Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Government United States Politics Technology

US Government Announces National Day of Civic Hacking 102

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday in a post at the White House website, the U.S. government announced that June 1-2 would be the National Day of Civic Hacking. 'Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans.' It will be a joint project with Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America. Activities are being planned in many cities across the country, and you can also sign up to host your own event. It's nice to see the government use the word 'hacking' in a positive way, since most uses of the term these days involve malicious activity."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Government Announces National Day of Civic Hacking

Comments Filter:
  • by KFK2 ( 23515 ) * on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:40PM (#42672631) Homepage

    And here I thought it was about hacking Honda Civics.. enough people do that you'd think there'd be a holiday for it already.

    • And here I thought it was about hacking Honda Civics.. enough people do that you'd think there'd be a holiday for it already.

      As true (and funny) as that is, it's unfortunate that not many of those hacks have any sort of positive impact.

    • I once used a soda can to repair the exhaust system... does that count?

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:41PM (#42672647)
    Color me surprised. Or maybe code me surprised. I thought the term 'hacker' was forever lost, stained by the media beyond redemption.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I know it's all perspective, and this is just mine, but I see more appropriate uses all the time now. Business rags like to talk about large tech companies having their hackathons and unknown devs "hacking" on their personal projects. The whole "maker" thing, which is (dare I say) trendy now, uses the word all the time. And we're well out of the 90's, when computers were transitioning from mystery AOL terminals to tools that almost everyone grew up using. I do feel like we're swinging back from the hollywoo

    • I'm right there with you. So glad to hear 'hacker' and 'hacking' used in the original positive context.
    • More like "stained by idiots who call themselves hackers jacking up other people's systems." The media didn't do it. It's every who gets busted doing stupid s**t with a script they downloaded because they think they're going to get into Jolie's pants.

    • Yeah, "hacker" is way too ambiguous.

      "Cracker" was used for a while to mean "malicious hacker", but has its own ambiguity since it's used as a sort-of black person's "N-word" for a white person. (whatever happened to "Ofay", by the way?)

      I'd suggest "jacker", from "jack in to a network in order to hi-jack it".

      And by analogy to Tim Leary's "Turn on, tune in, drop out" - "Jack in, jack out, jack off"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:44PM (#42672691)

    "Liberate data that can inform better problem solving in every community."
    I propose we make a script that downloads all the research journals that we can, then makes massive online library of them that anyone can access. Oh wait. That doesn't end well.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That ends fine as long as you don't get access to the network that holds that data by breaking into a restricted access wiring closet, connecting your laptop and leaving it there, and then circumventing the attempts made to stop you. Then when you're caught and facing trial, don't kill yourself before you actually get through trial.

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:47PM (#42672719) Journal

    Be careful out there. [] This isn't a true call to hacking, it is a call for free labor.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:50PM (#42672751) Journal

      This isn't a true call to hacking, it is a call for free labor.

      I don't mind donating my labor for free sometimes if it makes the world a better place.

      • ...And the US government has made the world a better place recently?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:54PM (#42672793)
          Yes. I like roads.
          • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:01PM (#42672853) Journal

            Roads are predominantly state projects. And though you might claim the feds help fund them, it's only because the feds confiscate via the income tax then give it back for compliance with federal initiatives.

            • Actually, I'd claim that roads are predominantly construction projects completed by private enterprises which the city, state and federal governments fund through taxation.
          • I like roads too. The issue is what value are you getting for your money. I am very pleased if I get a great meal for $10. I expect the meal to be great if I pay $100. They build the roads argument makes sense if the government is only spending on building roads. I am sure that the federal government spending on road is not even a meaningful part of the federal budget. The question is are you getting the best value for your money? Would a smaller government give a greater value for the money? How about a la
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      I would have thought, the even more paranoid, be careful out there, it's a trap would be even more relevant. FBI we need a list of all hackers, so we can decide which ones are the anarchistic criminals.

  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:53PM (#42672781)
    I truly believe in the 'pay it forward', random acts of kindness ideology. When I see someone obviously having difficulty somehow, I many times do stop and ask them if I can help. It usually doesn't cost me up anything but a little of my time, and it helps me feel better about myself afterwards. How coders can apply this to 'hacking' though, how can they do that?
    • Except when its a trap and you get robbed and killed
      • Except when its a trap and you get robbed and killed

        Well, there was that time when I was a teenager in Manhattan. I walked up on a guy who was hitting and kicking a woman who was on the ground. I yelled at him to ''cut it out'', and before anything else happened, the woman gets up all angry and comes towards me. She was yelling something like, "Who the hell are you to talk to him like that, I should kick your ass..."

        I threw up my hands and say, "Fine! Kill each other, see if I care!" and walk away. Ever since then I'm real careful about getting between

  • Memories (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @04:03PM (#42672883)

    Why am I reminded of this [] Dilbert?

    • I'm sure it was just Admiral Akbar whispering in your ear.

      Self-professed hackers hacking for America will be put onto a watch list and hauled in for questioning any time anything untoward happens in the United Internet of America. Especially in the parts claimed by the corporate citizens of that great state.

  • June 1. is my birthday.... Dunnowhattothinkofthat.
  • Then I will have to make sure that my hatchet has been sharpened, before this day of hacking.

  • Since much of this academic work is subsidized with public funding, let's put some servers somewhere at MIT so we can download and mirror it.

  • I suppose I expect too much from my government in openly allowing hacking on one day without repercussions so long as it harms nobody. After all, it only has access to my national identity and tax records.
  • if they're OK by this.

  • How terribly insensitive and how clueless can the whitehouse be?
  • AKA give us cool apps for free, nothnx
  • They use the term "hacking" when they mean "coding". They use the term "Day" when they mean "weekend". They hope to have an event in a city in "all 50 states and territories". Someone is bad at geography, math, grammar, or a mix of the 3.
  • I figure they are gonna steal the good ideas. You know, the ones they can get money for. I bet you wouldn't get a civil response if you showed them what their real problem is. Their inability to secure their low level infrastructure.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard