[update] It came to my attention that some people didn’t fully read my post and thought I was in awe at what those kids did. This is not the case at all, read the full post! This was to illustrate that with very very little knowledge, some individuals could easily disrupt our daily routines. Very often what separates us from those “geeks” is a tiny bit of information. In that case just a bit of masking tape would do the trick I am assuming. There are so many fields of knowledge around us and it takes so much effort to stay in the loop that when choosing one path we are at the mercy of people who chose a different one.
Type TV-B-Gone in Youtube and you will find hundred of videos where geeks remotely switch unprotected TV sets in public places using a piece of hardware which construction is fully detailed on electronic websites. Think of it as a long distance universal remote control.
If you want to see a great example, I can recommend that crazy video where a bunch of kids went to a big french video game convention and set on a mission to switch all the tv sets off.
Now this is where I am getting at. This morning while doing a bit of cleaning up on my blog, I realised that someone had managed to inject a little piece of code into the footer.php of my blog, linking to a privateorg.com url. If I wasn’t checking my stats regularly I would have never realised that my blog had been hacked by some geeks or maybe just script kiddies.
It is very rewarding to run a blog or website with a fancy backend like the one offered by WordPress but this comes at a cost. You need to update WordPress as soon as a security hole is discovered, meaning making sure you backup your database, save your files and test your plugins regularly. You need to check the source of your pages, check your logs and templates for code injection all the time.
So now, how do you call the kind of work involved with running a blog? I would say that ultimately you need to become …. a geek!
Who do you turn to when Maya starts misbehaving or when you run into trouble with your operating system? Your friend the geek!
Geeks are definitely the masters when it comes to computing but what about other fields in life? Exactly the same I would say.
Geeks are nothing more than people who spend their time perfecting their knowledge in a specific field.
“A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance” as explained by the “Jargon file”.
Lifehacker is a great introduction to that broader meaning of geekiness but once again you need time and dedication to stay ahead of all the information being a geek will expose you too, which is why it is so much easier and rewarding to live the life of an Eloi.
Remember though, there will always be a Mordocks lurking in a corner and ready to jump on you….
[update] Either they have done it again or Yahoo hasn’t updated its database. Look what I found in my stats this morning? The entry doesn’t even exist in my databse. I thought it would be some sort of “on-the-fly” generated content but I wasn’t able to replicate it.