Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned basement hackers? Not the user of the sleek, modern, fast-and-furious Java or C# IDE (YRAINW!)... not the MATLAB rapid-prototyping whiz... not even the server-side-savvy, DCOM/CORBA/DCE-juggling, Ruby/Python/Perl/PHP/ASP/.NET master. I mean the vi or GNU Emacs power user, the guy (or gal) who was equally facile with C and 80x86 assembler, the one who wrote his or her own device drivers and built a pen plotter with a jerry-rigged solenoid? Not with the Hotline server or the Grokster client did they conquer, but with the WWIV and FidoNet BBS, not with "1337 h a > < o r" tools but with DEBUG and Phrack magazine.
My age is showink, innit? #-)
In nonlocal news, here is a sad and disturbing story from angiej, an American schoolteacher: