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Hak5: Viewership & Community


moonlit
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I frequent another board (IPB board) that uses the minimum post count idea to keep things cleaner in a subforum of there's, but you can still read and reply to anything in there before your post count is high enough, you just can not post a new topic in that subforum until you get above 10. Now, what I've usually seen happen is if someone had something that really was good and deserved to be there, but couldn't due to the post count, they just posted it in the next most relevant subforum, and the mods moved it into the proper place. I've been there for about a year or so now, and it works very well. No one is flamed for posting in the wrong area in that sense, because it is understood that they can't.

In my opinion, if someone has something worthwhile to post, they will find a way to post it. If they are intelligent enough to come up with something that original, having to post in a different forum shouldn't stop them from posting the idea in the first place.

Now, that's not to say that I like the idea of restricting anyone. I don't, and I really wish it didn't have to be that way. But, as has been the case so far, it has provided a way for the Mods here to alleviate some problems. Speaking as someone who originally found Hak5 due to another site containing information on the USB hacks, and following the trail back here, I am glad they were there or I may not have ever known about this community, so I surely don't want them to go (and I know they won't). However, I also wasn't a "skiddie" when I joined, I was out of college with a job, and had matured past the age of wanting to do any harm with them. They were an interesting idea for me to play with, and see how they did what they did, and what else they could do (still use one as a way to auto-deploy some software in a much more maintainable way than CDs ever could have been). I can think of at least 5 of my fellow classmates, who, even right out of college, I wouldn't have wanted to find out too much about this, due to the kind of things I can only imagine they would have done (possibly to my stuff). I still know kids I wouldn't want to have this, due to their attitude (as was already pointed out).

All in all, I think the post count is the least violent way to help control the "Skiddie problem". If having to post a few times puts someone off, so be it.

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On enough said on the USB issue lets move on I probably should have addressed that in a seperate thread anyway.

I'm sorry, but I can't let this be pushed out of the way of the thread so hastily. Everyone has the right to voice what they feel on this provided its constructive, and this issue has been subject of conversation everywhere for months and months. I'm reminded of the Dev5 meetings where nothing would ever be solved; things would be discussed for 10 lines, and then the subject would change, this would keep going and little would be done. Theres a window here, and it should be taken.

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I'm saying to keep stuff open. You say everyone has voiced (an opinion I assume) on the matter and that the place has cleaned up considerably, but your "everyone" is five people on the forums. You go into irc right now and ask the most hardcore of the most hardcore fans of the show what they think and you'll see the overwhelming tension all this has caused. I'm not even sure I know anyone in favor of them at all. And I for one know that you are not the one who is cleaning up 16 posts of spam and hateful comments to get into the forum with people who won't stop making accounts and threatening users. You are also not the one around when guys hop onto irc and mumble out something the sounds of, "I have a usb h4x and I'm gonna use it on my school. hehehe". Most people that say this are instantly shunned, and normal productive conversation is deterred by this banter. You say that everyone started out as a noob and whatnot, but does that mean we should help them by just tossing them links to payloads and keep them not knowing shit, or do we want to try to help them, teach them to teach themselves, help them become beneficial to a community we all have put so much time into because we like the general atmosphere. I'm still thinking back to that posed question of whether or not the payloads should be distributed disassembled. There is also the eqauting of Pandora to the USB section. Last I checked however, you can't use pandora to fuck someone over. I don't even see any unmalicious use for any of the usb hacks anymore.

At any rate, its your show, its your money, its your time, and who the fuck am I to oppose?

However I really like this place, I come back for the people, and more and more the people I come back for are disappearing and when I ask them why its usually because of some asshole (or group) manifested from this community that was not dealt with, ignored, or prematurely shoved aside. Frankly, I don't want to be one of those people disappearing, and theres a lot of subtlety around that can allude this.

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Famicoman, Obviously you are one of the people you speak of, those who hate the usb hacks forums and wish they were removed. However, you asked to hear the opinions of everyone, and I feel that USB Hacks is an important part of this community in general. Thisiam had a valid point when he said that for particular support issues people go to the place where they are most likely to receive help. 

 

or maybe if I have a question about say Ubuntu I will go to Ubuntu forums, questions on Samba I will hit samba forums.

 

The usb hacks is a part of the show this community is built around to some extent, and the tool is unique to hak5. The subforum may attract a number of undesirable members, and this is the reason recent restrictions have been put in place on the subforum.  I feel that USB hacks simply needs its own moderators, people who enjoy usb hacks and have some experience with them, I don't think any current moderator is actually interested in the USB Hacks which has lead to its demise. Aside from the people creating things just to fuck with others (the HDD filler) the only other issue is the number of people asking what would be classed as "stupid questions" on how to hack their school/workplace/uni/*. Although the "elitists" think they are "stupid questions" according to this thread http://forums.hak5.org/index.php/topic,8785.0.html the general consensus (among the "elitists" and others) is they should help rather than flaming which was what previously happened.

I find the Switchblade to very useful I tend to use it several times a day, but only where I have permission to do so* (for password retrieval and securing systems mainly). I admit there are problems in the USB Hacks section and  a different course of action needs to be taken (which it is) but problems will continue to arise while none of the moderators are interested in the USB Hacks section.

*Although the switchblade is mainly used as a "hacking" tool, it does have several uses for people who aren't using it to hack. I do not condone using this as a hacking tool!

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I'm really not seeing a problem with the usb hacks section if you dont like the skiddieness dont go in there simple.

That is the problem, us regulars don't want a "skiddy" area on the forums, it attracts the wrong crowds.

I'm not around here a lot but I drop by semi regular and lurk and occasionally post so it doesn't really bother me alot as I can ignore the odd morons who get attracted cos of the USB hacks, BUT "regulars" shouldn't really expect a moron free life on here as it is a public board - if you want a skiddie free existence you are in the wrong place and anyway as Darren has already said some  of these types will go on to make good contributions once they have "matured"

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Hi remember me :)

This is gonna hurt saying since i was for a long time a big part of the community here especially in IRC but i figure brutal honesty never hurt anyone and might give some insight on why i haven't been around.

1. The community that i once touted as the smartest group of people ever gathered in once place with one goal has turned to a giant mess of flames and finger pointing. To me the 14-15 year old gamer kids are no different that the elitist ass holes who think they are and act like they are better than everyone. Any biased opinion about anyone else is just dumb and leads to nothing but hurt feelings and fights as you watch the community burn around you. Major wars start over simple things like people thinking there idea is gospel. It's pretty damn simple just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean you have to open you mouth and yell it at them.

2. Darren and Crew whether anyone really likes it or not should have all say in what goes on. I get it that you guys are busy and such but you have to keep a handle on your community and mold in the way you want not anyone else. 1 Boss 1 set of rules makes things much easier. At the time i left i felt there was just way to many hands in the cookie jar all with different ideas on what cookie they wanted.

3. Quality of show and look of show have nothing to do with one another. The live to tape experiment was painful to watch and the show quality fell apart badly during that time. In my opinion a few camera taped and edited show using the same gear you had in season 1 would be fine. Use the money spent on all this gear to do more elaborate segments and content. There is a reason youtube is so damn huge it's because people could give a crap what something looks like as long as it's entertaining or informative of which in the good times you guys are the best. The portable console is really a cool idea but in a major outing it was made of epic fail. This is why keeping things simple and letting your content show more to me is where to go from here. We are all geeks here and every last one of us knows the more complex you make it the easier it is to fail.

4. The USB hacks stuff needs to be off sourced asap. Take a very valuable lesson from foxx at BSoD and never ever hand the keys to the tank to just anyone. Foxx shows really cool stuff on BSoD but never once has he given out the information on the show where he doesn't know adam from eve and what they are going to do with it. There is a damn fine and well respected reason most good hackers don't just toss there info out on some forum somewhere. Always know the eyes and minds behind them before giving out information that could come back to bite you in the ass.

5. Fix community problems before they get out of hand. The IRC issue should have never got as far as it did, the USB Hacks backlash could have been avoided, etc. A lot of hurt feelings, burnt bridges, and annoying morning ban fests could all be avoided with simple communication and action. Your going to step on toes and not everyone will be happy but in the end the community you brew from this will be much stronger, tighter, and happier.

You guys are smart i have seen that with my own 2 eyes and i know you will get the bus back under control and cruising at 50 down the highway. I'm still subscribed and my eyes are around always hopeful that things will come back the way they were in the good ol days :D.

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I'm not even going to begin to get into the whole USB Hacks discussion because I could really care less, I just ignore them/never visit that portion of the forums.

But, I do however want to address the more "advanced" stuff that people want to see.

Darren, I completely realize that you and the other Hak5 cast are pretty busy and each of you have your own expertise. There is no reason for every one of you to learn something uber technical and new for each episode, there just isn't enough time. What you can do though is OUTSOURCE some highly technical segments that you deem appropriate. I realize that including a segment from a community member in the show might not really gel with what you want to do, but I think it solves a major issue for some people. By doing this, you can still maintain the utmost discretion of what segments to show and how you want them edited, filmed, etc. It offloads a lot of work from you, AND involves the community. I know that I myself could even do a few segments on some more technical pieces that I have had quite a bit of experience with.

I really think this would work. One of my favorite recent episodes was the one with Sub-In-ACLs with his mobile broadband antenna. It was basically a segment from a community member, who just happened to be on set. You could do the exact same type of thing and have it sent in by a guy from Sweden. I think it would work.

Hell, I'll even do a pilot community-contributed segment for you if you want.

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Does anyone remember the segment where Mubix showed off Evolution (Now known as Maltego)? Mubix was not in studio, his audio and video were brought in via skype and his desktop was brought in via a reverse VNC connection. This was merely a proof of concept segment that proved the capabilities.

In season4 we're building the set in such a way that a host could do a segment in much the same way (a large LCD mounted on the wall will provide video of the guest. We also have the ability to bring on two guests on the LCD in split screen much like you see on the news).

I figure at first we'll use this technology to bring on guests from the security and software world for interview however the next logical step would be to have community members join us for guest segments. Skype + headset + webcam + VNC sure beats $$$ for air fare and you only lose a little bit of the banter and human aspects with a remote "via satellite" guest.

This way we also retain a certain amount of control and level of quality with the segments since we'll be "watsoning" (asking the questions to steer the segment and keep things on time. Watson / Holmes analogy)

Thoughts?

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I like it the only problem I for see could be lag (via VNC) as well as loss of quality (video not content.)  Apart from that, I love the idea, now all you need is guest.

Any plans for community members to contribute?

Yeah totally, we'll be giving the technology a test this Saturday night (tomorrow)

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On enough said on the USB issue lets move on I probably should have addressed that in a seperate thread anyway.

GonZor is now responsible for the moderation of the USB Hacks section, and once again it is open to everyone, no restrictions.

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