Hak5, what happened?

Hak5 is an internet TV show about “everything from network security, open source and forensics, to DIY modding and the homebrew scene.” In some ways it’s the spiritual successor to The Broken. I was a big fan of thes how when they first started releasing episodes 4 3 years ago.  But for one reason or another, I stopped following the show sometime near the end of the first season.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I heard that Hak5 had been signed to Revision 3 earlier this summer. I watched the first and second episodes as soon as I found them available on tivo. To my dismay, the show has gone down hill. The episodes were not at all up to par with the production quality of most other shows on the revision 3 network. 

First of all, the show did not seem to be edited or rehearsed. The hosts were literally reading off scripts in front of them and they still managed to make mistakes! A couple of times the shot quickly switched between the 3 sets for no apparent reason. In some cases the hosts had trouble demoing the software they were talking about. I don’t get why they did not take the time to edit out any of these error and/or reshoot scenes. I’d assume that Revision 3 would be giving them a budget or direct accept to their editing infrastructure, so that amateur mistakes like this don’t make it to air. 

Second, the new hosts are really unpolished and awkward. There’s a weird (lack of) chemistry between the 3 of them. Also, the topics they talk about are fairly complex and the hosts aren’t able to strike a good balance between explaining the complexities in a way that’s understandable by a wider range of people. For example, in episode one, mubix tried explain a piece of “forensics” software called Maltego. I spent the entire 10 minute segment wondering when he was going to actually explain the software, benefits of using and how there was anything “forensic” about the software. Even though he gave a couple of use-cases, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. He just said the word “transforms” a lot. 

The other software that they talked about in the two episodes I watched was all fairly irrelevant. Covering openDNS in a show that also covers fairly advanced network management tools and hacking concept seems a little backwards. And why would you have a guy try to explain decompiling windows programs and hexediting when he admits that he’s not even a programmer.

The overal format of the show has just become very confusing.

Other than that, the show still has a couple of good things going for it.
The microshaft ads are still hilarious.
The old host Darrent is still good.
It seems like they are focus on some more pratical “hacking” technics, DIY and other stupid nerd tricks.
Even though I’m not involved in it, it does seem like the show has a good community, that’s always a good thing.

Links to the episodes: 
Episode 1
Episode 2