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Date: 16 Dec 91 12:09:09 CST (Mon)
Subject: World View Magazine 10
Der Weltanschauung Magazine (The WorldView) Origin: HOUSTON, TEXAS USA
% Editor: The Desert Fox D E R %
% Co-Editor: Cyndre The Grey %
% W E L T A N S C H A U U N G %
December 16, 1991 Volume 1, Issue 10
Material Written By Computer And Telecommunications Hobbyists World Wide
Promoting the publication of Features, Editorials, and Anything Else....
To submit material, or to subscribe to the magazine contact one of the
following net addresses below...
% Der Weltanschauung Distribution Site: %
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ % %
~ Send $1.OO To: ~ %%%%%% The Dickinson Nightlight %
~ ~ % (713)337-1452 %
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The Needs Of The Many Outweigh The Needs Of The Few...Or The One
"Let us arise, let us arise against the oppressors of humanity; all kings,
emperors, presidents of republics, priests of all religions are the true
enemies of the people; let us destroy along with them all juridical, political,
civil and religious institutions."
-Manifesto of anarchists in the Romagna, 1878
The World View Staff: InterNet Address:
The Desert Fox [Editor] / firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyndre The Grey [CoEditor] / email@example.com
Bryan O' Blivion / firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Scott Free / email@example.com
Modok Tarleton / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sorcerer (REV) / email@example.com
Brain On A Stick / firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston, Texas...Honesty Is Our Only Excuse
In WorldView #9, my column made a reference to the
upcoming XmasCon to be held here in Houston Dec. 27-29.
Co-sponsorship of the con was erroneously attributed to the
Legion of Doom. The actual sponsors of this event are
Phrack and NIA (Network Information Access) magazines. As
most of our readers are aware, the Legion of Doom no longer
exists, and indeed for all practical purposes never did
exist except as a paranoid fantasy in the minds of certain
ambitious government employees.
NOTE: If you are receiving this publication for the first time, and you
wish to continue getting it, please send mail to: email@example.com
Also, I wish to apologize to those who got a bad copy of the last issue.
Some were corrupted with Carriage Returns. We have no idea what the problem
was, but we will attempt to ensure it does not happen again.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Redefining The Modem User.............................PoleKat
2) On The Subject Of Religion............................Cyndre The Grey
3) Rambling Thoughts From The Long Absent................Rev. Scott Free
4) SW Bell Rates (Missouri)..............................Biker Dude
5) HoHo Con PSA..........................................NIA/DFx Intl.
6) The Power Users Guide To Power Users..................Brad Templeton
REDEFINING THE MODEM USER:
HOW THE MEDIA TOOK TWO PERFECTLY HARMLESS WORDS AND RUINED THEM
Computer telecommunication hobbyists always seem to find themselves
being labeled by the media in ways which help spread fear and
misunderstanding. For some reason, there is no term in the vernacular to
describe someone who uses their computer and modem not as a tool to
perpetrate illegal activities, but as an electronic link to the world.
Whenever one comes along, it gets used in a way which always implies
"Hacker": From Computer Guru to Computer Terrorist
The word "hacker" is already lost. When Stephen Levy's 1984 book
"Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" was published, the word was
used in a way that was devoid of the negative associations prevalent today.
In fact, the blurb on the back cover of the paperback described hackers as:
"Spellbound explorers totally committed to
experimenting with the infinite new possibilities
of the computer.."
And Levy himself (in the Preface) described his subjects as "those computer
programmers and designers who regard computing as the most important thing
in the world." Levy was concerned that some were using the term as a
derogatory one to describe someone who wrote bad code. This innocent
definition of the word could be traced back to the days when MIT Model
Railroad enthusiasts were described that way.
But those days are gone. Listen to what the National Law Journal
(September 16, 1991) noticed:
"...there is a widespread public perception that so-called
computer hackers get their kicks out of breaking into top-secret
government computer systems and wreaking havoc with destructive
programs called computer viruses."
And Katie Hafner a computer crime journalist was quoted in Waldensoftware's
Computer Newslink,( Autumn 1991, Vol. 6, Issue 1) as remarking:
"With the release of the movie "War Games" in 1983, in which a
teenager almost triggers World War III from his little home
computer, the definition of hacker changed overnight. Suddenly,
hacker took on a very negative connotation. Now it's defined in
Webster's as somebody who tries to break into computers."
The media has helped turn what was at one time considered a complimentary
term into something that connotes violence, illegality and destruction.
To be called a hacker today is an accusation. Through misuse, the media is
warping the word even further. When Geraldo Rivera interviewed Craig
Neidorf for his television show "Now it Can Be Told" he referred to Craig
(an electronic publisher) as "The Mad Hacker." Geraldo's loose usage of
the term ignores the fact that Craig was never accused of breaking into a
system, or gaining illegal access anywhere.
Cyberpunk: From Science Fiction to Sensationalism
When William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and other science fiction writers
began writing a new type of science fiction in the 1980's, critics searched
for a way to describe it. They settled (to the disappointment of some of
the very writers they were describing) on "Cyberpunk." The term still
refers to a genre of science fiction. "Science fiction with an attitude,"
is how the April 20, 1990 Washington Post described it. At the stretches of
its usage, it describes a new world view which is composed of a collage of
computers and information, of countercultural electronic expression.
But, as happened before, the media decided that definition wasn't good
enough. When Katie Hafner and John Markoff decided to write a book on
computer crime, they stole the term for their cover. "Cyberpunk: Outlaws
and Hackers on the Computer Frontier" was the result. Now, all of a sudden,
Cyberpunk doesn't refer to a sci-fi or cultural movement, it refers to a
cynical hacker. When asked to describe a "typical Cyberpunk" Hafner
"They are typically alienated suburban teenage boys who find an
alternative world in computers. Pengo, who we wrote about in the book,
is a pretty good example. He lives in Berlin and dresses in black.
Then again, who in Berlin doesn't? But he was almost a caricature of
himself. He smoked hand-rolled cigarettes. When he worked at his
computer, he had his headphones on all the time listening to
synthesized music. He started hacking when he was fifteen and by
seventeen he started spying for the KGB by hacking over the networks."
(Waldensoftware's Computer Newslink, August 1991)
Even William Gibson, Cyberpunk's founding father, who wrote of
cyberspace and a new society noticed it. "I've been credited of inspiring a
whole new generation of techno-delinquents," he remarks in the February 19,
1989 Boston Globe. If only we could hear Gibson's reaction two years
later, when the term which once described his writing style is now being
used to describe computer criminals.
The word "Cyberpunk" had a real mystique to it. To turn it into a
term to describe the "alienated suburban teenage boy" is to ruin some of
that feel. Moreover, it serves to confuse and concern a public which is
already paranoid and somewhat hysterical about anybody who admits to using
a computer and modem for long periods of time. Responsible journalists
should shy away from sensationalistic tactics like misusing an already well
defined term like this.
The Need for A New Word
What is needed is new terminology. There are a myriad of totally
legal and legitimate uses for modems and personal computers. People do
everything online from perusing library card catalogs to meeting their
perfect romantic match. On BBS's there are livid discussions of issues
ranging from politics to religion -- from art to science. And online
services like Prodigy and Compuserve are watching their user base swell
annually. Soon, perhaps the media will accept a word that describes a
person interested in communicating electronically without implying illegal
activity. "Hacker" and "Cyberpunk" are ruined. "Modem Enthusiast" sounds
too much like a term fresh from the pages of Reader's Digest. Hopefully,
someone will provide us with a new term which truly describes the millions
of modem users who "live, play and thrive" in cyberspace. Until that time,
we can only sit and watch as the mainstream media stumbles along trying to
understand and describe a phenomenon one gets the feeling it knows very
-- PoleKat (Austin, Texas)
On the Subject of Religion...
A commentary by: Cyndre the Grey
In this day and age, year 1991, I see many religious sects emerging. I see
the religions of old making a come-back (ie. Odinism, Wiccan, etc.), along
with New Age religions and philosophies. While all this is going on, the
Christian evangelists are condemning these religions and telling the pagan
followers that they will "burn in Hell."
This is what throws me off. I find it difficult to understand how one human
being can sit in judgement of another. Just how do they know thy are right?
Christianity has been trying to push its beliefs onto others for many years
now. The crusades were made in the name of God and were one of the biggest
blood-baths in history. "Thou shalt not kill" - Ten Commandments.
Today Christian Tele-Evangelists are on the television all day and night
demanding your money with the empty promise of great miracles they claim to be
able to create. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house (possessions) -
Ten Commandments. Most of these "tele-saints" have been exposed as frauds,
but there are still a few ignorant and insecure people desperately clinging
to their self proclaimed saviors.
The point I am trying to make in this commentary is that these Bible
thumping porkers need to be more concerned about the blasphemy and
corruption going on in their own church than what other religions are doing.
Its about time they stopped trying to convert pagans and started trying to
convert their own people! In closing, I will quote another line from the
bible for those evangelists:
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
-- This article was NOT written to blast all Christians, rather to expose
those who use the religion to make profits at others' expense.
Please send any comments and/or suggestions to:
Cyndre the Grey [ASF]
Member of the Pangean Party / Terran Initiative
Rambling Thoughts From the Long Absent
By: Rev. Scott Free
I am very regretful of my absence in the last several issues of our
candid little publication, but alas, life has been hectic.
As you may recall in my previous editorials, I have pointed out the
significant changes that are happening in our fast paced world. We here in
the Good ole' US of A are experiencing a bit of a recession...this domestic
strife is doubly depressing coming on the heals of the high the people have
been on since the debacle in the Mid East
Herr Bush has actually fallen in popularity, something almost
unimaginable 6 short months ago. Without a good world crisis to distract the
American public, people are actually realizing how fucked up things are here
in the fatherland.
Speaking of "Fatherland"...we are experiencing a dramatic increase in
racist, religious right wing fanaticism. Lines are being drawn between the
liberals and the conservatives and it is looking more and more like we who
believe in freedom and so called "liberal" ideas are receiving the lions
share of the blame for our present domestic strife.
Right now, there are three contenders to the throne within the GOP,
Reigning dictator George Bush, Pat Buchanan, and that lovable little Grand
Wizard, David Duke. And I understand that Pat Robertson is even considering
trying out for the GOP nomination to be President.
Make no mistake, people are frustrated, and these potential leaders
are all attempting, to some degree, to find a scapegoat to toss to the angry
American consumer. And it looks like the liberal left is going to be that
We have watched as freedoms have been steadily eroded over the reign
of Reagan and Bush. The nomination and subsequent confirmation of Clarence
Thomas to the United States Supreme Court was the latest and one of the most
powerful blows against personal freedom.
As election time draws closer it becomes more and more apparent that
these attacks will continue, and if the conservatives successfully convince
the American public that they are this countries only salvation, they will
clinch another 4 years of power and be so firmly entrenched, we may just see
the last of our freedoms eroded away.
I make no bones about my liberal stance, and I have noticed that
people of a conservative nature are becoming more and more hostile towards
people of a liberal attitude.
The things that give me hope are things like the growing feminist
movement, the increased visibility of gay action groups and the growing
dissent within the Republican Party. If the democrats can only find a
candidate to capitalize on this, we might actually usurp the Republicans.
Although I am pessimistic for the most part, I am still willing to
get my hopes up. I am willing to hope that as freedoms continue to be
stripped away, people will wake up and act to prevent the impending police
I am certainly glad to be affiliated with this electronic news forum,
and have the opportunity to speak out. These "Blows Against the Empire" are
something I treasure more and more.
It is vitally important to exercise our freedoms, lest the atrophy
and go away for ever.
THINK, ACT, VOTE...
REV. SCOTT FREE
SW Bell Rates
By: Biker Dude #7 @9361 [WWIV Net]
From: The Underground BBS [913-599-4136]
Well, the they are at it again! Here in Missouri SouthWestern Bell is going to
start charging business rates to all BBS', free and pay. This is wrong! I urge
you ALL, whether you are residents of Missouri, or not, to write and or call
your local Southwestern Bell, and the Missouri Southwestern Bell. I will post
the addresses at the end of this message. They have tried this several times
before, and failed. Let's make sure they never succeed at this! No matter where
you live, if they succeed in hiking BBS line rates here, they will soon move you
YOUR state, and the BBS community will no longer be free, but they
will all be PAY, or NONE at all!!! Call and/or write them, whether you live in
Missouri or not!
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company
100 North Tucker Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63101
Missouri Public Service Commission
P.O. Box 360
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Missouri Public Council
P.O. Box 7800
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Southwestern Bell of Missouri
1-572-1300 (Missouri 816-913)
Look on your phone bill for your local service number, and connect with the
complaint department. Good luck fellow modemers!
NIA & Phrack Magazine, & dFx International Digest Are Proud To Present:
The Second Annual
X M A S C O N
Who: All Hackers, Journalists, Security Personnel, Federal Agents, Lawyers,
Authors and Other Interested Parties.
Where: Houston Airport Hilton Inn
500 North Belt East
Houston, Texas 77060
Tel: (713) 931-0101
Fax: (713) 931-3523
When: Friday December 27 through Sunday December 29, 1991
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read it right... Xmascon has returned! This
will undoubtedly be the telecom event of the year. Unlike certain conferences
in the past, Xmascon 91 has a devoted and dedicated staff who are putting in
an unmentionable amount of time to ensure a large, vast and organized
collection of some of the most diversified people in the telecommunications
world. The event will be open to the public so that anyone may attend and
learn more about the different aspects of computer security.
The Houston Airport Hilton Inn is located about 6 miles from Intercontinental
Airport. The Xmascon group room rates are $49.00 plus tax (15%) per night,
your choice of either single or double. There are also 7 suites available,
the prices of which vary from $140 to $250. You can call the hotel to find
out the differences and availability of the suites, and you will also NEED to
tell them you are with the Xmascon Conference to receive the reduced room
rate, otherwise, you will be paying $69.00. There is no charge for children,
regardless of age, when they occupy the same room as their parents. Specially
designed rooms for the handicapped are available. The hotel provides free
transportation to and from the airport, as well as neighboring Greenspoint
Mall, every 30 minutes on the hour, and on call, if needed. There are 2
restaurants in the hotel. The Wicker Works is open until 11:00 pm, and The
Forty Love is open 24 Hours. There will also be breakfast, lunch and dinner
buffets each day. There is a piano bar, The Cycle Club, as well as a sports
bar, Chaps, which features numerous table games, large screen tv, and a disco
with a DJ. Within the hotel compound, there are 3 pools, 2 of which are
indoors, a jacuzzi, a miniature golf course, and a fully equipped health club
which features universal weights, a whirlpool and sauna. A car rental agency
is located in the hotel lobby, and you can arrange to pick your car up at
either the airport or the hotel. Xmascon attendees are entitled to a
discounted rate. Contact the hotel for more information.
Xmascon will last 3 days, with the main conference being held on Saturday,
December 28, in the Osage meeting room, starting at 12:00 p.m. and continuing
on throughout the evening. This year, we have our own complete wing of the
hotel, which is housed around a 3,000 square foot atrium ballroom. The wing
is completely separated from the rest of the hotel, so we are strongly
encouraging people to make their reservations as far in advance as possible
to ensure themselves a room within our area.
Why To Contact Us, And How To Do It
We are hoping to have a number of people speak on a varied assortment of
topics. If you would like to speak, please contact us as soon as possible and
let us know who you are, who you represent (if anyone), the topic you wish to
speak on, a rough estimate of how long you will need, and whether or not you
will be needing any audio-visual aids.
There will be a display case inside the meeting room which will hold items of
telecom interest. Specific items that will be available, or that we hope to
have, include the first issues of 2600, Tap, Mondo 2000, and other magazines,
non-computer related magazines that feature articles of interest, a wide
array of boxes, the Quaker Oats 2600 mhz whistle, The Metal AE, etc. We will
also have a VCR and monitor set up, so if you have any interesting videos
(such as the Unsolved Mysteries show featuring Kevin Poulsen), or if you have
anything you think people would enjoy having the chance to see, please let us
know ahead of time, and tell us if you will need any help getting it to the
conference. If all else fails, just bring it to the con and give it to us
when you arrive.
Media support has been very strong so far. Publications that have agreed to
print pre-conference announcements and stories include Computer World, Info
World, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Austin Chronicle, Houston
Chronicle, Independent Journal, Mondo 2000, CuD, Informatik, a leading
Japanese computer magazine, NME, Regeneration (Germany), and a few other
European based magazines. PBS stations WHNY, WNET, and KQED, as well as the
stations that carry their syndicated shows, will be mentioning the conference
also. If you are a journalist and would like to do a story on Xmascon 91, or
know someone who would, contact us with any questions you may have, or feel
free to use and reprint any information in this file.
If anyone requires any additional information, needs to ask any questions,
wants to RSVP, or would like to be added to the mailing list to receive the
Xmascon updates, you may write to either myself (Drunkfux), Judge Dredd, or
Lord Macduff via Internet at:
Or via US Mail at:
Hard Data Corporation
P.O. Box 60695
We will hopefully have an 800 mailbox before the next update is sent out. If
someone cares to donate a decent one, that will stay up throughout the end of
the year, please let us know. We should also be listing a few systems as an
alternative form of reaching us.
Xmascon 91 will be a priceless learning experience for professionals, and
gives journalists a chance to gather information and ideas direct from the
source. It is also one of the very few times when all the members of the
computer underground can come together for a realistic purpose. We urge
people not to miss out on an event of this caliber, which doesn't happen very
often. If you've ever wanted to meet some of the most famous people from the
hacking community, this may be your one and only chance. Don't wait to read
about it in all the magazines, and then wish you had attended, make your
plans to be there now! Be a part of our largest and greatest conference ever.
Remember, to make your reservations, call (713) 931-0101 and tell them you're
In closing... if you miss this one, you're only cheating yourself.
THE POWER USER'S GUIDE TO POWER USERS
By: Brad Templeton
Power Users never read their software manuals; instead they get
petty cash from their secretaries and use it to buy books which
contain the phrase "Power User" on the cover. They then keep the
receipt, to claim against tax.
Software manufacturers write their manuals badly, and in computerese,
in order to con Power Users into buying the manual ("XYZ for the
Power User!") a second time. This extra revenue compensates the
manufacturers somewhat for all the people who pirate their software
and then buy Power User Guides to replace the manuals they never
Power Users never read their "Power User's Guide to ..." books,
for the same reason they didn't read the software manuals in the
first place. They do however skim the first two chapters, in which
they make copious annotations (e.g. underlining phrases like "to get
a directory listing, type 'DIR C: '. Note do not type the
word '', or the quotes.")
Power Users get their companies to buy them 130MHz 80586 PS/4s with
100MB RAM and 5-gigabyte optical drives, which they bring home:
- to run Lotus 1-2-3G spreadsheets, producing PostScript graphs
of their mortgage repayments;
- to DTP stern memos forbidding their Real Programmers from using
unregistered shareware and PD utilities at work. For this task,
they get their computer upgraded with a 4096x4096, 12 billion colour
hyper-VGA video display, and the memo employs a minimum of seven
different fonts, plus bolding and italics, with at least five
revisions to correct spelling errors, and to order the Cc: list
in the most politically acceptable manner), and
- to play pirate copies of Tetris and PC-Golf which they haven't
realized are infected with a virus.
Power Users scold their children for referring to their machines as
personal computers. "It's NOT a PC, Jimmy, it's my Professional
Workstation, No Intergalactic Space Zombies for you tonight! Now, go
to your room!"
Power Users get an identically equipped PC at work, so they can do
the work they would do at home, if only ten-year-old Jimmy would stop
playing Intergalactic Space Zombies for five consecutive minutes. The
money for this PC comes out of the Real Programmers' software tools
budget for the next three years.
Having worked out their mortgage repayments for the next 100 years,
and having failed consistently to beat ten-year old Jimmy at
Intergalactic Space Zombies, Power Users never touch their computers
again; at work, they keep themselves occupied in meetings, so nobody
will see them staring blankly at their PC screen. Meanwhile, the Real
Programmers who work for them struggle by with aging IBM PCs (the
originals ones, with a grudgingly-added Tallgrass disk drives -
Rather than read their "Real Users Guide to..." books, Power Users
turn to their ten-year-old kids for technical advice ("yes, Jimmy,
I understand that, but how do I get the directory on the _D_ drive?")
Power Users get frustrated when they press the 'Print Screen' key and
nothing happens: they thump it a dozen times before realizing they've
left the printer off-line.
Power Users sneak their children in outside office hours to work out
why their spreadsheet figures don't add up and the Chairman's end-of-
quarter report is due tomorrow.
In a strange twist of human psychology, the ten-year-old children of
Power Users think that when they grow up, they'll become Real
Programmers and make shit loads of money writing a game better than
Intergalactic Space Zombies. (Sadly, they end up chugging out
accounting software for Power Users.)
Power Users could master any PC application, if only they could figure
out how to start it ("Uhhhm, it must be on this menu somewhere..".)
Power Users attend innumerable Power User courses, where they get a
set of loose-leaf binders of notes they never read (but whose titles
in genuine imitation gold leaf look impressive beside the "Power
User's Guide to..." books which now accumulate a thick layer of dust
on the shelf). They also drink a lot, and commiserate with each other
how their Real Programmer subordinates are a bunch of overpaid,
long-haired layabouts who can't be coerced into wearing shirts and
ties, never mind a suit; and of course to swap Power Techniques like
how to format a 360k disk in a 1.2MB drive and thus get more than 360k
of data onto it ("I'll have my secretary call IBM Technical Support
about all the bad sector things I'm getting on this disk.")
Power Users carry a pocket calculator for working out the cell values
in their Lotus spreadsheets ("Um, I guess I didn't get to the section
on formulas yet in my 'Power Users Guide to Lotus 1-2-3'".)
Power Users think "Your computer is stoned" is part of the DOS copyright
The ten-year-old children Power Users mischievously stick pieces of
cheese into every crevice of their parent's mouse, not realizing that
this causes testicular problems later in life (for the MOUSE, twit!).
Power Users don't think that last joke was funny.
Power Users get their secretaries to call IBM Technical Support to fix
their defective mouse, because they're too embarrassed to asked any of
their Real Programmer subordinates how to open it to remove the cheese.
When nobody is looking, Power Users pretend their mouse is a toy car,
and race it around the desk.
Power Users keep a large box of tissues on their desk to wipe the
saliva off the screen after playing Test Drive (BRRRRRM! BRRRRRM!)
Power Users can't figure out how to make their modems stop auto-answering,
so they always lunge on their phone when it rings in an effort to beat it.
They're never fast enough, and spend the first 30 seconds of the
conversation apologizing, while the modem auto-ranges, and they
earnestly promise that they'll have their secretary call IBM Technical
Support to have the problem rectified.
Power Users panic when they lose those dumb keyboard templates that
come with programs like Turd Perfect (which are too brain-dead to have
a decent user interface). They invariably mix up the templates when
switching between programs.
Power Users have problems with Windows, when they have two or more
applications running, but room for only one keyboard template.
Power Users buy those dumb mice that have a nearly full ASCII keyboard
built-in to them ("Swiss Army Mouse (tm)").
Power Users believe computer salesmen.
Power Users will buy ANY program that makes wild promises on the box
about increasing productivity. These boxes always look impressive on
the bookshelf, beside the "Power User" books and course notes.
Power Users use MicroJerk ProjectMeister to schedule their wife's
pregnancy, and get confused when they can't work out how to assign
tasks and set milestones. They try to persuade the obstetrician to
induce labour when she's late.
Power Users unreservedly believe their MicroJerk ProjectMeister when
it says the project will be complete at 5pm on the last Friday in
September next year, but eighteen months later, they won't believe the
Real Programmer who says it'll be done "Real Soon Now (tm)".
Power Users believe the ads for 4GLs and Application Generator
packages, and think that in two weeks they'll be able to fire all
their Real Programmers. (Ha ha ha... remember "The Last One"?)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank