Alireza Hayati's Personal Weblog

On Hacking 1 July, 2019

When I introduce myself as a hacker or use the word “hacking” in my sentences, most people think by hacking, I mean bypassing security walls or entering stuff without permission. That is not completely correct. Hacking simply means finding ways to do stuff. For example, Mr. Stallman says in one of his writings that once he figured a way to use a chopstick while he was visiting Korea, that is a hack.

Lately, I turned off my mobile phone. When I was using it, I configured it manually and removed the GPS tracker, that was a hack. Let me give you another example. Some time ago, Persian users of Twitter inside Iran, couldn’t sign up because the Iran country code was removed from the list and users from inside of Iran couldn’t enter their phone numbers.

First, don’t use Twitter. Second, the country code was not removed from the system, it was only removed from the page, so if users could find a way to bring back the country code to the list, they would have been able to sign up. What people did was to open inspect elements on their browser and change one of the codes with “+98”.

After entering the required information, they could receive the verification code. It was also a hacking. They didn’t bypass security, they simply found a way to do what they wanted to do. Hacking is not always finding security holes or bug, even writing a simple line of code is hacking.

I write all pages in this website by myself. There’s no so-called CMS (content management system) running this website. All lines of codes are written by myself and I’m improving it to meet my needs. This is also hacking. At the end of this post, there is a print button. Normally when people hit the print button, their browser prints the whole page including unnecessary stuff.

I added a “no-print” class to my CSS style to avoid browsers print unwanted stuff. If you hit the print button I placed under my notes, it’ll only print the title of my weblog, title of post, and notes I wrote, nothing more. There’s a lot of hacks we do everyday. Basically we all are hackers in different fields.

So when you want to introduce yourself next time, you may want to call yourself a hacker on something. For me, I’m a life-hacker. I find ways to live and make stuff great again.