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Hak5: Viewership & Community


moonlit
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Prompted by http://forums.hak5.org/index.php/topic,187...0.html#msg90180, I thought it'd be interesting to ask a few questions to the community...

Who do you think Hak.5 (the show) is aimed at?

Who do you think it should be aimed at?

Do you think the show hits the viewers you think it's aiming for?

What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

Where would you like to see the show going?

Also I thought it'd be interesting to get opinions on not only the show, but the community. Now granted, there are several areas of the community which are independent of each other, but I'm not sure that matters too much for this thread. Anyway, to the point...

What do you think of the community as a whole?

What do you think might improve it?

Do you think it links in with the show it sprang from well? Do you think it should do?

Do you think the crew/cast of the show should get more or less involved? Is the balance fine as it is?

I'm asking this as a community member not as a crew member (because I'm not one) and while I can't say this thread would have any effect on the show, I'm curious as to what people really think. No holds barred, no candy-coating, just say what you feel.

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Ok I know I don't come here to much but here goes. the show was cool when the guys were going to coffee shops and showing what can be done and messing with peoples stuff, now they got a set and want to be a real show and mainstream and since when is “hacking” mainstream. Drink beer, smoke weed and mess around with your friends, sounds like fun to me. The last few episodes I haven't watched in full yet, will get to it eventually.

The forums themselves are kind of boring now because whenever I come here there is no new threads to read and laugh at how people are being made fun off. yes I know why don't i start a thread, maybe i don't want to get called a noob or maybe if I have a question about say Ubuntu I will go to Ubuntu forums, questions on Samba I will hit samba forums.

What I think would be cool is if we could post as guest which would give people more courage to answer questions even if they are wrong.  Probably thinking I don't make any sense but yah that’s my 2 cents.

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Who do you think Hak.5 (the show) is aimed at?

For one, its no longer Hak.5 the show has (de)evolved to Hak5. It is at present aimed at people wanting to pwn their school and rock out to Guitar Hero. Basically, go to the USB Hacks forum, thats the audience; the average 13-14 year old gamer who likes to talk major shit about people on whilst playing on Xbox Live, and want to fuck up someone's computer to laugh in their face without understanding what they are doing, or how they are doing it, yet alone devoting time to anything helpful or constructive in any sense of the words. They are the people that you would see kicking the shit out of your friends in Junior High just because of a different position in the microcosm; something I am never happy with and something that makes me rethink coming back here every day.

Who do you think it should be aimed at?

I think the show should be aimed at who it originally was aimed at, the hacker; the tech enthusiast; the geek. Those people that would be willing to help you if you asked a (constructive) question; those people you would want to meet up with later and start a club with; those people that would selflessly set up projects and services for the community at which they resided simply because they thought it would be fun for everyone and a great learning experience for all those who wanted to gain information. I always have looked for people who share my interests and want to help me to do something with my time to improve myself and surroundings, however I do not think that this place is able to do that anymore.

Do you think the show hits the viewers you think it's aiming for?

I think the show does hit who its targeting, I see and eliminate countless threads regarding breaking into computers, and people requesting applications that will pwn a box in seconds without realizing just what is going on. Every time I see a new registered account, I hope theres a change for differentiation, but day after day its the same story, degrading and decaying just a little more as time goes by.

What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

I want cool segments again, frankly. Case modding, network tricks, controlling your lights over the internet, etc. I'd trade the awesome look and editing of season three for the content that anyone can find in season one in a heart beat. However, it is said that you must be the change that you want to see. As much as I try to make a change, there can never be a strong enough uprising within the existence of the autocracy, the central government completely devoid of civilian and even higher-ranked opinion, left to toil in its own muddy while as it slowly shifts to cater itself and itself only while main focus becomes lacking and the mutation so morose that it does not even like itself.

Where would you like to see the show going?

I want what some may call a self-defeating change; a change which forces the show to go years backwards to a time when segments appealed to a warm crowd and if a project was started, everyone wanted to help out (If you look now, you can see out of thousands that there are give-or-take five people willing to aid you). I currently see the show failing under its own pressure and lack of community integration towards the central core. Once the audience evolves to the point where the "elders" are more or less all killed off, the replacements will be those raised by the new "Hak5" and be unable to keep all of this going to the point where it becomes mass anarchy, lacking any warmth whatsoever and struggling for even the slightest of vitality. This is something I hope is avoidable, but as a warning, mark these words; study them close and long.

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Few things I would like to say first.

Well, it used to feel like everything was integrated as one package. Show, Foums, IRC, etc. Now, its like us vs them mentality, and I for one just dont understand it. The show has changed from being free form and loose with lots of energy and fun, to a bit more methodical, commercial maybe(I understand, gotta pay the bills to keep things going), but still entertaining enough that I watch it.

The forums have seemed to die a bit over the past year, maybe for lack of shows subject matter that people already know about or over saturation with the USB hack section, but overall, it seems like there are just a lot of new people finding the show and forums lately, and they dont seem to be as well received as they used to be.

Granted, a lot of them ask some of the dumbest questions, most of which are already coverd in one thread or another, but I think part of it is because kids of the new geek generation just dont have that much hands on with hacking and modding anymore becasue the internet gives them a quick fix for what they want to do. They dont actually understand what just happened when they download and run something. The forums were a great source of energy and way to learn about stuff, but seems like they all make a b-line to the USB hacks and Pandora section, 2 sections I actually dont visit that often just because they really dont interest me that much. I have no desire to walk around and pwn a machine with someones USB hack. I jsut have better things to do, but knowing how to do it for sake of knowledge does interest me, and you can sometimes find stuff on there that is more than just USB hack related. Its just few and far between everything in that section.

ok...

Who do you think Hak.5 (the show) is aimed at?

I think anyone interested in computers, the internet, geeky stuff in general, games, music, etc. Technology related.

Who do you think it should be aimed at?

See above.

Do you think the show hits the viewers you think it's aiming for?

Most of the time, although some of the stuff may be old news to some viewers, at times its over my head until I research it, so I think it hits the general radius on the map. You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

Maybe less formal segments and just see some out on the town everyday what we like to do stuff. Its a hack show, but who's to say that it isnt interesting to follow the guys around a bit and see what they are up to from time to time. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ONCE IN A WHILE! Let people see how the other half lives, er, I mean, the geeks they all make fun of when they are at work.

Where would you like to see the show going?

Maybe hit some more cons, or even just some trade shows, computer conventions, tech events or lan parties. More mods and half ass hacks for things that might not be your everyday run of the mill hack. Like a real toaster mod, that serves as a SATA HDD Base, slide the HDD in the top, plug the usb cord out the back into your pc, etc. Stuff that you just dont see everyday, but is still functional and usefull, while looking like an everyday appliance.

Also, maybe do some history shows on hacking and phreaking in general. Give some of the people things to look up or discuss on the forums. Its old, but maybe show some people stuff from back in the day, even if it does not work today, demonsteate some old school hacks on a vm or something and show us what it was all about back in the day.

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[snip]

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ONCE ON A WHILE!

[snip]

Also, maybe do some history shows on hacking and phreaking in general.

[snip]

I was going to let this thread take its course before posting to avoid leading it in any particular direction, but I'd just like to agree with those two points.

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Hey, I'm quite new to this community and these forums, but I really like it so far! It's a great community and there are a lot of people that help you with your problems. I'm really interessted in Hak5, Hacking and TechTV in general and altough I'm quite new to the whole thing I've leaned so much by watching Hak5 and reading on the forums.

I don't know if you only mean the online community or also the "offline"-community. I mean, there have been a few Hak5-mettings if I remember correctly. I think that's great although I've never been to one because they were all too far away. If a show like Hak5 can help people to connect to each other and to meet new interessting people, that's great!

The crew/cast is quite good involved as it is I think. They come here quite often to post stuff and to talk to people. That's awesome. They really care about their "fans" and the whole community around Hak5.

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Who do you think Hak.5 (the show) is aimed at?

Its aimed at the people getting into hacking and modding, people who may not have years of linux under there belt, people who may not know how to solder but all in all people who are whilling to learn.

Who do you think it should be aimed at?

I think the above is where Hak5 has positioned itself for a long time now, and its where it works. It might pay to have some more advanced content from time to time. I also hate guitar hero, but thats just me and not a reflection on the show.

Do you think the show hits the viewers you think it's aiming for?

To be honest, yes.

What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

The only suggestion I would have in this department is maybe interject some of this content with some more advanced stuff from time to time. I know I learn best when I'm exposed to things that are above my current talent bar, so even if I don't know what it means to begin with I have something to work with. People forget the past to readily, but I know that when I started watching some time back in season 1, most of what I was watching was impossible rocket science. That may not be the case now, but its still the  case for a lot of people who watch. As a community, the ones among us who are not in that situation should avail ourselves to help people more.

Some stuff I think would be interesting to see would be segments on working in IT, (since thats where a lot of people want to end up, or currently are). Its been touched on with segments such as migrating a physical server to a VM and so forth, but i'd like to see  more in this field.

Another would be a discussion on the legal side of hacking et al, unless your blind you will probally realize that many things in the hacking community are either illegal or close to that mark. Without going into pointless moral arguments over the legality's of such, I know that I would not have gotten close to where I am now without breaking the law/rules, so knowing what you are doing would be interesting for me, and I'm guessing a lot of other people.

Where would you like to see the show going?

I'd like to see the show and certain elements of its community reconcile its differences and pool there resources to make Hak5 bigger and better.

I think some of you have unrealistic expectations tbh.

What do you think of the community as a whole?

A lot of talent here, but the elitist shit is becoming tiresome. If your hot shit, show it through your actions and what your produce not through your stance on the 'orible n00b plague. We need to start welcoming newbies more, not making them jump through hoops of fire for our amusement.

What do you think might improve it?

We're not cops, moral guardians, sysadmins for the world or anything like that. We're supposed to be hackers. If someone wants to know a way around the Novel eDirectory 5.3.32 system there school has, lets have a discussion about the weaknesses and strengths of Novel eDirectory 5.3.32 instead of petty flame wars. If they then take that knowledge and get caught with there pants down, its not our problem. If someone doesn't know what system there school uses, why not introduce them to the idea of working out what system the school is running, enumerating services etc.

Why don't we help people learn instead of attacking them at the first chance? We've all broken the law/rules, and some of us have been caught and punished for it (I know I have). What that teaches you is how not to get caught again.

Do you think it links in with the show it sprang from well? Do you think it should do?

Hak5 is the marketing for the community, and as such it will always be a core of this place. If there was no Hak5, or the crew decided they wanted to  move to Idaho and become potatoe farmers one Thursday afternoon, there would be no Hak5 community.

Do you think the crew/cast of the show should get more or less involved? Is the balance fine as it is?

It would be nice if the cast got involved more, but I can see why they don't sometimes.

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Who do you think Hak.5 (the show) is aimed at?

I think it is intended to be aimed at the technology enthusiast but due to recent content (see USB hacks) the viewer based has slid to the younger, not so much enthusiastic side.  This as my opinion is a problem.

Who do you think it should be aimed at?

I think it should be aimed at the technology enthusiasts and no so much the younger generation, as outlined above.

Do you think the show hits the viewers you think it's aiming for?

Yes, and no.  It is hitting the enthusiasts as they're hoping for advanced content, and the entertained but, it is also hits the younger, "skiddy" generation of viewers.

What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

More advance content.  We advanced users have to skip the "easy" content in the show, because it's not entertaining, so why can't the "n00bs" skip the advance content.  If they're doing the current content to keep viewers high just because of advertising, and funding, why not remove the advertising, to a lower budget show, less "network tv"-ish, and do advanced content only, because there would be no need for adverting funding.  Or even do a low-budget, advanced spin-off of the show.

Where would you like to see the show going?

More advanced content. Less script-kiddy-boring content.

What do you think of the community as a whole?

It's ok.  This may sound elitist, but it's the general opinion of all the old school Hak.5 IRC'ers.  The community seems a bit more commericial now, where as when it was not as big, and more underground, with a select few people who knew their technology.  Now everyone is able to join, which brings a few bad-seeds and a few good-seeds, but it isn't an interesting place to hang out anymore.  The forums have become a haven for "how do I hack this?", so might as well remove the forums all together, as there isn't much need for them, other technology forums are available.

What do you think might improve it?

The IRC should be more underground, with it being less advertised.  I don't think every Tom, Dick, and Harry should be there, leave them on the forums.  IRC should be for the hardcore people, who like discussing their technology.  As for the forums, I have said above, just get rid of them.

Do you think it links in with the show it sprang from well? Do you think it should do?

The only links the community have with the show are people asking questions regarding the show.  I believe the IRC community should be separate from the forum community with the IRC being for the more advanced minded viewers.  Depending on the content of the show infers how much it should be linked with the community (see USB hacks).

Do you think the crew/cast of the show should get more or less involved? Is the balance fine as it is?

Yes, and no.  It was better when IRC was small, and Wess and Darren we around regularly, but now you get people that are like "zomg wess darrenz, hi hi hihihihihih1!!1!!1one", which is retarded, and I don't really want to encounter these people on IRC, they should stick to the forums.

Conclusion

I think the less-advanced community should be separate from the more advanced community, and the whole USB hacks community should just be dropped as it attracts the wrong crowd.  The serious lack of advance content is making me want to watch the show less and less, and if there wasn't a community I would probably stop watching the show all together.

My 2 pence.

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@TomB

USB hacks is being dealt with atm, the popularity of the board has dropped dramatically, and even though its early days yet putting restrictions on new users, combined with K1u's exit stratagey forum seems to already be changing the type of newbies we've got here. I don't think deleting it is the answer, as like it or not its part of Hak5, but downplaying it seems to be leading to change.

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The show has changed from being free form and loose with lots of energy and fun, to a bit more methodical, commercial maybe(I understand, gotta pay the bills to keep things going), but still entertaining enough that I watch it.

This was a mistake, on my part admittedly, and I'm taking big steps to reverse that. I got caught up in making it so pro that I stopped having as much fun with it and that came through on camera.

I've gone from being timid on camera to really comfortable and loose to really stiff. Or at least thats how I feel as of late (3x09 excluded, I realized this right before shooting). I'm not saying its possible to dial it back to season1 because that raw stuff came from inexperience and I can't unlearn camera presence and stuff but I think we'll find a happy medium really soon.

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Where would you like to see the show going?

I'd like to see the show and certain elements of its community reconcile its differences and pool there resources to make Hak5 bigger and better.

I think some of you have unrealistic expectations tbh.

QFE. I didn't realize there was such beef amongst the community but thats only because I've taken a back seat the last few months. It was wrong of me to distance myself and even worse for me to feel ashamed to come back to the Forums/IRC. Reading threads like this and the "--The Time For Helping is Nigh--" thread have made me realize you guys aren't against us this is all constructive and hell now I'm all amped about making one hell of a show for you guys.

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What might make it appeal more to the audience you think it should be aimed at?

More advance content.  We advanced users have to skip the "easy" content in the show, because it's not entertaining, so why can't the "n00bs" skip the advance content.

I want to appeal to the advanced part of the audience as well but in order to I need your help. I take it at some points we have been advanced and I need to know what those topics or segments were so that I can dig more into those sorts of things. I'm totally open for suggestions on topics here. I love getting advanced but I've just been stretched so thin as of late that I'm not really sure what I should be covering. Pitch in for change and everyone will benefit.

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@TomB

USB hacks is being dealt with atm, the popularity of the board has dropped dramatically, and even though its early days yet putting restrictions on new users, combined with K1u's exit stratagey forum seems to already be changing the type of newbies we've got here. I don't think deleting it is the answer, as like it or not its part of Hak5, but downplaying it seems to be leading to change.

I've read stuff here and there on the forums about the banning of the USB hacks in one form or another and I'm not really sure whats going on. My fault, I should have been more active in the community when these decisions were made. I have to disagree though. The USB hacks are in their own board so that the people that are hardcore into that can chill in that neighborhood and not bother those who could care less. How was this not effective? Restrictions are draconian. Its not like the pandora timeshifting people have ever caused any problems, why should the usb hack people be singled out. I bet a lot of them are learning by putting those tools together. Near instant gratification hacking tools get kids that already have the hacker seed in them going and from there they'll pick up real skills. AFAIK there aren't any 25 year old skiddies. Maturity sinks in thats just part of growing up.

Ok this is turning into a rant and I don't want to detract from the read topic of this thread and that is the community so lets take a look at whats broken in the community now and see what we can do to fix things.

Feature wise I know things have changed a lot recently. We no longer have game servers.

The BBS needs a new home (anyone got a windows server that wants to volunteer an intsy bitsy amount of bandwidth?).

The community Hak5 irc network got a new name (I'm all for this it feels so minty). DNS for irc.hak5.org isn't working even though the records point to irc.hak5irc.org correctly (this may be a problem with my ISP).

Lets start a dialog. We're thinking about doing a cocktails with hak5 live community chat video skype q&a talk thing this weekend.

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I would like the show alot more if it where inteviews and stuff with ppl that have done some shit in the computer world like the shmoocon special for example.

I would too! With the season4 studio we should be able to do via-skype interviews so I hope to make this a posability. Obviously interviews in the flesh would rock on so much more but our travel budget is like next to nothing. So if you've got some suggestions for people you'd like to see us interview on the show let me know and I'll see about making arrangements. I for one would love to see open source software demonstrated on the show (like we currently do) followed by interviews with the developers. How cool would that be?

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I have always considered Hak5 a IPTV show for the beginner to average geek.

Not hacker or programmer. And that is completely fine, because if you were to start doing more advanced content in the show, you would probably lose tons of viewers. Now to be honest I personally consider Hak5 a entertainment show.

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However draconian the restrictions may appear on face value, I would say that by putting them in place the forums have improved generally. My main issue with the USB Hackers was that for every person who discovered it, started to build there own packages, worked out how to do new and intresting things and generally learnt from the expirence, there was at least 10 people who couldn't give a shit about how it worked, just as long as it did what it said on the tin. I honestly tried to keep it as seperate as possible and held off for a long time before I put restrictions in place, but at the end of the day the general feeling from the community was that something should be done about it.

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However draconian the restrictions may appear on face value, I would say that by putting them in place the forums have improved generally. My main issue with the USB Hackers was that for every person who discovered it, started to build there own packages, worked out how to do new and intresting things and generally learnt from the expirence, there was at least 10 people who couldn't give a shit about how it worked, just as long as it did what it said on the tin. I honestly tried to keep it as seperate as possible and held off for a long time before I put restrictions in place, but at the end of the day the general feeling from the community was that something should be done about it.

But was it really an issue I mean they're off in their own neighborhood (ghetto?) not bothering anyone elsewhere. If they wanna noob it up on the USB boards thats their deal.

So, what are the restrictions?

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The restrictions in place are these:

To post in USB hacks, you have to have 16 posts or more (Thinking of dropping it down to 8 though).

My thinking behind this is that it encourages new people who want to jump into the USB hacks forum to spend a little time reading the rest of the forums and seeing how we do things here. The issue with USB hacks, although I never read the thing myself, seemed to be that there was a huge disconnect with the way things were done in USB hacks and the way things were done in the other parts of the forums. By forcing newbies to wait a bit before they jump into the USb hacks section, it seems to ensure that we get a higher quality of newbie. Its still early days yet, and I'm unsure about how it will pan out myself, but on the whole I would still say that its been a good move for the community. Not everyone agrees, I never expected that, but I have got positive feedback from suprising places.

I have recieved many calls to delete the section, hand it over to another forum, ban anyone who posts there etc, for the record: None of these are  viable options, USB hacks is here to stay.

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I don't think its fair to enforce those rules on the USB hacks board and not the Pandora Timeshifting board. I mean both are basically subcommunities and thats fine I'm more than happy to host the discussion. But requiring a minimum post count before allowing posting in the USB board is like DRM, it only encumbers the honest.

Skiddies will be skiddies and thats a fact of life. Hell I'd wager more than half the people on these forums that you consider fine upstanding citizens started out as one form of skiddie or another. The difference was there wasn't a name for it then, we didn't have usb hacks, and iptv wasn't born. skiddies eventually mature, whatever.

The issue big problem lies where a security professional / hacker / dude with an ounce of common sense reads up on the usb hacks on one of many security blogs and follows links back to the forums, reads the discussion and wants to add something useful to the discussion. Maybe they've got a new prevention method. Maybe they've got an amazing idea on how to turn any ordinary usb drive into a U3 drive. who knows, and if they can't post we'll never know.

I bet half the people in the usb hacks board don't even watch the show, and thats fine by me. I'm sure its even higher for the pandora board. forcing them to interact with the rest of the forum is annoying at the least. if the intention is to keep new people from getting into the usb hacks discussion that rule will likely work. if the intention is to keep down the noobedness i think we're going about it all wrong.

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I'll probably get slammed for this, but...

The one thing I noticed with the USB hacks section is people come to it with the "I can hack you all day long" mentallity and were not productive or helpfull to the others or the rest of the forums. People who now have to jump through hoops just to get into the USB section seem to post 1 word posts or rants on how elite they are and how much better they are than everyone else. It keeps those poeple out, while the ones contributing code and mods to the USB section are actually helping and learning and teaching at the same time.

It would seem that most of the new people in that section were here because they wanted to do something out of revenge or to hack their school, etc. And personally, I think that while it may have been what brought them here, having to wait a few posts to get to those things might make them see the value of that section a bit more than just to pwn someone with another persons hard work.

I dont like restrictions or censorship in general(I hate it actually), but I also dont like people with "f*ck you" attitudes who come to the boards who knowingly only want to cause havoc on someones pc or have obvious harmfull intent. I dont care what they do with it so much as to what might happen to them, as that is their problem if they get in trouble, but to give anyone on here a hard time, when people have always been more than helpfull is just wrong. It seems that board gets a lot of those types of people who dont care about the effort that was put into making the programs and when they do ask questions in the other topics it is usually evident they areant about contributing towards the community, but only here for their own personal revenge or script kiddie ways.

Thoughts...

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I'll probably get slammed for this, but...

The one thing I noticed with the USB hacks section is people come to it with the "I can hack you all day long" mentallity and were not productive or helpfull to the others or the rest of the forums. People who now have to jump through hoops just to get into the USB section seem to post 1 word posts or rants on how elite they are and how much better they are than everyone else. It keeps those poeple out, while the ones contributing code and mods to the USB section are actually helping and learning and teaching at the same time.

It would seem that most of the new people in that section were here because they wanted to do something out of revenge or to hack their school, etc. And personally, I think that while it may have been what brought them here, having to wait a few posts to get to those things might make them see the value of that section a bit more than just to pwn someone with another persons hard work.

I dont like restrictions or censorship in general(I hate it actually), but I also dont like people with "f*ck you" attitudes who come to the boards who knowingly only want to cause havoc on someones pc or have obvious harmfull intent. I dont care what they do with it so much as to what might happen to them, as that is their problem if they get in trouble, but to give anyone on here a hard time, when people have always been more than helpfull is just wrong. It seems that board gets a lot of those types of people who dont care about the effort that was put into making the programs and when they do ask questions in the other topics it is usually evident they areant about contributing towards the community, but only here for their own personal revenge or script kiddie ways.

QFE

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