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Why I Left Hak.5


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Originally I had decided that I wasn't going to write this, but after reading some of the things that are being said I decided it was a good idea to set things straight. Much of the Hak.5 community, particularly those who are active with feedback and in the IRC channel, is familiar with the fact that I left the show. However, not everyone got the story correctly, and I have to laugh at times, because it has become apparent that multiple stories are getting combined and mixed. It sort of reminds me of that old game that was played in grade school, where something is whipered into the ear of a person proceding a chain of others. Once the message gets passed through a few people, it is completely different. I think the remaining crew, as well as Jon, and myself will probably be able to sit a bit easier when I put some of these stories at rest.

Also, it is very important for me to note that I am by no means speaking for Jon. I will say just a few short things regarding Jon. Jon has also left the show as many of you know. He and I did leave for a few of the same reasons that I will discuss a bit later in this writing; however, we also had different reasons for leaving the show. If he decides to make a post and discuss his reasons, then so be it. But until that happens, do not accept my reasons for leaving as Jon's reasons. Jon and I are very close, and we both agree that it is best that neither of us speak for the other regarding this issue. With that said, I will begin listing the reasons that ultimately contributed to my decision to leave the show. I will list and explain these reasons in no particular order of presidence.

First, between work and school I am just too damn busy. This past semester has been running me ragged, and I find that most of my time is spent in class or studying outside of class. I was also put on a new development project at work. Not only that, but none of the developers actually know how to make this thing work, so we have all been working overtime to figure it out. On the weekends, when I used to film Hak.5, I am now traveling out of town and working 10 hour days. Between school and work, it's a safe estimate to say that I am running 75-80 hour weeks. On top of it, I like to dedicate a certain amount of my personal time to reading and research things that interest me, including digital security and such. Last summer and throughout my first semester of college it was much easier to leverage my time for Hak.5. Of course, none of us knew exactly what it would turn into, and how much time it would require. I would love to say that Hak.5 is one of my priorities, but it just simply is not. I am more concerned about finishing up my degree, and my job is helping me to build a career when I graduate. I must put these things before all else for the time being.

Second, I am not an entertainer. I know this is a strange statement for me to be making, so I'll give a bit of background as to what I mean by this. When I started on Hak.5, it was simply as a guest. I had something to offer, and Darren and Wess thought it would be cool to put it in the show. Based on the great response to the segment in episode 3 about arp cache poisoning, they invited me back on the show to demonstrate another protocol exploit, in which I demonstrated a rather popular method for performing a man in the middle attack to break SSL. This had even better response. Darren and Wess decided that they wanted me on the show as a permanent crew member, and I gladly accepted their offer. I had something to offer the show, and people seemed to really enjoy watching it. I had no idea the kind of response I would get from simply being on the show. Before I knew it I was recieving an enourmous amount of email, as well as meeting lots of cool new people who instant messaged me. I absolutely loved the attention, even though I was not doing anything ground breaking, but simply demonstrating other people's research. However, in the past 10 months or so, I have become very active in the security community. I have met a lot of great contacts, and have also started working on a few security (or "ethical hacking") projects on the side. These projects will probably become public in the future. In the past two months, I have not had anything to offer Hak.5. Sure, I could demonstrate one of the many little hacks I learn on a daily basis from reaidng books and white papers, but I don't feel that I honestly have anything to offer. I want to be known for my work, and not as an entertainer. Yes, it is true that I may be back on Hak.5 for episodes in the future, but it is only if I have something genuine to offer. Or something that I feel is cool enough to demonstrate to people regardless of the fact that it may not be my own research. When I initially told Darren that I wanted to leave the show for a while, he asked me if I would come on simply to act as a "watson" in a segment, because as he said, I am a Hak.5 "personality". Part of me really enjoys the fact that some people like my personality on camera. However, the majority of me would rather be known for my work, and my personality would just come along with it. I don't want to be an entertainer.

Next, as I mentioned earlier I have been working actively in the security field, but most of the things I have been working on are not suitable for Hak.5. Some of my work has been under non-disclosure agreements, and my other projects are simply too large to demonstrate at this point in time without requiring 30 - 45 minutes for one segment, in order to properly explain the topics. In the future, when some of these projects get finished up, it will be much easier to explain the finished product in a 5 minute shoot, but for now there is just no way to work them into a segment.

Now, many of you that have been active in IRC and know me on a personal basis may be wondering why this sounds watered down. Well, it is true, there was indeed some disagreements between the Hak.5 crew, but I wanted to first describe some of the other reasons why I left, that are equally, if not more important than the reasons that I am about to explain.

Hak.5 has grown enormously since it's first episode. The number of viewers each month is something that none of us could have expected. Certainly not Darren and Wess, who have been fronting the cash for the servers and bandwidth out of their pockets. In fact, the traffic Hak.5 has been recieving is so outrageous, that it was obvious we needed to do something in order to leverage the cost of the show. After many discussions, we all decided that it was a good idea to go forth with a legal production company. We were going to incorporate Hak.5 under a different name and begin to take sponsors and advertisers. This was not because we wanted to make money, but because none of us are rich, and we simply can not afford to run the show out of our pockets. Darren and Wess have spent a large amount of money on the show. The amount of money that is required to do the show is increasing. And it's increasing faster than any of our salaries is. I predict that on a year's timeline from today, the show will be completely unmanagable based on the increase in popularity that we have seen since the beginning of the show. Something must be done. Now, I realize that many people may consider this selling out, however you must consider the position that Darren and Wess are now in. And you must consider whether or not you would rather continue to have a free show, or not have a show at all. I tried to contribute money when I could. As well as trying to help out with equipment costs, simply making the commute and taking off time from work to film the show was costing me. Now, by no means did I ever contribute anywhere close to the amount of money that Darren and Wess put into the show, but I tried to help out when I could. We felt that the decision to create a company was the only reasonable choice. But that decision also came with unforeseen consequences. Having been in the business world since high school, and dealing with large companies, I knew that certain things were going to be different, and new responsibilities were going to develop. We all split up certain tasks, such as accounting, etc. For a while it seemed like this was going to work. However, within a few weeks we began to realize that it would be very difficult to work this way for the simple fact that our protocol for operating needed to change. For example, decisions that could possibly affect the show's viewers, and consequently revenue, needed to be made by all of the active parters. The simple task of writing a post on the website had to be considered, because in order to run a successful business all things must be considered, and a new level of trust had to be reached. Because we had operated originally with no intent on running a business, there were certain tasks engrained in our minds that had to be changed. We attempted to work around these issues, but they began to eat at us. There was indeed one particular moment the finally broke the camel's back. A decision was made that could have, and may have, drastically effected viewership. Unfortunately that decision was not made by the entire crew. Because of this, I had to ask myself whether or not I could honestly put my name on a business that was going to be managed the way that it appeared things would be run. The ultimate decision was obviously that I no longer wanted any part in the Hak.5 business. This does not mean that I am no longer friends with Darren and Wess, as many of the rumors have stated. In fact, because of the show Wess, Darren, and I became much closer. I would like to particularly note the fact that Wess and I were barely friends before the show, and now I consider him as close as a brother.

There are a few more things that I have to point out. After the show started, it became an obsession. It was the only thing we talked about. It didn't matter if we were on set filming, or at the Corner Pocket playing pool, the only thing we ever talked about. Darren and I had been enganged in other cool little projects before starting the show, but for some reason the show was taking over our lives and our conversations. I wanted to go back to the way we felt before the show, when we talked about kick ass hacks and mods without referring to the show. Since I left the show, it seems like we have become friends again, and are not treating each other like business partners. I want this to continue, even if I do come back on the show as a guest in the future.

I would like to conclude this by saying that Darren and Wess had a great show before Jon and I joined, and I think they have a great show without us. There has been a lot of discussion floating around various places online about whether or not Hak.5 is "dead" or "losing ground", etc. I fully expect the show to continue to get better as I feel it has been for quite some time. I think that people grew to expect certain things from Hak.5, and feel let down when things change and they don't see what they are expecting. For example, when Jon and I dissapeared upon the release of episode 7, some of the community seemed to be torn and may have felt like they had to take sides. This is by no means true. I wish Darren and Wess my best with the show, and I don't want anyone to think that I am enemies with them, or some other nonsense. I don't honestly know what the show's future holds, but if you feel like the show has been a bit different for the past two episodes, then stick with em and don't give up. Darren and Wess have had to undergo a serious burden without the help of Jon or I, and that is a very difficult thing to do. I'm sure that some kick ass content will be coming out soon, but in the meantime keep in mind that they are still making their release schedule, and still providing entertainment for free. Feedback was always encouraged in order to make the show better, but constructive criticism is always better than downright negative comments. Darren and Wess are working very hard to put together a good show, so make sure to give them the credit they deserve regardless of the changes that have been made in the show.

I'm sorry for the novel, but I wanted to be sure that I cleared up all the rumors that have been leaving many skeptical on the situation. Thanks for all the support that was given by much of the community. And I'm particularly greatfull to Darren and Wess for giving me the chance to be on their kick ass show. I've met a lot of cool people that I would not have met had I not been on the show. Thanks guys, I hope this puts some of those nasty conversations at rest.

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Thanks for clearing things up. Its just, you guys make a good team. We have Darren with networking, and such ~ Wess with Mods and physical projects ~ Harrison with Exploits, security ~ and Jon with coding....You all just make one good show together, A good varity in all things geek. Although I will miss those segments, Darren and Wess are still coming out with awesome releases without those segments in place!

Keep up the good work.

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It is definitely sad that you and Jon will no longer be taking part in the show on a regular basis. I am glad to see you have left your end open for a occasional return appearance and hope to see you involved again someday. I think hak.5 has had some of the best content available since day one, in both entertainment value and bringing things to light that many of us would have otherwise never been the wiser, had it not been for everyone’s contributions.

All ventures have growing pains when you try to take something fun and turn it into work. Sometimes all you need is to do is step away for a while to see what you’ve given up. In this case I am glad you have left on good terms before there was irreparable damage done to the friendships you have grown, and that there is the possibility of a return. I can only hope the same can be said for Jon, his segments were also great contributions to the show.

Wess and Darren have done a remarkable job keeping things on track and together in spite of the underlying drama that we can only speculate about from afar. I hope all is well in both houses and wish it wasn’t a whole damn month before the next release lol

You will be missed while you’re gone, and I am sure I speak on behalf of quite a large section of the fans.

Jake B aka Da-Chia

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Well we all basicly in our mind's inserted jhon and alli and harrison into the show. THe show strated with Wess and Darren. And when in eps 3 I saw harrison im like who is that?? is that Wess with long hair? Then Jhon came in kinda quietly. And witht he additino of alli, all of the sudent he name hak [5] made snece. hak5 had 5 people. WHen alli left, we didnt really speculate abotu a dead show right. It was fine for the like 3-4 episodes wthat it was the 4 of them. We just freaked, because there was and still is a veiwer group that see harrison as pratly the host of Hak5. THis is not true, while he is a crew member (was) he was really always jsut kinda thw episode 3 harrison the funny guy that taought us Cain&Abel.. And I agree with Harrison, that people loved him, not because of the connet of his segmants, but becuase of the presentation of them. He could be talking about a peacie of shit he found in his trash can and people would still listen in amazment.

It's alot leik Kevin Rose, that Im sure most of you know about. He's not REALLY a huge techy, hes an intertainer. Same with Alex Albracht, he is just an entertainer. THey are jsut ont he technical side. But to the old Tech tv TSS audiance, Kevin ROse is like GOD., where everything he says peole stare with open jaws.

I can totalty see why harrison didn't like being jsut another star on (IP) TV. But, now I could be wrong but it seames that alli is back. I mean I'm just gonna go with a pointer (pun) back to episode what was it 4 or 5 where alli left. I don't think it was this much comotion (mostly because alli wasnt the biggest part of hak.5 (no offenct to alli). But all the sudden, Harrison and Jon leave and people think its the appocolips. I am gonna disagree with Harrison abotu one thing. Unfortuanly, the show has lost about leik 10-15% of it's viewers. Mostly beacuse first of all we had the "we only liek harrison" group who, when harrison left, left as whell. BUt also we had those "I live on ur forums" people that left when the forums died. I was actully for a fresh start on the forums. WHipe the slates clean (but have an archive if u REALLY need the post). Im usre liek 50% of the forum subscribed users ar Dead (in the figuratiive term).

We simply have to rember that Harrison will always be the funny long haired guy, that tought us of Cain&Abel, and madeus laugh with his jokes. As for jon, and by no means am I speakign for ANYONE but me, but I never realyl saw him as a huge part of the show. He was leik the episode 3 harrison in my mind, a guest that wasnt really a host. I guess thats cuz he was NEVER in ANY of the talkign between segamants parts of the show. He had his segmant like every other guest and that was it. Harrison jsut became a part of hak5 and will be missed. I hope that Harrison can still bring his share of the Hak5 team back, even if it isn''t every episode. Although this way we might apreaciate harrison's segmants alot more.

As for Hak.5 beign dead, it jsut seams leik that. We lost 2 hosts, and our forums in the same month. The only communication source left was IRC, and sence u cnat save posts on IRC, it apeared desertaed expet for sertain times of the day. I have to give props for Darren and Wess, fo really keepign it together these 2 forumless months. Realseing on time, with good content and not foldign on the presure or "taking a break" like many shows do when they are swampt. I think this is waht saved Hak5, was the fat that we had an epsode 7 and episode 8 and they were good despite the HUGE problems bothe behind the sence, and in front.

I woudl just leik to conclue this HUGE rant with the fact that we will miss Harrison and Jon, liek we missed Alli when she left. And I hope they still pop up hear and there. Hopefully they might change thier minds and come back, but even if they dont, it realyl is Darrens and wess's show.

P.S. since when are we a corprate company?? I didn't know we turned into a buisness. This seams to be the common killer of IPTV, the lack of Capita, and the crazy bandwith bills everymonth. I think once there is found a descreate advertisment method for money in IPTV then the last rope holding it back will break, and it will reach full mian stream. BUt had Hak5 considered doign advertisments. I mean leik "this segmant is sponser by..." I mean, at first when one show did that people booed and holared. But liek everyone does it, commandn, twit, diggnation... and the list goes on and on. It seames to be the rule of liefe, the bigger you are, the harder it is tto "stay afloat" both with you audiance and with ur wallet


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Haha, man of course. I'm still gonna hang around and be part of the community. I'll be on IRC every once in a while and AIM as well. I have gotten more busy so you may see less of me, but I don't want to lose any of the friends I have made through the show.

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  • 5 years later...

Hey Harrison, really enjoy your part of the show, and it's disappointing that you left. I'm from Ireland and currently on season 3! You better make a few appearances in the following series that I haven't watched yet..

You do realize this thread is from 2006?!? No?

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You do realize this thread is from 2006?!? No?

Probably not... Shouldn't this thread be locked since its too old.

Edited by Infiltrator
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