Digital Culture

Hackers Unite!

Holy Crap! Thanks to Patrick for pointing out to me that Wired is featuring a story about the Hacker’s On Planet Earth (HOPE) Conference, which was evidently co-organized by Greg Newby.

Conference co-organizer Greg Newby, a computer science professor at the University of Alaska, said the conference reflected “the hacker spirit, which is about exploration and questioning.” He added, “This involves political awakening, as well as open sharing of information.”

So why do I care? Little did I fully appreciate at the time, but Dr. Newby was my professor for my Information Security class at UNC. Turns out I was learning from one of the best…it was an amazing class. One of the things that stuck with me was that at the beginning of the semester, he told us that he had set up a server in his office for us to crack…and that we should just go to it. Every day we learned a bit more about intrusion, and then used those exploits on our target. It was a phenomenal way to learn about security and network issues in a very practical manner.

EDIT: Wow. I didn’t actually realize that Dr. Newby had been denied tenure at UNC. Thanks, Justin, for bringing this to my attention…I knew he left for Alaska, but I had no idea it was under such trying circumstances. So terrible for him, and for SILS…he was absolutely one of the best professors I had while at SILS.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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