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Book review: Digital Wars

In 1998, the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, author of Googled, asked Bill Gates which of his competitors he feared most. "I fear someone in a garage who is devising something completely new," Gates replied.

April 17, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: The End of Money

"It's not a question of money, but of cash," a friend of mine explained to his parents years ago, when we were still university students and planning an evening out together before ATMs. He was, of course, reassuring his parents that he hadn't done anything dumb that would require them to find thousands of dollars to support him for months to come; he was merely lacking the physical representation of the numbers in his bank account.

April 2, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Design for Hackers

For a book so packed with fascinating and informative details, Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty starts much too slowly. The author is so keen to tell you what he's going to tell you, what difference he hopes it will make to you and why design literacy matters that the first 40 pages are essentially an extended introduction (even if reminding people to sketch out ideas is always a good thing).

March 20, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: The Tangled Web

There's a simple rule that the more complex a system is the harder it is to secure. Once upon a time, the web was a simple system…Today, anyone trying to advise a web site owner on security has to balance elements within the site owner's control — fonts, domain names, sources of content, validation of user input, for example — against extrinsic elements the site owner can't touch.

March 12, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Cyber Warfare

Cybercrime is now allegedly a bigger problem in the UK than street crime, but hackers may not be the biggest problem.

February 14, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Liars and Outliers

During the 2003 London march to protest the beginning of the Iraq war, we shuffled very, very slowly over a clogged Waterloo Bridge. Monitoring helicopters waggled overhead.

February 6, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book reviews: Google books

If your industry hasn't been disrupted by Google yet, observed the New Yorker writer Ken Auletta in his 2010 book Googled, it will be soon. Two recent books look at the next stage of those disruptions — one academic, one popular.

January 30, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: The Lean Start-Up

Whenever possible, learn from other people's failures — it's cheaper than learning from your own. Eric Ries didn't have this advantage when, as a Yale undergraduate, he co-founded Catalyst Recruiting.

January 23, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Republic, Lost

"Love makes the odds irrelevant," writes Lawrence Lessig at the end of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It. "It is a commitment to doing whatever can be done — sometimes destructively so — to beat the odds and save the soul who taught you that love.

January 9, 2012 by Book Reviews

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Book review: Ghost in the Wires

In 1996 I reviewed three books for New Scientist about the same 1995 events: the chase (through cyberspace and the physical United States) after and capture of Kevin Mitnick. Who's that, you say?

January 1, 2012 by Book Reviews

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