For 40 years, since "The Story of Mel" was published (May 21st 1983), the existence of the hacking legend Mel Kaye was in doubt. Until today. We found his final resting place, which unfolds the life and work of the Mel (Melvin) Kaye (Kornitzky), who hacked a blackjack game for the LGP-30 and RPC-4000 some 70 years ago, in Glendale, Los Angeles. The article "Mel Kaye – CV" is published on the Mel's Loop project website, which is dedicated to hacker folklore research, and to the research of The Story of Mel in specific.
TL;DR: On this date 39 years ago The Story of Mel was published on Usenet by its author. Today, we launch Mel’s Loop project (https://melsloop.com), with some fascinating details about the epic hacker folklore tale, its characters' biographies and origins! [more inside]
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An update on what we've been up to at The Media Show, including an interview with the head of punk label Kill Rock Stars and arguing with a puppet version of Richard Stallman. [more inside]
In February of 2012, I was in Helsinki traveling with Rachel Lovinger when I was contacted by long time goon Russ Rogers. His question was simple: since DEFCON was coming up on the 20th anniversary, and I had been both an attendee and director of several technology-based documentaries, would I be interested in doing a documentary on DEFCON and its 20th year? I said I needed to think about it, but I really didn't have to think that long. A year and a half later, I put the finishing touches on a two hour movie and an hour of bonus footage, having spent the previous 18 months planning, shooting, organizing, editing, and just generally living this movie day in and day out. While we weren't able to cover every last aspect of DEFCON (and who really could?) I think you'll find there's something for everyone in the movie. It was done out of love And respect for this incredible event, I hope it brings a whole new appreciation of the special event DEFCON has every year. [more inside]
Just thought I'd keep MeFites updated on the progress of The Media Show, my show on media literacy, as people seem to have been interested in past episodes. We recently posted an episode on health claims in advertisements, as well as a more thoughtful meditation on whether recent ads using the Muppets violated the spirit in which Jim Henson created them. Earlier this year we made two videos on what it means to be a hacker, one with TV-B-Gone inventor Mitch Altman and one with 2600 editor Emmanuel Goldstein. And we're also particularly proud of our episode on how important spelling is online -- titled Syntax Terror -- which is a riff on a the old Kermit The Frog Tee Shirt sketch from Sesame Street and features the vocal stylings of MeFi's Own Yoz. Enjoy, and let me know if you end up using any of these with your students!