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2600

OUR FIRST THREE CONFERENCES ARE NOW ENTIRELY DIGITIZED
15 May 2019, 12:01 pm

This isn't a huge news story but we felt it was worthy of note. As part of our overall digitization project, our team of archivists have finished the thankless task of making all of the recorded talks from our first three conferences available on flash drives and downloadable MP4s for the very first time. Previously, they were only available as DVDs and on YouTube, with all of the baggage that service brings with it. Now you can have the highest quality, fully copyable files to do with as you please. No restrictions. (Please be aware that our video skills at the time were rudimentary at best so some of these videos might be best described as studies in how far we've come.)

HOPE (1994) flash drives and downloadable MP4s

Beyond HOPE (1997) flash drives and downloadable MP4s

H2K (2000) flash drives and downloadable MP4s

We hope to continue this project to cover the remaining three conferences. At present, nine out of our 12 conferences have been published in these formats. You can explore all of what's available here and on YouTube (with their restrictions and limitations).


NEW 'Off The Wall' ONLINE
14 May 2019, 5:55 pm

NEW 'Off The Wall' ONLINE

Posted 15 May, 2019 0:55:54 UTC

The new edition of Off The Wall from 14/05/2019 has been archived and is now available online.


2600 DENIED ACCESS TO U.K. STORES DUE TO FEAR OF "NEGATIVE PUBLICITY"
8 May 2019, 8:04 am

As many of you are aware, it has become increasingly difficult to survive in the publishing world. Digitization of media is one challenge that magazines can either embrace or fight. The perception that people are reading less these days is also cause for concern. And the decline of bookstores due to large chains moving in and then shutting down is another ominous trend.

It's that latter circumstance that has hurt us the most. (We're continuing to expand our digital options and we find that our readers are reading more than ever, so the first two aren't threats to us.) When people can't find us in the retail stores that remain, that's a big problem.

Earlier this year, we started the process of adding 2600 to stores throughout the United Kingdom at the request of many of our readers. Previously, we were prominently displayed on shelves throughout the country. As referenced above, many chains that carried us (such as Borders and Virgin Megastore) are no longer around. Since then, the distributor environment has become significantly more hostile to publishers, requiring new fees for the privilege of being stocked, a majority of the sale price to go to the store and distributor, and exorbitant delivery charges to be borne by the publisher. Despite all of this, we felt we owed it to our many readers in the U.K. to at least try to survive in this marketplace.

This Tuesday, we got our hands on a letter from a representative from Seymour Distribution Ltd. to our American distributor with reasons why we were being denied consideration. We reproduce it below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The rational for taking any import title is based
on the following criteria:

1) What is the possible sales volume we can achieve
based upon the business plan of the publisher.
This includes above and below the line marketing
plan, the UK cover price and the quality of the
publication compared to others in the market place.

2) Is the subject matter likely to cause any
negative publicity or consumer complaints.  Is the
magazine compliant with all aspects of UK Law.

In the event of point 2 some retailers such as
WH Smith High Street, our largest retailer of
specialist goods have in the contract they can
charge the publisher per complaint and fine the
publisher up to £10,000 plus any cost they may
incur on recalling the title such they decide
this is necessary.

In this circumstance, based upon the content
being such that it may cause complaints we
decline your offer of distribution.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We see this as a very ominous development. Where once we were able to be displayed in stores, now we're barred due to concern over controversy. As the above letter shows, there is no concern over potential sales figures or reader interest. Those have not changed. What has changed is the diversity and level of speech that is now permitted in United Kingdom bookstores. This is not just about us. It affects anyone who dares to publish even slightly controversial material. We have no doubt this policy has already had a chilling effect on many publications and is in no small part leading to their reduction. After all, if people can't see the magazines, how do they know they even exist?

We apologize to our readers in the U.K. for our failure to return to bookstores in your country. We ask that you spread this information widely so that people are aware of the restrictions affecting your freedom to read material of your choice. And, of course, you can always subscribe. They haven't (yet) figured out a way to stop that.

For now, we are focusing on strengthening our U.S. distribution so that something similar doesn't happen here. The help and support of our readers will be invaluable in these efforts.

 


CIRCLE OF HOPE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE - MANY BLACKLISTED BY GOOGLE
24 April 2019, 10:35 am

We've finally gotten around to uploading and processing The Circle of HOPE videos for YouTube. They sure didn't make it easy.

Even the tiniest snippet of something that Google's system flagged needed to be dealt with. That's why there are occasional audio and/or visual gaps to keep videos from being blocked entirely. For the most part, you can now relive the speaker sections of our most recent conference. For the completely untouched versions, we offer downloads, flash drives, and DVDs.

While working on this project, we discovered yet another level of judgment we were subjected to by Google. A number of our videos were deemed "not suitable for most advertisers." Let's be clear: we only monetize our videos so we can learn more about how their system works. In reality, we make next to nothing from their ads, just like nearly everyone else on YouTube. (They really don't like it when people reveal this, but it happens to be the truth.)

So with the information we've gained here, we can get a sense as to what Google's algorithm finds to be "objectionable" content. While this is a handy tool in discovering what are probably the better videos in our collection, it also serves as a reminder that, while advertising may be what's blocked today, the actual content could be blocked in the future. That's how labeling and censorship tends to work.

We've added text to each affected video's description as a badge of honor, and we're also listing them below. So far we've found that the videos Google doesn't like are ones with curse words in the title, any mention of terrorism or drugs, and, for some reason, a number of privacy talks. A bunch of talks with "hack" in the title were flagged, but not all of them. In addition, any talk that deals with sex was flagged, including one that Google decided to forbid for anyone under 18 (without notifying us). So we see that the actual blocking of content referenced above is already being undertaken. And we suspect the flagging is also triggered by actual content, not simply the titles.

There are also some true mysteries. We have no idea why the second half of Steve Wozniak's keynote address was flagged, nor do we have a clue as to what was objectionable about a talk dealing with depression in the geek community.

In total, we were flagged 66 times. We've linked to each of the "advertiser-unfriendly" talks below and extend our congratulations to the presenters for reaching this milestone. We can make this a fun project and try and figure out together just what it was that triggered Google in each of these talks. Please send your comments to our letters section.

And don't forget to enjoy the videos!

HOPE'S Hall of Google Shame

The Circle of HOPE (2018)

 

The Eleventh HOPE (2016)

 

HOPE X (2014)

 

HOPE Number Nine (2012)

 

The Next HOPE (2010)

 

The Last HOPE (2008)

 

HOPE Number Six (2006)

 

The Fifth HOPE (2004)

 

H2K2 (2002)

 

H2K (2000)

 

Beyond HOPE (1997)

 

Hackers On Planet Earth (1994)

 


SHORTWAVE VERSION OF "OFF THE HOOK" POSTED
23 April 2019, 11:58 am

We just uncovered an old tape that was lying around which contains a bit of a treasure. (Thanks to listener Brandon from Cincinnati who sent this to us over ten years ago.) Back in 2008, our weekly radio show was also broadcast on shortwave station WBCQ in Monticello, Maine. Now you can hear what our January 9, 2008 show sounded like on shortwave. This will likely only appeal to people who appreciate the history of shortwave, but we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to hear this. Click on this link to stream or download this show.

 


SPRING ISSUE OF 2600 RELEASED
9 April 2019, 8:50 am

As the birds, plants, and insects begin to emerge, it becomes clear that Spring is once more in the air. But what really makes the season complete is the appearance of the Spring issue of 2600, which has just come out. If you're a subscriber, then you likely already know this. If you're not, it's really easy to become one - just click here and issues will start to come your way. You can also find 2600 in many bookstores and magazine stands. But it doesn't end there - you can also become a digital subscriber! Our Kindle subscription is available in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition, you can get digital subscriptions worldwide via Google Play and the Barnes and Noble Nook. There are all kinds of methods to get digital issues - just visit our digital edition guide to see them all. And enjoy the spring weather!

 


VOLUME 22 OF THE HACKER DIGEST RELEASED
4 March 2019, 12:41 pm

Volume 22 of The Hacker Digest is now out. If you're a lifetime digital subscriber, you will have already received this edition. Volume 22 is comprised of issues from 2005. We had a fun continuing theme on that year's covers involving a mysterious metallic case traveling throughout the world. We had no shortage of material to focus upon. There was a seemingly non-ending supply of bad laws and legislation all around the world. And we saw a connection. “The element of fear that is constantly bombarding us is the best thing that could have happened to those who want more control, more surveillance, and a crackdown on dissent.”

You can click here to buy Volume 22 or become a lifetime digital subscriber here. If you do the latter, you will receive digital copies of everything we have published to date, plus everything that we publish in the future. We have now digitized 32 out of our 35 years.

If you also want paper copies, we have a special offer here. And if you're an existing paper lifetime subscriber who wants to upgrade to digital at a discounted rate, just click here.

 


WINTER ISSUE OF 2600 RELEASED
17 January 2019, 8:25 am

As the dead of winter sets in, we're glad we can warm things up a bit with the release of our Winter issue. If you're a subscriber, you've probably had it in your hands for a few days. If you're not a subscriber, please stop kicking yourself - it's easy to become one! Just click here. If you've got a Kindle, it's super easy to become a digital subscriber. There are currently options for U.S. and U.K. subscriptions that will have an issue in your hands within seconds! We also have options for Google Play and the Nook from anywhere. (They have been slow to add the new issue so please give them a nudge if you use their services.) To see ALL of the digital options we currently have, visit our digital edition guide.


VOLUME 21 OF THE HACKER DIGEST RELEASED
6 December 2018, 4:11 pm

Volume 21 of The Hacker Digest is now out. If you're a lifetime digital subscriber, you will have already received this edition. Volume 21 is comprised of issues from 2004, our 20th anniversary and a year where we embraced propaganda, at least on all of our covers. It was a time of soul searching in the hacker community, the year of The Fifth HOPE, and a changing country.

You can click here to buy Volume 21 or become a lifetime digital subscriber here. If you do the latter, you will receive digital copies of everything we have published to date, plus everything that we publish in the future. We have now digitized 31 out of our 34 years.

If you also want paper copies, we have a special offer here. And if you're an existing paper lifetime subscriber who wants to upgrade to digital at a discounted rate, just click here.

 


THE CIRCLE OF HOPE DVDS ARE OUT
25 October 2018, 3:03 am

We know there are still some of you out there who continue to use DVDs, so we've been hard at work for months to make sure our DVD archive of this summer's Circle of HOPE conference is worthy of your collection. From designing fresh menus on each disc to ensuring that every moment of sound and picture is at its best, this has really been a labor of love and insanity on our part. And the icing on the cake is the new pricing structure we've introduced storewide - ALL of our HOPE DVDs now cost a third of what they did prior to this announcement!

Each DVD is non-DRM and can be copied freely and played in any region of the planet Earth.

Click here for The Circle of HOPE DVDs.

Click here for The Circle of HOPE Full Set.

Click here to start perusing ALL of our DVDs from each of our twelve conferences. (You can select individual conferences on the left.)

Have you sworn off DVDs entirely? You can get digital copies in full HD by downloading or by getting the entire conference on two thumb drives!

 


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