Encourage hacker culture

Facebook kicked off its historic initial public offering by holding another of the company’s fabled hackathons, which are all-night events that gather the social networking giant’s employees to work on products outside their office assignments.

Hackathon 31 was held on the eve of Facebook’s IPO and was a strong statement that even as it stands to raise billions, the company was still rooted in its “hacker culture.”

The word “hacker” has been sullied by years of use in media to refer to people who break into computer systems. The word originally meant a person who does clever tweaking of a system to improve its performance. “Hacking is ‘playful cleverness,’” said Richard Stallman, one of the world’s original hackers.

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