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Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker's 1903 lulz (newscientist.com)
242 points by p4bl0 on Dec 28, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments



A mischievous hacker who justifies his hacking by claiming the exposed security holes would have endangered the public, and who was originally mad that he could not market his own innovations due to his victim's overly-broad patents?

The more things change...


"Someone, Blok reasoned, was beaming powerful wireless pulses into the theatre and they were strong enough to interfere with the projector's electric arc discharge lamp."

Serious power! Remember this was before tuned circuits became common (google 'syntony oliver lodge'). Even allowing for the sensitivity of a balanced carbon spark gap, you need to move a carbon rod or have a magnetic field strong enough to change the position of the discharge. He must have been in the same building...



I recall reading about this event in Erik Larsons "Thunderstruck". The book includes a pretty interesting account of the fits and starts of wireless technology, if not overly embellished.

The tuning issue is one of many snags that Marconi ran into, and with a government contract on the line, he made no small effort to keep the technological troubles under wraps until solutions could be found.


109 years ago. Mind boggling.


This article paints Marconi in a really bad light. It seems like he was either not that bright or a liar to claim that people couldn't listen in to his specially tuned signals.


Security is hard, and has a long history of clever schemes that just don't work.


and this is why I love reading history.


I really want the word 'lulz' to go away.


It's just the Internet English word for schadenfreude; what you really want is for the concept to go away.


It's also interesting that they chose the spelling "diss", which is incorrect. It's "dis", from "disrespect".




So, what's it like to realise that New Scientist is more up to date with street talk than you are?


I run a slang dictionary. It's not.


I have only ever seen the 'diss' spelling, perhaps your dictionary needs revising.


Revising my dictionary in this case would mean artificially modifying the submission dates of the respective terms to suggest "diss" came first.


The only place I can think of seeing "dis" with one 's' is in reference to the Inferno virtual machine. By itself it always seems to be "diss".


"Diss" is a new spelling of the original "dis".


There aren't many single syllable verbs that end with an 'is' sound that doesn't end with a 'ss'. In fact, I think there are none. Outside of verbs, it's almost only names (and 'this'), so 'dis' would be a pretty rare way to spell a word in common use. I also think this is because it would appear natural to use the other new words derived from it, dissing and dissed, with the 'ss'. You don't need to use these forms with nouns etc. I think it's only normal for people to end up spelling it 'diss', especially as the original word it was derived from becomes less known.

That said, I am a second language English speaker and haven't even completed English as a second language in high school.


I also think this is because it would appear natural to use the other new words derived from it, dissing and dissed, with the 'ss'.

The original spellings of the verb forms are dis, dissed, disses, dissing.

I think it's only normal for people to end up spelling it 'diss', especially as the original word it was derived from becomes less known.

True, but you'd think a publication like NewScientist would strive for (some sense of) correctness in terminology selection.

Also see: http://www.grammarist.com/spelling/dis-diss/


It's also now the dominant spelling, and can't really be considered "incorrect".


How are you measuring dominance?




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