Help from Redmond - I'm sure they didn't REALLY mean it.

If you lack a sense of humor (that is, a sarcastic, cynical one like mine) please accept my apology for the following rant.




I’ve been ramping up……..


The support from co-workers for my upcoming Black Belt Web cast Series has been great over-all. I’ve tried to open up communications so that any MS group that wanted input or inclusion from their area of responsibility would get it.


Though many have been wonderfully supportive, a couple of Program Managers, when given the opportunity to participate - offered, not strategic advice about the Series, but rather “vocabulary” complaints about the email invitation to the events, saying that the use of the word “Hacker” relative to software threat is “wrong” and I must use “attacker” universally.  


I guess I shouldn’t be angry – less than constructive feedback is common everywhere. Right ?


And anyway, I’m just an insignificant – peon developer geek in New England (which must mean I’m not smart enough to get a job in Redmond) ….. Right ????


Anyway – I sought the advice of a number of vastly accepted English Language References, some of the results are below.


Turns out most of the Non-Program Manager, English Speaking world, accepts the use of the word hacker as usable in this context.


I hope you’ll tune in to the web casts.


For clarity’s sake…. I’ll be talking about bad people, doing bad things, to your computers (sorry, to the data and programs running on your computers) that are bad for your business.)


…. And I’ll try not to be quite this sarcastic……..




ENCARTA (Published by MICROSOFT!!!) SAYS…...


hack·er [ hák?r ] (plural hack·ers)




1. computing somebody accessing another’s computer: somebody who uses computer expertise to gain unauthorized access to a computer system belonging to another, either to learn about


The Cambridge Advanced Learning Dictionary says……..



hack (COMPUTING)   [Show phonetics]

verb [I usually + adverb or preposition]

to get into someone else's computer system without permission in order to find out information or do something illegal:

Computer hacking has become very widespread over the last decade.

A programmer had managed to hack into some top-secret government data.


hacker   [Show phonetics]

noun [C] (ALSO computer hacker)

someone who hacks into other people's computer systems says…..


hack·er1    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (hkr)

n. Informal


2.) One who uses programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file. says…..


(Pronunciation Key)hack·er1  Listen: [ hkr ]

n. Informal


One who uses programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file.


Merriam Webster on line says .....


Main Entry: hack·er

Pronunciation: 'ha-k&r

Function: noun

1 : one that hacks

4 : a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system

the system or to examine its data


Infoplease says….


Computers Slang.
a. a computer enthusiast.
b. a microcomputer user who attempts to gain unauthorized access to proprietary computer systems. says …..

person who obtains unauthorized access to computer files

Webopedia says….

Among professional programmers, depending on how it used, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it is developing an increasingly derogatory connotation. The pejorative sense of hacker is becoming more prominent largely because the popular press has coopted the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data