Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best Way to Learn about Computers: Break Them

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Best Way to Learn about Computers: Break Them

Article excerpt

Often, the brightest security researchers, the same ones who strive to make the internet safer, start out as creative tinkerers who are simply curious about machines.

That's the lesson from Travis Goodspeed, a respected independent security expert and computer hardware hacker.

"Junk hacking, the hacking of things that don't matter, allows us to talk about the mechanism of what actually happened by stepping back from the morality of it. Is anyone actually offended if their children can hack their Tamagotchi toy?" Mr. Goodspeed said Thursday at the Security of Things Forum in Cambridge, cohosted by Passcode.

Take the Texas Instruments TI-85 calculator, used by millions of students over the past two decades. Curious teens and students have long discovered ways of getting around the TI-85's simple interface to install games on their calculators. …

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