "New Alternative" media (sorry, I know most of us have been here for a while.. but ya know). Anyway, if MTV had wanted to accuratly portray hacking / phreaking / social engenering (sp) they would have put it on their web page. They can't portray hackers in a positive light on the TV, or else they might allay some peoples suspicions about the internet, and loose viewers ! ! and we all know just what a problem that could be.

I'm not worried. (1)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613527)

I am not very worried about these shows on MTV because the only people who watched it are so dumb they either don't get enough computer time from their mommy's a day to craxor that gibson, or they will telnet to and get arrested for crackerjacking the super elite passwd file. I kinda wanna thank MTV for accelerating(sp) the process of natural selection.

True Life? Nah. (1)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613530)

I love the name of MTV's shows. True Life? This show was not true life. It was just a bunch of script kiddie crackers (I wish someone would use these terms correctly), and MTV made them out to look like the notorious underground l0pht or something. It was basically a joke. It was as true life as the Real World is the real world.

Now that MTV has lowered the IQ level a bit... (5)

Galon (32528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613532)

Sorry but if this comes accross as flamebait..

I sat down last night with my kids and watched that "show"...

To be honest, I know many people that fall into the catagory of hacker, my children tell me that they want to be hackers when they grow up.

That "Show" was not about hackers.

That was an attempt by MTV to capitalize not only on FUD, but it was a poor excuse for journalism. I am will to say that 95%+ of all hackers do not have blue hair(at least the ones I know), or stand out in anyway. Most of us are more concerned with being able to do our own thing, and learning as much as we can along the way.

My 4 year old daughter summed it up best, after watching the show, she started shaking her head and asked me "Daddy, they aren't like anybody we know", I told her that there were all kinds of hackers in the world, all she could say was the ones on the show were "not real hackers, they were dumb hackers"

(I have very bright children, so this is not added to in anyway)

After last nights "show" i am seriously thinking of taking my cable out.

Re:complain - why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613534)

Didn't I read somewhere that the MTV folks started another channel called "M2" or something, that was supposed to run nothing but videos? Used to be, you could at least catch a few videos on VH-1, but they've pretty much gone the way of MTV, nothing but crap with the exception of "Behind The Music."

Re:complain - why? (1)

Mr. Piccolo (18045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613536)

There are only 3 shows worth watching:

Celebrity Deathmatch (If you like Quake 3...)
120 Minutes (the "alternative" show... one day they played a Ministry video, so you might get lucky)
AMP (the "electronica" show)

BTW... 31st post!

one view of the history of MTV. (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613539)

MTV may have once been something interesting, and bringing us interesting things that we couldn't find elsewhere--

Ren & Stimpy, Remote Control, stuff like that.

They had a few good shows, and they were smart enough to spin Ha! off on its own channel (which combined with Comedy Central to form The Comedy Channel). There were funny bits, with Randy of the Redwoods running for president, but it was something to go along with the music, not as a replacement for the music.

Of course, then, in about '93 or so, that music included Mr. Big, (who I do believe was the son of some MTV exec), and about that point, people began to see that the music on MTV really wasn't that good. Metallica had sold out, and produced video after video, and things started turning into the popularity concerts like the student Goverment elections in high school, and had nothing to do with how good a song was.

With the type of crap MTV was playing, I'm almost glad they stopped playing music, but it's a shame that they also stopped producing good shows.

Damn... waited too long (0)

Mr. Piccolo (18045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613541)

was #34 :(

Re:When exactly was it though? (2)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613542)

When they stopped airing "The State"

I know... I hit it on the fscking nail

Choice of OSes (Lil bit off-topic) (1)

Your_Mom (94238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613543)

I meant to watch the show but I was to busy at work so I just tossing it out there...

When they were showing these 3l33t h@x0r d00dz were they using mainstream (OSes Windows/Mac) or were they using *NIX/BeOS/etc etc etc.

Sorry for posting off-topic... But I jsut had to know :)

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

vlax (1809) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613546)

I think MTV's been downhill since Martha Quinn quit. (God, that makes me old doesn't it?)

I bailed on the USA in '91 - right after graduation. MTV was still watchable. I came back in '94 and got cable in '95. Since then, I only watch MTV for Beavis and Butthead.

I hate being a member of the VH1 generation. I want my MTV.

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

Buck2 (50253) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613549)

I second that. I had independently thought of Remote Control as being the forebear of the death of MTV.

I don't remember Adam Sandler's role in that show, although I do remember Collin Quinn and Kari (sp?) Werner distinctly (Werner esp.) *grin*

... (1)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613551)

what would be really nice is if one of the kids who watched this went out and actually did some damage. Then tipper gore can go after MTV like they did Quake.

Are there really people like this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613553)

Are there really people out there like this?
Seriously. I've never met anyone who acted like the people on MTV yet new enough about computers for me to consider them a hacker (or a cracker for that matter). In fact, those few people I would consider elite were humble, almost shy, and very stable. Close to the guy on last night's show who supposedly broke into NASA.
The mediocre types and wanabes always seem to think they know more than they do and are invariably arrogant little bastards, but even they don't fit the MTV, and the main-stream media stereotype. So, have I been missing something? Are there really hackers that fit the mold we see on TV??

Re:Another wasted hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613555)

Director: We want to get a shot of you doing
impressive. You know, lots of computer
code and stuff on the screen.
Kid: Um, okay. (types ps a)

I would think top would be a lot more impressive. To the typical layperson it would be some radom code constantly changing.

I especially liked... (1)

pen (7191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613556)

I especially liked the way one of the kids alluded to 1984. I'll bet 10 bucks that he, at best, knows where the term Big Brother comes from.

Also, that whole find-a-disk-that-could-get-a-friend-in-jail theme sounded awfully familiar... is anyone else reminded of something? :P


Sounds about what kids think hackers are... (5)

MarNuke (34221) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613559)

Being the "haX0r" or "computer geek" at the party, when ever I break out the laptop to play mp3's everybody start saying "hack the FBI!" "crack some software for me" "break into my school and change my grades." I just wish once I would hear from someone something like "make this program run the way i want it to" or "help me secure my computer from evil people". It really bugs me. I have morals. I wouldn't steal from someone, trash someone's house, distroy what ever, turn off their power in real life just becuase I CAN, why would I do that in "cyber space"?

I believe it's really about the corruption in the world. People have to be good people in real life, just to get by, but when they get online it doesn't matter what they do. There's no big blue. They can do what they want and feel like a god when they DoS attack some lame server. Or setup a firewall that deny everything coming in with no services running and feel unstopable. Feeling powerful and unstopable is what people want to feel like. What is so great about spending 20 hours reading and writing code?!?! Nothing.
Thus, you will see what hacker really are in the news.

Of course hacker have nose rings, wear all black, listen to electrica, and are outcast of the world.


Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

mike_markley (69586) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613560)

I'm not entirely sure as to the time... I do remember that at one time they actually played stuff like Pink Floyd on MTV... seems to me that it was around the turn of the decade that things started to make a turn for the worse. As for VH1... well, the other night I was flipping channels. MTV was showing an "original" (stretching the term here) cartoon featuring a bunch of archetypal characters, lame dialogue, and lamer plot devices. VH1 was showing a Rob Zombie video at the moment. I've resigned myself to the fact that VH1 is actually better now... at least when they're not showing music videos, they're generally showing something music-related (i.e. documentaries on bands, chats with musicians), and not the same cookie-cutter pop crap that litters MTV and just about every other network.

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

Smallest (26153) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613561)

How many people were shocked at themselves when they started prefering VH1 to MTV!?

VH1 actually showed a Tool video one Saturday night not long ago. VH1 used to be the Lite Rock and R&B channel. Now I get to see Alice Cooper and Tool and Stone Temple Pilots. Not that I thin kany of them are all that great... but, it's great to see that bands who aren't simply the latest New Kids on the Block or some Whitney Wannabe can get on TV.

Still waiting for them to show a Polvo video...


Here's an Idea (3)

choctaw (102631) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613564)

At the risk of creating a stereotype, I would like to think that the individuals who frequent Slasdot are usually very intelligent, well spoken people. We thirst for knowledge of any kind, and strive to teach the "masses" about our culture and tear down as many pre-conceived notions as possible. Then, when something like this comes up very little gets done (if you don't count complaining here on slashdot). I'm not trying to start a flame war, I actually have a suggestion. With as many great minds as there are visiting this site, couldn't we get together and write some sort of treatise for the masses in general explaining the differences between crackers and hackers, and essentially address the fears and misinformation that make our lives so much more difficult than need be sometimes? We write things like the jargon file, and there are a million "how to be a hacker" faqs, but none of these address the non-technical people that really need the education.

Re:When exactly was it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613565)

"I am trying to figure out just when it was that MTV really started to suck. "

Right after beavis and butthead died...

Re:When exactly was it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613566)

I personally mark the demise of MTV when they
pulled the advertisment featuring the spaceman on the moon jumping up and down. They pulled that
ad (and the Chainsaw/TV one, and a lot of the
original ads) before they stopped playing music
videos, but the writing on the Marketing Wall was
already visible.

when will it be rebroadcast? (2)

Capt Dan (70955) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613567)

Knowing MTv like I do, they will be rebroadcasting the show 10 or 20 times in the next month. Does anyone know when this will be?

I understand that it's a poor show, but I would like to know what they did wrong so that I can enlighten my mis-educated friends that actaully did see it. Can't really do that, if I don't know what went down...

"You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
"It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein

MTV Hacker Portrayal (1)

Deadguy (101705) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613568)

Oh, come one, people. We're getting agitated by MTV? Have you forgotten how much they suck anyway? Congratulations on giving them free publicity. That channel ought to either go back to the earlier, decent format, or pass on the reigns to someone else. It's time for the big pink video elephant to lay down and die.

MTV should stick to what it does best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613569) girls in skimpy bathing suits. Be honest, this is the only reason to watch it in the first place.

Another media portrayal of a media portrayal (3)

Wedman (58748) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613570)

This is how the media portrays hackers. As much as we should expect the media to dig a little deeper and get a grasp on the issues, they won't. To even try means to add a slant to the issue.

/.ers will just have to learn to cope. A cracker will always be called a hacker. The media will always have a slant on real life.

Just like /.ers do. :P

I wish I could have seen it (1)

Gryphin (85459) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613571)

I know this is probably a longshot, but did anyone happen to score like a realplayer or mpg of it? I'd just like to see what these script kiddies were actually doing, god knows they weren't hacking.

Re:Now that MTV has lowered the IQ level a bit... (2)

Mr_Plow (30965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613572)

Not really. It's not that MTV lowers anyone's IQ.
But simply that those with lower IQ's are more likely
to accept MTV as a legitimate source of information.
Just like the reports saying that the Internet turns
otherwise healthy normal people into geeks and shut-ins.
They fail to realize that geeks and shut-ins are just
a large group of people that happen to like to use the Internet.
That's all, nothing particularly mind-blowing.
----------------------------------- -----------------------

offtopic : blue hair (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613573)

yeah, there's some of us whose hair strips to yellow, so when we try to dye it blue, it turns green. And who really wants green hair?

(so, unfortunately, I've been sticking with red, however, the good news is that Manic Panic 'Flaming' doesn't look as bright under flourescent lighting, so those of us who work under poor lighting conditions in basements can get away with unusual hair.)

Well, I don't dye all of my hair, either, as I have a *cough* respectable job, nor do I consider myself a 'cracker', (It's much easier to trick someone into giving you access, if you really want it, anyway). Anyway, as to the hair, for those of you with long hair, if you tie up the hair on top, and only dye the hair on the back of your head, depending on how you tie back your hair, you can achieve normal-ish (brown, in my case), abnormal (the blue & orange stripes to match my school's graduation colors), or you can braid it for some interesting effects.

(okay, this started out as offtopic, edged towards funny there for a second, and then went to informative (yet off topic) for those who are trying to get away with dying their hair...end result--- no one probably cares enough about this post to moderate it, which is probably a good thing)

Re:Choice of OSes (Lil bit off-topic) (1)

BenZoate (19607) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613574)

They were showing mostly WinDoze systems. The show really sucked. I think I am now dummer for having watched it.

Most shows on hacking are awful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613575)

Almost every TV portrayal of hacking that exists is poor, because they are created by people who are computer illiterate.

Most of them show some guy trying to telnet into a dog (firehydrant | toaster | the neighbors car) and have little basis on reality.

Quite similar to the hype about Y2K.

This show... (1)

krital (4789) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613576)

I saw this show last night, simply for entertainment purposes. I knew when this story was originally posted on /. that there would be a large response to it, so I decided that I would have to see what would elict such a response for myself. Last night was likely the last time that I watch cable for a long time. That program was not only poor journalism, it was one of the largest pieces of FUD and misconception on Earth.
One piece that sticks out in my mind was when some of the "hackers" were doing a webcast for some 31337 h4x0rz, and they got an email from an AOLer. This guy said "I want to know how to get passwords," and the hosts, 31337 as they were, responded that "Man, this is some pretty heavy stuff, and I see that you're someone from AOL. This is not something that you get into when you're such a newbie " That single statement proved what a bunch of (at the risk of this sounding like flamebait) posing wannabes with only slight skills they were... Hacking is about creating, not stealing. But I won't get into the jargon, as I'm sure that everyone here knows about it already.
And then everyone was using Windows 95, except for some guy named "Mantis," who had root on some (probably his own) Linux box.
Although I do have to say that seeing l0pht was cool.

MTV2 (1)

Zigg (64962) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613577)

MTV2 comes on my DirecTV, and every time I've gone through the guide they're showing music videos.

If there wasn't so much marketing power behind the name "MTV", I would suggest they drop that moniker altogether and start calling themselves something else, since they really don't do much with music anymore.

Now that MTV's set this precedent... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613578)

when may we expect /. to feature music videos?

Re:l0pht not doing their job (3)

Tweety Fish (4476) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613579)

l0pht spent a FULL DAY being interviewed by MTV, which was edited down to the 50 seconds or so you see in the final piece. I'm sure they said a lot more, and I'm sure a lot of it was extremely interesting and relevant, but there's not much they can do about the heavy hand of the MTV editor, is there?


This will never happen (1)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613580)

1. Most slashdot readers do not agree on anything

2. Not everyone who reads slashdot is well spoken and intelligent. (ie. AC posts)

3. You can't tell someone how to be a hacker. Its all about learning for yourself. Making judgements based on logic, and sometimes no logic whatsoever. (p.s. I'm not a hacker, I don't claim to be a hacker, I just know what a hacker isn't)

The only thing slashdot could acutally do is raise awareness that this crap on MTV isn't real.

Re:l0pht not doing their job (3)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613581)

Normally I stay clear of the whole hacker/cracker thing, but did it ever occur to you that the guys from L0pht didn't raise the issue for a reason? Maybe L0pht doesn't give a rat's ass about the distinction and the perceived misuse by the press. Whatever the origin of either word, hacker has been in use for a relatively long time as a slang word for computer criminal. If I suddenly decide that I want people to refer to me as an Algorithm Distributor or Code Simian instead of programmer or developer, does that mean that anyone will actually start using those words? No. Not unless I found and fund a huge company of political correctness to trumpet the cause. Maybe the National Association for the Advancement of Algorithm Distributors.

You're right of course about the web servers. An expert - from L0pht or anywhere else - should have been consulted to enlighten MTV about the relative strengths and weaknesses of web servers.

Re:Are there really people like this? (1)

Zigg (64962) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613582)

Are there really hackers that fit the mold we see on TV??

There are people like this, but they're not hackers. They're generally called "script kiddies".

Re:When exactly was it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613583)

No it was long before b&b was ever even thought of. I might get flamed for this but I think it was the "YO Rap" spot that was the start of the fall.

Re:complain - why? (5)

Wah (30840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613584)

Why should any of you (we) care what image is being portrayed of us. I mean it's not like any of us would call ourselves "hackers" or anything. It's not like any of us spend any time on computers.

I watched the show, or I should say it was on the TV in the same room (I'm a multi-media-vore). Most of the guys on it were idiots. Shamrock was a joke, he wasn't picking up a Mysterious Disk, he was trying to hide his crystal. Ever see a group of folks with police scanners, just hanging out. Deep red eyes and shifty as hell. He was in jail for "possession with intent to distribute" and some other "information-related" stuff. It is really sad that this was one of the images portrayed, a freakin' meth dealer, nice job MTV.
Mantis, (the black kid) was by far the most positive image. He seemed intelligent, and lo and behold, they actually showed a CLI on his screen (UNIX-type files), most of the other shots were GUI's (and mostly win). At the very least he knew how to dress and interact in "normal" life. A positive image, surprise, surprise. He also mentioned that now he was a good guy, mostly, but good and bad mean different things to different people. He was the only one quoted "information wants to be free", which he mentioned in passing.

The other kid (Chameleon, his hair dyed blue for camo), who talked to Bin-Laden's agent and was awakened one morning with a gun in his face (his mom backs up the story So I'll give it the benny of the doubt) was the other side of the story. I'd guess he has other "issues", seemed like a pretty normal script kiddie who found something interesting, investigated and got slammed back into reality. With enough of 'em out there, one or two are bound to get into trouble.

Serena, while attractive, was totally out of her element, had no clue, no idea what questions to ask, and a total lack of anything resembling a grasp on any single idea represented in the half-hour (with 7 min. of commercials) tidbit. At the end of the show, during the credits, she couldn't login, and started immediately blaming "hackers!, grr". How many times, as a percentage, is a user not being able to login attributable to getting cracked? 1%, maybe 2?

I wouldn't even call it a full meal of info, just some random images, noise if you will. Unfortunately the younger generations of TV viewers often pick the signal out of the crap and this signal was crap.

I'm not sure where this post turned into a full-on review, but I watched the show so I figured I should share.

Re:Alredy Posted? (2)

m3000 (46427) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613585)

Not this story excatly, but about 5 days ago or so, /. posted a story alerting it's readers that MTV would be holding the special. And so this was story was created just to give a forum to complain about the show. The original story can be found here []

Something worth reading... (1)

TheLionMan (41076) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613586)

There is an essay by Merrill Markoe called "Head Full of Bees" which is about how bad television is. Sounds like a lot of you will love reading it. No idea where to find it though (I had to read it for a class).

Get a Dish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613587)

MTV and cable sucks anyways.

Re:Can someone post a mirror? (1)

Raven667 (14867) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613588)

You replied only 2 minutes after the story was posted. Either HNN really got raped in 2 minutes or they were forwarned and pulled the site rather than weather the onslaught.

Re:Maybe it's better this way (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613589)

maybe it's better if the MTV flock of sheep is misinformed.

It's never better for someone to be misinformed. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather see the most minds possible on the thinking side of the fence.

The Good Reverend

I watched it...and laughed. (1)

sqrlbait5 (67782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613590)

It was sad, really it was (not like I was expecting anything besides that, but it was still better than the video music award reruns). I sat there and laughed at it with some non-nerd friends, even. One girl kept saying "ooh look at that badass dressed up like a fratboy!" And yes, I must many 'hackers' do you know that actually get dressed anyways? All MTV did was glorify the few posers they could find that'd go on tv and didn't look too much like losers (how many pimply-faced youths did they show anyways? none.) and who bathed regularly. If they want want a real view of hackers they should hang out in one of my compsci classes and see if any of those guys will know how to respond when they have a camera in their face. MTV wasted my time but it at least gave me something to laugh at...

ps I really found it funny that the one kid there at the end was sitting in front of his windows box showing 'The Matrix' on his computer. Ooh. What a badass. VCDs and MPEGS are _oh_so_hard_to_find. sheesh.

Re:When exactly was it though? (2)

double_h (21284) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613591)

I am trying to figure out just when it was that MTV really started to suck. Everyone will say it happened when they stopped playing music videos... but when did that happen? My memory has begun to fade on me, but I really do remember enjoying MTV at some point!

I'd say the beginning of the decline was in the late 80s or so, when Empty Vee started the trend of "genre" video shows - a rap hour, a metal hour, etc. (Though they *did* used to have an alternative show on Sunday nights that I enjoyed, whose name I am unable to remember.) Before this, it wasn't exactly underground, but it wasn't so rigidly compartimentalized either.

For a few years after this, the network still had its high points -- The State, Liquid Television, and Beavis & Butthead all had their time in the sun. But there was still a definite downward trend, and the arrival of the game shows was probably the final nail in the coffin.

Despite all this, I still do have fond memories of staying up late watching Billy Idol and David Lee Roth videos introduced by Adam Curry and Martha Quinn. (Oh yeah, and I've always thought Kennedy was a hottie).

Gimme a bottle of anything, and a glazed donut... to go...

It started to suck when you turned 20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613592)

At least that is when it was for me. Girls in bikini's at the cost of content is only appealing for so long. MTV left me with puberty at 20.

Re:This will never happen (1)

redowa (102115) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613593)

It also will never happen because the world in general (especially the Media) loves the underground noir sterotype of the "hacker" too much to give it up for the bland facts of reality.

That mainstream image of "hacker culture," with its cast of zany characters, the ultra-hip warehouse settings, pireced people with blue hair wearing's a wonder it hasn't become its own MTV show by now. The public isn't going to give up on that commercialized view in favor of reality's community-minded citizens with jobs & families & such wearing free company tshirts sitting at the same desk for 20+ hours.

Let's hear it for perpetuating a more true-to-life sterotype of hackers...

On the other hand, maybe not all public sterotypes are bad. Do you in some way like the other media vision; the more romanticized view? You know, the Neal Stephenson underdog-hero vanquishing Big Bad Business/Government with his hacking skills & saving the world from its own immorality. Still unrealistic, but a much more positive spin on do you react to that?

Surprised (1)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613594)

Is this story seriously intended to be news? Or is it just a an opportunity for /.'s who saw the show to vent their spleen about how "nobody understands them"?

I didn't see the show (I wouldn't watch MTV if you paid me) and have no doubt, I'm sure the show was awful. But what did you expect--"All Things Considered"?

Anti-Online Praises MTV! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613595)

Anti-Online has posted an artical applauding, MTV for their excellent, and accurate portral of what "real hackers" are like.


Well not really but its said there isnt any kind of post regarding it. :P

Re:Maybe it's better this way (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613596)

just keep feeding the sheep and let those of us with brains continue thinking.

The problem with this is that they have the right to vote.

Hmm...eerie thoughts. (1)

CroJo (49413) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613597)

I wonder if the MTV execs know that they're evil and manipulative? Or maybe they actually mean well, and it all just falls to pieces, like a romantic comedy. Or maybe they're not actually human at all (in the Socratic sense), and are merely intelligent animals with no sense of moral value.

Jeez, either way I end up wetting myself from fear of the media.

Re:complain - why? (1)

minkyboodle (102239) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613598)

The only reason why I see that show as negative is the huge upsurge of script kiddes that want to be leet.

Re:Sounds about what kids think hackers are... (2)

dgoodman (51656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613599)



first, just as way of introduction, i am a hacker. you know what i mean: i program computers, and play with my legos, and generally have way too much fun making electronic thingies do what i want. i've never been, nor intend to be, a cracker: i personally found the show (not to mention the movie of a few years back which was just as bad) to be comical at best.

however: there are some of us who are fairly intelligent, understand parts of linux at the source code level, and hate mtv with a passion that fit your stereotype for mtv-genic haX0r material.

i.e., yeah ive got long hair, which has been purple/green/blue/red/whatever at times. though its not for me, i have many competent friends in the same field with a variety of bodily adornments...blah blah blah.

just pointing out that physical apppearance is never an indicator of someone's worth/IQ/what-have-you.

unless you want to work for disney, but that's a different story.

have fun

Re:True Life? Nah. (1)

Coy0t3 (62077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613600)

You know, that is what I first thought people meant when I heard the term used in some tech related context.

"How are my little crackers today?"
"Damn crackers, always leaving their laundry detergent all over the place!"

-Issac Hayes as Chef

Ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613601)

MTV Sucks.

Re:what else did you expect ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613602)

CNN's "Perspectives" is pretty insightful. Of course I'm pretty ignorant, so maybe its just insightful for me heh. I'd like to see a perspectives on hackers, I think they'd do it right. They had a pretty good one on what it takes to become an FBI agent.

Re:nothing on television is real (1)

m3000 (46427) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613605)

That was until they made that fake Blair Witch Documentary (or was is sci-fi?) anyway

That was Sci-Fi.

Re:from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613606)

Hackers, crackers, whatever the fuck you want to call them this week, want to promulgate to the world an image of them being these supercool cats who have the fate of the world in their hands.

Don't believe the hype.

These guys are friggin losers. If they weren't they'd grow up and do some real shit with their "gifts". These are the same lamers that got their asses beat in high school and they think it's time to take their revenge out on the world by "rooting" some grandma's x386 computer with her oatmeal-raisin cookie recipes on it.

If you hackers, crackers are so fucking bad, find out who I am and fuck with me. You know you can't so don't even try fag boys.

Let's tell 'em how bad they got it wrong (1)

freakho (28342) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613607)

Why don't the intelligent, informed, polite readers of slashdot inform MTV of their errors? They just might pay attention.

I think this was a production of their news section, so you can mail [mailto] with your comments. Of course, this may also fall under the umbrella of "shows", so you might want to use this page [] to send your feedback. I'm pretty sure the former is the case, however.


Re:nothing on television is real (1)

jmac (29488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613608)

I hate to make generalizations, but everything on Television is fake, not real, untruthitudes, falsities

I don't like to make generalizations either, but I probably would have felt similiarly if I had taken the time out to watch the show. It's hard to watch crappy TV and then feel good.

But really, you gotta have some perspective, if you're going to have any hope of staying out of a insidious self-swallowing cynicism cycle! Remember, whenever you see crap, that 90 percent of anything is crap. If it seems like there's more crap now than the last time you checked, it's because there's more media. There's also more Good Stuff to enjoy and learn from, but, alas, the crap tends to have a better advertising budget. Keep an eye open!

Normally I don't repsond to things like this, but statements like "The culture of the world is going downhill," even if the comment's author perhaps made it while in a temporary bad mood, push my evangelism buttons: Crap will always be with us, and as our global mass communication abilities grow, it becomes more and more visible... but so does good stuff! Accept the presence of crap, seek out and become enriched by good stuff, and your life will stay happy. Yay!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go read a good book.
MacOS Open Source []

Re:Most shows on hacking are awful... (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613609)

I keep telling myself someone will make a real documentary that is actually informative, and factual.

Re:from (1)

Sleekit (18757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613610)

Yes I did foolishly watch this MTV excuse for a documentary. You would think after all those pointless nights spent with my girlfriend watching "Real World" I would know better!

Will someone please tell me why, rather than spend time with guys who are really doing something with their skills i.e. 10pht, we are subjected to 30 minutes of rambling from some drug dealer with delusions of grandeur....and a police radio? I suddenly started to get real world flashbacks, annoying kid... acting stupid on MTV.....

I will get off my soap box now.

Thanks 10pht for showing teenage America that there is something constructive out here.

By the way, can you really bring down the web with "a couple of packets"?


Lack of interest.. (2)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613611)

I'd say something on my own behalf, but I remembered a (somewhat) fitting quote from the Jargon File:

Contrary to stereotype, hackers are not usually intellectually narrow; they tend to be interested in any subject that can provide mental stimulation, and can often discourse knowledgeably and even interestingly on any number of obscure subjects -- if you can get them to talk at all, as opposed to, say, going back to their hacking.

The last part of that quote is key. Why doesn't anyone really bother? It's a waste of time. Eventually the media will get it (maybe), but certainly not any time soon. Remember, some newspapers still think that HTML is a programming language..

As far as references to Slashdotters go.. A lot of Slashdotters have objected to the proper use of the term hacker, and often tell everyone to "just shut up about it".. I'd imagine that most actual hackers don't have any interest in it, most crackers call themselves hackers anyway so they probably think that the media is correct, script kiddies would certainly rather be called crackers or hackers, and most people who actually know the differences between all of these terms don't really find much interest in it either.

If anyone is that excited about it, register a domain name (that makes sense for this purpose) and write all sorts of "hacker != cracker" propaganda, then feed the links to as many "media types" and "geek sites" (like Slashdot), and maybe something will happen. I kind of doubt it, and I for one have other, more productive ways to waste my time (at least AFAIC =P).

Re:Another wasted hour (1)

AviN (9933) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613614)

Actually I believe it was `ps -aux` ...

Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

Ken (3185) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613615)

The alternative rock show on MTV was called "120 Minutes".

I agree that after Beavis and Butthead and Lquid Television were gone there was no other reason to watch anymore.

Re:This show... (1)

chris.dag (22141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613617)

not that I want to defend the show or anything. ack. I think you got the question wrong...

The question from the AOL user was "How do I get credit card numbers" _not_ "How do I get passwords". Different question totally and the talk show people basically said that "those types of questions are simply not asked..."

Perhaps they could have educated the newbie a bit more but given all the other bad stuff in the show the talk show segement was not all that horrible...

Legal mp3s (2)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613625)

"when ever I break out the laptop to play mp3's"


Re:When exactly was it though? (1)

coreman (8656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613626)

All the music stations took the downward turn when they thought/decided people wanted them to produce 30 minute program segments... or maybe it was when they started to sell their overnight hours to infomercials.

Re:When exactly was it though? (2)

Demon-Xanth (100910) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613627)

I perfer much music, they tend to play music

MTV's Logical Proof (1)

Xkill_ (66601) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613628)

The problem:
The sad part about it is that many people are computer illiterate. For gods sake i had to help my friend install AOL Instant messenger, and when he was finished he held his hands up into the air and chanted, "I am the hacker God!".

Explanation of the problem:
This is not to say that my friend meant it, or that he even wanted to be that type of person, but rather it shows a typical way that people view these so-called hackers.

Enter in a source of money:
I am willing to bet that the majority of people, especially those that watch MTV or TV in general are as misinformed as my friend.

Finish up proof:
Therefore it can be expected that television is going to appeal to these types of people, thus createing MTV's hacker show.

Re:Another wasted hour (2)

richieb (3277) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613629)

An hour? The show was only 30 minutes. I guess you've stuck around for the Brittany Spears special...



Re:Another wasted hour (A little OT) (1)

Coy0t3 (62077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613630)

Yeah, I think you're right. But at my box at home ps complains when I use '-'. Either way, the fact that this is what he chose to do either indicates a semi-subversive/sardonic sense of humor, or that he is truly clueless. (Now I'll really get my props when I show them that I got Linux on my laptop. Now everyone will know what a 1ee7 d00d I am!)

Re:Another wasted hour [OT] (1)

Coy0t3 (62077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613631)


Re:Another wasted hour (1)

ywwg (20925) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613633)

The best way to impress your friends is to just build a random program. All you typed was "make", but they think you actually have to pay attention to all the gobbledy-gook on the screen.

For twice the fun, open two xterms and compile two things at once!

Re:l0pht not doing their job (1)

agentk (74906) | more than 14 years ago | (#1613635)

pparently didn't even bother L0pht ... to emphasize how horribly the media continues to mangle the term "hacker".

Or it was edited out. The editors of the program have supreme control, to decide what does and doesn't get included. Ofthen, the questions are invented and recorded well after the "interview".

Re:When exactly was it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1613637)

Actually, unless I'm going senile. I seem to recall Remote Control premiering back in 1988. Even by then MTV had already begun its slide into suckiness.
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