November 25, 2007

This "Hack" Has Two Meanings

In our tech-centered Web world, a hack is usually a bad thing - bringing up images of shadowed evil-doers aiming to break into computers or networks, looking to gain access to things not theirs, or instead, a hack is sometimes seen as a quick and dirty version or update to software - and not a good one at that. But in the world of media and reporting, a hack can instead mean "one who works hard at boring tasks" or "a mediocre and disdained writer" (Source:

My old editor in chief from days at the Daily Cal in Berkeley, Ryan Tate, has started up a new blog called "The Hack", self-described as "a journalist with delusions of computer science." While the blog's just getting off the ground, Ryan's already posted a few stories of note, including a get rich quick scheme building off my idea of converting .PST files to GMail-compatible mailboxes, a new killer feature for RSS feeds, and 7 suggestions to improve Google Docs.

While he and I overlapped terms at the Daily Cal, from 1996 to 1998, Ryan and I tag-teamed on some of the earliest editions of the newspaper's Web site, saw the paper and its reporters (including the two of us) repeatedly recognized in state-wide competitions, and occasionally clashed politically, as two aggressive, opinionated people working closely together will do. Now that time has healed those wounds, we're both vocally rooting each other on from the sidelines, and I hope this self-proclaimed "hack" keeps his blog on course.

Check it out at