There are many legends about the bearded hackers. Is a long beard – a symbol of success in the field of hacking, or is it a challenge to society? At this point, there are several opinions, and it all started here with nothing.
In 1969, a scientist at Bell labs named Ken Thompson encountered a problem: he was unable to use his computer to play his favorite game – “Cosmic Voyage,” where he had to fly a rocket through the solar system, giving specific instructions. There were problems with the code. When the company executives rejected a request by Thompson to buy DEC-10 computers, he became one of the adjacent ones of the laboratories and decided that he himself would rewrite the code “Space Travel” from scratch. Scientists from the same laboratory, Dennis Ritchie, a well-known C programming language inventor, liked Thompson’s project, and they began to collaborate. As a result, they developed a family of Unix operating systems – a powerful, multi-tasking, portable (ie it can be used regardless of the specific hardware), which began to develop further and eventually became world-famous ancestor of the firmware of Apple iOS!
A fruitful alliance
Thompson and Ritchie had made a huge contribution to the advanced modern computing. One of their inventions solved the problem of computer security by including new features such as encrypted passwords on UNIX and publishing master hacks, the very system that they helped to create. In the circle of experts in computer technology, Thompson and Ritchie are still considered specialists of the highest category. Both of them had beards. The thick, tousled, beard hiding his face – Coincidence? Some hackers with this categorically disagree. And thus the legend of the Unix Beard was born.
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The perfect accessory for a hacker
The myth that a hacker’s ability matches the density of his beard, was actually tested in 2004. Tamir Hasson, who now holds the position of Development Manager in the company of General Motors in Israel. Hasson’s study was to analyze the programming language developing companies’ bearded employees and their smooth-shaven competitors. No significant differences were found.
However, the beard has long been associated with wisdom (Socrates is also referred to as “the bearded wizard”), bigotry (Taliban forbid beard shorter than 4 inches) and anarchist views, characteristic of pirates and technicians. Historically, facial hair have also been used as a convenient means of disguise, espionage masters still use this method. All this makes the perfect accessory for beard hackers. Most women, of course, are not able to grow a beard, to use the symbol of wisdom for their own benefit. What is the female equivalent of the Unix Beard? Head full of hair? Overgrown eyebrows? No; it’s quite the contrary. Over the past 20 years, bald and hairy men has long been looked the same way in the eyes of society. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Elliot Alderson, these hairless robots have long been replaced by their hairy ‘hacker-function.’ Because beard-less hackers often associated with computer geniuses.
In a small group of hackers, however, Unix Beard is still popular today. The annual beard competition and mustache this year adopted a large number of participating people.
But is Unix Beard has retained its original meaning, or turned into something more modern? It turns out that in the computer world, where people rarely use their real names, hackers with a beard feel more secure. Obviously, the modern face recognition system will not be misled even heavily overgrown persons, but the fact remains. Figuratively speaking, the beard – a kind of security code for the hacker.
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Perhaps it was a coincidence, but once, some curious researchers at the airport in Massachusetts caught bearded man. He was not directed at DefCon, as many have thought, but he turned out to be a software developer of bioinformatics and was wearing a T-shirt from hackers Association. He was asked whether he feels safer with a beard. His answer was: “No, Usually, we tend to rely on more secure, but the decision to start to grow my beard, I took in high school; I thought that people will have more trust in me…” He also acknowledged that the beard – a certain style of hackers, not his defense.
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There is another legend that says that the longer the beard, the more systems he hacked. However, a long-bearded man once told that he may just wanted to embellish his achievements.
For most hackers beard – a measure of experience. During a two-week period, facial hair will not grow long. It is also a component of the corporate culture – men with beards are considered to be more friendly and sociable than shaved. But, besides, this decoration of male face can be a sign of problems in his personal life. Most men simply cease to care for themselves, to shave and disinfect the skin even if they do not have a better half. If there is a computer genius with a wife or girlfriend, she will make him shave. A recent analysis on the participants at the conference of expert programmers confirmed this hypothesis: the majority of participants were shaved and wore wedding rings. Those who did not want to shave more often found themselves bachelors.
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The competition, which was mentioned above, this year won by Mr N. his T-shirt adorned the inscription: “Bro, but have you thought about security?” Mr. N had a very long beard. He could easily get into Dumbledore’s Army, or go for disguise as the wizard Gandalf, or become a backup Captain Hook, who had a habit of braiding his beard in a braid. However, the winner of this is just a tribute to tradition, despite the fact that this competition represents the latest achievements of computer research in the world.
The symbol of generosity and kindness
Well, perhaps not only in this case. We can say that the longer a person has a beard, the more nobility exists in him, because the winner of the competition, Mr. N, donated to the Fund for Development of electronic systems $ 300 and a bottle of whiskey. This gesture has become an example for other bearded men who can now be considered not only brutal and clever, but also generous. However, to be generous, you do not necessarily need to grow a beard. Good works are performed by heart will, not with a wave of your beard.