Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Computer Virus Infects Man

The BBC reports this morning that a British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus. (Thanks, Joshi.)

I always feel eerie when I read reports about computer viruses. Back in college, I hung out with a nerdy crew of brilliant tech-heads. I was a humanities major, but always had a hacker-ish mentality (for those who don't understand, hacking is about curious tinkering; most of us think of hackers as evil bastards who wreak havoc, but that's not hacking, it's an evil application of hacking techniques).

In 1981, one of these friends explained the fascinating theory of computer viruses. And it truly was fascinating at the time; computers were fairly primitive things, and it was a heady notion that they might be used to mimic living functions.

There were no actual computer viruses then (the first appeared a few months later). And I always wondered how much of a part that friend (who I've been out of touch with since school) had in starting it all. I didn't think he was a particularly evil bastard, but who knows....

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