As long as there have been computers, there have been people monkeying with computers. Trying to tinker around to see what they could learn, sometimes improving the technology, sometimes causing problems and stealing stuff. You know who I'm talking about: hackers.
This week, the hacking world is in Las Vegas for a pair of conferences. The Black Hat conference, all about corporate security issues, that wraps up today. And Defcon, a freewheeling hacker culture expo that starts tomorrow. We talk to Jeff Moss, who organizes both conferences. He says the best way to think of them is that Black Hat is like a college lecture, stately, a bit formal, informative, you need to take notes. Defcon, on the other hand, is like a fraternity party. Wild, fun, messy, exciting. Moss says both are necessary for a good education. We also check in with Steven Levy. He's a senior writer for Wired now but he wrote the influential book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution way back in 1984. We find out how hackers and hacker culture have evolved.