Anyone can be a Google "hacker"

Monday, 7 April 2003, 4:34 PM EST

What most of us know about computer hacking we learn from movies, and of course the moviemakers know nothing. The new disaster movie ''The Core'' features a larcenous computer geek who lives with his mother, eats nothing but Hot Pockets, and can, of course, keyboard his way into any computer on earth.

Purists know that the term ''hacking'' originally had nothing to do with thievery, fraud, or emotional underdevelopment. Hackers were simply people with a knack for getting the most out of a computer system by using every technical trick in the book and inventing a few new ones. It was about creativity, not crime.

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