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Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600

ISBN: 978-0-470-62006-9
576 pages
June 2010
Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600 (0470620064) cover image
Actual letters written to the leading hackers' magazine

For 25 years, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly has given voice to the hacker community in all its manifestations. This collection of letters to the magazine reveals the thoughts and viewpoints of hackers, both white and black hat, as well as hacker wannabes, technophiles, and people concerned about computer security. Insightful and entertaining, the exchanges illustrate 2600's vast readership, from teenage rebels, anarchists, and survivalists to law enforcement, consumer advocates, and worried parents.

Dear Hacker is must reading for technology aficionados, 2600's wide and loyal audience, and anyone seeking entertainment well laced with insight into our society.

Coverage Includes:

  • Question Upon Question
  • Tales from the Retail Front
  • The Challenges of Life as a Hacker
  • Technology
  • The Magic of the Corporate World
  • Our Biggest Fans
  • Behind the Walls
  • A Culture of Rebels
  • Strange Ramblings

For more information and sample letters, check out the companion site at http://lp.wileypub.com/dearhacker/

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Introduction.

1 Question Upon Question.

2 Tales from the Retail Front.

3 The Challenges of Life as a Hacker.

4 Technology.

5 The Magic of the Corporate World.

6 Our Biggest Fans.

7 Behind the Walls.

8 A Culture of Rebels.

9 Strange Ramblings.

Index.

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Emmanuel Goldstein (emmanuel@goldste.in) has been publishing 2600 Magazine, The Hacker Quarterly, since 1984. He traces his hacker roots to his high school days in the late '70s, when he first played with a distant computer over highspeed, 300-baud phone lines. It didn't take long for him to get into trouble by figuring out how to access something he wasn’t supposed to access. He continued playing with various machines in his college days at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. This resulted in an FBI raid, as he once again gained access to something he really shouldn't have. It was in the midst of all this excitement that he cofounded 2600 Magazine, an outlet for hacker stories and tutorials from all over the world. The rapid growth and success of the magazine was both shocking and scary to Goldstein, who to this day has never taken a course in computers. Since 1988, he has also hosted Off The Hook, a hacker-themed technology talk show on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City. In addition to making the hacker documentary Freedom Downtime, Goldstein hosts the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) conferences in New York City every two years, drawing thousands of hackers from all over the world.
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June 15, 2010
Dear Hacker: The Voice of Hackers Around the Globe

Hoboken, NJ (June 15, 2010) -- Computer hackers continue to be looked upon with both fear and fascination by the mainstream and the media. On a daily basis, we hear stories about identity theft and compromised security systems. Misperceptions fly and panic often reigns supreme. Dialog between all of these groups is the only effective weapon against the misinformation and suspicion. For 26 years that dialog has taken place on the pages of the 2600 letters pages. Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600 (Wiley; Available Now; $29.95) is a compilation of the single most popular feature that has appeared regularly in 2600 Magazine since its inception in 1984.

One thing that 2600 has become famous for is the wide variety of readers it attracts: corporate spies, adolescent rebels, computer geeks, anarchists, survivalists, worried parents, law enforcement, private eyes, criminals, and consumer advocates. On a regular basis, representatives of each of these groups writes in to the magazine and, quite often, winds up getting published. Depending on the source, the information offered can be insightful, funny, scary, or outright insane. Oftentimes, a reply from the editor is offered, which is often tinged with sarcasm or admonition. Many readers claim to buy the magazine just to read the letters. This book is the first time a collection of letters has been bound together and sorted by theme. The compilation of feedback from the early 1980s to the present will illustrate where we're headed, along with some of the interesting topics touched upon along the way. The book is divided into the following categories of letters:

  • How Do I Become a Hacker?
  • Questions About Technology
  • Society's Rebels
  • Rants
  • Retail Hijinks
  • Hate Mail
  • Problems
  • Nut Cases
  • Leaked Info

Literally thousands of letters have been printed and some of the stories and experiences shared have been vital in the educational process of hundreds of thousands of readers. The letters are unique in that they are short snippets into the readers' lives and perspectives which often lead to more letters and/or commentary by the 2600 staff. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are extremely informative. Unlike the articles of the magazine, the letters are more informal and tinged with personality and opinion. They represent the true voice of the hacker community.

Emmanuel Goldstein has been the editor and publisher of 2600 Magazine since 1984, serving as the conduit for the voice of hackers around the globe. In each of the 100 issues published, Emmanuel has responded to literally thousands of "letters to the editor" which have been the single most talked about feature of the magazine over the years. Enhancing his reach into the audience, he has hosted Off the Hook, on WBAI 99.5 FM in NY City since 1988, a weekly talk-back program serving as a time capsule for hacker history such as the Kevin Mitnick saga, the effects of evolving technology and a changing political climate. Arbitron rates the program is the 2nd most listened to on the station.

Dear Hacker is the third book Goldstein has published with Wiley. The first two were, The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey and The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey, Collector's Edition.

Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Hardcover; $29.95; 576 Pages

Available Now; ISBN 978-0-470-62006-9

About the Authors

Emmanuel Goldstein has been the editor and publisher of 2600 Magazine since 1984, serving as the conduit for the voice of hackers around the globe. He has testified before Congress, served as technical consultant for the movie Hackers (1995), starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller. He has appeared on ABC News Nightline, 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC, The CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, Charlie Rose, as well as programs and documentaries in Canada, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, France, Poland, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. A regular speaker at conferences in London, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Pisa, Vienna, and the U.S., he is the author of The Best of 2600, a must-have for those interested in the computer underground.

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and websites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. 

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