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Another relevant line of research on the hacker culture has pointed out the conflict and tension existing between the computer security industry and the “computer underground”, which clearly represents the most “institutional form” to understand the meaning of hacking (Taylor, 1999).
Moreover, more recently, the discourses on the hacker culture have also been developed within a more explicit political framework, introducing the definition of “hacktivism”, which is today a common expression used to refer to the subversive use of computers to promote mainly radical political ideas and practices (Jordan 2002; Jordan and Taylor, 2004).
It is precisely around this particular modification that the hackintosh practice has spread through new cultural representations and new ways of circulation of technical skills required, showing that the heterogeneous realm of hacking is today undergoing a change influenced by discourses and representations typical of different social spheres and especially of the cultural environment where ordinary people appropriate, consume, use and readapts products in their everyday lives.
The story of the Hackintosh is theoretically and discussed by adopting a “Practice Theory” perspective, thus looking at the process by which hacking objects, skills and cultures are increasingly influenced by cultural elements and discursive strategies belonging to the realm of consumer practices.
The first factor is that hacking is an activity originally developed within expert circles and professional environments. Zeus 2.1 update What’s in the update: Disable the annoying Power Cable Warning popup that some flashed cards get att boot (thanks krag!In this article it is argued that, in the last few years, hacking practices consisting in the modification and subversion of digital devices are undergoing a process of popularization, and hacking-related cultural references and discourses are growing in terms of visibility among new segments of the population, including not only software experts and computer “geeks”, but also amateurs, laypersons and non-experts.One of these few attempts is the work of Söderberg (2008), who has developed an analysis of hacking within a Marxist framework, observing not only that hacking is deeply rooted in the very nature of consumer-capitalist society, but also that the evolution of hacking practices is questioning the capitalist traditional circulation of goods, breaking the conventional cycle of production-consumption (p. However, in his discussion of the tensions between hacking, production and consumption, Söderberg does not provide empirical evidence of the actual ways in which hacking is related to consumers’ attitudes and practices, remaining on a purely theoretical level.Another perspective is the one developed in Magaudda (2010), where it is pointed out that some of the typical features characterizing the hacking realm – such as the involvement of users in the modification of the technologies they use, or the more or less explicit political significance of the products they modify – can be seen as specific points of connection between hacking and consumption.