Monday, October 31, 2005
A new company launching Monday in Los Angeles, co-founded by Freenet peer-to-peer developer Ian Clarke, aims to give the producers of those videos a way to make money from them at last.
Dubbed Revver, the company has set up a Web site that starts out as a kind of Flickr for videos, allowing anybody to post their videos online, and letting viewers organize them by adding their own descriptive keyword 'tags.' But Revver adds a new touch, inserting code into the video itself that adds a small advertisement every time it is viewed, even if the video is downloaded and distributed from another site. "
Ad companies are increasingly jittery about signs that Google is contemplating expanding its online ad-placement business into traditional media. Such a move could threaten Madison Avenue's increasingly important media-buying operations. Media buyers help marketers figure out where to place their ads by analyzing the effectiveness of potential advertising venues -- anything from a TV program to a Web log to a cellphone screen -- and then negotiating terms for the ad's appearance.
Once an industry backwater reserved for wonks, media-buying has become more glamorous -- and crucial for clients. Worried about the effectiveness of traditional TV ads, advertisers are putting more emphasis on new marketing methods including the Internet and mobile devices. Media buyers serve as a guide to this tangled landscape. In recent years, ad companies have poured increasing resources into their media-buying units in an attempt to attract clients."
Friday, October 28, 2005
Friendster's new capabilities, available now, come through a distribution partnership with Grouper Networks, a start-up that specializes in technology for sharing photos and home videos over the Web. After downloading Grouper's free file-sharing software, Friendster members can invite people to view an unlimited number of photos and videos as well as stream music.
Because Grouper uses peer-to-peer technology, users don't need to upload files to share them, a Friendster representative said. Instead, media files are stored locally on members' PCs, where others can access them. Users can notify friends of new photos and videos by e-mail and instant messaging, the companies said. "
And 90 per cent of people surveyed say they feel that email, text messages and instant messaging has made communication with friends and family less personal.
According to the study by PlusNet, email has become the most popular method of communication with friends and family, with 81 per cent of respondents using it. However, 41 per cent of people said they would prefer to receive a phone call. "
The piece of research, into what aesthetically appeals to males and females when surfing the web, has found that websites which might appeal greatly to one sex are a total no-no with the other.
With the internet doubling its size every two to three months, it is now more important than ever for websites to catch the eye of their target market.
Gloria Moss, Research fellow at the University of Glamorgan Business School teamed up with statistician Rod Gunn and Krzysztof Kubacki to conduct the research to discover if businesses and organisations are making the most of their web presence to help them reach their particular target audiences.
'We started off by looking at the personal websites created by 60 university students, 30 male and 30 female, to discover whether there were any major design differences. We looked at factors such as language, visuals, and navigation - the differences were immediately apparent,' explained Gloria Moss. 'We compared the sites on 23 factors and differences emerged on just over half of these. This is a massive number'.
Where visuals are concerned, males favour the use of straight lines (as opposed to rounded forms), few colours in the typeface and background, and formal typography. As for language, they favour the use of formal or expert language with few abbreviations and are more likely to promote themselves and their abilities heavily.
A selection of the University websites was then shown to a group of individuals of both sexes who had to rate their appeal on a scale. In almost every case women preferred those sites designed by women and men showed a preference fo"
Gregory Halpern knows how to hype. Shares of his publicly held company, Circle Group Holdings, quadrupled in price early last year amid reports that its new fat substitute, Z-Trim, was being tested by Nestlé. As the stock spurted from $2 to $8.50, Halpern's 35% stake in the company he founded rose to $90 million. He put out 56 press releases last year.
Then the bloggers attacked. A supposed crusading journalist launched an online campaign long on invective and wobbly on facts, posting articles on his Web log (blog) calling Halpern "deceitful,""unethical,""incredibly stupid" and "a pathological liar" who had misled investors. The author claimed to be Nick Tracy, a London writer who started his one-man "watchdog" Web site, our-street.com, to expose corporate fraud.He put out press releases saying he had filed complaints against Circle with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
But yesterday, with his career as worldwide creative director of the advertising agency WPP abruptly terminated, it seemed clear that 'women are crap'' was not one of his most successful.
Mr French, a leading figure in British advertising's golden age in the 1970s, provoked a fierce row over workplace sexism after delivering a diatribe against women colleagues at a conference in Toronto.
According to the city's Globe & Mail newspaper, when asked to explain the dearth of women in advertising, the cigar-chomping Mr French said: 'Women don't make it to the top because they don't deserve to. They're crap.''
He added that women inevitably 'wimp out and go suckle something''. During the discussion, Mr French, 61, had a waitress wearing a French maid's uniform serve him drinks. His comments provoked several people to walk out and one of his senior female colleagues later to write an angry rejoinder on the internet that was sent around the advertising world.
Nancy Vonk, co-chief creative officer at WPP's Ogilvy agency in Toronto, said she was 'still partially paralysed'' by his remarks, which were made two weeks ago. "
- I think the old bastard should have been fired.. his time is over.. Women make great advertising executives, my boss is one. she has made me better at my craft and she kicks ass!
Contributing to the spamalanche: More viruses are spread via popular - and vulnerable - instant-messaging services to infect PCs and turn them into spam-spewing machines. Spammers are sending more e-mail in shorter bursts to overwhelm spam defenses. And blogs have become a fertile ground for spammers to create 'splogs,' fake blogs with ads."
Screen shots of 'Google Base,' available on several different Web logs, explain that the service-to-be is a database consisting of 'your content' that's free to contribute.
Items in the database include a party invite or a 'listing of your used car for sale.' There is also a tie-in mentioned to Google's comparison shopping site Froogle, and Google Local, the combination Google mapping and localized search results.
Google said, in a prepared statement, that what the blogs alluded to is an 'early-stage test of a product that enables content owners to easily send their content to Google.'
A Google spokeswoman also confirmed the accuracy of the screen shots, but wouldn't comment further. "
For example, a federal judge in Los Angeles has just barred the allegedly deceptive advertisements of a Web operation that asserted that membership in MP3DownloadCity.com would allow users of peer-to-peer file-sharing programs to transfer copyright materials without running afoul of the law.
On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission plans to permanently ban these assertions about membership in MP3DownLoadCity.com, seek monetary compensation for consumers, and provide notification to consumers who signed up for membership that use of these file-sharing programs may subject them to civil or criminal liability. "
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
'A cover does sell a book to a certain extent, but once you're intrigued by a cover you want to dig deeper,' said Meghann Marco, whose first book, Field Guide to the Apocalypse, was published in May."
�Oregon is home to many of the leading companies, institutions and executives driving the global market for open source software and hardware,� Governor Ted Kulongoski said. �Google�s support will strengthen the leadership role of our universities in fostering the next generation of open source technologies, projects and experts in Oregon and enhance our aggressive efforts to bring jobs and investment to Oregon�s burgeoning open technology cluster.�
Google�s contribution demonstrates its continued commitment to advancing open source software development. This summer, Google funded a $2 million �Summer of Code� program, which gave grants of $4,500 to more than 400 students performing work on open source projects, including several hosted by the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSUOSL)."
Monday, October 24, 2005
An average day in suburbia? Not quite. This is a day inside "Second Life," a virtual world created by San Francisco-based game developer Linden Lab.
Welcome to the virtual economy, where currencies such as the Linden dollar trade against the U.S. dollar, companies like Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE) create markets for everything from magic shields to potions, and entrepreneurs sell notary services and the latest fashions. One of the most popular games, "World of Warcraft," reached 1 million North American players in August, three months ahead of its first anniversary. The games are particularly hot in America and Asia. After "World of Warcraft" was released in China last June, 1.5 million paying customers signed up in a month.
Such ventures--known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games--have spawned economies that would rival those of a small country but fly largely under the radar of economists, government statisticians and people beyond the 12- to 35-year-old demographic. However, these economies are becoming increasingly important, says Wharton legal studies professor Dan Hunter, adding that they could redefine the concept of work, help test economic theories and contribute to the gross domestic product in the United States. "Increasingly, these virtual economies are leading to real money trades," notes Hunter, one of a handful of academics closely following this trend.
In a report released on Monday, the PC maker claimed that about 217 million (123 million pounds) is wasted every year in the U.K. alone powering PCs that could have been shut down or left in hibernation mode. The report also pointed out the environmental impact of all the wasted energy.
Fujitsu Siemens surveyed 1,000 employees and found that some 370 never turned off their computers before leaving the office for the day.
'U.K. businesses need to consider both the financial and environmental implications of leaving a computer running and make turning off their PCs each night a policy,' said Garry Owen, head of product marketing at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, who added that simply putting a computer into standby means it still is consuming power.
Fujitsu Siemens released its report to coincide with the start on Monday of Energy Saving Week, a nationwide initiative aimed at raising the awareness of the damaging effects of climate change and ways to prevent it."
While many things went wrong during the aftermath and relief effort of Hurricane Katrina, the technical issue that sticks out the most is the failing of the local communications network, a failure which hamstrung rescuers. The storm knocked out 3 million telephone lines, 1,000 cellular sites and 38 emergency-call centers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
So what was the weak link in the chain that caused the supposedly 99.999-percent-reliable telephone network to go down, local television stations throughout the area to go off the air, and cable operators to suspend service? The answer is simple: Flood waters poured into facilities, knocking out commercial electrical power sources as well as back-up generators and batteries."
They should have used disaster satellite communications from CapRock Satellite Communications. Oops.. forgot... they did.
Internet search technology may be getting too smart for its own good, says Michelle Weil, co-author of the book 'TechnoStress.'
Bleeding-edge search products no longer have to be told what to do. There's a growing number like Watson 2.0, from Chicago, Ill.-based Intellext, which, on their own, selects keywords from a computer file you are working on.
Technical marvels, no doubt. But Weil and other mental health experts believe modern-day search products are going to deeply affect people suffering from technology-induced stress. "
What's more, says Mason, such practices are becoming prevalent in corporate America, particularly in financial services. Mason sits on a roundtable privacy group of 20 of the country's largest banks. 'My best understanding is that my company's anti-blog stance is the industry norm,' he says."
A generation ago, the answer usually was clear. Not anymore. Online scribes and video publishers are experimenting with novel forms of journalism, and even the most stodgy news organizations are embracing blogs.
That leaves politicians--hardly the most clued in about all things tech--in something of a quandary. They're being lobbied by professional news organizations and the American Bar Association to approve some kind of journalist's shield law while being urged by prosecutors to leave out bloggers. "
Friday, October 21, 2005
Falling oil prices also gave the market a boost following Thursday�s sell-off, triggered by renewed concerns about economic growth and inflation. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 133 points, while other major indexes lost more than 1 percent."
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Five publishing houses - McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons - filed a suit in New York yesterday, claiming that Google's plans would infringe their copyrights.
'If Google can make ... copies, then anyone can,' Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers, told Reuters. 'Anybody could go into a library and start making digital copies of anything.'"
Are you tired of wading though thousands of irrelevant search results to get to the information you want? Ever wish you could narrow your search to sites you already know and trust? With Rollyo, you can easily create your own custom search engines, and explore and save those created by others. "
Monday, October 17, 2005
'It's simply growing up the stack,' Mark Driver, an analyst with Gartner, said on Monday. Driver, speaking at Gartner's annual Symposium/ITExpo conference here, said one reason for the building popularity of open source is the growing adoption of open source code by proprietary, closed-source software makers like IBM and Sun.
'The brutal reality is that more and more software from (proprietary vendors) will have open source in it,' he said.
A growing number of software makers see open source support as a key part of their competitive strategies, Driver said. 'Why do you think that IBM likes Linux? Do you think they looked at Linux three or four years ago and said this is superior to AIX, an operating system they spent billions to develop? I think not. They like it because it is bad for Windows and Solaris.'"
Operating initially as Pajamas Media--a play on criticism that bloggers are 'just a bunch of guys in their pajamas'--the site will offer original content and links to affiliate sites written by more than 70 bloggers, as well as basic news feeds from sources like The Associated Press, said novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon, one of the founders.
Contributors include: CNBC's Larry Kudlow; U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone; Nation columnist David Corn; Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com fame; New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor John Podhoretz; Adam Bellow, Random House editor and son of Nobel Prize-winner Saul Bellow; Clifford D. May, ex-New York Times editor and current president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank; Jane Hall, panelist of Fox News Watch, and co-founder Charles Johnson, author of the Little Green Footballs blog.
Though the roster, with well-known conservatives such as Reynolds and right-wing outlet Fox News, may at first glance seem weighted toward the conservative side, Simon insisted it would encompass viewpoints from across the political spectrum. "
Friday, October 14, 2005
The security company's new RSA Authentication Service is designed to let consumers securely access multiple Web sites using a single RSA security credential, such as the company's password-generating hardware tokens. RSA plans to test the service starting next month with four financial services companies, company executives said.
For example, a customer of both the eTrade brokerage and a Wells Fargo bank could use a single device to authenticate their identity on the companies' sites, RSA Chief Executive Officer Art Coviello said in a meeting with reporters Wednesday in San Francisco. eTrade and Wells Fargo are RSA customers, but RSA would not say whether they are part of the trial. "
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Richard Parsons also said there were no plans for a tie-up with Microsoft's search-engine technology.
News agency and newspaper reports said Google had been ready to share AOL with Time Warner and US cable firm Comcast.
Such a deal would have put Google's search tools with Time Warner's TV and film content in a portal.
Any such move would also have addressed criticism from investors of Time Warner's strategy. "
Google will distribute Sun's free OpenOffice.org software for personal computers, the companies said Tuesday at a press conference in Google's home town of Mountain View, Calif. Some downloaded Sun programs also will include Google's toolbar.
The alliance may present one of the strongest competitors to Microsoft's Office word processing and spreadsheet products, which generated $11 billion in sales last fiscal year. Google is using Sun to accelerate its battle with Microsoft, adding a missing piece to its growing list of features that includes the Google toolbar, e- mail and desktop search. "
FiOS TV is the latest front in the ongoing telecom war, now in its 10th year, pitting the 'Baby Bells' -- the spawn of the 1984 break-up of AT&T -- against all comers. At first the battles were over residential and long-distance service. Then the war moved to broadband Internet service. Now the battle comes to your living room, with the Bells going after the cable companies' bread and butter.
Three of the Bells -- SBC, Verizon and Bell South -- are spending billions of dollars laying fiber optic cables that will carry television pictures to computers or to TV sets equipped with computer boxes. They're also planning to spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying state legislatures and Congress to allow them to avoid lengthy permit processes.
Earlier this year, Texas became the first state to approve a statewide franchise agreement for FiOS TV. That means the Bells can avoid having to make franchise agreements with individual communities before laying their fiber optic cables. Conventional cable TV companies have to get franchise agreements, and in return, pay a franchise tax to local governments. In Texas, the Bells will be able to avoid the lengthy town-by-town permitting process. "
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
"It was one of those awkward career moments - the creative, 25-year-old copywriter going to lunch with his very conservative, 45-year-old supervisor. Despite having worked there for months, I had not spoken with my boss about anything but work. He was a nice guy, just very unlike me. Anyways, the food was good, but the conversation was starved for any common interest to discuss. Eventually we settled on work matters when he shared with me what he believed was the secret to all good advertising."
A new report from Banc of America Securities says that the shift of dollars from traditional media to the Internet is happening slower than previously suggested, Editor & Publisher reports.
The research firm looked at 100 leading national advertisers that spent over $1 billion with newspapers. Indeed, more than one-third of ad dollars flowing out of newspapers are moving to the Internet. The advertisers studied spent roughly the same in 2004 as in 2003 on newspaper advertising; however, they upped their Internet spend by 29 percent.
Yet, the shift is happening sporadically. Of the eight categories examined - automotive, retail, telecom/Internet, financial services, general services, entertainment, travel, and media - the Internet gained share in only three of them. Telecom advertisers shifted the largest share from newspapers to the Internet. Retail came in second and general services came in third. Entertainment was the only category where newspapers gained over the Internet.
Banc of America is quick to point out that while Internet growth is advancing, the base is low. Internet advertising only accounts for 5.3 percent of total U.S. measured advertising revenues, newspapers for 21 percent.
Consumers using the Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger programs will be able to exchange instant messages, see the presence of their contacts, share emoticons and add friends from either service, the companies said. Interoperability is expected to kick in during the second quarter of 2006."
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
CapRock Communications Expands Into Mexico; New Regional Operations Center Extends Satellite Provider's Global Infrastructure
Monday, October 10, 2005
Likewise, the email you send may also include your location and school or employer, even if sent from a personal account. Do you or should you care? "
Thursday, October 06, 2005
'We're doing our very best to accommodate these people,' she said.
It's an uncomfortable situation for the hotel industry: risk bad publicity for kicking out hurricane evacuees, or anger big-spending repeat customers who travel for business."
'Our checks indicated mixed to negative reviews of the much-anticipated Rokr phone, with some stores indicating strong early sales, but more indicating disappointment in the product,' wrote Piper Jaffray analyst T. Michael Walkley in a note to investors. The firm makes a market in Motorola securities."
Andreessen's Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up 24 Hour Laundry, which has about 14 employees, earlier this week launched Ning, describing it a free online service for building 'social applications.'
Company executives refer to Ning as a 'playground' for creating content, such as photos and reviews, and sharing that information to connect with other people. The Ning site hosts these 'social applications' and gives Web developers tools to build programs, either from scratch or by cloning existing services. "
The High Street fashion chain will ditch the smutty logo, which is splashed across clothes and other products, when it launches next year's spring and summer collection.
The decision was widely welcomed last night. Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: 'It's about time too.
It has simply coarsened sensibilities and was always unnecessary.' John Beyer, director of Mediawatch, said: 'We had people call us after their children had seen it and asked what it meant. It's high time the firm did this and we welcome their decision.' Catholic author Dwight Longenecker added: 'This was always such an adolescent joke. I always thought they should have been able to come up with something better.' Although company founder Stephen Marks has always defended the logo as simply being the initials for French Connection UK, industry experts say it has lost its appeal and become unfashionable.
Those views were reflected in the company's latest sales figures, which were down nine per cent over the summer, while half-year profits collapsed by 68 per cent, from Pounds 16.2million to Pounds 5.1million.
When the results were unveiled last month, Mark Charnock, of banking group Investec, said: 'I think the FCUK brand is going south. There was a bubble on the back of smutty, mis-spelt expletives. That bubble has gone and there is nothing to bring back customers into the shops.' A senior source at French Connection's PR agency Brunswick, who wanted to remain anonymous, told The Mail on Sunday: 'T-shirts or other garments in the new spring/ summer collection will not have the FCUK logo on the front it may appear on labels but it will be subtle and limited"
These factors include traffic count: cars or pedestrians, visibility, proximity to competition, population density, terms and rental rates and transportation accessibility. These same factors apply to any website and every Internet marketing campaign. Internet marketing involves more than just building a website. It requires a little bit of promotion on your part to get people to that website.
Traffic Count: Cars or Pedestrians
In your brick and mortar location, do you get a lot of drive-by traffic or foot traffic? If you want foot traffic you pick a location in a retail center or a mall where you have lots of people. If you are a business that has businesses as customers, then foot traffic is not as important. Think of cars as B2B, (business to business), and pedestrians as B2C, (business to consumer). Your type of business does affect your location and how you define your Internet marketing strategy. B2C requires as much traffic as possible, whereas, B2B requires as much qualified traffic as possible.
If you sell a firewall that can be used by everybody on any type of computer connected to the Internet, you want to target foot traffic for anyone who has a computer connected to the Internet. If you sell a security platform that protects networks by sitting in front of the router to block malicious and unknown attacks, then your audience is a bit more specific, and the mall (i.e. general search terms) may not be the best location for your business. More specific search terms should be researched, and your “leasing cost” may be higher either way, depending on the “keyword” used and the location of the keyword purchased.
Are you found on the front page of search results when people search for your company name? Location, location, location. In real estate, it’s everything. On search engine results, it’s required. Research has shown that roughly 80 percent of Internet users do not go past the first three pages of search engine results and just below 20 percent do not go past the first page.
Proximity to Competition
It’s also important to understand how competitive your business channel is. Are you one of only 13 vendors that supply a really neat device, or are there 1,500 suppliers that could be viewed as competition by a potential customer that has not yet learned the difference?
Are you found where your competitors are found? If their location is the first page of the search results and your location is nowhere near them, (say, in the third or fourth page neighborhood), how can customers find you?
A search for “Dallas” in Google will return more than 45 million results and in Yahoo! it will return more than a million. A highly populated area on the search results means increased competition, and it’s going to be harder to get your website seen. Pay-Per-Click advertising, listing your website in a search engine’s paid results area, costs more for “rent” in populated areas and more attractive areas. To “lease” the top Pay-Per-Click spot for the word “Dallas,” you will pay $0.92 cents every time someone clicks on your link. The current pricing on the top spot for “Dallas Real Estate” would cost $4.05.
So different locations have different pricing.
Terms and Rental Rates
Negotiating a good lease is great for your business. So is submitting to free search indexes and directories. A search index is like the white pages, everyone is listed by name, not by category. A search directory is like the larger segmented telephone book that usually has yellow colored pages inside it, separated by category. Google is a free search index and has a free directory via DMOZ.org. In commercial real estate, free rent is a great thing but usually lasts only for a limited time.
Yahoo! is a paid search directory with a yearly fee to be listed. Many people have differing opinions on whether or not this is a good idea, but Yahoo! isn’t likely to disappear within the next year. The top three most visited websites are Yahoo!, MSN and Google, in that order, so paying to be listed on Yahoo! is definitely a good idea. As with any location, the better the location, the higher the rent, and there are methods of paying more for better placement or a “better location.”
If you build it, they will come, does not apply to a website. Until you do something to promote your website, it is a “snowflake in a snowstorm.” Unless your company name is put in front of people, most people will not know you have a website or web address.
You must list your website much like you would list an available residential property for sale or lease with a professional realtor. Print it on your business card, your stationary and possibly even the sign in front of your business. This is like a “for sale by owner” sign in your yard - until someone drives by, they don’t know you have a website.
You also may decide to enlist the duties of a search engine marketing professional to list your website. Like realtors who know how the real estate market works, they deal with the ever changing landscape of search engines on a daily basis and know the ropes of what the search engines like and do not like in order to assist you to the top of the search engines, the most profitable location.
� Once you've registered for the service, you add a simple bookmarklet to your browser (see below). When you find a web page you'd like to add to your list, you simply select the del.icio.us bookmarklet, and you'll be prompted for a information about the page. You can add descriptive terms to group similar links together, modify the title of the page, and add extended notes for yourself or for others.
� You can access your list of links from any web browser. By default, your links are shown to you in reverse chronological order, with those you've added most recently at the top. In addition to viewing by date, you can also view all links in a specific category (you define your own categories as you add the links), or search your links for keywords.
� What makes del.icio.us a social system is its ability to let you see the links that others have collected, as well as showing you who else has bookmarked a specific site. You can also view the links collected by others, and subscribe to the links of people whose lists you find interesting. "
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The Web giant announced Wednesday that it has expanded its agreement with antiphishing specialist Cyota and signed new partnerships with security technology companies MarkMonitor and Cyveillance.
The deals provide its customers with 'multiple layers of invisible protection against phishing attacks,' the Dulles, Va.-based Internet service provider said in a statement.
The protection measures aim to prevent AOL members from falling for phishing scams by blocking access. AOL and its partners will scan the Web for fraudulent sites, analyze suspicious URLs, check new domain registrations and attempt to remove phishing sites from the Web, the company said. "
Tilghman, who is also a molecular biology professor at the university, participated in the cloning of the first mammalian gene as part of her postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health.
Her appointment to the board may aid Google's work in tackling scientific problems. In 2002, the company tested a toolbar that acted like a supercomputer in an effort to figure out how genetic information is converted into proteins. "
Saturday, October 01, 2005
The term "hacking" in a computer science context was first coined in the 1960's ; and its continuing extended usage widely attributed to localised Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) slang at the time, where in the very beginning the term "hack" was synonymous with the word "prank". An early indication of the darker side of future hacking perhaps but never the less in reference to this origin "hacking" could basically and simply be defined as;
"Making a system, program or piece of hardware do something that it was not designed to do."
Perhaps a good term to some up the meaning of "hacking" is "tinkering". Under this broad definition it'd be quite possible to "hack" the toaster into cooking hotter than it was designed to do, or anything else as mundane; the description of the hardware modification involved would fall well within the constraints of the term : a good hack. With the exception of the rather circumstantial, not to mention retrospectively amusing "seed" in the "prank" origin of the term; hacking previous to perhaps the early to mid 1980's had no real demonised undertones, no media generated air of menace - all of which such additions and confusions of the definition have emerged as commerce and relatively un tech savvy and uneducated parties have had by nature of the changes in day to day life become more involved with areas of computer science and information technology in general, areas which at the origin of the term hacking were quite alien to the man on the street."