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not_nz_wikis:j_worlds_first_hacker [2012/02/01 13:32]
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 ====== Nevil Maskelyne, the worlds first Hacker ====== ====== Nevil Maskelyne, the worlds first Hacker ======
  
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 LATE one June afternoon in 1903 a hush fell across an expectant audience in the Royal Institution'​s celebrated lecture theatre in London. Before the crowd, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming was adjusting arcane apparatus as he prepared to demonstrate an emerging technological wonder: a long-range wireless communication system developed by his boss, the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The aim was to showcase publicly for the first time that Morse code messages could be sent wirelessly over long distances. Around 300 miles away, Marconi was preparing to send a signal to London from a clifftop station in Poldhu, Cornwall, UK. LATE one June afternoon in 1903 a hush fell across an expectant audience in the Royal Institution'​s celebrated lecture theatre in London. Before the crowd, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming was adjusting arcane apparatus as he prepared to demonstrate an emerging technological wonder: a long-range wireless communication system developed by his boss, the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The aim was to showcase publicly for the first time that Morse code messages could be sent wirelessly over long distances. Around 300 miles away, Marconi was preparing to send a signal to London from a clifftop station in Poldhu, Cornwall, UK.
  
-Yet before the demonstration could begin, the apparatus in the lecture theatre began to tap out a message. At first, it spelled out just one word repeated over and over. Then it changed into a facetious poem accusing Marconi of "​diddling the public"​. Their demonstration had been hacked - and this was more than 100 years before the mischief playing out on the internet today. Who was the Royal Institution hacker? How did the cheeky messages get there? And why?+Yet before the demonstration could begin, the apparatus in the lecture theatre began to tap out a message. At first, it spelled out just one word repeated over and over. Then it changed into a facetious poem accusing Marconi of "​diddling the public"​. Their demonstration had been hacked - and this was more than 100 years before the mischief playing out on the internet today. Who was the Royal Institution hacker? How did the cheeky messages get there? And why?[{{ :​not_nz_wikis:​nevil_maskelyne.jpg|Nevil Maskelyne}}]
  
 It had all started in 1887 when Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865. Discharging a capacitor into two separated electrodes, Hertz ionised the air in the gap between them, creating a spark. Miraculously,​ another spark zipped between two electrodes a few metres away: an electromagnetic wave from the first spark had induced a current between the second electrode pair. It meant long and short bursts of energy - "​Hertzian waves" - could be broadcast to represent the dots and dashes of Morse code. Wireless telegraphy was born, and Marconi and his company were at the vanguard. Marconi claimed that his wireless messages could be sent privately over great distances. "I can tune my instruments so that no other instrument that is not similarly tuned can tap my messages,"​ Marconi boasted to London'​s St James Gazette in February 1903. It had all started in 1887 when Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865. Discharging a capacitor into two separated electrodes, Hertz ionised the air in the gap between them, creating a spark. Miraculously,​ another spark zipped between two electrodes a few metres away: an electromagnetic wave from the first spark had induced a current between the second electrode pair. It meant long and short bursts of energy - "​Hertzian waves" - could be broadcast to represent the dots and dashes of Morse code. Wireless telegraphy was born, and Marconi and his company were at the vanguard. Marconi claimed that his wireless messages could be sent privately over great distances. "I can tune my instruments so that no other instrument that is not similarly tuned can tap my messages,"​ Marconi boasted to London'​s St James Gazette in February 1903.
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 In the present day, many hackers end up highlighting flawed technologies and security lapses just like Maskelyne. A little mischief has always had its virtues. In the present day, many hackers end up highlighting flawed technologies and security lapses just like Maskelyne. A little mischief has always had its virtues.
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