May 18th, 2005

eyes black and white

You and The System

My officemate, a very fine hacker if there ever were one, did a nice door hack last week. The RFID reader pad that controls the electronic door lock for the suit we're in was too high by a few inches (centimeters? wazzat?), so he removed it from the wall and put it back a few inches below; the result isn't quite as nice and clean as it used to be, but it is much more functional: if you carry your electronic key in your pocket, as every one does, a proper twist of your hip (depending on said pocket being front or back, left or right), and there the door opens -- just like it is with other doors in the company. Everyone involved is happy, and no administrative sanction is taken, sought or even considered. Correction: Everyone involved is happy, thus no administrative sanction is taken, sought or even considered. Incidentally, what the competent administrator did decide when he became aware of the change, and after seeking explanations, was to set straight the pad that had been left slightly crooked, acknowledging the enhancement, rather than putting things back with sanctions as could have been his reflex, into which a bureaucrat would have gleefully indulged. That's the power of capitalism: all consensual transactions are legitimate.

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