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Month: November 2018

Hacking vs Editing, Wikipedia & Declan Donnelly

On the 18th of November 2018 the Wikipedia article for Declan Donnelly was edited and vandalised. Vandalism isn’t new on Wikipedia, it happens to all sorts of articles throughout every day. A few minutes after the vandalism the change made its way to Twitter and from there on to some media outlets such as and the following day, with another headline scaremongering and misleading using the word “hack”.

“I’m A Celebrity fans hack Declan Donnelly by changing his height on Wikipedia after Holly Willoughby mocks him”

Hacking has nothing to do with it. One of the definitions of hacking is to “gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer”. What actually happened is someone, somewhere, edited the article, which everyone is able and authorized  to do. Editing is a feature, and its the main action that happens on Wikipedia.

The word ‘hack’ used to mean something, and hackers were known for their technical brilliance and creativity. Now, literally anything is a hack — anything — to the point where the term is meaningless, and should be retired.

The word ‘hack’ is meaningless and should be retired – 15 June 2018 by MATTHEW HUGHES
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freenode #live – Bristol 2018

freenode #live is a “community-focused live event designed to build and strengthen relationships between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers and users”. The 2018 event was held in Bristol, United Kingdom at We the curious with roughly 100-200 people attending (from my guesswork).

The event essentially had a single track of talks. The old IMAX theatre above the Aquarium was used as an auditorium with various stalls for organizations set up outside. These stalls included KDE, Kiwi IRC, Private internet access and more.

Most of the talks were recorded and can be found on this YouTube playlist. Now for some of my main takeaways or points of note, most of which are IRC related, which might make sense as the conferences is called freenode #live…

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