hacked (cracked) for the first time

I don’t like to use the word “hacked” to refer to unwanted system intrusion and unwanted system change, but that is the word everyone understands. See my post “on my frequent use of the word ‘hacker’” for an explanation of my objection. I prefer the term “cracked” instead.

Anyway someone recently cracked my Transgender Resources Page earlier today. Fortunately I discovered the breach promptly and the fix proved easy.

However it reminded me to diligently update my security software, my Linux kernel, and my blog/wiki software immediately following update releases.

The cracker did not apparently object to my content, they merely replaced my wiki’s main page with link spam. However I’m likely to attract those hostile to my material in the future and need to stand vigilant.

If you are curious, here is what my main page looked like immediately following the attack. Note all the link spam:

After the fix, the main page redirects to the “Transgender Resources” page:

After my repair, going to the main wiki page delivers:

Unfortunately, I’m using a current copy of MediaWiki, so a possible security update would not help. However, I discovered that you can “protect” pages:

We’ll see how well this works.

DIY brain anatomy: looking for transgender features (part 1)

This is my pre-hormone-taking adult brain:

In my post “the science of gender identity (part 2: brain anatomy)“, I describe evidence that certain regions of transsexual brains resemble in size the regions of their cisgender counterparts in the transsexuals’ gender identity.

So I would like to measure my brain region sizes to see how they stack up. Enter image recognition:

This is someone else’s brain, but it shows a visual representation of an image recognition procedure’s results. I discovered I can use the same procedure on my MRI (but without being able to generate the cool image).

I ran the procedure on nine separate images of mine and compared the results by brain region. Here are the Spearman R values for the comparisons:

These results are very consistent, telling me that the image recognition program is consistent. This gives me confidence in using the results in later analyses comparing my brain region sizes to that of a population of cisgender brain MRIs.

Code, Data, and Procedure

Data, code, and instructions necessary to produce these results are attached.


on my frequent use of the word “hacker”

I use the terms “hacker” and “hacking” often, reclaiming and broadening the terms.

The term “hacker” has come to solely mean an individual that illegally breaks into computer networks. This was not the original meaning.

Originally, it meant a computer-savvy, creative individual. One who could make computers do cool things. One who can alter and mix technologies to suit their needs and desires.

This is the meaning I am leveraging. But I’m expanding it to include creative intervention in social dynamics, spirituality, fashion, etc. This requires technical savvy of a different sort.

The point is: I believe individuals can modify almost everything through cleverness. Engineering is a virtue.

I engineer my gender. I engineer my life. I am a hacker.